How Jeanine Got Out of the Debt Cycle in Five Short Months

Money Files

I need to do something different. 

This is the exact thought that prompted my client Jeanine to apply to work with me.  For decades she’s found herself in and out of the debt cycle. Each year she noticed she was paying off thousands of dollars of credit card debt from past experiences which impacted her ability to be present in the current moment and make progress on new financial goals. 

In this episode of Money Files, we talk about how Jeanine no longer wanted to pay off debt and get right back into debt.  This time she wanted to pay off her debt and stay out of debt. Through my five month coaching partnership, I helped Jeanine create a spending plan that allowed her to pay off her debt  and account the reasons she’d used her credit card in the past.  We used her prior spending habits to start saving for things like travel, pet care, and auto maintenance on a monthly basis.  This intentional shift ensured Jeanine would be able to pay off her debt but also have funds available the next time any of the expenses came up. 

In this episode, you’ll learn… 

  • How Jeanine shifted from having $100 in her account between paydays to being a month ahead with her expenses 
  • How Jeanine separated her personal and business expenses 
  • How Jeanine used our work together to talk to her partner about money and set shared financial goals 
  • How Jeanine has shifted her thinking about “extra paychecks” throughout the year 
  • How Jeanine purchased a new car while working together and the impact it has had on her financial decisions 

If you’ve ever found yourself in the debt cycle or maybe you’re there now you’ll want to tune in to this episode.  In five short months, Jeanine went from just wanting a budget to being able to clearly answer her own question, “What comes after budgeting?” 

I’m inviting you to be able to answer this question for yourself as well.  Apply to work with me and end your debt cycle one and for all so you can discover life after learning to budget with ease. 

Listen to Jeanine’s Money Files Episode

The Transcript


[00:00:00] Hello everyone. My name is Keina Newell. I’m a financial coach and I work with professional women and solopreneurs to create new possibilities with their money. If you are tuning in right now, you are joining me for money files. So welcome. Hi, thank you so much for joining me for another episode of money files.

[00:00:19] Today, I am joined by my client , and we talk about the benefits of our coaching, not only on her personal finances, but ‘s also a solo preneur and how our work with our personal finances also impacted her business finances and allowed her. To start taking care of itself financially. So be sure to tune in.

[00:00:41] Hi, thank you so much for joining me for another episode of money Biles today. I’m here with my client,  . Thanks


[00:00:48] for joining us. So you want to introduce you. Hi, Keina. I’m  Finch. I am a government affairs person. I work in government affairs and I also


[00:00:58] have a photography business. Very nice.

[00:01:00] I love how you’re like a government affairs person.


[00:01:03] Yup. Think that’s


[00:01:05] so I guess we can just like dive right in. Um, we actually, we had a coaching call this week and you were asking me like, kina, what am I supposed to talk about? And then we started actually talking about the fact that. You coming into this partnership, you were like, I want a budget, but I’ve never really thought beyond.


[00:01:27] So we can just dive in there. Oh, that sounds like a great place to dive in because I remember that conversation very well, that I was like midway through our partnership and I was like, I’ve never thought past this point that I’m at now. And it was really kind of exciting and I did a little dance to celebrate.

[00:01:47] Um, just what it felt like. B where I never thought I could be and faster than I ever thought I could be there. You know, I thought I wouldn’t be making these kind of moves and be in the position that I’m in now for, you know, that it would be a years long process. And, um, we started working together, I think in April or may of this year.

[00:02:08] And it’s when we’re recording this, that almost August. So it’s been a really quick turnaround.


[00:02:13] So tell us like, cause X there’s expectations. Right. And what I hear when you’re like, if I could just get a budget, which I think a lot of people are like, oh, you just learn how to budget this thing that I’ve never learned how to do.

[00:02:25] Um, and that’s why people reach out to me about what made you like reach out for.


[00:02:30] Um, I was nearing the end of, so I’m over the last 10 years, I’ve gotten myself into $10,000 plus of credit card debt and other miscellaneous debt. And I’m earring nearing the end of the third time paying it off. And every time I hate myself for it, because I’m like, I’m paying for these things experiences, et cetera, that I’ve already had.

[00:02:54] Limiting me to be able to do the things I want to do right now. And I had, during that time, I had no savings and just was like constantly in this paycheck to paycheck, putting things on debt cycle. And as I was coming to the end of, you know, paying off that debt again, I was like, I need to do something different.

[00:03:11] So I have been, I saw someone use this on your Instagram recently, and I’m going to steal it from them. I’d been a kina stalker hashtag kina stock.


[00:03:20] For about, I think


[00:03:22] maybe a year and a half to two years. And I finally was like, this person needs to help me. So I just dove in and I mean, I think a part of it was that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

[00:03:37] Now from paying off this debt again, Willy was like the encouragement. Want to make the investment in myself, but also just seeing the content that you produce on your social media or send out in your newsletters. I was, it, it always like you would send like an email that say like, oh, are you doing this thing?

