David and Mary's Success Story

David and Mary* are another couple we worked with where one person wanted to work with a money coach and the other was hesitant, at first. Fortunately, Mary came around to the idea of working with a money coach, and now the two of them have achieved a lot as a couple! Here’s their story:

Life Before Dr. Budgets

David and Mary met in their twenties. They have been married for over 30 years and have four kids.

They moved to Minnesota when they started their family and lived there for 20 years. They felt they were often “behind the eight ball” with their finances. They were always trying to put out one financial fire after another. David was self-employed, so his income was never consistent, but they did manage to purchase a house. Unfortunately, they lost their house during the housing crisis, which is when they decided to move to San Diego.

When they moved to San Diego, David and Mary had substantial credit card debt, were renting a home, and driving an old minivan. It’s “all we could afford,” said Mary. David got a job, but he was earning less than he was when self-employed, so Mary was forced to work full-time as well.

Before discovering Dr. Budgets, money was a sore subject for David and Mary. David said that it was “difficult to have in-depth conversations” about money with each other. They knew they needed help in this area of their life, but never acted.

Choosing Dr. Budgets

Old Dr. Budgets Business CardAfter living in California for five years, David finally decided it was time to do something about their finances because things still weren’t any different than they were while living in Minnesota. It was time for things to change. David had heard of Dr. Budgets 1.5 years earlier. He held on to the Dr. Budgets business card in his wallet for all that time… until the card was falling apart!

David said, “Mary and I had a conversation where I presented the idea of having a meeting with Dr. Budgets.” Mary had mixed feelings about it. She said, “I had a lot of fear that, if we invited anybody in, that we would be shamed, judged, and controlled… and I didn’t want any of that.” David was insistent though. He said, “Just because we talk to him, doesn’t mean we have to hire him.”

When they finally had their complimentary consultation, it was a breath of fresh air. “He didn’t control, judge, or shame,” said David. “That was clear right away,” said Mary. They figured they couldn’t fail because of the Dr. Budgets guarantee that they would receive a full refund if they didn’t save more than the spending plan fee.** David later said, “I wish I would have done it a year and a half sooner… to think about where we would be right now.”

When they started working with Dr. Budgets, income was flat. It wasn’t growing. “I wasn’t sure how we could pay for the service, but he found the money within our current spending, so we figured we’d give it a try,” said David. “We also have a philosophical view of this… during the 30 years of our married life we had never done the sowing and reaping for our finances.” Mary added, “BUDGET was like a four-letter word for me. We had never really invested in ourselves financially. We invested in our health and our bodies, but never in our money situation.”

When we asked how they felt after their first meeting, they both said “HOPEFUL!” David added, “We’ve known many people over the years who have many gifts and talents for many things, but we’ve never met somebody with such a gift to make people feel so at ease and hopeful.”

The Dr. Budgets Experience

They both knew that it would take a little getting used to sticking to their newly created budget and then move in the right direction, but something wonderful happened very quickly. “Literally, within THREE MONTHS, I landed the job I now have, and my income doubled,” said David. Mary added, “So here is where I get a little philosophical. Did Daniel get that job for David? No. But, we believe that God blessed us with that opportunity because we were taking responsibility.”

They learned a lot going through the process… “We had to learn all those steps. As we learned them, we had our little hiccups here and there… or a car repair… or whatever it was. Daniel was always cool as a cucumber. He just said, ‘do this or that’ and we were like ‘DUH!’ It would have taken us 20 years to figure that out!” said David. Mary added, “We’d be out shopping and we’d discuss making a purchase and say, ‘What would Dr. Budgets do?’ or we’d do something and say, ‘Daniel’s not going to like that.’ The dislike that I used to have for budgeting, in general, was applied to a dislike for red lines (going over budget), and it became ‘how can we avoid this in the future.’”

After about a year in the coaching program, Daniel suggested they start to consider “graduating” from the coaching program because they had paid off their credit card debt and were doing so well. David said, “He has many clients who graduate after a year or so, but we didn’t want to stop. We did the ‘bad thing’ for so long that we wanted the new way to get engrained. That’s why we stayed in the coaching program for an additional year.”

During the second year, they were on a great financial path for the first time in their lives. They were also able to take an extended vacation… which they hadn’t done in many years. They improved their credit as well and were finally positioned financially to purchase a home again, in San Diego. David said, “It was so redeeming for us after having lost a home to foreclosure.” They were also each able to buy a car… they traded in their old van for a new car for Mary, and David bought a slightly used luxury car. Mary said, “I don’t want to be materialistic, but we got the cars, the vacations… really, it’s about the FREEDOM.” David added, “We can now budget for things that are NICE. Also, three years ago, qualifying for a home wasn’t even on the radar. We didn’t even know where to begin to start tackling our debt. We just weren’t there yet. Now, we’re working on paying off all of our debt and we can buy a house.”

Life After Dr. Budgets

Life is very different now for David and Mary. Mary mentioned that “Dr. Budgets helped me think differently about money, and therefore behave differently with money.” David added, “I feel like Dr. Budgets was able to bring together all the elements to help us focus on the big picture. It made the conversation palatable, even enjoyable and exciting! We were able to think about what we get to do next!”

David continued, “I go back to the sowing and reaping… I was surprised by how quickly the reaping part came. It was like during 30 years of our marriage, life was just waiting for us to be sowing these correct seeds, then good things just started to happen. That was a big surprise.”

When we asked about what they had accomplished, David said, “We’ve made significant damage repair to our credit scores…” “And, we’ve been able to save for a down payment on a house!” Mary added. David continued, “We have been able to get a new car and a very nice used car in a wise manner.” Mary finished the thought by saying, “Most importantly, we know where our finances are all the time. We have our finger on the pulse. And, we are in agreement when we purchase things.”

Mary closed her thoughts by saying that if she met a couple in a situation similar to theirs, she would tell them “DO IT NOW. DO IT NOW. DO IT NOW! Don’t wait 30 years like we did.”


Thank you for sharing your success story, David and Mary. Your success story is an inspiration!

If their initial situation resembles your own and has inspired you to act, click here to schedule your complimentary consultation.


P.S. They just told me that they close on their home purchase next week!



*For client confidentiality, we changed the names of the people to “David and Mary.” Everything else is factual.

**Savings are based on annual savings found within a client’s current spending.