Moving Forward After a Financial Failure

Money Files

The road to financial confidence isn’t always linear. Just like with any other transformation, there are bound to be obstacles. But even if you go a little crazy at Target one week, don’t panic! You can still move forward after a financial failure.

These hiccups don’t need to erase your hard-earned progress or derail your thoughts about your financial progress.

In this episode, I’m talking about financial failure: the inevitable bumps in your road to a healthy relationship with money. I’m sharing my advice for dealing with financial ruts, how to stick to your goals, and the importance of celebrating your progress.

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • What it feels like to face a rut in your financial journey [0:35]
  • How to process financial failure without letting it derail your progress [2:48]
  • How to envision the financial future you want for yourself [7:13]
  • How your emotions about money impact your spending and saving habits [8:33]
  • Why celebration is a vital part of your financial journey [9:35]
  • Simple steps for getting yourself out of a rut [12:07]

If you’re stuck in a financial rut or questioning how you’ll manage when you inevitably get off track, tune in for this week’s episode.

Tune in to this episode to learn how to overcome financial failure and get yourself out of a money rut.

In the episode…

Every time I’ve set out to make a major improvement in my life, I’ve been met with an inevitable rut. After a few months of eating well and exercising regularly, I lose motivation. And when I break my gym streak, I have two choices: let it put an end to my progress, or power through.

Your financial journey is a lot like this. There will be days when you feel great, when you’re eager to lace up your shoes and hit the gym, protein shake in hand. But there will also be days when you just can’t say “no” to ordering takeout and binging your favorite TV show on the couch.

When you’re faced with financial failure, the trick is to put it into perspective. Rarely will an “off” day derail your financial goals. Instead of viewing failure as the end of your journey, see it as a learning opportunity. Accept it, learn from it, and move on to better days.

Want to get out of your financial rut? Start with this exercise:

Step 1: Write down all your thoughts about money.

When you think about money, what comes to mind? Do you think of your past money mistakes? Your savings balance? Upcoming bills? Write down all your thoughts, and then put them into two columns: positive and negative.

Check out this episode for more on cleaning up your money mindset.

Step 2: Write down how those thoughts make you feel.

For each thought, determine how it makes you feel. When you think about your money mistakes, do you feel embarrassed or powerless? Does your savings balance make you proud and hopeful? What emotions well up in these moments?

Step 3: Write down the actions you take (or don’t take) when you feel this way.

Next, think about how those emotions make you act. When you feel embarrassed of your money mistakes, do you ignore your budget to avoid more disappointment? When you feel proud of your savings, are you motivated to grow it further? Our actions (or lack thereof) are driven by emotions, so it’s important to understand why we have these money wins and financial failures.

Step 4: Write down your wins, and celebrate your progress.

Every win, no matter how small! Write them all down. It could be as simple as having $50 more in your savings account this month or resisting temptation in the clearance aisle. Get them all down on paper, and take a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come.

Here are the takeaways I want you to remember from this episode on overcoming financial failure…

  • Failure is an inevitable part of your financial journey. It’s perfectly normal.
  • A few poor money choices won’t derail your progress. In the grand scheme of things, they’re just minor bumps in the road.
  • Celebrate every win, no matter how small. It’s vital to keeping your momentum going.

So keep moving forward, and allow yourself to celebrate how far you’ve come. You’ve earned it!

If you’re ready to move forward from financial failure and start celebrating your financial wins, apply to work with me and let’s get you where you want to be.

The Transcript

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 if you follow me on social media, you may or may not know this, but I have been on a fitness journey and I should say a health journey wellness journey since June, specifically working with a coach who is focused on helping me with my nutrition and then also weightlifting and building muscle overall. And I started in June, and I want to say in about September, I experienced my first rut. I’ve been super consistent with working out, counting my macros and doing all of the quote unquote right things, and I just felt like I was experiencing a hurdle. 

And this is also one of the benefits of having a coach because I also had somebody to talk to about what was going on. But then I also know how to do something that’s called self coaching and really identifying, like what were the thoughts that were coming up for me? What were some of the feelings? Why do I think that I’m experiencing a hurdle at this time or like a rut? One of the things that I noticed and the reason I’m talking about this today is because it happened again a few months later. And what I realize is that when we’re evolving into a new person and when I say we’re evolving into a new person, meaning like I have the result that I’ve been working for. And so for me, it was to lose weight and to feel strong and to be showing up in the gym and be committed to my health. I had achieved this result and I could see that I actually had results in the gym. But there was also like a disconnect because I was doing the workouts, tracking my eating to get to the result. But what hadn’t been happening in my brain was that I was becoming the person who just adopts and accepts the new habits that I had built. Like, I choose healthier foods over, I don’t know, eating hamburgers all the time or just being in that moment where like, I eat what I want because I feel like I deserve it. 