[00:03:55] And I’d be like, oh my God,


[00:03:55] I did that. Is she stalking me.

[00:04:01] It’s too funny. As you’re talking about applying, I forgotten what the other day we talked about the fact that you, I think said you like filled out the application like three


[00:04:10] times. Yeah, it was, um, probably about three times. I think the first time it got as far as like putting my name and then.

[00:04:16] Chickened out. And then the second time I went to fill it out, you have a question about if I had listened to, or whoever’s filling that, listen to the, your money files podcast. And I knew you had a podcast, but I wasn’t. I like go through fits and spurts of like listening to podcasts. And I started listening to it cause I was like, oh man, like this is a prerequisite.

[00:04:35] It must be a


[00:04:35] prerequisite. Or why would she ask this? So I was afraid there was gonna be more questions


[00:04:39] about it. Um, so. Some driving coming up that I needed to do probably to like, to weddings, to photograph weddings or whatever. And I listened to them and I could not turn them off. Like they were just, I was like, oh my God, why didn’t I listen to these forever ago?

[00:04:55] And so that also gave me, I felt like even closer to you as a soccer fan, just like that. A real person and kind of like debunk some of like whatever narratives I would meet up in my head that you were going to make me like, never buy anything again, or, or what have you by listening to other stories. So it really, it kind of like helped with my courage.


[00:05:17] I just loved hearing that. Cause I told you. I think so many people will probably can relate to that. And you asked me like, can you see if people start to fill out an application and then like, don’t go all the way through it, which if you’re listening, I can’t see that. So if you’ve opened it up numerous times, I don’t know that.

[00:05:33] I only know if you tell me at some point in time confessional hour. So you came to me cause you were like, you’ve been in this cycle of getting into debt, paying off. Oh, no, the debt appeared again. Now, what do I do? How are you feeling? Cause now you’re at this point where you said like coming into working with me, which by the way, um, everyone has this like thought in their mind about when the perfect time is to work with me.

[00:06:03] And so yours was when you were near the end of paying off your credit card debt. But since you are near the end of that, like what’s coming up for you as you think about. What will be true in terms of like this, this cycle for you moving forward?


[00:06:19] Oh, I feel like I don’t, I don’t ever imagine myself in that, um, in that position again.

[00:06:25] And when I was preparing for this is my first podcast ever. So if you’re listening, bear with me, but I looked back over the questionnaire that you sent after we entered this partnership. And, um, one of the questions was how much money do you have until next pay day? And my answer was about a hundred dollars.

[00:06:44] And that’s probably at that time in my life or, you know, which was again, only a few months ago. I think it was like April, um, at the beginning of April to say like in the, and it wasn’t like, there was like another, like secret account somewhere that I had, like, that was like how much money I had to spend.

[00:07:01] I was like, who


[00:07:02] was that person?


[00:07:06] It just was so. I don’t even, I can’t even remember what it’s like. And like, I kinda like giggle, like when I check my bank accounts now, cause I’m just like, how did this happen? Like, it, it feels like magic, but I just, all of a sudden went from, and I don’t even think like it’s yes.

[00:07:23] I, you know, not, not necessarily made mistakes. Made poor choices with how I manage my money, but then I was also thinking about it and I was like, well, I’ve never, you know, if I was taught this in school or, or if I had, you know, had a mentor when I was younger, that knew about more about money. Like, you know, maybe I would’ve learned it, but I, I mean, I really see this as like an investment just as I would like take another class or something.

[00:07:45] Like I’m learning how to manage my money. So I can be better for myself in the future. And I think the first step was really just like realizing that I have this cycle of debt and I don’t want to do that anymore. So just like anything, when you don’t want to do it anymore, you find a way to fix it. And you were my way.

[00:08:03] Well, and I


[00:08:03] take it that you don’t just have a hundred dollars. So your next paycheck this time?


[00:08:07] No. Um, I have already have, um, Sullivan Virginia. So my personal property taxes are due in October, but the bills usually come around August and September. I already have my estimate of what that will be. Cause I, I also wanted to note that I bought a.

[00:08:23] Um, during our partners,


[00:08:25] which


[00:08:26] was, you know, something I had been wanting to do, but was also, I needed to do it, but I didn’t really need to do it right now. And I just did it. I was happy. I feel like I thought about the impacts of my finances doing it, rather than just being like a splurge person and I don’t buy anything.

[00:08:43] Regularly. I’ve had my old car for like 10 years. So I’ll have this car just as long and it’s a little bit more functional than my last car was, but so it’s, you know, she’s not going to tell you that you can’t buy something. She’s going to ask you some questions for you to think about on how to do it to all the other ‘s out there that are listening and like, should I do this?

