Exploring The Idea Of Financial Maintenance

Money Files

On today’s episode, I discuss the idea of financial maintenance. As a coach I am here to help you get results, maintain results, and move forward to bigger goals. So let’s talk about what happens when you are no longer worried about saving money or paying off debt. 

So what is financial maintenance? You are maintaining when your money systems are working effortlessly. You have a functional budget, you know your numbers, and you are consistently hitting granular goals like saving and paying down credit cards. Now you can shift focus to broader financial goals. You are in a place where debt is no longer the sole focus because you are maintaining a money plan that addresses those issues. 

However, when we reach financial maintenance a new fear creeps in. It’s normal to go off track a little. But restarting the process of managing finances is easier every time you do it. Now you have financial tools that will help you build a recovery plan and move forward. 

So I really want you to think about this idea of financial maintenance. You’re not always going to be worried about saving money and paying off debt. When you’re in maintenance you get to experience the next version of yourself. So in this episode I challenge you to identify who you are on the other side of saving money or paying off debt. Because where you are now is not where you will always be.  

While listening to this episode, start thinking about the answers to these questions…

[00:26:17] What financial tools am I starting with?

[00:27:25] What do you want to dial in and what do you want to leverage? I want you to answer the question – why is this important? Why is it important that you dial this spending in? What is the bigger win that you have planned for yourself?

Tune in to this episode of Money Files as I discuss reaching financial maintenance and what to do next.

Are you ready to start asking for help with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.



Hi, and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame, so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. So as I’m recording this, I’m realizing that this episode will air in May, and I cannot believe that we are already in the month of May. So my birthday is actually in May. It’s May 6th. And for years have thought like the beginning, a few months of the year, like January, February, it seems so slow. And then at some point it’s like we step on the gas and all of a sudden it’s May and here we are again. We are in May of 2023. And yeah, I just wanted to say that we’re in May. So a couple of things that I want to talk to you about before we get into this episode is my next money class. So the next money class that I’m doing is going to be May 17th, and it’s going to be May 17th at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

The money class is going to be about how to budget without restriction. I want you to know that I believe that if you do not have a budget, you actually live a restricted life. And so I want to show you how to budget without restriction. You’re like Keina you said a lot of restrictions, but I want to help you feel confident about your finances. I want you to feel like your finances are organized and you know exactly where your money is going. When you have that level of control and awareness, everything is going to change for you. Any of my guests that have been on this podcast, like my clients, the results that they talk about, they’re real. They’re not like special unicorns, they’re not special snowflakes, like any of the things that you hear them talking about. It’s available to you with one decision.

And that’s the decision to be like, Hey, I’m going to ask for help and I am going to move forward with working with Keina, but I want to invite you to the money class, how to budget without restriction. And then you’re going to have a special opportunity to work with me in my one-to-one five month coaching partnership because I want to help you, like we’re in May, we’re in month five of this year, and the next time we reach five months into the year, it’s going to be October. And so I want you like going into 2024, going into the holidays, going into the summer, I want you to feel confident about where your money is going. A lot of you are going to have bonuses coming up. You’re going to have new opportunities for business in your business. You are going to have opportunities to negotiate your salary at your current job because you’re going to be looking at performance reviews.

You are going to have decisions about buying a home. Maybe you have a baby and you want to be prepared for the baby. Like there’s something coming up in your life that if you knew how to budget without restriction, you would feel so confident about, because you would be so clear with the next steps that you want to take financially. So be sure to go to the link in the show notes or you can just go to www.wealthovernow.com/masterclass and join me for my next money class, How to Budget Without Restriction. And that is going to be May 17th at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. So I look forward to seeing you there. And if you already know, you’re like, Keina, I’ve been listening to you and girl, you caught me out in each and every episode, I’m like, Ooh, stay out of my life. If you are in that boat, just go ahead and go directly to my website and apply to work with me. It will be the best gift that you give yourself and you get to hang out with me for five months and we get to talk about money in the most amazing way possible. 

So let’s go ahead and dive into today’s podcast episode. For those of you who follow me on Instagram or you’ve been following my journey, or maybe you even work with me, you know that I enjoy working out. I’m also someone who has counted macros on and off for years. Like, I’ve probably done it for the last 10 years once I was introduced to macros. And macros is a way of being able to track your caloric intake, as it’s focused on protein, carbs, and fat. But recently I’ve been really, really interested in listening to more nutrition and fitness podcasts. And specifically I’m listening to them because I realize in my journey of, I think it’s literally probably been about 10 years that I’ve counted macros like on and off. But what I realize is there’s a concept within this structure of how you can use macros that I’ve never mastered, and that’s called maintenance. 

