My Five Step Process for Creating Clarity Around Your Money

Money Files

If you feel overwhelmed by money, if you feel like you’ve tried budgeting before and it didn’t work, or if you just don’t pay attention to your money beyond knowing when your bills are due … then you’ll want to tune in to this episode. You do not have to be overwhelmed by negative feelings and limiting beliefs towards money. You can gain clarity and confidence around your money.

I want you to understand that you can experience ease with your finances and that money can bring you joy. I want you to be confident in your choices and your financial decisions.

Today, I’m sharing the simple five step process that I use with clients to help them achieve money clarity and embrace a positive mindset toward their money. Take notes because these are the only five steps that you need to bring consistency, growth, and a new mindset for the way you approach money. 

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • Why people generally feel stuck when they seek money help, and how you can shift your mindset to alleviate overwhelm and anxiety [02:53]
  • How the five step process helps you create a spending plan that is doable and individualized [05:17]
  • The importance of knowing your why—the reason you want to take charge of your finances [07:42]
  • Identifying and knowing your values and goals, whether you’re single or in a relationship [10:38]
  • Looking at your numbers and getting specific about where you want your money to go [13:30]
  •  How evaluating your numbers is about paying attention to your goals and your feelings, and why you should start with positive evaluation first [17:08]
  • Why you need to regularly adjust your plan to reflect your goals and current needs [21:53]

Tune in to this episode to learn the simple five step process that will bring you money clarity and ease.

In the episode…

If you get frustrated when you overspend on groceries or you feel guilty for buying your daily latte or you don’t really know where your money is going each month, it’s time you redirect your thoughts and really understand what your goals are when it comes to your spending.

If you feel like your money is happening to you instead of you taking charge of your money, it’s time for you to find alignment with how your money comes in and how it goes out. This puts you in control.

If you want a newfound relationship with your finances, follow these five simple steps that will help you create financial clarity and money goals that actually feel achievable.

Step 1: Know Your Why

Your “why” is the specific reason that you want to gain control over your money. This goes beyond just wanting a budget. Think about your desired lifestyle, where you want to be in 5/10/30 years, and the legacy you want to leave. Know that your why can change over time, as your needs and desires may change in different stages of your life.

Step 2: Identify Your Values and Goals

This allows you to create purpose for your money. You’re not just making money to make money. Identifying your personal, professional, and financial values allows you to overcome limiting beliefs and narrow in on how you desire to spend your money. It’s important to complete steps 1 and 2 before even looking at your numbers. Solidifying your why and your goals first will help you approach your spending plan with more clarity.

Step 3: Look At Your Numbers

Now that you know your why, your values, and your goals, creating a spending plan allows you to see and plan for exactly how you will spend your money. You get to decide what to spend your money on—what’s important to you—because you have created a plan. You’ll be able to identify financial gaps and be intentional about your spending. Approaching your money with a goals-based perspective shifts your mindset and your attitude about money from overwhelm and guilt to certainty and joy.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Numbers

This step encourages you to be proactive, instead of reactive, with your money. Start by recognizing what you’re doing well—what’s going right with how you’re managing your money. Evaluating your feelings and your actions in relation to how you spend your money trains your brain to look for the positive. The goal is to make progress without trying for perfection. You can learn from actions that aren’t in alignment with your goals and make intentional shifts in your desired direction. Evaluating is an ongoing part of your money journey.

Step 5: Adjust As Needed

This step is about knowing what you want to adjust moving forward. Remember that your why and your goals can change, so using your weekly money dates to adjust your numbers based on your needs will help you achieve continued clarity. If you have extra money coming in or a spur-of-the-moment trip on the horizon, this step allows you to prepare for the unexpected and also stay in alignment with your goals. This step is also an opportunity to give yourself grace and compassion, instead of falling into a guilt and shame spiral.

Here are the takeaways that I want you to remember from this episode…

  • It’s important to know your why, your goals, and your values before looking at your money. This will inform what your spending plan looks like.
  • Creating a spending plan is very individualized and should reflect your personal values. Don’t feel guilty for the money choices that you make.
  • Evaluating your numbers is an ongoing process that helps you understand what you’re doing well and where you can make adjustments.
  • If your goals change or you have an unexpected expense, adjusting your spending plan allows you to be flexible while still staying in alignment with what you desire for your money.

Ready to experience money clarity and achieve your personal and professional goals? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.

Did you love my five step process for financial clarity? Dig even deeper with my process for setting goals through financial visioning!