[00:09:02] Yes, do it right now. The patient hit send and then listen to money files and tell her all about it. So yeah, I, I have. Bill’s covered that are coming in the future. I just went on vacation and I had money set aside for vacation, which has never happened before I am a 26 times a year. I get paid. And I usually just rely on that kind of third paycheck that usually falls in one of the summer months or around Christmas to pay for those things.

[00:09:28] And I spent the money that I had for vacation and I came back and I wasn’t stressed about it. And it was amazing. Thank you for helping me find my life,


[00:09:38] those extra paycheck people they’re like, look, it’s an extra paycheck. How do you think about that? Like third paycheck now it’s not an


[00:09:45] extra paycheck.

[00:09:45] It is definitely not an extra paycheck. And if any of you will, that are listening are like me and think it’s an extra paycheck. Cause I always think it’s an extra paycheck until that month comes and I’m like, oh, that wasn’t an extra paycheck. I still have these bills to pay.


[00:09:59] And it’s not the bill. Like you’re right, because.

[00:10:02] Keisha, but I don’t need to pay rent again on that third Friday or whatever it falls, but there are things happening in your life like, oh, I’m getting gas. I still need to like go buy groceries. Right. So that, that paycheck does have a role and a purpose. And we just need to clearly define what that role and purpose is and whatever I always love when I get to work with my 26 pay checkers, because generally.

[00:10:29] It always seems to fall that within our first two months, they’re in a third paycheck month, which just happens that way. And I’m like, guess what we get to do with this third paycheck, we’re going to get you ahead and out of that life paycheck to paycheck cycle, where I want people to be in a place where they’re a month ahead.

[00:10:45] So like, you know, your July paychecks are paying for August bills. I don’t want you to be on August 15th. Like, oh, Let me see what bills are due. Let me write that list down and pay whatever I have left. That’s my spending money. So really just breaking people out of like, and


[00:11:01] it’s amazing. And it literally happens.

[00:11:05] Like I was thinking about it because we were, I was at my sister’s house in Massachusetts when we had. Started this to get me ahead on my bills. And I was sitting on the floor of my mom’s room at my sister’s house, um, with like spotty wifi. And you’re like, okay, I’m going to put you like, this is the only time that you were like, if you can only live off, like whatever, I don’t know.

[00:11:27] It was like $30 a day or something for the next three days or five days or whatever, until I get my next paycheck and you will have all the money you need for next month’s bills. And I was like, what? Like, I was just like, I don’t understand. I’m just okay. Like I have groceries at home and I, I just need to get them from Massachusetts and I’ll whatever, it’ll be fine.

[00:11:47] And then you. Joked at me about going to Dunkin donuts. And I was like, well, I’m in new England. What


[00:11:52] else am I supposed to do for coffee?


[00:11:57] All there is really


[00:12:00] because of the purchase.


[00:12:03] So I, and, and the other thing that happened in the. Probably six weeks of our partnership together. Um, I was going back and forth and acid Massachusets regularly because my mom had broken her ankle and I was trying to help out my family just with her appointments and surgery and things like that.

[00:12:19] So she’s, she’s fine now, which had nothing to do with money, but instead of leaving you on a cliffhanger, but I was like, I never spend this much money on gas because I’m working from home right now. I, I, you know, fill up my car, like maybe. Once a month. And so I was really stressed about some of these numbers and you were like, but that’s life that happens.

[00:12:36] And so where you can just plan for it. And I was like, oh cool. And I think that’s what always held me up on quote, unquote budgeting before, because. I was always like, oh my gosh, there’s not a bucket for billing my gas up three times this month instead of two or one. So that was really like opening.


[00:12:53] Yeah.

[00:12:54] And just like the flexibility. I think you’re speaking to like the flexibility of budgeting, which is like, I firmly believe that having a budget allows you to have more freedom. I think we all live under the guise of like, well, if I don’t manage my money and I just like, don’t look at it and just spit.

[00:13:12] Then I actually have more choices, but the choices come with like being fearful or having guilt feeling really overwhelmed about certain things. And so like, I want, I want people to find joy in like managing their finances and being able to say like, look, look what I can do. Like things that I never thought I could do before.

[00:13:33] And right. Like you did buy a car. It was a very conscious decision. And to be able to think of, think of that decision. Consciously and to know the unintended and intended consequences, or like, what is that going to allow me to do? What else do I need to be able to think about so that when something does happen, you’ve already like mentally prepared for it?


[00:13:54] Yeah, absolutely. And, um, I actually wrote down in my notes that, um, in getting my finances in order, like I was. Just sitting in my living room the other night. And I was like, things are just so good. Like I don’t wake up, you know, for like, since I was in college, I would wake up. And I remember this was before like mobile phone apps.

[00:14:16] I would literally have the number of my bank account or the number to my bank in my phone. And I would call it every morning and I would just. Cringe in fear of like what the, you know, a little recorded voice was going to tell me that, that I had my account and Laura will all the time go to the negative in front of that number.

