I have been a financial coach for over 20 years and have had the honor to work with many folks over the years on their financial journeys. This is the story of one of these couples.
Dirk inquired about financial coaching in the summer of 2019. He and his wife Bambi have 3 kids and were really struggling with finding direction in their finances and providing stability for their family. We talked and met before he decided to trust the process and hire me as his financial coach.
What stands out to me with this couple is that they have had more to deal with than most families. You see, Dirk is a disabled Marine combat vet who suffers with PTSD and alcoholism. They have a strong family and a strong faith but overcoming his demons has been a struggle for years.
After a couple of meetings we found a budgeting system that worked, their communication began to improve. We balanced the budget and freed up money to put on the debt snowball. We were beginning to make real progress.
Dirk had a relapse and wound up checking himself into a rehab facility 800 miles from home. During that time a teacher at school erroneously reported a mark on one of their kids and CPS investigated. It was ruled that because of Dirk’s history with PTSD and alcoholism that he was not allowed to return home or have contact with kids until a full investigation and ruling was completed. Needless to say this was a difficult time for the couple and the family unit. It increased their monthly expenses by about $850 each month and the extra on the snowball came to a screeching halt.
We continued to meet remotely only missing 1 scheduled meeting. They remained committed to each other and the journey they started. Their budget meetings didn’t stop. They made adjustments to the way they worked together. Unfortunately, they were not able to cash flow the attorney fees and court costs to fight the allegations and incurred an additional $17,500 in debt that they had to pay.
Since being reunited, Dirk & Bambi have paid off their car note, a flute debt, and are on target to have the consolidation loan and all of the attorney fees and court costs paid off by the end of the year. They are committed to this process more now than ever before. They are already completely debt free they just haven’t technically crossed the finish line yet. They believe it and therefore it will happen. The finances, the doubt, the struggle, the accusations, and setbacks, extra debt, and a host of other things could have destroyed this marriage, could have destroyed this family, but it hasn’t. And I don’t expect anything will. They have held to their faith and to each other while remaining committed to a process that works.