The Difference Between Tracking and Planning w. Suzanne

Money Files

This week I’m introducing you to my client Suzanne.  Prior to working together, Suzanne tracked her finances and felt like she was very conscientious of where her money was going but was still caught off guard by expenses. She would have even told you she had a budget.  In this candid conversation, she shares how she set goals about how much she desired to spend on groceries and made sure her bills were paid every month. 

In the one month intensive, Suzanne and I worked together to help her have greater clarity about how she desired to spend her money day to day.  Although she was tracking her finances it was all about how much she spent and we were able to focus on preparing for irregular and unexpected expenses that she’d usually take out of savings.  

This simple shift in her plan helped her prepare for her dog’s unexpected visit to a cardiologist and save for her love of travel without it getting in the way of other annual fees like her HOA special assessment fee.  

Tune into this episode to learn more about…

  • How she’s been able to plan ahead for things like irregular expenses (auto maintenance, pet care,etc.) while also staying on track for other goals like paying off her student loans 
  • Suzanne’s realization that there’s a difference between tracking and planning 
  • How Suzanne has been able to triple her payments towards her student loan payment 
  • How Suzanne has doubled the investment she made in hiring a financial coach
  • How she’s adjusted the spending plan we created as she’s continued to learn more about her own spending habits so that she can pay off all of her debt within the next three years  

I work with a number of clients who “budget” but they still can’t seem to make the progress they desire towards their financial goals whether that’s saving more, paying down debt or releasing fear and anxiety about their finances. And my guess is you might be able to relate. Tune into Suzanne’s story to hear how you can shift the way you’re currently thinking about your money so you can reach your financial goals with ease. 

Listen to Suzanne’s Money Files Episode

Inside The Episode

Since your “intervention” on my budgeting practices, I now have a better handle of how much money I am spending each month. I also feel more confident knowing I have money set aside for unexpected expenses or just basic life/home maintenance. Had Covid-19 hit 1-2 years ago, I would have not been prepared. Our meeting was timely at best and you were an angel sent by God! – Suzanne

Several weeks ago, I opened my email and saw this message from my client Suzanne and I couldn’t have been more excited to hear about the results she continues to see after doing a one month intensive with me. I also knew it was time to share her story with you in the Money File series because the whole purpose of this series is to give you the chance to hear from everyday women about how getting their finances organized has changed their life.

In our society, money is such a taboo topic it makes people feel anxiety, overwhelm, shame, and guilt.  But I’m a firm believer that we can shift these feelings if we were open to having money conversations – like the kind I bring you in this series – because they help us see that we’re not alone in our struggles and desire to change our relationship with money.  

And sharing their stories benefits my clients too because it helps them take their openness around having money conversations to the next level.

Today I want to share with you why I believe Suzanne is more comfortable having money conversations than ever before and how this comfort level continues to support her financial goals.  

1. Suzanne is clear about her financial goals. 

Clients often come to me and don’t know where to start with their financial goals.  In my one month intensive, our first call sets the vision for where clients desire to be six months from now, a year from now, and beyond.  For Suzanne this looked like wanting to set aside $1800 for future travel, having a more detailed plan to pay off debt, and saving with intention.  We were able to build each of these goals into her spending plan by prioritizing how much she’d need to save to reach her goal and creating a debt pay off plan that was in alignment with her goals to pay off her student loans within the next year. 

2. We worked on her money mindset so she could build her own money confidence.

One affirmation Suzanne leaned into while we were working together was Money Makes Me Calm. This simple shift in thought helped Suzanne approach several tasks she wanted to complete during our time together like separating her accounts, monitoring what expenses she put on her credit card each week, and even following up on a little things like next steps in continuing to pay off her student loans while they’re in forbearance.  

3. She built her own comfort level by asking for help and more information.  

As a financial coach, I notice that my clients fear what they don’t know.  You might be able to relate and have found yourself wondering what’s the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? Or do I need a financial advisory? How much do I need to retire? You might not be able to answer all of these questions in a matter of a week but the key to building your financial confidence is also seeking out financial education which Suzanne did. 

 When I work with clients I create a safe space for them to share their financial challenges and their financial desires.  If you’re ready to change your relationship with money the first step is being willing to have a conversation. Schedule a call and I’ll hold the space for you to feel safe so you can save more, pay down debt, and stress less about money.  

The Transcript


[00:00:00] Hello everyone. My name is Keina Newell. I’m a financial coach and I work with professional women and solopreneurs to create new possibilities with their money. If you are tuning in right now, you are joining me for money files. So welcome. Hi, I’m excited for you to tune in and listen to this conversation with my client.

[00:00:19] Suzanne, she’ll tell you all about how she was tracking her finances before we started working together, but it wasn’t until we started to work together, that she was able to see money that she was leaving on the table that allows her to save consistently. It allowed her to plan for her dog to go and see a cardiologist unexpectedly.

