Good-morning! As I write to you, I’m tucked away in my office on a Friday morning. Today is an office day. No clients, just office work. Behind the scenes. I just poured a fresh cup of piping hot black coffee and I’m excited to write to you. My window is open to Madonna mountain in San Luis Obispo. My office is overlooking The Penny (a new event venue) and palm trees. The sky is solidly blue. Not a cloud in the sky. My playlist, currated by Apple, is shuffling through the “Office DJ” playlist. Love that I have my own DJ. 😉
As I was thinking about what I wanted to write about today, money came to mind.
Perhaps it’s because I started with two new financial coaching clients this week and money has been on my mind. Our sessions have been nothing short of inspiring, filled with hope, purpose driven, and majorly directive. This lights me up, seeing people on their way to getting free. Whether it has to do with food, money, their body… feeling free is an incredible goal. Or, because next week is Discovery Session week and I have a few spaces open for financial coaching consultations.
The post I’m about to share with you first appeared a little while back in a newsletter of mine (you can sign up for emails from me at the top of this page or bottom of this post). I decided to bring it to the blog today, because it was so well received in my newsletter – so many women were saying “This is me too.”
I know money can be an emotional subject for many, but if you’re looking to change your behavior around money and therefore your financial future, keep reading. This post is full of hope for you. And I’ve got stories to share.
A couple of months back, Marco said to me “Babe, your car registration is due soon and it’s going to be $573.” My response? “Okay, when’s it due? It’s all good – I’ve already planned for it in the budget.”
There was no fear. No urgency. No “How are we going to pay for this?” No “I better work more.” Nothing. Just planning into the budget. That’s it. Not even disappointment that this is the most expensive registration we’ve ever paid (Nevada doesn’t have state income tax – wahoo! – but they sure do charge ya on car registration.)
I share this with you because there was a time where FIVE-HUNDRED-AND-SEVENTY-THREE-DOLLARS would have set me off. I would have been stressed, scrounging, and feeling like “all of my money” was going to this one bill. Which brings us to story time…
I was 20 years old, starting my business (yep, this one right here!) and living at home with my parents. I love my parents so much, and at the time, I was desperate to move out. I needed my own space. I needed an environment that was just mine. One that was 100% in my control. One where I could decide what the mood-of-the-day was and most of all, would be completely calm as I began to meet with my first ever clients. I’m still so particular today about working from a calm space so that I can give my clients my very best. My current office is just that. I’m so grateful. Anyway…
Marco and I had run the numbers what felt like 100 times… and I could not afford to move out on my own. So I kept holding back. Meanwhile, if Nordstrom Rack had something I really wanted, surely, I could afford that… Anyone here relate???
I remember this time so vividly. It was December 2012 and as I sat down at the desk in my bedroom (my first office) to take my first phone-consultation, I knew I had to leave the house (leaving out private details that are not mine to share). With less than 10 minutes to spare, I packed my workbag and hurried to my car.
I sped through the neighborhood (in a Prius, imagine that) driving the two minutes to Marcos grandparents house. I contemplated if I should cancel this call (I was upset, stressed, anxious, and so disappointed), parked my car, and ran upstairs where I proceeded to sign-on my first ever coaching client.
After that call, I was elated. I knew I was doing the work I was meant to do. I felt energized. I was so excited by that first empowered yes. I was so excited when my client said “How can I sign-up?” All was right in the world, except for not having my own quiet, undisturbed place.
With passion in my heart and my faith on fire, knowing this is what I was meant to do, I spent the next two days packing all of my things. On Monday, I signed a lease for my first ever studio apartment. Turns out, the numbers could work… I just needed to work hard and be persistent.
(Have you been around here long enough to remember that studio? I loved that studio… it was my saving grace. You can actually see a glimpse of it and mine and Marcos first one bedroom apartment in this post!)
I proceeded to take my first 20 or so clients from that apartment complex. I worked my butt off. Each month, I started from scratch and worked my way up from zero dollars to make sure I had enough money to pay for everything. But the importance of being out on my own and starting a business I loved gave me the motivation that I needed. I was committed to making it work.
I began budgeting consistently, as if my life depended on it… because living on my own did depend on it. I accepted every babysitting job that came my way, I opened a limited number of health coaching spaces. I started with three slots on Sunday, added two slots on Tuesday nights, and then two slots on Thursday nights – I kept going from there until I had enough clients to go full time. I stayed focused.
I enjoyed this time of my life, so much. Yes, I was working like crazy. My schedule was full, but there was (and still is) purpose in all of it. It was worth the effort. Worth the attention, worth the focus.
