How Maggie Paid Off $11,000 In Credit Card Debt in 8 Months

Money Files

Before we started working together Maggie described her relationship with money as unproductive. For years, Maggie made an annual goal to get out of credit card debt but despite her best efforts, the credit card debt increased year after year from $2,000 to over $16,000.

When Maggie thought about what she needed to do to achieve her goals of paying off debt and saving money she wasn’t able to see beyond her reality, the reality that seemed to say that she’d be in debt forever despite her best efforts. She also held the belief that she would never be good with money because that meant she needed to be disciplined and follow a set of strict rules. Maggie decided to hire a coach because she desired different results. After a couple years of setting financial goals and not meeting them it became clear to her that she needed another strategy.

As her financial coach, it is safe to say that Maggie had a resistance to budgeting because she did not see how budgeting would allow her to live a carefree life.

Over the course of my one month intensive, Maggie shifted her mindset about money. She started to see how we were simply making a plan that allowed her to align her finances with her priorities so she could make informed decisions. Her plan allowed her to make room to save for travel, pay extra on her credit card debt to eliminate it within the next 12-18 months, and also helped her prioritize setting aside money for less sexy things like saving for a new roof.

Tune into this episode and hear more about the progress Maggie has made in the last year.

In this episode you’ll learn…  

  • Why Maggie thought budgeting would never work for her because she held the belief that it was about discipline and not freedom 
  • How she realized she was making decisions on flawed information about her finances 
  • How Maggie started to build a real emergency fund to cover at least 3 months of expenses 
  • Maggie’s realization about how she could have credit card debt and still save for other things she cared about like travel 
  • How she’s reallotted money since we’ve started working together 
  • Maggie’s new definition of discipline and how it’s helped her to be indulgent in with her spending without guilt or fear

Having a budget doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy your life and I’d argue it’s the very thing you need to see progress towards your financial goals and gain a sense of clarity about the next purchase you want to make.  A budget allows you to make purchases without the stress of wondering whether you’ll be able to pay your bills on time, pay down your debt, or cover an emergency.  And this is exactly what happened for Maggie.  She’s now able to see all of the options that are available to her because she knows exactly where her money is going. 

If you’ve ever thought that life is too short to live on a budget, you’ll want to tune into Maggie’s episode because she held a similar belief – and she moved past it to pay off over $11,000 worth of credit card debt and a three month emergency fund. 

And if you’re ready to create a budget that makes the life you want possible, schedule a call.

Inside the episode

Maggie told you how she’s managed to pay off over $11,000 in credit card debt after spending over a decade trying to figure out how to get out of credit card debt.  Today, I want to share a little bit more of the behind the scenes of Maggie’s transformation from my perspective – her financial coach.  

Before working together, Maggie was already aware that she did not know where her money was going and she was frustrated that she could not figure out how to actually pay off her debt.  When she came to me, she had a system of writing her bills down in a notebook, she paid $350 a week towards her credit card, she had her bills on autopay, and she was saving $200 a month but she felt like little things were getting her off track like a trip to Starbucks or more spontaneous things like a plane ticket to New York to visit her sister. 

As a financial coach, I know Maggie was creating an illusion for herself because her response to managing her finances was mostly reactive.  Yes, that’s right it was reactive even though she had her bills on autopay, was saving monthly, and paying above the minimum towards her debt.  

Maggie’s system of managing her finances did not include setting aside money for the things she enjoyed or even setting aside money for some of the more infrequent expenses like landscaping or auto maintenance.  So, after she’d paid her bills and put money in savings, most of her other spending was going on her credit card. She gave herself permission to put it on her credit card because after all she was putting $350 towards her credit card each week .  

Here me clearly, there is nothing wrong with putting a purchase on a credit card but you must have an awareness of how you’re going to pay that expense off by the end of the month or in the next 60 or 90 days if you don’t want to be in a cycle of debt. 

This was the fundamental shift that I was able to help Maggie see.  We took the foundational work she’d already done by listing out her monthly expenses but we also dug a layer deeper to account for infrequent and irregular expenses and we made sure to prepare for the things she fundamentally enjoyed whether that was a weekly pizza night, travel, or donating money to community causes.  