[00:14:34] And that was really scary. Um, and so now, like, just seeing like I don’t bank account budget, I think is what you call it anymore. Like, I don’t look at my bank account to tell me where. I do or don’t have, or if I do or don’t have money, I spend a few minutes every week balancing everything out. And then I know like, this is actually what I have, because in October I’m going to have to pay for personal property taxes


[00:15:02] and you want it to be, pain-free not like, oh, I had a different, oh, that paycheck was supposed to, oh, I don’t know.

[00:15:09] Like, and now you got to like borrow money from someone or put it on a credit card. And not realize like you could have been saving for that thing because your property taxes, aren’t really an unknown, unexpected expense. Maybe if you just moved to the state of Virginia and you’re like, oh, I didn’t know, this is a thing.

[00:15:28] Right. But you can plan for that. And being able to set aside the money every single month, um, if it’s more than expected, right, then you like, oh, now we’re only talking about a small difference versus this. Those were $800. I don’t have a hundred dollars. Right. So that’s yeah, I think it’s liberating to, to be able


[00:15:48] to play in it now.

[00:15:49] Yeah, I completely agree. Um, my renewal for, um, um, for TSA pre-check is up this year and it wasn’t on my spending plan. And I was like, okay, well it’s every five years. And it’s like, I think 80 or $85. And so now I literally, I saved, I put away $2 a month so that, you know, I’ll have a little bit saved by December when it’s up for renewal.

[00:16:11] But then I know. It starting in January, 2022, that I need to put away my $2 a month to get what I need to get. I think that’s paying over it. I don’t know. The math was really wonky, so I just needed $2, but I ha I’ll have it. And then it won’t be. Maybe one day, I’ll get you set a flying again when we’re not in a pandemic, but I love my


[00:16:31] TSA.

[00:16:32] Pre-check yeah. And there’s so many little expenses like that. Whether it’s like the Amazon prime membership, which you don’t think about it until you’re like, why is this $120 coming out of my account? It’s actually $126 and 14 cents. Cause apparently they put tax. But like, there’s that there’s, if you have like any credit card fees, annual fees, or if you have like a Costco or Sam’s club membership, right.

[00:16:53] There’s like these things that we say yes to at one specific point in the year, and then we don’t think about it again. Inadvertently those things hit when we’re like strapped for cash. And so you can go ahead and plan for those things. What other results have you created over this? Like the last four

[00:17:10] months?


[00:17:11] So I have a clear vision on what I, what I actually have in my accounts and like where that money’s going. I have a little bit of savings. I have a plan for trying to figure it out. You


[00:17:24] have more than a little bit of savings? I hope let’s just like, I know for anyone listening, I am like eradicating. Like this was a small win from my language for myself and for my clients.

[00:17:35] Like a win is a win savings and saving. Because otherwise it will never


[00:17:39] be enough. True. True. Very true.


[00:17:42] Yes. Start


[00:17:44] I have an emergency savings. Um, and I, I just, my more than anything, I would just say my mindset has changed. And when we talked about this yesterday too, on our call is my. Mindset has changed.

[00:17:57] And, you know, if you haven’t worked with Keina before, um, each of your calls, you felt just a little, like, you know, a few questions that ask about, um, what you wanna talk about or anything that’s come up between the last time you’ve met. And on we, we have worked on my personal finances, but we’ve also dabbled in a few of my business finances, which has been incredible.

[00:18:16] Well, that is, and that is a huge one. Yeah. Asterisk that right there. I did not have this, the science of before money that I made for my business just went into my checking account. I had no idea where I went. I had no idea if my business was successful or if I was like, just self-funding it as like expensive poppy hobby.

[00:18:30] Because if you’re not a photographer, photography is very expensive. I dropped my camera. Um, earlier this year, while I was working with Keana and I had to get it repaired and it’s just, it just keeps adding up. Everything does. And now I know that I have camera repair money. So, um, I don’t have to worry if I drop it because of.

[00:18:47] It’s covered. And so I have an emergency savings. My mindset has changed and I noticed when my mind said that is even slipping up in other areas. So, um, instead of saying, like, I would have said in March of this year, like I’m bad at money, you know, now I can say I still have a lot to learn about money.

[00:19:04] I’m nowhere near an expert, but I know how to manage my personal finances and I can learn more. About what I’m doing and, and that’s um, so yesterday our conversation, I was like, oh no, should I hire like somebody for marketing? And you’re like, well, I hear you put you’re bad at marketing. So let’s reframe that thought and work on our mindset for that.

[00:19:23] And I was like, okay. And then we talked about it a little bit. It has nothing to do with money, but it’s just like correcting that, like catching yourself in that negative space.


[00:19:32] But it does have to do with money because about like, as a business owner, what are you going to solve? And so if we’re solving things by just buying it, buying programs or investing in people and not to say that those things are bad when like, sometimes we just need to look at like, how are we actually approaching this?

