How Brent Ditched Perfectionism and Got Intentional with His Spending

Money Files

I first shared Brent’s journey shortly after he finished working with me in my five month coaching partnership. In this conversation I caught up with Brent almost two years later and we’re pulling back the curtain to hear about his financial journey from crippling perfectionism to intentional flexibility after working with me.

Before working with me Brent spent his mental energy either agonizing over his imperfect finances or avoiding them as much as possible. He was constantly worried about having enough and would use his credit card between paydays to sustain his lifestyle instead of making intentional decisions with his money.  

When we finished coaching together Brent was about to move into a new apartment, which meant he needed to shift his budget.  In fact, this past year has been one met with new financial experiences as Brent has navigated unexpected expenses, shifts in financial goals, and rising inflation. This last year of managing his finances on his own has helped Brent let go of perfectionism and embrace the shift in his money mindset.   

In our conversation today, you’ll hear Brent share several powerful thoughts and questions he uses to embrace a healthy financial mindset and make intentional money choices. 

Instead of old questions like “Will I have enough money for this?”, he learned to ask “Will this purchase align with how I want to use my money?” He gained confidence in his ability to adjust his budget in real time. Instead of beating himself up over a forgotten fee, now he just adds it into his budget for the next month and moves on. 

Being able to trust in the financial management system he has now means that Brent has been able to invest that energy into other areas of his life. He’s been able to let go of worrying about getting his finances perfect, and uses money dates to check in periodically instead. Brent’s taken that extra time and energy to work on his fitness and health, hiring a personal trainer and setting aside money each month to cover that expense. He used the self-confidence he gained from feeling in control of his finances to negotiate a raise at his job. And Brent, who used to live paycheck-to-paycheck, now has both an emergency fund and enough savings built up to cover three months of utilities to be able to live on, giving him a sense of freedom and security he never thought possible before.

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • How the shifts in Brent’s money thinking have allowed him to enjoy life more [04:58]
  • Why keeping a budget feels freeing as opposed to restrictive [06:51]
  • How having a clear plan transforms your approach to spending money [12:58]
  • How Brent found self-worth and learned to invest in himself [17:33]
  • How his work with finances has impacted those around him [20:58]
  • The results that have surprised Brent as he has strengthen his relationship with money [23:16]
  • Brent’s advice on ditching perfectionism [29:43]
  • How his budget has helped him build awareness around spending [32:24]
  • The results he’s most proud of on his journey [35:55]
  • The importance of a mindset shift with your budgeting and spending [37:58]

Tune in to this episode of Money Files to hear all the details about Brent’s life-changing money transformation and how shifting your money mindset can have ripple-effects in all areas of your life. (And check out Brent’s first episode with me here!)

Are you ready to change your relationship with money to be more intentional? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.


[00:00:02] Keina 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. 

Hi and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. Today I’m here with Brent. We are going to do a where are they now series. You’ve probably heard me mention Brent’s name numerous times. They may even call him a favorite. But I love Brent with all of my heart and he has definitely been one of my favorite people to work with. So. Hi, Brent. 

[00:00:56] Brent Hello. How are you? 

[00:00:57] Keina Good. Nice to have you back. 

[00:00:58] Brent I know. I’m excited. 

[00:01:01] Keina I should share that I did a webinar maybe like two weeks ago and I was reading through, I don’t know that you have access to this or that you have seen it in any time recently. But I was reading your intake form and we had our first call and then I was reading the client profile after you decided to work with me and I’m like, Hey, who is this guy? Like, I don’t know him anymore, but there was so much in your like intake form about like mindset, scarcity. Like there’s fear. Like I think all of the financial buzzwords that you can imagine and then whenever you like, send me a text message or DM It’s like not not that guy that messages me at all. It’s lovely.

[00:01:46] Brent Yeah. Oh I like the change too, trust me. 

[00:01:50] Keina Well yeah. Go ahead and I’ll just let you reintroduce yourself. 

[00:01:53] Brent Yeah, it’s Brent. I have worked with Keina a year. We ended a year ago, so I guess we started a year and a half ago. It’s funny you mention that reflecting back and think like, who is that person? Because I have done that in a couple of areas of my life and I didn’t really think about it until you just mentioned it with this, too. But I remember when I started with you, it was like it was COVID, height of COVID. I was at home with my family and I didn’t have a lot of bills. And where I start with you is like, I know I’m moving out on my own again that early this summer. I don’t trust myself to make smart financial decisions and all the cleanup I had done by living at home with my family. I was so afraid I was going to throw it all away and go right back to, like, bad decisions. Basically, I didn’t trust myself. 

