Member Success Story: Taking Control of Your Finances

a smiling woman walking in a garden, holding up a clear umbrella to shield herself from the rain
Grace, an employee of a leading company in mail distribution, came to the MSA Financial Wellness program in 2013 with the initial concern of her divorce: “I am recently separated from my husband, so I was initially very concerned about being financially able to take care of my needs.”  When she entered the program, the initial assessment of her needs via MSA’s financial wellness survey showed that she had low financial well-being (high financial stress) since she only scored 3.63 out of 10.  She was immediately paired with her Money Coach, Deborah, so she could start improving.

“By talking through things with Deborah, I realize that I can eventually survive on my own income should my husband no longer provide financial assistance for me.  I feel more empowered, and I better understand my rights to ask for what I need from him and how to better prepare for the inevitable (divorce filing).  I now understand that I do have options and can work through this situation without fear or feeling alone.  I am working on recognizing my spending habits and budgeting my income so that I can also begin a savings plan.”

Through financial assistance, Grace was able to take control of her situation, understand her options, and know that her future was stabilizing.  “Deborah has been so kind and caring and understanding.  She has been able to walk me through step-by-step how to calculate my spending.  She encourages me to step out and do things necessary to move forward with my situation.  She is very knowledgeable and always working with me and providing me information that I can use to figure things out.”  Grace learned how to make the most of her income, meet her desired expenses, and still save money.  She also reached her goal of putting $1k in emergency savings, all with the help of the MSA Financial Wellness program.

Not only did Grace’s Money Coach act as a financial guide, helping her find financial stability, but she also provided the support Grace needed to get through the mental and emotional turmoil that comes with a divorce.  “I know that she really cares about my well-being.  Whenever we talk, she has a way of making my day a little brighter.  This has been a wonderful experience for me.  I appreciate her help and her kind spirit.”

MSA’s holistic approach to financial well-being provided assistance in several areas.  Through MSA’s services, Grace had the chance to talk with a tax specialist to better understand her new tax situation, and learn how to minimize her tax bill.  She also used MSA’s legal services to get referrals for trustworthy attorneys well-versed in divorce mediation, matters of real estate, and more.

Grace made huge improvements to her financial well-being and her life.  Grace originally had major financial stress, with a low financial well-being score of 3.63.  Now, she feels good about her finances and well-being, and her most recent financial well-being score shows her improvement: 8.75 out of 10!

The statistics still ring true for many employees.  93% of survey respondents listed “finances” as the primary or secondary cause of conflict in their marriage,1 and divorce is still wreaking havoc on 1 in 2 marriages.2  Chances are that many employees need help just like Grace did.

Grace was able to improve her life because she was able to access MSA through her Employee Assistance Program and work with a caring and reliable Money Coach.  MSA has Money Coaches who are Certified Divorce Financial Analysts® – among other financial accreditations and designations – and can talk about virtually any financial topic.  They can help you work through the many troubles that accompany divorce, as well as any other financial challenges or goals that may arise.  Call 888-724-2326 and overcome life’s challenges.

The Snapshot of Successa table showing the impact on finances before and after working with a money coach: 3.63 financial well-being score versus 8.75; $0 in emergency savings versus $1,000; 0 consultations with a money coach versus 31 consultations and counting; an MSA member since 2013

1Washburn, Carolyn, and Darlene Christensen.  2008.  Financial harmony: A key component of successful marriage relationship.  The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 13 (1).

2“Marriage & Divorce.”  American Psychological Association, N.d.  Web.  11 May 2015.