Theresa: Theresa why did you decide to interview yourself? You know this makes you look a little crazy, right?
Me: What a great question! Interviews seem like an interesting way to talk about myself and my new business of FINANCIAL COACHING, and no one was offering to interview me, so…..
Theresa: So, you just decided to interview yourself?
Me: Yes, you’re so insightful.
Theresa: Thanks! This self-interview is brilliant! You have some great ideas! But let’s get down to business. What’s all this silliness about comparing zombies and debt?
Me: That seems very obvious, Theresa.
Theresa: Humor me. Um, I mean, humor yourself. (Sigh)
Me: Well, if you think how about how we handle stress, it’s kind of an all or nothing response. Fight or flight, and all that! Stress is a built in reaction to wake us up to run away from the lion.
Theresa: Ok, that makes sense. But where is the tie in with zombies?
Me: Battling a zombie would be rough. Even if all you had to do was evade them and scavenge for food, it would still be constantly stressful. And with debt, by definition you are unable to pay the bills. If you had money, why would you have debt? For some people who are behind on paying the bills they have even more stress because they have to deal with collection agencies. I’m sure you can see the similarities.
Theresa: So you are saying that debt is like a zombie?
Me: Yes!!! Everyone knows that zombies try to kill you to eat your brains. And debt is trying to kill your freedom.
Theresa: How exactly does debt ‘kill freedom’?
Me: It creates a cycle where you have to make more money to pay off your debt. And often people end up being stressed out from working so much, often at jobs they don’t like, or with people they don’t like, but can’t leave to go find another job because they need the money. So, they spend more money (retail therapy, vacations, alcohol, overspending) to escape the stress of work and get in more debt. And, because people are working so hard, they feel like they are entitled to live the ‘good life’ that they see all around them, on television or on social media. Then they feel bitter because they are depriving themselves or go with the flow and go into more debt to live the life. So, debt creates the inability to freely make choices about how to live your life.
Theresa: You sound kind of preachy.
Me: Sorry. I just feel very passionately about this topic, since I know how much different my life is now that we don’t have any debt (other than the house).
Theresa: Do you think your husband cares that you are talking about your personal finances like this?
Me: No. He strongly agrees that breaking the social taboo about talking about debt is going to be the only way to stop people from being stuck in that cycle. He leads the local Financial Peace University classes with me twice a year, here in Carlsbad, and he loves to meet with people in a small group setting.
Theresa: How does the service you offer of ‘financial coaching’ work?
Me: I meet with people, in person or via phone or video call, to specifically discuss their plans for their future and to find out where they are now. Then I customize a plan to help make their dreams happen. Often that means coming up with a way to reduce spending to create more savings,
or make a plan to get out of debt. I look at personal finance first as a heart issue and then as a numbers issue, and I help you to understand your emotions around money, which may have created obstacles to good financial management.
Theresa: So, you’re not a financial expert?
Me: Nope! I’m a a lot of things, but not that! I do work with a lot of those though, who recommend working with a financial coach to get your ducks in a row so that you have money to invest with them! I’m more of a big picture person, with lots of training in budgeting and how to handle the fall out from debt - dealing with collectors, discussing the realities of bankruptcy and foreclosure, and counseling how to attack debt and eliminate it.
Theresa: How can people find out if you would be the right fit for them?
Me: I would love for anyone who is interested in a financial coaching session and wants to learn more about it to give me a call and we can set up a 15 minute meet and greet/introduction to find out more about financial coaching. For no cost. Free. I’ll even through in one of my kids’ jokes, which are often so not-funny that they are funny. Call me at (760) 576-HOPE (4673), or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Theresa: Great interview, thanks for your time! I’d like to do this again, and have you give your thoughts on one of the many non-zombie books you’ve been reading!
Me: You are a great interviewer, Theresa! It was pure joy.