Me in a Nutshell
If I’m honest, I have always kind of been a nerd. I was the one who actually liked math and enjoyed numbers, I just wouldn’t tell anyone.
The Start of My Personal Finance Journey
My personal financial journey didn’t fully start until I was in college. I was more than 3,000 miles from home, living on my own for the very first time and I had to figure things out. I remember getting to the point where I just kept overspending. I kept using my savings instead of my checking because my checking account was depleted! I was using the credit card that I had, just to pay for things and kept trying to pay it off every month. Then I missed a month. I got the credit card statement in the mail and saw my balance went up because of the interest charge.
I was furious. I remember my face getting hot. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to do something. I had finally realized I was living beyond my means, I wasn’t paying attention and I had no idea where my money was going.
My Search for Help
I started searching the internet for ways to take control of my personal finances by looking for applications or programs that would do a budget for me. My excel spreadsheet was failing me. Then a memory came to me.
In my mind, I was transported back to when I was about 11 or 12 years old, sitting in my mom’s car, heading home from Karate practice. It would have been a Wednesday night, and Wednesday’s were the day’s we would travel pretty far for practice. On the way home, our routine was to get a Slurpee from 7-Eleven, then listen to Dave Ramsey on the radio as we made out way back. We would listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show so often, that even as a youngster, I would yell at the radio to answer people’s financial questions.
Once I came back from my distant memory, I realized I needed to reacquaint myself with the Dave Ramsey plan. I saw at that point that he now had a budgeting app, that I desperately needed. I downloaded the app and started using it and I started listening to his show again.
I kept listening to the radio show and I used my budget fervently. So much so that I would sometimes get comments from co-workers about how I brought my lunch to work again?!
I started making some great progress and had all my debt paid off, no more credit cards, no nothing. I was in a good place and happy to be back in control and knowing exactly what was going on with my money.
Meeting Goals & Meeting My Future Wife
Continuing on my journey of life, I was budgeting, I continually met the financial goals that I had, and a year or two later my wife and I started dating. We dated for a while and realized that this was getting serious, so we started having some great conversations.
One of those conversations was about money.
We discussed how we felt about money, what we did in the past with it, what our current situation was, and all the rest. It was at this point that my wife, girlfriend at the time, asked me for help to create a budget with her and get her finances in order.
My girlfriend has just become my first coaching client and I didn’t even know it.
We sat down that day and went through all her stuff, set up her budget and started her on a plan that would help her succeed financially on her own.
My Desire to Help Others
After I saw the impact that it had on her, the progress she was making and how great she felt after getting everything in place, I realized that other people could probably use this same information too. I kept my eyes open, and other opportunities came along. Other friends needed help and would ask me questions. I loved having the opportunity to answer them the best I could, see it click for them, then they continued on their way and progressed.
From Girlfriend to Fiance to Wife
Some time passed, and I had made the best decision of my life and I asked my girlfriend to marry me.
Now we really got serious about talking things through. We made some decisions regarding our wedding and our financial futures and things were great. She had student loans and she had a hard time at first realizing those would be brought into our marriage. They were going to be our student loans together.
We discussed how we would make it an absolute priority to get rid of them as fast as we could, and we would do it together. If we could achieve that, we knew we would be able to achieve anything.
Time continued on, although not that much time because my wife and I only dated for 7 months before getting engaged and we got married 5 months later. We got married exactly one year after we started dating, to the day.
We got home from our honeymoon, everything was combined, our lives, our homes, and our finances. It was real. But it was real good. We made great progress and continued on our journey.
It was a while after we were married that I was helping some people with their personal finances, talking through some financial topics and I thought, maybe I could provide this as a service.
Becoming a Coach
Thinking about it, I realized, maybe this could be a way to really help others. An opportunity to pour into others by coaching them to their fullest potential, specifically in the area of their finances.
I discussed it with my wife, and of course, being her incredibly supportive self, she told me that it was a great idea.
So, I went back to my trusty source, Google. I searched for what people are doing to help others with their finances. That was how I found out about financial coaching. Continuing on my search I realized there were certifications available. Dave Ramsey was one of the companies offering a certification. My excitement was off the charts.
Then I saw the price.
It was expensive.
Man, was I deflated. I knew that I had to wait to become a certified financial coach because we were still working on the student loans and I just couldn’t justify such a large purchase when we had debt.
I started to think of different things I could do to make it work. I tried to find a way to go about it and get certified the way I wanted to. It wasn’t going to work.
I will have to wait.
My wife and I talked about it, we discussed the price and how it just didn’t make sense to do it right now even though we had made such great progress on paying off the student loans and that I decided I would wait. I know my wife was upset. She was upset with herself that her student loans would get in the way of something that would be so exciting for me. We talked it through. She knows that’s not how I think about things, and I would never blame her for something like that. It just wasn’t the right timing.
Waiting and Watching a Webinar
For some reason, I decided to kind of torture myself and watch the informational webinar about the financial coaching certification that I wanted to take. As I watched, I listened as they mentioned that someone on the webinar would be winning a seat in the class, for free, to be able to do the certification. That would be cool, I thought.
Well, the end of the webinar came along and the speakers were announcing the winner and they said,
“The winner of today’s the training is Connor T.”
My heart stopped.
Are you kidding me? I thought.
There must be more than one Connor T, right? It couldn’t have been me. There’s no way.
Turns out, it was me. I won the course and was able to get my certification to be a certified financial coach.
Starting CT Financial Coaching
After I completed my certification, I started CT Financial Coaching to help as many people as I could. I aim to give them the confidence and knowledge they need to succeed in their personal finances. As a financial coach, I have had so many great opportunities to meet incredible people. Every minute of it has been amazing. I continue to enjoy coaching others and guiding them towards their financial goals. It is one of my favorite things to do.
Starting the Confident Money Podcast
Sometime after starting CT Financial Coaching, I wanted to do more to connect with anyone who wanted personal finance information so I decided to start a podcast. I named it The Confident Money Podcast. I want to spread the word that we can live a life of confidence in our finances.
Starting the Confident Money Blog
As I continued podcasting, I wanted to do more. I wanted to provide as much value to others as I could. My uncle was a great encourager to start a blog and that made me think about it more. I thought about what it would be like having a blog and writing for it. Writing was never really a focus of mine, but I decided to try writing each morning just to test it out and see. It was so fun and enjoyed what I was able to write about. I wanted to release the blog because I knew that it would give people even more access to the information they needed. So, I started the Confident Money blog to go with the podcast and my coaching business.
My Overall Goal
My ultimate goal with everything I do, whether it be coaching, podcasting, or blogging, is to give others the confidence and knowledge they need to succeed in their personal finances.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I hope it has encouraged you to continue forward and pursue your dreams.