[00:02:38] Keina Mm hmm. 

[00:02:39] Brent And has it been a transition? You know, having my own place, living in Atlanta, this little thing called inflation in the last year? Yeah, it has. But it’s been such a weight off my shoulders how my relationship with finances is completely different. 

[00:02:56] Keina Yeah. Tell us about just like, the changes you’ve noticed for yourself. 

[00:03:01] Brent A lot. I mean, a lot. There’s a lot less emotion around finances. like it used to wear me down, a lot of shame. So, you know, adding in things that you and I know well. But for anyone who’s not listened to my original story, you know, carrying debt, making poor decisions, being in a job where I don’t make a whole lot of money in education and nonprofit, yet living a life where I think I do make a lot of money. Right. So I’ve been doing that for too long. And just I would beat myself up. I would feel “less than.” I would have the scarcity mindset and everything. And doing the work with you, and even through the past year, money and finances just don’t have that emotional toll on me any longer. Like it just just is what it is. You know, some days are better than others. 

You know, I think some of the stuff I wrote down, it’s like even my relationship to perfectionism has shifted. And I think that this has played a part in it because I remember like when I started with you, I was so hung up on getting that damn spending plan perfect and having everything right. And I think in the first month we were working together, I was at my friend’s house and I had to walk away from my computer because I was so overwhelmed trying to figure that out. And now it’s just something I do. It’s just integrated into my life. It changes all the time. And I think that’s that piece of perfection to let go is to understand that my spending plan is this almost like a living, breathing thing and in and of itself. And so, you know, when I forget an annual fee, I just I just plug in it. It doesn’t mean it’s that does it mean anything about me or my finances or anything. I just add it in and adjust. And it has taken so much emotion and just energy away from finances that I can then invest in other parts of my life. 

[00:04:48] Keina Yeah, I was going to ask you like not having the weight of thinking about money, like how has that allowed you to show up in other areas of your life? 

[00:04:58] Brent Oh, completely different. I feel I enjoy life more. I feel more intentional when I do decide to go out or when I do spend money. Like I think I, I think about it more and not from a, Oh, do I have $100 left in that line item or whatever. But just more in terms of like what’s my return on my investment of my time and my money in this experience? So that’s shifted. But then when I am out, I can thoroughly enjoy myself instead of being like is my card going to get declined when I swipe it right, do I have it back up In case that happens, it just doesn’t happen anymore. It’s just it’s so much more enjoyable. And I think, you know, in terms of like how I’m spending my time and energy differently, I’ve definitely put a lot into like my health and my fitness and and doing that. And it’s been so refreshing because that has been elevated, that area of my life as well. 

[00:05:50] Keina I just constantly look at budgeting as not something that has to be restrictive, but it allowed you to like build the life that you desire. And I think anyone listening may have just rolled their eyes, but it’s being able to like shift beyond this. Like, I think the narrative you hold before you actually start to know your numbers is like, Oh, I’m going to have to give up so much, right? Right. So like, I’m not going to get started. But by way of like recycling that story in your head, you’re like actually giving up a world of possibility that you can’t, I don’t know any other way to articulate this besides the fact that, like, you can’t imagine it because you’re you’re unwilling to allow yourself to experience it because of like being scared and having that conversation. Which yeah, that’s just what’s resonating for me right now as you’re talking about that. Like I’m like, yes, you made it through that threshold. So now it’s like, what are all the other things that get to be true? 

[00:06:51] Brent Yeah. Yes. Part of it is like, okay, obviously you’ve got a set dollar amount to work with every month and how do I want to spend that money? Okay, if I want to do more, then how do I make more? Generate more? And you know, I have like part time things, so looking at that, but I’m actually probably making less per month now than a year ago because I’m not caring private. So I’m a coach, so I don’t I don’t have private clients right now. I’ve decided to focus on my full time job and then my part time doing mental health coaching, and that comes in flux with demand. So I pulled that out of my budget and now I just use that money in a different way. So half of it goes to savings, the other half goes to like investment or paying off debts depending on, you know, how much it is. 

So my budget is probably less, but I never felt restrictive when I was like pulling back. It was more so just like, how do I make this work? What is most important to me and it really goes back to from those first exercise we did is like, what do I value in life and how do I want to spend my money? And so for me, with the health and fitness stuff I’ve been on currently, it, it included adding a peloton into the fitness thing. So that’s a monthly payment I have now that. Did I need to add that. No, but when I was making that decision and weighing the pros and cons, it fell right into what is important in my life right now. And it’s made me feel so much better overall in my life. So, you know, it’s like, what’s that investment? And the return in different areas is how I’ve really looked at making a lot of my financial decisions. 

