How Giving Every Dollar A Name Will Help You Make Financial Progress

Money Files

Are you making “good money,” but still feel you can’t do what you want with your money without concern of “how am I going to pay for this?”  You might think making more money will solve your financial desire to travel more, pay off debt, or reach your next goal of buying a home. But you can’t out-earn your spending habits, so to create clarity with your finances you need to start giving every dollar a name. 

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through my process of naming every dollar you earn so that you aren’t overworking your money. This process will help you take the shame out of your finances and help you to get to know your numbers so you can plan and spend with intention. 

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • Why you don’t feel wealthy despite making “good money” and the change you need to make to progress toward your financial goals [05:34]
  • How giving every dollar a name allows you to create clarity around your money [09:09]
  • The three step process for naming each dollar to guarantee that they aren’t overworked [13:18]
  • How creating clarity around your money allows you to confidently create more money  [21:28]

Tune in to this episode of Money Files to learn how to start giving every dollar a name and building the life you want. 

Are you ready to start giving every dollar a name? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.

Need help getting to know your numbers? Check out this episode on using money dates to get a handle on your money!


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 when you’re listening to this, it will be the day after my Mimosas and Money Matters, which is my free live group coaching call. And I really want to encourage you, if you did not make it yesterday, you should sign up for the one in October. I’m hosting The Monthly, but this is really a community for you to tap into and help shift your mindset around money. I was thinking about why I started the Mimosas and Money Matters and community is so important. And when I think about how I invested in my first coach and where I am now in terms of my level of investment with coaching, now I’m in a mastermind, so I actually have access to community. 

But actually in my community there are several black coaches and I was with the group of coaches about two weeks ago now, maybe three weeks, and I was thinking about one. Thank you, Brain, for allowing me the courage to invest in myself and to say yes to coaching. Because I do know that like that first time you say yes, it’s so scary. But I’ve only been given the possibility by way of investing in myself. And the gift that I currently have is community. And specifically I have access to a community with like minded individuals who have common challenges. There’s also people that like in terms of results or where they are in their business. There’s a few people that are behind me. There are people that are right there with me and then there are people above me. 

But going back to this group of black coaches that I’m connected and plugged in with, I, a couple of weeks ago just was like so grateful. I was on a call with some coaches and I like sending a message like, thank you so much for showing up because by way of being who you are, you are a meeting possibility for me and like my brain is able to attach to the person you are or I shouldn’t even say the person that you are. But like I am able to attach myself to different things. Like I’m able to shift my belief, whether it’s in being able to reach you, like having the sound, the sound of my voice right now on a podcast is something that I had to coach myself to get to a point where I felt comfortable talking to myself because I feel like I’m talking to myself even though you can hear me right now. 

But there was a coach that coached me on this, and then I’m also seeing other coaches in this community that are going through similar challenges. So I’m able to work through that and be able to think about what’s possible for myself monetarily, what’s possible for myself in terms of helping my clients. And so I’m forever grateful for that opportunity to be connected with the community. 

So when I think about Mimosas and Money Matters and at this time I hadn’t even had a ton of coaching, but I know that one of the fears that people have is talking about money is so taboo, right? And like, what happens if I have to tell somebody how much money I make or how much debt I’m in? But there are so many other ways to talk about money. And when you’re hearing someone else get coached on an issue that they’re having with their finances, or maybe it’s just me sharing my own personal story or sharing an anecdote from a coaching call like it’s going to shift something for you. And coaching is really about allowing you to access different parts of your brain that you didn’t even know were there to access different levels of possibility that you didn’t know were there. 

Because right now you’re in this financial smog. And so you’re doing things the same way over and over again. You have these automatic negative thoughts about money and they just play on repeat. And as I told one of my clients, like, you have to change the radio station, right? You got to shift your thoughts. And so that’s why I graded most of the money matters so that way you have a place to plug in and help shift your thoughts about your finances and help shift the results that you’re actually creating in your life. Because it really can be one conversation that changes everything for you if you have the courage to plug it and say Yes. And I love that. Almost as if money matters. 

