How Having A Team Helped Lisa Payoff $20,000 in Debt

Money Files

I’m so excited to share the latest episode of my Money Files series with you.  Today you’ll meet Lisa who has an incredible story of grace, forgiveness, and courage.  I can guarantee that you do not want to miss this episode – it gives me chills to hear her reflect on her growth and transformation! 

Lisa found me after she made a move across the country to start over after leaving an abusive marriage and her job behind.  She also had over $20,000 in credit card debt, $70,000 in student loans, no retirement and no savings when we started working together.  

Then Lisa landed a new job, and that sparked Lisa to leave behind 44 years of money habits that never served her.  When we began working together, she had a lot of shame around money and in this episode, we chat about her money transformation, and how she learned to give herself grace. 

Tune in to hear how Lisa has used a team to not only manage her emotional spending but also move in the direction that allows her to take action with her finances without fear. 

Here are just a few things you’ll learn when you tune in. 

  • The false narrative Lisa held that caused her to rely on instant gratification 
  • How she created realistic expectations so she could indulge in things she enjoys while also paying off debt and saving money 
  • The team she has relied on to move forward in her personal and financial life 
  • How she shifted her thoughts about tax season just being another opportunity to pay down debt 
  • Her tips for overcoming emotional spending 
  • Her advice for someone who is on the fence about improving their finances
  • The plan we put in place to prevent spending triggers 

You do not want to miss this conversation.  This episode is for you if you’ve found yourself caught in a cycle of shame and embarrassment about where you think you should be in your financial journey and if you’re ready to start saving consistently, pay down debt, and be in control of your money. 

And if you’re on the fence about whether financial coaching is right for you, let Lisa’s story be an example that your life – and your finances – can change in the next month, six months, and beyond. Let’s schedule a call so you can rewrite your money story and reach your financial goals. 

Listen to Lisa’s Money Files episode

Inside the episode

As you heard Lisa share in her Money File, she had long held the belief that she should be further along in her financial journey. This belief led her into a cycle of shame, frustration, and embarrassment that I am sure you can relate to in some way.  

I see this happen with my clients often, and know that this belief can prevent them from asking for help because negative emotions immediately stop them from leaning in to get support and accountability to learn how to start saving more, paying down debt, and stressing less about money.   

As a financial coach, this is exactly why I hold the space for clients to work on their mindset and adopt new beliefs and thoughts about money while we work to create more possibilities with their money. While Lisa and I worked together we created a custom spending plan, made a plan to pay down her debt, and also worked with a financial advisor so she could make a plan to start contributing to her retirement. But we really focused on the benefits of extending grace and forgiveness to yourself – and it’s that additional layer in my coaching and the intangible work that’s creating long-lasting financial behavioral shifts for Lisa.   

A foundational part of my work with clients is getting them to shift from thinking about all of the reasons they’ve never felt successful in the past to being able to see all of the strengths they bring to our work.  

When Lisa came to me she told me she felt like she lacked discipline, she didn’t want to screw up with the new salary she had, and that she wanted to be responsible with her money. She lacked confidence in her own ability to manage her finances. So before Lisa and I dove into numbers during my one month intensive, I started our first call by reflecting on the desires she’d shared with me and elevating the strengths she already had.  This meant that we were able to carve out the space for our work to be about abundance, celebration, and opportunity. 

This foundation helped Lisa…. 

  • Intentionally call out and celebrate when her spending aligned with her values.  For example, giving to others was something Lisa valued and there were multiple times when she was able to freely give to family, friends, and strangers without guilt. 
  • Develop flexibility in her thinking when she got off track.  In the recording, you heard Lisa talk about how the holidays were stressful.  Because Lisa was able to identify the emotions that came with the holiday season we were also able to work together to plan ahead and prepare for how her emotions might shift her spending habits. 
  • Become more transparent about her finances. As a mom, Lisa has been able to talk to her kids about how she’s budgeting while also sharing her new approach to managing her finances with both loved ones and friends. 

Maybe you can relate to Lisa and you also have this feeling that you should be further along with your finances. I want you to know that you can start today.  You don’t need to have everything figured out.  I want you to give yourself the permission to release the fear, shame, and guilt that you feel in your body when you think about money.  Give yourself the permission to ask for help so you can create new possibilities with your money. 

If you’re ready to release your fears and want my support and accountability to save more, pay off debt, and stress less about money, schedule a call.  I’ll help you create a custom spending plan but I’ll also hold the space for you to trust yourself and adopt new money habits along the way. 

The transcript


Hi, my name is Keina and I am a financial coach with Wealth Over Now. Thank you for joining me for a candid conversation with my client, Lisa. So Lisa, I’m going to turn over to you so you can introduce yourself.


[00:00:11] Hi, I’m Lisa Bowen and I have been working with Keina for about nine months.


