Pursuing Life Beyond Debt: Kristin Drucker’s Perseverance Story
Kristin Drucker has been a single mom since 1996, when her daughter was a one-year-old. She’s now 19, and beginning her junior year of college. Both mother and daughter have faced immense challenges over the past two decades, and both are poised and eager to help others confronting adversity on their path toward success and fulfillment.
As a single mom, Drucker knew that the most important job she would ever have was raising her daughter–and, that she had to do so with focused intent. She educated herself in parenting skills that she later shared with other single parents through her church, and through Single Mothers Outreach.
Although she had been a Business major, Drucker found herself drowning in debt. Accustomed to borrowing money for everyday expenses such as food and mortgage payments, she was increasingly anxious about the future. Then, Drucker learned of a program called Financial Peace University (FPU), offered by best-selling author Dave Ramsey. Since childcare was not available when she attended, her daughter sat by her side, quietly, absorbing many of the financial concepts being discussed. The course focuses on defining financial priorities and tackling issues one at a time. It proscribes establishment of emergency funds, the development of a monthly budget, debt repayment, and recommends other financial planning tools such as insurance, college and retirement savings, and the building of a family legacy worthy of pride. The program changed their lives!
While enrolled at FPU, Kristin also became aware of the services offered by Single Mothers Outreach (SMO), and its desire to offer FPU to its members. Recognizing the impact this program had on her life, Drucker became passionate about sharing it with other single parents. In 2008, she started SMO’s first FPU class, and since then, she’s helped more than 170 single parents pay off more than $163,000 in non-mortgage debt (not including the $71,000 she has personally paid off), and save more than $148,000. Drucker continues to be motivated by her students’ successes and by the hope that FPU engenders. In 2013, she completed Dave Ramsey’s Personal Financial Counselor training and she now provides one-on-one counseling services to parents struggling to solve their financial problems. Drucker also gains great satisfaction in helping parents teach their children about money management. With the help of her daughter, she has implemented a program that shares these financial strategies as part of SMO’s FPU childcare. In May, she launched a new class at SMO that equips parents to teach their kids about the value of money and the importance of fiscal responsibility.
Upon reflection, Drucker realizes that what kept her from taking control of her money matters, was her feeling that, “if I can’t do it right (perfectly), then why bother?” Before enrolling in FPU, she had given up because she’d never had enough money to meet the rquirements of a balanced budget. She’s realized that perfection wasn’t really the issue; rather, it’s about patience, about addressing challenges one step at a time, and about persisting in her determination to succeed.
Despite the obstacles, whether financial, ongoing health issues, commuting to a full-time job, or, just the daily struggles of single parenting, Drucker experiences joy, satisfaction and reward with her daughter and through her work in support of other single parents. Drucker says that her faith is her foundation; she takes comfort in Romans 5:3-4: “but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.”
Changing the lives of single parents for the better is the mission of Single Mothers Outreach. To learn more about our programs and services aimed at strengthening families, please visit http://www.singlemothersoutreach.org
Photo courtesy of SchlickArt