How To Make A Balance Transfer Successful

Money Files

In this episode of Money Files, I am talking about balance transfers. Debt can be scary and overwhelming. Frequently, debt is holding my clients back from doing something they really want to do. As a coach, my job is to help them overcome the fear and shame around debt and introduce a financial plan  that helps my client pay down debt or get out of feeling like they’re in the paycheck to paycheck cycle.  

Tune in to hear my recommendations about when it is advantageous to leverage a balance transfer. I also explain the steps you need to take to use a balance transfer as a tool to  pay off debt successfully. 

The key to financial success is creating a plan you can stick to and feel good about maintaining. The end goal is to make your money work for you by freeing up cash flow so you can spend on things that really matter to you.  

So before committing to a balance transfer, listen to this episode and consider…

[00:06:28] When should  I consider using a balance transfer to help me be able to pay off debt and be able to free that money up in my cash flow so that way I can be using this money towards something else.

[00:13:12]The real cause of your debt. I need you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself “why am I in debt?”

[00:14:10] It’s not enough for you to know the amount of money you want to pay down towards your credit card. The secret for not having to be in this cycle is to prepare for the things in your life that go outside of bills.

Tune in to this episode of Money Files to learn how to leverage a balance transfer to pay off debt sooner and without shame.

Are you ready to start asking for help with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.


Transcript for “How to Make a Balance Transfer Successful”

Hi and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. So I want to let you know that this month I have a special money class called How to Budget Without Restriction. And I want you to join me because I want this to be the year that you actually learn how to budget. And some of you probably just tensed up when you heard the word budget because you have like budget trauma. But I really want to introduce you to a new way to think about your money, where looking at your money is going to feel therapeutic. You are going to create ease, you are going to create confidence with your finances and I want you to be able to see budgeting as a tool. A tool to help you spend money in a way that allows you to feel like you have something to show for the fact that you are making more money than you’ve ever made before.

To feel like I am making six figures and I know exactly how to pay off my debt. I’m making six figures, I know exactly how I want to save money, I’m making six figures and I know that I have the money available to spend on travel, to treat my friends to brunch, to be able to pick up a target run for my family, whatever that looks like for you. But I want you to be able to see this as an opportunity like budgeting as an opportunity to help you actually create the life that you desire. When I’m talking with my clients and my five month coaching partnership about budgeting, we are using budgeting as a tool to help us know our numbers and a tool to help us see where we desire to be long-term. So it’s going to feel refreshing and it’s not going to feel like another static spreadsheet.

So if you go to, you can sign up for my free money class and that money class is going to be on Wednesday, March 22nd at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard time. You’re going to want to be there live. You’re also going to have an opportunity to get to work with me. So I look forward to seeing you there. Sign up, put it on your calendar, open your outlook, open your Gmail, whatever that looks like, and block off that hour to spend with me, your future coach. So to get into today’s topic, I actually want to talk about debt but I want to talk about balance transfers. So I find that for a lot of my clients when we start talking about debt, like debt is a thing that feels like they’re being held back by debt. Whether it’s like, we want to have another child and we feel like we can’t have a child because we have this debt, I would rather be investing instead of paying off my debt.

I would rather be saving the money that’s going towards my debt. And so that’s the thing that I hear over and over again or I encounter clients that they’re like, we’ve paid off debt, we’re back in debt, we’ve paid off debt, we’re back in debt. And so you have this ,like, cycle of debt. I have a couple other episodes that I can tag in the show notes if you have ,like, thoughts about debt and even just thinking about that overall debt cycle. And I have a couple clients that can also talk to you about debt. So I will tag those in the show notes if you’re interested just to hear my angle when I’m thinking about debt. But today specifically I want to talk about balance transfers. I think all of you who are listening to the sound of my voice know exactly what a balance transfer is and you know how it shows up.

It could show up in your mailbox, you got Discover, MasterCard, Visa and they’re like here you go transfer your debt over here. 0% interest, 12 months, 18 months or it could show up in your inbox and you have an opportunity to be able to transfer one credit card balance to another credit card balance. And I’ve done this in the past, like I’ve had consumer debt, credit card debt and I’ve leveraged a balance transfer to be able to pay off my debt sooner. I’ve also helped my clients be able to leverage a balance transfer to pay off their debt sooner. But also with paying off the debt, my goal in coaching is to also help clients figure out how to not get back into that debt. So like we do a debt payoff plan but then we also have, like, a debt protection plan if you will.