[00:00:17] Do you want to say anything else that we need to know about you? What other hats do you wear?


[00:00:24] I’m a consultant for a consultant firm in Falls church, Virginia. I’m a recent transplant to DC. Been here about a year and a half and lived all over the country. But most recently moved from Montana. Yeah. I’m excited to be here in


[00:00:38] And you’re a mama.


[00:00:40] Oh, right? Yeah. I am a mama of three. My daughter is 23. My son is 21 and my youngest is yeah.


[00:00:50] Yes. Um, that’s the part I was driving towards. Got it. Okay.


[00:00:56] Is there now? So I don’t think of them as part of my, you have a little bit more freedom.


[00:01:02] Well, we are children, you know, we still need you.


[00:01:06] Yeah, this is true.

[00:01:09] Very true.


[00:01:10] Thank you for agreeing to share your story today. I want to jump in with the first question and just hear, like, what did you believe about yourself and your relationship with money? When we first started working together,

The Money Shame Cycle 


[00:01:21] I had a lot of shame around money and my relationship with money, I felt like I needed to be far further along in my journey.

[00:01:29] I met you when I was. 44 and felt I had a certain idea in my head of what my financial picture should look like. And so I was definitely in a cycle of shame and frustration and felt like I should be further along. And that was really frustrating to me. I never wanted to talk about money. I felt embarrassed when money would come up in conversations with other people, it triggered a lot for me.

[00:01:58] I


[00:01:58] think a lot of people that are listening can probably resonate with this, like shame, embarrassment, frustration, definitely being further along in the journey. Like you have an idea in your head and you’re not there


[00:02:10] yet.


[00:02:10] Just like not knowing where to go. I would love it. If you would tell us a little bit more about like, it’s the consistent question I’m asking is how bad was it really?

[00:02:19] Where were you when we first started working together?


[00:02:22] Yeah. So I think that’s a great question. I just, you mentioned that I didn’t want to talk about money. And so one of the things that I have learned from working with you is to be more transparent about my journey. And so something unique to my story is that I am a domestic violence survivor.

[00:02:39] And so when I was 42, I left an abusive marriage of 24 years. I walked away with just a few bags. Not only did I walk away from my home and my belongings and everything that I had worked towards. But I also had to resign from my job. So I lost my community and I lost my support system. And I also unfortunately, had to get a restraining order and needed to relocate to DC for my own safety.

[00:03:05] So when I start working with you last year, I had recently relocated, I hadn’t worked in a few months and I had just started working at Evans, that consulting firm that I work for just a month prior. And at that point I was 44. I didn’t own a home. I had lost my home. I had $20,000 worth of credit card debt.

[00:03:27] I had $70,000 in student loan debt. I had no savings. I had no money saved for retirement and I was living paycheck to paycheck.


[00:03:36] Thank you for sharing that with me. I remember when we first started and one of the things. I think we talked about one of the reasons I wanted people to definitely  hear your story is we talked a lot about in the beginning, like grace, and we talked a lot about forgiveness.


[00:03:52] And


[00:03:52] even before we hopped on the call,


[00:03:54] one


[00:03:54] of the things I mentioned is that like sometimes when people think about getting your finances together, I oftentimes see like the social media where it’s


[00:04:02] like debt-free community debt,


[00:04:03] free journey, and people holding up a letter board that says, like I paid off a hundred thousand dollars worth of debt in 60 days.


[00:04:10] Yeah.


[00:04:11] And that’s not everybody’s story and not a story, I want to share. I want to always be able to hold a space for people where we can work on the mindset pieces and with you. Yeah. Like I said, we talked a lot about like


[00:04:24] grace

Managing Guilt From Emotional Spending 


[00:04:25] and forgiveness. Yeah. And I would love if you would just share with people, like, how did you walk through that journey for yourself in like, I remember that maybe like the first two weeks we were working together and you were like, Keina, I went shopping.

[00:04:38] And I was like, it’s okay. You went shopping. Would you have done something different today potentially. Right. But at the same, in the same breath, like that, doesn’t have to define who you are moving


[00:04:47] forward. Right, right. Yeah. I remember because I was, I had started a new job. It was a new one career for me in DC.

[00:04:56] So I recognize that my wardrobe was going to be different. I also didn’t have. So much stuff. Right. Um, given my circumstances that I had left that triggered the shame that triggered the emotional component of spending for me and recognizing I don’t emotionally eat. I don’t emotionally, they like binge watch stuff.

[00:05:15] Like all these things I’m like doing really well at, but when it came to shopping, it was like, and I like this and I like this. And I think part of it also is. Preparing for what if I get called into a meeting tomorrow and I don’t have a suitor, but ultimately just trying to feel comfort and trying to feel, not feel that shame.

