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GreenPath Real Stories
80 minutes | 9 days ago
Real Stories Episode 12: Jeff & Victoria – From a Burning Ship to Calmer Waters
Victoria was enjoying life in her early 20s. Jeff had a budding career in the restaurant industry. Then things got real very quickly. Would having a child while she was in college mean that Victoria would have to change her spending habits? Was Jeff ready to make a major career shift while Victoria was also starting her own business? Jeff and Victoria faced a lot of pain on their journey to financial wellness. Pain from nearly losing their home in foreclosure. Pain from getting into $45,000 in credit card debt. But it was precisely this pain that ended up motivating them to change their life. And even as they became debt-free, they continue to act with the same sense of urgency to reach their financial goals. Join us for Jeff and Victoria’s Real Story and be inspired by the money lessons that they learned along the way. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Watch the video series of Jeff & Victoria’s debt free journey. Take our free course on Redesigning Your Financial Habits. Key Moments 3:46 Victoria and Jeff discuss how their families influenced their approach to money. 7:32 They adjust as the birth of their child in their early 20s has a profound impact on their finances and lifestyle. 11:36 The couple describes how an investment in their careers also led to credit card debt. 19:44 Victoria considers how despite the pain of accumulating debt, she appreciates the growth opportunities it provided. 23:23 Jeff talks about how despite being debt free, it’s important to keep the urgency that got them out of debt. 25:50 They discuss how they fell behind on their mortgage. 31:05 Victoria takes action to get their mortgage and credit card debt under control. 33:23 She discusses her experience meeting with their GreenPath Expert and how she was relieved that she was not being judged. 40:24 Victoria and Jeff describe their experience making adjustments to their spending. 43:39 They describe how COVID impacted their income and depleted their savings. 48:17 Jeff talks about how his improved credit allowed them to refinance and pay off their remaining credit card debt. 57:32 They talk about their financial goals, such as having a wedding and investing in a retirement account. 1:02:40 Victoria discusses what inspired her to share her story. 1:07:52 They share some advice for our listeners. 1:10:40 Our co-hosts discuss money lessons from Jeff & Victoria’s story. Tell Us About You and Win $50! GreenPath Financial Wellness is committed to creating equitable learning experiences that meet the needs of all communities. As such, we created a survey to learn more about our audience. As a thank you for your time, the first 200 people who respond to the survey will be entered into a raffle… two lucky winners will win a $50 gift card. Actual odds of winning will be 1 in 100 (or better if fewer than 200 people enter the raffle). Take the Survey
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Real Stories Episode 10: Mia – A Winding Road to her American Dream
Mia has overcome many obstacles in her life. As a new immigrant to the U.S., she overcame a language barrier and the challenge of building a career as well as learning a new financial system. After finding a job at a major insurance provider, she faced the battle of her life after getting run over by a light rail train. Learning how to walk again not only proved to be a physical challenge but an immense mental challenge. Once recovered, she was the recipient of a home through Habitat for Humanity. Mia’s Financial Challenges Several years later, saddled with credit card debt, she was referred to GreenPath by her mortgage lender and found another “family” who was willing to listen to her financial concerns. With GreenPath’s support and debt counseling, she become debt free and now looks forward to building her business which spreads the life lessons she has learned. Join Mia on her journey as she explains in her own words what true wealth means to her. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o. Time markers 1:44 Mia shares what it is was like to immigrate to the U.S. from the Philippines, including how this affected her finances. 3:46 She shares expectations vs. reality when it comes to the American Dream. 7:21 A near death experience changes her life forever. 12:40 Mia is the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home. 17:10 She reaches out to GreenPath to help her with her debt and finds another “family.” 21:38 Mia explains her challenges adjusting to a debt repayment plan. 22:55 She ponders how she might have handled life events without GreenPath’s support. 24:00 Mia compares her light rail accident with her debt mountain and how each affected her mental health. 27:16 She explains how she brought in extra income in a way that met her needs. 29:05 Mia pays it forward by helping retail customers with financial concerns find resources like GreenPath. 30:40 She describes her business venture, including the challenges she faced as an entrepreneur. 33:15 Mia explains story behind her business, Borrowed Life—and why this name has a lot of meaning to her. 35:06 She explains the inspiring story of how she reunited with her husband. 38:15 Mia describes how her true wealth is her family. 39:19 She describes how it felt to finally become debt free and how thankful she was for GreenPath’s support. 40:57 Mia offers advice for someone who might be experiencing financial stress. Tell Us About You and Win $50! GreenPath Financial Wellness is committed to creating equitable learning experiences that meet the needs of all communities. As such, we created a survey to learn more about our audience. As a thank you for your time, the first 200 people who respond to the survey will be entered into a raffle… two lucky winners will win a $50 gift card. Take the Survey
