About Scott Henderson Creator of Simplifinances
How I went from a kid who grew up with nothing to an Accredited Financial Counselor helping thousands improve their financial lives.
Before Simplifinances and before I learned anything about money, there was a kid who grew up in a broken home. I always wanted to be rich and as I got older I thought that making more money would make me happy and all of my problems would go away.
That didn’t happen. And I saw others going through the same thing. Going to work day in and day out with nothing to show for it. It’s not that they weren’t making enough money. It’s that they had no idea how to manage it.
I feel grateful to have learned how to manage my money from a young age which has allowed me to do so much with my life and family. I want to help as many people as possible learn the things that truly helped me live a rich and meaningful life.
I'm an accredited Financial counselor.
My master's degree is in personal financial planning.
I teach a proven system that helps people payoff debt, save for their future and enjoy life along the way.
Who am I and why am I passionate about personal finance?
When I was eight years old my father walked out of my life.
Not only did he disappear but he left a mountain of debt. After the divorce, my mom discovered close to half a million dollars in unpaid debts. Of course, she couldn’t make the payments and was forced to file bankruptcy.
A single mother, four kids, and nowhere to go. We stayed in our house for 18 months before the bank knocked on our door and kicked us out. We were homeless living on food stamps but my mom did everything she could to get off of government support. I didn’t realize it at the time but we had nothing. At one point, everything I owned fit in a shoe box.
We moved from place to place for years. My mom worked two jobs and tried to keep our expenses as low as possible. She had a hard time putting food on the table and this caused her stress because my brother and I loved to eat. We hardly ate out and going to McDonald’s was a big luxury.
Before the divorce, you would’ve thought from the outside looking in that we were doing very well financially. We lived in a ten bedroom house, my dad drove a new truck every year and had all the new toys and gadgets. It seemed as though we were way ahead of the Jones’s. But it was a superficial lifestyle built up with no foundation, only debt.
My mom is one of my greatest examples and mentors to me. At times she wanted to give up, but she didn’t. She could’ve blamed others for what happened but she took responsibility and was determined to get us out. She pulled us out of poverty, climbing the economic ladder and helped us become independent and self-reliant.
She took it upon herself to learn about personal finance. She read and listened to audiobooks by Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki, and Tony Robbins. I had to listen to it in the car too. I had no choice. But I came to love it. By the time I was 16, I had read, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” “The Total Money Makeover” and “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” I learned that I was in charge of my financial future and committed to doing things differently throughout my life.
I wanted things that my friends had like motorcycles and BMX bikes. I asked my mom if I could get one. She said, “those things cost money.” I said, “how do I get money?” “She said you work for it.” So I got my first job working construction at the age of 12 making $3 an hour (I’m pretty sure I broke a lot of child labor laws). While my friends were hanging out riding their bikes in the summer, I was working 40 hours a week in the hot sun packing boards and cleaning job sites. But having a $300 paycheck every two weeks as a twelve year made it worth it.
I’ve always tried to save at least 10% of my income. I’ve never had a car payment and I have always tried to be debt free. But just because I read personal finance books as a teenager doesn’t mean I haven’t made financial mistakes. I’ve made many financial mistakes!
I know what it’s like to have nothing and I hope no one has to go through what we did. I don’t want my son to go through what I did growing up and it all comes down to teaching him the same financial principles that I learned. A few weeks before my son was born my father actually put a gun to his head and took his life. It was a string of events that led to that decision for him. Money was one thing he was never good at (so I’ve been told). When he died, he had no money to even cover funeral expenses. He had debt collectors following him, many unpaid bills and lived a lonely life.
What makes me different?
For a long time, I’ve been determined to get the most out of my personal finances, from getting the best deals to learning about investing. This passion and hunger to learn has turned me into someone friends and family ask for financial advice.
I’ve always been interested in financial planning, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do out of high school and I didn’t want to be a financial salesman. In college, I became a financial peer mentor and started helping other students with their money. After a few months, I became one of the financial counselors.
I became an Accredited Financial Counselor, AFC® through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Educators (AFCPE). I taught and counseled students at the University of Utah and was one of the assistant directors of the Personal Money Management Center, a service dedicated to providing financial literacy, borrower education and debt management programs for the benefit of students. These services include presenting educational seminars and conducting individual one-on-one confidential student advising sessions on all aspects of personal finance. I’ve had the opportunity to help hundreds of people work towards financial independence.
Early in 2018, my wife and I decided to move to Texas to pursue a Master’s Degree in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. My reason for doing so was to become educated in the financial services in order to help others to the best of my abilities. I’m on track to finish the program in 2019. I currently work for a Financial Planning firm part time while I finish school and run Simplifinances.
I want to share my story and help others become financially independent. I have seen the damage that can be caused to a family when there is a huge burden of debt and the finances are out of order.
I am not financially independent but is something I hope to achieve in the future. I still have a lot to learn and I will be experimenting and documenting my journey. I hope to be as transparent as possible as I share experiences and struggles so hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes.
Why You Should Care
This blog is not just about money. You’re not going to get to the end of your life and wish you had more money. It’s about what do you want to do with your life and how can you use money to achieve the financial independence to do that. What I share is about life optimization and living a bigger life, not lifestyle. It’s about inspiring you to use money to buy back your time and to do the things you love to do. I want to help you live a life where money is not important. I am not here to tell you what to do with your money, rather provide you with ideas and information to make better decisions. It’s my purpose to take the complexities and differing opinions about money and simplify it to a point that you can take action and even a child can understand it.
“Simplicity is the key to success.”
I’m a non-traditional financial advisor. I refer to myself as a financial coach and decision making facilitator.
My job is not to manage investments. My job is to manage investors behavior. I do not manage money. I help build healthy habits. I do not sell financial products. I sell a better way of living. Get on a plan and get out of debt.
Everyone should have someone they can go to for financial advice and trust. The problem is most people don’t have the assets to work with a “real” financial advisor and don’t like the feeling of being sold financial products.
How I can help you
If you’re between the age of 22 and 40 and would like help getting started on the path to financial independence, whether it’s paying off your student loans or getting started with investing, I would love to help you.
I provide virtual financial coaching and I’m an absolute believer that anyone can achieve financial independence. I send out a blog post once a week on Monday mornings on a wide range of personal finance topics. I’m a speaker if you ever want an educational financial presentation. I’m married to my beautiful wife and we have one little boy. My wife owns Cozy Cottontail, an e-commerce store selling custom blankets and baby accessories. This allows her to work from home, do what she loves and take care of our son.
I hope you will join me on the path of taking control of your money and reaching financial independence. You can get started by signing up for the Free 7-Day Transform Your Finances email course or schedule a free coaching session, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. I look forward to being your financial coach!
Ready to Make a Change?
The step-by-step to getting started with the Jars Money Management System. By the end of this free 7 day course you will have all the tools and resources you need to transform your finances!