The Johnsons are on the verge of an empty nest.  With one grown child, one in college and a third soon on her way to college, they were looking to the future and feeling burdened and worried rather than excited about what lay ahead. Wanting to change the direction they were heading, the Johnsons turned to Family Strengthening Network for advice and guidance regarding their family.

Maureen and Sean want to help out with their children’s college expenses but have been unable because of their financial situation.  Both uncontrolled debt and excessive spending were prohibiting them from meeting their financial goals.  Their Family Advocate (FA) repeatedly suggested following a strict budget, but the counsel fell on deaf ears.  While they agreed that a budget was a good idea, the family failed to make any real changes in daily life or spending habits.  The FA continued to equip them with tools and resources that could made a difference in their lives, but he had to allow the family to make their own commitment to significant change. One day, the light bulb went on and the Johnson family decided for themselves that they needed to follow a carefully laid out financial plan if they were ever going to be able to use their money in the ways they wanted.

They jumped in with both feet!  Mom, dad and children made practical decisions that would affect the financial health of their family as well as their physical well-being.  In implementing a strict budget, they saw the need for meal planning and making grocery lists.  They have begun to eat healthier because they stay on track when grocery shopping and can avoid buying junk food, which also tends to be expensive.  In addition, both parents identified their smoking habits as an area of unnecessary spending.  They decided to cut back on smoking in order to save money and pay down their debt.  The FA accompanied the Johnsons through the process, meeting together regularly.  The accountability, active listening and resources provided by the FA promoted their success.

Small, attainable, track-able steps towards financial health are now part of the Johnsons’ daily life.  They have embraced the changes that they determined.  Together with their FA, they are working toward a bright future for their children and the end of financial worries for themselves.

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