So I was thinking about you specifically because I think the same is true. Like, there’s so much overlap when I think about health and nutrition and money, and that we’re afraid to fail when clients come to me. One of the very first things I tell them is like, You’re going to fail. So now that we got that out of the way, now what else is coming up for you? But I want to talk to you today just about how you can move through what I will call financial failure. That financial failure doesn’t have to define you and that the results that you’ve created for yourself, whether it’s saving consistently starting to pay down debt, budgeting every week, having consistent money dates or managing your business finances intentionally, whatever results you’ve created, you don’t have to be scared to lose those results. If you are willing to check in with yourself, if you’re willing to experience failure and use those failures to propel you to the next level, when you are not in a place where you’re thinking that the failure is going to be the end all, be all, then you’re going to ultimately move forward when you’re not in the place where you’re thinking like, OK, here we are again failing at this thing. Then you’re able to move forward. 

If I’m going back to my fitness journey, one of the things that I had to realize for myself is I am going to be better if I choose to show up in this next meal, eating something healthier or if I just lace up my tennis shoes to go on a run like all of those things count and they support all of the wins that I’ve had before this. One of the things that I think we don’t do enough is celebrate. And so we’re not able to recognize our progress and celebrate our progress in the moment. And we’re so focused on the thing that isn’t working. So going back to finances like, Oh, goodness, here’s credit card again or oh my goodness, I spent something that I shouldn’t have spent money on, or I can see my credit card balance going up, or I have this emotional spending spree like those things. Although they may happen, you now have the tools to be able to move beyond that point. You also have a series of wins that support you in being able to move beyond that point. And so you don’t have to choose between shame, guilt, or overwhelm. You can choose to be kind and graceful to yourself. And that’s ultimately as a coach, what I want any client, any person listening to me to be able to tap into because it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress, it’s about being better than you were last week, last month, last year. And so when you really look over the past month that you’ve been working on your money or when you look over the past three months that you’ve been working on your money or the past year, the past five years being able to look at how you are so much further along than you were when you started? So I feel like I’ve said a lot. But I wouldn’t go back to the fact that I just want you to be able to know that you’re exactly where you need to be. When you’re feeling like I’m in this financial rut, I am experiencing financial failure. And when I say financial failure, in this case, I’m really just thinking about those points where you just feel like all of the stars are aligning with your finances and you’re not doing the things that you desire to be doing. And those times will happen. They even happen for me where I’m like, OK, you know, you need to stop swiping your credit card and get it together. But because I recognize that that is something that’s just happening and I can practice the good financial habits that I have and make those financial habits surface, then the financial mistakes that I’ve made that week, that day or whatever it may be for that season, they are going to not be the moments that defined my life. 

So if you are experiencing a financial rut, financial failure, wherever you may be in your journey and maybe you haven’t experienced this yet, maybe you are like, you have been doing all the right things. File this away because inevitably this episode will be something that helps you. So when I was experiencing this fitness threat for myself, one of the things I did and I would translate this over to finances is I thought about who do I want to be as a fit person? So I want you to think about who you desire to be financially? What do you want to think about money? What do you want to do in your life? Why did you start this journey? So you’re thinking about money as a tool? Money is the thing that I use to help me achieve goals. My intentional money choices allow me to have clarity in my life just thinking about why did you start this journey? I want you to entertain for a little bit as well, like what’s happening for you when you think about this financial journey that you’re on your financial concept. When you think about it, what are some of the thoughts that you have about what it means to embark on this journey? Maybe you think like, I’m not going to be able to have anything. I’m never going to be able to have fun. And so just think about what thoughts come up for you and write them down. And then I want you to think about it like when I’m thinking this way, how does that actually make me feel? Remember, money is emotional. And so when you’re thinking a certain set of thoughts immediately, those thoughts are tied to emotion that impacts the way that you act. So if you are thinking like, I’m going to be deprived, this is why I don’t want to budget anymore. It may make you feel frustrated. So when you’re frustrated, like, what do you do? Maybe you go out and you’re like, Whatever, I’ll just go swipe my credit card and I’m going to buy all of these things because like, they’re at the end of the day, they’re going to make me feel better. And what you’ll notice is that you’ll be able to pick up on your patterns and your thought process when it comes to your finances. And you’ll be able to see that the thoughts that you have about money, the thoughts that don’t serve you in your financial journey, you’ll be able to look at those thoughts that don’t serve you and just see where it is that like, Oh, this is how I can tell when I’m when I’m getting off track. So if you’re in the midst of this rut right now, or maybe even if you’re not, I also want you to write down your celebrations. What are you celebrating? What have you created in your life? And I don’t want you to think this is a small win. This is insignificant. I want you to celebrate every dollar and say, like, what have you been able to do since you’ve been managing your finances? Well, maybe you opened up a separate bank account so you’re able to save consistently. Maybe you haven’t had any overdraft fees. You’ve been able to pay yourself consistently from your business. You’ve been able to talk about money with your partner. And it’s actually been a conversation. You have 50 more dollars in your savings account than you had last month. All of those things are wins. We don’t have to wait for the student loan debt. To be paid off, we don’t have to wait to buy the house. We don’t have to wait to have a million dollars in our 401K. Like, there are so many things that come before that that are worth celebrating. 

