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A Defining Financial Moment…

Have you ever had that defining moment when you just know you need to take control of something? With some people, it is their weight or their health or their working schedule. My recent shock into reality came late last year when I realized that my financial life had no organization to it and would never be any better without some effort on my part.
Three years ago, I suddenly found myself as a single mom with three young kids. It wasn’t long before it hit me that I needed to acquire better financial habits to get the most out of each paycheck. My husband had been self-employed for the previous few years, and while his company was really starting to shape up, each month involved getting paid last, forwarding what we had to spare for small company expenses, juggling things back and forth between credit cards, and picking up spare work where we could.
Several years before that, we had been proving the starving-student stereotype by selling our plasma, scrounging in the couch for creditcardchange to put toward the electric bill and eating a whole lot of spaghetti.  These struggles, while character-building, left me with a permanent dread of checking the bank account. I would hand over my debit card at the store with only a general idea of how much was in the account and cross my fingers that we could make it until payday. As you can imagine, this method left me feeling out of control and rarely worked out in our favor.
After my husband left, I had to really reassess where I was financially. Unlike many single moms, I am fortunate enough to have an ex-husband who pays on our divorce agreement regularly. However, his job is just as subject to the ebbs and flows of the job market and the needs of consumers. Until I complete school,  if he falls, I fall too. Because the company was so young, we had not yet established a retirement plan, college funds for the kids or any kind of savings.  The idea of waiting another few years until I was finished with school made me even more nervous. More than anything, I didn’t want to hit 40 and have nothing financial to show for it.
Enough money was coming in to pay the basic bills, but not much beyond.  Between school, extra jobs I was able to pick up, and my responsibilities as a full-time mom, I remained in my “hand over the debit card and cross my fingers” habit. Money trickled out and although the numbers should have added up, the realities didn’t.  I knew I needed organization with what I had coming in, I knew I ControlSpending1needed a financial plan and I knew it was important, but I also knew that in the overwhelming duties of each day, it was always going to fall to the bottom of the priority pile.  
When I got the opportunity to access financial counseling through Money Mastery, I couldn’t have been more excited because it’s a plan that I can handle even with all my obligations and responsibilities. It’s a plan that will help me get my spending under control and my financial life in order. My goal is to follow this plan to make sure that I am getting the most out of my money. I have already noticed great strides forward and I no longer cross my fingers at the check out and hope I have enough money in my account to cover my expenses. With Money Mastery I know what I have to spend and what’s left in each category. I can track that spending using a handing mobile app (it’s free) and I am actually putting a small amount of savings away each month. I can’t tell you how much power that gives me, even though it’s only a little bit. Emotionally I feel in control and that’s worth everything to me. My hope is to encourage others to take control of their own financial health as well.
For more information on this plan, call the experts at Money Mastery: (801) 292-1099.

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