Why Financial Wellness Matters – and It Should to You and Everyone


In 2003, the United States Senate designated April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. It ended up being designated National Financial Literacy Month to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

 Don't you want more for you life than what you have today?  Many people want to travel, debt out of debt, put their children through college, or just enjoy a nice dinner out without guilt or bank overdrafts.  Living free of financial hardships is impossible. However, with discipline and planning you can life your best life no matter where you are right now.  Just get started.  Making an effort to tackle your finances one step at a time is the best place to start.  Your personal goals are why financial health should matter to you!

In honor of such an important month of the year, I'd like to give you a few ideas to improve your financial outlook.


Having a challenge sticking to a budget?  Why don't you just begin with a reality check?  Review one month of expenses in your bank accounts.  Add up transactions by category like groceries, dining out, clothing, gas, etc.  Then make small changes to categories that are negatively impacting the progress towards your goals.


Looking for extra money each month?  Cancel unused subscriptions like the gym.  Shop your auto and home insurance to see if you are getting the best deal.  Review your utilities like cable to ensure you aren’t overpaying.  Check into Netflix and Hulu.  Clip coupons for groceries.


Concerned about sending your kids to college? Gather information about 529 plans in your state.  Talk to other families with college-age students to understand what to expect.  Task your high schooler with researching local scholarships and/or programs that help with college funding.


Not sure you are going to be ready for retirement?  Look into your potential social security benefits.  Contact your 401k plan administrator at work.  Decide on if you will invest at least up to the match to get your free money.  Talk to a financial planner about your options for improving your retirement outlook.


No matter where you are in your financial journey there are always steps you can take to improve.  Commit to change at least 1 habit that will help you go further faster. 


Now may also be a good time to take my online email course, “21 Day of Healthy Habits.”  To learn more click here.


If you need help determining your best next steps contact me to schedule a 30-minute debt-free strategy session here.

I saw Dave Ramsey LIVE! other other exciting developments...


Last month I had the awesome opportunity to attend a coach training event with 180 financial coaches.  Enrichment 2018 was held in Nashville at Dave Ramsey’s Headquarters!  Above is a photo of me on a coach’s panel sharing some of my professional experience and knowledge with my fellow coaches.  I promise you I spoke but this was the best picture I have of the entire panel... :) It was exciting to be back in beautiful Nashville and exhilarating to attend a training led by the top finance guru in the country! 

Here’s why this means so much.  Nearly 19 years ago my husband, Chris, found Dave Ramsey on the radio while driving to work.  We were deeply in debt at the time and making dumb financial decisions.  When Chris began to listen to Dave and shared what he learned with me, our eyes were opened.  We were tired of being broke people who went to work and faked it every day. Routinely I thought that I made too much money to have nothing to show for it.  Finally, we decided to host a Financial Peace University class and invited all our friends to join us.  Over the next 5 years we paid off nearly $100,000 in debt!!  Because of that experience I wanted to help other people do the same thing.  In 2005 I started Tailor-Made Budgets and went to Nashville for official training in 2006.  I travelled back in 2010 for an Enrichment training experience just like this one but I haven’t seen that beautiful green Tennessee landscape since then.

I’ve been in the trenches of coaching for 13 years and have worked with hundreds of clients, but everyone needs to refuel, enhance their skills, and sharpen iron with like-minded individuals.  That is exactly what this training did for me.  Since I’ve been in the game for a while, I was asked to be on a panel of coaches and share some best practices that have made a difference in my coaching business.  What an honor that was!  It isn’t every day that you have the opportunity to be on the same stage that Dave Ramsey teaches on!  We also had some amazing sessions with Christy Wright, Chris Hogan, Donald Miller, and Dr. Henry Cloud.

There is no way I can sum up the entire training experience in one blog post, but I will share a few highlights that stood out to me while at Enrichment 2018.

