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Financial Planning for a Better Future with SUM180

Money. We all need it. We all work for it. It is the bloodline of our economy and it is necessary to keep our households running. So why do we not spend more time talking about it? It is a necessity, yet we tend to keep money conversations hush-hush. Sometimes we even sweep financial concerns under the rug.

But that can get us into financial trouble.

It did for me.

A quick synopsis of my financial journey: I graduated college with a degree in Business Administration and Economics, and I was excited to start my career as a financial planner. Then I got married and decided to stay home to raise our three children. Although I was educated and believed in the importance of financial planning, over time I allowed my husband to be the overseer of our finances. After all, he was earning it. I did go back to school and start a second career in education, but my husband still oversaw the finances. I was busy with kids, carpools, activities, running the home, and my job. It was easy not to think about the money.

Then one day my husband walked out the door and my world was turned upside down. 22+ years of marriage and all the stability that comes with that ended.

Not only was it a time of darkness, a gut-wrenching emotional tsunami that made it hard to get up off the bathroom floor, it was also a financial disaster. You see, my ex-husband was a trust fund baby and he never saw the need for saving money. He had savings. We had very limited shared assets. Two weeks before our wedding date, I was summoned the the 7th floor of a downtown high rise. It was here that I was introduced to my finance’s attorney. Sitting across the wide mahogany desk in a brightly windowed corner office I was told all the reasons I needed to sign the documents placed in front of me. I was 24 years old. I was in love. After a thirteen month engagement, I was getting married in two weeks. I signed the papers. So when he walked out the door, my financial security walked out the door with him.

As much as I believed in financial planning and had worked decades earlier to help others realize their financial goals, I suddenly found myself in a position that I never, ever imagined. Every choice that I made both career wise and financial wise was determined by the fact that I believed that my marriage would last a lifetime.

I was wrong.

Every choice that I made both career wise and financial wise was determined by the fact that I believed that my marriage would last a lifetime. I was wrong. Starting over after a 22 year marriage was my reality. Financial Planning for a Better Future ?#?ad? ?#?SUM180 ?

I learned a huge lesson the hard way. No more will I take a back seat to finances. I am now remarried to a wonderful man, Gavin. But second marriages, especially with children, create their own financial circumstances and needs. We are both on board with our finances, budget, spending, and savings. And because of my perhaps over-diligence, we have conversations often. But a conversation is not a plan.

Financial Planning for a Better Future with SUM180

I was excited to work with SUM180 to develop a financial plan that would address my husband`s and my financial goals. SUM180 is an online financial planning company that makes financial planning easier. Easier because you never need to leave your home. Easier because you can gather all of the important documents at your own rate. Easier because they give you a list of all the specific information you are required to gather. And best of all they are not out to manage your money or sell you investments. SUM180 is strictly a financial planning company.


To be honest, to get a clear picture of where you stand financially takes some homework. If you, like me, are over 50 years of age; have children; have a career, investments, and insurance; and own a home – then you have a whole lot of paperwork that needs to be gathered. Even with the best of filing systems – the statements either online or in the cabinet needed to be pulled and organized. SUM180 allowed me to do this at my own pace. While I was motivated to get my plan, I only had limited time each evening to work on my online interview – answering all of the financial questions and submitting statements for our accounts. I was able to start and pause this process as much and as often as needed.

The interview process alone was educational! They were asking for details that prompted more conversations between my husband and me. Working out a detail spending account took time. Crossing the T`s and dotting the I`s took collaboration on our part. Then we waited for the plan.


The plan was all encompassing. It included an income statement, a balance sheet, and a 15-page plan. I loved that the packet started with our key accomplishments. It was refreshing to have in writing, that yes, we are doing a number of things right. We have seven key accomplishments! And yes, we are on track for retirement.

That being said, SUM180 also gave us three next steps to deal with. These three action items will help strengthen our financial standing. My husband and I are on board with the fine-tuning needed to be even more successful. This plan has prompted us to make a few changes and we have. It clearly gave us some doable actions that we could implement.

No, money talks are not always easy, budgeting sometimes feels unfair, but the goals are clear and my husband and I are working on this together.