[00:08:21] Keina I think that’s a great question for anybody to ask themselves is like, what is the return on investment and not like interest, but but thinking about time and money because like I have some clients who talk about what’s the value of like getting their house cleaned, for instance, like, yes, it costs you money, but then what do you get in return because someone came and clean your house that week? Or what’s the return on investment of going and getting a coffee and sitting at the coffee shop and reading a book and being able to talk about how you spend your money in that way and looking for how it fuels your life. I actually just got back from being with my business coach and one of the things that came up for me was like, What does luxury mean? And not even luxury in like, I want a Chanel bag. I think that’s like where our minds usually go when we start to talk about luxury, but really thinking about like there’s one morning I woke up and me and a one of my other coach friends, we went on a walk and then we went to the gym. We like went to the hotel spa and sat in a steam room and then went to the pool and was like, this is the most like amazing morning just to be able to start slow. But thinking about like, how do I incorporate like I don’t have an access to the spa out my back door, but like how do I incorporate like these moments that allow me to like slow down? Like that feels luxurious to me. And like one thing I want to challenge everyone to think about is like, what are these moments of luxury in your home life that you can incorporate? And it may be the coffee or it might be like, I’m going to take a half day and go like eat my lunch in the park. I don’t know what it is, but like, what are those things that make you enjoy life a little bit more and just like the value of what you have in front of you. I don’t know if that taps into anything for you. But yeah, that’s. I’ve just been thinking a lot about luxury. 

[00:10:14] Brent Yeah. Now, I mean and again going back to budgeting because I think even my friends who have seen me share things about finances and have reached out and have conversations, I think that’s everyone’s default is what would I have to give up? It’s going to be restrictive. I’m going to have to cut out anything fun. And I think that’s because on social media and other, quote unquote, finance experts, that’s a lot of times the message like sacrifice, cut, pay it off, and then you can have fun after the years of letting go of things. And that’s just not how you engage. And I think that’s why I’ve been successful and made good decisions. And again, it hasn’t been perfect by any means, but yeah, so there are times it’s like I’m going to get a massage or make resort pass, have a little day pool excursion on a weekday when you take time off. Because again, how does that recharge you to show up in other areas of your life? But if I’m going spend $100, I can find a place where $100 is coming from. It’s not like I’m just willy nilly swiping a credit card without any intention or thought when I do those kinds of things. 

[00:11:21] Keina Did you see yourself being able to maintain your budget after we finished working together like? 

[00:11:26] Brent I did, but I didn’t, right? Because when we ended, I think it was right before I was moving into my own place. And so I’m like, okay, I’ve got and I remember, you know, with you setting the money up to have like my first month’s rent there and like thinking about, well, what would the average gas bill be like? So the money was there to pay those initial bills. But I’m like, Oh, this is actually now what my monthly spending looks like. This is very different having rent after almost a year of not having it. And so there was that trust. But I think again, just learning and taking it paycheck by paycheck, you know, and playing around with it and knowing it was flexible. 

For me, a big learning curve was, you know, moving into my place. So the only thing I had was my bed. So I had nothing to sit on, did not have a desk to work at, like I’d gotten rid of all that stuff. And so the scarcity side of me was like, Well, I’ll just wait until I have the money to do that. That’s the responsible thing to do. And then I would sit in this big, bare, white, boring apartment, and I was like, My comfort is worth something. My like to be excited to be at home. You know, I work from home, so I work, sleep, eat everything here. To be able to enjoy this space and want to have people over, I realized that meant something to me. And so it was like when I decided to look for furniture or look for plants, you know, things I don’t need but that make it feel like a home. I was really intentional, like what I bought when I bought it. 

But also I just listened to your credit card podcast this morning, but thinking about how to use things to my advantage. So 0% financing or what was that time period? And just having a clear plan of, okay, if I’m going to buy this couch and it’s got this many years of zero interest, where does that fall in place of like other things I want to pay off? So again, Old Brent just sort of swiped, not cared, bought stuff that’s 24% now. Big deal. I’ll pay it off. But to really be intentional about those decisions and I mean, I love where I live. So like again that investment and my happiness and yes, did I add to my debt? I did but I feel like I have a clear plan. there wasn’t the emotional same after the purchases and I love my space and what I’ve created here in my new home. 