[00:00:38] And she’ll also tell you about how. She is now a believer in financial coaching and how she was really skeptical that she was going to get any results when we started working together. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Hello everyone. Thank you for joining me for another episode. I am with my. Client Suzanne today.

[00:00:58] And we are going to dive in and have a great conversation. Suzanne and I worked together a few months ago, probably been about six months since we worked together. Right. And the one month intensive. But, uh, Suzanne, I’m going to go ahead and let you introduce you.


[00:01:14] Fantastic. Hi came out. It is so great being here today.

[00:01:19] Thank you for inviting me to the show. Um, it’ll be, it’ll be my pleasure to discuss whatever it is we’re going to discuss today.


[00:01:28] So full transparency. I emailed Susanne several months ago when I wanted to start my money files and she goes to. I didn’t hear from her. And then maybe about a week and a half ago, she sent me an email that like lit up my day just saying how thankful she was that we worked together.

[00:01:46] So I was like, Hey, will you come and have a conversation with me? So she’s all in. Yes. Absolutely.


[00:01:53] Absolutely. Actually, when I emailed you, I was thinking about the original email back in March,

[00:02:03] but I figured you were worth that because like I expressed to you in that email, had it not been for COVID and I’ve been for you then I probably would not have thrived as well as I have. So that’s why I reached out to you. Well,


[00:02:16] thank you. I appreciate it. I always enjoy hearing from people that I’ve worked with.

[00:02:20] And so Suzanne and I talked before we got back, um, or started recording just the fact that I love that money files is like a full circle moment for the people that I’ve worked with. The professional women that I’m working with, they fit a very active, like tight, it’s a specific type of woman, very type a all together in all aspects of their life.

[00:02:42] But when it comes to money, girl, I know don’t don’t look at me is shame, overwhelm, guilt, anxiety, all the things. Right. But. All of the women that I’ve been able to talk to on money files. It’s like now they’re in a space where they can actually talk about their finances. And that’s one of my underlying goals.

[00:03:03] So I was just saying, thank you so much for agreeing to have a conversation with me, because I want more people to be talking about finances and know that talking about your finances doesn’t mean like how much debt am I in? Or, you know, how much money do you make? You can actually be talking about finances.

[00:03:21] In a more meaningful way and be gaining information to, you know, push whatever your financial goals forward. Right.


[00:03:28] Right. No, I absolutely believe that. I think that’s part of the reason why so many people Dodge the conversation about finances because they think you’re going to ask like, well, how much money do you make and how much money have you say you’ve been, you know, a lot of people aren’t comfortable with.

[00:03:42] Uh, sharing that information. But I think that, you know, if we at least talk about how we save and how we manage that, I think that we will help each other. I wish so many of my friends would get together and talk about, you know, how they’re managing their expenses, because it would just help me understand, like, okay, we’re living these lifestyles, but like, how are we doing it?

[00:04:02] How are we manage? How are we staying above? So I wish more people would be open about how they’re doing it. And just from candid and the conversations, I guess.


[00:04:12] Well, speaking of friends and talking about money, one of your friends actually referred you to me. So how did that conversation? So we were actually


[00:04:20] out together and it just came up randomly.

[00:04:23] She was like, um, you know, I have this money manager and I think that it would be something that you would be interested in and. Yeah. At first, I was like, me, why I’m always the one,

[00:04:40] but I came home and I looked you up and researched you. And I was like, okay, well maybe this is something I could use. Right. Because I think that as far as that type a personality, you were talking. That’s definitely me and that I thought that I managed my money quite well. I had a tracking sheet, if you will, not a budget sheet, but a tracking sheet.

[00:05:02] And I thought, Hey, you know, I’m very conscientious about how I spend my dollars, but I didn’t have the, um, the focus that, that your services provided, like putting money aside for. You know, emergencies and car maintenance and even Christmas, like I wasn’t putting money into these so-called buckets that you introduced me to so that I can plan properly for future expenses.

[00:05:31] So, yeah, I mean, once my friend told me about the service, I looked it up and was like, okay, this might be something of interest in, it really has benefited me six months later down the road,


[00:05:43] which I’m excited about. So tell like, let’s go back kind of a little bit to the beginning and you kind of touched on it that you had a tracking sheet.

[00:05:51] You said you wouldn’t even call it a budget, which I remember you sharing it with. But just tell us in the beginning, like where were you when it came to managing your finances? Okay.


[00:06:01] So again, like attracted choose. So I will call it a budget. I would set aside, you know, $300 or something for groceries. And I would try to not spend recklessly and spend within that $300.

[00:06:14] But the minute that it goes up to three 15 or three 50, or up to 400, I rationalize it and say, oh, well, at least I kept track. Of wordsmith that money that month. Right. So that’s kind of where I was. It was like, I would try to, um, you know, be wise with, you know, not spending money on clothes, like definitely doing household expenses, but it wasn’t really, it was just really like saying, okay, I went to Walmart this week or I went to Costco.

