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financial freedom

Money

3 Ways Millennials Are Like Frogs in Boiling Water

July 11, 2017

I am sure you are familiar with the old frog in boiling water story.

In case you were living under a rock and haven’t, it goes something like this…If a frog is suddenly placed into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

The story is generally told as cautionary tale so people are aware of even gradual changes lest they suffer eventual undesirable consequences.

Now, I cannot speak to the veracity of the story as I have never attempted to boil a frog nor do I have plans to (nor do I encourage you to do this! LOL) However, I have experienced and witnessed a modern day frog boiling if-you-will of Millennials who are clueless as to what’s happening to until it’s too late and they’re stuck.

What am I talking about?

Debt.

The American culture has been sold, hook line and sinker, on the debt lie. This belief that debt is normal, even inevitable, to receive an education, drive cars, or to maintain a certain lifestyle. It’s nearly all but assumed that Millennials will accrue not only student loan debt but also credit card and car payments.

And you know what? It’s boiling them (and eventually our economy but that’s another post) to death.

Before you label me Chicken Little and close out this post, let’s sit down and review together the cold hard data and facts of what debt is actually doing to Millennials (and even the economy at large).

What you choose to do with that evidence will be your own choice but I at least want to put the information in your hands. You can decide if you want to hang out in the warming water or jump out while you can.

(As I typed that I tooootally had the image of Morpheus from The Matrix in my head and felt like a real B.A. Blue pill/red pill scene anyone?)

Delaying Marriage, Family, and Home-buying

Every single year, the most recent college graduates achieve a new milestone – being more indebted than every class prior to them. Yikes!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that majorly indebted Millennials with low paying starter jobs aren’t likely going to prioritize taking on even higher levels of responsibility of marriage, child-rearing, or buying their first home.

While some Millennials actually aren’t interested in pursuing the classic American Dream (hey, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea), a large majority do want it but they don’t feel like they can swing it financially. While I am firmly in the camp that debt shouldn’t deter you from marrying or having children, I understand and empathize with those who feel paralyzed by their debt and decide to wait.

Actually, I am quite mad for them, as their student loan payment is crippling their dreams, desires, and opportunities. We now have a generation that feels the need to plan their life around their debts and that’s frustrating. Wasn’t debt sold to us as a way to “get ahead” or “invest in our future?”

Now we’re delaying and sacrificing our future on the altar of debt. Hmmmm.

How About a Whopping Dose of Stress, Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression

What do you get when you combine stagnant wages, looming uncertainty about retirement, economic uncertainty, non-existent savings, increased cost of living, and crushing amounts of debt?

A Millennial Stress Cocktail that’s what.

It’s not shocking to see the latest research pointing to Millennials being more stressed financially than any other generation in the workforce. In a recent study, it’s reported that 79 percent of Millennials with student loan debt felt a moderate to significant impact to reach their financial goals.

It’s obvious that people feeling incredible financial pressure aren’t as productive on the job as those without the same burdens. While over half of Millennials report financial stress in their life, 36 percent have even exhibited PTSD symptoms related to their financesdenial, avoidance, hypervigilance, even nightmares relating to their finances. (Warning sirens anyone???)

We’ve seen these symptoms with individuals and couples we’ve worked with. Many times it means watching people bury their head in the sand about all things financial. They grow insanely uncomfortable and stressed out just speaking of their debt, so it’s far easier for them (or so they believe) to drop the subject altogether and not face it. 

Working To Pay Others Instead Of Pursuing Their Dreams

When Millennials finally secure a job post graduation, it’s a time of celebration. But a few pay cycles in, a gut-wrenching truth hits hard: Millennials’ #1 wealth building tool is actually a debt re-payment tool.

After they take out taxes, add up all their debts and payments, make sure the bills get paid, all of a sudden there is hardly anything left to save or pay off debt faster. Their hard fought for income now simply passes from their bank account into Navient’s. They’re simply working to pay back debts and aren’t free to use their entire paycheck to pursue their dreams and desired adventures…or if they do, they just rack up more debt, stalling current and future momentum.

