Finding your Elton John
If getting your money in order is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, having a reason – finding your Elton John – to be debt free makes all the difference.
Finding your Elton John and finding financial freedom
For Melissa Thomas, having the money to go to as many Elton John concerts as possible—and get front-row seats! — gave her the motivation to pay off the $43,000 in debt.
Melissa and her husband were stuck in the ‘we can afford a payment’ mentality, buying new cars and a home on credit to keep up with Mr. & Mr. Jones. She became a stay-at-home mom by default after her sons were born, giving up her retail job because daycare cost more than she earned. Problem was, the family didn’t change their lifestyle despite the shift from two incomes to one.
Listen to Finding Your Elton John on Queer Money™:
In December 2009, Melissa was shopping online for Christmas presents with the help of her friends Visa, Mastercard and Discover, when a voice inside her said, ‘You’re doing this wrong.’ It occurred to Melissa that her sons knew a whole lot about Santa, but very little about the true meaning of Christmas. So, on January 1, 2010, Melissa and her husband enrolled in Financial Peace University and by 2013, they were debt free.
Now Melissa serves as a money coach, speaker and author by way of her business, Melissa the Coach. Today on Queer Money™, she shares her journey from $43,000 in the red to debt free Elton John groupie. Melissa explains her effort to teach her sons the value of experiences over stuff and how her life has changed now that debt is no longer an issue. She speaks to the process of saving six months’ worth of expenses, discussing how her family went about eliminating extras until they were financially secure.
Topics covered on Finding Your Elton John
Melissa’s financial rock bottom
- Living paycheck to paycheck despite making good money
- December 2009, realized lost meaning of Christmas
How Melissa’s family accumulated $43K in debt
- ‘We can afford payment’ mentality (e.g.: new vehicles, house)
- Became stay-at-home mom after birth of sons
- Didn’t change lifestyle after a shift from two incomes to one
What drove Melissa to make a change
- Charging Christmas gifts online for boys
- Voice said, ‘You’re doing this wrong’
- Sons learning to value stuff over experiences
The importance of finding your Elton John to eliminate debt
- Means to see Elton John motivates Melissa
How finding your Elton John can change your life
- Less stress, no fights about money
- Allows for kids to pursue interests
- Able to give back to church, community
- Option for a husband to change jobs
Melissa’s take on saving six months of income
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses (e.g.: Netflix)
- Set aside ‘stripped-down version’ of budget
The evolution of Melissa’s coaching business
- Grew out of a passion for helping people
- Private coaching, workshops and speaking
- Published her first book in August