53 minutes | 5 months ago
Real Stories Episode 9: Andre – Perspectives Along the Way
Meet Andre. He has spent a decade bringing financial education into his community on Long Island, NY. Andre and his organization are longtime partners of GreenPath and we often work together to serve those who are pursuing their financial goals. Andre often infuses his personal stories when he teaches financial concepts, so we decided to learn more about the road he traveled (quite literally) that shaped him into the person he is. Andre’s Story After making good money as a construction foreman, Andre made the leap to study abroad in an exclusive program that studies indigenous communities in Costa Rica and surrounding countries. Falling in love with his second home, he spent a number of years splitting time between the U.S. and Central America. His financial discipline was key to making his dream of spending half the year abroad a reality. After the birth of his son, Andre’s career goals evolved and he landed a job as a financial educator—with zero financial experience. He leverages his life and teaching experience to empower others. He also applies his money lessons to his own life. This has allowed him to adjust to an unexpected turn of events with his son’s schooling. While he has sights set on eventually starting an agro business, Andre has already invested a ton of time and energy into another project—he started a nonprofit with his mother that supports local communities in Ethiopia. Join us to learn about Andre’s unique financial and life journey and how he is paying it forward. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o. 2:25 Andre talks about his relationship with money as a teenager. 3:55 He discusses his motivation for pursuing a global education and how this affected his relationship with money. 8:35 Andre talks about how he juggled life and work abroad and in the U.S. 10:50 Andre shares his experiences living among indigenous communities. 13:10 Andre shares his new perspectives of home after his travels and how the birth of his son motivated him to change his career goals. 17:50 He talks about his favorite parts of providing financial education in his community. 19:30 Andre helped a family purchase their first home and eventually connected him with GreenPath to tackle a debt problem. 23:10 Andre describes how his clients significantly reduced his credit card payments after enrolling on a Debt Management Plan with GreenPath and how this ultimately helped them save their home. 25:53 Andre talks about his success tracking his expenses. 27:55 He discusses his simple approach to avoiding financial emergencies. 28:47 Andre shares his favorite cost-cutting tip. 29:53 He discusses a significant challenge his family recently faced. 33:20 Andre discusses his long term goal of becoming an entrepreneur. 34:44 He talks about how starting a nonprofit with his mother to support communities in Ethiopia and Burundi. 40:39 Andre discusses how his son provided helpful advice when he was faced with a financial decision. 43:50 He shares how he turned his car purchase into an opportunity for a money lesson for his son. 46:44 Our co-hosts share lessons learned and possible action steps for our listeners. Let Us Know What You Think. We’re glad you can listen to these real stories people face on their financial wellness journey. We would like to hear what our listeners think about the podcast. Take this quick survey and let us know. Take the Survey
52 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 8: Angela – A Journey through Homeownership
In this episode, our guest Angela discusses her journey through homeownership and the financial decisions she and her husband had to make along the way. Angela spent a number of years at GreenPath in several roles. Her first role was as one of our Advocates— helping people who call GreenPath for the first time. Angela empowered people to take steps to improve their financial health. She eventually took on a role bringing innovation to the technology that supports the services we offer. Angela not only grew professionally during her time at GreenPath—but as you’ll hear, she was able to apply the financial expertise she learned to her personal life. She entered her GreenPath career saddled with credit card debt. It’s interesting to hear how her credit card debt slowly snowballed over time. Several years later, she and her husband were able to purchase their dream home… but there were lots of twists and turns along the way. As you listen, consider what parts of her story you might connect with. What might you do differently? What might you draw inspiration from? Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Key Moments 2:09 Angela discovers the world of credit at the age of 18. 3:50 Her credit card debt starts to get unmanageable. 6:45 Angela applies what she learns to help GreenPath clients to help herself budget and get out of debt. 9:27 She aggressively pays off debt and saves up for a down payment for a condo. 14:17 As a new homeowner, her credit card debt creeps back up by spending on furniture and home improvement. 16:25 Angela describes the mindset that led to impulsive homeowner spending. 18:02 She discusses the pros and cons of being a landlord. 20:03 Angela offers homeowner advice to her past self. 29:47 Angela and her husband discover their dream home—but will it be a dream or a nightmare? 35:27 She describes what was keeping her up at night financially. 39:04 After getting denied for a refinance, her credit union works with her to find a new option to get her debt under control. 43:19 Our hosts share lessons learned from Angela’s story and home buying in general. We Want To Hear From You! We’re glad you can listen to these real stories people face on their financial wellness journey. We would like to hear what our listeners think about the podcast. Take this quick survey and let us know. Take the Survey