[00:05:33] But once I got the statement and when I came home and I talked to you, I was like, Oh no, I think part of the narrative when you mentioned the community and debt-free, and 60 days, part of my false narrative to myself, which I think culture definitely. Adds to is like the instant gratification I want. I’m going to go buy a suit because I want to look good at my job.

[00:05:57] And then the second component is for me to get my finances in order, I have to be willing to cut out all spending. I need to not eat out. I need to not treat myself. I need to not fit and money on the credit card. So you just, I kind of have this formula. It’s like, well, if the goal is to be debt free in 60 days, then of course you’re going to have to do all these things.

[00:06:18] But for me, it was part of that. No, this is a rule, fundamental emotional component of my belief of money. And I want to change that because I don’t want to, it’s unrealistic for me to set this, that I’m not going to treat myself. I’m not going to buy anything. And that perpetuates the cycle that I found myself in.

[00:06:38] So when I contacted you and I was like, I spent this money, Johnny, it definitely was a place of shame where you were like, That grace and that forgiveness, not that I needed that from you, but that’s what your coaching offered to me was. Okay. This happened. Okay. Like really like the sky didn’t fall. You didn’t chastise me.

[00:06:58] Right. You weren’t like, well, I can’t work with you. I mean, if you’re already like spending money, there was none of that. And it was just, this stigma was automatically lifted and there was this, it was like confessing to you. I’ll


[00:07:12] I screwed up,


[00:07:15] but there was also this really great checkup. I have been so honest with you about where I’m starting from.

[00:07:21] And I was transparent that you have that grace to offer me that’s your personality anyway, but you had it to offer. And then I was able to accept it, like, okay. Keena says it’s okay. Like, okay, I have to plan better for later, but again, the sky didn’t fall. Like it’s going to be okay. And sometimes my personality needs that.

[00:07:41] It needs that, that verbal encouragement, that verbal space of, well, how about you frame it, reframe it this way. And that ultimately helps me get to the root of the foundation of the problem or the mindset that I had, because it’s not just about my budget. It’s not just about my spending. It’s about what my belief about money is and how can I work to change that?

[00:08:04] Otherwise, I’m going to perpetuate the cycle.

Changing My Beliefs About Money 


[00:08:06] What would you say to follow up on that last part? You said your belief about money. What was it when we started and like, what is it today? Yeah, like nine months since we started working together,


[00:08:16] I have, I feel empowered. I don’t feel shame. I I’ve paid off my credit card debt, but I still they’ll have my student loan debt of 70,000.

[00:08:24] I still don’t own a home. I still don’t know what my future looks like, but I know that I’m going to be okay. I know that. More than likely people. I know for a fact that people have money issues. They may not talk about it, but I’m not my situation as a survivor is unique, but people getting stuck paycheck to paycheck or people not saving for retirement.

[00:08:46] Those are common things that aren’t spoken about, but exist. And so that helps me know that I’m not alone. I’ve also seen how. Not cutting everything out and treating myself and, and building that into my lifestyle has empowered me to more, want to save and to be able to save in other areas. So it’s not an all or nothing mentality.

[00:09:10] It’s a, I know what I want. I have the ability to look for it and, and, and go for it. And I know the tools that I need, and I know the team members, I need to get me to what I want to do. So before I think it was, which is, which speaks to the abuse cycle. But it’s, I need someone to save me now. It’s no, I am empowered.

[00:09:31] I am a strong, intelligent, Woman, and I can figure this out. The tools are there, you were there all along. I didn’t seek you out, but I was able to ask you to be part of my team and I know what I need from you. And you’re able to offer that and then, and build on that. So it’s all. So though, I feel like my whole framework has shifted.

[00:09:52] My whole health foundation has. And I still buy clothes and I still, but I have a budget for it. And I’m like, Oh, I can actually do that. I recognize them emotionally shopping. But when I do it, I’m like, Oh, I have money saved. It’s funny. Actually on a side I was showing my kids this, the spreadsheet that you’ve helped me with and develop.

[00:10:13] And so I was showing how there’s a category and how there’s, there’s a name for every dollar. And in my close budget, I was a little embarrassed because there was quite a bit of money in there. Like I, I saved like $50 a month in there a little bit more. So I felt ashamed talking to my son about it. I was a little, yeah, embarrassed, but then I was like, you know, I kind of screwed up in this area and I know that this is an area of weakness.

[00:10:35] For me. So I want to be safe. I want to protect myself because if I fall down this rabbit hole again, I want to be prepared and I don’t want the guilt and the shame to be there. And he’s, and it was an honest conversation that then I’m having with my 19 year old son and helping him then view money differently as he goes on his journey.

[00:10:54] So it’s not only been great for me to challenge, change my foundation, but then I can spread that to people that I’m in relationship with and encourage them on their journeys and teach my kids. 


[00:11:05] I have a whole page of notes.


[00:11:06] You’re


[00:11:06] talking about,


[00:11:09] ask them all, let’s


[00:11:10] get shocking. You said so many different things.