Helping Maggie have all of her expenses in one place then let us work on building the awareness of what she was spending week to week and where this money was coming from.  Before she might have made a $350 payment towards her credit card but might have also paid for a $400 plane ticket, a $100 happy hour, and  made $75 in Amazon Prime purchases.  Any one item wasn’t seemingly bad but it meant that instead of paying down her debt by $350 she’s actually added to it unconsciously. After we created her spending plan, we were able to make a plan that named exactly how she planned to put money towards all of her essential and nonessential expenses.  

So here are the takeaways I want you to have from Maggie…

  1. Writing your expenses down is not the same as having a spending plan that helps you make intentional decisions about your spending from week to week. 
  2. Telling yourself that it’s okay to put purchases on your credit card because you can pay off your credit card each month is not a savings plan. 
  3. You can live a carefree life and know how to manage your finances at the same time. 

I’d love to know what part of Maggie’s story resonates with you the most.  And if you’re ready to work with me in my one month intensive so you can have a plan that helps you save consistently, pay down debt, and stress less about money schedule a call. 

The transcript


[00:00:00] 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 today. I’m joined by my client, Maggie, who, if you follow me, you’ve been on my website.

[00:00:21] She has a case study on my site, but it’s been almost a year since we worked together. And I asked her, Maggie, would you mind having a deeper conversation with me so we can talk about like all the transformations that you’ve seen and Maggie is going to dive in. I think a lot of you will relate to this.

[00:00:37] You make decent income. And you just don’t feel like you’re successful with managing your finances.

[00:00:44] Keina:

[00:00:44] talks about all of the shifts that she’s had over the last few months since we worked together and really just give some

[00:00:52] Maggie:

[00:00:52] practical tips for how you can start

[00:00:54] Keina:

[00:00:56] Thank you for joining me on another candid conversation in my money foul series today, I am talking to Maggie, Maggie and I work together. Last November is when we started and Mackey go ahead and introduce

[00:01:11] Maggie:

[00:01:11] yourself. Hi, I’m Maggie. Thanks for having me. I live in Kentucky. I am 34, almost 35, and really just always had a unproductive or for a long time productive relationship with money.

[00:01:25] And until I started working with Keina, so I’m excited to share my story.

[00:01:29] Keina:

[00:01:29] You know me like via Instagram, then you probably. See me posted about Maggie. There’s a quote in my Instagram feed that says like, I signed up for a credit card for a free tee shirt, this cycle of debt. So Maggie and I, we actually spoke back in January.

[00:01:48] So she let me like talk to her to get a testimonial for my website. And there was a couple of case studies on my website. So this is the same Maggie, if you’ve been to my website and you’ve read the case studies, but I wanted to follow up with her. Because after our one month intensive, she’s continued to make such progress.

[00:02:04] And that’s the thing that I like love highlighting in terms of this personal finance journey. I think sometimes, and we get stuck with, uh, Oh, okay. I heard that, like, we can’t save money and pay off debt at the same time or I have to give up my latte. And so sometimes I think these things can feel really.

[00:02:20] The feeding and feel like, well, then why even get started? And so this is why I wanted to, like I said, have these candid conversations with my former clients and my current clients, because I want you to see like what’s possible and what new stories that you like, money stories you can actually create in your life.

[00:02:39] So, yeah. Yeah. Maggie, if you want to just like start off and tell me, what did you believe about yourself and your relationship with money? Way back in November.

[00:02:48] Maggie:

[00:02:48] It’s a long time ago. Now. I think the biggest thing, yeah. That I believed about myself was just, and the story I told myself was I wasn’t a disciplined person.

[00:02:58] And in order to be good with money, you had to follow rules. All of the time and constantly be making sort of the right choice. So I think for me, because I tend to be, I like to be impulsive or indulgent at times. That’s just a part of my personality. It felt like that didn’t jive with money or money. And so I’d really gotten to a place where I just kept seeing.

[00:03:26] In spite of a desert to not be bad with money, it get worse and worse over years slowly. And this debt here, credit card, I’ll just put that on the credit card here. And it felt like there was like a big character flaw with me around that discipline. And so. For me, it really just brought up a lot of shame and embarrassment around wherever my money situation was because for most of my adult life I’ve made a decent income.

[00:03:51] It felt like I should have been in a better stock. And it was just, something was wrong with me that made me not good at this. I think

[00:03:59] Keina:

[00:03:59] so many of our listeners are going to be able to relate to that. I think I had that conversation. All the time about what did you say? You said? I said, like, I felt like I want to be indulgent, but then these rules I have to follow.

