RealLifeBudgeting.com
(603) 887-0088
Susan Price-Batting
Budget Coach

MEET SUSAN

Susan Price-Batting- Budget Coach

My Personal Financial Journey - by Susan Price-Batting

My First Piggy Bank

My financial journey started early in life with a green plastic brontosaurus dinosaur bank that I got as a give-away at a gas station. It sat on a bookshelf in my bedroom and called to me to fill it. Every time I would look at it, I felt impatient to see how much money it could hold. Just how rich would I be when I sliced it open to reveal its belly full of coins? I couldn’t wait to find out.

It took months of my allowance money to fill it, but the day finally came when I couldn’t fit even one more penny into the slot on top. The only way to get it open was with a knife, so I took it down into the kitchen and carefully cut it open. Out popped all of my change. When I stacked it all neatly and counted it up, I found that I had amassed the tremendous fortune of fifteen dollars and 42 cents. Wow! I’ve been hooked on savings ever since. I don’t remember what I bought with that fifteen dollars, but I vividly remember that bank and the feeling of power when I finally opened it up to reveal its treasure.

My experience is an example of how our childhood experiences have influenced our attitudes about money. Your experiences are unique to you, and it’s helpful to understand them in order to understand why you treat money the way that you do. This really isn’t about money; it’s about our EMOTIONS about money.

My Childhood Background

I grew up in a household where my father was a stockbroker and an investment bond fund manager, so conversation around the dinner table often centered on financial issues, reading aloud from the Wall Street Journal, and the importance of paying yourself first, thereby ensuring that you always saved something for the future. My mother was an expert in using it up, going without, or making do with whatever we had, and she passed this talent along to me and my brothers.

When I was a teenager, Dad’s commission income took a nosedive as the market tanked. So my folks got creative and started a mail order business that my mom ran out of the house to supplement their income. The whole family got involved, and then the dinner table conversation started to include ideas on how to run a successful business without going into debt, and the ethics of being in business in general. What a great education! My youngest brother is running the business today.

My Unique Perspective

My husband is fond of reminding me that I have a rather unique perspective on money management because of my background. It took me quite a while to understand that not everyone has had the benefit that I have had of learning good money habits around the dinner table as a kid, and, most especially, learning the art of waiting for something you want. Many parents of different backgrounds are not able to teach this to their kids, so it gets left to the schools or other sources.

But many of our schools do not do a very good job of teaching us how to manage money well, so all too often the job is left to Madison Avenue, which is to say that we let advertisers “teach” us (or isn’t it really brainwashing?) how to spend, spend, spend, and never mind the consequences. Because of this, people assume that this is the only way to live. However, when they reach some kind of financial crisis, they start to wonder if that is really true and whether they really want to continue to live this way. This is where I come in.

Why and How I Coach

I got started in this business because when I really began to talk about these things with others, it quickly became apparent that what I know is in high demand. Then it was the snowball effect—the more people I helped, the more the word got out. I started looking for resources to recommend on the subject, and discovered that although there is a myriad of material out there, hardly anyone starts at the very beginning with “what do I do with my paycheck?” That led me to create my online course “Where Does All My Money Go?” This course is available to you for a very reasonable cost (see Services). In addition, I also offer private, group, and phone coaching.

I teach by example, and my firm philosophy is that you have to change your thinking before you can change your actions and your habits. So, my first job as your budget coach is to challenge your thinking and present to you some different ideas in the way that you approach money. Then, I lay out in nauseating detail just how to go about organizing your financial life to meet your specific needs. I try to keep it light and entertaining on this subject that so many find dull, boring, and daunting. We’ll take everything one step at a time; each step involving some information and then some homework. Each step builds on the one before, and before you know it, you’ll have changed your life, and you’ll never go back to doing things the way that you used to!

If you are looking for answers to how to handle your money differently than you have been, I can help. However, this does not mean that I am going to be telling you how to spend your money. I’ll give you lots of information, but it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it. I am passionate about this subject and see my job as true coaching, which means that I’m part teacher, part motivator, and part cheerleader. And OK, yes, I have been told many times that I’m a little goofy in my writing, which some say is helpful on what many find to be such a dry and boring subject. Not to me, I love this stuff, and I hope you will too when I’m through with you!

I wish this class was a requirement in college!! I enjoyed this class very much. I gained a ton of knowledge and insight from Susan Price-Batting. What I liked the most was her writing and teaching style. She made me laugh and in the process she tricked me into learning something! I did not feel as if I was in a traditional classroom. The course felt as if she were a friend giving me valuable inside advice about my financial situation. YOU NEED THIS CLASS!! Especially if you are just starting your career and getting into the important ADULT decisions like house/condo buying, managing credit, and getting those nasty creditors off your back. THANKS SUSAN!

Excellent job, Susan! Thanks so much for your help and your excellent teaching. I'm going to be debt free, too, and you've given me the tools to do it.