[00:19:53] And like, what’s the why behind it? Because as business owners, just to kind of like go over there and hang out in the business space for a little bit, when we’re making investments in our business. And I would even just say personally as well, we want to know. Why are we doing this? Is that a thought that is maybe not serving us really well?

[00:20:12] So like, if I think that I’m bad at marketing, hiring someone to manage your marketing, isn’t necessarily going to fix that because you may not even hire the right person because you go for the thing that’s like shiny and glittery and, and realizing that you’re making an investment out of like, lack versus like being in this more like abundance.


[00:20:34] No, absolutely. And like when we make decisions that we haven’t really thought out, like I w you know, if I were to hire somebody for anything, the first thing they’re going to ask is like, well, what do you want to get out of it? And if I can’t answer that question, then they’re just going to give me whatever they think, and that’s not gonna help market my business or solve my problems.

[00:20:53] Same with like, you know, coming to you. Like, if I didn’t know, and some things, I don’t think I’d ever really like thought of conceptually. And so it was like a good exercise for me to think about. What are my values or what, you know, um, what do I want to do? And I was reading over that as well, um, about what I had put.

[00:21:10] And so, like, I, I want to buy a home in Northern Virginia, which is. Impossible,


[00:21:17] unless you are


[00:21:18] a millionaire apparently, but, um, but I, well, I say that jokingly, like I do feel like I’m so much closer to that goal of mine because I’ve had that goal for like, I dunno, a million years or maybe 35, um, that I. I feel like I can figure it out.

[00:21:34] And, and that, and that I don’t like, to me, it always was like set a goal that was like so far out of reach. Um, and so not attainable. And now I’m like, okay, well it’s not going to happen maybe this year, but it’s going to happen one day and I know how to get there. Which is really exciting. And we did like, you


[00:21:54] created your dream budget, which I feel like you’re one of my clients were like, this is so much fun.

[00:21:58] Some people avoid it, but I think it helped you conceptualize things, even creating the budget for your business. Like it, it grounded you in what could be true. From like, as your coach, it was watching you like open doors of possibility to be like, Ooh, look, that is like, it is possible for me to buy that home.

[00:22:19] Now I can equate it with like, where do I want to be in terms of like negotiating my salary or if I moved jobs, like where do I actually want to sit? Um, and not just like, sometimes we make arbitrary goals. Like I want to make another 10 grand, which. But like, what does that in service of, how does that align with like your values, your goals, your purpose, and being able to live in that space.

[00:22:43] And I think if I’m not mistaken, , I feel like you also had this, like apifany with your business finances where you’re like, oh, like, this is, this is actually a business. And like, there are more things that I could be doing where it’s not just to your point, an expensive hobby and I can manage my business, like a CEO by managing my finances.

[00:23:04] How much money I’m bringing in as a business owner, but I’m going to make sure that my business and personal finances are not commingled. My business is going to self-fund itself. And my business is going to pay me even if, you know, whatever I choose to do with that money.


[00:23:18] It’s mind boggling, like to me, because I, if you’re listening, like, it sounds like, you know, we, this process might have taken or might have taken a long time.

[00:23:28] And when I think about like, it wasn’t a heavy lift to do any of these things, it was all. Little. Changes and adjustments and, you know, moving, you know, moving some things around, um, like at the start, but a, you know, like I had, I was like, oh, I want to do this. And, um, this, this was an investment for me to like peanut doesn’t didn’t work for me for free, unfortunately, although I was like, but I’ve been stalking you forever now.

[00:23:55] Um, so it was definitely like an investment. And I think that, that I was like, oh, well, I want to get the most out of her, her time and, and the value that I put into this. So, um, that, but it was really, you know, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like, you know, Lyft, I don’t know, building a house. It was, it was, it was very just like, okay, like, let me add these few things to my to-do list and, um, spend, you know, 20 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes, knocking those things out.

[00:24:19] And, and then. Now I’m like, oh, wow, this is great. Like I can, I opened my business accounts, um, with my local credit union. And cause I was really stressed in the beginning too, about like what kind of accounts I should open and I, I can see. And when I like go to, I can see the money there. And then when I go to my Excel sheet, I can see like what it’s all allocated for.

[00:24:41] And there’s literally a line that you made me that says compensation. Um, and I’m like, oh, that’s how much I would be paying myself. I’m not paying myself right now because. I’m just to keep it over there


[00:24:54] before you didn’t even have that. It was like, oh yeah. I make like $300 every once in a while for my business.

[00:25:01] And then I, like, I spend it


[00:25:05] and like,


[00:25:07] yeah. And then there’s this, these like subscriptions that come out. Yeah. I don’t know where it is.


[00:25:14] Um, and now, like I do like, even if it’s even if the money is just to save it, it’s the money has a job and a purpose and it’s so amazing.


[00:25:25] So amazing. Thank you. I think we didn’t talk about which I just wrote down, um, or not.

