How I Almost Lost Everything (Financial Wellness Quickstart)
At the age of 39, I had to face the truth that my independent insurance agency wasn’t going to make it. I just did not have enough cash-flow to keep it open. Although I had the expertise and a solid sales process, I failed to meet my monthly goals. It was devastating.
I had experienced earlier success in the insurance industry and believed in my ability to provide a customer-centered experience. There is something to be said about how critical it is to have the support of family and friends as your first customers. This gives you a fighting chance. Unfortunately, they didn’t show up for me. Every customer was converted by a phone call or a knock on the door.
As the primary provider for my family, I realized that I had hit the limit on both my personal debt and credit. I had hit the proverbial financial rock bottom. It was time to shut down or I would lose everything.
Taking Inventory of My Financial Health
Over the following weeks, I began to create notes and spreadsheets breaking down all of my financial obligations. It felt so overwhelming. My expertise up to that point was primarily in insurance and investing. I was never really trained on the key principals of personal financial management. These are clear and distinct areas of personal finance – insurance, investing and money management. I needed to learn that last piece if I wanted to experience true financial wellness.
My first action item was to communicate with each of my creditors and advise them of my decision to shut down. I asked for whatever rate or terms they could offer to give me time to pay off my balance. The next step was to ask for help. I completed a questionnaire online requesting assistance from a credit counseling agency. A week later they sent me a full financial report and proposal.
This report opened my eyes to begin understanding personal financial management strategies in a new way. Instead of working with the counseling agency, I developed my own strategy. I paid off my debts and improved my financial health without missing a payment or declaring bankruptcy.
As I started working with clients on their personal finances, I began to identify and compile a list of key factors that impact a person’s financial health. By monitoring these factors I was able to help dozens of individuals significantly improve their financial health as well.
Creating the Financial Health Assessment
This is really where the creation of The Financial Health Assessment started. Over the course of several years and hundreds of hours of research, I narrowed down the key defining metrics for financial health. Each of the 11 questions in the Assessment seek to identify how prepared you are to handle personal financial challenges throughout your life. The questions represent key aspects of daily life that influence your level of financial health. It’s about sustenance, security and flexibility.
Your financial health is deeply personal and unique because it reflects your habits and routines. By understanding how different habits impact your overall financial health, you can design a personal financial management strategy that works for you.
Building The Financial Health Assessment has allowed me to build a life that aligns with my dreams and goals. It helps me stay within healthy financial ranges, while taking on projects or time off. I’ve been able to become more intentional on how I spend my time and money. My life is less stressful and more balanced.
By having a clear picture of my financial health, I can make minor adjustments as needed without feeling overwhelmed or guilty about taking time off. It gives me control over my financial journey and freedom to build a life I love.
Now it’s Your Turn to Take Action
If you are feeling overwhelmed or confused about managing your financial health, I encourage you to take our free Financial Health Assessment and schedule a free 30-minute Financial Coaching session to review your results. Learn what you should be tracking to reach your goals.