So helping them understand how they can stop themselves from getting into debt again. Or sometimes clients have gone and they’ve gotten into more debt but then they also know for the tools that I teach them how to be able to pay off that debt. But I want to talk to you today about leveraging balance transfers because I think a lot of people start doing a balance transfer because it sounds like a good idea. And you feel really overwhelmed by this payment that you’re making to chase. It’s at 25% interest, you pay $500 a month but the interest payment is $300 a month. So only $200 of it is actually going to your principle. And so your debt is feeling really stagnant. On top of that, you are probably in a situation where you’re ,like, kind of adding to your debt because you still use your credit card but you’re making these big payments and so you use this balance transfer to actually give yourself some wiggle room to feel like you have room to breathe.

But what I see most often times is that people have used the balance transfer to get out of the overwhelm but it doesn’t actually get them out of the overwhelm because they don’t actually have a plan to pay it off. They actually go into increased pressure of like paying off the balance transfer. And so all they do is they displace this emotion to something else, it’s still credit card debt but like now it’s credit card debt with 0% interest. So I need to attack it and kind of have this like all or nothing thinking. And in today’s episode I really want to help you think about how can I consider using or when can I consider using a balance transfer to help me be able to pay off debt and be able to free that money up in my cash flow so that way I can be using this money towards something else, whatever that is for you.

Whether it’s saving for a home, being able to spend more money on entertainment, being able to reinvest in your business, whatever that looks like. Like I want to help you consider how you can use a balance transfer and leverage that for yourself. So you may consider using a balance transfer when you have credit card debt that has a really high interest rate and you want to transfer that amount of debt to a lower interest rate. And so sometimes that could be 0%, sometimes cards will offer like a 1.99%, whatever that looks like. And you may also consider doing a balance transfer when you can afford to make a larger payment above your minimum payment or if your minimum payment is like several hundred dollars. So what I mean by that is sometimes you can have four figures, five figures worth of debt but your minimum payment might be like $40 a month.

And so maybe you’re only making that minimum payment. So my question to you would be, can I be making larger payments than just $40 a month? And maybe you can make a $100 payment, maybe you can make a $200 payment. Like this could be a good idea for you to leverage a balance transfer because it’s going to allow you to put all of the money towards your principle and not like principle and interest. Also you may want to consider balance transfer. The other example I said is like if your minimum payment is several hundred dollars, chase is the one that comes to mind for me because I feel like all of my clients that have debt with chase, I feel like the credit card payments are like $300, $400. I think Amex is another one that’s really notorious for fluctuating payments. And so you in your budget may have like several hundred dollars that’s going towards paying off debt.

I think this could be a great opportunity for you to use a balance transfer because now all of that payment would be going to pay off the principle. So I’m just giving you some reasons that you might want to consider using a balance transfer. But just because you should consider it doesn’t mean you should do it. And the reason that I would say that is because oftentimes what I find is that people, and you probably can self-identify, raise your hand, you don’t have to because you are somewhere in public, but you could self-identify with like dang I’ve used a balance transfer before and when I transferred the balance I started making payments but then that credit card that I transferred from, then that credit card just increased and like oh my goodness, now I have like two credit cards that I’m trying to pay off.

And so I don’t want that to be your situation and your story because the goal is to be able to pay down that debt. The goal is for you to be able to build your savings and be able to feel in control of your money. And so when you are looking at like, okay, am I prepared to actually do a balance transfer and to feel really successful using a balance transfer, there are a couple things that I want you to know. I want you to first know your numbers and you’re like, Keina, what does that mean? I want you to actually have a spending plan or a budget that you know how to use in your life. I don’t want it to be just a static document that you look at once a month that you get overwhelmed by, but I need you to sit down and actually look at your numbers.

Because if you are agreeing to pay more than the minimum payment on your credit card, I need you to know what the math looks like and what math you want to follow to be able to pay down your debt. So I want you to be able to have a consistent plan. So that means we want to know our numbers. Let’s say for example you have $6,000 worth of credit card debt and you’re like okay, if I can do a balance transfer and I have an option for 12 months or I have an option for 18 months, then if I pay $500 a month for 12 months I could pay this off. But instead of that just sounding like a good idea because a lot of you just go by good ideas and what they sound like. I need you to know ,like, if I put this in my plan, can I afford $500 payments every single month.