[00:13:46] Keina And I think I would say like you’re saying, you added to your debt. But what I actually hear is you considered I mean, if you use a 0% interest, whatever it is, the couch is $1,000. We need you to pay $20 a month for the next eight years, whatever that looks like. Right. It sounds like you went in and you actually said, like, is this feasible? And what would be the plan moving forward? Which I think is a much different position than I’m going to do it and I’ll figure it out later. 

[00:14:15] Brent Oh, absolutely. That was the old Brent that was I’ll get to that later. And this is like how does this impact? Like, you know, even before I saw what the payment was, I’m like, how does this fit into my spending plan? I’m going to intentionally put this in beforehand so I know what that impacts the other areas of my life. Very different approach. 

[00:14:34] Keina And I wanted to highlight that for you because like, yes, we could look at it as adding to debt. Right. But I think that there’s because I think there’s a real part of life where you’re like, crap, I wasn’t prepared for this moment. And so I want to make a decision that I feel like confident in. And I think we don’t talk enough about that in the financial spaces. Like because I’ve had clients where it’s like, crap, something happened to my car, right? And like, yes, I have $500, but it’s going to cost me a thousand. So we’re talking about where’s the additional 500 coming from? And I think like that is a notable skill set to have to know how much money do I have, what’s the difference of it? Right. And I’m making a plan and it’s okay. 

[00:15:20] Brent Yeah, yeah. I had I had a medical procedure last November and then once the insurance and, you know, the back and forth, like once the dust settled, I’m like, woo, that’s a bill. And then again taking advantage of some 0% financing. But still it was like a couple hundred dollars a month. And initially ya know. Yes scarcity and how am I going to figure this out kicked in. But when I really sat down and I just inserted into my spending plan, I’m like, okay, where do I find that money? What do I look at? How do I rearrange this? 

It goes back to that. It takes the emotion out of it is for me at least, to just look at that grid and and move the numbers around and be like, okay, I got this, I got this. And then, you know, I’ve been able to take that off my spending plans. I haven’t paid it off, but I have the money to pay it off. It’s one of those like mints. And I’m thinking career change and transition and not wanting to get rid of my full safety net of some savings just in case there’s a little bit of a gap there. But, you know, knowing that I have that money to pay it off and I don’t have that monthly number on my spending plan has been huge. And it just feels like I’m in so control, so much control of my finances and my just financial health. And I’ve never felt that way before. 

[00:16:40] Keina Yeah, I think about you, one, you talked about trust earlier, which I think is really important. But I also think about you because I remember we were on a consult, we got to a point where we started talking about like self-worth. 

[00:16:52] Brent Oh, yeah, yeah. 

[00:16:53] Keina And how it related to finances. And I don’t know that I had had ever had as an explicit of a conversation about self-worth with anybody that I worked with until like me and you met. But but since that point, I’ve just been thinking so much about it. And then I know I posted something on, on Instagram and you were talking about also continuing to invest in yourself. But I’m curious, like, what has been your journey in terms of like self-worth, like the power of investing in yourself? Because I think that this is also something that we don’t talk about, is like how do you invest in yourself? And I think it’s it’s something that we have to learn how to do. 

[00:17:33] Brent Yeah. I mean, that self worth thing and self value is huge. You know, we shared like I was able to negotiate an increase in my salary at work. I always felt like, you know, like a good Midwesterner, you’re just thankful to have a job and you do hard work and people will reward you as they see fit. And, you know, it took a lot of back and forth with Keina being like, no, you need to name your price. And that was also when I was increasing my coaching prices as well. So that was a huge breakthrough for me to be like, No, this is what I’m worth. Like this is what I, this is what I want. And it kind of tied back into like, what do I want to live on, right? Like, how do I want to live my life and what does that take? But also, like, I know I bring value and hard work and everything else. So naming that and putting a dollar value on that was huge. I think for my self-worth. Like, yes. 

So I did the thing where I’m like how I invest in myself in terms of some different coaches. So like with you a year and a half ago, like I said, I’m working with a career and resumé coach to help me freshen that up. You know, I have a personal trainer, a virtual personal personal trainer. I’ve been working with him for this, the end of this month it’ll be two years. And I don’t recognize that Brent from two years ago who started working out with like a 20 lb dumbbell and two burpees. I was like, whew I’m done, you know. Today I was throwing up a 50, you know, so, you know, just to see that growth and know that both the time and the money invested into myself, like all that has just affected my self-worth and how I show up. I mean, even like dating, like being new in a city and meeting people and going out, like how I choose to spend my time or what I choose to do with certain people is a reflection of my self-worth. Like that has really affected, like, how I want to spend time with people and what I want to do. 

