My name is Tina Parcell, and I like numbers more than is considered normal. More importantly, I like solving problems.
Put those two traits together and financial planning became an obvious choice for me. I'm currently studying Family Financial Planning and intend to pursue my Certified Financial PlannerⒸ designation when I graduate. Once that is complete I will be able to add broad spectrum financial planning and investment advice to the Advising Well, LLC business offerings.
When researching financial planners in my area I noticed a very obvious barrier to entry for most Americans. The majority of financial planners have asset or income restrictions for their clients, which means many Americans who could truly benefit from a financial planner don't have access to one. I started Advising Well, LLC in order to offer financial training to those that would most benefit from it. Namely: people like myself.
2010 started one of the hardest periods in my life. I'd been unemployed for eight months, another casualty of the recession, and was reaching the end of my unemployment benefits. My Social Security income statement shows I made about $9,000 in 2010... I was able to keep things stable on just my husband's salary until disaster hit: he ruptured a disc in his back. It wasn't the first time this had happened, so we already knew the road (and costs) ahead of us. Two back surgeries in a month and a half meant he spent three months on short-term disability, bringing in only 60% of his normal salary.
Our budget went from tight to strangled.
We were able to keep the cars and the house current, but once those were paid there was little cash left for splurges like food or electricity every month. I fed both of us on $45 a week and paid for absolutely everything with credit cards. Utilities, insurance, medical bills: everything was charged.
I finally found a job in August 2010 making 30% less than my previous position, but at that point anything was better than nothing. A few months later my husband was laid off but this time we were lucky: he found something new rather quickly. He broke his ankle just a month or so into the new job, though, which meant no insurance and no leave. At this point our amount of debt was almost surreal: we were still paying for the 2010 back procedures and now had a whole new set of costs to roll into the pile. When he finally returned to work in early 2012, we were deeper in debt than ever before.
I spent the next 4 years digging us out of that financial pit.
I threw myself into personal finance like it was my job and learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but I learned them well. By the end of 2015 our debt was gone: credit cards, student loans, both cars, and all the medical bills were paid. The only debt left was our tiny mortgage. I'd even managed to save up three months of expenses in an emergency fund (and used it to replace a transmission), and with no more debt payments each month I was able to increase it to six months pretty quickly. We were finally stable, better than stable, and I can't describe for you the feeling of peace that this brought to my life.
I tell you all of this so you'll know right up front: I've been in your shoes. Have you skipped paying a bill? I've been there. Got a payday loan? Been there, too. Finally started making some decent money and realize you have no idea how to make it work for you? I've been through all of these phases and more.
The Advising Well pricing tiers weren't picked at random. In the past 10 years, my household has been at every one of these brackets. I know first hand how to work through each of these stages because I have been there.