Over half of Millennials are living paycheck to paycheck (which let’s be real, isn’t just a Millennial problem). While many Millennials are saving for retirement, studies show they aren’t saving enough to cover their financial needs later in life. So in some ways, debt is forcing them to burn the candle at both ends, sacrificing their now and their later.

How Do You Jump Out’?

I know, some of you might be thinking, um yea I didn’t need you to spell out how debt is affecting my life – I already feel it and am pretty depressed myself…thanks giving me more anxiety.

Others of you might be thinking, welp, it’s Millennials faults for signing up for so much dang debt so let them reap what they sowed.

I think this information needs to be more widely known and more than that, I want you (if you’re a Millennial feeling the weight of debt) to know that you don’t have to accept this as the norm anymore.

You CAN face your debt head on, punch it in the gut, slay the giant, and live your life with freedom and peace.

Don’t be the frog. Don’t let debt boil your hopes, dreams, goals, and mental health to death.

As someone who burned the debt bridge as a 20-something back in 2012, I’m inviting you to jump out of the water. I’m throwing you a life raft. Jonathan and I paid off $24,500 in student loan debt and credit cards in 7.5 months and we want to share with you our proven game plan for throat punching debt and showing it who’s boss. You can be debt-free and we can get you some quick momentum.

Sign up below for our FREE 5-day e-course.

Over the next 5 days we want to help you dream about what life could look like without debt, asses your current financial reality, unpack common emotions that impact our relationship with money, start budgeting so you don’t have to wonder where the heck all your money went, and share our #1 tip for accelerating your financial progress.

Your hopes and dreams matter to you and we want to help you see them become a reality, so snag your free 5-Day E-Course now.

Look forward to hanging out more real soon! 🙂

Mission, Money

Introducing….WalletWin

July 6, 2017

Y’all we are SO excited to be introducing you to our brand new business, WalletWin LLC.

If you read our last blog post, you know it’s been a tough year on many levels. WalletWin was truly a bright spot in the midst of stormy weather.  Honestly, it’s a dream come true to get to work on this project side by side. We have always enjoyed working together on things we are passionate about and WalletWin is exactly that.

Back in 2012, we decided it was time for the shackles of debt to go for good.We wanted to start living our life, dreaming together, setting goals, and creating a solid foundation for our future. Debt was only going to stall us out, so it had to go. Nose to the ole grindstone we went and you likely know the rest of the story if you’ve hung out around here for more than a minute, LOL!

An insanely zealous 7.5 months later (while we were making less than an average income) we managed to pay off $24,500 in debt. Since kicking debt to the curb, we’ve focused on saving, investing, and giving in a way that set us up for financial independence for a lifetime.

We honestly had no idea our story would resonate with others but slowly, the inquiries began: Sitting down with friends or family to learn how to set up a budget. Friends texting us to ask where they should open a bank account at. Invitations to speak in front of small and large groups of people. Emails of others pouring out their story and asking for advice on where to go next financially. Face to face meetings with friends of friends of friends who heard we were the “go-to” people to chat all things finance with.

We loved every single minute of it. We never considered creating a business out of it until we had a 1:1 custom coaching session where the person insisted on paying us for our time and valuable advice. And then it happened again. And again. There we were (not even asking for payment) and there money was, flying into our hands.

It was then that we felt God was up to something and that we obviously had a unique ability to take a tough and sensitive topic and coach others in a safe, results-driven, and fun manner.

We began to educate ourselves on all things online business, webinars, courses, marketing, you name it. It took us close to a year and a half of learning, growing, brain-storming, leaping, creating, recording, coaching, and beta testing but WalletWin Beta Course is finally here. WAHOO!

Now that you’ve got the behind-the-scenes story, you might be wondering what is WalletWin exactly?

It’s an online, on-demand, 8 module financial freedom course designed to get you budgeting, kicking debt in the face, saving like never before, intentionally investing, and radically giving so you change your life and make the world a better place all in one fell swoop.

It’s not a get rich quick system, a package of sexy secrets only four people living under a rock in Timbuktu know about, or a class on how to make $1,000,000,000 while doing zero work at home in your pajamas. (We can all wish!)

