Hey there! I am Yezmin Thomas.
I am a busy working mom, an award-winning personal finance journalist, and smart spending expert, on a mission to empower women to live out their best financial futures.
I am addicted to sweet tea and preordering books, and obsessed about paying off my house in five years.
I genuinely believe that with the right knowledge, every person can thrive financially.
Smart Spending ♡ Intentional Living
When it comes to talking about money, most people are obsessed with improving their credit score, racking up points on their credit cards, and comparing their vacation pictures to those of their Facebook friends. That leaves many of us stressed, unhappy, and in debt.
But what no one is talking about is the concept of “opportunity cost.” What is it REALLY costing you to keep up? Ultimately, your happiness!
As a personal finance journalist and coach, I teach overwhelmed moms how to overcome that pressure, by embracing smart spending and intentional living.
We truly believe that knowledge is power. That’s why at yezminthomas.com we give women the tools to create a new plan to eliminate financial stress and win with money.
We often start by tackling topics such as how to prioritize expenses, do a budget, save money, and get out of debt. But most importantly, how to use those savings to fund your emergency fund, your kids’ college, your retirement, your next vacation, etc.
Knowing how to maximize your income will allow you to create a life you love and to achieve your financial goals without the stress.
Of course, my heart is in helping hard-working moms like myself, but anyone can take advantage of my free smart spending and intentional living resources. You can get started by downloading your free financial freedom journal, and listen to my podcast. Most importantly, connect directly with me on social media.
Do you want to know what keeps me going? Read on to find out!
I didn’t always have the urge to become debt-free.
In fact, I bought into the idea that having debt forever and ever was a normal part of life. Just like most people do after getting married, my husband and I got all the regular payments. There was the mortgage, the financed cars, and the credit cards, to name a few.
Judging by our society’s standards, we were doing just fine. Actually, “just fine” sounds like an understatement. We were “prospering”! We had new cars, a brand-new house, and money to spend on the weekends. If we could afford the monthly payment, we gave ourselves permission to buy. We also put purchases on credit cards to earn points and miles. We were just ordinary people, doing what everybody else does to build up credit. Our scores reached the 800’s range, and I thought we were killing it financially! I blindly believed we were doing very well until the 2008 recession burst my bubble.
Living in Fantasy Land
We lived our lives in Fantasy Land as most Americans do. We were working hard to make the payments and saved the rest if there was any. I believed that getting stuff on credit was helping us build wealth when, in reality, it was keeping us from living out our best financial future.
Without a warning or severance package, my husband got laid off from his job during the recession. We went from living a very comfortable lifestyle as a young two-income family to suddenly facing a fifty percent deficit every month.
I became the primary breadwinner, and my husband a stay at home dad for some time. It was a very rough time financially and for our relationship as well. I lived in a constant state of fear of running out of money. I became psycho about the possibility of also losing my job and having no income to support our family. Mentally, I was trapped in a cycle of financial anxiety, and I didn’t know how to escape from it. Spiritually, I felt lost. Hopeless.
Then one spring day in 2011, my husband got great news. He had a job offer and was going back to work! His salary would double our family income. What a relief! The extra cash would help us break the cycle of financial anxiety. This was for me a second chance, an opportunity to do things right with our money. After all, we were doing what ordinary people do, and that almost got us broke.
A Blessing In Disguise
I couldn’t tell you this then, but in hindsight, having gone through that horrible financial crisis was a blessing in disguise. Today I can confidently tell you that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to us. It taught us so many lessons. Mainly, it showed me exactly the way I never wanted to live again, in debt and in fear of not having enough money to provide for my family and also pay the bills.
I believe that if we had not gone through that rough experience, we would still today be living paycheck-to-paycheck as most Americans do. We would probably be making good money, but have nothing left at the end of the month to show for it.
Find Your Motivator
Fear can be a great motivator; it drove me to want to learn everything I could about handling money correctly. Although it is normal in our society to be in debt, it became clear to me that debt was actually the enemy.
One evening I found “by accident” The Dave Ramsey Show. First, I thought that this guy was crazy telling people they could live better debt-free. But when your bank account is almost empty, even a different message from crazy people on the radio can give you hope.
I started listening to his show every day and got hooked. Although I had found Dave Ramsey by accident, I realized that there are no random acts in life. He taught me what I had been searching for, that there is actually a formula to thrive financially without being in debt. This formula is written out in the Bible, and it has a lot to do with common sense too.
I became obsessed with learning about the biblical principles of wealth and money. Having debt and losing an income had become our calvary during the recession. Now, I knew what to do to avoid ever being in that situation again. Pay off the debt!
With my husband’s new income, our once hopeless situation took a 180-degree turn. We started ditching our debt, budgeting, and planning for future purchases. I cut off my credit cards and swore never to use one again. If you are going through a rough patch, I can tell you that time, and sound money principles can heal any financial crisis.
Are You Ready To Change Your Life?
I am never going back to being broke. I am convinced that becoming and living debt-free is the fastest path to wealth. My obsession with living debt-free is such that I decided to become a Trained Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach to teach others how to win with money.
My mission is to empower people who are sick and tired of being broke, with the best knowledge that will enable them to turn their lives around. To be honest, talking someone into pursuing a debt-free lifestyle is no easy task.
Most people who could use my help argue with me about the benefits of having credit cards, building up a good credit score, and being “credit-worthy.” That is precisely the Fantasy Land that I used to live in that with the loss of an income drove me to Hopeless Land.
But even if most people think that becoming 100% debt-free is impossible, I love teaching it! The teacher appears when the student is ready. And remember, there are no random events in life! If you are reading this so far down in my about page, it might be for a good reason!
How I Can Help
I like to share practical steps that bring hope back to financially stressed families, business owners, or entire teams at companies. Also, I love empowering women with factual information so that they can have informed conversations with their spouses, get on the same page, and stop fighting about money.
And you guessed it right, I enjoy planning budgets, color coding Excel spreadsheets, and making debt-free timeline projections. L