[Guest post by David Gibbs]
I grew up in a home where money stress was a daily event and talking point. Bankruptcy, pay day loans and borrowing from family caused big disruptions in my childhood that I didn’t quite understand. Vehicles were taken away and the words “We can’t afford it” were uttered consistently. I was surprised when it was still “No” even for things that I thought were good for me like summer camp. My life was “normal”, and a sad picture of what life could be. I got the idea that dreams could not happen for me. I thought I would be stuck in some sort of debt my entire life just like my parents and relatives before me.
When I was 26 my wife and I got married and were poor just like a lot of folks are when starting out. We had car loans, credit cards, and student loans just like everyone else. I wanted to become debt free, and my wife and I got on the same page for this mission. We began and worked hard to get a good budget together. It took a year before we really got a good budget that we both could be excited about. We both had different ideas that we had to learn to bring together and then incorporate them into our budget. It was a challenging time, but I knew what I wanted out of life and that helped us to both stay focused.
When we were working on our own journey, I was also trying to find a career I could be excited about. I wanted to do work that really helped people and move them forward in life. I thought I wanted to be a cop but that didn’t feel quite right. Then I became a librarian and worked in that field for a while, but I kept having a nagging feeling that there was something more out there. I continued my search for a career that truly helped others. Something that would change lives and give hope.
A Few years later, one of the most magical times in my life happened. I was in a job where I was driving strangers around from their home to a rental car agency. I did this job for a short time because I was in search of my personal calling, and this is the point where I finally found it. It was at this time, my wife and I were finally debt free. I was so excited that we accomplished that and from that point on I just shared our story with everyone I came across.
One day I met a woman with some financial issues. I was driving her to the rental car agency when we began to talk, and she shared her story. I didn’t realize until I worked in this field that people do not just get rental cars for fun. This was one of those times, this poor woman had to just leave her car at the shop. She shared that it was going to be a one-thousand-dollar fix that she barely had. She was very stressed getting this rental vehicle because after a couple of days she wouldn’t be able to afford it.
It was at this time that I began to share my story. The debt free journey for my wife and I took three years. During those three years our marriage had to grow and change to accomplish what we were after. When I had told her our experience and shared with her some of the things, we put in place to accomplish it, she began to cry. I was shocked that my story had hit her so hard and just listened. She said thank you over and over with tears coming out of her eyes. As we said goodbye, I realized what had happened. I had given this woman hope for her future and a practical way to do it.
This same scenario happened again and again and again over the next couple of months. So, the question entered my mind; How can I make giving people hope and changing their lives a job? I thought about it and prayed about it and a few months later I got my answer. I found Financial Coach Master Training with Ramsey Solutions. I took that training and in just a few months I was a financial coach. It took some time, work, and training but I started helping folks have healthier relationships with money. This has been the most fulfilling job I have ever had in my life. It is a career and further than that; it is a calling. I plan to coach folks to financial peace for the rest of my days.