Christina Gatteri, Certified Financial Planner™
Focused on your mindset, inspiration, and motivation.
When we feel good about ourselves, we are better able to stick to our financial goals.
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Me Next Year is about remembering that life is always changing. I help my clients find joy today, and always remind them that there is a Me Next Year waiting to be discovered.
Hello! I am Christina Gatteri and, like many of you, I am a woman who tries to do it all!
I’m a mom, a wife, a business owner and everything in between. In my married life, I made sure to keep the house clean, cook the meals, pay the bills, etc and still managed to build a successful business. That all changed when I had children. Trying to keep up with two of them meant I couldn’t keep up with everything else.
I felt like a failure.
Women everywhere can relate to this scenario.
We continually take care of everyone else and have no energy left to care for ourselves. I needed to change my mindset, start caring for myself and asking for help. I got help with the chores, but it wasn’t until I changed my inner voice that I found it easier to stick to my goals.
I create financial strategies every day that help women and families.
I help them stick to the financial goals they have always strived for, but step one is not about the finances. It’s about what truly makes you happy! Let’s discuss what YOU need to make self care a priority.
The money will follow.
CASE STUDY #1
Challenge: They cashed out retirement accounts to save their home from foreclosure in 2008. They are starting from square 1 getting their retirement, credit and cash flow back in order. Husband works full time. Wife works part-time so she is available to take care of the children and household. Cash flow was very difficult to manage because Wife was being pulled in too many different directions.
Strategy: Create a routine for household shopping. – Clean up credit report from problems during 2008 recession – Help husband and wife have meaningful conversations with each other about finances and goals. – Save additional cash flow that resulted from less impulse shopping. Implementation: After looking more closely at cash flow, the family needed a better shopping routine. For example, Wife would visit a grocery store or convenience store almost daily because she felt she didn’t have time to focus on a single grocery shopping trip. This resulted in a lot of money being spent on convenience and fast foods. The family started preparing a list in advance and select one or two days a week for mindful shopping. Husband was able to participate in this, which was helpful to Wife. We created a payment schedule for all remaining debts. We successfully disputed a debt that was incorrectly reported. Implemented automatic savings to rebuild cash reserve. Increased retirement contributions with cash flow created from better daily routines.
Results: Wife’s day to day tasks feel less chaotic because she makes a plan before she leaves the house. Her husband is also helping take on some household responsibilities. Their credit scores have recovered. They are actively contributing to an emergency cash reserve. Wife has enrolled in her employer’s 401K plan. Husband has increased his 401K contribution to take full advantage of the employer match.
Watch my video on Thankfulness and Gratefulness
"Thanks is just a reaction to receiving, being grateful is different, it's that feeling of thankfulness that comes from inside" - Christina Gatteri
CASE STUDY #2
Client: Married couple in their early thirties, 10-month-old baby
Challenge: Mom stays home with the baby because daycare is too expensive. She struggles with talking to her spouse about finances because she feels like he doesn’t understand what it costs (both financially and emotionally) to have a child.
Strategy: I came to understand how husband and wife viewed money differently. They both grew up in different financial scenarios. Husband is very focused on not carrying any debt and likes to overpay on debt to pay it off faster. Wife gets frustrated by this because she feels there isn’t enough money for day to day activities for her and the baby like playgroups and swim lessons.
- Find a compromise. I asked mom to make a list of everything that had been purchased in the last week that dad/husband may not be aware of. I also asked mom to make a list of activities she has done or would like to do with the baby. This was a great eye-opener for dad to get a sense of what the family needed day to day.
- Stop overpaying the mortgage to free up cash flow.
- Modified the strategy to pay off credit card debt.
Implementation: Husband and wife were able to find some strategies that appealed to both of them. Stopping the overpayment on the mortgage allowed them to have more weekly cash flow and also create an emergency savings account.
We organized the credit cards so that the highest interest rates get paid off first.
Results: The family feels less stressed about cash flow because they are better able to communicate each of their feelings about how finances should be handled.
Within 1 year they cut their credit card debt in half and established an emergency cash reserve. They are planning on having a second child.
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Make yourself a priority!
CASE STUDY #3
Challenge: She had never lived independently. She always had a partner and their additional income to rely on. Within one year of moving out and living on her own, she accrued $20,000 of credit card debt.
Strategy: This client earned a good income, but the credit card payments were taking up a lot of it. After some conversation, it was clear that paying off the credit card debt was important, but it was plain to see that this client was dealing with a lot of guilt and feelings of failure. It all started with the fact that she never truly processed the ending of her long term (toxic) relationship.
I spoke extensively with the client to understand her family support system and determine if there was someone in her life she could confide in.
I examined her cash flow to make sure she could afford to stop using the credit cards.
I spoke with a local bank to arrange a credit card consolidation loan.
Implementation: The first step was encouraging this client to speak with a confidant about her issue. She needed to get those feelings of guilt off her chest and find closure. Then I created a comprehensive cash flow plan so she knew exactly what money needed to be allocated to bills and how much was left for discretionary purchases. Once the credit card consolidation loan was in place, I set her up with a savings account and established an automatic transfer to build up emergency cash.
Results: This client is well on her way toward healing. She is speaking to the appropriate people to process the end of her long term relationship. It has lifted a weight off her shoulders. She is also feeling much more confident in her financial situation which has helped during this time.
— She needed permission to ask for help