Hi! I’m Lance Cothern and this is my wife Tori and our son.

I started what would eventually become Money Manifesto back in 2012.

I wanted help others master their finances through sharing our financial story and my financial expertise.

When my wife graduated from college, she had over $80,000 in student loan debt to pay back for a four year nursing degree.

At times, we felt like we could never pay off the debt.

So, why should you listen to us, a couple that took out over $80,000 of debt for a nursing degree?

That doesn’t seem like a smart financial move.

Our Financial Journey Out Of Debt

Just like many people, we didn’t know what we were getting into with the $80,000 of student loan debt at the time. However, after we figured out we were in over our heads, we knew what we had to do.

We took action to master our finances and improve our financial lives.

I graduated college debt free with an accounting degree. I quickly earned my Certified Public Accountant license from the Commonwealth of Virginia just a year after graduating.

During the last couple years of college, I became very interested in personal finance and read everything I could about the topic.

What I learned changed our lives forever. It amazed me that so much information was available yet so few people understood the basics about how to master their finances.

Mastering Our Finances Was Our Goal

We’ve made great financial strides since graduating from college that would shock the average person.

While my wife started paying back the debt in 2011, I began documenting our journey on Money Manifesto for the whole world to read starting in December 2012.

Every month I’d share how we were doing on our debt pay off journey until the debt was gone for good in March 2014.

That’s right. We paid off over $80,000 of student loan debt in less than three years.

My wife and I didn’t stop there. We used the momentum to save up a full emergency fund. We continued saving and investing for our future.

I Finally Achieved One Of My Dreams

Because of those savings, we made one of the biggest financial decisions of our lives. In November 2015, I left my corporate job to work for myself full-time through blogging and freelance writing.

I finally achieved my dream of working for myself in a business I owned. Now, I can stay home and take care of my son while my wife heads off to work.

I can still earn money by working on my business during non-conventional business hours, something I could never do in my old nine to five career.

We Take Time To Enjoy Life

The flexibility our careers offer allow us to take more time off than traditional Monday through Friday jobs would. We like to go on cruises and visit family. We can do both virtually for free thanks to our travel hacking hobby.

Here’s How Our Journey Helps You

You, too, can master your finances and live your dream life just like our family is. You simply need to learn a few basic concepts and apply them to your everyday lives.

What are these concepts? That’s exactly what I aim to share on Money Manifesto. These concepts can help you master your finances and live your ideal life.

Through our experience and after reading hundreds of blogs and books on the topic, I found out that personal finance came down to a few things. If you want to be financially successful, you need to do the following:

  • Spend smarter,
  • Increase your income,
  • Destroy your debt,
  • Save,
  • Invest and
  • Enjoy Life

These are the financial topics I want to help you understand and implement in your everyday life. Some concepts are simple, while others are more complicated.

The best part is there isn’t just one way to master your money. The options are endless.

Once you understand and apply these concepts to your finances, you will be well on your way to mastering your finances. After your finances are under control, you can finally live your ideal life.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Let’s Get Started

Get started today by signing up for the Money Manifesto newsletter. You’ll get our latest posts in your inbox once a week. You’ll also be the first to hear about any new Money Manifesto news.

After you’re signed up for the newsletter, you may want to check out some of the following posts and resources on the site.

Find Extra Money By Spending Smarter – It Helped Us Pay Off $80,000 Of Debt – I share how learning to spend smarter changed our lives and how it can change your life, too.

How To Get Out Of Debt When You Don’t Know Where To Start – a 12 post series that explains the basics of getting out of debt.

123 Money Saving Tips From Personal Finance Experts – A long list of ways to save money if you need to cut back on your spending.

How We Paid Off $80,000+ Of Student Loan Debt In Under Three Years – A summary of how we paid off $80,000 of student loan debt and the journey to the finish line.

Our Student Loan Debt Pay Off Journey – A one stop shop of every student loan debt update from December 2012 to March 2014.

How to Start a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog On Siteground – Want to start your own blog? I show you every step, with screenshots, on how to start your own blog.

How Our Family Took A 5 Day Carnival Fantasy Cruise For Free – I detail exactly how we travel hacked to get a free 5 day Carnival Fantasy cruise. Only read this post if you pay off your credit cards in full every month.

If you ever have any questions or want to get in touch, please contact me. I love hearing from readers.