Because of the increased interest in our coaching program, and because of its growing success, I’ve chosen to spotlight another coaching success story. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Mary from New Jersey. Mary and I discussed her coaching experience and her Mvelopes experience, generally. Our discussion follows.
Q: How many coaching Sessions did you complete?
Q: What coaching session(s) did you find most valuable?
A: The first couple of sessions were definitely the most valuable because they helped me better understand the system and how to work it and maneuver it.
Q: How has the coaching program helped you take control of your money?
A: I signed up for Mvelopes a few years ago–without the coaching–and I didn’t get very far with it because I didn’t really understand it. I let the program sit dormant for awhile. Then after receiving a couple of e-mail messages discussing the coaching program, I decided to try it. After the first few sessions with Lori (my coach), I was able to really understand how to use the program. In fact, it got me excited to use it. I have tried to budget on my own for many (20+) years and I’m finally being successful!
Q: How has the coaching program helped you reduce consumer debt?
A: Consumer debt really isn’t an issue for me. What was an issue was that my husband and I were living paycheck to paycheck and we needed to learn to better manage our finances.
Q: How has the coaching program helped you reduce your stress related to money?
A: Well, it’s been huge. Now I have an envelope for all the expenses that we incur that maybe we don’t know we’re were going to incur. And the really great thing is that if there isn’t an envelope created, but I find I need one, I can easily put one in place and know that sometime down the road I’ll have the money to cover whatever it is. That has really helped to reduce a lot of stress. Now, when my husband says, “We’ve got to do this …” or when we’re facing a costly repair bill, I don’t worry because I’ve got the money to cover it. Things are getting put into place.
Q: How much has your budgeting and money management knowledge increased since you started the coaching program?
A: As far as budgeting and money management knowledge goes, I have always had the knowledge of how it was supposed to work, but I just wasn’t good at applying what I knew. In the past, I’ve felt that money controlled me, and now I know how to control my money. I’ve always felt that we never had enough money. We were living paycheck to paycheck. It was hard to save money. Now we have a plan. I’ve tried to budget by hand, without much success, but the computer and technology made it so much more effective. I’ve found the right tool. Visually it works for me. It’s a fun program.
Q: How much has the knowledge of the envelope method helped you manage your money?
A: It helps me to be aware of where my money is going and how many envelopes I have. Now I know why I never had any money before–it’s the awareness.
Q: How have your attitudes about budgeting and money management changed since you started the coaching program?
A: I’m much more relaxed now. I feel I have better control. So my attitude is no longer one of frustration and aggravation. I have a much better attitude.
Q: How has coaching helped you gain a clear overall picture of your spending?
A: Awareness, again. I liked the coaching more for understanding how to use Mvelopes–maybe not so much the nitty gritty of it. Lori would go over the different points and she would help me implement those things.
Q: How has your Mvelopes usage changed since starting the coaching program?
A: I went from not using it at all–or very little–to using it pretty much every day. I’m certainly no longer afraid of it.
Q: What advice would you give to new Money for Life Coaching participants?
A: My first thought is to definitely do the coaching. Stick it out for at least 2-3 sessions. It’s what I needed to get going. Definitely use it.
After speaking with Mary about her coaching experience, I then asked her questions regarding her overall Mvelopes experience.
Q: How long have you been using Mvelopes?
A: Six months.
Q: How much consumer debt have you been able to eliminate during that time?
A: I don’t have much consumer debt. I have a line of credit that I still need to clear up, but Mvelopes has helped me develop a plan to pay it down. I also have a car payment.
Q: How much have you been able to save while using Mvelopes?
A: I haven’t been able to save. It was a hard year because we didn’t have the money we’ve normally had to use, but we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to save in the future.
Q: How much has your average checking account balance increased while using Mvelopes?
A: I was always close to being in the negative, but now we maintain approximately $5,000 in the account.
Q: What financial goals have you achieved while using Mvelopes?
A: Peace of mind. Now I know that I’m doing something positive about my financial situation.
Q: What are your next financial goals?
A: To build a savings account. I have one child in college and another one rapidly approaching that age and I want to have money for that.
Q: If married, how has Mvelopes helped you better collaborate with your spouse?
A: This has always been our biggest area of argument, “Where did the money go?” It has definitely helped in that area. Now I have a plan and can better show and explain things to my husband.
Q: What advice would you give to new Mvelopes users?
A: Sign up for coaching right away. Take the money that it costs for coaching and put it in your envelopes. Don’t get frustrated. It will give you peace of mind. It’ll give you a plan.
It was a pleasure to speak with Mary. She is very enthusiastic about her future financial picture and she is confident that she has found the solution to her budgeting issues. She is no longer afraid to face her finances. In fact, she enjoys seeing the progress that she’s making as she successfully budgets her money. Mary and her husband are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. Keep up the great work, Mary. We wish you and your family much continued financial success.