[00:25:34] Didn’t just write it down. You also talk to your partner about finances early on. Tell us about that. Like, what’s been a collective benefit from you managing your finances. Um, I’ve been


[00:25:48] asking you this morning if, um, if you were going to send them a bill.

[00:25:55] So, um, I, since starting to work with you, um, Slowly been integrating. Um, so prior to, um, to, to working with you kina, we had separate finances. Um, we lived together, but I just pay it’s his condo, but I just paid, paid him rent every month. And then we split bills like groceries. We have a dog together and I don’t know what else, whatever else, but there was no formal process.

[00:26:17] It just was. Come and go, we both make about the same amount of money, but he does not have any. And his only debt is his mortgage. And now he, he actually inadvertently had to buy a new car this year too, which was not planned and probably would have changed my decision to buy a car. But here we are, and I’m not worried about it.

[00:26:34] And I was really able to encourage him through this stressful process of surprise, having to buy a car because I was like, it’s. It’s fine. We’re going to figure it out. Like we just need to make a plan. And so this week actually w honor our money dates that we now have weekly. It started as every other week.

[00:26:49] And then a few weeks ago, I was like, this is too long between it. We need to meet more regularly. And at first we were just tracking our shared expenses, groceries, the dog, whatever. Um, but now we’re getting much deeper in, and recently he like threw out this number to his family that he was going to like retire, like very young.

[00:27:06] And I was. Okay. I mean, like we could do that, but I’ve never heard you say this before. We need to have a plan. So it’s just been really excited, exciting to work with money together. And, um, you know, he, he definitely, um, has, has to put up some boundaries sometimes. Cause I get really excited and I’m like, let’s keep going.

[00:27:26] And he’s like, pump the brakes. We can finish this next week. Good. Okay. You did a good job. So, but it’s been really exciting, especially because when I first conversations with you, kina, I think I said, I was like, oh my gosh, he’s so good with money. And like, he pays off his credit cards, like every month at, with like, he just uses them to get points, is able to do all these things.

[00:27:44] And I’m like over here with like, you know, and when I said earlier that I had a hundred dollars in my bank canceled paycheck, if I had to guess it was probably like 90. It’s $5 and 3 cents. And I was like was


[00:27:56] almost a hundred up. Yeah, I, I love that. You’ve been able to take our work into your relationship and that it did start right with like, let’s see how much we’re spending on food.

[00:28:09] Let’s see how much we’re spending on Opal. Opal is really expensive. I’m thinking expensive and right. But I think that like one of your first aha moments was like, oh my goodness, we don’t actually want to be spending X amount of dollars. I can’t remember what it was.

[00:28:27] Yeah, like collectively, right. That you guys were spending on food, the dog. And I think we do all of these things. It’s harmless. Even if you can pay all of your bills, right? Like you aren’t overdrafting anything, but at the end of the day, it’s like, is that how you actually desire to spend your money?


[00:28:47] Yeah.

[00:28:47] And I think that was one of the first things we did the first time we, I. Combined date. And we saw that number and I was like, well, first of all, That’s a more good


[00:29:00] and that doesn’t even


[00:29:00] include anything else that we, you know, that doesn’t include the actual mortgage that we, we are paying, um, or any other bills to run, run our households or cast for cars, literally like three areas of our lives.

[00:29:11] And we were combining spending, you know, I think that when we added up. We thought we were spending or what we wanted to be spending in those areas. We wanted to be spending about half. And so now we know, and if we go over a little bit, like it’s not the end of the world, but we just know that that comes as a trade off on something.

[00:29:27] Like in June we didn’t, um, take Opal to daycare. And then I was like, that was a mistake.


[00:29:34] We, um,


[00:29:35] we didn’t have that expense in June and you know, maybe we spent a little bit more on groceries or what have you, but it was, it was okay.


[00:29:41] I love that. So what would be your answer to your own question now? Cause you said you hadn’t considered it before we worked together, but like what comes after budgeting?

[00:29:50] And I think


[00:29:51] that, um, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to answer this question Wednesday, but I, we have been talking a lot about like planning for retirement lately. And I think that is the next level of like what I want to get really serious on. So much that I don’t know about any of those things, but, you know, I just, it feels like the whole like finance, like I can like take it and digestible bites instead of like trying to like eat an elephant, um, which is really incredible.

[00:30:19] And like, I’m not afraid to ask the questions like. I have, uh, have a 401k with fidelity and I’ve probably never called them. And I’ve talked to them, I think like three times this last month, because I was like, wait, is my, um, is my retirement invested? Do I need to do something like, and so I just, I’m not as afraid to ask the questions.

[00:30:41] And I think before, when I did my personal planning together, I was like, oh, I can’t think about retirement. Like, I’m not gonna make it to retirement if I don’t figure out how to live day to day. So now that. My personal finances and day-to-day expenses in, in track. I want to focus more on just like retirement and seeing like, I don’t know, maybe we can retire early, but I don’t know because I’ve never looked at it.