[00:11:13] And I would say like one of the things that when you did reach out to me, you were like Keina and I want you to be a part of the team. And I felt like those people who are listening. That may like resonate with your story. And even those that like may think like,

Investing In a Team 


[00:11:27] Oh, I don’t have a one to one alignment with Lisa’s story, but when you talk about a team, like, I think you’ve positioned yourself to think about who do I need in my life and how do I need to invest in myself


[00:11:36] to move.


[00:11:37] Into the position that I desire to be in right into to go. Like I said, like, yeah, go where you desire to be. And I think sometimes we get so


[00:11:47] stuck.


[00:11:48] Like you were even saying the shame and it may not even be around money. Right. We get stuck and there’s stigma around all of these other things. Like, do you want a therapist, not one of the therapists.

[00:11:57] Do you have someone who helps you with your nutrition or not helps you with your nutrition?


[00:12:01] Like just little things,


[00:12:02] right. I love the fact that you. Have a team and you’ve recognized these are the people that I need in my life to help me feel empowered and be the person that I know that I am


[00:12:13] well. And I think with that, I’m sure a lot of the people listening, you can read books.

[00:12:18] Like there are tons of books out there, right? Like I’ve tried Googling budgets and I’ve tried like the shopping list and I’ve, I’ve tried all that. So I finally got to a point in my financial journey that it was like, I need more. I don’t have the brain space and the bandwidth to teach myself all of this stuff.

[00:12:38] Not that I’m not intelligent. However, I know this person knows this stuff. This is her gift set. And why wouldn’t I team with her and have her be part of my team, because she knows all the tips and tricks. That I just don’t have the time to absorb. And then there was part of it that was like, I’m 44. I need to get my rear end gear.

[00:12:59] Right. Like, okay. Are you really going to be reading a book at Christmas on how to budget for Christmas? Or are you just gonna like put your money where your mouth is? So, so there’s a lot of components that I feel like that has been some part of my journey where I’ve gone. It’s not that I can’t teach myself about money.

[00:13:14] It’s not that I can’t teach myself about nutrition or exercise, but if there is a capable person in my life, And I am able to support them in their business and their journey and their gift set then yeah. Pour into me because I’m doing my own thing over here. So yeah. Teams or teams are awesome.


[00:13:31] Yeah, I think that’s, yeah.

[00:13:33] I love the fact that, like I said, that you have a team. And something else that you talked about as well was just like the emotional spending and being able to monitor your feelings around it. And I think a lot of us can relate to the emotional spending. I even can, like, I tell people all the time, it’s about progress, not perfection when we’re recording this, we’re in the middle of quarantine.

[00:13:54] COVID-19 whatever, you know, whatever,


[00:13:57] whatever it is,


[00:13:59] desire to name it. But I’ve had, conversations with clients currently to be like, I have to be very mindful of like, Grocery shopping as a hobby right now, because there’s nothing else. And I can also excuse it to be like, well, I need food.

[00:14:13] So technically it’s not bad, but really right. Right. I like spending money. And


[00:14:19] so. I think it’s


[00:14:20] powerful that you’re able to. I mean, cause it’s an exercise that we did in the very beginning. Like identifying your feelings around when you’re spending your money. But now that that’s something that like you can name, Ooh, I’m feeling this way.

[00:14:34] Like I know when I get really bored online, shopping can ensue. You know, I’ve been at my computer, which I probably means I need to like step away and do something else that I know that I also


[00:14:43] enjoy. Right.

How To Stop Overspending 


[00:14:44] So I love that you touched on that as well, because often people will talk about like, how do I stop overspending?

[00:14:50] Or like, I have an issue with emotional spending. Would you give any other tips around emotional stuff?


[00:14:56] Well, something that you were really, really helpful with was you were like, okay. So when this happens again, What are some things that you can do differently? And it was established from the beginning.

[00:15:08] You’re not a therapist. Right. But it was, you know, when we went through the exercise of values, family was really important to me. I spend money on gifts or people that I love. That’s really important. So from the jump you recognized, we both recognize that that could be a tender spot for me, where I could overspend.

[00:15:27] And so just addressing that and you saying, okay, Let’s just talk for a few minutes about like three different things that you could do, like, and we talked about texting someone, a message and just telling them that I love them or sending them something encouraging or sending a card in the mail. So you were able to give me some really practical things that kept my hands busy, right.

[00:15:48] It wasn’t just this theoretical. That was really helpful. And then I think because when we, when I came to you, I was ready to do the work when the emotional. Spending happened. I was really able to look within and go, okay, let’s sit with this. Let’s not push off the shame. Let’s not push off the embarrassment.

[00:16:08] Like let’s call it for what it is and let’s just journal about it or talk to Kena about it, or talk to someone else and go what was going on and really doing the work. Because again, my goal was to change that foundation and to change that. And unfortunately that means. Really thinking through and processing some of those feelings that we would rather emotionally spend and not feel.

