Money Mindset

How Kat Conquered Her Debt on Unemployment + Unlocked Financial Security

December 6, 2023
Following a tough divorce, Kat overcomes financial uncertainty and rebuilds her life through Million Dollar Year, gaining financial literacy, paying off debt, and forging a path to a secure and self-determined future.
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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When Kat joined Million Dollar Year, she was coming out of an emotionally, mentally, energetically, and financially depleting divorce.

During her marriage, she and her husband would discuss finances, but never in a serious way. Like many women+, Kat didn’t have a full picture of their financial situation or equal agency over the financial decisions.

She and her husband made decisions and priorities based on the assumption that they would spend their lives together.

So when the fairytale took a turn, Kat found herself on the wrong side of American divorce law, which typically favors the breadwinner. In this case, her husband.

Financially Recovering from Divorce

After her divorce, Kat had to piece her new life together.

Kat had to downgrade her housing. She didn’t have a functional car and, as a graduate student, she didn’t have income. Since she gave up any claim to the retirement savings in favor of a larger settlement (which was still smaller than she needed), she didn’t have any retirement accounts.

When Kat started Million Dollar Year, she had debt, high impulse spending habits, and no income except for unemployment checks and her annual divorce settlement payments.

She felt deflated. Over the divorce process, she felt like she had lost agency over her life, which drained her self-esteem and self-confidence.

Which was why the Million Dollar Years ads – one of a woman relaxing in a hot tub outside a resort below the words, “finance is an act of self-care” and another that simply said, “women+ with money do great things” – resonated with her.

“It was the idea that if I can learn to be grounded in my finances, I can live into the great thing that my being and my soul wants to do,” she said. “I need to get over this difficult hurdle with money, and on the other side of that, I'll have the agency to do the things that I really want to do.” 

Unlocking Her Financial Freedom

Before dealing with her money habits, Kat confronted her money story.

Using the prompts in Module 1 of Million Dollar Year, she realized that – even before her marriage – she had a pattern of prioritizing romantic relationships above her finances. She told herself that if the relationship worked out, then eventually her finances would too. 

That ended in her giving up her personal autonomy, failing to think about what was best for her, and landing in a devastating financial situation.

Kat began to rewrite that narrative one week at a time, one affirmation at a time.

She also learned how to align her money decisions with her values, emotions, and sense of choice. 

Until that point, she thought that there was one “right” way to spend money – some magic formula that if she followed exactly, she would achieve financial success.

Instead, she found that people value money differently – some value the security of large savings, some value the experiences or lifestyle that money can afford. And she learned how she values money.

“The more I got in touch with myself, the more I could make choices that were connected to my unique handprint on the world,” she said. “And then that was actually the thing that unlocked my financial freedom.”

Even on unemployment, Kat learned how to spend less than she made without letting the feeling of being restricted get in her way. Within a year, she built up an emergency fund, paid off her debt, invested for the first time, and increased her net wealth. 

She also opened her first retirement account. 

“I cried after that,” she admitted.

“It was the first time anyone had helped me figure out what my retirement plan was going to look like. And that gave me complete agency. That meant I didn't need anybody else to pay my way, for me to be okay, for me to make it to retirement. I had never received that information before and I was in my early forties.”

Trusting Herself Again

As her financial situation improved, Kat found that each win gave her the confidence to go after another goal. She saw what she was capable of. She began to trust herself again

“It wasn't that I wasn't intelligent enough to understand finance, it was that it wasn't spoken in my language, so it just didn't translate," Kat said. “And this program speaks in a feminine finance language. 

“The feminine finance perspective looks uniquely at how women are impacted by the world we currently live in and the circumstances that we are surrounded with and the ways that many of those systems are not centered in empathy and that we want them to be. 

“The more we can become wise and financially self-empowered and knowledgeable and educated, the more we can have an impact on bringing empathy to the center of the table and the conversations that currently just don't have those as part of what's happening. And so this brings empathy for ourselves and for each other and for our culture and for what we're doing back to the center of the finance conversation.”

One thing about Million Dollar Year that helped Kat was the way the program doesn’t teach that you need to repress your emotions and follow a one-size-fits-all formula. Instead, it taught her to recognize and honor her emotions around money.

“Instead of saying, 'don't have your emotions, just make logical choices,' we can acknowledge that's not human, it's not possible. Our emotions are part of what makes us great. So, it brings your emotions, values, and sense of choice all into play with money - allowing it to be unique to you and taking the judgement out of it.”

After her divorce, Kat had spent a lot of time and energy on healing herself mentally and emotionally. She started Million Dollar Year knowing that it would help her rebuild financially, but she didn’t realize just how far the impact of the program would extend.

“Million Dollar Year was the piece of my healing and recovery journey that changed my pattern with money,” she said. “And money has such a ripple effect on so many other decisions that we make. I was able to reorient my financial life around who I really am and who I really want to be. And that has allowed me to start working in ways to make an impact, to have the confidence and the financial foundation to take the risks of using my voice to call out the things that I see in the world that I'd rather be different or to amplify the things in the world that I'd like more of.”

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