My name is Seth Connell and I am a Master Financial Coach trained and educated by Ramsey Solutions. I started my coaching practice in December 2018 and absolutely love what I do. There are few things that give me as much satisfaction as helping people win with their money.
What’s my financial story?
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 6 month grace period ended, I started making payments, but 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 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 moved me up in car. We put down about 1/3 of the car’s value, 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, and in November 2017 I was laid off from my job and our household income was cut by more than 2/3. We were scared, did not know what was going to happen next. Everything was put on hold and we went into emergency mode for a time.
The Good Lord was looking out for us, though, and I was able to get some work to recuperate some of those lost earnings. But I was underemployed for the next 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 went on a shoe-string budget and put all of our extra dollars each month towards the debt as aggressively as we could.
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 3 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, it was like a load lifted off our shoulders. We felt true financial freedom, not owing anyone anything.
That joy is something that I wish to see many other people have as well. There are so many people my age, just out of college, who are struggling to make ends meet, with large student loan payments each month, and they wonder how they’ll ever get out of the hole.
What I learned in this process is that debt does not have to be a way of life. Things can be better, and I was blessed to have found it. I now share that blessing with my clients, and absolutely love empowering them to walk the path to prosperity and generosity.
A little about myself… 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 this coaching practice 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.
In August 2019, I will start law school at Regent University School of Law, and will continue coaching part-time as I cash-flow my Juris Doctor degree. After I graduate and take the bar exam, I will incorporate my financial coaching into the practice of law as I serve my clients with a broader set of skills.
I want to see people win with money, it’s that simple. If you are at the point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, let’s get in touch and discuss your path to a brighter tomorrow. Reach out today!