Hi, I'm Shannon!
I believe you can thrive financially — even as a stay at home mom, and that’s exactly what I have the privilege of helping the moms of Affording Motherhood do every day.
Specifically, I help moms to budget successfully and work from home. Together, we walk through the journey of saving for the future and paying off debt, so you can enjoy your precious time with your children, instead of constantly stressing about money.
Our babies grow up way too quickly, and we can never get that time back.
Enjoying a debt-free week at the lake together as a family.
That’s why I’ve offered free blog articles, emails, and videos here at Affording Motherhood since 2011.
Back then, the blog was called GrowingSlower. Over the years, I’ve also had the joy of teaching over 5,000 moms in my premium workshops, programs, and coaching.
My students inspire me every day with all the ways they’re transforming their finances. Every time I get an email from a mom telling me about how she’s paid off $30,000 in debt in just a few months, paid cash for a car 6 months earlier than expected, or funded her emergency savings, my heart leaps with joy.
But I think my favorite thing is when moms tell me that their guilt and stress surrounding money is melting away, that they’re paying cash for an anniversary trip with their husband or taking their kids to the beach for a week — because it’s in strengthening those family relationships where the real meaning lies.
My mom said I should be a lawyer because growing up, I was always arguing.
I wasn’t trying to be difficult, but it’s in my nature to question everything and never be satisfied with the status quo. That’s something that’s still true to this day as I question cultural assumptions like, ‘You need two incomes in today’s world;’ ‘Debt is just a way of life;’ or ‘Staying at home will destroy your finances and career.’
My degrees are actually in architecture. I have a Bachelors and a Masters from the University of Idaho where I graduated Summa Cum Laude — and where I met my husband.
I went on to pass the rigorous licensing exams in less than a year. While I did get A’s in Calculus, I don’t have a formal personal finance background. However, the hard work, love of learning, and creative thinking of my education prepared me for what was ahead.
I haven’t always been a budget and work from home coach.
Taken by my future hubby on one of our many memorable adventures during architecture school.
Everything changed when my first baby was born.
Becoming a mom changes everything.
Until that point, I wondered if I would get bored staying at home.
But when my short 8-week maternity leave was over, it was an easy decision to send in my letter of resignation.
Now, that could have had something to do with the fact my baby boy was colicky and I spent most of every night pacing the floor of our small condo trying to get him to sleep. I don’t think I would have been much good to any employer at that point.
But I also couldn’t imagine dropping him off at daycare for even a moment. I wanted to be the one to feed him, rock him, and stare into his drooly smile for 16 hours a day.
Though I was desperate to be a stay at home mom, we our finances were a mess.
Checking out construction on our dream home. Feeling incredibly blessed!
We still had huge student loan payments.
For years I tried to budget, but something unexpected would always come up. After that, it was tough to stay motivated when nothing I did seemed to work, and every month I saw our savings account dwindling closer to zero.
And then we ended up losing our home in a short sale. I guess we had to hit rock bottom before we could turn things around.
My husband and I both felt the call to pay off our remaining debt right around the time our second baby was born. I am forever grateful to Stacy Meyer, a blogger who shared her family’s story of living debt free. Before that, I never even dared to imagine that paying off debt was possible in our lifetime, let alone in less than a year. This time though, we were determined to make it work, after all, we had no other choice.
By the grace of God, we paid off $22,000 in 9 months to become debt free. After that, we built our emergency fund and began to save a huge down payment for our dream home. Along the way, I grew two full-time home businesses. The best part is that I now feel secure knowing that I will be able to stay at home with our kids as they grow up.
After everything we went through, it turned out to be the simple changes to the way we managed our money that made all the difference.
And it’s become my passion to help other moms to take the short path to financial success rather than the long and winding one up the rocky cliff.
I know from experience that you can do it, even when you have a colicky baby, chronic illness, and you haven’t slept through the night in 4 years. Your specific struggles may be different than mine, but I know how to break down the task of stewarding your finances into tiny steps that you can realistically fit into your busy life as a mom.
I know what it takes to budget successfully and work from home even as a busy stay at home mom.
Having fun on Mother’s Day with my two sillies. So grateful I never have to miss a moment with them.
I’m blessed to live in beautiful North Idaho with my husband and two little ones.
Snuggling my nephew by the campfire on the 4th. This is what it’s all about!
My kids are a constant source of inspiration and remind me why my calling to help moms is so important.
Babies need their mamas whether they’re 4 months, or 4 years, or 40 years old! And I’m so grateful to be at home with them every day (Well most days; I am human after all!)
My husband teases that I’m weird because whenever I have free time my favorite thing to do is work, but I say I’m blessed to love what I do so incredibly much.
I do pull myself away from the keyboard once in a while though, and together we love to go for walks, boat rides, visit local parks, and spend time with our extended family.
We go to the same church where I grew up, and my husband and I co-teach a parenting class there on the weekends. (Not because we’re experts, but because we have so much to learn we have to keep reminding ourselves as well as our students!)
I also love to read — several dozen books a year — mostly non-fiction on topics ranging from personal finance and business (of course), habit formation, health, parenting, and faith.
Here are a few places my work has been featured and shared:
- Business Insider. September 2, 2015. “How one woman paid off $22,000 of student loan debt in only 9 months.”
- Good Housekeeping. October 5, 2017. “This Chart Will Help You Tell If You’re Overspending on Groceries”
- Mint. “Expert Interview with Shannon Brown of Growing Slower on Budgeting For A Family.”
- Go Banking Rates. September 5, 2018. “15 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans.”
- Go Banking Rates. December 30, 2015. “13 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make.”
- SeedTime Money. August 20, 2018. “How We Paid Off Our Debt.”
- Biz Mavens Podcast. “024: How To Run a Pilot Program for a Stronger Online Course, with Brandice Lardner & Shannon Clark”
- The Humbled Homemaker. Regular contributor from 2014 to 2018.
- His and Her Money Podcast. “HNH 019: How Shannon Brown Eliminated $22,000 of Student Loans in Just 9 Months.” 15 Dec. 2014.
- Your Personal Financial Mentor. 2016, May 6. “Your Emergency Fund: Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Find Financial Peace of Mind”
- Community Library Network Learn and Earn series. April 13, 2019. “How to Start a Profitable Blog on a Budget.”
- Family Balance Sheet. “Shannon & Her Husband Paid off $22,000 in 9 Months.”
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