Meet Carolyn ... successful doctor, looking to pay off student loans as quickly as possible while saving for future goals
Carolyn has exciting dreams for the future – this successful doctor, business owner, adventurer and dog-lover stays plenty busy! She wanted to start saving for her future dreams, and continue to infuse her daily life with some fun and adventure while also remaining financially responsible; but she kept feeling the never-ending tug of student loans and interest. As a doctor, Carolyn had accrued student loans and was ready to create a plan to pay them off as quickly as possible. It was also important to Carolyn to make sure she was prepared for an emergency if something unexpected popped up in life. She was stuck. Where did she focus her attention first? How quickly could she pay off her student loans? Could she save for her dreams AND pay off student loans … fast? Buy a house? How would she take care of her clients, herself, and her beloved dog Mabel if something unexpected happened?
When Carolyn first came to me, we talked for a long time about where she was in life and what she wanted for her future. I do this for every client: I learn more about their story, their challenges, and the solutions they’ve already tried – what's worked for them and what hasn’t. Here are a few of the exercises we went through to identify Carolyn’s unique values around spending and saving:
Examining and changing personal narratives around money
Future visualization exercises (getting comfortable with your future self!)
Challenging core beliefs
She told me that money has always been a source of stress for her, and the clarification of her values helped lift the fog around her next steps for securing financial peace. With her values easier to identify, she could begin to see how they were driving her financial decisions in both good and not as helpful ways. Now, she could make decisions more intentionally: the (often) unconscious habits that developed over years of holding on to specific unexamined beliefs about money weren’t in the driver’s seat anymore!
Carolyn first realized that our work together was helping her move forward when she no longer woke up in a panic about the best way to approach her student loan payment plan alongside her long-term savings goals. Carolyn continues to tackle her student loans with fierce determination, and brings that same amazing energy to creating the life she wants. She sets SMART-C goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely … and CHALLENGING) and re-evaluates them every 3-6 months to make sure she's on track and that her plan is meeting her expectations. When she needs to make a change, she does it! But her long term-goals haven’t waivered: she will pay off her student loans, continue to build a thriving business, and enjoy the great adventures life offers.