After a while, Marco and I decided to move in together. It was less than a year to our wedding date and we wanted to save money. It was then that we really began to maximize saving. Early in our relationship, I was easily the spender and Marco was easily the saver. At such a young age he had a couple thousand dollars saved while I had virtually zero. Even $30 in my savings account felt like an accomplishment.
When we moved in together, we went to a class that taught us about debt and how to stay out of it. It taught us how to save. It taught us the concept of “the more you make, the more you save” versus “the more you make, the more you spend.” We started saving as much as we could for our wedding each month. It was rewarding. It took dedication, commitment, and the ability to say “no,” and it was so worth it.
By our wedding day we had saved enough to pay for our portion of the wedding (our parents helped us too) plus some. For gifts, we subtly shared that we had everything we needed, but that if anyone wanted to give a gift, we were all in for the cash! Haha… it was more subtle than that ;-). We ended up receiving a really decent chunk of money at our wedding, took ourselves to a nice dinner, and stuck the rest in savings thinking “we can do something with it if we want to.” But we never did… the reward of saving that money toward our future goals felt more rewarding.
Month after month, once the wedding was done, we kept saving. Investing. Saving. Investing. Saving. We moved to SLO for four years and kept saving the entire time. By the time we moved to Reno, we were ready to buy a home and because of every single decision to save (every decision to save helps!), we were able to buy a home we love.
Today, we have no debt other than our mortgage (but that’s about to change since we’re selling out house – we moved to California, that post here). And it is truly all thanks to the lessons we learned early on in our marriage around saving money, which I now teach to my own clients (yes, the exact same lessons). We saved income from jobs, we saved monetary gifts, we saved any extra income that came in… and all the while, we still got to do everything we truly wanted.
Today, we continue to do our best to recognize when we’re just wanting something because it’s dazzling versus “will this really add value to our lives?” And at the same time, today we’re able to more comfortably afford the things that we value. That decision to start saving years ago, has paid off tenfold.
I’m sharing this with all of you because there was a time where the MOST I’d ever saved was $800 in my savings account. And when I saw that most-high number, guess what I did? I put $850 on a credit card. Every penny saved, gone. No savings. Back to starting at $0 every month. Back to thinking I couldn’t afford what I really needed to do (move out on my own). Back to feeling limited.
Today, it’s the opposite. I don’t value debt. I value feeling rewarded for the work we do by investing and saving. I value being able to contribute equally to our family. I value weighing out what is or is not important. I value keeping a lifestyle that allows us to save every month. I value living below our means. I value knowing what’s important to us and having the cash to pay for those things.
If you want the same… if you’re in debt up to your eyeballs (car loans, student loans, personal loans, medical loans, care credit, credit cards, etc.), if you’re thinking to yourself “I’m making more than I’ve ever made but where is it all going?” if you want to be organized, consistent, and SET UP for your future… if you want to save you first $1,000 or your first $30,000… I’m here to help and guide you. Set up a free 15-minute consultation with me to discuss what life would look like for you if you paid off all of your debt, started saving and investing.
It’s about the money, yes. But more so, it’s about what that money and that freedom allows you to do. The weight that is taken off your shoulders by not being in debt. Plenty of my clients are in a place where they’re almost maxed out on all of their credit cards (or they’re on their way there with their current behaviors). Their credit cards are their safety net. They fear, when that’s gone, what will they do?
They’re sick of it. They’re committed, and they’re ready to get out of debt. Or, they’re making more money than they’ve ever made but they’re not sure how to properly categorize it. They’re wondering each month “where did it all go?” I like to tell these clients that I will help them to “Marie Kondo their money” so that everything has a place, and that we can make sure that whatever they ARE spending on is something that brings them joy. (Even if that looks like working to build joy for their future self.)
Dave Ramsey says “If you live like no one else today, you can live like no one else later.”
Chris Hogan says “Pay off your debt and you give yourself a raise.” (Ex: if you’re paying $1,052 toward debt every single month, and you pay that off, you give yourself a raise of $1,052 per month. Imagine if you were to invest that same $1,052 per month! You could potentially have $13,359.59 at the end of that year (this is at a 13% interest growth rate). See how fast change can take place?
If you get serious today, if you say YES to making the changes you need to make today, if you get that debt paid off, if you save 20% for that down payment, if you get 3-6 months of your monthly expenses in a savings account, if you give to others every single month… imagine how good you will feel being THAT empowered around your money.
If you need the help and want to work with someone, on such a personal subject, who you trust… I would love to help. There’s never any judgement from my end, just pure excitement about your commitment to make a change. Sign-up for your free 15-minute consultation. Let’s make you a plan!
I hope this post inspires you to make the changes you’ve been wanting to make. Don’t settle for how it is now – go for what you WANT. It’s possible.