[00:04:11] And just like the two, you said it does jive, like basically how you want to live life and the Maya lifestyle. Does it match up, I guess, with budgeting, right? How I desire to live life that doesn’t fit with a budget. Tell people how I’ve you. Worked through that. And how have you shifted just like your beliefs,

[00:04:35] Maggie:

[00:04:35] the first thing, which is sort of what made me reach out to you is in spite of all the intention, me just doing like trying more and trying to be more disciplined was not working and had not been working for over a decade.

[00:04:51] So it was sort of like, The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Like I was doing that for a year on it, and I think I could look back at like yearly goals and every year it was get out of credit card debt. And last year it was like, it’s grown, it’s grown so much this year.

[00:05:09] Like,

[00:05:10] Keina:

[00:05:10] this is

[00:05:11] Maggie:

[00:05:11] exactly it just isn’t working. And so I think that was one of the first things. I think the second thing that. What happened is I noticed through the co like, I felt so much anxiety about trying to map it all out. Like I felt a lot of just anxiety. It was like, wait, what goes, where and why?

[00:05:31] And I think what I realized through the coaching is what I’m not doing when I fill out my Excel sheet is I’m not trying to create limits on myself. I’m trying to just create a plan, which sounds duh. That’s all we’re doing, but sort of difference between those understandings mattered to me. If I put this number in this box next to happy hour or next to close, I don’t need to necessarily feel shame around that.

[00:06:01] I don’t have to necessarily follow it, but if that’s the plan and things change, then I can make decisions about what to do with that. And I think that was a huge. Change for me is when I’m creating an, you call it that a money plant. When I’m, when I have this plan, it is just that it’s a plan. It isn’t the rules and it’s a way to make decisions.

[00:06:24] And I think the other big thing was just becoming aware of. The choices I was making, like how I decided if I had enough money to do something was just totally flawed, which isn’t a character thing. I literally was making choices and actions based on flawed information. And I think I just realized, like, that’s not because I’m not a disciplined person or I’m a bad person.

[00:06:48] I just kind of have been doing it wrong. And so I think it was sort of three. Three things. I think the other thing that was interesting that helped change it, or maybe even push this learning curve along was I, as you said, we did this in November. It was right before Christmas. And if you’re listening, you know, I’m not good with money, so I definitely didn’t plan for Christmas.

[00:07:16] Um, and so there is a lot of like, Oh, my gosh, like, what am I going to do? I don’t have any money for this. And I’m trying not to raise my credit card debt, but I actually think once I hit January, There was enough of the learning that happened in December. That January felt pretty easy at that point, because it was like not going to be hemorrhaging all this unplanned money all over the place.

[00:07:38] And so I think that that environment of a spending season really helped me have to learn some things a bit quicker.

[00:07:47] Keina:

[00:07:47] Yeah, cause you said so many good things. I was over here, like taking copious notes, but something that you too, like, there’s two things that I really want to make sure that we like talk about because you keep using the word character and it’s like, this is just who I thought I was.

[00:08:02] Right. And I would say like anybody who’s at this point of frustration and it’s like, I’ve talked to people that might say I went to the school and I didn’t have any student loan debt because I was privileged enough for my parents to pay for the debt. But now. I have debt and I feel like I shouldn’t, right.

[00:08:19] Like there’s this guilt around it. And so we start to like, okay, associate these things that we do with our money, with like who we are as a, as a person. And it’s that it’s not true. And so I always want peace to be thinking about is like, how do you want to feel about money? What do you want to believe?

[00:08:39] Because whatever it is that you want to feel or want to believe, whether it’s, I can trust myself with money. Or I know how to manage my money. Like that’s possible to believe those things

[00:08:49] Maggie:

[00:08:49] and

[00:08:49] Keina:

[00:08:49] still be learning how to, like you said, like I can learn to, to create a plan for how much money do I want to save for Christmas or how much money do I want to actually spend at happy hour.

[00:09:03] And I can build that evidence that I can trust myself by creating a money date, whatever that is like, you can be, things can live in like co-exist. And it’s not your, your path. Like, I don’t even really want to say money, mistakes that people do

[00:09:19] Maggie:

[00:09:19] say money, mistakes, like it doesn’t

[00:09:21] Keina:

[00:09:21] define who

[00:09:21] Maggie:

[00:09:21] you are. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:09:24] I think that I realized that. And so what I do every month is I’ll go back to the financial landscape. And that’s a really fun day for me. So I’m the sixth of every month I go back and I update and I call them and I see, you know, here’s where my assets have grown. Here’s where my dad’s grown. This is how it’s changed.

