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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.


*We hate spam too and will not give/sell/rent your info to anybody.*

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.

Money

How to Attend Financial Peace University for FREE

September 1, 2015
It’s THAT time of year again!
It’s time for a giveaway around the True Good and Beautiful blog!

What are we giving away? (Like you don’t have us figured out here yet…) 😉

1 FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY MEMBERSHIP!!!!

To say that Dave Ramsey has a huge influence on how we choose to live in the understatement of the year.

Using his materials and methods are the sole reasons we are debt-free and living on a budget today. His message has literally changed our lives.

And we can’t help but pass along this opportunity to others.

Nope, this opportunity was not sponsored by Dave Ramsey.

We simply believe so powerfully in the freedom that comes in handling money God’s way that we want to pay it forward to someone else. We want to bless an individual or family who would benefit from going through this class.

In fact, we did this giveaway last year and this is what one winner had to say:

“Since then (attending FPU), I’ve felt much more financial freedom in the knowledge that this is something God and I are doing together, and at the end of the day, He’s calling the shots.”

What is Financial Peace University (FPU)?

“Financial Peace University is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Dave and his teaching team will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and much more!”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDW3HEgh_w8
You can see a sample of all nine lessons here.

Most classes start in a couple of weeks, hence the giveaway. You can see a list of locations, dates, and times at the FPU website. If you’re in the Denver area, consider joining the class we’re coordinating (starts Thursday, Sept 24, 2015).

Jonathan and I have attended and facilitated Financial Peace University and it’s been a huge blessing in our life and parish. If you could benefit from sprucing up your finances or demolishing old habits and starting over, then sign up to win one of these classes we are giving away.

It literally can change your life and the lives of those around you.

Lastly – I shouldn’t have to say this but…if you know you will not complete all nine classes and take the class seriously, DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST! If you are ready to dive in and apply yourself in class, ENTER ALL YOU CAN! We want to make sure the people with the right attitudes are the ones who win this opportunity.

Best of luck!


Money

5 Ways To Derail Your Budget

January 13, 2015

Some of you are new to the world of budgeting.

Perhaps it was a New Year’s Resolution of yours. We’re about two weeks into January so by now you’ve either nailed it, completely forgotten about it, or crashed and burned hard.

No matter where you are with budgeting, I want to share with you five ways you’ll be thrown off course as you learn how to make it a habit in your life.

1. Pretend You’re a Pro

You will mess up your first few budgets. If you walk into budgeting acting like a pro and expect perfection, you are setting yourself up for failure.

How can you be excellent at something you’ve never done before? You can’t. We’re all human. Do your best and give budgeting all the effort it deserves…but inevitably as you discover you underfunded/overfunded/totally forgot certain items to budget for you need to cut yourself some slack. You can get back on the saddle and get it more right the next round.

And the next round.

And the next…until you are a true budgeting pro.

2. Forget About Tracking

If you are one of those people who plans to mentally keep track of your budget as you go through the month, you’re crazy.

You won’t do it.

Especially if you are married and you not only have to keep track of your own spending but that of another spouse’s spending.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

You need a way to track how you are spending money from your budget each month. I don’t care how you do it but you need something other than your fleeting memory. Paper and pen. Budgeting Apps. Dave Ramsey Gazelle Budget website. YNAB – You Need a Budget software.

Something. Anything.

In the beginning we were pen and paper people. We tracked on the back of every envelope how much was spent from it and the various purchases. This worked but man did it get old. We then switched to Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget but it was a pain in the rear to have to save receipts from the day and then enter them one by one into the budget every evening. That’s when we got YNAB software and we’ve never looked back. Jonathan and I can spend from the budget and track it throughout the day on our phones. It then auto syncs in the cloud so our budget is up to date at all moments. Love it!

3. Don’t Consult it Before Purchasing

If you show up at the grocery store or and begin to just place items in your cart without first checking your budget, you will bust your budget quicker than the speed of light. Or agree to go to the movies without first checking in with what the Entertainment category has left in it.

The budget is meant to be a guide and not a noose. By checking in with what you’ve set aside in varying categories, you are giving yourself freedom to make wise choices with how you planned to spend money that month. You free yourself to say “yes” or “no” to whatever items or activity has come up based on what amount is left in the budget for that particular category.

By consulting the budget, you won’t end up accidentally overspending your gas money on one too nights out at the movies.

4. Be Ashamed of the “B” Word

In the world of responsible budgeting, a common phrase would be, “Let me check the budget” prior to spending money. This phrase can be really hard to use when in the company of other people and typically invokes great fear or shame.

I remember in the early days of our journey to financial freedom, it was late in the month and friends we were hanging out with asked us to go to a movie that night. We honestly didn’t know what we had left in our “entertainment” category for the month since we’d already done a few fun things in the previous weeks. Jonathan looked at me and said, “Is it in the budget,” and I got completely embarrassed.

I shouldn’t of felt anything negative since budgets are not a matter to be ashamed of. We had other priorities and going to the movies wasn’t top if we didn’t have the funds available for it. Much to our disappointment, we had already depleted our entertainment budget for the month and turned the friends down. Thankfully they were very understanding but even if they hadn’t been we didn’t need to feel anything but confidence.

5. Over-complicate Things

Lastly, one way to get derailed in the budgeting process is to make things so complicated that even you, the budget creator, can’t tell how or where to categorize things.

There is a tendency to create way too many categories in one’s budget. You don’t have to budget for shampoo. Budget for toiletries. You don’t have to budget for an occasional magazine. Budget personal blow money. You don’t have to budget for Netflix. Budget for entertainment.

You get the idea. Finding ways to bring lots of different expenses under common categories will simplify your life. Think general and make categories for those commonly occurring expenses. Those smaller ones that come up only a couple times a year can find a home in one of your general categories. We even have a “miscellaneous” category for things like stamps, Amazon Prime, and the random items that come up every now and again that need a home in our budget.

If you over complicate the budget, you won’t stick to the budget.

Hopefully you can avoid the common ways to derail your budget this year!

I think the number one reason people don’t stick to a budget is lack of accountability and support. Starting next month we will begin providing some form of budget accountability. We’re still figuring our the logistics…will it be a link-up? A photo? A hashtag? Some combination of those? We are working out the details but starting February 1, 2015 we are here to support and encourage all of you trying to stick to a budget this year!

Hope you can join us!


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