Educator Spotlight: Bradley and Bonita Vinson Empower People to Live Debt-free
Bradley and Bonita Vinson have a huge and admirable goal: they want to become the leading personal financial empowerment providers in the U.S. and internationally. They believe collaboration with the various groups in their community will help get their organization, ‘Your Personal Economy‘, there.
This Texas-based couple has become highly sought-after as speakers and teachers who inspire audiences to break the chains of debt and live free of financial stress. After starting out with an in-the-box financial freedom plan and word-of-mouth promotional strategy, the Vinsons’ partnership with the NFEC has led them to expand their financial literacy programs and significantly alter their teaching approach. “We discovered that our clients responded more positively to our personal examples and the practical steps we adopted,” says Bradley. Access to the NFEC’s practical, interactive curriculum and sustainable business and promotional model has allowed the Vinsons to increase attendance at their classes by about 1000%.
The main problem the Vinsons encountered when they first began teaching financial literacy classes at their church was low attendance. At one class they held in a local library, only three people showed up. “It’s always difficult for us to see that a need exists, but not have people respond in masses,” Bonita comments. “Why should we put so much effort into helping people free themselves from the burden of debt if they did not want to be free?” What kept the pair going was the realization that the work is not about them—it’s about helping people who lack the tools, willpower, and knowledge to get started toward financial wellness.
Prior to partnership with the NFEC, the Vinsons worked solely with adult audiences. They focused on Christian churchgoers, structuring their curriculum to include Biblical references and stewardship for adults. Then they learned about the NFEC and became graduates of the organization’s Certified Financial Education Instructor training. Connecting with the NFEC inspired them to add youth-focused lessons and expand their existing curriculum to incorporate practical steps toward financial empowerment. Adding the youth component enabled greater outreach, resulting in a partnership with the Texas foster care system Preparation for Adult Living (PAL). The NFEC also helped them build a solid promotional plan including social media, radio interviews, direct email campaigns, and press releases in addition to their ongoing word-of-mouth and church bulletin advertising.
A Program Participants Love
Guided by the NFEC curriculum and resources, the Vinsons have developed a package that really works to empower financial freedom. They spend time encouraging individuals to identify their dreams and find personal reasons to become financially empowered. They help people develop a comprehensive plan to take themselves from where they are now to the lives they want to live in the future. The Vinsons guide participants through simple, proven, practical steps that work the same for people of any age and at any income level. Using the NFEC model, the Vinsons present interactive classes that include hands-on activities and leave plenty of time for questions.
“In addition to having great instructors, the concepts and principles taught in the classes are phenomenal,” commented one class participant. “We were able to pay off some debts in addition to getting our finances in order. We are looking forward to the day when we can declare to all ‘We are debt free’!”
Advice for Others
When asked what advice they would share with others who share their passion for financial wellness, the Vinsons say more people are needed to spread the message of financial literacy. “A lot of people out in our country are in financial binds,” Bradley says. “They need assistance to make ends meet, manage day-to-day expenses and foresee a future that is different than the present. You are needed and the sooner and more often you can avail yourself to meet the need for assistance, the better.”
Bradley and Bonita Vinson are the founders of Your Personal Economy™, a program which delivers the hope of debt-free living through a process, not products. The Vinsons have published two books: Men, Get Real with your Finances (a frank conversation with men about their financial condition) and Purses, Pearls & Pumps: Straight Talk about Women and Finances (a candid approach to financial issues unique to women). Their third book, currently in press, will address financial situations commonly faced by couples.
Bradley and Bonita are available to bring exciting, relevant, motivational keynotes, seminars, boot camps, and talks to interested organizations.