AFFORDING MOTHERHOOD SUCCESS STORIES

Thousands of moms have benefited through the premium programs here at Affording Motherhood. Here are some of their stories…

“In the 3 months that we have been following the Budget Breakthrough program we have paid off that last $10k in credit card debt.”

“My husband lost his job due to layoffs in 2010, we lost our home and he went on an independent business venture that went south, we now had quite a bit of debt and we had no idea what we had been buying, so in 2014 we paid for and attended a Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom course. This was helpful in getting my husband and I on the same page but not in getting us working on a system to make budgeting a lifestyle, no matter what we did we always had $10K in credit card debt to pay off.

I remember when I signed up for the Budget Breakthrough program, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to commit…

…that I would start strong but burn out within a few weeks and just shrug it off, after all, what we were doing was “working”, right?

In the 3 months that we have been following the Budget Breakthrough program we have:

1. paid off that last $10k in credit card debt

2. we now sit down together as a couple and bi-monthly plan where our money is going to go

3. go shopping with cash and a plan, not cards and a general idea.

4. we are working on quarterly budgeting summits where we sit down and look over everything and make new goals for moving forward

5. mapped out a savings/debt payment plan

6. any expenses that have to be put on CC are placed in the budget and paid off within a week of making the purchase

Shannon has a style of teaching that speaks to me with dignity, I wasn’t some dummy for getting myself in debt and now needed a reprimand to get me out. Not only does she have the wisdom to get you out of the hole but she has the compassion to express through her lessons, “I’m right there with you”. I think that is what made the biggest difference for me, she makes this process a personal one.

I felt like she was there cheering me on and it made me want to at least try what she was suggesting, and you know what, her suggestions are so simple and yet so effective!”

Skylar A.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Homeschooling Mom of 8

“Before joining Budget Breakthrough, I was concerned about the cost and the likelihood that it wouldn’t change anything.

However after 12 weeks in the program, I do have some successes. I’ve created my Emergency Fund, paid off my first credit card, am one more month away from paying off the 2nd debt item, and have not incurred any new debt!

It’s an awesome program and I’ve already recommended it to many friends!”

Stephanie D.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Busy Working Mom of 3

“FIRST, I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE WASTING MONEY BECAUSE I’VE TRIED OTHER THINGS SO WHY WOULD THIS BE ANY DIFFERENT?”

However, some of the things you have suggested I catch myself thinking, “well duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” With your budgeting help, we are set to be completely debt free within a year. When we started this course we were close to $65,000 in debt. We have paid off roughly $30k so far and plan to have the rest paid off by the beginning of the summer!!”

Jerica G.

Budget Breakthrough Member

Jerica G.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Paid Off $30,000 in 5 Months

“I feel as though I can enjoy my time with my children more because we have a plan for our future.”

“The majority of my efforts prior to this course came from trying to not spend money, but we also tracked the majority of our expenses (what we had spent that month) on a spreadsheet.

The problem was, there was no roadmap or goals associated with this tracking so I wasn’t motivated to stick to the amounts we had set for each category.

Since becoming a part of the Budget Breakthrough program, the most important result for me was setting goals for our family finances, and then mapping out how we were specifically going to do that, including both long-term and short-term goals.

I no longer feel overwhelmed.

With a specific plan, we have been able to pay off over $5,000 in debt!

We paid off one of our car loans, so now we only have one car loan to pay. We also paid off medical bills we had from having a high deductible insurance plan.

In addition, I now have a routine that helps me to stay on top of our finances. I have a morning routine to keep up with daily expenses, and have calendar reminders of when to update budget forms. Having all of this in the forefront of my mind has empowered me to make decisions about spending and to make our financial decisions much more clear and manageable.

Rather than making purchases despite going over set category amounts, now I wait to make purchases if it would put us over for that month. This discipline is derived from being motivated to go after our goals, rather than make an impulsive purchase.

This course has changed my relationship with money and has helped me buck the societal pressures of how to spend money.

The biggest difference about the Budget Breakthrough program was the personal accountability.

Not only was I holding myself accountable by posting each week on the forum and in completing the lessons, but I had a circle of moms and supportive guides in Shannon and the community leaders to help me stay on track, focused, and to give encouragement when needed.

All the moms involved in this course made themselves relatable, which helped me realize I wasn’t alone in our situation. The ideas and creative problem solving that came from this community helped relieve the overwhelmed feeling of not knowing where to start. Such a supportive community to be a part of!

And I can’t say enough how motivating Shannon’s support and encouragement of me as an individual was, and how her tools and guidance have made this process manageable.

Our present goal is to eliminate all debt other than our mortgage payments (which start in June!). We are off to a good start with this and just need to keep being diligent about putting extra income towards our debt.