And so maintenance is where you’re supposed to live like most of your life. And when you are in a deficit, when you’re counting macros, they call that a cut. So a cut would be like dieting, you’re in this caloric deficit, which can trigger a lot of things for a lot of different people. But one of the things, like I said, I haven’t done successfully, is maintenance. So I’ve recognized that and I’m like, I want to get to a point where I can just maintain. I’ve done a lot of work, I’ve been in the gym, I’ve made sure that I’ve been eating clean like all these places. So I want to focus on the place where I get stuck, like what is my roadblock? What is my hurdle? And that’s the maintenance. So I’ve been listening to podcasts on this concept of maintenance because one of the things I know I need to do is be able to shift my mindset around what happens once I reach my goal. 

Because generally what happens when I reach my goal, I’m like, great, I can go back to my old lifestyle that got me back to like needing to set and reach a goal again. And it’s not working for me, it’s not working for me in a number of different ways because of the fact that I don’t desire to have to do the work over. And that’s not why I’m doing the work. I’m doing the work because I want to be the fittest version of myself. It’s very important for me to be able to move. I enjoy being in the gym and being able to lift heavy. I started CrossFit when I moved to DC years ago, back in 2009. One of my friends introduced me to CrossFit. And I remember when I joined this CrossFit gym, I told the guy I need to get rid of non-essential jiggle and I need to look like I work out. Like that was the goal because I remember seeing people that went to the gym at that time and I was like, they don’t look like they actually go to the gym. Like, I don’t understand. So why are you here? 

But when I think about maintenance, like there’s a version of me that I want to tap into and I want to maintain that version of me. And so as I’ve thought about the podcast that I’ve listened to about maintenance, it’s been so informative because I’ve been thinking about the thoughts that I don’t have and the thoughts that I do have after I finish a cut. Because I’ve been exposed to life coaching, I’ve had life coaches, like I’ve become very aware of how my thoughts and emotions all play in to one another. And so I’m like, can use it in every single aspect of my life. And so I’ve been thinking about how it shows up when I think about my fitness and my nutrition. And so one of the reasons that people generally, I think a lot of people struggle with maintenance and the reason that they struggle with maintenance is because maybe their reason for wanting to lose weight in the first place, like they’re losing weight to get ready for an event or summer is coming.

So like they have a very short term goal, but they don’t kind of like have this bigger picture goal. So it’s like this hustle to do the thing that they want to do or what ends up happening, once they reach the goal, then they just go back to their old habits that they had after they lost the weight. And so I can find myself within like this habit cycle and just recognizing all of these things. And so what I’ve recognized for myself and I’m sure for other people is missing in this cycle and thinking about maintenance, is that I’ve never adopted the full like lifestyle change, which means that I would have like a shift in my behavior. I would have a shift in my mindset and I would be able to recognize for myself, like, here’s the purpose of food in my life. Here’s the purpose of movement in my life. Nothing is about a punishment. Like it’s going to get down to my deepest why, like why do I desire to be fit? Why do I desire to not, you know, eat hamburgers and french fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day kind of thing.

And because I have been in this like macro world for a very long time, there are a couple things I know to be true, when I eat certain types of food, I can feel the impact on my body. Like something that’s happened from counting macros and I’ve done a whole 30 a couple of times, it’s like I have a very low tolerance for sugar because I understand the impact of sugar in my life. And I’m not even talking about any scientific reasons, it’s just like super sweet, honestly, like I don’t really like juices anymore. I don’t put sugar in my coffee, I prefer cream to the sugar. So if you had told me probably 15 years ago that I would be able to drink black coffee, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s one of the things that I’ve been able to gain from this lifestyle that I’ve adopted over the last decade.

And so I promise you this podcast is not about just fitness, I haven’t changed my niche, but I wanted to just kind of dive into this idea of maintenance. And even me talking out loud to you as I’m thinking, I’m telling you about an area of my life where I struggle and that’s with fitness and I can recognize the thing that I need to fix and the thing that I want to work on and the lever that I want to learn how to leverage is maintenance. And so one of the life hacks I have for myself when I identify something, I’m like, oh, okay, I want to learn more about maintenance. I’ve been listening to podcasts, I’ve literally been going on the podcast player and typing in maintenance, macros and maintenance. And so I’ve been listening to a couple RP podcasts. My friend Jenny, the nutritionist, she has some good podcasts.

