Lauren had a budget she was proud of and paid her bills on time but she never felt like she was making the progress she should have with the amount of intentionality she was putting into her finances. Lauren considers herself a really independent person and someone who adults well but she was really frustrated because she had a goal to save more and pay down debt but she was not making the progress she desired. With a major life change coming up she did not want money to be the thing that held her back. So, she wanted a fresh pair of eyes on her finances. Getting a second set of eyes on her finances allowed her the freedom to go on a sabbatical and money not be a worry.
Lauren admits that it was humbling to have someone look into her personal finances because it is an intimate part of your life. She said,
“it was hard to take that first step [hiring a financial coach] I had to have a conversation with myself and say ‘cool you can keep going down the direction you’re going, continue working really hard and make no progress or stop now figure this out and make progress’.”
From the start of our partnership, Lauren knew that she needed to make some changes. During our time together, Lauren discovered some hidden recurring payments for things she had not thought about in a long time and was not budgeting for. As a result, Lauren was able to get rid of those expenses and start using the money to prioritize other things she valued. This spotlight on her finances allowed her to start consistently saving $1000 a month because she was able to reprioritize how she desired to spend her money, so saving became her first priority in her new spending plan (budget).
Lauren was able to take what she discovered in our partnership and use the accountability to empower herself to see the thing(s) that were tripping her up so she could deal with them.
“I needed someone to call me out. I needed to not hide anything. I needed everything to be brought into the light.”
“The flywheel of success happened quickly after that. I was able to cancel a bunch of things and scale back where needed. There was a moment of clarity where I had to say 'Oh, Lauren that’s why you’re not making progress' because I did not have a realistic view and I thought I did and I wasn’t even trying to lie to myself. But then I was able to adjust accordingly once I knew.”
There were simple things Lauren adjusted to catapult her success. For example, Lauren did not realize how many times she was saying ‘yes’ to Uber Eats or incurring little fees here and there at her gym. With simple shifts, like choosing to eat at home more, canceling memberships that no longer served her, and agreeing to look at her expenses regularly she was able to increase her savings and create a plan to stop using her credit card so she could get out of debt and finally see the results she desired.
We were able to work together to help Lauren enact something she had always heard “pay yourself first.” Lauren said she always heard that you should pay yourself first but she’d always defaulted to paying her bills first because those were the things screaming at her and she felt responsible in doing so. Prior to our partnership, she never felt really comfortable paying herself first.
“I spend money differently now. I am more discerning about what I buy. I’ve learned contentment during this season. Going for a walk with a friend or a simple cup of coffee versus an elaborate meal still serves the same purpose.”
Her change in money mindset has prepared her for the new season of life where she says she’s learned the reeducation of the value of a dollar because for a while she’d lost track, as she continued to make more money, but she’s been able to focus on her priorities since working in our partnership.
“I once laid in bed at night, stressed about wanting to save more and thinking ‘but I have to finish off this debt’ and I couldn’t seem to get ahead and I’m working so hard and that was so discouraging because I was working so hard and not making progress. But to be equipped with simple things that radically changed the way my money was spent was so powerful. I now lay my head on my pillow at night and money is not one of the things that I think about and not because I have a superabundance but because I have enough and that’s a really nice feeling.”
Lauren was able to rest in the way she needed to because she gained the freedom she desired to go on a sabbatical and money not be a worry because she prepared for this season by hiring a financial coach to help her see what she could not see.
After leaving her job she paid cash for a trip to Mexico, traveled to the Pacific Northwest for five weeks, went to upstate New York and worked on an organic farm for a month, and traveled all through Canada. She spent three and a half months exploring different cultures and ways of life, breathing a lot deeper, and rediscovering life. She knew every month that she could travel and her bills were paid.
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