I am so appreciative for this course.

It has alleviated the stress I felt about not doing enough as a stay at home mom and has completely changed our life.

It has revealed what is truly necessary and what can be put on the back burner in our efforts to meet our goals.

Even though our income hasn’t changed much since we started the course, I feel as though I can enjoy my time with my children more because we have a plan for our future.”

Becca K.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Stay at Home Mom of Twin Toddlers

“Definitely worth the money spent on the course even if I was hesitant to put the money into it at the beginning!”

“Before I tracked some spending and used a spreadsheet for our budget. I also tried to track spending in the GoodBudget app/website. We would use some of our tax return to pay extra toward our credit card, but there wasn’t any real plan for savings other than wanting to save.

We weren’t in dire straits, but I was ready to not feel like we are barely getting ahead when I knew, by the numbers that we should be able to do better, save more, spend less, etc.

I was concerned about registering for Budget Breakthrough because of the cost of the course.

But I realized that I sometimes need to invest in things to see progress.

Since joining the program, we have increased our net assets by $13,000 and put $6,000 in savings.

We put over $1,000 in savings in the month of March alone! This is so huge because even 6 months ago, I would have said that we barely had $100 to put into savings in a month!

We now know how to track our money and having a specific goal for the extra helps motivate me to keep working at it!

The breakdown of steps in tracking everything helped as well as setting specific savings goals.

While I sometimes chafed at the slower pace of having only a module a week, I think it helped keep my momentum going longer so it was stronger and kept me motivated through the first month especially.

I’m enjoying the spreadsheets that have built-in organizing for our finances.

I love knowing where our money is going and where we want it to go.

Having a plan for where our money goes and seeing where we can be in the near future has motivated me to look for more opportunities to earn money while I’m home with my kids.

Thank you for all of your time and teaching.

This has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know some other ladies on their debt free journeys and I so appreciate Shannon’s leadership and the community leader’s encouragement!

Going forward, we plan to:

  • Pay cash for a new-to-us car next winter or spring.
  • Go on vacation in June with the money already in place for the trip.
  • Plan for and pay cash for a cruise in the next year or two.
  • We are currently on track to pay off our house in less than 6 years. We would love to shorten that time even more.

Definitely worth the money spent on the course even if I was hesitant to put the money into it at the beginning!”

Jackie M.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Busy Work at Home Mom

“This truly took me from feeling hopeless, guilty and unable to stick to my budget – to LOVING a budget!!”

We tried Dave Ramsey to figure out budgeting and how to save money. We ALWAYS felt like we lived paycheck to paycheck even though our home was our only debt. We were very discouraged. It was so tiring to try and figure out ways to cut back and still fail. We felt like we could never do anything or buy anything.

Before joining Budget Breakthrough I was hesitant to try it, being afraid I wouldn’t or couldn’t stick to the plan, or it wouldn’t really help anyway.

Since becoming a part of the Budget Breakthrough program:

  • I have colored 2 bars on my Goal tracker for the 6-month emergency fund which I am really excited about. I’m a visual person and seeing progress helps. Also, when I am coloring those bars in, there is no way I am going to take money out of that goal to use for something else. :)
  • I have also really begun to understand how to save for those sinking fund items and re-adjust my budget each month (as well as mid-way through).
  • I have a routine for the monthly, weekly, daily budget things. I love the print-out Shannon provides that helps me hit each of those.
  • I have focus now. Before I felt scattered… I would easily change my mind about what a certain amount of money was for and I would have a million things I wanted to do with our tax refund. It’s so refreshing to have a goal. Somehow the way Shannon has you set goals and work towards them really keeps my focus.

Hands down, the difference in Shannon’s program is the amount of detail in the lessons and the personal help she gives.

In doing this course, I realized the reason the other system didn’t work for me. It did not have a full plan laid out. There was so much I didn’t know. I could put money in envelopes and stop spending in that category when the money was gone, but what would I do if we had something come up and really needed more groceries? Shannon to the rescue :)

This truly took me from feeling hopeless, guilty and unable to stick to my budget to LOVING a budget!!

I began looking forward to seeing where I could find the money or make the money if my categories were starting to approach their limit.

I looked forward to all of the lessons. They are so well thought out and so thorough, you can follow step by step and succeed!

Another difference from other plans we tried is the community forum. It’s amazing to be all in it together, encouraging each other and seeing each other’s successes. It is very motivating!!

I am blessed and thankful for Shannon and the community leaders, and for the community. It has been a great experience. I feel like I’m getting somewhere now!! I am getting somewhere now!

The sinking fund has given my husband peace of mind because he knows one day our water heater is going to break down and we are accounting for it. Having a plan for those expenses is huge!