What sets WalletWin a part from the 1.5 billion financial voices out is that we’ve created a no-nonsense and proven game plan to CUT THROUGH THE FREAKING NOISE in this area of your life to get you serious results using simple and straightforward financial phases and milestones.

If you want to learn more about it – just checkout our pre-sell WalletWin Beta Course page.

With the pre-selling and eventual launching of WalletWin, we will have some financial blog posts here at True Good and Beautiful on occasion. We talked about that stuff here in the past so it’s not a biggie for you guys since you’ve enjoyed that content. I did want to clarify that while we will have some financial posts, True Good and Beautiful Blog won’t simply become a money blog. Nope – not happenin. Money blogs aren’t bad but that’s too narrow for these parts of the interwebs. Eventually WalletWin will have it’s own blog that will debut at a later point, so much of our financial content will move over there with the occasional relevant post here. 🙂

Now that you’ve met WalletWin, we’d love for you to consider joining us in the course if it peaks your interest. We love serving others in this way and it’d be a true honor and a privilege to walk alongside you in your journey to financial freedom.

Tell Me More About WalletWin



The plan from here is to continue pre-selling WalletWin Beta over the next couple of months as we re-record, clean up, and enhance the course content and materials. Every few weeks the price will jump until we’re ready to launch the completed version of WalletWin in Fall 2017. Again – if the course interests you, the price will only go up from here so now is the time to snatch it up (especially since you will get Lifetime Access to the course and get ALL updates for free in the future).

We’d love your feedback or to answer any questions you might have – hit us up in the comments or reach out via email.

Money

Remember That Financial Freedom Course We’re Creating? Welp, It’s Almost Done and Here’s What They’re Sayin…

April 3, 2017

Guys.

Holy Freaking Smokes.

Remember when we recruited beta testers for the financial freedom course we were creating?

We knew it was going to be a stretch to keep working on the course since we were about to bring home our second baby girl in a matter of days….but by golly we just decided that life wasn’t slowing down and it was time to turn our dream of helping others into a reality.

I highlight that we thought it was a stretch because that was the understatement of the century. We had no clue that we were about to live in Arkansas for over a month when our newborn baby girl had an unexpected stay in the NICU after birth.

On top of that, we underestimated the hardness of the newborn phase and sleep deprivation. (This wasn’t our first rodeo so why wouldn’t we have remembered the hardness? Our brains must have seriously blocked it out! LOL)

And then even on top of that, we’re still living with my amazing parents (moving NEXT MONTH into our own home finally) and transitioning into being a family of four with a toddler and a newborn in someone else’s home while 80% of our belongings remain in storage has proved a wee bit challenging.

When we got home from Arkansas in January, there were a few conversations where we wondered if it was prudent to follow through on the beta at this phase in life. Ultimately we decided to go for it and I couldn’t be more grateful we did.

We reminded ourselves again of that reality that there’s never a good time to __________ (Insert any big or challenging opportunity!) We realized that when we completed our course in the smack dab middle of a wild, hairy, insane, sleepless, and un-settled phase of life that we’d be able to do anything later on.

Onward we marched…scraping, clawing, pulling all nighters, and working hard creating a quality course dedicated to transformation and lasting financial freedom.

We gathered our beta testers and on February 22, 2017 we launched our first of eight weekly modules.

We’re on schedule to wrap up our beta test in a few weeks and we couldn’t be more excited. Of course our students have provided solid feedback for adding value, clarifying our message, and making sure our technology works seamlessly. We expected that.

What we also expected but didn’t have social proof for was specific and concrete feedback on the results we were getting our students. And boy do we have a boatload now.

We’re getting our students results as they’re moving towards lasting financial freedom. They are seeing drastic improvements in their ability to budget, save, pay off debt, and give. While many are new to focusing on handling their money well and have experienced some overwhelm (#normal) they have confidence and peace knowing we’ve given them a path to follow that will get them exactly where they want to go. 

That’s all we ever wanted to do and now we know we’ve done it and can keep doing it for others.

Just check out what they’re saying…straight from the horse’s mouth:

I used to always be scared, worried, or avoid the topic of money but now it actually gets me excited!

The course is instantly applicable.

It’s the down and dirty about everything you need to know about finances.

