I first want to thank you again for having the teleconference and taking my call last evening. It was inspiring to listen to and take to heart the advice given. I can personally testify that following the steps laid out in Smart Women Finish Rich changed my financial and personal life for the better.
My FinishRich story started in February 2007. I was very sick and stayed home from work. That day, the Oprah show was a rerun of the Debt Diet program. I watched it, I was inspired by the stories there, and in your personal coaching of the Eggleston Family. It made me stop and reassess my life and financial situation. In May 2007 (just 6 months ago!) I bought your books, “Smart Women Finish Rich” and the “Finish Rich Workbook”, borrowed your other books (“Automatic Millionaire,” “Start late Finish Rich”, “Smart Couples Finish Rich”, “Automatic Millionaire Homeowner”) from the library, and read all 5 of your books in one weekend. I was hungry for financial guidance and knowledge, and your advice and common sense approach struck exactly the right chord for me.
I began changing my life and my behaviour on May 22, 2007. In the six months since then, I have:
• Increased my 401(k) contribution from 5% to 15%, with a goal (written down!) of increasing that to 20% on January 1, 2008
• Opened a Savings Account, earmarked for a downpayment for an apartment, with an automatic 5% of my net pay distributed to it monthly(once my debt is paid off, this will be upped to 10% or more until I reach my goal)
• Opened a separate Savings Account for my Rainy Day money, with an automatic 5% of my net pay distributed to it monthly (once my debt is paid off, this will be upped to 10% or more until I reach my goal)
• Taken my bonus money and my IRS refund and applied the entire amount to paying off debt ($5,500!)
• Given myself a cash allowance of $140.00/week ($20.00/day) as walkaround money for food, entertainment, etc., thereby helping me to keep to my savings goals
• Negotiated all my credit card rates down and use your DOLP system to keep the debt reducing
• Written a will
• All my financial paperwork in one place, organized and easy to use
• Written down my 1, 3, 5 year financial goals
• Worked on my Values Ladder
• Written down my top 50 dreams
• Written down a list of all the people and things I love and am grateful for
• Asked my boss for a raise and a promotion. We developed an evaluable plan and I am being re-evaluated in January 2008 (wish me luck!)
As I mentioned, I lost my job 5 years ago. I was out of work for a year and a half and accumulated almost $50,000 in debt. Although I was able to get freelance work, it really hit me that I had nothing in savings to draw from for this life crisis. I made it through and realized I would never be homeless or hungry as long as I could work, but it strengthened my resolve to try and be smarter about the way I earn and use my money.
Your books and advice have helped put me on the right path to meet that goal. I am building savings and reducing debt.
For the first time I see very clearly my financial future, and what’s possible – and it seems the possibilities are limitless.
Until I can meet you in person and shake your hand and give you my heartfelt thanks, I thank you here, very sincerely.