[00:09:42] And it’s a moment for me to always be able to reflect on. Not just how far I’ve come, but also what I’m learning along the way and what I understand about my spending plan and want to be true for it. And so even, I don’t even think we talked when I, we, you asked the goals. I don’t think I probably said an emergency fund because that always seemed like a wild idea to me that I would ever have enough money.

[00:10:09] But that would be like, I’m just gonna sit that somewhere and be okay with that sitting there and not spend it the other day I was looking at just the growth I made and I was like, well, you know, I’ve got the savings account. That’s here that I, that I call the emergency fund, but it really is starting to be an emergency.

[00:10:27] Like it really isn’t a place where it covers almost three months of bills. And I realized in that moment, I actually cared about that. Like that was something that I did want to, and I think there’s a lot of other stuff going on on the spending and, but it was just, I keep learning as I go through and use the tools.

[00:10:49] Like there was new things about me and my relationship with money that have totally evolved that. Did you ask me a year ago? I would have never been like. Yeah, I’ll have a, I’ll have three months of reserve cash just in case there would have been something I would have said. Cause I would have said, Oh, I have credit card debt.

[00:11:06] I should just go push this all into the credit card debt and I’ll be at zero. And that was one very actionable thing that. I took away is like, that’s not actually how that you can’t get out of debt that way you just get in more debt that way. Cause you never

[00:11:20] Keina:

[00:11:20] have money that you never, why can’t you get out of debt that way because you never have money.

[00:11:26] Maggie:

[00:11:26] Yeah. I thought about credit card debt is if I ever had an extra dollar, I didn’t have a right almost to put it anywhere, but towards their credit card debt, because I knew it was like wasteful to have credit card debt. And so. That’s what I would do. And if I do ever have extra money, I just feel like I’m going to just flood the credit card debt.

[00:11:45] But then when Christmas comes or I want to go on a trip that I know I’m gonna want to go on, or someone invites you out to dinner, all of a sudden, all that money you put back on your credit card. And I, I very much gotten a place where I saw my savings account is actually just the credit card. And so if I have extra money, I’ll put it on there and that debt will just be present.

[00:12:06] Now. I didn’t. Want it to be that way, but that is how it became. And I think that’s really how I went from being in 2000 credit card debt to 16. And it all of a sudden just be like, how did that get away from me? So like quick, quick, quick, over a few years.

[00:12:26] Keina:

[00:12:26] Yeah. Or you think you’re in this cycle of like, I’m throwing money at my debt, but nothing’s happening to it.

[00:12:31] Maggie:

[00:12:31] Right.

[00:12:32] Keina:

[00:12:32] And Maggie also, like one of the things that I talk about with clients too, is let’s make sure that we’re saving in paying off debt at the same time.

[00:12:41] Maggie:

[00:12:41] Right.

[00:12:41] Keina:

[00:12:41] And preparing for, I think there’s a different level of savings. Like there’s the savings for, I want to say for Christmas or travel, but then there’s also like let’s save in case you need new tires on your car.

[00:12:52] Or I know we talked, Maggie was like, I’m probably, I’m probably going to need a rough, so you’re like, I should pay money for that. Right. And so we talked through those things because what I didn’t want to happen was like, Oh, well, now I need to put this on my credit card because I don’t have any money saved.

[00:13:08] And, and sometimes like, you might have to put something on your credit card, right. Because like, there might be a gap, but we really talked through and thought about like, what are all the things that potentially have caught you off guard? Or, you know, like, especially because you’re a homeowner that, you know, are coming up and you want to set aside money for.

[00:13:25] So you can be intentional and live that life that you talked about in the beginning where you’re like, I kind of want to do things on the fly. Like I think that there’s a nice balance where you can do things on the fly and it be where, cause I think we talked about like, you went on a trip when we were working together.

[00:13:43] Cause we weren’t in quarantine.

[00:13:48] Maggie:

[00:13:48] Yeah.

[00:13:49] Keina:

[00:13:49] I have this money for this, and I get to go and enjoy the things that I enjoy without wondering how is this going to impact me on the.