Transcript for Ep 25: My Five Step Process for Creating Clarity Around Your Money:

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. 

Hi and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. Today I am going to talk through the five simple step process that I use with my clients to help them experience more ease and clarity with their finances. I want anyone who ever encounters my voice, whether that’s through my podcast or working with me, to know that they can experience ease with their finances and their money can actually bring them joy. And that can be true for you, no matter where you are. I understand when clients come to me, they feel very overwhelmed. They’ve actually tried budgeting before and it generally doesn’t work. I know one of the things that makes people throw their hands up is that they overspend. Like, let’s say you overspend on groceries. I always use groceries as an example because I feel like that’s the thing that always comes up where people tell me, oh, I only wanted to spend $500 on groceries and I keep overspending. 

And so they… their money seems to be happening to them and they aren’t able to account for anything. Or if you’re a solopreneur, it it feels like, I’ve made a lot of money in certain months, but I feel like I don’t have anything, which I think can also be something that resonates with both personal and business finances, where you’re in a space where you feel like I’m making really good money, but I don’t have any idea, Keina, where it’s going. I don’t have anything to show for it. And like, yeah, I’m in this paycheck to paycheck cycle, not necessarily how I was in the paycheck to paycheck cycle five, ten, 20 years ago. But still, my numbers just don’t feel like they should feel or how I expect them to feel because I’ve been an adult for X number of years. You fill in the X yourself there. 

So I, like I said, want to make numbers really easy for people. And I want to help my clients build their confidence with how they’re managing their finances. And I want them to have clarity. But it’s not just about being in the moment and creating a budget because the relationship you have with your finances is one of the most important relationships in your life because money touches everything in your life. And generally speaking, when people come to me and want to work with me, I would say that like they’re in a space where they feel like their back is up against the wall for whatever reason, whether it’s I just turned 30 and I feel like I should have more money, or I am recently divorced and now I’m a single mom, or I’m just single and I’m trying to figure out and navigate this space. Or maybe I just turned 40 or maybe I just got a pay raise at my job, or I’ve been in business for a while and I feel like I’m making really good money. 

There’s something that’s happening that is requiring a shift and you don’t want to feel like the way that you feel anymore. And so when clients are in this space, they’re generally focused on easing the pain of the situation that they’re in, whether it’s I want to pay down debt, I don’t want a tax bill, I want to know that I can pay myself. Like they want this immediate solution because they have anxiety, they have fear, they have shame, they’re overwhelmed. Or maybe they don’t feel in alignment with the other areas of their life. So all of these feelings are happening in their body and they’re looking for the relief. 

And through my process that I teach is I want you to have that immediate relief, but I don’t just want you to have the immediate relief, I also want you to have expansion. And when I think about expansion for my clients, it’s: I want you to get the thing that you came for, which is a budget. I want you to get the clarity, but I also want you to be able to think about the next phases of your life, the next seasons of your life, because there will always be financial seasons. And by teaching you my five step process, I am helping you shift the way you think about money. I’m helping you shift your awareness about your finances, I’m helping you shift your overall relationship, so it just becomes a way of being. I don’t want you to have a temporary solution. I want you to have a long term solution that continues to be a return on your investment of working with me. 

So you don’t have to wonder about the like, well, what if I get off track about, or what if I fail? You’re going to be able to answer those what ifs for yourself because you’re going to learn to have your own back. So diving into the simple five step process, the process is really about helping you create a spending plan for yourself or helping you create a plan for your business that feels doable. I want it to be, I want you to have a plan that actually feels connected to who you are. All of my clients are individuals. And so as individuals, I want you to have an individualized plan. I also want you to have a plan that helps, you know, like how much can I spend on travel? How much can I spend on hiring someone in my business? How much can I afford to save? And so I want you to know your numbers in a way that you are able to answer those questions for yourself, because it’s not going to look the same for any two people. And so we actually get to craft what that looks like for you. 

And then it’s knowing that by instituting these steps, you’re going to have something to show for it. And if you could see me right now, I have it with quotation marks, little quotes on my fingers, because when you think about the “it,” it’s like, What is that “it” for you? And maybe it’s that you work a lot of hours. Maybe it’s that you’ve been in your career for 10, 15, 20, 30 years and you’ve been able to excel and you have made more money, and so you want to feel in alignment with where you are in terms of what your W-2 says and what your bank accounts say. 