Financial Planning for a Better Future with SUM180

I have always been interested in financial planning (even though I took an ill-timed hiatus), and it is refreshing to have found the SUM180 community. As a subscriber to Sum180, I have access to their forums which includes discussions and articles on such important topics as: buying a home, growing your savings, how to invest, managing debt, navigating life changes, planning and saving for retirement. It also has practical bits of information such as how using a crockpot can save you $2,000 a year or giving up your weekly manicure can save you $3,000 a year.

Once my husband and I complete our first three tasks, SUM180 financial advisors will give us more steps to work on. I like that they know not to overwhelm me with action items – rather they have broken them down into doable steps, and one step at a time we are building a better financial future for ourselves. In case we get stuck or have questions, I have unlimited email support throughout my subscription year.

It’s good to be back actively managing and controlling our finances. If you have financial questions or want to see where you stand with your financial goals check out SUM180. They are currently running a FIRSTSTEP promo. Details can be found at SUM180.com.

Like I said, it feels great to be in control of my financial future.

This post has been sponsored by SUM180. I was provided with product at no charge to sample in exchange for my review. The options expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with SUM180 and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

What financial concerns do you have?

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(60) Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! Sounds like a great product and it’s definitely nice to feel in control of a financial future.

  2. This is such a great post. Having children I’m trying to better plan for things in the future and getting my finances right is important.

  3. I think our biggest financial concern right now is retirement. It is getting closer every day and we worry that there won’t be enough money. This looks like something I need to check in to.

    1. Stacey says:

      Cynthia, I really like SUM180’s service and community. Retirement will be here before we know it! Time flies by so quickly.

  4. This is some really valuable info!!! I’m always worried about saving for the furure. You never know when an emergency might happen.

    1. Stacey says:

      No we do not know, and the do hit! Saving is really important.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I’m so sorry for what happened to you with you ex. Finances are so important. I’m glad you could get a new start!

    Southern Soul

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you, Brittany!

  6. I have a degree as well but hated not being able to work and stay home. So, before we had any kids, I decided to use my degree to be able to work from home and it’s been a huge blessing!

    1. Stacey says:

      Shannon, that is wonderful! I decided to go into education because once my kids were in school it was a great career that allowed me time with my kids as well as a employment.

  7. Especially as women, it is so important to be in control of our finances. I’ve heard so many stories like yours, of women who left it to the husbands who worked while we “stayed at home taking care of the children” – because you know, that is not work. And then go off and leave the family behind. Good for you for a new start and for taking care of business

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Christina. I was very glad that I had a career and advanced degree, but readjusting my sails in my 40s was a challenge. I think as women, we really need to be more active in the household finances.

  8. Wow, I’ve never heard of Sum180 before. I’ve just started planning for later in life so this will come in very handy. Thanks.

    1. Stacey says:

      SUM180.com provides a great service!

  9. wow thanks for sharing & I’m so sorry that happened to you. I am glad to hear things are better & worked out for you. I however need to look into this as I would like to have a plan going forward – we both pay bills, etc but a plan . . .yeah we need a better one 😉

    1. Stacey says:

      Laura, I really recommend SUM180. They provided us with a very workable plan.

  10. I’m sorry to hear about your ex husband. Really appreciate your honesty here, and also sharing important post like this need a lot oc courage, and thoughts. The idea of using finnacial planning helper is brilliant.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thank you, Rose 🙂

  11. Bless you ! You need to speak everywhere. I see so many not only relying on others and not thinking about their future. Your path is inspiring!

    1. Stacey says:

      Ah – thank you! It is counterintuitive to think about planning for a life after divorce when you are married. But looking back – I should have been much more aware of the finances.

  12. I have to admit this is something I don’t know a whole lot about. And the hard part is, when I talk to an advisor I don’t fully trust them. Know what I mean? This sounds like a great company and I like the idea of simple.

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh – you need to find someone to trust. I like that SUM180 is strictly planning. They have no agenda to sell you any investments.

  13. Debra says:

    It makes me slightly nauseated to think of it all going away like that! I really need to save!

    1. Stacey says:

      Lol! I was nauseated for a few years. But I got myself back on solid ground. It did involve moving and a job change – a lot of change on top of the divorce! But we learn of the stuff that we are made of.

  14. This is something I really need! Thank you for sharing, checking out sum180 website

    1. Stacey says:

      I really like having a personalized plan.

