On this episode of the podcast, Jill Emanuel is filling in for Kelsa Dickey to talk about her own financial journey. This is a story of financial despair, hope, and transformation.

Jill, one of our coaches, shares about how she hired a financial coach when she had no money…and it completely changed the trajectory of her life.

My journey into the world of financial coaching began from a place many find themselves in but few talk about—deep financial distress. With a fresh doctorate in pharmacy, I moved to Arizona, where I met my husband. We were soon married, and our family grew quickly. Financially, we thought we were doing alright. We lived in blissful ignorance, buoyed by the belief that we could always earn more.

However, our financial foundation was shakier than we realized. When my husband lost his job, the house of cards we had built began to crumble. The job loss hit us hard, plunging my husband into depression and leaving me scrambling to keep our finances afloat. Despite working tirelessly, the debts piled up—credit cards, car payments, student loans, and a mortgage. We were drowning.

The Crisis Point: Facing Financial Ruin

The strain on our marriage intensified with each passing day. Arguments about money became the norm, with every conversation ending in frustration or tears. The specter of bankruptcy loomed large, and divorce seemed inevitable. It was during one of my lowest points, overdrawn and overwhelmed, that a lifeline appeared.

A friend, sensing my despair, recommended I speak to Kelsa Dickey at Fiscal Fitness. Skeptical but desperate, I reached out, setting the stage for the first coaching session that would change everything.

The First Coaching Session: A Ray of Hope

I approached our first session with a mix of skepticism and desperation. My husband, equally skeptical, reluctantly agreed to join. We were financially at rock bottom, with our credit cards stretched to their limits. Yet, from the moment we began, something shifted. Kelsa’s empathy, understanding, and practical approach cut through the despair. For the first time in a long while, I began to feel hopeful.

Embracing Financial Coaching: A Leap of Faith

Deciding to invest further in financial coaching was a pivotal moment. It was a decision made not with certainty but with faith—faith in Kelsa’s ability to guide us, faith in the process, and, ultimately, faith in ourselves. Despite the financial strain, we chose to prioritize this investment in our future.

The Transformation: Paying Off Debt and Rebuilding Our Lives

The journey that followed was anything but easy. It required hard work, dedication, and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths about our financial habits. But as we began to implement the strategies and insights gained from our sessions, the impossible slowly became possible. Within six months, not only were we true believers in the power of financial coaching, but we also became its evangelists, sharing our story with anyone who would listen.

A New Path: From Pharmacy to Financial Coaching

Our financial recovery had a profound effect on our careers and dreams. My husband pursued his passion for teaching, while I found my calling in financial coaching. Joining Kelsa at Fiscal Fitness wasn’t just a career change; it was a mission. I had experienced firsthand the transformative power of financial coaching, and I was determined to help others find the same freedom and clarity that we had.

A Message to Financial Coaches: The Ethical Imperative of Coaching

As a financial coach, I often encounter peers who hesitate to charge for their services, especially when clients are in dire financial straits. To them, I share my story—not as a justification for charging for our services, but as a testament to the value we provide. If Kelsa had decided not to coach us because of our financial situation, my family’s story would have had a very different ending.

Financial coaching is a lifeline. It’s about offering hope, guidance, and a path to financial independence. It’s about empowering clients to make informed decisions that can transform their lives. My journey from financial despair to empowerment and purpose is a testament to this truth.

The Legacy: A Life Transformed

Looking back, it’s hard to recognize the person I was before financial coaching. The journey from near bankruptcy to financial stability and career fulfillment has been long and, at times, incredibly challenging. But every step was worth it. Financial coaching didn’t just change my financial situation. Making that first connection with Kelsa changed my life’s trajectory, my marriage, and my sense of self.

To anyone considering financial coaching—whether as a coach or a client—I say this: the value of this journey cannot be overstated. It’s an investment in a future you may not yet be able to see but one that is undoubtedly brighter. My story is proof of that.