The Total Money Makeover is not the first financial plan I’ve tried. Oprah introduced a debt diet several years ago. Like many Americans, I watched weekly as three families struggled with issues related to money. These families were much like my family or the families of people I knew. The common denominator was that each family needed to view money and use money differently. That was me and my family
I related most to the Bradley family. They spent a lot of money eating out, bought expensive appliances or toys, and lived somewhat beyond their means. The other thing was Lisa Bradley got her hair done every week. This was something her mentor could not relate to but I totally got it. I cannot do my own hair. I don’t do those home perm jobs — I’d end up bald! I’m willing to cut Starbucks and a few other things from the budget, but I’ve got a standing appointment at the hair salon. I need that help to keep my hair strong and healthy. I need that bit of pampering to help me stay on track.
I jumped on Oprah’s debt diet bandwagon. I tried to follow her plan and I actually got off to a good start. I picked up Glinda Bridgforth’s book, Girl Get Your Money Right, and was off and running. I was focused. I was sincere. I failed. What went wrong? Why didn’t it work?
Nothing was wrong with the plan. The problem was me. When I did the things the plan recommended, I succeeded. I was changing my attitude and my habits. Once I got myself into what I perceived to be good financial shape, I quit following the plan. I stopped following Glinda Bridgforth’s advice. I slid back into old habits. Another piece of the problem was that me and Jones were not working the plan together. It was something I decided to do and he went along to get along — most of the time. When I wanted to do something for the kids that I knew he would n’t agree with, I did it covertly. Sometimes he found out, most times he did n’t. The thing is – we were not on the same page. We were not working together. We did not have full disclosure. I was not handling the person in the mirror – me.
Things are different now. I’m really working at full disclosure. I’m working at not being resentful when he makes suggestions or points out things that need to be addressed. For years, I’ve wanted his attention in this matter; I wanted his help and now I’ve got it. I am learning to do this differently. And, it is working. It’s nice to know he’s got my back.
Dealing with the woman in the mirror helped me get back on track with my Total Money Makeover. Darcy Jones
I’ve thought often about Lisa and Steve Bradley. Are they still together? Have they worked their way out of debt? I was pleased to find out that the Bradley family is doing just fine. They were featured in a Where Are They Now? episode on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). They had some rocky times that almost ended their marriage but they worked through it. Not only are they surviving, they’re thriving. They are making smart financial decisions and making money. They dealt with the people in the mirror and stayed on task. You can check them out on this segment of Where Are They Now? posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMoSa1tnSrI.
I’m going to make it this time because I’m dealing with the woman in the mirror. I revisited my copy of Girl Get Your Money Right and I’m making smarter financial decisions and I’m working with full disclosure. I’ve formed a support group. Most importantly, I learned it’s a process. The tools or the plans can change, but if I don’t use the tools or work the plan, the results are the same — financial chaos.
Jones and I are getting our money right. We are working this Total Money Makeover together. We’ve learned that every dime counts.