I have clients that come in and they’re current clients and they’re like, Hey, I’m on a call. There’s past clients, they’re on a call, or people that I’ve never met before. They’re also on a call. So consider this your invitation to join me. You could sign up for October. You could sign up for November or December, but I would love to see you there and help you really shift your relationship with money. But if you’re listening to this and it is September, then I want to see you in October. Don’t say, Oh yeah, I’m going to go in November. No block this hour off. We need to take PTO, do it like this is the most important hour that you are going to dedicate to yourself to help shift your relationship with money. 

So let’s dive into today’s episode. So I want to talk about something that I don’t think I’ve talked exclusively about on the podcast, but I want to talk about a concept that I teach clients, which is giving every dollar a name. You’ve probably heard me joke with clients that their dollars are really stressed out or overworked before they started working with me. And let me tell you why. So my best clients identify as someone who makes good money, but they still don’t feel like they can do what they want with their money. 

And let me also say, making good money. I’m using air quotes right now because when I’m talking about making good money, usually they would say, like, I’m making more money that I was making ten years ago, five years ago. This is the most money I’ve ever made. But they still feel like they aren’t able to access things that they desire to access financially, that they think too much about their finances, like they maybe can’t go out to brunch and just be present with their friends. They couldn’t go on a trip and be present with their friends because really there’s there’s something that they’re thinking about financially that keeps them from being present. Right? Or maybe they’re even in a cycle where they’ve paid off debt numerous times on their credit card. They can pay off their debt with a bonus. They can pay off their debt with a large tax refund. But despite paying off this debt, they’re still back in the same cycle. So they make good money, but they don’t have anything to show for it and they don’t feel like they can do what they want. 

And years ago, when I started my business, I was working with someone who gave me the tagline, like making good money. Does it mean you’re wealthy? And it’s so true because I mean, I think I’ve fallen victim to this. And I think a lot of people could say that they’ve fallen victim to this, is that we think that if we hit this financial milestone, whatever that may be like, once we make $100,000, then everything will change. Once we make $200,000, everything will change. Oh. When I am in a two income household, everything will change. And so we’re attaching our financial success to some monetary amount. 

But I would just help you realize right now, if you think about it, right, like you’re in this space where you’re making more money than you’ve ever made before. Maybe you have actually hit some financial milestones. Maybe you’ve doubled your salary, tripled your salary, whatever that may look like. Or maybe you got rid of a financial expense, like maybe a car payment or a student loan, maybe you got rid of daycare expenses or maybe you reduced or how much you were paying in rent because you took out a roommate, whatever that is. Despite achieving this financial win, you still feel like you can’t do what you want with your finances. Like that group of people. Those are my people. These are the people that I work with to help shift how they think about their money and to help them really get to know their numbers and help them create a system so they know the money that I have. Here’s the money I have coming in and here’s the money I have coming out. And I feel really confident with knowing my numbers. 

But if you hear nothing else in this podcast episode, I want you to know that you can’t depend on more money to help you solve your financial challenges, and you can’t depend on more money to help you create the life that you want. Period. 

Now, I don’t want you to confuse this with like sometimes there are financial situations that I have clients where I will tell them you need to make more money, but that has a time and place. I am talking to people who specifically know like I know I make good money, but I can’t tell you where it goes. And I’m stressed out by my numbers. The number one thing you need to do in your life is give every single dollar. And right now, what’s happening is when you think about your finances and you think about what you’re doing to manage your bills like you can pay all of your bills, like that’s not what we’re talking about. You can pay all your bills. You probably have some type of system where it’s like at the beginning of the month, I pay these bills, then I get to spend the rest. My check for the end of the month pays these bills, then I get to spend the rest. Like that’s how you manage your money. It’s really managing it based off of like your bill dates and managing your money based off the balance in your bank account. Like the balance in your bank account. 

What dictates whether or not you can go shopping or you can go on a trip. But if you’re being really honest, you also know that if you had a random expense like a car repair, a medical bill, a home repair, whatever that is, that you can’t financially afford to pay for this expense despite making more money than you ever had in your life. But you would need to put that expense on a credit card, or maybe you would have to delay the expense. Right? Like, though, these are the challenges that I’m talking about and why I’m coming back to this concept that is giving every single dollar a name. 