[00:06:43] Like, it wasn’t a budget per se. It was just saying, Hey, this is where my money went. It’s like a checkbook, you know, this is where my money. And this is how much X dollars I spent on it, but not really being mindful of staying within that grocery category, no eating out or going out with friends or what have you.

[00:07:04] It wasn’t staying within that category, which is like, oh, I went to the bar and I spent X amount of money. Does that make sense? Like, I wasn’t really just tracking.


[00:07:16] Yeah. So tell us, tell us the shift that’s happened for you from like tracking. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that where it’s like, I kind of think of some of the apps that people use it categorizes like, yes.

[00:07:31] Here’s how much you spend on food. Here’s how much you spend on groceries. Right, right. It’s like,


[00:07:36] okay, well now what, well, I think the shift that happened for me again, was you pointing me in the direction of categories, such as bill payments, solely bill payments or special occasions or home expenses. And so putting that X amount of dollar in home expenses for a savings, not necessarily like just a bill for every month, but just for savings.

[00:07:58] So if I set aside, you know, $200. A month just for home expenses. And I know that, Hey, if I need an air filter, I can get it out of that. Or if I need to shampoo my carpet, I can get out of that budget. Right. Because you, you, you taught me these buckets, if you will, like, as long as you put money into this bucket, that you know how much you have for that expense.

[00:08:21] So that’s where the shift happened for me. It’s like, oh, okay. I’ve never really thought about planning for Carmen. It’s just that I took my car in, it needed an oil change. And then you tell me that not only do I need the oil change, but I need an air filter. I need tires rotated on me. You know, all of these other things that went along with car maintenance on that one service.

[00:08:43] And then I walk out of there spending $350. Now, did I have it? Yes, but it had to come from some other account that I didn’t account for. Whereas with your system, I already set aside money every month for car maintenance. So now the next time I go on. I know that I have money in that bucket so that it’s not a surprise.

[00:09:02] It’s not an unexpected expense for me. You know, recently car registration, you helped me with that. I knew that car registration was coming up for this year, every two year expense. So I was able to set aside in the six months. Okay, let me put this much aside. It’s going to come up in June, then I’m going to have to reregister, you know, the car.

[00:09:22] That kind of thing was a shift for me. Like, yeah, these are expenses that happen all the time. Why am I not planning for that? You know, whereas before I was just, again, tracking that, Hey, you spent three 50 on, but not really planning to spend three 50 on car maintenance. I think that was the difference.


[00:09:41] The planning versus tracking things such as what, what I want people to start doing. There’s a graphic that another financial coach showed me. And I w I love to reference. You would never want to go to the doctor’s office and see this, but it’s okay. Like if you think about, and I’m going to get this wrong, cause I’m not a doctor, but like if they were monitoring your heart, right, you would be able to see that it goes up and down.

[00:10:03] Right. Which that’s what happens with our expenses. They go up and down every single month. What we want to do is basically create a flat line. So it’s creating that like predictability for you. And when you’re talking about planning, For what some of us would consider car registration, unexpected expense.

[00:10:24] What I want to always push people to think about is like, well, that’s not unexpected because we can plan for Christmas. It’s not unexpected planning for it. And so what are those things? If you’re listening, as you’re sitting there, you’re thinking like, you know, in the last month what’s something that’s kind of caught me off guard.

[00:10:42] Could I actually start to plan for that weather? No, you may not know exactly how much it’s going to cost to get your air filter changed when you go in for auto maintenance. But if you know this last year, your car has kind of cost you, you know, it was like $2,000 this year you put into your car last year was 1500.

[00:11:00] How could I divide that amount by 12 and just start putting money aside. So when that expense comes. You have the money for it. And Suzanne and I are both moving our hands. If you could see us,

[00:11:14] planning for these expenses. I think if you do that hand gesture as well, it’ll make


[00:11:18] it a lot easier,


[00:11:24] but that’s what I that’s when I’m working with people it’s like really getting. That, that shifts, because I think those are the things that produce this anxiety, where people are like, well, I don’t know how to plan for that. And even I would love to hear, like, what else have you, how else have you adjusted the spending plan that you created since we’ve worked together, as you’ve learned, just like more about how money moves for you in your, in your life?


[00:11:48] You know, I’m thinking, I don’t know if this is going to ask the question, but while you were talking, I was thinking about the background work you hit and you do to prepare for the planning phase. Right? So. You had me look at the last 12 months, like you just said, and track like how, again, that word tracking, which is my favorite word.

[00:12:06] Um, you know, I was able to track how much I spent throughout that year. And so then taking the average of what you spent and then setting that aside. Right? So that was helpful because you helped me to see the bigger picture of how much I’ve spent over course. So I think that’s helped me because again, when I’m setting aside for electricity or, um, you know, but the changing lumps and electricity, like I may spend less, uh, in the summertime cause I don’t really like the air conditioning is too cold or, you know, I spend more in the winter, so I know how much I’m able to set aside now looking at my previous expenses from 2019 or even in the far back as 20.