So that’s what the five steps are designed to help you create for yourself and not to just help you create that result while you’re working with me, but to help you create that result year after year after year as life changes. Maybe you get a partner, maybe you buy a house, maybe you have kids, you know, there are people that go through divorces, maybe you leave your job and you start working for yourself. The five simple steps will still work with you no matter where you are in life, because it will help you just become the person who knows how to manage money well and ask yourself really thoughtful questions. It will help you be intentional and do the things that maybe right now you’re not doing with your finances because you are more focused on what you don’t desire to feel instead of thinking about what you do desire to feel. 

So diving into the steps, step number one in this simple five step process is to know your why. Knowing your why becomes like your Northstar for your financial journey. Like this is the reason that you want to gain control of your finances. And it’s probably something beyond just wanting a budget. There might be a lifestyle that you desire to have, there may be a feeling that you’re going after. You want to be able to create like a family legacy and you want there to be something bigger than you. So it’s really thinking about like, why is this journey more important than anything else for myself right now? Like, what is my why, and what will I be able to do in a year from now, five years from now or ten years from now because I’ve started this journey. 

So as you sit with that, like my clients sit with this, you can start to unravel and really define what this journey is going to mean for your lifestyle. What will you believe about yourself when your finances do feel clear or like what impact will this have on the work that you’re able to do in life? Or what impact will this have on your family? What impact will this have on your health? What impact will this have in your career? So when you’re able to sit with the why, you’re also going to be able to ground in purpose. And this will be the thing that you are able to come back to. You are going to be able to check in on and say, like, where am I in terms of creating this type of lifestyle and how I desire to live like holistically and not just looking at any one segment of your life. 

So the first step, like I said, is to know your why. And I think it’s important to also know that your why can shift over time. I think some of my clients can start with a why in the very beginning that that may be more connected to like just wanting to feel financially free. And then like that financial freedom can look like saving money, paying down debt, but then maybe six months to a year of working together, their why might be like, oh, you know, I’m really thinking about like land ownership and I’m thinking about family impact and I’m thinking about how I will be able to spend my time differently because time is a resource that is not renewable. And so that’s why getting my finances in order is so important or maintaining my finances is so important, or making more money is important to me because I’m really thinking strategically about what I desire to create in my life, what I desire to create in the world. So the first step is to know your why. 

The second step is to identify your values and your goals. So this is also about creating purpose for your money. Why do you want to earn money? What do you want to spend money on? What goals are you trying to achieve? I don’t want you to just be making money to make money. I think that this is also where a lot of clients start to break down limiting beliefs that they have around earning more money or their thoughts about their finances. And when we identify the things that we value, whether it’s professionally, personally, financially, this is going to provide a filter for how we desire to spend money. 

And I want you to make all of these decisions before you ever really start to look at numbers. Because like the ultimate question I always want people to be able to ask is, am I spending money in alignment with the things that I value, am I spending money in alignment with the things with my goals? And like, if you were to ask yourself those questions right now and then go look at your bank account, like, are those two things in alignment? If they’re not, like you’re able to see like, oh, here’s, here’s where I desire to shift because I’m not spending money in a way that feels purposeful for me or intentional for me. And it will not only allow you to align with yourself, but as you think about, because mainly I do work with single women and solopreneurs, but I definitely work with people that are dating. I work with couples as well. And so when we are talking about values and goals, if you know them for yourself and you’re in a relationship, you’re in a partnership, this will allow you to see where you and your partner are aligned, and it’ll give you a glimpse into, like, their aspirations and their dreams. So you’re able to build off of your similarities, you’re able to build off your differences. 

And also, when I think about talking about money and the fear that comes in with sharing your finances with a significant other. This kind of makes everybody on the same playing field, right? Like, if we’re talking about goals, we’re talking about our values. What I have seen in working with couples is generally speaking, they’re on the same page. They may articulate things differently, but they can find out and figure out, oh, we’re actually on the same page and we’re in this together. And so if you think about being in this together, it makes those financial conversations so much more fruitful, so much more productive, a lot easier. And it doesn’t have to be a point of tension in a relationship because we actually know where we’re going as individuals and we know where we desire to go as a couple. So that’s step number two, is to identify your values and your goals. 