[00:16:32] I mean,

[00:16:35] so, yeah. So I think that, but your, your ability to give very practical, well, not even that you had all the answers, you just gave space for it. So you were just like, Let’s just spend five minutes, see what we can come up with. And then it went on the checklist. And so then the next one call was, Hey, did you think about some other ways that you could do something or you sent me a resource and was like, Oh, this is something that’s really, that’s been helpful to me.

[00:17:00] So it was an ongoing conversation. And that was really helpful that grace wasn’t just a one time pass with an ongoing woven component to that relationship.


[00:17:10] And I think you learn to like, build that in for yourself, even just hearing you reflect, which like, I think that’s, what’s most important when I talk to people about this like progress piece.

[00:17:19] And shifting your mindset. Cause I want people that are listening to hear, like, you don’t have


[00:17:23] to have it all figured out,


[00:17:25] but when you have the tools to like reign yourself back in, right, like it’s not a straight path always when it comes to changing your relationship with money and I personally believe


[00:17:34] that’s.

[00:17:34] Okay.


[00:17:35] Yeah. And you also just made me think about, we talked about Christmas too this past year,


[00:17:41] and even thinking about like,


[00:17:42] That can bring up a lot of emotions for people, because there’s a lot of different things that come with, whether you’ve lost a loved ones or your Christmas doesn’t look like it usually does for whatever reason, but we were able to even like talk through that and think about once again, going back to that values place and saying like, what do you desire this to look like?

[00:18:02] Like, because you are in control. And how can you, yeah. How can you be for lack of a better word right now, like proactive, but what are some things that may come up for you and how can I support you in navigating this space, knowing how you also want that to look in the moment and then how you want it to look like when January


[00:18:21] comes as well.

[00:18:22] Right. I think something that was really helpful was just, again, a disclaimer for those listening. I do have a therapist that I work with. She is part of my team. So. I left at Christmas. I left the day after Christmas. And so I knew starting in November, I was like, Oh no, it’s coming. I can holidays family clearly a lot there.

[00:18:45] So it was really helpful to have you the relationship with you to be able to focus on. I know I’m going to overspend. Like I know that I, it’s not an, I recognize with my mental health that I’m not going to be able to Christmas this year. Is not the year that I am going to stay on point. Not that I went hog-wild at all, but it was really good to say, okay, how can we minimize things?

[00:19:09] And there were a few times where you said, okay, Lisa. You seem like you’re cutting yourself really thin over here, but what I’m hearing you say is these concerns over here that you’ve mentioned before. So I think maybe you might need to give yourself a little bit more grace and let’s just leave that over there as kind of like, not a secret stash, but like, let’s just be mindful.

[00:19:29] So you were able to, like, we were able to work with each other. Where I was getting, you know what I mean? And because you knew my story and because you knew that I had other resources that I was relying on, you didn’t carry that weight. You, you were able to focus on the financial piece and help me navigate that.

[00:19:45] So I think that was really, really helpful was I know this is going to be a hard season. I know I just started working with you in September. So my expectation was that I was going to be in line by October, clearly knocking it over. And then that was again, because of my, because of my issues and because of my, my past and part of my journey that there was, that was a huge, I was a huge hurdle to overcome.

[00:20:07] However, in January, the damage wasn’t that bad and I was able to go, so now I see why I saved money every week. Now I see why this, it comes out of the paycheck and this, I don’t want to feel this again. And I want to keep working towards it. So even now when I do my money date, I’m like, yep. That money’s going.

[00:20:27] Cause I remember cause


[00:20:30] we also to be fair, we started in September. So it’s like to save for a plan for that. It’s not like when, when, when other things also a part of that plan, you have to be mindful of it. That’s


[00:20:41] I keep telling people, I’m like,


[00:20:43] you see people around you spending money, but you don’t know if they actually have that money to spend.

[00:20:48] Yeah. And you’re being intentional about that, where your dollars go and what it’s in alignment with in terms of what you value in your goals. So, this is just like a more realistic picture of where you’re supposed to be.


[00:21:00] Absolutely. Yeah.


[00:21:01] You are sharing with me fans. Like we got like one, you shifted to make sure that you were like setting it up aside money for your


[00:21:08] future, but tax season this year.

[00:21:10] So tell us about tax season this year and how that felt. England Pearson to former years. Yeah. So tax season was, I felt prepared for it. I felt like my ducks were in a row and I felt like I was ready to, I was ready to take the hit. Or whatever that was going to look like. I was, I was ready for it in a negative way.

[00:21:33] I was still moving towards my plan of lowering my credit card debt. And I was stable too, knowing that taxes was going to be part of that and still moving forward. And then tax season came and I got a huge return that I was not expecting. And I like, I work part of my team is an accountant. So I checked with my team member and I was like, are you sure we’re on point here?

