Spring is finally here: And what better time to make a fresh start with your finances?
That’s why, in partnership with Chase, we launched the LearnVest Pledge—your commitment to yourself, and the rest of the LearnVest community—to take charge of your money.
It’s also why we're giving away four more free financial makeovers to women a lot like you.
Katie, 28, is an executive assistant and part-time fitness instructor who wants to own her own fitness studio someday, but, “I’ve accumulated debt with college loans and the non-CEO salary I was making after college," she says.
Ashley is a married mother of one—who's due again in March—and lives in Los Angeles. While her husband may be getting his Ph.D., she's the family's CFO. "My husband doesn't even know how to log into our bank account," she says. "Nothing would make me feel better than getting help as I take control of my family's future."
Erin is a teacher in Texas—and a single mom who doesn't want to pass bad financial habits on to her daughter. “I hate being depressed about my finances,” she says. “I really think it’s keeping me from having meaningful relationships with people. I just hope I’m not beyond help.”
And, Crystal, 29, is the manager of a 911 Dispatch Center in Wisconsin. She and her husband—a police officer—are pregnant with their third child, and her long-term dream is be a stay-at-home mom someday.
Will their financial picture allow her to make the leap?
LearnVest to the rescue.
We gave each of our winners access to the LearnVest My Money Center—where you can create a budget for absolutely free—and to Stephany, a Certified Financial Planner® and expert in our Advice Center. Over the next eight weeks, we’ll watch them turn their goals into reality.
Meet our ladies, and wish them luck.
|Boston, MA||Executive Assistant (and part-time fitness instructor)||To pay down her debt—and start saving for her future.||$72,000|
Why Katie Needs a Makeover:
Not having a foundation in managing her finances has made it hard for Katie, who has supported herself—and her mother—from a young age. She has personal loans ($19,000), credit card debt ($6,000), a car loan ($16,500) and student loans ($13,000) to pay off. She also needs to save up an emergency fund of six months' worth of living expenses.
But she has a good salary and dreams of opening her own fitness business someday: “I want to save for my particular goals—not try to ‘survive’ for the next ten years,” she says. “I want to control my money and not have my money control me.”
|Orange County, CA||Digital Media Sales||Pay down the family's last $10,000 in credit card debt—and become confident as the household money manager.||$98,000 (but currently much less while she's on maternity leave)|
Why She Needs a Makeover:
“I've been living as if things are going to magically become easy when our careers are established, and I've failed to save during my pre-motherhood years," says Ashley. "Now with more demands on my budget, it's time to buckle down like a responsible adult.”
Ashley is smart and confident. She just needs good advice to make sure she's on the right track. With her promotion, she anticipates she would make $98,000 in 2012 if not for her maternity leave. Her husband’s annual stipend is $30,000.
The couple had $30,000 in credit card debt, but Ashley has been paying it down. Now they only have $10,000 left to go! Ashley also needs to bulk up her retirement savings, and start an emergency fund now that baby number two is on the way, since she wants to use the $12,000 the couple has in savings to replace their two cars.
|Plano, TX||Teacher (with a part-time job in retail)||Face her fears about her money and be a good role model for her daughter||$61,000|
Why She Needs a Makeover:
Erin is a schoolteacher who wants to take charge of her finances—and, as a single mother, she doesn’t want to pass on bad money habits to her daughter. She’s anxious to create a budget, pay down her debt and not be living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Her parents never taught her how to manage money, and she’s considered turning to consumer credit counseling before, but she's wondering if advice from a LearnVest Certified Financial planner could help her instead. Currently she has $11,000 in credit card debt, a car loan for $11,000, medical bills—and $400 in predatory payday loans.
Erin has a good salary, and is ready to learn. “I hate being depressed about my finances,” she says. “I really think it’s keeping me from having meaningful relationships with people. I just hope I’m not beyond help.”
|Osceola, WI||Manager of a 911 Dispatch Center||To find a way to become a stay-at-home mom to her two (going on three) kids||$46,000 (plus some overtime)|
Why She Needs a Makeover:
Crystal and her husband are well on the way to living their dreams—they own a home of their own, have two kids under two (and a third on the way in September), and want her to be able to stay at home and raise their family.
Crystal also handles the family’s finances. “My husband trusts me to do that, which I think is great," she says, "but I don't have all the answers, so sometimes I make some really poor decisions. The way I see it, until we make a financial roadmap, we are just driving circles in the night without headlights! I want to be able to trust myself to make solid financial decisions that will allow us to reach our goals.”
She and her husband have an annual household income of $101,000. They own their own home, and have a mortgage of $182,000. They also have $80,000 in student loans, $10,000 on an auto loan and $10,000 in credit card debt—but they just got a big tax return. And with only $600 in savings, they need a financial picture with more security.