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Meet the Boot Camp Families and Advisors

About 5 months ago, put out a call for moms in money trouble. Our pitch: If they would reveal their darkest, scariest financial secrets -- how much they owed, how much they had, the mistakes they’d made -- we would match them up with a financial planner and spend six months working towards getting them to a better place.

We heard from more than a hundred families with stories that would break your heart: Couples bankrupted by the failure of their small business, moms who’d decided to stay home with the kids only to see their husbands lose their jobs, couples who had had their houses foreclosed. One single mom said she and her boyfriend weren’t marrying simply because they couldn’t afford to have him take on her debt.

It was hard, but from all of these we picked three moms who we thought had a real shot at improving their situations:

Leah, who lost her job -- and had her husband lose his -- just as their adorable daughter was born, and is now struggling to unload an ever-more-costly home

Lori, who’d been focused on raising her two kids until her divorce left her without a steady income and classified as “homeless” by the school district

Natasha, who with her partner is carrying over $15,000 of credit card debt, but is committed to making a change for the benefit of her two young boys

Then, we found three financial planners willing to take these families under their wings for six months. We looked for fee-only planners who would be as excited as we are about the possibility of making a change these moms’ lives. We found:

Karen Lee, whose work with military mom Leah already has broadened her view of the ways people fall into money trouble

Derek, who worries about Lori’s happiness as much as he does about her pocketbook

Gerry, who after just one meeting, is already thinking about how he can help Natasha not only in the next six months, but beyond

Starting tomorrow, they'll all be posting their stories right here!

There's also room for YOU in this experiment. If you identify with one of the families, please leave comments to offer encouragement, share your story, or ask questions – they need your support!

We'll also be bringing in other guest experts -- credit card gurus, coupon-shopping queens, mortgage masters – who can answer your questions while they're here.

Or, if you want to email a question, send it to

Above all, we hope you enjoy meeting the Boot Camp families. Together, we CAN change lives.