So when we talk about giving every single dollar a name, we’re not looking at our bank account balance to determine our spending power. Okay. So when I think about giving every single dollar a name, I’ll give you an example. So you have $1,000 in your account. I want you to know what is that $1,000 for? Like, it can’t just be extra money. I don’t believe in there just being extra money because if there was extra money, then I would say that that should be earmarked in a savings account where you’re like, Oh, that’s my rainy day fund, right? Or That’s my thousand dollars for travel. It can’t just be extra money, because when we see it just as extra money, we’re not considering other things that might be coming two weeks from now, a month from now, six months from now. Like that’s how this is why you are getting caught up in the cycle. Where you couldn’t afford to pay for random expense. And like, if something were to happen, like, if you weren’t paid that following payday, then you would be frazzled because you don’t know how to like actually accommodate or adjust the money that you currently have access to because you manage your finances based off of your payday. 

So when we’re talking about giving every single dollar a name, there are three fundamental pieces that help that all fall into place. And the first, which I feel like we will always come back to, is making a spending plan. So it’s really thinking about, okay, what, what do I actually want to spend my money on? And looking at what actual expenses do I have? So I want you to think about monthly expenses. Quarterly expenses, think about annual expenses. 

I also love to encourage my clients to think about things that generally catch them off guard throughout the year. So if you live in the state of Virginia, something that could catch you off guard is that you have to pay property taxes on your vehicle. And it’s something that, you know, may only be three or $400, but if you aren’t expecting it, 3 to $400 can seem like a lot. When it comes out of nowhere because your brain doesn’t remember like, oh yeah, that’s something that I pay annually. So part of this is sitting down and making a plan because as you make this spending plan, you are going to be able to think about, okay, if my property tax is $600 annually, then that means I can save $50 a month. And by saving $50 a month, that is going to make sure that I have the $600 in month 12 to cover that expense. Step one Make a spending plan. 

Step two, I want you to get to know your numbers, and I want to tease this out from just making a spending plan, because I think getting to know your numbers is a very ongoing thing. Like you can have this budget that you created, the spending plan that you created. But then I also want you to be able to ask questions like, okay, what’s not included? And I think that that’s a question you can ask yourself almost any time you go to look at your bank account. You could ask yourself that on a daily or weekly or monthly basis of what’s not included. 

I have a client right now. We just started working on what I call proactively managing finances. So we’re looking at her spending plan. And if you have been listening to me, you know that I believe that the spending plan is like a living, breathing tool that we use to make intentional decisions. And so we’re adjusting her spending plan based off of spending that she’s actually done. So she has this like, here’s where I want to be. I want to spend $400 a month on groceries. Here’s how much I actually spent last week. Where am I in relation to my goal that I set in my spending plan? So that’s what it needs to be like, proactive. We’re actually looking at her numbers. We’re going through a money date on each of our calls as she’s learning to master that part of her finances. 

So as we’re going through her finances and we’re combing through like I am probing her with questions to help her continue to get to know her numbers. Like I want her to be thinking about how my eating out budget, like, does that actually feel good? Am I spending more than like I accounted for at Target? Do I feel like I’ve actually incorporated what I’m going to Target for? Like, I actually buy a lot of my cleaning supplies there for my house. Like, where would I find that in my budget? I’m going to ask questions like, you know, are there expenses that I didn’t think about the first time that we went through the numbers? 

And so just really looking for what’s not there that we want to adjust or you could be on the high end like say you wanted to spend $400 a month on groceries and you’re like, Oh, I’m consistently spending $300 a month on groceries. So over time you might decide, I want to adjust that number downward and shift it somewhere else. Or on the flip side of that, maybe you decided that you wanted to spend $400 on groceries, but what you really find is that you’re spending more like 500. So you’re able to shift those numbers because you’re always getting to know your numbers and you’re asking yourself like, what’s not included? What expenses do I see? But we’re really taking that time when we’re getting to know our numbers, we’re looking for patterns. 

And I want to tell you that getting to know your numbers should be fun. It should not be something that makes you feel shame. It’s something that I want you to approach with curiosity. It’s not about judging yourself because literally all we’re doing is taking it information and you’re learning about yourself so that you can make more informed financial decisions that help you feel in control of your money. That’s the only goal of getting to know your numbers. And so if you have this plan, you’re taking the time to get to know your numbers. Then that means that ultimately you’re going to make a plan for the life that you actually want. So you actually get to feel like I make good money and I have something to show for it, right? It doesn’t become I don’t have anything to show for it. You’re going to get to a point where you are able to show something for the money that you have. 