[00:14:00] Maggie:

[00:14:00] Actually that was, I was going to go to Mexico in March, the trip got canceled, but that I remember that I texted you. So this is the first time I’ve ever bought a plane ticket and a vacation where I already had the cash for it.

[00:14:13] And it wasn’t like it’s just coming out of this paycheck. It was like, I had set aside money for vacation and that felt really good. And I felt like I could be indulgent and I could go and have a good time. Definitely.

[00:14:28] Keina:

[00:14:28] Right. I remember one time he was telling me, like, my Enneagram does not jive with like

[00:14:34] Maggie:

[00:14:34] yeah, yeah, yes, it does not, but it can.

[00:14:41] And I think that’s where I not to make it about rules, but I feel like I just got new new rules for how to think about it so that I can. Planned to be indulgent. And so one of the big things that’s been really helpful for me is having that separate ally bank account where I, every paycheck I have a certain amount of that comes from my spending plan that goes over to that bank account.

[00:15:06] And it covers a series of things that run from like the roof that I’m saving for. After a few months, I realized. I kind of forgotten that I cared about the yard. So I was able to read a lot money to like the landscaping and the yard into that savings account. Christmas is in that savings account, there was a couple of things that go in there.

[00:15:24] But what I realized is that money is, this is where I can go to be indulgent. If I want to be, but I also am become a bit more precious about it, how, and when I’m indulgent. And I think this speaks to what discipline actually means and what it doesn’t mean, which is I think a bit more disciplined, but that wasn’t the goal and that still isn’t the goal.

[00:15:47] But I look at that bank account and I think, okay. So for, I’ll give a concrete example of this. I’ve been thinking about getting a new fence in my backyard and the questions that goes through my head. So past me would have said, well, I’ll put it on a credit card or we’ll say, pay it right out or whatever, but now I’m like, okay, we’ve got.

[00:16:09] It’s going to be about $3,000 to put up the fence that I want. What impact am I going to have? And putting up this fence on those other things that I want, how is this going to affect Christmas? How’s this going to affect the timeline at which I could. Confidently be able to pay for the roof. And I would say that that’s an exercise of discipline that I would not have shown prior or before, but it doesn’t feel like a limit.

[00:16:33] It feels like an option. Do I really want to do the fence now or do I want to wait and make sure that the roof’s done first? And it just feels like I’m in a position where I can make choices. And I also can do that with even much smaller things and in the savings account, you know, I’m going to order.

[00:16:50] Jenny’s ice cream, which I just did before, before I came to talk to you to be delivered. That means that I might, I get wine this next bit. That’s a choice. I can be indulgent in that way, or I do. And I recognize how that impacts how much money goes into my savings account or how much money goes here. But it’s interesting because discipline, I think I have by accident become more disciplined, but it doesn’t feel like it’s just this shameful, like I’m.

[00:17:20] Like be disciplined, follow the rules, limit yourself. It doesn’t feel that way at all.

[00:17:24] Keina:

[00:17:24] It’s not the finger shaking in the

[00:17:26] Maggie:

[00:17:26] face. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

[00:17:28] Keina:

[00:17:28] I wrote a blog posts about basically like you don’t need more discipline. That’s not what you need. And it’s like me, you need a plan.

[00:17:36] Maggie:

[00:17:36] And

[00:17:37] Keina:

[00:17:37] I think a year ago I’d probably would have told people you really need to be more disciplined, but that feels so

[00:17:43] Maggie:

[00:17:43] restrictive.

[00:17:44] Keina:

[00:17:44] When I think about like, if I tell you, you need to be more disciplined, what feelings arise, then I think that you run away from me when I tell you, you need to be more disciplined.

[00:17:54] Maggie:

[00:17:54] Right.

[00:17:54] Keina:

[00:17:54] Whereas like earlier you talked about it having a plan, not necessarily limit. And I think when you have a plan, it allows you, like you were just saying, like, it gives you choice.

[00:18:05] And what I hear you talking about is like you being intentional.

[00:18:10] Maggie:

[00:18:10] Yeah.

[00:18:11] Keina:

00:18:11] Right. And it’s not that you can’t have these things. It’s, I’m choosing this over that. And you’re this isn’t that are always going to have trade offs, but I find it to be empowering to know like, well, if I say yes to this trip, Then I might be saying not right now to this repair on my home or whatever that looks like or the new sofa that I wanted, but I would maybe I want the experience more than I wanted.