And so I’ve just been feeding my brain with that content to help me think about my why and why it’s so important for me to be able to live in this space. But the reason I wanted to talk to you about this maintenance concept is because I also see the parallel when it comes to finances. There are so many finances you can ask some of my clients, I’m always like, listen, I know you’re probably tired of me having this fitness analogy, but just listen how and why it makes sense. Because I think a lot of my clients, they are people that like I can run a 5K or I go to the gym, like they get that. And so it translates really well over to their finances. But I’ve been thinking about this idea of maintenance. And one of the things that I heard on a podcast recently when they were talking about maintenance and they were talking about how to utilize a cut, the person on the podcast was talking about how every time you go into a cut, because a cut is like you losing weight or wanting to change your body composition, you get better.

It was like mind blowing for me. Like my mind exploded in the sense that I was like, oh my goodness, you get better. Like you have tools that you get to take from the last time you were doing this cycle where you were cutting, you get to take whatever tools you had in that cycle and you get to take them to the next phase of you being in this cycle again, like it’s not a punishment. It doesn’t mean anything bad about you. Like none of those things are true. You’re not starting at the same point that you started the last time you started, like you have a new set of skills. And I want everyone who’s listening to think about how this is true for your finances. You’ve probably tried multiple times to manage your finances and you feel like nothing has stuck. But think about how have you gotten better? What tools do you have this time around that maybe you didn’t have last time? And this is something that I point out for my clients over and over again because a lot of people have this objection and they have this fear that like, this isn’t going to work for them. 

You are probably someone who has listened to my podcast. Maybe you even had a consult with me and you’re like, I’m not sure if this is going to work for me. And so you have this fear that like, what if this doesn’t work? How will this be different? And let’s be clear that this is working with me. Like how will this be different? What if working with you Keina doesn’t work? Or you may even just have like blanket statements where you’re like, I’ve always struggled with debt, I’ve always struggled to save money. I’m always unprepared, I always just figure it out. Or whatever this mantra is that keeps you as someone who has an objection or a fear about actually working with a coach or even just getting into a new cycle when it comes to your finances. Like many of my clients, you have a known story. You have a known personal financial truth that comes from some past like financial trauma, some financial experience that you’ve had. 

And so when you look to do something different that pops up, it’s like, oops, excuse me, let me remind you that these things are true. You don’t know how to save, you don’t know how to pay off debt and you don’t know how to be prepared for unexpected expenses. Just last week you had to use your credit card to fix that tire on your car. So like this is your known personal truth and I just want to let you know that that’s normal, that those voices in your head go in to protect you from trying something and failing. Like you don’t want to fail. None of us want to fail because we want to avoid that feeling of failure. Failure doesn’t feel good. And so what’s happening is that you just kind of stick with where you are now and nothing changes. But one of the reasons I work with clients for five months or for some of my clients, we even work longer than that together because we’re working on new financial goals, is that for my clients, like if we work together for five months, we get to practice overcoming in real time the fears that they have about what will happen with their finances. 

But we also get to practice that they celebrate themselves, that they celebrate the things that are working really well. So yeah, we get to practice like responding to the unexpected car repair or taking your pet to the vet or maybe I’ve had clients that have lost their jobs or maybe you’ve had a $0 a month in your business, or maybe one of your friends asked you last month on a vacation and you’re trying to figure out where the money is coming from and then all these old stories like come up inside of you. And so you have this fear about whether or not this will work. Well when we work together in this five month coaching container, we get to actually practice, like I said, in real time, overcoming these natural fears you have about your finances because you just have these like personal financial truths. 

And what also is true, like I just said before, is that we also get to practice celebrating the growth that you’ve experienced because you’ve been in the container. So we get to like create this seesaw of your fears and then we get to on the other side, like look at your celebrations. So those celebrations become new truth for you that the other side of that seesaw that has your known financial fears, we get to slowly cross those off and knock them off and not listen to them. But when my clients go through any one of the situations that I spoke about, we are rewriting their financial stories. We’re building this level of resilience within them where they know, like I am always going to have their back. And when I say I, they get to say that to themselves. Like, yes, as your coach, I will always have your back, but for my clients they get to say like, I’m going to always have my own back. I can figure it out. I have the skills to figure it out. They can get coaching on their thoughts that are coming up for them about this situation.