This would’ve been good to know about before adulting.

We’d dodged dealing with money in our marriage and this course has been the platform that forced us to have conversations and to talk about finances.

It’s like a bootcamp to learn how to get your money to work for your goals instead of letting your money just happen.

For anyone who doesn’t know where to start with finances – this is the class for them.

I LOVE your stories and y’all crack me up!

It’s helped me to plan of the future instead of just living paycheck to paycheck.

I would 100% recommend this course.

YEEHAW!

Hearing these comments gave us so much encouragement and validation that we’re right where God wants us and that he’s taking our little “yes” (and whoooooooole lotta elbow grease) and using it to bring financial freedom and peace into the lives of others.

While we’re wrapping up our beta this month, we wanted to update y’all on how it’s going and point you to our website where you can sign up to get specific emails about the course as it gets launched to the public.

It will take us some time to tweak the course based on feedback we’ve received in the beta but I don’t want anyone to miss out on it when we launch later in 2017.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and cheerleading!

Money

Looking for Beta Testers for Our Brand New Money Course… Who Wants In?

November 28, 2016

******UPDATE AS OF JAN 2017**********

We have received way more applicants than we will even be able to take in the beta class so we are closing applications for now. Thank you all for your enthusiasm for the class and stay tuned for a debut in 2017! 🙂

Those of you who’ve been around these parts for a while know that we’re into financial freedom and managing our financial resources for the glory of God. We’re also wanna-be entrepreneurs with approximately one million ideas that could land us on Shark Tank.

We’ve decided to merge those two loves together into a brand new class on relating with and handling money in 2017.

To be super duper transparent, the class is completely 100% in our brains at the current moment. We need a handful of individuals and couples willing to help us get what’s in our heads out onto computers and into your homes.

I know some of you are thinking, “But wait, aren’t they about to have another baby in like a week?” Yes. Yes we are. But you know what, life has this funny way of never having good timing when it comes to pursuing dreams. That’s where a pilot class will be helpful not only to us but also for those who join us. We’ll have you keeping us accountable to getting our ideas out each week and you will benefit from the nuggets of wisdom we’ve got stored away. We both win and it gets our dreams one step closer to reality.

I know we are completely qualified and confident to do this…because we’ve been doing it for years now. We’ve had countless meetings with individuals and couples in our homes or at various events about their finances and what next steps to take in getting financially fit. From getting out of debt to starting a retirement account to setting up a will, we’ve talked about it all with others.

It’s no secret that we love Dave Ramsey and we admit his influence on our lives has been tremendous. However, we believe we’ve got a unique perspective on this money thing and we believe it will be useful to you and others. That’s why we’re creating a money class you can take in the comfort of your own home and creating an online community of others pursuing the same thing.

This is where you come in.

Do you want financial freedom? Are you sick and tired of debt? Do you need advice on how to save for college and retirement? Do you need encouragement and accountability to create and stick to a budget? Do you want financial hacks that will save you hundreds every year? Are you ready to retire a millionaire and steward those funds wisely? Do you want to give more generously? Are you facing an income issue and need ideas on how to bring home more for yourself and family? Do you need fresh ideas on how to get rid of debt quickly? Do you want to see a radical financial turnaround in only a few short weeks?

We’re going to cover that all and more in our class.  In order to do that, we want to invite a few of you to join our pilot. 

What type of individuals and families are we looking for?

  • Ready to commit 110% to pursuing financial freedom
  • Able to dedicate 2-3 hours per week watching videos, doing homework, and participating in the online community
  • Learners who are open to trying new things
  • Ready to provide open, honest, and helpful feedback each week after our lessons
  • Vulnerability and able to openly discuss their emotions regarding money and spending

Are you ready to get financially fit in the New Year…and for the rest of your life?


Sign up above and we will review your application. We should be getting back to you in the next couple of weeks before the New Year.

Intentional Living, Money

One Simple Thing to Dramatically Reduce Your Anxiety

January 25, 2016

Your future. Your past. That big decision you’ve got coming up. Work. Holidays. Kids going off to school. Travel. Your living situation. There is no shortage of sources of anxiety and worry and stress in our lives.

