Before our partnership, Lourdes was trying to deal with the erratic pay schedule of being an independent contractor [self-employed] and not feeling prepared for the next month because she was worried about when “money would appear.” She was concerned that it would take too much time to manage a financial system, pay down her debt, and build her savings without taking away from her ability to spend on travel, dining out and other experiences she enjoyed.
Lourdes decided to invest in a coach because she wanted clarity about how she could use the money she had coming in to pay her bills regularly and feel confident with how she managed her money. She had also made a commitment to prioritize her health which showed in her behavior and actions but not in her finances.
In our first call, we were able to align her values with her spending plan in a way that mirrored her personal focus on health and clarity. Her greatest ‘ah-ha’, while we were working together, is that if she set the money aside for the things she valued most then she wouldn’t have to worry about something like a medical expense throwing her off track. This simple shift meant that she would now have money available to take care of her priorities without the worry she was taking away from some other area of her life and ‘starting over.’
The intensive showed her what she was doing well and where she had space to grow.
Lourdes has been able to be more strategic with how she chooses to manage her time and money, whether that is traveling, going to concerts, going out to eat, or being able to pass on work opportunities because they no longer serve her.
“I don’t have the mindset anymore about it [managing your finances] being tedious. I realize that I manage my finances so frequently that I really feel comfortable.”
She recently decided to make a shift in her work and she said, “I don’t feel discomfort [with my finances] because I have a plan. Part of the plan is to set aside money for bills, for the slower months, and I feel comfortable knowing that I’ve covered myself. I don’t have to worry about those things [expenses] because everything that is coming in is to cover those things and more - that’s exciting.”
One of my goals for every client is to move them beyond the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Lourdes felt this shift about three months into our partnership. Lourdes was consistent and continued to show up for herself every day. She asked questions, she came prepared to our calls, she completely dug in and awaited the results she desired.
Lourdes has completely changed her relationship with money. When we first started working together budgeting seemed tedious to her and she was worried about whether she could truly have the freedom and flexibility she desired but now she looks forward to budgeting.
“It’s freeing. In a sense, it really does allow you to work within something that you said that you value and something that you said that you want. It’s aligned to the integrity of your values. It’s a give and take, that’s how I would describe a budget. It’s a plan. I like to plan my work and then work my plan and that’s what it allows me to do and then within the working of the plan, there’s flexibility. That’s where the give and take comes in.”
“There was a lot of work that went into understanding what money was coming in and what money was going out and cleaning that up. I knew it was going to get to this point [being out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle] but I didn’t know when. I think I noticed when I could pay off all this [credit card] debt and I was like ‘oh no, I can cover that.’ I remember I could do that [pay off my debt] before in the high seasons but without a plan. This time I could plan for what’s to come in the next two to three months.”
Lourdes is finally experiencing the freedom and flexibility she desires.
She has saved $9,000 for taxes in five months, her only credit card “debt” is limited to expenses she’s reimbursed for, she made her first accelerated payment of $381 to her student loan payment without worry that it would impact any other area of her life. She has gained the confidence and results she desired, not just because she has a system to manage her plan but because she has taken ownership of the structure we created that allows her to know how much money she has coming in and where and when her money is going out.
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