In step number three, this is where we finally start to look at numbers. Notice that we did a lot of like feeling. We did a lot of emotional, big picture things because I think that when we listen to social media, we listen to the financial voices that are around us, it’s all about like, pay off your debt, don’t get into debt, save money, don’t drink the latte, right. It can create a very restrictive behavior. And I as a coach want to connect back to the emotional side of money, because money is extremely emotional. There’s psychology behind it. And so I want you to connect with yourself in terms of your why, your values and your goals. And then from there, now I want to be like, okay, what’s your numbers? How do you actually want to spend your money? Not how does Keina want to spend her money, not just Keina, how does Keina think you should spend your money, but how do you want to spend your money? 

So when you go to create a spending plan, you’re able to say, okay, here’s what I have and here’s how I want to spend it. If you want to spend it on lattes, you want to spend it on clothes, travel—you get to do that because you’re making a plan for it. And not only that, you get to go back to, oh, I talked about these goals, I talked about these values. And so I’m going to start shifting even my language like I’m making an investment in my gym membership because I said that like my health is a priority and that’s something that I personally value and something that I want to focus on this year. Or, you know, I want to be able to pay down debt, so I am going to incorporate making consistent payments that are more than the minimum. 

But even how you talk to yourself about money when you’re in this stage of creating your spending plan can be completely different because you’re thinking about it from a values based perspective, from a goals based perspective. And when you’re doing this within your business, you can even think about, okay, well, when can I start to pay myself for my business? When do I want to hire a new contractor? And you can start to incorporate these things. And so creating a spending plan is a place for you to align, like I said, the money coming in and how you desire the money to go out. So it’s also going to put you in control and that’s what the plan is for. 

You have also heard me talk about in other episodes, like creating your spending plan. The spending plan is this living, breathing, working document. It’s going to change over time. And so I always tell my clients, like, go in, get your hands dirty, create your best life. From there we can go back and audit things that you want to keep, what you want to revisit, or what you may want to cancel. But we don’t have to make those those decisions in the moment. And also, I think by getting your hands dirty, it kind of leads into if you’ve heard my episode on financial visioning, it leads into this conversation of where you desire to be financially, and you can start to identify like, oh, like there is a gap financially with where I am now and where I desire to be. And with that gap, here’s how I want to shift it with making more money or being able, you know, I’m going to raise my prices in my business so that that way I am working with less clients, but I’m going to still be creating and generating the same type of cash flow each month, but it allows you to be selective and intentional. 

Let me get back on track here and then number four. So step number three is to create your spending plan. Step number four is evaluate. I think this is the thing that really sets the work that I do with clients apart. You know how to add. You know that two plus three is five. You know that three plus three is six. Those are true statements that you know how to add. What happens is that, generally speaking, people create a budget or they’ve written down a list of bills that need to be due. And so they are acting very reactively to their finances and they’re not being very proactive with their finances. And the evaluation that you are going to do within this five step simple process is you are going to evaluate to see like what is actually happening with my numbers. 

This is your chance to build that deeper relationship that goes beyond just looking at the balance in your bank account. You are going to be able to evaluate how you spent money. You can evaluate your feelings, you can evaluate your actions, any of those things, knowing that money is like emotional and there’s psychology behind money, it’s always really good to look at actions, to look at feelings, and not just necessarily look at the numbers because money moves in different ways for different reasons. So when you’re evaluating, you can be asking yourself like, What am I doing well? That’s probably a new one for you, right? Like, how often do you ask yourself what’s going right with how I’m spending my money, how I’m managing my money. And that’s to, like train your brain to look for what’s working. 

We have a tendency to have these, like what are called “ants”—automatic negative thoughts. And so when we start going towards these automatic negative thoughts, we start thinking about all the things we’re not doing. And so I want you to shift to be thinking about what am I doing well? Like, how am I already spending money in alignment with my goals and values? So I need you to give yourself some celebrations here. And then from there you can look at like, okay, what isn’t working for me? Or like, what didn’t work? And you can write a list of things that maybe aren’t working. 

I was talking to a client today and I think like a great example here is like, oh, this week I went and I ordered a lot of like Uber eats. I went out to eat quite a few times and I went to the grocery store. Right. So for me, that would be a trigger of like I’m just overspending on food, and it’s not necessarily a good or bad thing. I’m just thinking about the fact, like, if I’m going to the grocery store and I’m also eating out, I want to shift how I’m planning my weeks. And so that’s the third question is to think about like, what do I want to shift? And what I would do differently here or what I would shift here is like, sit down and really look at, okay, today is Wednesday. What do I have going on in between Wednesday of this week and Wednesday of next week? Like if I’m talking about the eating out thing and the grocery thing, maybe I want to like look at what events I have planned. Am I going to be at home? Am I not going to be at home? So maybe I don’t need to go to the grocery store because I’m not actually going to be at home or if I do go to the grocery store, let me be really thoughtful about what I’m buying, so I’m not buying another bag of spinach that I’m going to throw out and not eat right. Like we’ve all been there. 

