Our Story

boat in storm

Imagine waking up one day, 18 years into your marriage and realizing that the life you had dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, and strived for was about as far from reality as possible.

Well, for John and I this wasn’t a nightmare.

This was our reality.

And it was awful to admit where we were.

Our bank account was at zero. 

Again. Withdrawing from Conversation About Money With Spouse

We’d had some roller coaster rides with our finances – highs and lows.

And here we were again, back at zero thanks to a real estate investment gone wrong.

WHY were we in this financial position? Again?

With literally nothing to show for our 18 years together?

And to add to it, our relationship was as low as it could go. Seriously.

The “divorce” word was brought up more than once…

It would have been easy to walk away.

To throw in the towel.

To leave the challenges and struggles behind.

We could have done that.dark stormy ocean

But we decided that our marriage was worth fighting for.

We tried several things that took us nowhere positive:

  • In person marriage counseling
  • On-line group marriage counseling
  • Venting our frustrations at each other

So with no other reasonable options left, we did the only thing we knew how to do – we started talking – to each other.

Not the banal, surface-level chatter about the weather or the kids’ schooling, but real, soul-searching, heart-to-heart conversations.

It wasn’t easy. 

And we had a LOT to overcome.

But gradually, we started to realize that even though we had each changed since our pre-marriage days, we both still had many of the same goals.

family looking over Zion Nat'l Park valley Spending time with each other and our two children was top on the list for both of us.

But how could we do that when I worked a very demanding job and spent 50+ hours a week away from home?

There was no possibility:
🔹Of remote work.
🔹Or extra vacation. 
🔹Or even a modified schedule.

We felt stuck. Unable to change within the confines of the traditional path that we had been following.

So we started getting creative. Exploring other ideas.

Thinking outside the box.

REALLY outside the box…

And then it happened.

The culmination of months of discussions…

And this popped out:

“What if we left the US, left the “programmed path”, and created a different path for our family?”

arches national park at sunset

Reality check here:

Just the thought scared the hell out of both of us, initially.


But the more we thought about it,

The more we talked about it,

The more we realized the incredible potential that it would afford us AND our children,

The more excited we became.

Imagine something so scary, becoming so exciting. It was confusing… 

And we wondered if we were crazy.

After months of in-depth conversation, discussing all kinds of possibilities, we both decided that we wanted to do this. 

To leave the US and my job and travel full-time with our kids.

BUT, there was one MASSIVE problem:

We had no money.

chemistry lab

When I say no money, I mean zero dollars in any kind of savings. 

Sure, we had a roof over our heads, food on our table, and enough money to cover our expenses, but absolutely nothing else.

So how in the world was I supposed to quit my job (our only income at the time) and start traveling the world???

This resulted in even more discussions…

But, somehow, these were even MORE difficult.

I HATED talking about money.

I had avoided it like the plague for our entire relationship – forcing John to manage all of our finances from day 1.

(He loved finances – and had worked as a financial advisor – so this made perfect sense, I rationalized to myself!)

But I realized that there was NO WAY we could make this happen if I didn’t overcome that hurdle and actually make financial decisions WITH John.

So I bit the bullet.

couple talking with coffeeAnd John helped walk me through looking at our finances.

Slowly, but surely, we began to find a way to have productive conversations about money.

Ones that freed me of my past beliefs.

And I came to realize that talking about money wasn’t so scary…

Gradually, we came up with a plan.

A way to make our dream of traveling possible.

Fast forward 9 short months:

Without any windfall of cash:family celebrating buying tickets to Bali

  • No lotto winnings
  • No inheritance
  • No 401k to cash in
  • No house to sell

We had saved up 1 year’s worth of living expenses!

While still enjoying life!!

(No rice and beans, or depriving ourselves of everything we loved…)

And we did it all WITHOUT using a budget.

couple high five on couchThat’s right – NO BUDGETING at all!


Because we had finally learned how to communicate with each other, we found that our relationship was better than it had ever been.

All within 9 months.

So we boarded a plane with one-way tickets to Bali, leaving behind the US, and our “traditional path” of life.

But having gained so much in the process.

🔹We NEEDED to share the financial, goal setting, and marriage-saving strategies that we had developed.

🔹We NEEDED to work with other couples who wanted to do more with their money.

🔹Who wanted to achieve their goals together with their spouse.

🔹To share the simple, but very effective ways that they could improve their financial situation – and their relationship at the same time.


Inspire My Money was born.

With the goal of inspiring YOU to do more with your money.

John and Karen Yates standing in Vietnam landscape

We are still on the road. 

Still exploring new countries. 

Still seeing the world with our family.

And still sharing our knowledge with couples just like you.

Ready to Start YOUR own journey?
Start with this Free Course

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