With Sharon’s coaxing, I imagined my life free from the financial pressures I’m experiencing right now. Keeping that possibility in mind, I began the work of moving toward that life. Sharon and I consulted with a tax attorney to get a handle on tax liabilities. Then we embarked on the long process of getting on a payment plan with the IRS that allowed me to meet my basic expenses and those of my mother. After sessions of role playing how to respond to money requests from my family, I was able say ‘no’ to cash requests (when appropriate) and offer other support instead. My family relationships became healthier as a result of clear communication. Having Sharon as a partner throughout these difficult months made all the difference.
After years of intense stress, Joan began the work of reshaping her financial life. Managing her tax liabilities rather than avoiding them brought immense relief. And despite her already-long workdays, she made time to address her financial priorities, examine her spending decisions and explore non-financial ways to support several family members. It was a long and arduous process, but her commitment paid off. Joan now enjoys a more peaceful and conscious financial life, ever closer to the one she imagined.