What if there was one thing you could do that would affect every aspect of your life and make each one easier? Would you do it?

What if it took a little discipline? A little time? A little saying “no” to one thing so you could say “yes” to another? Would you still do it? Or would you rather keep living a more stressful life?

I hope you’re committed to severely reducing stress and are ready to do this.

The one thing you can do to dramatically reduce the anxiety you feel in every area of your life is:
Budgeting.

That’s right. Budgeting your money affects every area of your life for the better and reduces anxiety, worry, and stress. Here’s how:

Budgeting – creating a plan for your money and sticking to it – takes the guesswork and the worry out of your money. And because money touches every part of our lives, when we make money easier and more pleasurable to work with, we make every part of our lives easier and more pleasurable.

  • If there are money issues from your past, budgeting helps you clean them up and move on.
  • Big decisions to be made? Budgeting gives you the freedom to make the best choice – either by enabling you to save money up or simply using money more wisely – so the best choice – even if it’s something with a financial impact like quitting your job to start a new career – can be made.
  • Stressed out because there’s always more cool stuff to do with your family or roommates than there is money to do it with? Budgeting patches the “leaks” in your wallet so there’s more to use AND trains you to prioritize your activities so you can identify and choose what’s most important for you to do.
  • Big projects at work got you stressed? Budgeting works your planning muscle, which you’ll be able to flex in all sorts of situations!

Now that you’re sold on the benefits of budgeting (or at least interested), here are some quick tips for getting started:

  1. Budgeting is easier than you think.
    • You can do this.
  2. It’s a simple income – outflow equation.
    • Take the money you have (income) and plan how (groceries, cell phone bill, etc) you’ll spend it (outflow). Your planned spending cannot exceed your income.
  3. Every month is (slightly) different, so every budget you create should be (slightly) different.
  4. Start With Cash
    • While budgeting software like YNAB and Every Dollar can be very handy, it’s probably best for you to start out using cash and the envelope system (grocery envelope, clothes envelope, etc. one envelope for each budget category) so you can feel your money.
  5. Be Ready to Say No
    • Budgeting helps you set priorities and stick to them, which means it involves saying no to some things (like going out with your roommates, again) so you can do other, more important things (like saving for a car, or paying off debt). Your “yes” to better things will involve “no’s” to lesser things. Be ready. (And don’t feel bad about it!)
  6. Be Patient
    • It’s going to take a little while (3 months or so) to get a good handle on the right amount for your budget categories. Don’t get discouraged in the meantime. And don’t feel bad if you need to adjust your amounts. Just make sure it all evens out. (Adding $10 to one category means taking it from somewhere else).
  7. Ask for Help
    • Getting started with budgeting can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know who’s been budgeting for a while for help. They’ll be glad to help. You’ve always got our contact form, too.
Uncategorized

The January Budget Breakdown

January 9, 2016

Hahaha.

Apparently we don’t finish strong around our neck of the woods as our last two budget breakdown posts have been a week late. They’re the last ones and from here on out you can find a budget breakdown post for EVERY month of the year! 🙂

If you are only now joining us, in these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month so nothing can sneak up on your budget.

With that, let’s dive into our January post.

  •  Travel
    • Going home after the holidays
    • FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) annual conference travel
    • Weekend winter getaways
  • Fitness
    • Workout clothes
    • Gym membership
    • Fitness DVD’s
    • Supplements, vitamins, protein powder
  • Organizational Items
    • 2016 Planner
    • Storage bins to organize around the house/car
  • Winter Clothing
    • Jackets/Coats
    • Ski or Snow boarding gear
    • Boots
    • Gloves
    • Other accessories
  • Winter Fun!
    • Ice Skating
    • Skiing
    • Snow Boarding
    • Sledding
    • Cross-country skiing
  • Birthdays
  • Car Maintenance
  • Life Insurance premiums

January is a quiet month as everyone typically keeps things simple after the holidays. It’s also a month of getting your New Year’s Resolutions going which you likely need to budget for. As usual some of the above expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like car maintenance or life insurance premiums.

Happy New Year! It’s never too late to start budgeting or change your spending habits so make this year one to remember by getting financially fit!