[00:18:38] They’re like sofa and that’s okay. Because a dollar is a dollar and you can only spend it so many times from what I find is that sometimes people don’t want to have a budget and I don’t like the word budget, because even that sounds like that discipline. Yeah. People don’t want to have a budget because they think like, well then I won’t be able to enjoy life and everything that I’ve heard and everything that you’ve texted in, the conversations we’ve had in between is I actually think you’ve probably enjoyed more of life because you have said yes to saying like, let me actually have a plan for how I want to spend my money.

[00:19:14] And it’s like, now I don’t have this added stress either. To think about like, Oh, well I had $16,000 worth of credit card debt. Well, now it’s 17. Well, how am I going to pay that off? Oh, it’s tax refund season. Well, that money has to go towards my. Credit card debt. And like you’re never moving forward.

[00:19:32] You’re always just

[00:19:32] Maggie:

[00:19:32] stuck. Yeah. And I definitely do feel more. I can enjoy the things that I do spend money on and what I do more like it is everything is got a little less of a load off, a bit more of a load off. And, and that’s been a nice change even from a friend of mine’s running for. Running for office.

[00:19:54] And I think she be a great, great candidate. She’d asked for a donation and it felt good to be like, I do have money for that. Like, I do have money set aside to make donations and I’d be more than happy to give it to you. Whereas in the past I would have said yes, but felt the stress of like, I can’t. I don’t have this money.

[00:20:13] So this is just put it on the credit card,

[00:20:16] Keina:

[00:20:16] right. It’s $200 when you just go ahead and add it to 16

[00:20:19] Maggie:

[00:20:19] now. Exactly. It’s like, whatever. Yeah.

[00:20:23] Keina:

[00:20:23] So I, one of the questions I people ask me all the time, cause what we’re talking probably like eight months after we first started. Eight or nine months. And

[00:20:32] Maggie:

[00:20:32] so if you can think

[00:20:34] Keina:

[00:20:34] back to when we first started, like when would you say everything changed for you?

[00:20:39] Maggie:

[00:20:39] I think the biggest aha moment. Well, I’m going to answer this two ways. The first is I think the biggest aha moment I had was when we were talking about how I decided when I was going to send money and I would just look at my bank account, my single checking account and say, do I have money or do I not have money?

[00:20:56] And that’s how I make that choice. And I would do some slight calculations in my head of like, I know mortgage is going to come out. I know what electrical bills about this match. I know all of these things like calculation. Sure. I can, or, Oh, maybe not. Maybe I’ll put it on the credit card. And that, that actual activity of doing that is what caused me to keep getting in debt.

[00:21:18] Because I wasn’t thinking about in those moments, I wasn’t setting myself up for success. I wasn’t thinking about. The roof. I wasn’t thinking about all of that, or didn’t feel like that the decision I was making in that moment would be the make or break to a roof. So why would I not do this? And I think realizing that I needed to set myself up to be able to more easily make informed decisions.

[00:21:43] From real information, like real math, not my, my head math. It was a big aha moment for me that I think things really started to click for me at that point. I think in terms of when I felt the biggest transformation, it was probably in January when I did purchase. That plane ticket to go to Mexico. And I still haven’t gotten to go on that trip because it was like, Oh, that’s how this works is I get to live my life.

[00:22:14] And enjoy the money that I am making, but I also know that I know where it’s going and I know why it’s going, where it is. And I think that that was just being able to experience the difference in decision and how that felt was a real winner. And then I think, you know, like I said, subsequently every month on the sixth, I get to have that day where I’m like, Cares how well I’ve done.

[00:22:40] And there’s some months where I look and I say, Oh, you know, I have a row. That’s just sorta like, this is how my cash growth. I’ve put it down to the Catholic cash growth and allows me to see, you know, in March it was the, and that’s separate from like investments in my retirement and things like that.

[00:22:58] But in March it was this. In April, it was this and I can see those changes. And so to be like, okay, maybe, you know, last month I did spend a bit more than I wanted to, but I am saying that not from a place of shame and not from a place where I’ve sacrificed my savings, I’ve sacrificed my credit card debt.