[00:19:23] Keina How did you like, I’m going to use the word coach cause I do like I’m thinking about it kind of in terms of like self-talk, like even thinking about your trainer, like how did you get yourself to a point where you were like, I’m going to invest in myself?

[00:19:38] Brent For me, it all started 2019 when I did my coach training program. I think that was the first time I really invested in myself and just had a lot of breakthroughs and saw such an upward progression, an elevation in my life for doing that. It’s funny, like I think when I started with my personal trainer, he’s one of my best friends, we went to grad school together ten years ago, and I simply reached out to him to be like, Hey, is there an app I can download that are something like, if I want to do arms for the day it would give me five exercises? He’s kept asking me questions. He was like, Bro, you know this is what I do for a living, right? Like, I know you own a CrossFit gym, but I didn’t know you did personal training and so so that’s how it started. And now I couldn’t imagine not spending that money or having those workouts come from him. The feedback, the support, the accountability, all of that. And I think, you know, when you see positive and working with you, too, is another great example. When you have positive results and you see your life change and to not recognize the person you were when you started that journey. If it worked in that one area of your life, why wouldn’t it work elsewhere? And so that’s where it’s like, okay, what’s the next thing I want to work on in my life? Or who do I need for support or accountability? What does that mean? And what am I willing to invest or spend? What does that look like as well? So I think about that a lot with different areas in life, like what’s next? 

[00:20:58] Keina How do you think your work with finances has impacted your circle? 

[00:21:04] Brent Like my friends? And family. I put this down. I don’t think so much with my family. I can’t think of like specific examples. But, you know, I share a lot of your content on social media. I am and always will be a fan. But what I’ve noticed is how many people reach out to me and they’re like, Hey, tell me more about this person or tell them about this or about your journey. And just I feel like when my weight of shame and the scarcity mindset or just the perfectionism, like not hiding behind that and really opening up like, hey, I’ve had this journey and here’s what’s changed my life that people are asking and inquisitive and just willing to share where they are, what their struggles are. 

And part of me is like, Just imagine if this was the norm. If we just talked about like, Hey, I can’t go out for dinner tonight because X, Y and Z, but so many people will just go out and swipe a credit card or be like, I’ll figure that out later, because you don’t want to let people in or let people know you’ve had unexpected expense come up or that you don’t want to do it because it’s not in alignment with how you want to spend your time or your money. Like, I think those conversations were so much more normal. We just be so much closer. And that’s the one thing I’ve noticed the most is both close friends and just kind of like acquaintances have opened up via social media messages and to like, Hey, tell me more about this kind of stuff and just opening that door to possibility for them. Who knows what might happen? 

[00:22:31] Keina I love that. Like this night and you created like your own you’re creating your own conditions too, that you get to engage with your friends around finances. Because you’re right, we don’t say like, Oh, no, I can’t afford that, or it’s not even not being able to afford it as much as like I don’t want to spend my money like that. 

[00:22:50] Brent Right. 

[00:22:50] Keina Thanks. Get me the next time, but not this time. Okay. I’m looking at my questions to see what. What I haven’t asked you. I don’t think I’ve asked you any of the questions on the list of questions I send to you, which is fine. But, yeah, what would you say? I’m going to ask one of them, because I know for you you wrote down some notes, but like, what results have blown your mind since we started working together? 

[00:23:16] Brent I’ve mentioned a couple of them I like my relationship to perfectionism that’s changed a lot. Like I said, so much less stress and emotion over money. There’s don’t panic and I don’t get overwhelmed. I remember sending you I don’t know if I can’t remember if I sent like a screenshot or what it was, but my savings, like I have a savings, I have an emergency savings line and you know, I manipulated and played with your spending plan. You don’t recognize it. What it looks like now, but it works for me. I created I have these columns for like, okay, if my power bill is $50 a month, then three months of my power bill, I need to have $150 saved. And so I have a column that’s a three month savings and I need all of my foundational core need to pay monthly bills. I have three months. 

[00:24:05] Keina That’s awesome. 

[00:24:07] Brent Not including the current month. So technically four months in a way. I don’t know. Like I didn’t know anything near that before, but like to feel if you know, I lost my job tomorrow or something happened to know that. Yeah, I would have to, like, get rid of Paramount Plus or HBO Max because, like, I don’t consider those core foundational. Yeah. Netflix maybe because, you know, I run the family account, but my power would be paid. My Internet is there like it wouldn’t be a worry, I have three months of like safety. That was just foreign to me before. So that’s huge. I think the other biggest change too is how my emotions or like when I’m feeling down, I mean, I worked in retail for 12 or 15 years, so the retail therapy is for real in my life. 

