Financial Counseling

Over the past three months, I have been able to meet with 123 people in 81 different one-on-one financial counseling appointments.

What an amazing quarter!  I have been honored to meet each person and hear their story.

Here are some key things I have learned through these counseling sessions.

  1. Couples who work together on their finances are in better financial condition than couples who do not work together.
  2. People who give faithfully rarely have huge, burdensome financial problems.
  3. People want HELP/HOPE not REPROACH/DISAPPROVAL (they already know that they have a problem!)
  4. Some people will just flat-out refuse to learn.
  5. You have no idea how much debt your neighbor/friend/relative has!
  6. People have big dreams/ideas/plans, but have no idea how much it will cost to accomplish them.
  7. It does not matter how much you make, only how much you give/save/spend.
  8. People pay way too much for insurance.
  9. Car payments are an epidemic.
  10. Saving money is a foreign concept for many people.
  11. Once shown a better way (INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO), most people will immediately switch!
  12. Schools are doing an awful job of teaching money management.
  13. Parents are doing an even worse job of teaching money management.

What have you learned as you have learned to manage your money better?


  1. Mark Asbell on March 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    I think Shawna and I have learned that half the battle is communicating about money without getting mad and throwing our hands up. Also, bringing an outside perspecitive and source of accountability and encouragement (your class and counseling) has helped us to realize where our communication breakdowns have been. We’re not only learning how to manage our finances but we’re learning how to communicate about them as well. It is so awesome when we’re both on the same page. We can almost enjoy the money game.

    One of our hot buttons is pre-marriage counseling because ours was terrible. So now we have a bunch of our own ideas about what it should be like. Well, one thing we believe now is that every couple should have to go through your financial counseling (or a similar variation of it) before they get married and for about a year after being married. That might sound radical but money is one of the most common causes of divorce and I thik some radical thinking and action is the only thing that’ll ever put a dent in that. If churches would stop putting a band-aid on needs like pre-marriage counseling then maybe there would be a lot less post-marriage problems sucking the life out of churches.

    Sorry Joe, I just preached all over your comments page.

  2. jane muir on March 20, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    ditto on Mark’s comments! Nip it in the bud BEFORE the bud shows it’s ugly head! There will be some that don’t want to do it…’cause he/she won’t marry me if they know how messed up I really am. Well, maybe that is a sign?!?

    I can see how God has been working on us for about 5 years now….marriage counseling, my husband’s excepting Christ, growth, attending NS since Oct. 2006… and Joe’s ministry…. all a process that now has us communicating and on the same page (in the important areas… there is still work to be done) But life really rocks at this point, and I thank the staff and volnteers at NS for being a part of this!

Leave a Comment