[00:12:49] 2020 is a little different because we’ve all been at home. Definitely has increased, but again, I I’m prepared for it. Right. So I already hit that money again. And that. So that I’m not over spending in that category at all. I know exactly how much I have and how much I was going to put in there the fall, the next month.

[00:13:12] So that’s been helpful. Um, just the shift in just how I spend, like, I just feel like there’s more freedom and how I spend now. There was something else you had me do. It was the combining groceries, eating out and gas and have me put that all in a completely separate. Thinking it out of my man account, we’ll putting it into a separate check-ins account where I have a card attached to that.

[00:13:38] And so I was only able to spin what was in that account that will helpful because now is like, okay, I know I have X amount of dollars for diming, so great. I can just use this car and it doesn’t bleed into. Anything else. And so just keeping those things separate was extremely helpful. I don’t know if I’m explaining it well, but it was, it was extremely helpful just to have two separate accounts, one for just bills and then one for, you know, just gas, expense or groceries, or what have you.

[00:14:14] And, and also I’m not restricting myself anymore. I used to restrict myself like, okay, only $75 or $80 with. Now I feel like the flexibility of, I don’t wanna have to do that, but I know I have, you know, this Mount. So over the course of the month, you know, again, with the climate that we’re in now, I don’t spend just for that week because I don’t like to go to the grocery store every week now.

[00:14:38] So I will spend two weeks worth of groceries, but I feel that freedom to do so. And I’ve never once in the six months on, over that amount now, like I just feel the freedom of, I know I have it in the separate. And that everything’s going to be okay. It’s not going to believe in say anything else. So I hope that makes sense, because I also was spinning, was using my credit card to pay for that.

[00:15:01] And then I would pay back my credit card because again, in my mind, I was like, oh, I’m getting points on this credit card. I’ve shifted my thinking on this. So instead of paying this credit card, I just come down to this one debit account. I’m not doing a lot of back and forth anymore. It’s just easier.


[00:15:20] Uh, what other, so you said there was like freedom with spending.

[00:15:24] How would you say, what other freedom are you feeling when it comes to your managing your finances?


[00:15:30] So again, the freedom of like, you also have any set up a separate savings account, if you will, but it’s more like a savings account for expenses that, you know, are coming up. What am I thinking of? Like my condo, I have this a yearly maintenance fee, so that now goes into savings.

[00:15:49] It’s not sitting in my regular account, it goes into savings. And so again, I have the freedom of, I know every month I, you know, you haven’t set up like all of the like car maintenance taxes. Um, preparing for that, um, atrial a, all these different categories of expected expenses that will come up in the year.

[00:16:11] And I just now set that aside for savings. So again, when that paycheck comes, separate that out automatically that money goes into savings. I don’t even see it. I don’t think about it. And that’s where the freedom is like, okay, that’s set aside. That’s good. So when that month, when January, when I get that bill from the HOA, I know, Hey, boom, I got it.

[00:16:33] I don’t have to worry about where it’s coming from. I don’t have to Rob Peter to pay Paul. I don’t have to take it from this account or that other account. I know that it’s already set aside


[00:16:42] well, how am I, how is this thing is going to throw off all these other things, because I didn’t plan for it.


[00:16:52] So I may have had the money for it, but I didn’t plan for it.

[00:16:55] So it’s like, oh, before I would have taken it out of travel, why? Okay, well I’m not going anywhere this year. So he was going to take it out. It’s not even about that anymore. It’s like, okay. No, but that money is already set aside, so I don’t have to stress out about it because I think that’s what my relationship with money was before was a completely stressful relationship.

[00:17:16] Like, okay. I know I got it, but. Nah, I’m having to shift things, right? Take it from here


[00:17:24] and feeling mad about it. Probably.


[00:17:27] I was mad all the time. I’m like, dang, I got to take away from this Napa trip. Okay. But I’m gonna pay myself. Because as, you know, also have these side hustles. Right, right. And, you know, I help the elderly, like, you know, all of these side houses that are going on, help my godmother out.

[00:17:44] So I knew that I was gonna get paid back, but I will always hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head. Like you never spend money. You already know. And that’s what I was doing. Like, okay, well, I’ll just, if I know that I have this atrial aims, don’t cost me X and January. I’m just pay myself back in, like trying to build this elaborate puzzle.

[00:18:07] It was a matrix. And I honestly didn’t think that I had a handle on it. Like I thought, Hey, that was me managing money and I’m not spending frivolously, but you know, it was just. Organized you, you, you organize that. My type a personality loves the buckets because now I can see that I’m setting that aside, you know, every month.