I wish I had found something like this course years ago. I am a 47-year-old woman who has never really figured out how to get ahead. Now I have a concrete way to plan, to save, to pay everything off, and start with a clean slate. The prospects are exciting! I like the idea of not owing anybody anything. I like the idea of paring down my possessions and simplifying my life. Who needs all this stuff, anyway? Thank you for a sensible lesson that I should have learned as a child.

My Spiritual Journey - by Susan Price-Batting

Susan Price-Batting

The most important decision anyone can make in their life is what they believe about God. I’d like to share my personal spiritual journey with you.

I grew up in a family that went to church regularly. In my teens, I made a profession of faith that Jesus Christ was my Savior, that He had died for my sins, and I asked Him into my heart. I went off to college, and loving the intellectual challenge of studying the Bible, I majored in religion. I married my first husband shortly after graduation, and we continued our education in seminary where I focused on the New Testament, planning to one day teach in a college or university. Shortly after graduation, I filed for divorce, having been extremely unhappy in the marriage for a long time. I agonized for years afterward over how this could happen to a couple who professed to be Christian. I learned many years later that he was verbally abusive and flatly refused to change his narcissistic ways, and this was partly why things had become so difficult for me.

My idea of Christianity was that it was a list of “do’s and don’ts”, a moral code to follow. I went to church regularly. I prayed when something was going wrong, but never with my husband. Reading the Bible daily was on my to-do list, but somehow I never got around to doing it regularly.

When I separated from my husband, I chose a very different lifestyle, took up with different men, rationalizing that my adultery was not really adultery, because I had separated from my husband and was not living with him. I left my Christian friends and church behind, seldom prayed any more, and sought happiness in the world. I still believed that I was a Christian, because I had asked Jesus to be my Savior, but my actions and my lifestyle did not at all match what I professed to believe. I was a hypocrite.

Yet I felt self-righteous because I had asked Jesus into my heart, because somehow I thought this made me better than other people who did not believe in Jesus. I rationalized that my sins really weren’t that bad, that I was basically a good person, and what did it matter because God would forgive me anyway. Every once in a while, I would confess my sins to God, but I didn’t really feel it was necessary unless the sin adversely affected me or my feelings. I still had a certain commitment to God, but it was on my terms, it was not the primary focus of my life, it was more of an add-on.

I met and married my second husband, who helped heal some of the pain of my first abusive marriage and divorce. As my life started to settle down, I started going back to church and found myself thinking about my theology. I attempted to rationalize many theological points to mean something other than the plain truth of Scripture. For example, when a close family member died, I wanted to believe that there is an opportunity to repent after death even though the Bible clearly says there is not.

My analytical mind tried to create scenarios of how it could be true that Jesus might be the only way to God as the Bible teaches, but that other religions and faiths somehow reach God through Jesus without knowing or understanding Him. I looked for an “out” of some of the Bible’s doctrines by trying to interpret various texts differently, to conform more closely to what I wanted to believe. I embraced the philosophy of the day that tolerance is the most important attribute one can have, and that all religions have paths that lead equally to God.

As time went on, I had an unsettled feeling that I was not as committed to God as other Christians I knew. I could not make a commitment to do everything God commands in the Bible; although I heard other Christians make that commitment. I knew I was not on the same par as others.

Then there was a big theological uproar in my church. At first I tried to apply the idea that Christianity is about following a moral code to the issues at hand. Finally I dusted off my Bible and read the appropriate passages to see if they could possibly have multiple interpretations. I quickly came to the conclusion that there was only one clear interpretation. What the Bible has to say about morality is black and white; there is no middle ground whatsoever.

That day was a turning point for me and my analytical mind went into overdrive. If I was convinced that the Bible was God’s Word, then it has to be the standard for living, and it requires obedience to it. If it is God’s Word, then all of it has to be true, and we cannot pick and choose what parts we want to believe and which we don’t. If we don’t take it as a whole truth, the Christian faith is based on nothing. The Bible has to be trustworthy and accurate in totality, or it cannot teach truth.

After a few months, I left my church and found another one where the Bible is preached as God’s Truth. There, my life began to change from the inside out.

I understand now that because God is totally righteous, totally perfect and totally sinless, He has to judge sin. Those who do not truly repent, will not be able to spend eternity in Heaven with God, but will spend eternity in Hell without God. To truly repent means understanding that sin separates us from God, and having a true desire to not just be forgiven, but to avoid sin altogether. It is not enough to claim Jesus Christ as Savior; He must also be Lord, which means that you give over the control of your entire life to Him.

Now I know that the only solution to life is belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and a lifelong obedience to Him and to His word, because this changes your heart, not just your actions. Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also. What you believe on the inside is what will show on the outside. Jesus castigated the Pharisees for cleaning the outside of the cup, and paying no attention to the inside. I know exactly what that means, because that was my former life. I cared about external actions, about being a good person, about doing good things, but I did not care about the state of my heart.

I know of no greater purpose in life than to be an obedient believer, follower, and servant of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. I pray that having read this, you too might consider who He is and make your own decision as to whether you want to follow Him or not.

Susan Price-Batting, Budget Coach

1 Sandown Road
Chester NH 03036
(603) 887-0088

Susan@RealLifeBudgeting.com