And so I want you to create a list of what you’re celebrating. So I just hopped on to record this for you because I’m the coach that wants to help you become the person who manages your finances well. And part of managing your finances well is learning how to overcome financial failure. And this weekend, I was thinking about you because I experienced this in my own life and any tools that I can share with you that have helped me. I want to make sure that your ears get to tune in and listen, and that you are able to implement it because I know that when you shift how you manage your finances, everything else will fall into place in your life. And managing your finances is so much more than keeping a budget. It’s being able to check in with yourself emotionally. It’s being able to feel like you have freedom to do things in your life. It’s going to help you create more money. So you’re basically at home sitting with me on the weekend as I am talking to you about how to move forward from that place. That maybe feels a little sticky right now because you’re not sure how to move past financial failure and what to do when you’re in a rut and you just can’t get yourself out of this. 

So I’m going to give you a couple of steps that I have used for myself in a different area of my life, but I know that they also apply to finances because I coach people through this all the time. So I want you to sit down and write down all of your thoughts. Like what are all the thoughts that you have about your finances? And when I say sit down and write, I am serious about sitting down and writing like, I encourage all my clients, keep a journal so you can see your journey. 

Now you have all these thoughts down. I want you to think about every single one of these thoughts that I just wrote down. How do they make me feel if I’m thinking I’m not good at budgeting? How does that make you feel if you’re thinking this is why I never start? How does that make you feel? Maybe you feel helpless. Maybe it makes you feel insecure or makes you experience shame. 

Next, I want you to write down something like, what have you noticed yourself doing or not doing when you’re thinking this way? I just write an exhaustive list like, what do you not do? What do you do when you’re thinking any one of these thoughts? And how have you seen those thoughts impact the results that you’ve created with your finances? And you may have some thoughts that are positive. You may have some thoughts that are negative. You can bucket them if you want to like. These are my positive thoughts. And these are my negative thoughts. But that’ll help you see the thoughts that maybe serve you in the thoughts that don’t serve you. 

But once you get that all down on paper, I really want you to be able to leave space for just being able to sit with the fact that those are the things that you’re thinking. Those are the actions that you’re taking. And I want you to know and hear me loud and clear that that’s normal. You don’t need to do anything to push yourself beyond that point at this moment. But I just want you to normalize the fact that like there, there are going to be times that you have negative thoughts about your finances, you’re going to have bad feelings about your finances. That’s normal. Once again, remember, you’re going to fail at budgeting. You don’t need to be perfect because that’s not realistic. And so just being able to take a deep breath and being thankful, honestly, that you were able to sit with those thoughts that you have. Because at the end of the day, you have moved from one place to another place, if you’re even able to sit down and do this with me, then that shows that you’ve experienced some level of a shift. And that’s worth celebrating. So you started this journey and you started it for a reason. And I want you to think about why you started this journey. And I want you to reconnect with it doesn’t all have to happen today. It may not all happen today, but it’s being able to bring your why and your purpose back up because that just needs to be the thing that we practice most. You are someone who is turning into the person that knows how to manage their finances well, and that is just something that you’ve practiced the least amount of time and you’ve practiced mismanaging your finances the most amount of time. So we just got a tip on the scale. 

So in order to do that, that looks like being able to celebrate yourself and write a list down of the results that you have created and that you’re excited about because you started this financial journey. Now you look at that list of the results that you’ve created, and I want you to write down like, how does that list make you feel? So it probably makes you feel excited. It makes you feel. Proud, optimistic. Maybe you feel elevated. And so just to know that even though you may be in a place right now where things don’t feel like they’re going your way. You have a list of results that you get to build off of. You have a list of emotions that you get to build off of. And from the time you press stop on this podcast, you get to choose like, what do you want to do next? How do you want to move forward in your financial journey? Because money is emotional. And what you’re learning right now is about so much more than budgeting, the work that you’re doing is going to impact more than just the numbers in your bank account. It’s impacting the way that you show up in the world. So today’s episode was probably a little unconventional. 

Once again, not talking about this is what I want you to do with your budget, but I want you to always have access to tools that help you stay committed to this journey. My goal when I’m working with clients is to make sure that they can not only master their finances, but they learn how to maintain their finances. So it’s mastery and maintenance, and the maintenance, I think is actually the hardest part because you have to lean into the person that you’re becoming and you have to recognize that that’s something that you get to choose to wake up and practice every single day. And if you don’t make it one day, it’s OK. As my client, Brant says, like learning to take the emotion out of money, so when you learn to take the emotion out of money, we see it as a tool and we’re able to extend ourselves grace. You are going to see that like one week, one day, one month of not doing the things that you desire to do financially. Is it going to set you back in the way that you believe it will or the way that it would have in the past? Because you’re going to have the tools to move beyond that point? 

So if you’re ready to master your finances and then learn to maintain them, I would invite you to go to and book a call with me. I would love to walk you through the process and my five month coaching partnership and really help you learn not only how to create a budget but help you live a lifestyle where you just are the person who manages their finances well. So thank you so much for tuning in this week, and I look forward to talking with you guys next week.

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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