Archive for August 2009

Why I Do What I Do

A reader of shared her story with me recently.  It sums up why I do what I do.  With her permission, here is her story …

I was OVERWHELMED with JOY as I dropped my oldest child off for college last weekend! NOT because I was happy to have her leave the house…she has been such BLESSING and a BIG part of my life since I was 17 years old and learned I was pregnant… but because I have PRAYED, PLANNED & PREPARED for this day for YEARS.

I made a lot of COSTLY mistakes. I turned my back on God and did things my way! I maxed out my first credit card at 15 YEARS OLD! That was the beginning of several bad financial decisions since I didn't put any thoughtful planning into them! They were "this will due 'til the next bill arrives" solutions which is NO solution at all!

I hit rock bottom and was in BONDAGE financially, spiritually & emotionally by my early 20s. After a divorce, I was living in an apartment I couldn't afford and my car was being repossessed so I swallowed my pride, went to D.S.S. and applied for assistance. I was denied for everything. I was told that my full time job paying minimum wage put me over the limit for any assistance for myself and two children. I was devastated. I asked the lady how anyone would qualify if the standards were so low. She advised me to lose my job and showed me that if I would stay home with my children instead of working then I would actually make MORE money on welfare. I left and never went back. I got sick of hot dogs, grilled cheese and pb&j sandwiches but kept working.

I EVENTUALLY came to the conclusion that this wasn't the life that I wanted for myself or my children!! I was raised in a Christian household and accepted Christ at seven years old. I KNEW that how I was living was wrong. I wasn't going to church, tithing, or budgeting my money. I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit when I made bad decisions whether they were moral or financial. God had more in store for me than I could ever imagine and I was cheating myself by cheating Him!

I began going to church, budgeting my money and planning for the future. I saved what I could… as often as I could. I got life insurance on myself and my children. I started a Future Scholar 529 College Savings plan (direct so I managed it myself and didn't pay anyone a fee) for both of my children. I started saving the minimum amount allowable. $50 per month. It was A LOT to me but I am so thankful that I did. I was able to raise the amount over the years and I am pleased to say that my daughter's first tuition payment was paid in full directly from that account!! AND she is driving a car that is completely paid for!! I think I was the happiest mom at the college last weekend. I literally found myself skipping with joy as I transported her belongings from the car to the dorm!!

If I could say anything to the moms & dads out there it would be this, "Don't let time get away from you! Start saving NOW!" Ideally, you should save $200 per month per child to plan for their college expenses but WHATEVER you save will help!! God has great things in store for you and your children!! I am still saving every month for college expenses because I know there are more tuition bills on the way.

My goal now is to help my daughter through college with NO student loan debt. I don't know what's in store for us over the next four years but I know that I will keep PRAYING, PLANNING and PREPARING every day!! 


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FOUR Financial Learning Experience FOUR CITIES FOUR DAYS!

I AM PUMPED!  Beginning this Sunday, I have the opportunity to teach the Financial Learning Experience FOUR TIMES in FOUR DAYS in FOUR CITIES.  This is my team's passion – equipping people to accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances!

Choose one or choose to attend all four!

  • Sunday – August 30 – Clarksville, TN
  • Monday – August 31 – Greenville, SC
  • Tuesday – September 1 – Anderson, SC
  • Wednesday – September 2 – Florence, SC

So excited about partnering with Grace Community Church (Pastors Ron Edmondson and Chad Rowland) and NewSpring Church (Pastor Perry Noble) to provide PRACTICAL and RELEVANT teaching on personal finances.

I can't believe I get to do this!

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Financial Learning Experience – Clarksville, TN

I am EXCITED about the opportunity to teach the Financial Learning Experience at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN this weekend!

Here are the details:

  • FREE!
  • 2PM – 4PM
  • Childcare provided
  • Rossview High School
  • Leave equipped to take your finances to the next level!
  • More info HERE

My team will also be training financial counselors on Saturday and I will be speaking during the Sunday morning services.

I can't wait to see you there!

Interested in hosting the Financial Learning Experience at your church or business?  Click HERE to contact Joe and the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Team. Coupon Workshop Coming To Anderson SC

I am excited to announce that Jenny, the founder of, will be presenting her Extreme Couponing 101 workshop in Anderson, SC!

The event will take place at the Anderson County Library on September 16 and begins at 6:00PM.  Cost is $10 (materials fee).

This is a 2-hour long class teaching you to be a true couponer. 

It's not just about cutting and handing over coupons!  Learn how to use coupons to save hundreds of dollars a month on all of your grocery, household and personal care items.

Cover basic and advanced topics:
1.  Gathering and Organizing Coupons

2.  Using online resources to find your own deals
3.  Effectively Using Coupons – a lot more than just clipping and using a coupon!

4.  Detailed instructions for CVSing, and other Drugstores

Each participant will get a detailed guide book to keep.


9 Ways To Save Money NOW

  1. Obtain new auto/homeowner's/renter's/motorcycle/boat/etc. insurance quotes from at least three companies – HERE is a great way to get those quotes.
  2. Use coupons when shopping for groceries and use them when the products are on sale (I really like – it is FREE!)
  3. Before purchasing anything on-line, ALWAYS go to to see if a discount code is available.
  4. Dump the home phone (or try out the magicJack – costs around $20/year)
  5. Dump the cable
  6. Before purchasing anything – use a price comparison website to see where you can purchase that item for the cheapest price (like FRUCALL)
  7. Rent movies from RedBox – they are only $1/day (but you can get FREE rentals if you visit – see #3)
  8. Be flexible and use or to negotiate travel costs.
  9. Drink water from the water fountain instead of from a plastic bottle that costs $1 or more.

What other saving ideas can you share with us?

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