Like I have client recently, we were talking about her debt and she says, Keina, I just feel like my debt isn’t moving. And I said, okay, well what do you want to make that mean? And can you tell me what has changed in the three months we’ve been working together? And she starts telling me about like how she’s saving consistently. She starts telling me about how she’s had conversations with her husband about finances, how they reallocated, how they’re sharing expenses, like things have changed. And so I told her like, what if those things changing are actually preparing you to be able to pay down your debt? How does that change how you want to look at your debt? But she’s been so focused on debt being bad for so many years that like her brain couldn’t even see all of the other wins and accomplishments that she had.

And so she got coaching in this call on her thoughts and she’s starting to notice how her thoughts show up about how she’s managing her money. So we’re rewriting that story and she’s becoming aware of her cycles. And when I’m talking about cycles, it’s like how you think and how you act in response to like different financial situations where you’re like, oh, that’s interesting. Scarcity is coming back in again. Oh, that’s interesting, fear is coming back in but when we work together, like my clients get to understand all of those pieces, both the wins, both the little things that trip them up, but that’s the power of the five months. And why like having a coach that is different for you because it’s not a spreadsheet. You got somebody talking back to you. You got somebody showing you your reflection in the mirror to be able to support you. But you might be like, Keina you said you were going to talk about like this financial maintenance piece and yes, but I wanted to tell you just like wanted to intro it with the things that show up for clients before they work with me, even while clients are working with me, some of the things that show up and because of the fact that like those things can still show up in financial maintenance. 

And when I’m thinking about financial maintenance, I’m thinking about the place where like a client feels like, okay, I’m not overwhelmed with my finances. I feel a lot calmer. I have a budget. So I have my plan for how I want to spend my money month to month. I feel good about how I’m saving my money and I feel like I have a plan to be able to pay off my debt. I have a plan for how I want to pay myself in my business. I have a plan for how I want to save in my business. So when I consider financial maintenance as a coach, probably happens about 60 days into like the five month coaching partnership. And it’s really where my clients have done the initial work to get their numbers organized. So now that the numbers are organized, we can actually lean in and look at like, okay, what other goals are true for you? But here’s the interesting part. When my clients get to this place where they’re in financial maintenance, other things can creep in where they start to wonder what happens if I fail? 

They start to see that there’s like this fear of failing. So generally my clients will know that they’re in maintenance. Like when we started to look at their financial vision. So we’re looking at how much money they want to make, or we are evaluating their finances on a quarterly basis, or we started to talk about what are the healthy financial boundaries you want to set for yourself? So we’re no longer just talking about these granular things in terms of how much money do you want to save or how much do you want to put toward your debt? We’re like starting to pull back and look at the bigger picture. And so that’s where sometimes people are like, I never envision myself being in this place. So they start to look for the things that are going wrong and or sometimes what happens when we get to this place is that they do find themselves getting off track. But what’s unique in this situation is for the first time ever, if they realize it, that doesn’t have to be a problem, that they’re off track.

In years past it’s been a problem that they’re off track. But in this instance it’s not a problem because they have the tools to be able to reset or align themselves. And so they might feel like they’re off track because they’ve overspent like on a weekend, or maybe they overspent on a trip, or maybe they’ve like given themselves permission to carry a credit card balance, or maybe they had to compensate for a financial dip in their business. So those could be some of the things that get them off track. But here’s the thing, when you’ve done the work to actually take the time to organize your finances and figure out, here’s how I want to save money and here’s how I want to pay off debt, here’s how I want to start to separate my business and my personal finances, like the financial skills that you have haven’t disappeared.

None of those skills have disappeared because you had a weekend where you overspent or you paid for a trip on a credit card, or you gave yourself a permission to carry a credit card balance or you know, you had to compensate for a financial dip in your business, your financial skills have not disappeared. And so when you recognize that and you recognize like I actually am in this space where I can trust the tools that I have, I can maintain my life, then you can look at your problem through a different lens. One, you can ask yourself, excuse me, it’s like, what is the actual problem? And then I can ask myself, why did this problem happen? Maybe you’re like looking at the past weekend, you’re like, okay, I overspent on my credit card this weekend and I overspent in terms of like how much I wanted to spend on eating out and I just found myself at brunch and then dinner and then happy hour, and then brunch, and then dinner again. Then you can identify why the problem happened. 