  15. Thank you for being so honest! My husband and I talk about money constantly, and it stems from my own mom horribly managing her money after my dad passed. It has definitely helped us be more aware of our spending and saving!

    1. Stacey says:

      Seeing someone close to you go through financial difficulties can really make an impact!

  16. I always worry about the future and being financially stable. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Stacey says:

      Having a plan helps alleviate a lot of the worry because you know where you stand.

  17. Koninika says:

    I like how you have shared a story and yet connected it to a very practical advice and plan that everyone needs to talk about and implement. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Stacey says:

      I am glad you found this post informative! Thanks for reading.

  18. Great Post! I wanted to skip through it because Money conversations make me uncomfortable. Although my husband and I have them often as well. This plan you recommend sounds like its very approachable… thanks for sharing.

    1. Stacey says:

      I am very pleased with SUM180. Having a lan makes the conversations easier.

  19. I love your honesty for your readers to become engage and involved with your story. Great way to help us all, no matter of our situation – thanks!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks! And yes, a financial plan benefits everyone no matter your situation.

  20. I don’t want to have anymore house debt. I would love to not have a mortgage but this requires a great deal of savings and sacrifice.

    1. Stacey says:

      I am so with you! As we are a thinking about retirement, I’d love to see the mortgage gone. That is one of our goals.

  21. I’m sorry to hear about your husband. I don’t know what I would do if my husband left. We do have shared assets but I depend on him so much I fear I’d be lost without him.

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh, I was devastated and scared! But I knew that I would eventually be ok. It took work to get myslef back on track. I moved to a much smaller place and changed jobs to make more money. Lots of changes. 🙂

  22. Sorry to hear about your first husband but I am so glad that you managed to find love again. Thank god that you are both older and wiser and this company looks like they have helped too x

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks, Ana! As you know life has its ups and downs and we don’t always know what is in store for us.

  23. I agree. Making a financial plan is extremely important, as is making sure oneself and partner are on the same oage and tracking progress together. Thank you for your advice and honesty.

    1. Stacey says:

      A well thought out plan is really helpful to refer to and to help keep our goals in mind.

  24. Being informed and purposeful about our finances are key to a secure future, no matter what may come. Thanks for this info. Pinning now.

    1. Stacey says:

      Those are great words to describe a solid approach – informed and purposeful!

  25. Good for you to get back up and figure things out financially. I agree – so important to not take the backseat to money – or anything. Be in there. This looks so helpful with money management. I’m working on it…
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

    1. Stacey says:

      When life got busy, it was easy to take a back seat. But I learned my lesson.

  26. Laci says:

    Awesome tips and I definitely need a plan I am horrible at the money saving and planning part.

    1. Stacey says:

      Then check out Sum180! They really make it easy and will give you a doable plan. The baby steps are helpful!

  27. I love how honest you are about your financial history and that your so open with sharing what you did to get back on track. We are working towards clearing off debt and have been working with a financial advisor to get our savings up to snuff and get us saving for the future. We want to be prepared for retirement which used to seem “so far away” but now it suddenly doesn’t…
    When we were first married we looked at our RRSP as a savings account we could dip into whenever we fancied and we drained them. **groan** At least we still have time to fix it!

    1. Stacey says:

      Retirement is right around the corner for us. It is still aways away – but time flies by so fast! We are working to make sure we stay on track.

  28. Money is so important. It’s hard to believe your first husband went about it that way. I was lucky that my friend is an attorney and walked both of us through the process even though we both had our own attorneys. That’s a tough one when you’re walking into marriage and believe it’s forever. I can’t tell you how helpful getting sound advice was – just knowing the facts and how to negotiate for the worst.

    1. Stacey says:

      Sound advice is priceless!

  29. Finances are so important. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they manage their money, and the money of others.

    1. Stacey says:

      That is so true!

  30. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    Honestly, we are in good shape. I am married to an accountant and he keeps our budget in check 🙂

    1. Stacey says:

      That is wonderful! I bet he keeps it in check – I think it is accountants’ blood to balance the spreadsheets!

  31. Some really helpful advice here. Thank you for sharing your journey. It was a beautiful ending.

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes, it is a wonderful ending. But quite a journey getting here.

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