[00:24:57] Keina Mm hmm. 

[00:24:58] Brent And, yeah, I still like to go out and spend money and make myself feel better. But, again, it’s the, like, the choice and the intention of when and how I do it. But I typically go out, like, with what I want and why and what it’s for. But even like when I see things on social media or, you know, just shopping online and i can’t remember if you talked about this or just heard it elsewhere, but I have like a note and I’ll put it in is this a want or need, and then I put the link to the item and I give myself like one night to sleep on it. And most of the time I don’t come back and buy it the next day. But then I have it for when I realize I actually need it or when I have a little extra money I want to like treat myself. I like a go to list and it’s things that I’ve looked up and thought about intentionally. And so that’s changed as well. And just then again, it’s just so much less emotional weight and energy around it. 

[00:25:49] Keina Gosh that is like such a such a good feeling because even for myself. This is a silly one, but I went out of town and I remember before going out of town, I was like, I need a new broom for my kitchen. I’m tired of the broom that I have in my kitchen. And I was like, I remember searching best brooms for tile. And so I had done all of this, like Amazon research, which God only knows that wasn’t real research. And I was thinking about it like literally yesterday and I was like, Keina, I’m so proud of you. You didn’t buy broom. I really like, I really don’t need a broom, but there was an urge in the moment that I had that I was like, I feel like my broom is not sweeping well enough, so therefore let me go spend 30 bucks. And it’s not even about the money. Right? But it’s just like being able like I am alive guys and I am using the same broom that I had a week and a half ago. And how many things like that come into our homes Because everything is so accessible and we don’t give ourselves like time to think and use the Internet or anything else around us. Like everything is so instant. So yeah, I just love that you, you have like this little system. 

[00:27:05] Brent Worked out well. It’s helped me out.

[00:27:05] Keina So if you’re listening to this. I think you should adopt Brent’s system because it’s just going to allow you like it’s one small change you can make to start feeling better about your finances immediately and the things that you’re welcoming and bringing into your life. So you actually have things that you love and not a whole bunch of junk or a bucket of returns to take back. Oh. Is there anything else on your list? 

[00:27:36] Brent Not in that area, no, no. I touched on a couple other ones already, but yeah, those are my the big ones. I’ve just the results. But you know, again, thinking back to when we started a year and a half ago, if you would, if you would have told me about the three month savings and having an emergency line item with savings. I just would have laughed and told you there’s no way. 

[00:27:56] Keina So now that you have that, like what? What is your mind opening up to as like possible. Like what do you see in the near future for yourself? 

[00:28:05] Brent The big ones is that like I really see a light at the end of the tunnel and have been really smart about i, again, thinking about what you talked about this morning when I listen to your podcast, but you know, just what’s the plan? What’s the payoff? Getting clear on like when a promotional interest rate ends and what’s the plan for that or how to have it paid off by then? But also to start, I do have the line on my spending plan. I don’t have money dedicated to it right now, but a down payment on a house/condo like that is the next big, big thing. 

[00:28:36] Keina Well, you know, that’s the next big thing I’m going to bug you about. 

Brent I appreciate that. 

Keina You guys didn’t hear the conversation before we started talking, but I was like, Hey, Brent, how’s it going with the house search? He’s like, Oh, you know, interest rates. I don’t want to hear any of that. Well, because you’re right, I like it goes back to this narrative, especially like everybody’s talking about how high the interest rates are. But I think that there’s so it’s so important to see the thing that you want. So I talked to Brent about first time homebuyer programs. He’s like, I have them in a bookmark. Great. Can you pull them into the screen and actually start looking at them? So you know what tou need to start making that plan because I’m just I think that it’s so important to visualize where you want to be next financially because your brain is going to go to work for it, just like you got the raise while we were working together. Right. There’s just there’s so much more. I’m just saying this so it’s recorded. 

[00:29:31] Brent I appreciate that.

Keina In time. So what advice would you give to yourself? Like, if you could go back and give advice to yourself from when we first started, what would it be? 

[00:29:43] Brent I mean, two things and we touched on a little bit, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. You know, I think that was such a huge learning curve for me. And like I said, the first probably month of doing the spending plan, I just stressed out about getting it perfect. And then, my gosh, there’s a penny off. And, you know, I’d want to just throw the whole thing away and start over, but then you just work through it and that I think not related to finances, but that whole like you’re going to figure this out. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you know, like you’re going to forget to put in an annual fee somewhere where you can add, guess what? And you can add that in later. 

[00:30:23] Keina Ooooh. 