[00:31:02] So.


[00:31:06] And I, I just love that. Like how it’s freed up other, like it’s freed up your mental space, right? So you can actually think about other things and to your point of like, there’s so much to learn. And I think that that’s very true. Someone’s always talking about something, new people coming to me all the time and they’re like, I want to be investing.

[00:31:23] I’m like, if you have a 401k or 4 0 1, 3 B, and you’re contributing to it, you are investing. I get that you see people online that are talking about day trading, which is a little bit different, but right. Like being able to know that your personal finances are in order. So now you can start thinking about like, how do I strategically want to build this emergency fund?

[00:31:42] Okay. My emergency fund is done. Like, what else is coming? Or how do I even play through different scenarios like me? And you had a conversation this. Coaching call of like, what does it look like if I wanted to think about taking another job and also be in alignment with where I said I wanted to be in terms of my dream budget.

[00:32:00] So we were able to like map out those things, but also like, how do we consider your business? Does your business play a role in this? And, and just being able to be curious, like, I think that when you actually manage your personal finances, like you can lead with this like level of curiosity and possibly.


[00:32:18] Yeah, I wish there was like a good I’m someone who probably has it, but I’m not that great with analogies, but like, it feels like I was just like in this like a fog before, and I, it was like no way out, like, I couldn’t find the, you know, there was no light that says exit that I could find, or even like how to like make the fog go away.

[00:32:38] And now I just feel. Just feel. So I do, I feel so much lighter. I feel like I want to make as much work or not even. It’s not, it hasn’t, I don’t even want to say work because it hasn’t been hard. It’s just been. Being mindful about it. And then, you know, when I go to like, before I would have just swiped my credit card or, um, you know, pay paid for whatever it is without thought.

[00:33:02] And now I’m like, is it, do I have a bucket for this? Is this a priority? Does it match with my values are like one of my values or like, I want to buy quality things that last a long time. So I think I told you in one of our earlier calls, like no hate against old Navy, but I was like, every time I buy clothes from old Navy, Angry and because I’m like, they don’t fit the way I want them to, or as soon as you wash them, they change.

[00:33:24] And so I was like, I, um, I had gone on a little shopping spree earlier this, or like, or before summer started and spent a lot more than I normally would on summer clothes. But I was like, I’m still so happy with all the selections of things I’ve got. And I, I know they’re going to last. I paid attention to what I was buying, because I was like, I’m not just going to buy something because it’s on sale because I don’t want it to sit in my closet because I live in Northern Virginia where real estate is really expensive.

[00:33:52] And I don’t care that much about clothes. Like I need it to not show my sweat when it’s a million degrees outside, look nice. And when I’m like traveling and not wrinkle, like I just, like,


[00:34:01] I don’t know, came out of something and, and be comfortable. Like if my weight fluctuates five pounds, I like tacos. I don’t know that sour bread starter that started in, I guess


[00:34:16] I have a, I don’t know, I


[00:34:17] like to eat everything.

[00:34:21] So you wrote a lot of notes down. What did I not ask you? Or what did you write down that you wanted to share? That


[00:34:27] we didn’t get. Don’t make yourself crazy and crazy. I use with air quotes, but, um, by doing the same things and expecting different results, like this is totally attainable for everybody. And I wish like, um, my nieces are 24 and 25 and I am on.

[00:34:45] One of them. I just encouraged to open up a Roth IRA because they’re working a summer job and just, you just have to start and you just have to trust yourself because you can do whatever you want about money, but money makes the world around. And the way we can make change in the world is by being kind people, but also with money to help make that change because things are not going to get any cheaper.

[00:35:06] And the more knowledge. You can share with people and use your money to do good for others. It means something and it’s rich. People are getting richer. So I love that. You know, I don’t think that a, um, an, a service like this would have been available to just a single woman. T 20 years ago, um, to be able to do, you know, I don’t think that there was individuals that were really help mentoring and coaching people to have their own individual finances.

[00:35:36] I think that was more reserved for the wealthy, and I think that’s an amazing thing we have access to right now or have access to. And I’m so grateful that you understand how to do this and have an education background. So you have a gift to be able to teach it to someone like me. I took a chance on, um, on myself because you you’ve been helping people, but I really needed to, I think, find the value to say, like, I need this in my life and this is going to help me make the change or be the change I want to make in the world.

[00:36:07] That’s


[00:36:08] so beautiful.

[00:36:12] Yeah. I think like if you’re just sitting on the fence about investing in yourself, and this is something I talk to people about all the time, because. I’m like, when’s the last time you actually invested in yourself. And I don’t think we do that. I work with a lot of women predominantly I would say like late twenties, probably to mid forties, have some outliers.

[00:36:35] If you’ve listened to another money files episode, Karen is in her sixties. And she’s amazing.


