I am a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach and J.D. Candidate at Regent University School of Law. I started my coaching practice Coach Connell in December 2018 and joined the Ramsey Preferred Coach program in February 2019. I absolutely love what I do. There are few things that give me as much satisfaction as helping people win with their money.
Coach Connell’s Financial Story
Some years before Coach Connell was on my mind, I was a typical undergraduate student and took out some loans to help pay for school. Thankfully, my parents were able to help me out, and I only came out with about $15,500 for my degree.
Right out of undergrad, I had a job that paid well and a fairly inexpensive living situation. I could have started paying off my loans right away, but I didn’t. I just wanted to let them sit while interest didn’t accrue for the first six months, and I just had some fun with my monthly earnings.
Once the six month grace period ended, I started making payments, but only small ones. They were bigger than the minimum, but not as much as I could have done. In the later part of the year, I remembered Dave Ramsey’s name from a program we wanted to get going while I was on the student government. I bought The Total Money Makeover and began to apply some of the prescriptions to my monthly spending habits.
Admittedly, I was still just kind of Dave-ish, and I got -ish results. The loans were going down, but slowly. My wife and I got married in May of 2017 and we paid for all wedding expenses without any debt, which was difficult, but certainly a relief. Once that was done, we got back and decided to kick up our payments every month.
We could have done more, but didn’t. Then in September, my car was destroyed in an unfortunate incident and we had to replace it. We made what was, in retrospect, not the best decision and we moved up in car. We put down a big chunk of it, but had more than $10,000 to pay off. We figured we’d do it very quickly and it would all be okay.
Well, life doesn’t always work out the way we imagine. In November 2017 I was laid off from my job and our household income was cut by 2/3. God was looking out for us, though, and I was able to get some work along the way, but was underemployed for six months.
The most ironic thing about this situation, though, was that we become more intense in our efforts to pay off the car and student loan debt.We made payments of $1,200 to $1,500 each month, intentionally planning to knock it all out as fast as possible. We were able to pay off the car in three months thanks to the insurance money that came through, and then had my student loans left.
From December to June, we paid off that remaining balance of approximately $11,000. When we hit that submit button to pay the balance, a load lifted off our shoulders. We felt true financial freedom.
What I learned is that debt does not have to be a way of life. Things can be better, and I was blessed to have found it. As Coach Connell, I now share that blessing with my clients and absolutely love empowering them to walk the path to prosperity and generosity.
A little about who Coach Connell is … I grew up on Long Island, New York in a lower-middle-class family. It was just me, my mom and dad, and a few mischievous cats. In 2012 I graduated from Smithtown Christian High School and then went to Regent University for my undergraduate degree.
I graduated from Regent in May 2016 with a B.A. in the Study of Government and a minor in history. While in school, I had the pleasure of serving as student body president for nearly two years and competing in undergraduate mock appellate advocacy for three years, with two trips to the national tournaments.
While at Regent, I grew to love Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area and decided to stay. About a year after graduating, my wife and I got married and she has been my biggest cheerleader through thick and thin.
I started Coach Connell in December 2018 to help people win with their money the way that we have been able to do. Nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and this just breaks my heart. I want to offer a service that will help people of all ages, backgrounds, incomes, and worldviews to win with money.
I am currently a second-year law student at Regent University School of Law and coach part-time to help pay for my J.D. with no debt. After I graduate and take the bar exam, I hope to incorporate financial coaching into the practice of law.
Disclaimer: None of Coach Connell’s services are to be taken as official legal, accounting, or estate planning advice. I am not an attorney, certified public accountant, or certified financial planner. My services constitute teaching practical financial habits and assisting in changing how clients manage their money. I do not make official recommendations for investment options, write wills, process real estate transactions, or offer tax advice. If you need legal, tax, real estate, or investment guidance, I will refer you to a professional in my network.