Because of the increased interest in our coaching program, we thought it would be helpful to include another coaching success story with you. Linda (from Illinois) recently participated in our coaching program and answered the following questions about her experience.
Q: How many coaching Sessions did you complete?
A: I completed five.
Q: What coaching session(s) did you find most valuable?
A: I believe it was number two or three, where we really started doing the “hands on” of the application. That was definitely the most useful session for me.
Q: How has the coaching program helped you take control of your money?
A: It gave me the confidence to know that I was using the system correctly. Once I started the coaching sessions, it took away so much of the stress I was feeling from our financial situation. It gave me the confidence to know we were moving in a positive direction.
Q: How has the coaching program helped you reduce consumer debt?
A: We really don’t have any debt, so that’s not applicable to me. However, there was a change in our financial situation. I’m a stay-at-home mom and we’re now living off one salary, where we used to live off two. Mvelopes helped us with that transition so that we were able to avoid debt.
Q: How has the coaching program helped you reduce your stress related to money?
A: Learning to live on a budget was difficult. I had tried to do it on my own several times, without success. But finding a program with a system that I was comfortable with, that works well, that allows me to check it frequently, really helped me to gain confidence. I no longer have to bury my head in the sand. I have taken control of our situation, and it feels great!
Q: How much has your budgeting and money management knowledge increased since you started the coaching program?
A: It has greatly increased–probably even 100 percent. I now pay attention where I used to be fearful.
Q: How much has the knowledge of the envelope method helped you manage your money?
A: Wonderfully–probably, again, 100 percent. I tried setting up a budget actually using paper envelopes, but it just didn’t work, particularly when using debit cards. It was too difficult. This program has greatly enhanced our abilities and increased our success.
Q: How have your attitudes about budgeting and money management changed since you started the coaching program?
A: Again, they’ve changed significantly. I’m no longer afraid to look at my budget. In fact, it can actually be quite fun to see that I have money left and have stayed within budget. Fear has been replaced by a feeling of relaxation and even a sense of pride when we see how far we’ve come.
Q: How has coaching helped you gain a clear overall picture of your spending?
A: It wasn’t really the coaching, necessarily, but the system. However, coaching has helped me understand the system better. It is all in black and white-it’s right there.
Q: How has your Mvelopes usage changed since starting the coaching program?
A: Significantly–again, 100 percent. As I said, this is my second year with the Mvelopes program (I signed up in 2008). I tried it on my own, got confused, became overwhelmed because I had so many transactions and didn’t know where to apply them. So, I paid for almost a full year and only used the program for about two months. It really wasn’t useful to me at that time because I wasn’t using it properly. Coaching has really helped me a lot!
Q: What advice would you give to new Money for Life Coaching participants?
A: I would tell them that coaching, along with the use of the Mvelopes system, has truly transformed our financial situation and, because of that, it has transformed our lives-and I mean that sincerely. It has enhanced our marriage (my husband and I no longer fight about money). Dive in head first, pay attention, read the book and get into coaching wholeheartedly. My coach was fantastic and helped me a lot. Get into the system and use it, every single day.
After speaking with Linda about her coaching experience, I then wanted to know about her overall Mvelopes experience, so I asked the following additional questions:
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: A year and three months.
Q: How has Mvelopes assisted you in living within your income?
A: Fantastically. Again, moving from a two-income family to one income, we have been able to learn to live on a much smaller income than we did before, simply because we have a spending plan and we can plan ahead. Planning ahead, rather than looking at where you money went, has truly transformed our financial situation.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: That’s not applicable to our situation.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: We now have our emergency account fully funded (six months of income) and we’re working on paying down our mortgage.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: We maintain about $2,500. In the past, we typically maintained a balance under $1,000.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: The biggest goal that we have achieved is the reduction of our financial stress.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: To continue to pay down our mortgage as well as to start a college fund for our children. I’m sure it’ll be a million dollars by the time our kids go to college.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: Actually, very well. My husband is now involved in the budgeting process. We make our spending plan together. There’s no more finger-pointing. We plan for things ahead of time and it’s very clear where our money has gone. It has truly helped our marriage.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Buy the coaching session! It was so worth every penny.
Q: If you could create a “tag line” for Mvelopes-keeping in mind what it’s done for you-what would the tag line be?
A: Get your head out of the sand and change your life.
Linda, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me. Thank you, too, for sharing your enthusiasm about coaching and Mvelopes with us. It is obvious, from your comments, that your life has truly changed and that you have a bright financial future ahead of you. We wish you and your family continued financial success and much happiness.