[00:23:17] I’m saying it from a place of like, okay, so maybe I made more choices than I wanted, or. Like, for example, one month it was like, well, that makes sense. Because I had to get my car, I had to get new tires and all of that, it was like, so the cash growth was much lower than it was then a month before I’m able to learn a bit more about my spending more easily.

[00:23:39] And so I think there was the moment of feeling the, the Tivity of a purchase that you plan for. But then there’s the monthly moment of just like. Things are still moving and it’s exciting. I can feel good about myself. I’ve never felt good about myself, about money. And then here I am every month, like, Ooh, I’m almost out of credit card debt.

[00:24:00] Keina:

[00:24:00] So what numbers would you say you’re most proud of? Like,

[00:24:03] Maggie:

[00:24:03] if you don’t, I know

[00:24:05] Keina:

[00:24:05] that you’ve texted me in terms of like how much that you paid and how much you say yeah. What numbers.

[00:24:10] Maggie:

[00:24:10] I think I’m. I’m most excited about the credit card debt that is gone. So November, I think when I made, I moved over to a 0% interest credit card.

[00:24:21] And when I did that, it was at 17,000, 16,000, almost 17. And I am below 6,000 now. So that is, yeah, that’s been. Yes. One thing that’s helpful is I, I need I, so I reached out to you right? As I was got a new job where I got an increase in salary and I was realizing I had an opportunity and my habits, my old habits, we’re going to totally trash that opportunity if I didn’t do something different.

[00:24:58] And so I’ve been able to make. Quicker pro like I’ve been able to make quicker progress because of that, but I also am making progress, which I’ve never done before. And so that feels really good. I think in terms of my net worth, it’s been also fun. That’s not a number I would have ever looked at myself, but to just see, you know, to say, I have an emergency fund and a savings account that are growing and to see my debt shrinking, like those numbers just stratify become so different.

[00:25:27] Pretty quickly more quickly than I thought. And I try to, for the changes in the stock market with, with my retirement, which is like took a huge hit in March, obviously as everyone else. So, I mean, I can get those numbers. I mean, I.

[00:25:43] Keina:

[00:25:43] If you guys could only be here right now. I think she’s actually looking

[00:25:46] Maggie:

[00:25:46] at her spreadsheet.

[00:25:46] Yeah. I am looking at my spreadsheet. So I was like, my total net worth was negative one 28. And that is changed by about $24,000. And part of it’s cause of paying off a lot of credit card debt. Part of it is changes in the stock market and saving money. I mean, part of it’s just the real cash that I have that I’ve been saving in case I need it.

[00:26:10] Keina:

[00:26:10] And it’s like, I think when you pay off credit card debt, the most freeing part about that is to be like, If I’m paying a thousand dollars a month to get this knocked down in the next 12 months, I get to take that money and decide where it goes from here.

[00:26:24] Maggie:

[00:26:24] That’s what I was wanting to talk to you about that at some point, maybe, obviously not, not now, but it is exciting.

[00:26:30] I’m so excited about, okay, I’m going to have that. You know, thousand odd dollars a month. What am I going to do with that? Like where do I want to put that? What makes the most strategic sense? Because I’ll come to that point where I’m like, okay, don’t, don’t just burn. Like I’ve got a thousand plus dollars a month.

[00:26:47] That’s not how I learned that. Don’t do that. So what’s next with that. And that feels really fun too. It feels just, it is a huge change in how I even think about money. Like looking forward to making decisions about what to do with other money is exciting.

[00:27:03] Keina:

[00:27:03] How would you say since you completely just like, I would say, like who you are in a matter of months when it comes to managing your finances, how are you showing up differently for yourself?

[00:27:15] Cause you, I mean, you took the leap to say like, Hey, can you, I need help, which. I talk about with people. Cause they’re like, this is the most vulnerable. And I was like, I get it right. It’s like showing somebody your underwear, Jordan. You’re like, no,

[00:27:31] those are my favorite. But like how has it helped you show up in other areas of your life?

[00:27:37] Maggie:

[00:27:37] It felt like such a negative stain on who I was like, I was saying, it felt like this character thing. And I think it’s just the very concept of like needing help actually better when I get help from people like I’m, I can achieve things.

[00:27:51] Like I like, I’m a smart person. I do go to like all of these things and it just sort of feels like I should be able to do this. And that’s just not true. For anyone for all of your life and you do need help. And so I think just even recently with work, there was a moment I was like, I need to ask for help.

