Every day, I ask my clients to tell me their stories...
We dive into where they come from, how they view money and why they are living the way they are. I do this because I know that to really understand and help someone, you have to know their story.
This is my story. This is the lens through which I view money and why I am so passionate about helping people with their personal finances.
Growing up, my dad worked at Walmart and my mom stayed home with me and my four bothers. To supplement our family’s income, my dad cleaned carpets in the evenings and my mom delivered newspapers in the morning. Some of my fondest memories with my dad come from cleaning carpets late into the evenings. We would talk for hours as we worked side by side. My dad taught me to dream big, knowing that so much was possible. If I set my mind to it, the world was mine for the taking.
Even at a young age, working was a way of life. It didn’t feel burdensome, it felt normal. Sure, it was work, but there was also joy in it. I connected with people through work and was able to travel to places like Ireland and Thailand. I have work to thank for the many valuable experiences I had before I’d even graduated from high school.
Growing up, I never thought twice about our family’s financial situation. We always had what we needed. We knew what was important in life, like family and relationships, and we focused on that. Things we couldn’t afford were simply extras that weren’t necessary.
I saw my first glimpse of someone else’s perspective of our lives late one night after an out-of-town basketball game during high school. As the car packed with my teammates pulled up to our house, one of the girls commented, “Now this is the ghetto!” I was stunned, it didn’t make sense to me. I loved our house (and still do!). The “ghetto” was where poor people lived, and we weren’t poor as far as I was concerned. We were the family who always helped others in need. We were the ones to give money, make meals and invite others into our home.
My view of money was simplistic, even as I went to college. If you wanted something, you worked for it. It never really crossed my mind to take out student loans. After scholarships and financial aid, there was a number at the bottom of the page that needed to be paid, so I worked and paid it off. I always carried a full course load and found jobs as needed. Some semesters, that meant working in the dorms, others I worked 40 plus hours at an office job and refereeing basketball games at night. I feel fortunate to have graduated from Baylor University with no student loans.
Even though I had a simplistic view of it, money was always at the forefront of my mind. As far as finances went, I had a clear goal and wore blinders to everything else. I always knew exactly how much was in my bank account, how much I had to earn to pay off my school bill and how much each meal would cost. I never lost sight of that goal or control of my finances.
I took an Intro to Financial Planning course in college. Over the semester I excelled to the point where the professor suggested I consider a career in financial planning. My life changed in that moment.
I interned at a large financial planning firm one summer. I spent my days reviewing people’s financial situations – many of whom were in tax brackets that far exceeded anything I could fathom. I recall one client meeting in particular: we were walking through their budget when I realized that their restaurant allowance was greater than what I anticipated my first year’s salary to be. As ironic as it felt at the time, I could still relate to them. I saw their situation from their point of view and felt their struggles. It felt familiar.
After college, I moved to Dallas and began my first full-time job in financial planning. I immediately started working with clients and learning their stories. I was a sponge and wanted to know everything there was to know. My view of money started to expand. I started to see trends in people’s stories. I started to see the complexities that are in everyone’s financial situations. Whether someone had $10,000 or $10 million to manage, their basic stories felt the same.
Over the years, I’ve seen the effect money has had on my client’s lives. I’ve seen people who dug themselves out of debt and became financially secure. I’ve seen people who inherited wealth and managed to live incredibly meaningful lives. I’ve also seen families torn apart because spouses could not communicate well about their finances. I’ve seen people who continuously live in fear of never having enough money.
Best of all, I’ve seen the opportunities and lifestyles that are possible because clients planned well. I’ve seen how my training directly impacted people’s lives and how oftentimes simple, small steps made a significant difference in the way people lived.
It was in these moments that I realized that my career was more than just solving technical financial problems. My career was focused on helping people take control of their lives and achieve their goals and dreams, while living a fuller life in total alignment with their values.
So that’s me, Hannah Moore. I would love the opportunity to help you with your finances and to see what is possible in your situation.