[00:30:24] Brent And ya know just that has been huge for me, but it’s also helped me in other areas in life to be like it doesn’t have to be perfect. Like I’m giving it my all and being intentional and I’m much happier. Like Go figure instead of worrying about being perfect. The other piece and you know, we talked about that is that money doesn’t define value in my life and I carry that weight of shame and everything for decades it felt like really, since my early twenties, it’s just so freeing that alone. Like had I had known that was going to be the end result of five months with you. I mean, it just it that in itself is worth it all. 

[00:31:03] Keina That’s awesome. I love it. I feel like you answered this because we talked about the trust and conference. 

[00:31:09] Brent Yeah. 

[00:31:10] Keina Yeah. Have anything else there to say about, like, how confidence or trust or awareness has shown up in your life? 

[00:31:17] Brent I think we talked about a lot of that, like the trust and confidence and just some of those experiences where I’ve been nudged off or bumped off or something comes unexpectedly and in those old ways of being or reacting kind of kick in. But I think what this has taught me is I can handle it. Like you’re going to figure it out. And like I tell my clients that I work with, you know, coaching doesn’t change life. It doesn’t change what happened with my surgery or the circumstances. What it changes is how you react and that, you know, there’s different ways to react and have a different result. And so I remind myself of what I tell my clients, you know, and that the awareness I, I am a huge like I have my Tuesday and Friday money dates like that. Those are standing things in my mind and my calendar. Like first thing I do when I get back from the gym and I’ve eaten breakfast, having my coffee, like I run through my whole thing. I still have my Quicken. It works in my system. I ain’t getting rid of my Quicken. 

[00:32:17] Keina Quicken!

Brent You know, I love my Quicken.

Keina Microsoft 1995. 

[00:32:24] Brent But I have a system. It works. I put money into my, you know, like I move it out of my groceries or my whatever line because I use my Amex to get points and stuff. But I just move it into the Amex line and then I pay that off every time I get a paycheck. So I pay it twice a month. And so that’s been huge. But it’s also that awareness. Like I was joking about, oh, I forgot that, you know, annual fee will happen. Like I signed up for a Starbucks, you know, visa. They get a whole bunch of free stars and then forgot the little detail that there is an annual fee. But two things at that. One, I’m like, okay, well, I need to put this in my spending plan, but I did have that moment of is this worth it? Like is this annual fee worth what I’m getting from this card or do I not need this card. for me and what I get for free from Starbucks, It was well worth paying, I think the $49. But just putting that into my spending plan and little things like I’m in the front runners running club here in Atlanta and it’s like $30 a year annual, you know, annual membership. But I put that in my spending plan and it’s like, what does that 2 something a month? But just the fact that it’s there it’s planned for and you’d be I think people would truly be surprised when you add up those small little things like just $40 it’s just 25. But when you start adding all that up and see that those little things are eating like 50 to $75 a month of your budget, like it ties back in your values. And is that how you want to spend it instead of the like? It’s just $40 here or $50 there. But like you have the full picture and even that’s only like two or $3 a month. Is that how you spend your money overall like that awareness for me has been really big as well. 

[00:34:06] Keina Yeah, especially like those two and $3, like you’re saying, just like being able to have it all laid out because there’s so many things that we forget about because we sign up like you were talking about Paramount Plus or Disney plus, right? You sign up for it because you are going to watch whatever season and then you like look at it and you’re like, Oh, I could be using that in some other area of my life that better serves me. And I don’t actually. I mean, I wish you wouldn’t give Starbucks money just because their coffee, you know, I should teach you how to use the French press. 

[00:34:41] Brent I do, that’s what I use most of the week. But I go to Starbucks once a week. 

[00:34:45] Keina For a higher quality of coffee that oh. 

[00:34:48] Brent No, I don’t use Starbucks coffee at home. 

[00:34:49] Keina Okay. 

[00:34:50] Brent I do like Starbucks. I don’t like brewed coffee at Starbucks. It’s coffee drinks and I have a reserve so I ge the fancy Starbucks, not the regular Starbucks. 

[00:35:02] Keina I just like to mess with you, I’m like Starbucks. So let’s also while coaching with Keina we’ll make sure that you have access to the finer things in life. I’m all about elevation. Okay, I have. I haven’t done this before. So there’s three statements you’re going to finish, okay? 

[00:35:20] Brent Yeah. I got this.

[00:35:22] Keina All right. So at first I thought budgeting was blank, but now I think blank. 

[00:35:26] Brent I put down at first I thought budgeting was restrictive. But now I think it’s an opportunity to review your decisions about where and how you spend your money and make decisions to align that with how you want to show up and live your life. 