[00:18:29] So it’s allowed freedom. I’m not stressed out. Like I’m constantly checking my account. I’m like, I once was like, I just know that.


[00:18:39] How much, like I know somebody is listening right now and they’re thinking this sounds like it takes a lot of work. And so how, how long, or just like, you can even talk about in the beginning.

[00:18:51] I know we, I was like, listen, Suzanne, here’s how this sheet works. You trusted me. I think you were probably still had an eyebrow raised to be like,


[00:18:59] lady, if you say so,

[00:19:03] but. From


[00:19:05] the beginning when we worked together till now, like how long is it taking you to manage your money? How often are you sitting down and kind of like, you’re talking about moving things into different buckets or, or just asking yourself the question of how much money do I have to set aside for.

[00:19:22] Right.


[00:19:23] So I think of the very beginning of our process and was intense. Right? You had me look at like a year’s worth of everything, my ass you brought


[00:19:32] in that whole year’s worth, but well, maybe


[00:19:34] I did, but you know, if you had your own spreadsheets that you shared with me, With


[00:19:41] a picture of your car in it?

[00:19:43] Yes. You want


[00:19:43] it like bank accounts, credit card statements, like you did ask for that.


[00:19:51] So it was not a year.


[00:19:53] It was, it was very intense. The assets, the liabilities, all of it. So in the very beginning, I think it took a while. Like I thought this is something I can knock out an hour and it be like three days.

[00:20:06] It was, it was intensive. But now that I’m in the prep. So now that. So now I’m like actually in the budget plan in this beautiful spreadsheet that you’ve set up, that I still use that it takes me like less than like five minutes. I look at it, like I get paid. So I just, I


[00:20:25] forgot about that. You’re one of my one once


[00:20:28] a month people.

[00:20:29] Yeah, this is once a month. It’s hard. It was the 28th of every month. Like I got to wait, which is another reason why your system helped because you know, again, pay once a month can be a little rough. You get to the end of the month. Like I can’t spend nothing. So on the 26, I make sure that everything is set up well, this is going to confuse people, but the way your.

[00:20:49] We have to balance everything out so that the, at the top it says zero, right? So we have nothing outstanding, no outstanding bills, anything like that. Like I said, as zero. So I’ve made sure that everything is balanced, um, two days before and I get that paycheck and then automatically my, my account is set up so that it automatically deducts the savings portion.

[00:21:11] So if I know that I’m going to save X amount of time, And put it into this other savings account that you have for me, it’s just automatically taken. So my automatically drawn out, same thing with that checking account. That second check-ins account are automatic automatically the duct that, so I don’t see it.

[00:21:26] Right. So it doesn’t take me more than five, 10 minutes to make sure that everything’s aligned and that everything’s set up for the new month. So, so as I spend on bills, like my mortgage is the first thing that comes. So right. Go ahead and update that. So every bill that comes out, let’s say that sit down every Saturday morning and I just make sure, okay, this is paid.

[00:21:52] This has paid, this was paid. And I go from there, it’s not a tedious thing. It’s probably sounding tedious the way that I’m explaining it, but it really doesn’t take long at all. Like Saturday morning, I just set aside that routine, make sure everything is balanced and it’s fine. You know, where did I go this week before?

[00:22:12] Chick-fil-A okay. Fine. Put AAA man. So I’m just, I’m still tracking, but it’s all within this nice bucket that I can just say, okay. I’m deducting this amount from, you know, the total in my bucket.


[00:22:28] So, uh, Susanna is talking about, like, I explained this to clients that. May have, uh, a budgeting app or whatever it is.

[00:22:39] The, the difference is Suzanne was talking about in the very beginning, like I would say I wanted to spend $300 on groceries. Well, if you wait until the end of the month to see how much you spent on groceries, you don’t know how you need to shift. Exactly. If this week, okay. I spent 1 75 on grocery school.

[00:22:57] Well, I know that I have 1 25 left. Exactly. And now I can make intentional decisions about that. If I go to the grocery store and I spend $200 on groceries, I it’s still an informed decision to then say, well, I only, I had 1 25 set aside. So where am I going to free up that extra $75? Right? Maybe it looks like I’m going to take some for eating out or.

[00:23:19] I know that I’m not going to, like you said, maybe I’m not traveling as much, whatever it is, but you’re making these informed decisions. Where where’s the money coming from and not waiting. Oftentimes people pay all their bills, do whatever else they have left to do, spend money in, in various places like our disposable income, and then whatever they have left, they slide that over to savings at the end of the month, if they have something.

[00:23:46] And so that’s where we get that place where we’re like inconsistently saving, or we don’t feel like we can pay down our debt because also within that people are swiping critical. Right, right. That I paid, but I pay my credit card out.


[00:24:02] Right? No, thank you for yes, because I was having trouble explaining it.