  • Be intentional in everything you do.  If you think you can wander around and reach goals you are wrong.  You must prepare and then ACT.  - Dave Ramsey
  • Create goals centered around your career, social, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and family aspirations.  If you ignore any one of these areas it will affect another.  - Dave Ramsey
  • People are watching you so always live with integrity.  - Chris Hogan
  • Learn from your mistakes and adjust where necessary to serve people better.  Be authentic in the process.  - Chris Hogan
  • Confidence is a muscle.  The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.  - Christy Wright
  • Good supportive relationships are an essential component to building better boundaries.  - Dr. Henry Cloud, That is what I strive to provide in each coaching session. 
  • A coach is a guide, cheerleader, and mentor not a superhero.  It is my job as the coach to make YOU the hero of your own winning financial story.  - Donald Miller

I’m definitely attending Enrichment 2019 next year and I can’t wait to see what nuggets I will bring home then.  For now, I’d love to help you reach your fullest financial potential.  If you are interested in…

1.      Getting unstuck financially

2.      Understanding the best path to debt-freedom

3.      And avoiding money pitfalls

… reply to this email or check out my calendar here to find a 30-minute time to chat that works for you!

Is Your Lawn a Hot Mess?


One of the most effective ways to explain how money works with my clients is to share with them that your financial situation is a lot like a lawn. The questions you need to answer are 'Do you have a lawn that is well-manicured?' or 'Is your lawn a hot mess?' But what does that mean?

If you've ever seen the show "Curb Appeal" or even just driving around, you know that you have different and very distinctive reactions to a lawn that is well-cared for versus one that is overgrown with weeds. The lawn that is well-manicured features the green grass that is trimmed nicely, healthy and shapely shrubs, colorful, weed-free flower beds and a driveway and sidewalk that is edged and free from debris. This is the house you come home to and you want to enter to see more. There is something about this house that draws you in and makes you take notice.

Think about the opposite - the lawn that is a hot mess. The brown grass looks like you need to wade through it. The flowerbeds are over gown with weeds or nonexistent. There are leaves covering the driveway and bits of trash scattered on the sidewalks. When you come home to this house, you feel overwhelmed with the work that needs to be done. You have a feeling that it's probably more of the same mess when you walk in the door. Things just feel very chaotic. You definitely don’t want this house next door to yours.

If you have a money situation that is a hot mess, you may:

    • Feel overwhelmed by a stack of debts that need your attention (weeds)
  • May have overdue bills with late fees (overgrown grass and debris)
  • Have a checkbook that is in desperate need of balancing
  • Know you need a budget but haven't done one because you don't know where to start

Here’s the deal. That well-manicured lawn takes time. You need to have a lawn mower, tools, fertilizer, water, plants, experience, time, and vision! The other option is to hire someone with all that stuff and give it time to mature and develop. That lawn beautiful didn’t happen overnight! The same is true for your money. You need some tools like a budget, debt reduction plan, or check register. You will need to take the time to learn how to get a well-manicured financial picture or hire someone to help you.

What does your financial lawn look like? Is it beautiful and well-manicured or is it a hot mess? Get into action to create the financial landscape that will serve your future years and impress all who pass by. Need some help? Call me today.


10 Reasons You Need a Financial Coach - Part 4

Welcome back! Here is the conclusion to our 4-part series "10 Reasons You  Need a Financial Coach" View the rest of the series here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

9.      You desire financial peace of mind.

You want to sleep good at night don’t you?  You also want to know that your kids will be ok if something happened to you.  Right?  You probably also want to rest assured that someday you won’t have to work so hard to make ends meet.  Or maybe you just want to exhale.  This financial peace of mind only comes with a plan that works.

10.   You want to be a good steward over your finances.

You work hard.  Your gifts and talents are being used every day by a company and therefore you get paid.  Mismanaging your money shows a lack of respect for your own talents.  Remaining in debt, spending all you make, over drafting your account, or keeping nothing in savings is doing you a disservice.  Think about how it would boost your job performance when you are free of the weight of debt.  Think about how much more fun your kids would say you are because you don’t stress about money.  Think about how much more you can do for your community and church if you had less financial obligations.

Don’t you want this said of you?

“Well done good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a few things and I will make you ruler over many things; enter into the joy of your lord.” – Matthew 25:23


10 Reasons You Need a Financial Coach - Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 in our series of "10 Reasons You Need a Financial Coach"! If you've missed any of the series, get caught up today:

Part 1 and Part 2

Here are reasons 6,7 & 8:

6.      You and your spouse need to be on the same page with your money.

All married couples have one thing in common.  At some point we have fussed about the money.  Usually the argument ensues because “there isn’t enough”.  Shared goals, a plan both parties have created together, and open honesty can reduce the disagreements.  If you are truly going in the same direction in life then a budget will reflect that.  Each party must have their needs met and have some cash to spend on their own.  A budget does NOT have to be a strait jacket but it should keep you both on the straight and narrow towards your shared goals.

