Time for a little love for our finances! I met Sara Kidwell at a conference that I wasn’t all too excited to be attending. I can't remember what I spoke about or what others did, but I distinctly remember the remarkable people I met during the breaks. Bryan and Danna from Sonic Boom Wellness who are always fun to see and learn from, and Bob Merberg, who always inspires me and is now running his own company Jozito

Then, I met Sara and we talked for an hour about SmartDollar, the commercial program from the Dave Ramsey Machine (they don’t call it that, I do), and my view of financial fitness changed forever! As I often joke, I’m a recovering actuary. Like most financial advisors and planners, we think about things logically and mathematically, which is probably why most financial fitness programs fail! Smart Dollar approaches finance from a behavioral point of view, carefully considering the habits and psychology of human beings. It’s an approach that is now close to my heart. Because contrary to popular belief and, the simple idea of paying off debt from the smallest to largest outstanding balance blew my mind, as this idea contradicts the standard "rules" for . The logic is that people gain confidence as they pay off one small debt, and that confidence breeds competence as they continue to reach their next goal. Pretty soon the debt (repayment) snowball builds up speed and people get out of debt. That’s just one example of the counterintuitive, but highly effective ways that their program works.

From the day we met, Sara has been a generous supporter of our work, always looking out for us and finding opportunities for us, even when there is clearly no benefit for her. Generosity without motive, other than for its own sake, is always so touching. She’s one of those super-connecters, and I have lost count of everyone I’ve met through Sara.

Many of the people I’ve met on her team are people that I’ve come to like and admire.  Bryan Hamilton who leads SmartDollar and is the closest thing you’ll meet to an actual walking encyclopedia, but with added charm and passion. We spent an hour in conversation at T. Rowe Price’s Annual Summit (One of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. Become a SmartDollar client and you might get an invitation) and in that hour I laughed more and learned more than I have in some time.

Christina Reckhard is a more-than-accomplished singer in real life, and a marketing whiz for Smartdollar during the day. Of course, Joss Schlessman, who might not realize this, but is one of the few people we've met that immediately understood and could see how to apply our Four Powers model, AND THEN DID IT. Thank you for being an advocate of our work and for the lessons you’ve taught me about human behavior.

Sara has grown and enhanced both my business and my personal network, and is one of my role models. Always professional, a walking representative of the high standards and amazing culture at Dave Ramsey Solutions, and a kind and caring friend.

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