[00:24:06] So thanks. You did a good job. I haven’t, to your point, I haven’t spent anything on the credit card in the last six months and not one thing has gone that credit card and exactly that like, I’m able to deduct from what you have in there instead of just saying, okay, I spent 200. Out of 300 now only have a hundred left, then that’s a different shift.

[00:24:30] Like, okay. I only have a hundred dollars left in groceries, so let me not while out the rest of the month, you know, or you do,


[00:24:36] and you just know where it’s coming from, and I know exactly where


[00:24:38] it’s coming from, or, you know, to your point about the savings. That’s exactly what I would do. I would wait until the end of the month and be like, okay, well, this is how much I have left over.

[00:24:47] So this is what’s calling and saving. That, that wasn’t helpful. Whereas now at the beginning, like it’s automatically taken. I don’t even see it. I don’t have to put in the number. My system automatically is deducted. Yeah. So I think that’s, that’s definitely helpful. And then whatever is left over. Now what my mindset is because now I have this absolute goal to pay off loans.

[00:25:10] I’m in I’m three months shy of paying off one of them. Right. And if that had not been for your plan, I still would be on the, you know, 32 year plan.

[00:25:24] Like it actually like whatever’s left. Like I already have money set aside to pay them, right. This extra money that you found that I had that didn’t know I had, that’s now going every month, but whatever additional, you know, it’s also going to some, I’m able to pay almost double or triple on the student loan than what I was able to do before.

[00:25:45] Um, and you opened my eyes to that. I didn’t even know I hit this many leftover, so yeah, that’s, that’s been extremely helpful. Um, cause yeah, where I’m three months shy of paying off one, I’m actually three years shy of being completely debt free with the exception of my mortgage. And had that not been for your plan.

[00:26:03] I don’t think that that would be the position that I’m in now and even more


[00:26:07] than the plan is I want to acknowledge the fact that you said yes to yourself. Yeah. And I know for anyone who’s listening and they may relate to, this is the number one. Objection. I think I get from people in thinking about.

[00:26:23] Like, do I book a call with Keina? Do I want to work with Keeia is whether or not there’ll be able to get results. It is as possible for me. So like I know Suzanne was able to save consistently she’s three months and three years out of like two different debt payments, but. You don’t know my situation’s this, and I don’t think it’s going to work.


[00:26:45] Right. And


[00:26:46] so just to, I want to acknowledge that one, you said yes to yourself and because you said yes to yourself, you’ve set yourself up for what I see is, you know, years to come of like this financial freedom and stability that you didn’t have before we started working.


[00:27:05] Absolutely. Absolutely. I would agree with you.

[00:27:07] I would agree with you actually, what came to mind is kind of funny, all this talk about money. So I’m looking a little cheap. So when I saw your rate, I might have asked her to let her, so


[00:27:20] I think you were like, so to give me all the details,


[00:27:23] cause this is this, isn’t an expense. And I think that, you know, people who probably have a personality like mine, like, I don’t know if.

[00:27:30] But you said in the very beginning, you were like, you’ll, you’ll get that back just by your spinning. You’re going to get that back. And I didn’t believe, I didn’t believe you. And here I am, six months later, I’ve doubled it. Like I definitely got it back. It wasn’t even the question. Think about it anymore because you did help me plan in a way that, you know, I wasn’t really doing before.

[00:27:53] No, I have to laugh at that now, because that was one of my friends and my friend when she recommended,

[00:28:01] but it works. It works. I got it back in morning and


[00:28:06] you’re going to continue to get it back. And I think I know. And the thing that excites me about working with people is like, for me, this is also like a generational thing. It’s like, how are you going to be now more prepared to have conversations with other people about money.

[00:28:23] As you make more money you are going to, I know you’re going to see your savings increase. You’re going to start to like, be able to ask yourself different questions about your retirement. Like nieces, nephews. You can just talk to a whole bunch of just that influential piece. And it’s not like I helped you, but you’re going to now go help other people.


[00:28:42] Yeah. I’m like, yeah. And what’s so funny about that is that my niece just called like a week ago and she’s, you know, moving out and she was like, you know, I gotta, I gotta save. And I’m talking about the same steps, thanked me the same stuff and trying to get murdered. She don’t believe me, but who I look at works right now.

[00:29:07] So people get tired of me now. Cause like, I’m like, no, but let me explain to you what happens. My mom is like, okay, enough, like I’m retired. I’m good.

[00:29:23] You’re not gonna leave me X amount of expenses. Right.


[00:29:28] So there’s another financial coach that I talked to you. And she actually works with like kids, um, adult. Yeah. To help bridge that gap because we’re in this like sandwich, sandwich generation where right. If your finances aren’t too, like one, we need to make sure our finances are together.

[00:29:47] And then it’s like having those conversations with our parents to know where they stand financially, because how does that impact you if they don’t have money for their retirement? You know, there’s yeah, that’s a whole different, it’s


[00:30:00] a whole different

[00:30:01] thing,


[00:30:01] different ball game, but it’s, I love the fact that you’re talking to your mom about it, or just even knowing like what, what do I need to know exactly at the end of the day, excuse me, you know, I’m now potentially have to be in a position to be your caregiver.

