Financial Wellness Money Stories 1

Financial wellness is given many meanings, but I define it as an active pursuit to healthy living around money. I want to focus on the words active pursuit because wellness doesn’t just happen. You must take action.

When we take action we start to build our own story of how we got on the road to financial wellness. But before you can change your money story I know how important it is to read or listen to the stories of those who’ve turned their financial lives around.

I asked some amazing blogger friends to share their financial wellness stories.

I believe financial storytelling has a place in financial education. It’s through stories that people connect and become compelled to take action. We do not change people’s behaviors through facts, but we can influence them through storytelling.

I am grateful to the 44 personal finance bloggers and podcasters who shared their compelling stories of financial disaster, successes, debt stress and freedom, and retiring early.

It’s through storytelling that people see a glimmer of HOPE. I use HOPE as an acronym for Hearing Other People’s Experiences. It’s by sharing these bloggers experiences that I believe you can find hope to live your dreams.

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Boston Area

Blog: Frugalwoods
Twitter: @Frugalwoods

“Debt terrified me to such an extent that I didn’t even have a credit card until I was 23. Everything related to finance seemed cryptic and complicated to me and I wasn’t sure what to do with money. And so, I saved it. Saving money isn’t the worst default position and I suppose it was smart, to an extent. The problem is that I was saving from a place of fear, not a place of strength.”

Read Liz’s story in how she plans to retire by age 33 with the right mindset and plan to make it happen.

Blog: Young Yet Wise
Twitter: @YoungYetWis3

“I know it can be stressful coming back from vacation, but don’t think of your budget as a restriction think about your budget being there to help you reach your financial goals.”

Read Candice’s story from budgeting money for a vacation and coming back home with some unspent cash.

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New York City

Blog: The Broke and Beautiful Life
Twitter: @brokeandbeau

“If you’re walking around with the burden of consumer debt or massive student loans, financial wellness can seem impossibly far off. Believing that though is failing to see financial wellness as a choice. It pushes financial well being over the threshold of what’s attainable- essentially giving up on the goal before even trying.”

Read Stefanie’s story on how financial wellness is a choice and one you should make.

Blog: Financially Blonde
Twitter: @blonde_finance

“I was failing in my own personal finances. For twelve years, I focused more on corporate finance than I did on personal finance, and my family’s balance sheet suffered because of it.”

Read Shannon’s story from financial cluelessness to financially empowered.

Blog: The New York Budget
Twitter: @NewYorkBudget

“I needed to let the world know that you can do it. You can live in a big city, save money, and not have to sacrifice happiness.”

Read Dave’s origin story as a financial superhero and how he’s winning the war against “Negativitron.”

Blog: DebtBlag

Twitter: @mariobonifacio

“I’ve learned a ton about paying off debt, saving for retirement, and living in a way that leaves me enough cash to do both of these. Not only that, I’ve actuallyused that knowledge to pay off debt and save for retirement — to the tune of $133,000 by last count.”

Read Mario’s story on how you don’t need to learn about personal finance at the point of despair.

Blog: Adventures in Frugal

“Sometimes I worry about how much I have saved or am earning compared to my peers, but I remember that as long as I continue to invest in my future, I can enjoy the present — being able to work from anywhere, while doing something I love.”

Read Christina’s story from corporate employee to freelancer after a trip on the other side of the world.

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New Jersey

Blog: Super Savings Tips
Twitter: @sst_gary

“If you believe success is measured in money, you may be setting yourself up for a big failure! Try to always remember that wealth is about more than just money. It’s about relationships, health, and self-improvement.”

Read Gary’s story from working countless hours in pursuit of financial wealth to discover wealth is more than just money.

Blog: Catherine Alford
Twitter: @CatCAlford

“This feeling, the feeling of being on your A game when it comes to finances, is called financial wellness. It’s something each and every person should experience. When you take charge of your life and decide to pursue your passions, you would be surprised at what you can accomplish.”

Read Cat’s story from debt to following her passions and helping other’s find their path.

More inspiring stories of people like yourselves who are on the road to financial wellness.

Money Stories Part 2

Money Stories Part 3

Money Stories Part 4


  1. Christina Garofalo

    Great roundup! Thanks so much for including me. I really enjoyed being a part of it.

  2. Holly

    Great stories and very inspirational, too. But DEBT isn’t the only story. Sure, it’s a big one, but it’s not the only motivator.

    My father grew up in an orphanage. My mother came from a family who lived in the housing project. They both lived through the post Depression era. They created a far better life for themselves than they ever imagined. They owned a home (my Dad still owns it), something they had never experienced from their parent. They paid off the mortgage, something my grandparents said would never happen. They bought a car and in later years, we became a 2 car household. My Dad is very proud of his road to success and he should be.

    I too felt proud of what we had. But as I got older I wanted more. I wanted to be able to live in a single home, have central air conditioning, take a vacation every year and be able to have ample savings to not have to worry about an emergency. That was my motivation to live debt free, live frugally but LIVE life on my terms to spend on what was important to me.

    Let’s remember the American Dream of wanting to do better and it doesn’t always have to start with a boat-load of debt.

    • The Phroogal Jason

      You’re absolutely right. Debt is the ball-and-chain and the issue is that we add on to it rather than get rid of it. It’s what prevents so many from living life or affording the life they’d like. But it is very important to have big dreams and spend your hard earned cash on things that matter and ultimately add value you in your life.

  3. Jayson

    I am inspired by each story and experiences of these great bloggers, Jason. I think one of the things we should do attain financial wellness is to first get our own game plan. Without it, I believe this would be pointless. Thanks for sharing this Jason.

    • The Phroogal Jason

      You’re absolutely correct. We need to know what we want and create our own plan based on some of the experiences others have had and living the life we’d love to live.

  4. What’s Your Story on The Road to Financial Wellness? Part 2 | The Smile Lifestyle - Phroogal

    […] Read: What’s Your Story on The Road to Financial Wellness? Part 1 […]

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