As 2012 comes to a close, please let me share my family’s 2012 story with you.
It’s a story of denial, realization, conviction, humility, a key decision, change, discipline and an unbelievable outcome.
And as my wife Jen and I now look back on it, we agree that it was, without question, the wisest and most important decision of our adult lives.
So please let me share our journey with you, because our situation might be similar to yours. And just as a simple decision made a radical change in our lives, I hope & pray that it does in yours, if need be.
I thought our “Financial House” was relatively in order, but my incredible wife Jen did not have any peace as to where we were, either month-to-month or long term. I kept telling her we were fine, but deep in my gut, however, I knew she was right. I was the ostrich, burying my head in the sand.
Like many of us, we were living above our means. Not extravagantly, mind you. We were not in terrible debt, and actually thought we were being wise in our decisions, like cutting cable in order to tithe like we knew we should.
But something was still not right, and peace did not exist.
At some point this past summer, Jen and her friend were chatting, and her friend was sharing how they had been in such dire financial straits, but how their lives had been changed by seeing a certified financial coach/councilor. His name is Parkey Thompson, and he is a Dave Ramsey “Endorsed Local Provider” here in Cumming.
After years of thinking we had our finances under control, as Jen and I discussed it, I came to the humbling (and embarrassing) realization that we needed the assistance of a capable, caring professional.
So two weeks later, I reluctantly joined my wife in his office for a “free 30 minute consultation”. Yeah, I was skeptical. But my calloused attitude changed pretty quickly…
His calm and gentle Christian spirit helped put a mirror on our own situation. We were able to see where our money was being wisely spent, but more importantly, where it was “disappearing”.
I realized that our so-called monthly budget was a sham, and our year-to year and long term plans were more of a punch line. This was something Jen knew in her heart and was trying to tell me all along, but it took a third party to help wake me up.
So we decided to hire Parkey for the 6 month program. Because we honestly had nothing to lose.
And something radical happened….
He instantly became our friend, our advocate, our teacher and accountability partner.
He helped us develop an actual plan to get out of debt, and long-term savings strategies to help us never return.
He helped us get excited about taking a brown bag of PB&J sandwiches instead of hitting the drive thru.
He helped us plan a monthly budget, assigning every dollar a name before the month even began.
He helped us realize the power of finite cash in an envelope versus an out-of-control debit and/or credit card.
I was worried that while trying to “get on the right financial track”, that we wouldn’t even be able to afford his services. But in the first month, in addition to paying him an installment (1/3 of the fee), we actually put in savings MORE than his entire fee.
In other words, in that first month, we quickly realized that we couldn’t afford NOT to hire him.
That was September.
Today, we are out of credit card debt, have more money in savings than ever before, and actually have a strategic financial plan heading forward.
We have strategies to plan for not only month-to-month, but for quarterly, annual and long-term costs as well, like tag renewals, HOA fees, 1099 taxes, automobile replacement, retirement, etc…
There is more peace and communication in our marriage than ever before. Our kids are learning to give, save and spend wisely. And we are far more prepared for whatever bumps-in-the-road may come.
I finally realized this past year that I couldn’t have what was best for me or my family without getting my financial house truly in order, and that I needed a competent, kind, caring professional to accomplish that goal.
I say all that to say this – I care deeply about you, and want the absolute best for you and your family. That’s why I’m sharing our story. Hopefully it’s the friendly prodding that you might need…
In case my friendly prodding causes you to take a step, here’s Parkey’s contact info:
And don’t worry – this isn’t a pyramid scheme, and I’m not getting any kickbacks… You know I don’t roll that way. I just want you to experience the new-found financial peace that we’ve discovered through discipline and professional assistance.