38 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 6: Dawn – A Difficult Decision
Each year, Dawn and her family faced an income reduction when her husband got laid off during the winter months. An opportunity came to save a significant amount in their monthly budget, but it would mean downsizing to a much smaller home. What was the right choice for their family, including their son? As many of us face challenges from the financial fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, learn how one family made a difficult decision and how their lives changed. Listen and learn how a difficult decision turned into the right path forward. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Key Moments 1:02 Dawn discusses how her husband faced a longer lay off than their family anticipated. 3:09 Dawn’s husband proposes a major change: downsizing to a smaller home. 8:13 Dawn discusses how her son reacted to the news that they’ll soon be moving. 10:40 When they put their current home on the market, an interesting possible buyer emerges. 12:20 Dawn discusses how her husband is processing the major the change that is about to occur. 14:50 We are rejoined by Dawn 7 months later to discuss how things played out. 17:48 Dawn discusses how her husband has adjusted to the changes in their housing situation. 21:10 Dawn shares how her new budget has opened up new goals. 23:58 We learn who bought their old home and how they saved on realty fees. 26:53 Dawn gives advice to others based on what she learned from her own experience. 32:08 Each of our co-hosts shares a key-takeaway and a call to action. We Want To Hear From You! We would like to hear what our listeners think about the podcast. Take this quick survey and let us know. Take the Survey
79 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 5: Michele – Feeling Optimistic in a Time of Challenge
Meet Michele: Michele faced hardships from many different angles. Her mortgage payment became unaffordable after her initial payment skyrocketed. Her husband lost his job. She subsequently got a divorce, lost the home and filed bankruptcy. She continued to struggle to keep up with her household expenses after a consolidation loan only provided a temporary fix. She finally opened up to a friend about how it felt to be unable to afford Christmas gifts for her children. Her friend recommended GreenPath, but Michele was skeptical. But Michele finally reached her breaking point when she was unable to cover the cost of her daughter’s sport and an emergency car repair. With nothing to lose, she reached out to GreenPath and was amazed that within 10 minutes, she was filled with optimism with the knowledge that she wasn’t alone. By the end of the day, she was enrolled on a Debt Management Plan, and 11 months in, her outlook is much brighter. Michele is even paying it forward by sharing her story with friends in the hopes that they will reach out to GreenPath for support as well. After listening to the first episode of the GreenPath Real Stories podcast series, Michele was inspired to share her own story. Hear her message of hope and her reminder that we are not alone. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Key Moments: 0:36 Michele provides an update on how she is coping with income loss and a totaled car in the midst of the pandemic. 12:54 Michele discusses how her mortgage became unaffordable and how she ultimately lost her home. 23:54 Michele shares about how it felt to file bankruptcy after her divorce. 29:46 Michele takes out a consolidation loan, but quickly realizes it’s not a long term solution. 32:22 Michele confides to a friend how it felt to not be able to afford Christmas gifts for her children. 36:14 A call from her daughter’s coach causes Michele to reach her breaking point. 37:52 Michele describes her initial call to GreenPath as “hitting the lottery.” 47:50 She’s now encouraging others to reach out to GreenPath for support. 56:59 Michele explains how her entire mindset around finances has changed. 1:03:34 Our co-hosts reflect on Michele’s story and what all of us can learn from it.
10 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 4: Coronavirus and Your Finances – Advice From GreenPath CEO Kristen Holt
In this episode of Real Stories of Financial Wellness, we want to address people’s concerns about their finances and how to best manage them during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There is a lot of information floating around about what people should do if they experience a financial setback due. We want to clear the air and provide some real advice from Kristen Holt, President and CEO of GreenPath Financial Wellness. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Key Moments: 0:42 What can people do if facing an income loss? 1:34 Possibly save money with lower interest rates 1:54 Draw on assets with a plan 2:14 Look to liquid assets first 2:29 Make a plan to pay back savings 3:08 What about retirement savings? 4:05 Write a repayment plan into your budget 4:52 Are there any utility programs in place to help assist people at this time? 6:30 What about student loans? 7:01 Anything else people should be aware of?
