Money Mindset

How Jessica Gained Financial Confidence: “Mom as CFO is Killing It!”

December 6, 2023
Jessica, a once self-doubting kindergarten teacher, conquers her financial fears and takes command of her family's finances with Million Dollar Year, erasing $70,000 in debt and transforming into a confident financial manager."
Britt and Laurie-Anne two women laughing and looking at their computers on a couch in a well-styled living room
Britt & Laurie Anne
Two female investors in their 30s with a collective net wealth of over $6 million+
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Jessica would’ve told you that she’s a confident person. Except for one area.

From a young age, she convinced herself that numbers “weren’t her thing.” She would try to make herself smaller in math class, hoping the teacher wouldn’t call on her.

After college, she became a kindergarten teacher and her mantra became that she did it for the kids, not the money.

But, if she was being honest…she liked money. 

She was a serial entrepreneur from an early age. As a teenager, she babysat every week. In high school, she started her own cake decorating business. Ambitious and energetic, she launched multiple successful businesses.

Jessica would try to put money in retirement accounts or build up savings, but the men in her life would tell her that what she was doing was wrong. She hired a financial advisor, but he talked circles around her, to the point where she would leave his office with a pit in her stomach and feeling stupider than when she walked in.

She fell into a cycle of trying to take steps to take control of her financial situation, then retreating because she told herself it was too complicated to figure out.

She and her husband also had different approaches to money. He tended to be more of a spender and she tended to be more a saver, but she never had the confidence to stand her ground or ask questions – “I don’t think this aligns with our values or goals.” “Can we really afford this?” “What’s our plan to pay this off?”

Because of her insecurities, Jessica let her husband handle the finances, convinced that she just didn’t understand.

With five kids and – you know – life, expenses would pop up and the only solution Jessica and her husband had was to run to credit cards.

Eventually, they had three mortgages sizzling up their income and more than $70,000 in credit card debt.

Her husband shrugged that credit card debt is just a part of American life. After all, Americans owe almost $1.08 trillion in credit card debt.

But Jessica insisted that normal or not, debt was ruining their quality of life. Every year, when December rolled around, she would be frustrated that they were going into yet another year with debt. 

Debt and financial insecurity didn’t align with what she wanted in life. And she was tired of it.

Taking Back Control

The first thing Jessica did was admit that she was part of the problem. She had sat back and let their financial situation get this bad. 

It wasn’t that she couldn’t learn personal finance. She could – and she would. She would have to empower herself and take control.

Jessica came across the Master Your Money masterclass and signed up. She sat through the workshop, side-by-side with her two daughters.

The class helped something click for her.

If these two women younger than me can figure this out, she thought, then I can too.

At the end of the class, she joined Million Dollar Year.

Despite seminars and courses, she had never had never encountered a financial program that actually helped her take control of her finances. She had tried Dave Ramsey courses multiple times, but nothing had made a lasting impact.

She appreciated the fact that the Million Dollar Year lessons were split into easily digestible videos, accompanied by helpful and easy-to-complete workbooks and spreadsheets.

As she worked through the first module of Million Dollar Year, not only did she uncover unconscious money beliefs that had held her back, but she made a point to go back three months later – and discovered even more.

When she got to the module on budgeting and tracking, she knew she had to take over the family finances. So, she talked to her husband, and he agreed to let her take the reins.

“At that point in my life, I was like, I am not going to fail this. I'm going to figure this out,” Jessica said.

After 23 years of sitting in the backseat, Jessica took control of her money.

She followed the Dow Janes system, set up a budget, and made a notecard listing all their credit cards with the amount of money they owed on each. She stuck the notecard to the side of her computer, where she would see it every day when she sat down to work.

Within a year, they paid off all $70,000 of debt.

“Other things started happening that helped,” Jessica clarified. “My husband did get a bonus from work. But when you're laser-focused on something, then that can happen. And probably the thing that helped was me saying, it's not ‘my’ program. It's a program that works, and if we follow it, we will conquer this, so we're not going into another year of looking at the same stuff.”

“I Didn’t Feel Alone and Disempowered”

The Million Dollar Year Facebook group was the first place Jessica could talk freely about personal finance with a group of people who understood.

“It was the first time in my life that I had a forum of people that I could talk to about this stuff and not feel stupid, not feel like an idiot, not feel like I had to hide something, not feel like there was something wrong with me,” Jessica said. “I did a really good job beating myself up mentally for years. And that just wears on you. Even if you didn't say a word, you could learn from other people in the Facebook community and not feel alone and not feel disempowered.”

One of the biggest lessons she learned in Million Dollar Year was that there was another way.

Yes, credit card debt, student loans, and car payments are a reality for many people. But it doesn’t need to be a reality for every person.

Empowered Women+ Empower Women+

As a mother of five, Jessica is driven to make sure her kids don’t make the same mistakes that she did.

One of her daughters recently graduated high school, and for her senior project, Jessica had her take the Million Dollar Year. She walked her daughter through signing up for her first credit card, ensuring that she wouldn’t sign up at a college fair, getting burdened with a sky-high interest rate in exchange for a free t-shirt.

Jessica knew that taking control of her money and gaining financial understanding would impact her children’s lives.

But something she didn’t expect happened.

Two years ago, her dad died in a car accident. And although her mom had always been pretty involved in the finances, in the aftermath of the tragedy, Jessica was able to come alongside her with the systems and tools she had gathered in Million Dollar Year. 

Jessica helped her mom set up the spreadsheets from everything that she had learned through Dow Janes, so her mom was able to look at yearly and monthly expenses and figure out a budget.

“You always think of helping the next generation, but it was really cool to be able to help a previous generation and to empower my mom,” Jessica shared.

Million Dollar Year case study - a screenshot of a perfect credit score and text that says, "Mommy the CFO is killing it!"

“Mom as CFO is Killing It!”

Before, finances had been a drain on the relationship between Jessica and her husband. She blamed him for their financial issues and he was frustrated that she expected her to fix something he didn’t see as a problem – and didn’t know how to. 

Now, Jessica is now the money manager for her family.

She pays the bills, tracks the investments, and maintains the budget. There are no more late fees, no more debt, and no more running to credit cards when expensive surprises pop up. They’ve sold some of their assets, downsized their house, and their spending is more aligned with their values and goals.

About three months ago, Jessica’s husband checked his credit score and saw that it had skyrocketed from the low 700s to 850.

He took a screenshot of the number and sent it to the family group chat with the message, “Mom as CFO is killing it!”

“I'm still a saver and he's still a spender, and we still disagree,” Jessica shared. “But that felt good that he was also saying to the kids, she's changed this scenario as well.”

Overall, she says Dow Janes has empowered her to take control of her life instead of incessantly trying to mitigate damage.

“It feels good to know what's coming in and what's coming out. As a mom of five, you always have spitballs and things that you don't expect,” Jessica said. “But Million Dollar Year has allowed me to live life on the offense versus on the defense. Always having to react to everything is a hard way to live. Now I know that whatever happens, it doesn't set me back or knock me down.”

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