Financial Freedom Coach Suki's Money Story

May 31, 2024

In July 2019, everything changed. Despite all the financial wisdom passed down to me by my parents, I couldn’t pay my credit card in full for the first time. I was mortified. That summer, my boyfriend and I went on a weekend trip he had planned, only to find out he needed me to split the costs. My anxiety skyrocketed—I was already carrying credit card debt and didn’t know how I would manage the extra expenses. This financial strain and a general lack of communication contributed to the end of our relationship, leaving me ashamed and embarrassed.

Then came 2020. Working as a nurse in an emergency department during the pandemic was intense. Like take a moment and imagine being a front-line worker during the pandemic. I know it can feel a million miles away, but that was my reality. The emotional toll led me to overspend, justifying it by saying I deserved it for what I was living through. My finances spiraled out of control, and I ignored my increasing credit card debt. I was spending beyond my means, justifying it as a reward for surviving such a stressful time.

By 2021, being in and attending several weddings strained my finances further. Despite my parents' support, I felt humiliated, needing their help. I hit my breaking point and decided something had to change. At a bachelorette party, a friend mentioned her success with a financial coach from Beyond the Green. She saved over $10,000 in a few months to cover her moving and relocation costs. Impressed by her story and eagerness to change, I contacted AJ and signed up for 1:1 coaching with one of the coaches. AJ instantly put me at ease. She explained her story and what she had gone through. She let me know I wasn't alone, and she believed in me. Despite my feelings of “I should know better,” I decided I couldn’t afford not to get help.

Working with my coach, I uncovered my "money wounds." Despite my solid financial upbringing, I realized that I had developed unsustainable spending habits and emotional responses to money. As I worked through my finances, memories of my childhood with money resurfaced. My parents had always been open about finances, teaching me valuable lessons. My mom managed the household and finances, showing me how banking worked and letting me see credit card and banking statements. One of my earliest memories is going to the bank on Saturday mornings with my green and white bank book to deposit money into my account. I actually really loved saving money.

In 4th grade, I started working as a mother's helper, earning my own money, which I loved. By babysitting and nannying, I had the autonomy to spend on toys, clothes, movies, and meals with friends. At 15, I got my first official job as a waitress, enjoying the fast-paced environment, interacting with people, and earning cash tips. I knew I wanted to be a nurse in high school, similar to the restaurant industry but even better because I could help people. Having independence and control over money made me feel successful and autonomous. 

Even during the stressful days of my senior year of high school, I took multiple jobs to save money, planning ahead so I wouldn’t need to ask my parents for financial help or take out loans to spend money in college. I loved a full plate. I’ll never forget my dad's detailed spreadsheet that helped me choose a college, resulting in manageable debt. Thanks to that conversation, I made an informed decision for both present and future Suki.

Despite wanting to focus on my studies, I itched to make my own money. By junior year, I took a part-time job at J. Crew, enjoying the employee discount and saving up for a car. Feeling empowered, I paid my $200/month car payment, building my credit. 

After college, I made a strategic financial move to move back home to pay off my student loan debt. I also contributed to my company's retirement account. I didn’t think about cash savings but felt very passionate about retirement. My parents instilled that in me. After some time, I decided to try travel nursing in my new Jeep Wrangler. I would travel the country in my amazing car and make lots of money. While I loved the freedom travel nursing offered, I realized moving every three months was not for me. I settled in Portland, Maine, taking a less lucrative nursing job to put down roots and continue contributing to my retirement account, a habit instilled by my parents.

Working with my coach, I felt safe to share about my shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and guilt. I became hopeful about my future and appreciative of my past. I had been given lots of great advice from my childhood and a ton of positive money modeling from my parents but without the full understanding of my money mindset, the emotional side of my spending, and the instant gratification implications on my long-term financial health; I couldn’t fully plug the past, present and future in the same directions as my dreams. The tools and confidence building from Beyond The Green allowed me to weld them all together. 

Last year, I attended SEVEN weddings, five bridal showers, three bachelorette parties, two baby showers and traveled for two weeks to Greece without going into debt, thanks to careful planning and using credit card points. I’ve also saved over $30,000 for a house down payment, created an emergency fund, and built savings for unexpected expenses since I started working with my financial coach in 2021.

My financial transformation improved my relationships with family and friends. My brother and I now excitedly discuss our savings and retirement accounts. Feeling empowered, I set boundaries and made decisions that serve my goals. The most surprising area that was impacted by getting my finances in order was finding the love of my life. We just moved in together and are excited about our aligned future.

AJ and I often kept in contact since finishing my 1:1 coaching with BTG. She's continued to support me and encourage me. I was so excited to see that Beyond The Green was growing and adding more coaches! My therapist and I often talked about how, one day, I’d love to combine my passion for helping others with my newfound love for financial empowerment. I never want anybody to feel blindsighted by an unexpected expense like I did with my ex, and I want to ensure people have the tools to navigate difficult periods of life. I love encouraging and supporting others, helping them turn feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt into confidence and hope. 

Suki’s journey is a testament to the power of financial coaching and the life-changing impact of having a loving support, non judgemental team around you. If you're ready to take control of your finances, connect with Suki and start your journey to financial empowerment today.

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