So those are the three things that really encompass the basis of giving every single dollar a name. And the reason that I bring up getting to know your numbers and having the spending plan is because. The tool that I’m using with clients. When we look at their bank account, if they have $5,000 in their bank account, we can actually go to their spending plan and we can look at each line and say, what is that $5,000 for? So it might be that they have two months set aside. They have three months of their utilities. They know that $600 is for vacation. And so they’re able to align and look at their spending plan to say, oh, because I have given every single dollar a name and every single dollar has a purpose. The $5,000 that I see in my bank account, it’s no longer extra money. It’s money that has a purpose. Here’s the purpose for that money in my account. Let me go to my spending plan and actually show you what the purpose of this money is. And so. You guys don’t have access to my full spending plan tool, but you can actually download the spending plan to at least get your numbers all in one place. 

And I would say that if you’re interested in making sure that you’re giving every single dollar a name, you do want to start with your spending plan. First start there. You’re going to know what your numbers are. And then what you can do from there is make sure, like each week, are you getting to know your numbers and making sure there’s not something else that you want to include in the plan? And one system that I coupled with giving every single dollar a name, especially for those of you who are like trying to figure out what’s a simple way for me to kind of track how I’m spending is you might decide you want to use multiple accounts for some of my clients. It looks like if we know in terms of giving every single dollar a name. If you get paid $5,000 for the month, maybe we know that $2,000 of that goes towards bills. $1,000 goes towards different savings buckets that you have. And then $2,000 of that might be spending money, but then they’re able to transfer that into different accounts. So they would have a bill account, they would have multiple. A lot of my clients use high yield savings accounts because you get more than 0.01% interest and then they may have a different checking account to actually help them monitor their day to day spending. So like gas, groceries, some random Amazon purchases to make sure that their day to day spending doesn’t actually touch their bill money. 

But I could go into multiple accounts at any other time later. But right now what I want you to hear and understand is that giving every single dollar a name is going to make sure that your dollars aren’t overworked. It’s going to make sure that you’re not spending the same dollar. Five, six, seven, eight, nine times. Because you’ve said that it’s for one thing, but then you go and spend it on another and it’s ultimately going to help you be in more control of the money in your life. So as you continue to tap into your earning potential and make more money over time, you’re actually going to be able to reap the benefits of feeling like you have something to show for your money. 

So back to the examples where I was talking about maybe you have a car payment that you no longer pay. And so if every single dollar has a name in your budget, then you would know the three or $400 that you were putting towards your car payment. You would know how you want to shift to use that towards some other area of your life. Because what happens for a lot of us is that a payment like that goes away. But you don’t actually have another $400 to account for on a month to month basis. It’s just evaporated. I think the same thing is true, especially in the last few months with or last year, I should say, with student loan payments. A lot of people haven’t been paying their student loans. But what is a six or $700 payment? They can actually tell you where that money is because it’s not actually going towards savings. It’s been slowly soaked into swept up with the rest of their spending because there’s no there is no actual plan for how they’re spending their money month to month. They’re not recognizing that 6 to $700 as like, oh, maybe that’s going to pay down debt. But being able to have that level of clarity and certainty is what you want. And that’s why we give every single dollar a name so that we know where our money is going. 

And it also helps us to adjust when we do have random expenses that come up, because you know that spending money out of your bank account is going to impact some other thing or some other goal that you may have 30 days from now, 60 days from now or 90 days from now. So I hope that something that I said today resonated with you to really encourage you to say, like, you know, I do actually want to sit down and put all my numbers in one place. I want to move beyond just having a list of bills and kind of hoping for the best in spending the money after I pay my bills. And the more clear that you can be with your finances, I truly, truly believe, the more money that you will welcome into your life. You might not need to think about this. You may not know this is like you might actually not be welcoming in more money into your life by way of not managing it well. It’s like a really sneaky little thing. Like, you don’t know if you really want to make more money because you’re scared that you can’t manage it. But imagine if you were confident in your ability to manage your finances, how much money you would create in your life. 

So thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s podcast episode. If you were impacted by this episode, share it with a friend. Also, don’t forget to join me on my analysis and Money Matters. Call in October and we’ll talk to you soon. 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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