7.      You need to end the feast and famine lifestyle.

Not having a budget is like trying to drive across the country without a map or GPS.  You will go nowhere fast.  This leads to a feast and famine mentality.  You are happy on payday Friday and by Monday you are looking for the next paycheck. You need to level the playing field.  Developing a plan for savings and cushion gives you the room you need when you need it.  This doesn’t happen by itself though.  You must be intentional.  A budget shows you how to get from feast and famine to your destination of freedom.

8.      Your goals are important enough to invest in.

Think about your personal goals.  Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?  Do you know if you are on track or just coasting?  Add up how much money it will take to fund your goals in the next 20 years.  I know it’s hard but take a guess.  That is how much it will cost you if you don’t take action today.  A small investment in a financial coach who can get you on right track is worth every penny.  The alternative is to look back and wish you had done something earlier.


10 Reasons You Need a Financial Coach - Part 2

Here are 3 more reasons why you may need a financial coach (If you missed Part 1, be sure to check it out by clicking HERE) 3.      You’ve taken Financial Peace University and you still don’t have a budget or debt reduction plan.

Financial Peace University is a phenomenal class.  I’ve personally facilitated more than 12 classes and I believe in the content.  I have also seen many people never do anything with the information and their financial lives remain unchanged.  We don’t want this to simply be good information.  It must transform your entire life!  That will only happen if you actually do what Dave Ramsey says.  A good financial coach will show you exactly how to apply the principles to where you are right now and see results immediately.

4.      You aren’t consistently working a plan.

Life gets busy.  We have careers, families, events, and more.  Finding the time to create a good budget, track your spending, and ultimately reach your goals can be challenging.  When you schedule time to meet with someone you take your finances way more seriously.  You have basically said this is so important that I am willing to do whatever it takes to see change.  Your financial coaching appointment will become as important as your visit to the doctor or your kid’s soccer practice simply because you made a commitment.  This consistency builds in a routine and plans can then succeed. 5.      You don’t even know where to begin with budgeting.

I always say that budgeting is not rocket science, but sticking to one can be.  If you don’t work the plan you create with good accountability then you won’t be able to see the results you desire.  You need to see your income and outgo for what it truly is.  You need to have a cash flow plan that tells you when everything is due.  You need to monitor your spending to stay on track.  You also need to be flexible when life happens and adjustments are necessary.  Then there are times you have irregular expenses.  A good budget will help you with all of these situations and more.


10 Reasons You Need a Financial Coach - Part 1

We delegate lots of things for lots of reasons.  Do you have someone wash your car, mow your lawn or repair your cars?  You’ve probably said yes to many of these.  Here’s the deal, we are not masters of all. We know just a little about a lot of things. Does someone cut and style your hair?  Think about it.  Why do we pay someone for this service?  Simply put, I can’t get my hair to look anything close to what a professional stylist can do.  She is trained to cut, yes color J, and style my hair to keep it looking good.  I wouldn’t even try to bring scissors to my own head!

Sure I can wash blow dry and style my hair but I leave the cut and color to professionals.  Yes I can wash my car but it would take me half the day, a load of towels to wash, and an additional workout when I can simply pay $15 for someone else to do it in less than 30 minutes.

Listen, we outsource lots of things in our lives for various reasons.  And guess what?  If all of us weren’t such great delegators then we would all be out of work!  Isn’t it time you thought about outsourcing your financial management as well?

Here are 10 Reasons you need a financial coach

1.      You don’t like numbers or numbers don’t like you…

Many of us were never taught how to pay bills, manage our cash, or build a savings.  We were thrown out into the world, told to get a job, and never shown how to make it all work.  At the end of the day, we had debt, bills coming out of our ears, and now we can’t find our life vest to save our financial lives.  A financial coach can help you get organized, create a plan of action for your bills, and teach you how to create the future you desire.

2.      Managing money isn’t your strong suit.

All of us are capable of writing checks, paying bills online, or setting up automatic payments.  After all we are smart… J However, most of us don’t do it accurately, we don’t understand proper timing with cash in and out, or we are unmotivated to figure it all out on our own.  Face it, we need each other.  If you didn’t go to school for money management chances are you aren’t that interested in doing this work full time.  But your home requires full time attention just like your job.

Check back each week to get the rest of the tips!