[00:30:17] And I know it’s like for my parents, they’re both retired. But I have conversations with them about, okay, well, if you know, my mom passes away first, what does that look like for my dad financially and the flip-flop of that and wanting to know that I have a clear line of sight, not only on my own finances, but now it’s like, let me make sure my parents who are getting older, that I understand, like where things are


[00:30:43] 100%, 100%.

[00:30:45] I have those kinds of just me and my mom. So having those conversations all the time, You know, where are we if you were to pass. And so, um, it definitely has been helpful to understand my own finances, but also to understand like going forward, you know, what I may have to undertake when it comes to, um, you know, my mother and, and I wish more, more, um, parents and children will also have that conversation.

[00:31:11] I’ve seen, I do have a friend who’s both her parents died. Yeah. You know, just understanding how to take on all of that. Like all of the expenses that go with, you know, burying a parent, unfortunately, but what to do with the house and what to do with their retirement and what you know, what to do with all of these other expenses that she now has to manage.

[00:31:30] Um, it’s, it can be quite overwhelming, you know? Having those conversations ahead of time. Very, very


[00:31:36] helpful. Yeah. And I would say for anyone listening, right. It is like my services, I feel like are for the individual and getting yourself together, but even extending it’s like, how do I extend that money conversation, even beyond to say, to say what’s next?

[00:31:51] And I, I, I have two older brothers and I mean, those are our next conversation. Because it’s something that, I mean, there’s a cycle of life. We all know it. And so you got to get prepared for it, even as challenging as that conversation may be. So I feel like we went real deep for a minute. We did for just a


[00:32:11] second.


[00:32:13] I want to, I want to pull back up and, and also just highlight two things because one in working with you, I know we talked a lot about money minds. And just like your thoughts around money, what would you say? Like are two beliefs that maybe you are, or feelings that you have about your money now that you didn’t have six months


[00:32:33] ago?

[00:32:34] That I’m going to be okay. I don’t know why I just have this irrational fear that, you know, living paycheck check. Maybe I always, the fear of me I’m broke. I don’t know where that came from, but I just now feel like I’m going to be okay because we didn’t talk about the other. That, you know, you put aside just in case I were to walk away from my job, like I’m okay for the next year.

[00:32:57] So just again, having that peace about it, I think you had me right now when I said I was stressed about money. He said, um, and we’ve been at the beginning of the conversation. I am peaceful about money. I’m calm about money and just having that moment. And I, now I actually feel like that’s come true. It’s not me telling myself that in the mirror, like I actually do believe I found peace.

[00:33:20] I am calm about it. I know that I’m going to be okay. At the end of the day, you said there’s two things of just kind of just do the one. No, no. I had two things.


[00:33:35] I also wanted to say, like what, what other tangible results would you talk about? I know you said. You’re three months shy of paying off one of your student loans. You’re three years shy of being totally debt-free with the exception of the mortgage, with the exception of the mortgage. Thank you. Right.

[00:33:52] Other like how have you seen your savings grow or just even being able to, to meet some of those other financial milestones that you set for?


[00:34:02] Right. So exactly that I’m just able to see the savings grow. You know, I think the biggest thing for me was the student loan. Cause I thought I’m just going to be paying this off forever in the day who I was.

[00:34:14] I was just paying the. So, yeah, just being able to have that as a tangible goal. I think that three months from now, I’m just going to be shooting from the shouting, from the rooftop, like, yes, that’s done, but also I love to travel. Right. And although I’m not able to this year, nor do I care to, but all that’s going on, I’m able to save even more so I can actually see if I want to go to.

[00:34:44] I have money to do that, or I want to go to London or something like that. Like I’m already setting aside for all of these side hustles that. And that decide that I don’t have to worry about like, okay,

[00:35:01] I can actually see how much so that’s tangible for me and I’m getting excited for the next. It probably won’t be the next few year, 2021 is safe. Just being able to see it visually way. Okay. I have in that bucket, if you will. How much I have set aside for those things. So they used to be just trapped.

[00:35:22] Like I used to have just the account for just travel. Now it’s like specific destinations I want to go to in the next five years. That’s fine. Yeah. So I’m able to put aside specific destinations. So, um, that’s been fun to watch grow and I mean, yeah. I mean, that’s we have a tandem. Well, I think we already talked about this.

[00:35:44] Just being prepared for upcoming. You know, car masons to axes. Uh, I had to pay for what was it? Oh, so I have a dog. So again, one of those expenses, like dogs have unexpected expenses. And just recently I had to take my baby to a cardiologist cardiologists wasn’t cheap, but because I’ve been setting aside, it wasn’t the entire month amount, unfortunately for him.

