Called "America’s Family Financial Expert"
Consumer Finance Educator For Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble's Dawn dishwashing detergent and Bounty paper towels
Previous clients include Washington Mutual, Visa Providian, GMAC, and MasterCard
Appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, CNBC, CNN,
Fox, NPR, Women's Day, Reader's Digest and Parenting Magazine
B.S. in Mgmt. of Human Resources from Colorado Christian University
Married with seven children
Ellie Kay: The 60-Minute Money Workout
The 700 Club
Appeared on January 6, 2011
An hour may not seem like a lot of time, but “America’s Family Financial Expert” Ellie Kay says taking 60 minutes per week to focus on your finances can totally revolutionize them.
Kay knows this from personal experience. She was a broker when she married her husband Bob. From this marriage, she also received two stepdaughters and inherited $40,000 in consumer debt too. Her husband decided to go into the military full-time, and they had five more children in seven years.
Their money was tight, but they purposed to do things God’s way. They tithed and put everything extra toward consumer debt. Ellie and Bob started having weekly money workouts. She says Bob is a born spender and she’s a born saver. They had to learn to compromise and how to discuss money without arguing. By setting aside one night a week, they were able to table any disagreements about money that came up during the week and discuss them on their money night.
Within only two and a half years, on single a military income, they paid off their credit card debt. Then they began to pay for their cars in cash, take vacations, start a retirement fund, give to charities, and put money away for their children’s college education. They have remained debt free.
As people prepare for the workout, Kay says it’s important to establish boundaries and do a pre-test as well.
First, people need to understand that you don’t have to be a couple in order to do the workout. You can do it by yourself or with a trusted friend. Whoever you do the workout with, it’s important to set some boundaries to prepare:
1) No condescension or negativity;
2) No interrupting your workout partner when they are talking;
3) No name calling;
4) No throwing food;
5) Start by saying one positive thing to each other;
6) End by saying one positive thing to each other;
7) Create an environment that encourages comfort and success;
8) Have a timer on hand.
Do the pretest to prepare you for the work. Each pretest will vary according to the chapter or topic you choose.
It is important to know your money personality. When it comes to the way your personality deals with money, Kay says we are basically divided into two categories: spenders and savers. The good news is anyone can find balance by following Biblical principles of good stewardship.
One of the sections in the workout is to write down goals on paper so that you will have a tangible and objective standard to work toward. Decide what you want to accomplish during today’s workout, how you would like to see the topic resolved in six months and what the outcome of your goals will be in the long run. This gives you both a temporary and long-term focus as well as a big world picture. Your goals will depend on your topic of the day. For example, if you are discussing a budget your goals might include: a) to set up a budget that is real and workable, b) to stay on that budget for the next six months in order to learn how to spend less than what you make, c) to have a budget become such a habit that it is a financial vehicle that will get your family out of consumer debt, help you pay for your kid’s college and fund your retirement.
Also, within the workout are steps to work on your financial needs. For example, if you need to save money on your expenses in order to live on the new spending plan you set up, then you could spend this time on quick ways that will save you hundreds of dollars:
1) Save on insurance. Go to websites that allow you to compare auto insurance rates. It only takes a few minutes to get several quotes from different companies. Then take the info back to your existing provider and see if they can match it. You can save as much as $500 by shopping around.
2) Save on groceries. When you can combine sales, coupons, double coupons and store coupons, then you can save thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bill. “We’ve saved over $160,000 in the last 20 years by doing this,” Kay says. (Check out The Coupon Mom on CBN.com).
3) Save with Social Media. By going to the Facebook page of your favorite retailer or signing up to follow a beloved restaurant on twitter, your savings can add up to hundreds of dollars every year. Social media followers are often the first to know about limited offers or free items.
Keep in mind that just as you don’t get physically buff in just one workout, your finances aren’t going to get in shape after the first try either. But after you and your mate have exercised with this money workout a half a dozen times you’ll find yourself stronger, smarter and more fiscally fit.
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