It’s amazing to be able to spend money confidently because there is a plan in place. This confidence has replaced guilt! I literally felt guilty every trip to the grocery store before this.

I feel set free.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Shannon!!!!”

Sandy R.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Homeschooling Mom of 3

“Since joining Budget Breakthrough, I’ve gained a connection back to my finances.”

“I was on the third baby step in the Dave Ramsey program but felt like I’d totally lost motivation and accountability. I’m single momming it with two teens and was cringing about college on the horizon.

I’m a total nerd and have always liked saving. In fact, my older brother would borrow money from me…and I’d charge 1 or more pennies per day of interest :) However, there’s a real wobbly space after you pay off your debt where you feel like it’s time to party, party, party. And I didn’t want to lose momentum or excitement even though one part is done.

I was hesitant to sign up for the Budget Breakthrough program because of the time commitment…

…but I loved reading Shannon’s newsletters and knew there is wisdom and joy in learning from her.

Since joining Budget Breakthrough, I’ve gained a connection back to my finances. I had no debt but was feeling kinda fuzzy about my next goal and how to reach it. I also wanted to learn how to do a sinking fund as I think that’s an essential part to keeping things running smoothly budget-wise over time.

I like learning new things and I’ve LOVED the program!

The weekly things to do over the course of Budget Breakthrough really helped solidify the practices for me.

I didn’t feel overwhelmed and I didn’t feel like I was expected to jump so soon after learning things.

The pacing and length was perfect!

It’s quick and helpful information that is really making a positive impact on my finances!!

I totally love my videos from Shannon that answer any questions from my feedback form. They make me feel so special.

I also love the worksheets and all the many ways you can access them. My favorite is making ones on my Gmail Drive :) So easy and the samples to look at are very helpful. I really think the program is genius.

For me, I’ll be working on finishing up my one-month emergency fund, and fully funding a week at the beach in June. After that, I’ll be working on adding 4 months to my second emergency fund and maybe planning a short Fall vacation that is fully funded.

This has been such an amazing experience and it has inspired me in more ways than one! I’m hoping to slowly grow a side-business over the next year or two and figure out with my oldest teen things about college.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Shannon, for your wisdom, expertise, and support!”

Rose V.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Hardworking Single Mom of 2 Teens

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with keeping a budget.”

“When I first started staying home with my son, I felt the only way I could justify it was by keeping a tight budget. I tried creating spreadsheets, pulling out cash for specific categories, and even took a budgeting class at my church. It wasn’t until the budgeting class that my husband and I really got on the same page, but we still lacked the tools to successfully budget.

After passing Budget Breakthrough up before, I knew I had to do it this year, and God literally provided the funds a week before I signed up!

I’ve always had the desire to budget and be a good steward of what we have been given, but it wasn’t until I got the tools from the Budget Breakthrough program that I really started to be successful.

It felt SO good to fund our Emergency Fund. Now it’s time to get going on our debt snowball! I’m excited!

The lessons were straight forward, the spreadsheets are easy to use (even for someone who is not good with spreadsheets), and the system is realistic for a busy mom!

The heart and the calling Shannon has for this program shines through. I had a unique circumstance with my debt snowball calculator, and she worked with me and helped me extensively with that form to make it work for my situation. I’m excited to use it now, all because she went above and beyond to help me make it work!

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with keeping a budget. It’s often taboo to discuss finances, so it’s nice to have a forum where it’s good to discuss the challenges.

The accountability is great! Knowing I’m not alone in the budgeting battle helps me to push forward to win the war!”

Holly K.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Homeschooling Mom of 3

“Before Budget Breakthrough I would google things about budgets, look for apps – it was all kind of quick fixes to just instantly know what to do, and then would just let it all slide. I would bounce from telling my husband we can’t spend any money to thinking “we’re fine” and then wildly overspending and starting the cycle all over again. It all felt very out of control and like something I would never be able to tackle realistically.

Now, I actually have a handle on our budget, our expenses, and how to plan for them.

At first I found the slow pace of the lessons frustrating but honestly, it made it all break down into super manageable steps. Also having the concrete advice both about how to handle things, how to use Mint properly and the schedule is genius!!

I am so grateful! I really enjoyed feeling part of a community across the country.

I can’t even tell you what a relief it is to finally feel like I have a handle on all this, and not dread it all.

And because I don’t dread it, the tracking every day is a breeze and makes such a big difference.

My husband is on board and sees this isn’t even that hard or about making giant sacrifices. Also, I realized I had totally got our braces goal wrong, so we have even more money in our budget! And underspent in March – hurrah!

I loved this course – it truly gave me a different outlook, the tools I need and answered a lot of questions for me.”

Abby T.

Budget Breakthrough Member, Self-Employed Mom of 2 Tweens