*In the eyes of many, boot camp may evoke images of a tough drill sergeant yelling at a young soldier in his introduction to life in the military. For Lynette Khalfani-Cox, the tough stint covers a different battlefield with her new free online personal finance boot camp: “MyMoneyCircles.”
In an interview with EUR, the former Wall Street Journal reporter expressed her excitement over her latest endeavor, which she views as a chance for those struggling to stay on top of their financial situation to gain the upper hand.
“This boot camp is super exciting because people are gonna get a lot of value out of it in four different ways. First of all, they’re gonna to get free assistance, expert assistance. There’s no anonymity about it,” Khalfani-Cox shared with EUR’s Lee Bailey. “I lead this boot camp. I’m putting my name and reputation on the line and it’s not just me. There’s a team of six other financial experts who have expertise in a whole bunch of areas: housing, savings, mortgages, credit, all those topics that we’re gonna be talking about. We’ll be taking people step-by-step through a four-week program to help them right their financial ship.”
Khalfani-Cox and her team will utilize four modules for “MyMoneyCircles.” Each module will walk participants through and develop strategies regarding ways to improve cash flow, explore credit and debt, protect financial assets, build wealth and save for the future. Although the boot camp allows people to complete the modules at their own pace, participants will have to be accountable to the financial experts who encourage them to take full advantage of what they have to offer.
“It’s great because you spend 20 minutes a day. You do it a couple of times a week. You go at your own pace. There’s a community involved. That’s why we call it ‘MyMoneyCircles.’ It’s leveraging, really, the power of the Internet and the idea that social media has its place,” said Khalfani-Cox. “We call it a boot camp for a reason, but at the same time, they’ll be able to share their own success stories.”
Although the intention of “MyMoneyCircles” is noble, some may question whether or not Khalfani-Cox can truly relate to the people she wants to help. With that in mind, the financial professional points out that her current status did not come without trial and error.
“While I do this professionally and I’ve had my business as the Money Coach since 2003, personally I know what it is like to live through and survive and overcome a lot of these kinds of problems,” said Khalfani-Cox, who generated $100,000 in credit card debt in 2001 before paying it all off in three years. Even though I had a six-figure salary, I wound up losing my job. I went through a divorce. That’s not the reason I got into debt. I got into debt purely from overspending and mismanaging the finances.
“I was doing a lot of things right. However, when it came to this one little nagging area of my personal finances, my spending, it was really just out of control,” she continued. “I had to learn a lot about reining that in and about making smarter financial choices, about really, the power and the benefits of delayed gratification in many ways. And I had to learn to stop using spending as an emotional pick-me-up, as a release and as an outlet for higher levels of stress or just boredom or frustration with my ex-husband, a whole bunch of things. Part of it is you learn and you do a little better as you learn.”
With her past financial problems behind her, Lynette Khalfani-Cox is determined to share her financial knowledge with others in hopes they never experience the same hardship she encountered. Despite financial, political and economic issues, the former University of Southern California student maintains that the positives outweigh the negatives for today and beyond.
“For many people, it’s been a very depressing four years, with the economic downturn that we’ve had in this country. But I really do believe,” she said. “I’m very hopeful actually for 2012 and beyond. I think that we’re finally starting to see that the economy has turned a corner here and we’re seeing a lot of bright spots. I want people to hang on to some of that hope and to keep the faith.”
For more information on “MyMoneyCircles” and to enroll, visit www.mymoneycircles.com.