[00:35:40] Keina I love that. One thought I use regularly… 

[00:35:45] Brent My net worth doesn’t define my self-worth. 

[00:35:48] Keina Oh, you’re good at this. The result I’m most proud of is… 

[00:35:55] Brent I have two. It’s sticking to the spending plan. And, you know, again, I think back to when I started and it was trust, it was the perfection, all that. But, you know, sticking to it and using it, it’s just allowed me to enjoy my life. But at the same time, keeping a focus on my finances, where I’m putting my money, debt management, the reduction, the savings focus, all that. And like I said, I tweaked it and tailored it to how I want to use it and organize it. And that’s, you know, again, it’s just this living, breathing document in my life now. And then the other result is just the emotional and mental weight lifted off of me. It’s allowed me so much growth and expansion in my life with my finances, but everywhere in life, because you’re not having that weight and that shame and feeling scarcity all the time. it has opened up to so much more happiness and possibility in other areas of my life. So, you know, I just have such a completely different relationship with my money and finances and my self-worth because of all this. 

[00:37:00] Keina Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’re like, Keina, I have to share this? 

[00:37:04] Brent No, I don’t think so. I mean, you know, if you still got some stalkers out there just listening. And liking your stuff on social media, they need to they need to jump on jump on board and do it. 

[00:37:16] Keina I love my hashtag Keina lurkers. Brent and Tavianna are friends. If you heard Tavianna’s story and you know, she thought the Keina Kool-Aid Brent had drink it and she was worried for him. Now they both drink it and they’re totally hypnotized. 

[00:37:33] Brent She did check, I think it was a Better Business Bureau she was doing a background check on you, making sure you’re legit.  

[00:37:37] Keina And I just love it. Yeah. I just want everybody to experience what you’ve experienced when it comes to finances or I mean, I think I’ve told numerous stories or I think so many people can find themselves in a pocket of like, Oh, that’s me. And that relates just wanted to do it the different way. 

[00:37:58] Brent Yeah, yeah. I mean, I would say if people are still listening, if you’re feeling like weighed down shame because that scarcity mindset and you know, it’s real like I’ve been there where it’s like, you know, I get paid every 15 days and five days in I have it’s sitting at zero. What I would do the next ten. Like I’ve been there, done that, and a lot of that is tied into the, the mindset. And so, yes, it’s like, how do you look at the numbers work with the actual dollars, generate more income, change your spending but also shifting that mindset while doing the numbers work. It just completely shift things and you’ll never go back to that, you know, it’s like once you’re aware and once you’ve seen it, you you can choose to go back and do the same old B.S. and have that life. But chances are you’re going to want to continue to grow and evolve and, you know, go down this path. It’s just been great. 

[00:38:54] Keina When you talk about shifting mindset, like can you elaborate on that? Like what were what did you notice those shifts to be? 

[00:39:02] Brent Yeah. I mean, for me, again, the self-worth and the value is huge. But just that scarcity, like instead of feeling like, Oh, this is all I have that restrictive, right? So like I’ve only got this much money or I’ve spent it all. Okay, well, how, how did I spend it? Like, what did I actually spend it on? And so tying it back to like where I spent it and knowing that that’s not how I want to, that’s not where I want to put my money, that’s not supporting my life. It just felt good in the moment or was easy in the moment. But, you know, all that has shifted my mindset around how do I want to spend money? When do I want to order in food or not? You know, just because I’m feeling lazy on a Tuesday night, but I have meals in my freezer. Like, why not do that? Because I you know, if I choose to do that on Tuesday night, then my treat later in the week when I want to order in a nice meal, is it going to be there. So like all that for me has been my mindset shift that’s just allowed me so much more flexibility and freedom. 

[00:40:07] Keina Yeah. So it sounds like. I just wanted to say for listeners that they know like if this is something I wanted to work on today, what would that look like? And I think you’ve asked you have presented a lot of different questions that you ask yourself. So if you’re listening to this or I would say, like any one of my podcasts that you’re listening to, going through and like writing down the questions, right? Because I think it’s I would underscore the, the words like self-talk, but like, how are you talking to yourself about money? Because if you can change some of the questions you’re asking, it’s going to shift how you think overall and just position you to handle your finances differently. So just wanted to give like a. Little action line for people in case they’re like, I don’t I don’t understand mindset. I think it’s something we throw around, but like how you actually shape it.

 So thank you. I appreciate you. Thank you. And if you want to apply to work with me and experience more ease with your finances, you can go to

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 and let’s get started. 

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