[00:21:58] And he’s like, yeah, you’ve had tremendous losses. This is, you know, and explained it all to me. And so I was able to, I was able to pay off an entire credit card with that. And two, I’m going to get emotional, just having the satisfaction of. Not expecting my return to bail me out, expecting that it it’s going to probably be negative, but then to be abundantly, it was, it was grace.

[00:22:25] And then to put it into action of a part of a long term plan that like I was paying off debt, but it was going to take me probably a couple of years, but to turn around and, and just be able to put that money exactly where it needed to go. Just boosted me. I was probably high for a couple of weeks on that.

[00:22:42] I was like, I was telling everybody, I told my kids, I’m like, I bet off of credit card. They’re like, you already told us that I’m like, don’t care. And it was different. Because in previous lives, I would have paid off the credit card while I was swiping the credit card to continue my spending this time. It was like, no, no guys, the credit cards never, ever going to go this high again, like you don’t understand because I’ve done the work and I have the foundation like.

[00:23:11] We’re saying goodbye to a whole season of life, like 44 years of that spending, you know what I mean? Like no longer. So that was a pretty monumental thing to happen. Yeah. That was life changing. So,


[00:23:25] yeah, that’s our, I remember I was having a brief conversation with like, if I can actually like use it and pay it off.

[00:23:31] And then like in the future, if I get, you know, an additional tax refund or whatever, it’s like money that’s that can be used towards the goals. Like it’s mine and not being. Like having that, like, I look forward to my tax refund because it kind of puts a dent in my debt


[00:23:45] and that it was always, it was always, always earmarked for debt.

[00:23:48] And so, yes, I had that conversation when I was like, after the initial shock, after the initial party and be like, wait a second, what happens next year? When I get it, I get a refund. What happens? That’ll that’ll be my money, you know, it’s like, so yeah. That’s funny. You remember that? Yeah, that was


[00:24:06] because I’ve had, I’ve even been in that life.

[00:24:08] I’m like, Oh man, I got to put this tax or family put like. Some of this, towards this credit card. Right. And it’s like, it doesn’t, I always think like, well that $2,000 could have been money that just went directly in my emergency fund or, or I could have had $500 play with in $1,500 go in my emergency fund whenever that was.


[00:24:27] Yeah.


[00:24:28] But instead, because we’re like in this continuous cycle of like debt, it’s going towards. That which yeah.


[00:24:36] Yeah. It’s a cycle. It’s part of the cycle. Yeah, absolutely.

Getting Out of The Debt Cycle 


[00:24:40] When would you say, like when we were, we’re working together, maybe you feel like you’ve touched on this, but if you could name like an exact moment that like everything changed


[00:24:48] for you, I’m going to try and explain.

[00:24:52] Okay. So. The biggest, one of the biggest shifts this happened when the initial work that we do together is goals and values. And I know that there’s a whole survey and it really kind of goes deep. It’s like a deep dive into beliefs about money value, all this kind of stuff. And so, and then we talk about goals.

[00:25:13] And so one of the really important shifts for me was to understand that my values. We’re actually matching my spending. So I don’t buy clothes every week, but I would take someone out to coffee or I would give somebody some money or I would buy something for somebody. But when I looked at my values, that was in alignment with my values, I value relationships.

[00:25:37] I value my family and people I love. So that was like, Oh, So I don’t have to shift a lot of my values because a lot of it actually not shift my values, but I don’t have to shift my mindset so much. It was more. Okay. So for me to do this in a smart way, and to love my family, this is why I need to continue to, to, to work with kina.

[00:26:02] Like these are some things that need to be tweaked, not completely obliterated and start from scratch. Right. And then when I looked at my goals and wanting to take care of my family in the future, or own a home where I can have people come and visit and have a respite place, have family gatherings, I was like, Especially for my journey, leaving my situation and leaving everything behind thinking about a new home was something that I never wanted to consider.

[00:26:30] I wasn’t in that place where I could even consider it. So then to think. Oh, again, that’s in alignment with my values of wanting safety for my family and protection and, and to help them and offer comfort. But again, if I can just tweak my spending, then that’s within reason that I’ll be able to meet that goal again, maybe five or 10 years down the line.

[00:26:51] There’s no hard stop date for me on that. But, so that really, when we did that exercise, I was like, okay, these pieces are there. They, they kind of align. Now I know what I’m working towards now. I knew it was the roadmap. And then that first couple of weeks, it took me a while to figure out that spreadsheet.

[00:27:10] But, and I know I complained the entire time of naming my dollars. I mean, geez, Louise, I’m such a complainer, but once that got tweaked, I was like, Oh, I can see progress. I don’t feel guilty about taking someone out to coffee because I know where that coffee money is coming from and not the coffee is going to send me out out of the jump.