Or on the flip side of that, if you do 18 months, can I afford like a $334 payment every single month? And so if you can build that into your plan, you are going to see for yourself like okay this is a good idea for me because I can see exactly how I can pay off this debt. And you might be thinking, but Keina, what if I couldn’t afford the $500 or what if I couldn’t afford the $334? What if I could afford to do $50 over my limit or my minimum? It may still be a good idea for you to engage in a balance transfer, but I want you to have this set amount that you know, have a calculation that you kind of have in your back pocket to say like, how long would it take me? Maybe it would take me 24 months.

And it’s true that it will take you 24 months, it could still be a good idea for you to leverage it because you’re going to be able to know your numbers and build your plan around that. I had a client who, that’s what we did. She had ,like, over $20,000 worth of debt and we still use balance transfers, but she ended up like at the end of one balance transfer, she transferred it to another balance transfer, but she knew her consistent payment and she knew how long, it, was it going to take her to pay that payment off. But also within that, like if the plan doesn’t look just right, I have a lot of clients that can leverage bonuses, tax refunds, like it gives purpose, two extra money that’s coming in when you know like here’s my balance transfer, when I get a bonus at the end of the year, I could put $2,000 towards this balance transfer and it’s going to pay it down significantly and I can meet that goal of paying it off in 12 months or 18 months, whatever that looks like for you.

So the first thing I want you to do to prepare is to know your numbers. The second thing is I want you to know the root cause of your debt. I need you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself like why am I in debt? If I looked at my credit card statements, is it because I’m at Target, I’m going out to eat, I purchased a couple plane tickets, like is it that type of debt or is it like, oh my goodness I had a plumbing issue in my house and I had to pay $3,000 because I didn’t have the money or my brakes on my car went out and then my tires like two of them were flat and it cost me another $4,000 to get my car fixed. But I need you to know, like, what’s causing me to be in debt? Is it impulsive spending? Is it unexpected expenses? Is it like things that just pop up that I haven’t planned for? 

Like what’s the root cause? What are the last 10 things I put on my credit card? And after you actually know those things that you are putting on your credit card, the reason I want you to know them is because it goes back into knowing your numbers. It’s not just enough for you to know the amount of money you want to pay down towards your credit card, but also, the secret for not having to be in this cycle is to prepare for the things in your life that go outside of bills. You are very, very, very good at paying your bills. Like that’s the first thing you do when you get your paycheck, you pay your bills and then you spend the rest of the money based off your bank account balance.

But I want you to start to prepare for the things that catch you off guard. So when you’re thinking about knowing your numbers and creating this plan, have you accounted for auto maintenance? Have you set a realistic number? And by realistic I just mean like have you tried a new number for what you want to spend on eating out, what you want to spend on groceries, what you want to be able to spend on clothes? Have you put in some travel money? The reason that these things need to be in your plan is because if you can save for them each month and have a plan to account for them each month, even though they’re not happening each month. So I know some of you are like, well Keina, my car doesn’t break down each month. I know, but if you own a car, you’re going to need some work on the car.

So are you accounting for the fact that maybe you want to save like $50 to $100 every single month based on the age of your car because at some point your car needs work. And so by knowing the root cause of your debt and solving for the best theory that you have about why you’re in debt and making sure those things are in your plan, that’s going to be putting you in a place of preparation to not be back in this debt cycle because you’re going to have the money for those things when they come back around. So not only are you going to be planning for how much can I be paying towards this balance transfer, you are going to be building ,like, your debt protection program if you will, like when they offer you those Allstate protection programs on electronics. But you’re going to be building in your debt protection program and looking for the things that generally cause you to swipe your credit card and building those into your plan.

And that could be something as simple as ,like, oh my goodness, when I’m with my family, I realize I’m always spending extra money. You can build that into your plan because it’s something that you know about yourself. And so you could just build in that, like I’m going to put money into an account that says ,like, family fund, like I have a family fund account. Or you could put money into your plan that you just know, like I’m just going to save an extra $30 a month because I know when family comes to visit or I come to visit family. Like there are just things that happen because of the way that we commune together whenever we are together. So that’s something that generally would go over my credit card, on my credit card because it’s just how I operate. But now you start to have that approach where you’re starting to have your own back for your financial decisions and how you want to spend your money.

And then the next way that you can prepare, is like I want you to embrace the plan so you know your numbers, you know the root cause of your debt. You know, like the plan for 12 months, 18 months, whatever that is. Embracing the plan is for those all or nothing people that are listening to me right now, that they’re like, oh my goodness Keina, I need to pay off my debt right now. And I get that urgency, but that urgency sometimes doesn’t serve you because you may be able to pay $1,500 towards your credit card this month, but then next month you can’t do it because something unexpected happened. But if you actually have this plan that you’re going to follow and you know your numbers, you’re going to say, I’m making the plan that from this moment. So in this moment we’re in March of 2023, but I know that by March of 2024 or April of 2024, the plan is for me to be out of debt.