[00:36:41] I love Karen story,


[00:36:46] but, um, when you think


[00:36:47] about like late twenties,


[00:36:51] You know, mid forties and at least for me what resonates is like, I have like so much energy in college where I was like, I’m going to be a ballerina and a firefighter and a doctor. Right. Like I still had that mentality and somewhere probably like in my like late twenties to early thirties.

[00:37:12] I don’t know, like I lost perspective. I didn’t invest in myself. And, um, the biggest thing that has shifted in the last probably like three to four years is being able to invest in myself. Whether that’s like recently I’ve been working with like another nutrition and health coach. I have like business coaches that I’ve worked with in my business.

[00:37:30] And so. They have contributed to like my mind and how I show up and allowing me to think and discover like what’s possible. And so that’s what financial coaching is. Like, if you’re listening to this, you were probably a very like type a person. Most of my people are very type a, and they’re very successful in all walks of life.

[00:37:51] But when it comes to managing finances, like that’s where you’d be like, Ooh, that’s like a three. Right? But like every other area of my life seems very high. You know, maybe you even have made more money than you’ve ever made before, but like, you still feel like you’re not getting ahead. Like actually invest in yourself.

[00:38:11] Learn the skill one, it’s going to help you, but it’s also going to help those around you. Like ‘s talking about like talking to her boyfriend about it and talking to her niece. Like that makes me really excited. And I love when my clients are telling me like, kina, guess what? I told somebody. Right?

[00:38:28] Cause I’m like, get the word out there. Yep. Show me your spreadsheet. Do this, do that. Because I like I also on my platform, I just love to encourage people to talk about finances because we don’t do. Enough. And it’s such like a taboo topic when really, I think like the change starts with having one conversation that makes you think differently and makes you believe something differently when it comes to managing your


[00:38:51] finances.

[00:38:52] I know you said a lot on like, um, social media is, or in your, in your newsletter. It was like, if you don’t know how to manage 30, $30,000, not gonna know how to manage $300,000. It’s so true. Like I, over the last year increase my salary by probably about $30,000, but the more salary I got, the higher, I moved up in the, in my salary.

[00:39:14] I still didn’t know what I was doing. So it didn’t matter that I had an extra $30,000 to spend because I didn’t know what I was doing with any of it. So it did not abide by dollars or $500. I was still not knowing what to do. And now I know, I know what to do.


[00:39:30] Yeah. And, and like the last thing I’ll say is that I think that when you start to manage your finances, like it has this domino effect and everything else starts to just like fall into place where you’re like, oh, wow.

[00:39:43] Like I never knew that this would be possible. Like for Jeanine, it was like, there’s a budget, it’s magic. Right. But like, I fully expect that probably even, you know, in a few short weeks from now, you’ll be talking about. I got a $50,000 raise and knowing exactly where that money is going to go and how that money is going to serve you.

[00:40:06] Um, and what is going to like allow you to create in the world. So if you’re like waiting on the perfect time, the perfect time is now, and like, you don’t need to get ready. You can do, like they say at church, like


[00:40:17] come as you are.


[00:40:20] And you know, we’ll take it from there to start like actually creating this plan.

[00:40:24] Making the financial progress that you actually desire, and it’s not going to be done in a way that makes you like, feel like you have to shame yourself. I don’t know if you heard, but you named said several times, like, yeah. Yeah. And then we went over budget and it was fine. Like, I don’t think she even second thought that like statement because at the end of the day, It really, isn’t a big deal.

[00:40:45] It’s about like, what are the choices that you make once you have like a, where you’re like, oops, didn’t mean to do that. Okay. Let me like get back on track and actually figure out where I desire to go from here. So thank you ,


[00:40:57] for talking to me today and any final thoughts. Um, well, once you do it, you don’t have to do it again.

[00:41:03] It’s not like getting dressed every day. So like you just, you just, uh, one of my old bosses you say, um, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. And that’s like, what it is like, if you just, if you get your finances in order, you don’t have to get an order again. You just have it done.


[00:41:19] Yeah. It’s just ready.

[00:41:22] But thank you for having me on. Oh, you’re so welcome. Thanks for coming in and talking to me. And so if you are ready to learn how to manage your finances, like once, and for all, go to my website at wealth, and apply to work with me. If you’ve already opened up the application like two, three times, just go ahead and click send and get on my calendar.

[00:41:43] I would love to know how I can support you in creating new possibilities, your money. Thanks guys. I just love it, that you made it to the end of this episode of money files. I hope some part of today’s story resonated with you and showed you the power of coaching today. I’m inviting you to take the first step and book a one-to-one call with me.

[00:42:05] We’ll discuss what you’re hoping to achieve with your money, where you need support and how I can help you reach your financial goals faster than you ever could alone. Go to and book. Once again, my name is Keina and thank you again for joining me. Also stay tuned for the next episode.

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