[00:27:34] Right. But it’s, um, but then I buy flowers for my sister in law, or I buy something, you know, for my kids. And so it’s just like these little pieces of. But now I know where the money’s coming from and I don’t have to emotionally feel bad. And because I’m doing weekly money dates, I can actually see it. I’m not waiting till the end of the month with the credit card statement going, I know where all this money from, it was almost immediate.

[00:28:03] And then there was just constant reinforcement. So it was that immediate like, Oh, I’m not that far off. From where I want to be. And then not, and every week I can see how that’s happening or every time we would meet, I could see progress towards that. I love it. My heart it’s


[00:28:19] like growing up and if they use like a glow.

[00:28:23] So you touched on something that I think like people would love to hear it from your opinion is like many people believe that like budgeting, it’s challenging. It’s so overwhelming. It’s too much to handle. Fill in the blank. Why do you think people believe that? 


[00:28:35] A couple of things first, I think people try to budget.

[00:28:42] And then you have that instant gratification. You’re on Amazon, you’re driving down the street, you’re on social media, something flashes. I mean, marketers know how to get to you so you can be on Facebook. And all of a sudden that pair of Athleta yoga pants show up and you’re like, Oh, I was just thinking about that click, click click.

[00:28:58] So I don’t think our culture helps us. So that’s working against us. I think that people just do get in that mindset of, I have to stop spending. I have to start saving for retirement. I have to start saving an emergency fund. I’ve got to make sure I’m doing XYZ and then it just becomes overwhelming. And so there’s so much to it.

[00:29:20] I think your mindset of just progress, not perfection and baby steps. Little baby steps. It’s not going to be accomplished overnight. I absolutely adore the analogy that you made, where we talked about someone that gains weight. So someone gains 25 pounds, they start exercising. They don’t wake up the next day and like they’ve lost 25 pounds

[00:29:50] Lisa: [00:29:50] And I got 10,000 steps in, so I should have dropped that 25 pounds, you know, but it’s like, I’m in this much debt because I made choices over a long period of time. And I can justify that until house come home. But if I want to make change, I’ve got to own it. And I’ve got to do the work. And that means not taking all my extra money in a month.

[00:30:13] Okay. Then putting it towards credit card debt. When tomorrow I’m just going to start swiping the credit card again. You know, you put $50 towards the credit card debt, and then you make sure all the other categories are set. Did that answer your question? I think I kind of went off.


[00:30:29] You were talking about the, the things that like in society, right.

[00:30:33] That do cause us to spend. And I, the thing that I captured that you were also talking about is like, you’re talking about all these shirts. Like I should, I should buy a home. I should be saving for retirement and I can relate, even in my own personal story, it’s like feeling like. I should be doing all of these things because it’s like, I’m supposed to buy a house, but also she’d be in Bali taking pictures for Instagram.

[00:30:54] So it’s like, of course.


[00:30:55] Yeah. But


[00:30:57] I only make


[00:30:58] 30,000.

New Beliefs About Budgeting 


[00:31:01] Right. It’s challenging. It’s challenging. But what would you say that you think about budgeting now that we’ve worked together?


[00:31:08] It’s worth the initial work. It’s like a muscle that you have to exercise and once you do the initial investment, Which isn’t in hindsight, it’s not that much, but if you can really show up for yourself, be intentional and be present, you will start seeing results right away.

[00:31:27] And it is small. It is small steps, but it’s not instant gratification because all the problems don’t go away, but it becomes easier that muscle to exercise becomes easier because you’re seeing the results. And so if you’re able to lower your expectation of the shoulds and the codes and, and kind of shut off that noise and be able to focus on your values and your goals for you, not what you think another 44 year old woman should have at that stage in life, but you just focus on you.

[00:31:56] And you’re honest with yourself. I mean, that’s huge. You gotta be honest with yourself and show up and then do the work. I couldn’t imagine not budgeting now. Before it would make me cry and want to rock it in the corner. There are so many Epic fails, but now I’m like, it gives me a little boost. Like it’s on my calendar.

[00:32:17] I do it. It takes me 20 minutes because I’m doing it weekly. I know my goals. I know my path. I know who to ask if I have a question and I’m just like, yes, like I’m empowered. It’s like a shot in the arm. Like, you know, especially in the midst of the, of all the craziness that’s going on. It’s like, okay, I’m still on task.

[00:32:37] And if something comes up, I’m going to be able to navigate that. Like it’s still, still going to be okay. I love it.


[00:32:45] Is there any advice that you would give to listeners who are in a similar situation?


[00:32:49] Oh, you’re going to have to narrow it down that similar situation when I say, or way too much there. So please tell me when, what, what


[00:32:58] advice would you give to someone who’s like on the fence


[00:33:01] about


[00:33:02] whether or not they, like, I know I it’s like, right.

