I was a participant in Prepare + Prosper’s Money Mentors program, which is one-on-one money coaching. Doing the program transformed my relationship with money.

For the first time in my life, I made friends with finances.

I realized I was not a failure as a human being just because I had never learned how to effectively manage my money. As the program ended, I realized I had nearly no one in my life with whom I could discuss finances in an honest and empowering way.

I asked the Money Mentors coordinator at the time, Kate Siess, if she would help me reach out to others who were participants in Money Mentors, to see if anyone would like to meet up on a regular basis to deepen our learning and exploration of financial management. Kate loved the idea! We got to work immediately.

What evolved was the creation of Peer Coaching Circles that compliment the one-on-one Money Mentor program. The Circles meet on the day Money Mentors happens, and all that are receiving coaching that day meet together for 50 minutes to share what is being learned and explored. What happens in the Circles is magical!

We are social beings. We want to belong. We desire to fit in.

At least that is 100% true for me. I’ve learned that many are like me and they too have baggage about finances. To finally have a group of people who are taking charge of their finances, and who are open to talking about finances in real, personal ways is refreshing and powerful.

All of the Peer Coaching Circles are facilitated by people who have been or still are participants in Money Mentors. This creates a sense of authenticity and connection. The facilitators go through a brief training before each 6-month cycle of Money Mentors begins. In the training, we review what it means to hold space, how to make sure rituals that allow for belonging and consistency are created and maintained.

I love that my worlds of coaching and my new found confidence in managing my finances have collided and that I am now a Money Mentor Coach and I trained the Peer Coaching Circle facilitators. It can be said that wonders never cease!

Thank you Prepare + Prosper for all you do to support and encourage low income people to take charge of their lives and their finances. I am profoundly grateful for all you do to make this world a better place for all. Thank you for creating a way for me to participate and give back.

Mari Ruddy, MA

Mari is the Internship Coordinator at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus. She is an amateur endurance athlete and she teaches people how to use LinkedIn to its fullest extent. Mari loves to volunteer, which she does every month with Prepare + Prosper. She also organizes an event for breast cancer survivors to get tattoos over their mastectomy scars, called P.ink Day MSP. She also is a leader in the Lean In Together movement. You can connect with Mari on her website, https://mariruddy.com or on LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/mariruddy.