Money Makeover Series: Money Plan = Life Plan

Are you ready for another money makeover check in? Well, get ready for a story that’s sure to inspire! This week we’re checking in with Kayla, our Money Makeover Participant who was in need of a money plan. After working together on her goals for a month, Kayla now has a solid money plan and so much more. In fact, Kayla’s whole life has turned around! Find out how setting a money plan in motion enabled Kayla to improve every aspect of her life.

Organize Your Finances, Organize Your Life

When Kayla and I got started on her money makeover, it was clear that she was doing pretty well with her finances. She had no debt, was contributing to a retirement account, and was even putting money into a savings account each month. So what was the issue? Not having a plan or a purpose for her money.

So Kayla created two savings accounts: one for an emergency fund and the other for general savings. Having a separate emergency fund took away the normal anxiety she felt over unplanned purchases. With that anxiety now in check, it became time to discuss Kayla’s future goals and how her finances would help her achieve them.

Talking About the Possibilities

Talking about Kayla’s future wasn’t something that happened overnight. She and I had several heart to hearts to learn what she really wanted for her life – and thus how her finances could work towards those goals. After weeks of speaking, Kayla and I learned that what she really wanted in life was freedom – both in her career and financially.

You see, Kayla started out as a freelance writer and now has a great job which allows her to write and do social media strategy every day. While she loves her day job, she began to lose sight of her freelance writing – something that she’s truly passionate about. Since her financial plan was already in place, our talks turned to the subject of helping her get her freelance writing back on track. The two goals we came up with to make this happen are, develop her personal brand and improve her website.

Setting the Wheels in Motion

Determining a personal brand requires learning how to put your philosophy into words – no easy task for anyone. That means Kayla has been on a road to self-discovery, and it’s yielding incredible results! Her website is getting better and better but, more importantly, taking the time to work on it has shown her just how far she’s come since college graduation.

When Kayla first started her website, she was a recent college graduate desperate for work and would take on any freelance writing job she could get. She spent a great deal of time wondering if anything would ever pan out for her, as so many new college graduates do. But since that time she’s built an impressive array of freelance work and has made quite the name for herself. That means she now has the ability to pick and choose projects she’s truly passionate about. Added bonus: the security that comes with the knowledge that she has the ability to easily earn extra income on the side if she needs it.

Feeling Empowered in All Aspects of Life

Kayla has come incredibly far in a very short time. All in all, she’s found that she’s more relaxed, feels more in control, and feels like there is a world of possibility in front of her. Could it get any better than that? It can!

The thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that Kayla went through a pretty tough breakup earlier this year. This was an ending that led her to many new beginnings – a new place to live, her new job, and being on her own for the first time in many years. It wasn’t an easy transition to say the least. But now she’s been able to move forward and is even dating again. And this time, she’s dating while feeling totally financially secure – which she says is pretty awesome! A whole new world has opened up to her as she’s come full circle in every way possible.

What’s Next

What’s been the driver to Kayla’s success so far? Keeping dates for when things have to get done and having an accountability buddy. Next, Kayla’s ready to start dipping into the world of investing and learning how to make her money grow. She’s taking retirement training classes at work to grow her knowledge and is looking into websites like to see how she can start investing on her own. Her next action step is to research how to invest and to determine what portion of her savings she’s willing to try this with each month. Stay tuned to see how she does!

I’m turning 26 soon and the first six months of my 25th year were the worst, while the second six months have been the best of my life. When Kayla told me this, my heart filled with gratitude that I’ve even been able to have a small hand in helping her this way. It just goes to show how taking one small step forward can literally turn your entire life around. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear what Kayla accomplishes in her final month of the money makeover!

Shannon Mcnay

Shannon McNay is the Community Outreach and Customer Support Manager at ReadyForZero, a website that helps people get out of debt faster on their own. Shannon loves to share her own experiences and tips she's learned along her own path to help people optimize their finances for a brighter future. You can follow Shannon on Twitter at @shannonmcnay.