[00:33:06] Like to the gym analogy. I know I should start working out. Like I know I should start like really being intentional about my finances, but I’m just not sure it’s like results are possible for me.


[00:33:18] I would say for those that have maybe. Eaten clean for a day or had healthy food and you wake up the next day and feel a little bit.

[00:33:26] Yeah, I’m more excited or you do work out and you see the benefit of working out like it’s so empowering. It is so encouraging. And especially as a woman being financially free. If I could tell that to anybody, it changes your life. It changes your shift of how you view people. You have power. I mean, unfortunately money and power come together in our culture, but.

[00:33:55] It is an empowering, it is a gift. It is. So you’re just look back and go, how did I do this any other way? How many years, or how long did I not do this? And what could have been better for me if I didn’t wait so long, you think about your future and your future goals with money comes the opportunity to dream even bigger.

[00:34:14] And I think in our culture, we lose that sight of dreaming. It’s better to say goals, but like you have more opportunity. You have more opportunity to share with the world, with people you love and to build on again, as a woman, I think that’s hugely significant. And I would, I would encourage anybody to take this step and to make it happen.

[00:34:33] I unfortunately was in a situation where I finally was able to look at myself and go, I can’t afford not to, because I know I’m going to repeat these patterns because I am the age that I am. And I’m pre I’m pretty aware that I’ve done this my whole entire life run up the credit card, take the Keck that, you know, Taken from here to pay off this, to do this.

[00:34:54] So I knew that if I didn’t do that, this I was going to repeat the same cycles and I would end up being 55 and in a similar situation or 65. And so those are some things that, but the, the financial freedom and the encouragement and the empowerment that it comes being financially stable and knowing that you have money, if something goes wrong, even if it’s a thousand dollars, it’s huge.

[00:35:19] It really, really is. It’s a game changer. I love that.


[00:35:22] Is there anything else that I didn’t ask you that you wanted to share?


[00:35:25] So I shared that I had $20,000 worth of credit card debt. So I am currently $10,000 less out of credit card debt. I was in a position where I was able to borrow some money from a family member.

[00:35:38] So I’m paying them back instead of the credit card company. So basically I have no credit card debt and I have a plan towards my student loan money that does not seem as daunting to me. But I I’ve already started saving so that I know that, that, that money, I already have a line item in my budget. It, so that, that line item, we’ll just shift to student loans when it comes to paying more on my student loan.

[00:36:01] But I, I am just grateful. I am so grateful for you. I’m grateful for you taking the risk and having the courage to step out and share your gift with the world. And I’m grateful to be a recipient of that. And I just want to tell everybody. Do it it’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. And I feel like I can now help my kids, if nobody else I can help my kids.

[00:36:24] And I can be an example, especially to my daughter of being financially free and what that looks like. So thank you. Well,


[00:36:33] thank you once again for like sharing your story every time. I think if I were never to work with another person at all, like knowing the people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and the things that you’ve gone off to do even.

[00:36:44] Thinking about the money conversations that I know you’ve had with family members and like your kids specifically, when about my work and the purpose of my work, it’s


[00:36:54] like,


[00:36:54] this can be a generational thing. And oftentimes we talk about like, well, no one taught me how to manage my finances. And so I think about whenever I help one person I’m helping so many others as well,


[00:37:06] because


[00:37:08] you get to then go and say, Hey, let’s sit down and make a spending plan.

[00:37:12] Right. Or just having. A dynamic conversation with, with weather. Like I said, whether it’s a peer or a family member and being able to approach money in a completely new way.


[00:37:23] Yeah. So that’s how I think about


[00:37:25] my work, which


[00:37:26] excites me. I think if I could build off that, one of my goals, which I never thought that I would achieve is to be generous.

[00:37:35] Like people have been generous with me. And that is because family members worked really hard and they invested their money in them. I was able to go to college with that money. My kids have been able to go to college with, with money. And so that has changed our generation. That has changed generations and they’ll change generations to come.

[00:37:52] So one of the things that I, one of my deciding factors to work with you as I now am in a position in life where I’ve worked through my previous stuff, I’m no longer in that situation where I am in a toxic relationship with them. I can look at this and financial freedom for generations to come is possible or different conversation around money can happen.

[00:38:14] And I, we can have generational change. In, in our family. And to me, that was a very high motivating factor for me. So thank you for bringing that up because that is, yeah, I think that’s huge. Yeah. And


[00:38:27] it’s why I do like, even why I’d take my finances seriously. Cause it’s like, how do I shift the narrative in my, in my own family and, and do something that’s that’s


[00:38:37] better.

[00:38:38] Absolutely. So well, thank you to everyone.


[00:38:40] Who’s listening and. If Lisa story resonated with you and you want to take her up on our offer to work with me, you can sign up for a complimentary call with me. You can go to and sign up for a free call. And let’s talk about how we can work together.

[00:38:58] All right, thank you for joining us.

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