41 minutes | a year ago
Episode 3: Matt & Kendal — A Modern Day Tale of Love and Money
Matt and Kendal each had a unique story that included financial hardships and bankruptcy. They met, fell in love and decided to “merge corporations.” Faced with the prospect of another bankruptcy, they decide to take a different route: a Debt Management Plan. But this route proved to be a bumpy road and they had to figure out how to stretch their budget enough to pay their debt and their household bills, and still put food on the table. The solution? Designing new habits to automate their bill repayment– and a good dose of grit, humor and support for each other. Newly debt-free, they can now plan a life that includes making home improvements to accommodate their special needs son. Join us for a modern-day Valentine’s tale… Music by Hir-o Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Links mentioned during the podcast: For more info about GreenPath’s Simple Payment Plan (SPP), please visit https://www.greenpath.com/counseling/simple-payment-plan/ To take our free e-course on Redesigning Your Financial Habits, please visit https://www.greenpath.com/redesign-financial-habits/ Key Moments 1:00 Matt & Kendal “merge corporations.” 2:05 A conversation at a gas station becomes a turning point. 5:40 Kendal shares how her family’s medical debt snowballed. 7:09 Matt and Kendal share how they stretched their budget to put enough food on the table. 11:19 They figure out how to automate their finances. 16:11 Opening the mail becomes an adventure. 17:59 Matt & Kendal discover that they’re not alone. 18:52 Matt receives some really good news with Kendal. 21:10 They’re finally able to explore home improvements to accommodate their special needs son. 24:30 Kendal has anxiety over giving up control of their debt repayment. 26:24 Matt & Kendal have a friendly competition where they’re both winners.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 2: Tammy and her husband change their family’s financial future
Meet Tammy. Tammy's husband is handling the family’s finances and becomes concerned that their debt is spiraling out of control. He approaches her with a plan to work with GreenPath Financial Wellness to become debt-free. What starts out as a challenge becomes a turning point in their marriage and growing family. Tammy finds out that one of her superpowers is managing their budget and together, they pay down their debt. In her own words, Tammy shares what it was like before, during and after their Debt Management Plan. Click Here to Visit the Podcast Homepage Music by Hir-o Key Moments 1:40 What prompts Tammy and her husband to reach out for financial counseling? 3:40 How does addressing their financial concerns become a turning point in their marriage? 7:25 What is their experience like starting a Debt Management Plan? 10:35 What is it like to connect with other people going through a similar experience? 11:25 How is it possible to move across the country while continuing to pay down their debt? 13:11 Why is GreenPath happy to “cancel” their program? 16:23 How do they maintain their momentum after becoming debt-free? 17:18 Would they have done anything differently with their finances when they were younger? 18:18 What advice do they have for people in similar circumstances? 21:21 Our hosts reflect on the lessons learned from Tammy’s story.
39 minutes | a year ago
Episode 1: Katie asks for help and then finds passion in helping others
Meet Katie. Retail credit cards became her best friend shortly after college. Home alone with her 4-month-old in a place where she didn’t know anyone, she turned to shoes and designer handbags. Being a military family resulted in multiple moves and income instability. Eventually, her grandma came to the rescue and helped get her debt under control. But that was only short-lived. She eventually found herself divorced with two small kids, without a job and in $26,000 of credit card debt. Katie turned to a nonprofit credit counselor to get back on track. She had found someone who supported her and did not judge her—even when her payments became unaffordable. After many ups and downs, she eventually completed her debt plan five years later. And when she was looking for a job, she found an organization that helped others in the same way she had been helped. Now, she’s able to take her passion and skills to pay it forward. Learn more at www.greenpath.com/realstories Music by Hir-o Key Moments: 1:40 Katie gets a new “best friend”… retail credit cards. 6:45 Katie discusses how loneliness and depression led to a shopping addiction. 9:00 How spreadsheets helped feed her shopping addiction 10:21 Why her joint debt with her then-husband ended up in her name 13:00 The Bank of Grandma comes to the rescue! 15:29 Katie buys a house… but is she ready to do so? 20:14 Katie is saddled with $26,000 in debt while jobless and divorced with two kids. 22:26 Katie can finally get a good night’s sleep after receiving a helping hand 26:00 Five years after enrolling in a Debt Management Plan, she makes her final payment! 27:40 Katie lands a job where she can help people who are in the same boat as she was. 29:40 Alex, Brad and Chris (our co-hosts) reflect on Katie’s story and how her emotions played into her money situation
11 minutes | a year ago
Trailer – Bringing Humanity To People’s Money Journeys
We are excited to announce our first podcast, GreenPath Real $tories — Financial Wellness. The podcast shows that our financial lives are more than a number. Our guests will share their money journeys in their own words. Expect authenticity, vulnerability, and a little bit of inspiration. In this special preview episode, you'll meet our first six guests. Katie, who faces a shopping addiction. Tammy, who finds success after she and her husband let go and decide to be their authentic selves. Matt and Kendall, who face the prospect of filing bankruptcy a second time. Angela, who finds a dream home that almost turns into a financial nightmare. Dawn, who openly talks about her own difficult financial decisions when she helps others. And Annie, who despite a difficult financial journey to returning to college, is enjoying the intention behind her progress. Music by Hir-o
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