But also, when you think about what you want to shift and what isn’t working and what what did work is you can also be looking at the numbers in the same way. So if you are someone who’s thinking about groceries, for instance, and you’re thinking about spending $600 on groceries. If you know that you’ve already spent $300 on groceries, but you still have two more weeks of the month or three more weeks of the month, you can think about some intentional shifts you want to make to see if you are going to be over or under budget there. 

And when you’re in this evaluation space, like it’s so important to ask yourself what you want to shift because it’s going to prevent you from throwing that baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes, because we definitely have a very all or nothing mentality when it comes to managing finances. And so that’s the number one thing that I like to see clients shift. So it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be black and white. You can find a gray area and you can see that you can still make progress without having to be perfect all the time because you have this, you’re in constant communication with yourself about what’s working, what’s not working, and what you want to shift. And you see that managing your finances is… it’s a journey. You’re on a continuum. It’s not just something that you’re going to do once and forget about it, but you’re really incorporating a lifestyle. So that is step number four is to evaluate. 

Step number five and the last step is for you to adjust. This is like asking yourself just a simple question: What do I want to adjust moving forward? And I think this is a question, a really good question to ask yourself every single week. If you have heard me talk about money dates, you can incorporate this into money dates and thinking about like, what have I learned? So X, Y, Z is happening. So I want to create space for my budget by doing this. I think because we’re in the middle of summer when this is coming out, like this is a great space to even look at, okay, what do I want to adjust? I know in the next week I’m going to be going out with my friends a little bit more than I normally would because it’s warmer outside. Or I know that I just committed to a trip that maybe I hadn’t planned for. 

So there’s going to have to be some adjustments to your numbers. But if you’re asking yourself those questions, then you’re going to be able to identify what you want to adjust moving forward. And then you can also be thinking about like, I know I have extra money coming in and, you know, maybe you got a bonus or maybe there’s a tax refund or maybe you did some contract work outside of your normal 9 to 5. If you know that those things are true, you can also start to plan for like what is the purpose of this extra income? And it all goes back to the fact that you get to go back to your why, you get to go back and identify like, okay, what did I say my goals were? Okay, that’s how I want to use my extra money. Okay, let me go back to my spending plan. Where might there be some holes in my spending plan? Okay. Yep. That’s how I want to use this extra money. 

So everything is just going back in a cycle and supporting you in creating the peace of mind that you desire with your finances. As you are going through and adjusting your finances, this is also a place where you get to create the feelings that you have around your money iIn the moment. You have created anxiety, overwhelm, fear, shame, all of those things, in the past. But in this moment you get to like extend kindness and grace and compassion to yourself. So you might see something that you don’t like when you’re evaluating or when you’re adjusting your numbers, but you get to choose how you speak to yourself. Because remember, this is not just like a get rich quick scheme—I can’t say that very quickly—right, like this is a lifestyle. And so it’s an opportunity to, like I said, extend grace, extend kindness, extend compassion. 

And you’ve been looking at when you’re evaluating, you’re looking at what’s working, what are you doing well, and so you at any point in time, when your automatic negative thoughts want to go to like, see, you don’t know what you’re doing. You can go back to the list of things that you’ve been writing down about what’s working and what’s doing well. And if you have to go back to an old list from six months ago, that’s okay. Those results are still present and evident in your life because everything has compounding results. 

All right. I feel like I spoke really fast through this episode today, but I just wanted to dive into those five simple steps and I’m going to repeat them without kind of the explanation in between but five simple steps. Know your why, identify your values and goals, create your spending plan, evaluate, adjust. Those are the only five steps you need for you to create clarity and peace of mind that you desire with your finances. 

And I would invite you that if you are ready to dive deeper into this work and you want to get these results for yourself, you want to have the accountability, and you know that partnering with a coach, particularly me, would help create these results for you, I would invite you to apply. You can go to www.wealthovernow.com/appointment and you can apply for my five month coaching partnership where we will have five months to implement this five step simple process so that that way you can create money mastery and learn how to maintain your finances during that time and experience the financial world that you’ve always dreamed of. All right, til next time, have a great one. 

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 www.wealthovernow.com/appointment and let’s get started.

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