[00:28:10] And like, that is a good thing. Like getting help we’ll make this better. And, and that level of vulnerability matters. And so I think even being able to just be honest with myself, More easily about help actually really helps. It makes it better. And it’s not a problem. I also think there’s just, and I know that this was something that was important and that I I’ve always realized that it’s just like the freedom that comes.

[00:28:36] And I think there’s a lot of being able to make choices that make me more free. And I think with money that’s true now, that’s now true is I can. I can do things that remove limits from my life and that’s within my control. And I think that’s an important way to show up for yourself that I’m able to see more frequently in my life.

[00:29:00] I

[00:29:00] Keina:

[00:29:00] love that.

[00:29:01] Maggie:

[00:29:01] I do.

[00:29:04] Keina:

[00:29:04] What advice would you give to someone who might be listening and they’re in a similar situation? That you were in, in November and maybe they even resonated with like definitely when this interview started. And you’re just talking about like, what type of person you are. No, this is the kind of person I am.

[00:29:20] I don’t have time for budget. Cause basically what you.

[00:29:24] Maggie:

[00:29:24] Exactly. I think, I think it’s to be patient with yourself. I think my problem, the core of my problem was a lack of patience and the shame. And if anything, I don’t know, I need to throw every dollar. It’s not good to throw every dollar at my credit card debt.

[00:29:42] And then my student loan debt, and I’m in a never ending cycle of just throwing money at debt. And that. It requires a degree of patience that you just say, okay, all happen at once. So let me learn the things that will eventually allow it to happen. And it’s not that painful. It actually, it feels like it’s more painful than it is, and it wasn’t that painful.

[00:30:06] It was scary. And you know, there’s a lot of emotion that I have wrapped up into it, but I think patients have saying no, like this is a doable thing. So. Somebody is sitting there with a ton of credit card debt. I really know how they feel. And I would just say like one it’s. Okay. And two it’s just solvable problem.

[00:30:26] Cause it is math. I mean, it’s math and it’s a good plan and not to simplify it. It’s emotionally hard and I get that, but it’s very doable and be patient with yourself. And get help. Don’t just sit there and you’re like, man, it’s been multiple years. Don’t just keep sitting there expecting things to be different because they probably won’t just be different.

[00:30:49] You gotta make some choices. So is there anything I should have asked you, but I did it. I don’t think so. No. I just think it really has been an effort of realizing that money is just money, but it also impacts every other part of your life. And regardless of how much money that is, I’ve done this when I was making half of what I’m making now and been in a much better place and not to trivialize when.

[00:31:15] When I had less money, there were other real stressors at play, but I think the point, like the planning and those tools are just, it’s doable.

[00:31:24] Keina:

[00:31:24] Oh, people all the time. I’m like you can be making $30,000 a year or $300,000 a year. But unless you redefine and reshape, like how you want money to serve you, you’re going to continue to just fall victim to your habits if you will.

[00:31:39] So like, you have to, like, you can be in control.

[00:31:42] Maggie:

[00:31:42] Yeah.

[00:31:46] Keina:

[00:31:46] Thank you Maggie again for hopping on here. And just like having a candid conversation with me. I hope that if you’re listening to this,

[00:31:52] Maggie:

[00:31:52] that

[00:31:53] Keina:

[00:31:53] you can hear the power of coaching. And like Maggie said, like, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if her story resonated with you and you’ve been just like, thinking

[00:32:03] Maggie:

[00:32:03] about like, Oh, I really

[00:32:05] Keina:

[00:32:05] want something to change in my life.

[00:32:07] When it comes to money. I am inviting you to schedule a call. Let’s

[00:32:10] Maggie:

[00:32:10] talk about how can we

[00:32:11] Keina:

[00:32:11] create new possibilities for you with your finances? I mean, Maggie, I think is a perfect example as any other, one of the clients that I’ve had. And we’ve started to have this conversation of how things can really be different.

[00:32:25] And so like, where could you be a year from now a month from now? And be able to look back and see like, wow, like I’m a completely different person when it comes to managing my finances and I can trust myself with money. I can manage my money. So if you want to schedule a call, go to my website at www dot.

[00:32:43] Well right now that Tom and I look forward to the next museum. 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.

[00:33:03] 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 www dot  dot com and book a call. Once again, my name is Keina and thank you again for joining me. Also stay tuned for the next episode.

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