This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Many Americans have trouble managing money, but rarely do people talk about their financial problems.

“Oh my gosh I was so nervous, so nervous about this,” Terri Lee, a young-professional living in Indianapolis said.

Terri is 28, single, and has no children.

As she approaches 30, she wants to fix her finances.

Pete the Planner, a personal finance expert, offered to help her to just that.

He started by asking Terri if she felt that she could easily afford her current lifestyle?

“It’s a bit of a struggle at times,” she replied.

Terri makes around $50,000 a year working in the public health field.

She racked up nearly $100,000 in student loan debt pursuing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

In addition to that, she’s also working to pay down her credit cards.

“This is a pretty classic situation, you’ve got someone who is clearly very intelligent—is going to have a PhD—she understands money, this is a behavior issue,” Pete the Planner said.

Terri and Pete sat down and came up with three short term financial goals:

  • Save $1,000 by April
  • Ignore student loan debt and focus on paying off credit cards
  • Try only spending money 10-14 time per week

“The problem is your past is dominating your present, and that’s Terri’s situation. When you have someone that’s really smart, that’s adding a lot to their community, who wants better for themselves but their consumed by their past—you don’t lay blame, you just show a path to change that,” Pete the Planner said.

Click here to take a financial self-assessment.