And maybe it’s like just one of, it could just be an anomaly. You’re like, wow, this is just like a really busy march. And like friends were in town and this is what happened. And then you can like actually create a plan to recover from the problem or it could be another situation where you start to realize that you have a credit card balance. And you’re like, oh my goodness, like I haven’t had a credit card balance in like six months. What is happening? And so when you go back and you look at these purchases, you can maybe see where like, oh, you know what? Every week I was kind of like, oh, I can make it to my money date in a couple weeks. Oh, I’ll like do a money date in a few more weeks. And then I started telling myself, oh, it’s just $200. I’m going to pay for it in a different way. So you can maybe start to see where you just started to feel a little bit resigned or maybe you were stressed, but you can identify this is the reason that my credit card was increasing over time. 

And so now that you’ve actually identified the problem, you can recover from the problem. You can decide, alright, I’m going to go ahead, go in, make a plan, pay off this credit card debt, realign my budget to make sure that I have money in the categories that feel important to me, that are aligned to my values and I can make a plan and move forward. But when you actually have the tools necessary to maintain your finances, you can have safety and security in knowing that I can manage my finances regardless of the situation. It’s knowing that in the past you would’ve shut down, but now you know how to rearrange your budget and get back on track. And this is where I want to make the parallel to the fitness. Like you get better every single time. You are working with a new set of tools. I tell my clients all the time and anyone who’s listening to me, like as a coach, I want my clients to be making progress. 

I am not stuck in you being perfect, because I think that when you set these parameters for yourself where it’s about being perfect, you will judge yourself if you mess up, you will judge yourself when you mess up because I think it’s a matter of when and not if. And so if you can recognize that like each time that I’ve had to rebalance myself or reset myself, I’ve only gotten better. There’s always growth in the process. So just think about, like if you’re talking to yourself in that way, how much different that feels than like berating yourself for not doing the right thing. So if you find yourself, if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re like, Keina, you’re like I’m struggling with maintenance and I’m really just thinking about, like I said, financial maintenance, like thinking about like I have the tools in place. I have what I need. I want you to ask yourself a couple of questions. I want you to ask yourself, what tools am I starting with? What do I want to dial in right now? 

Like, what’s the thing that maybe if you’ve worked with me, you’re like, okay, Keina talks about giving every single dollar a name. I want to make sure that I’m honoring or dialing that in for myself, and I want you to name why. Or maybe you’re like Keina suggested that I pay my credit card off every week. Why do I want to do that? What do I want to dial in? Okay, like maybe I want to dial in my shopping, or maybe I want to dial in like not just buying things right when I see them because an Instagram ad popped up. But you can identify like, what do you want to dial in and what do you want to leverage? Then I want you to answer the question like, why is this important? Why is it important that you dial this in? What’s the bigger why that you have for yourself? Then ask yourself like, how will I make sure that I hold myself accountable? How will I make sure I support myself? How will I make myself a priority when it comes to managing my finances well? And then lastly, what help do I need?

So answer that question for yourself. Like I had one of my clients, we just worked together again recently, and I was like, Hey, listen, next time I want you to reach out, ask me for help sooner. Like, don’t be ashamed. This situation we’re dealing with is a whole different version of the situation that we went through two years ago. Like you’re not that person anymore. And so I want you to recognize that. You’re asking for help on a new situation. So reach out and get that support because we want to keep you moving forward. One of the things they talk about on the fitness podcast is how important it is to have a coach during maintenance. Like just because you reached your goal weight doesn’t mean you should get rid of the coach. You keep the coach to make sure that you can practice the mindset to actually keep your results.

And so the same is true for my clients, like being able to go through financial maintenance. We want to make sure what’s going to come up for you as you make more money. What comes up for you when you realize that like, oh my goodness, there’s like this pattern that’s starting to creep up again of using my credit card, whatever that may be. But when you have a coach both to help you get the results, and actually maintain the results, you’re going to get better each and every time. So thank you for listening to my podcast today. I feel like I’ve taken you on a whirlwind. We talk about fitness, then you’re like, Keina, are you getting ready to coach us on fitness and nutrition, or are you going to talk about money? But I just want you to think about, there is this idea of financial maintenance. Like you’re not always going to be worried about saving money and paying off debt. 

You’re going to be able to be in a place where those things are true. And when you’re in maintenance, you get to think about the next version of yourself. Like, what are the things I want to be doing now? And the reason that I want you to identify who you are on the other side of saving money or paying off debt is because when you meet that person, I need you to have already thought about who that person is. Because once again, where you are now is not where you will always be. The financial problems you have now are not the financial problems that you always will have. So thank you again for tuning in. Join me for my next money class, May 17th at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. We are going to be talking about how to budget without restriction. Go to the show notes and you can register. I look forward to seeing you. Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment and let’s get started.

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