[00:36:17] But because I’ve been setting aside for COVID. I had money in that pot. And so that was tangible for me. So it wasn’t like completely freaked out about it. Like, you know, I knew what needed to be done. Cause unfortunately, pet insurance only covers so much depends on what you have. So that was helpful. And again, I just wasn’t stressed about it.

[00:36:37] The minute he told me what the bill was, I was like, okay. You know, like, got it. Um, cause I’d already been set this out for him. So yeah, it’s those kinds of things that I just, as the ends of mine, I’m planning for it now it’s not unexpected.


[00:36:55] I think sometimes we use this term unexpected and it’s like, nah, she wasn’t really expect it’s irregular.

[00:37:02] Let’s just give it a different word.


[00:37:04] Yeah. Yeah. Is he a regular? Is that exactly? Exactly. I mean, it was mind blowing to me where you were like Christmas comes around every year. I don’t know why people spend so much money and act like they can’t pay it all. Like it comes around every year. You’re right. I don’t know why we put all of our Christmas expenses on credit cards because you, yeah.

[00:37:22] You fail


[00:37:23] the plan. And then people are like, well, my November check, it’s just all gone to Christmas,


[00:37:27] right? Like, no, that definitely has changed my mindset. Like everything’s in a, in a different category, different budget or even a birthdays. I think it’s making so mad. You know, I got all these friends with children.

[00:37:40] No, no, no. Shades of your friends with children

[00:37:48] that mommy gotta get. Now there’s actually a category for that thing. It wasn’t like it was expensive gifts with that Lee. I’m like, Hey, I got to draw from this bill. Yeah.

[00:38:04] Yeah. I have something for that. So it was just that ease of


[00:38:06] mind, my nieces and nephews, they have a bank account it’s just called the


[00:38:10] crew, the crew. Yeah. Cause there’s


[00:38:13] so many of them that I’m like, you know, this is, this is their money.


[00:38:17] Yeah. They’re in my pocket.


[00:38:20] Um, but it, it does. It’s just like, it’s the ease of it.

[00:38:25] And like you’re saying not having to say, okay, well, where is that money going to come from? And I know anyone who’s listening, you may be thinking this all sounds great. And I will say in the beginning, it’s a shift, but once you get it, it’s like, oh yeah, I can do this. Uh, for a number of my clients is like you even say, like, I didn’t know, I had this money to be putting into savings.

[00:38:48] It’s like, you could be doing so much more with the money that you’re actually earning. Knew how to be intentional with it.


[00:38:57] Right. Sounds right. Cause I don’t know if you remember me telling you, like, we talked about this cushion that I have this cushion that I was freaking out, like if it went below that cushion, right, right.

[00:39:07] I do. And they were like, yeah, but you have this cushion, but you have all this other, what are you doing with that? And I’m like, I have how much, and I literally had to like figure out like, oh, I guess that could go towards a long way. So thank God for that. But yeah, just being preparation is everything preparation is everything.

[00:39:28] And as LCB as I am, and as prepared as I thought I was like, I just think that, that, that direction, I think we had a shift


[00:39:34] in perspective to that perspective, right. It’s like, oh, I can see that money now and be thinking about it, like flexibly.


[00:39:45] And the right budgeting tool. Cause you know, low Google spreadsheet, I showed you before it wasn’t Hey, you know what?

[00:39:51] We all,


[00:39:52] we all got to start somewhere.


[00:39:53] Right? Right. Like if you get the apps, forget, like

[00:40:03] I used the tool you gave me.


[00:40:06] Well, as we wrap up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that I should have asked?


[00:40:12] You know, I knew you were going to ask me that question and I was trying to come up with a answer beforehand, but even as


[00:40:18] you were just thinking about what the con like, anything else pop into your head that you’re like, Ooh, I didn’t get to say this.

[00:40:24] And I’m


[00:40:25] I think, I honestly think that we covered it all. Like I can’t. Thank you enough. I cannot. Thank you enough. I know you said it was a perspective of mind shift from my end and that I said, guess the process, but I really can’t. Thank you enough because. I did come in as a disbeliever. Okay. How much is this really going to help?

[00:40:45] Um, but it really has. And so, um, I thank you for your guidance and just for giving me the tools so that I can plan and be strategic if you will, in my planning. So thank you for that. I’m not stressed at the end of the month anymore. I am. You know, completely relaxed about it. And I just know that I’m making wiser decisions.

[00:41:07] I know that I’m making my money grow. If you will. These, I love referring to these buckets, but it’s like, I look at a seeds and planting seeds and I’m watering my buckets and they’re growing. And I think before,


[00:41:19] well, you’re welcome. And thank you for trusting. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you all for tuning in and listening to Susan and I talk about money.

[00:41:31] 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. We’ll discuss what you’re hoping to achieve with your money, where you need support and how I can help you.

[00:41:51] Reach your financial goals faster than you ever could alone. Go to 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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