And so I’m going to follow this plan. So every time I look at the number, I can tell myself I have a plan. I don’t need to make these ,like, knee jerk reactions to pay more money. I am in control of my money. I make very intentional money decisions. But that can help you stay on that path because you’re also at the same time, like I always encourage my people to be saving money at the same time. So you’re going to get a dopamine hit of saving and you’re going to get a dopamine hit of paying down your debt. So you’re going to fill that advancement in both areas of your life and be able to feel calm about the decisions that you’re making. And because you have that plan, you can trust yourself. So it’s part of building that financial trust, you have that financial awareness and you get to go on and continue to live your life.

You’re also going to know that in the next year you’re going to be making more money of some sort. You’re going to have bonuses, you’re going to have little pieces of money that fall into your lap. And so when you know your plan, you’re going to be able to think thoughtfully about how you want to use that extra money to apply it towards this balance transfer. I also, I will link in the show notes, there’s an episode that I have about planning for extra income. That’s also something that you can do in advance. I mean honestly, give me any money issue and I’m like, yep, we can plan for that. Yep, we can plan for that. Like that’s the thing that I do with clients in my one-to-one coaching partnership. And here’s a bonus thing, is ,like, for my clients, some of them have actually, it’s not a balance transfer, but they’ve actually used a 0% offer to invest in working with me.

So yes, you heard that correctly. Some of my clients have put coaching on a credit card, but by putting coaching on a credit card and then we go in and we start knowing their numbers, we figure out their root cause of debt and we embrace their plan, they’re able to pay that off and they gain this lifetime skill of being in control of their numbers. So I just want you to hear that because even if you’re in debt, there are many ways for you to still work with me and for this to be something that you will continue to see a return on investment. Like my clients are generally, I would say like within 30 days, they already are starting to get out of that paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. They’re already starting to see their debt go down. They’re already starting to see that they’ve increased their savings.

I had a client just tell me a couple weeks ago that she usually only has like $200 in her account in between pay cycles. And she’s like, Keina, I have like $1,700 in my account before payday. She’s a six figure earner. Let me just tell you that $1,700, that number is going to get higher over time. So if you are on the fence about working with me now, now, now, now not tomorrow, now is the time to go and apply to work with me so we can solve for whatever that challenge is that you’re experiencing as someone who’s like, I’m making good money, I make six figures as a business owner. I’m making six figures in my nine to five, I have both a nine to five and a business and I just don’t feel comfortable spending money. Like this five month coaching container that I have is going to be your solution to feeling in control of your finances and getting off that hamster wheel.

So you can go to and you can apply to work with me. We will sit together for an hour on Zoom and we will talk about what your specific challenges are and I’ll lay out a three step plan for you and we’ll choose a start date that you want to start and you’re like, yes Keina, I want to pay off my debt. Yes, I want to save more money. Yes, I want to feel confident about the money that comes into my bank account. So that will be what we’re able to do and you’ll just see your cash flow increase in that five months that we are working together. So I hope that you enjoyed today’s episode and if you have been thinking about a balance transfer and you’re like, should I do this, should I not? I would encourage you to re-listen, take some notes and think about, is this a decision for me?

And I like literally laid out a plan for you to be able to use a balance transfer in a way that makes sense for you. I will say the thing that I didn’t say in how to prepare and like knowing your numbers, knowing the root of your debt and embracing the plan, is that when you’ve made that plan and thinking about your numbers, you can try that plan out for a month before you actually do a balance transfer. Because for some people they’re like, but Keina, I’m just like displacing debt or I’m really scared about doing this. You can see if the plan works, you can try it out. You can do a 30 day trial with yourself and see if it makes sense for you and you can see what hiccups you had. Like that’s the same thing that I do with clients. We don’t just jump into it immediately. We actually follow a step-by-step plan. 

So thank you so much for tuning in today and I look forward to talking to you next week. But I also look forward to seeing you on my next Money class, How to Budget Without Restriction. That is March 22nd at 12:30 PM and you can go to I will teach you a simple five step process for how to budget without restriction, and you’ll also gain an opportunity to work with me in my one-to-one five month coaching partnership. So I look forward to meeting you on Zoom at some point in the very near future. Have a good one. Bye. 

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to and let’s get started.

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