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In this podcast episode, I speak with Audrey Denholm about how to master your personal finances.
Meet Audrey Denholm
Audrey is a CPA and created The Bliss Plan to help women master their personal finances by creating life-changing budgets and financial plans so they can live their best life.
Visit her website and connect on Instagram and Facebook.
Download your FREE Master Your Money Mindset Workbook.
In This Podcast
- Couples dealing with finance issues
- Notice your money
Couples dealing with finance issues
- Audrey’s first piece of advice to couples dealing with financial issues is to take away any feelings of blame or guilt because it does not help the situation.
- Come together with your partner to evaluate everything: what is the state of the debt, what assets do you have, what is bringing money in, how can that be increased, and so forth. Be aware of your current situation as best as possible, so that you can make a plan.
If you can make a plan together then it really changes the dynamic because you’re working towards something together. (Audrey Denholm)
What if one person in the relationship is more interested in fixing up finances than the other? Audrey suggests that you sit together and clearly sketch out the picture: what is your debt like? What are your assets? What are you worth between the two of you?
Coming to see what the whole picture looks like, including what you owe and what you are worth, will provide you with some direction as to what your options are.
Notice your money
Put some money aside each month and make sure to note where you are spending it. Keeping tabs on where your money is going will help you to know where you can cut back, or which of your expenses are necessary.
This provides you with one step closer to reaching your financial goals because you can adjust your spending accordingly after you have “tested” and noticed where your money goes.
- Look at your living expenses. How much do you pay for the necessary things such as gas, groceries, and utilities every month?
- Then separately calculate the non-necessary expenses such as how much you spend on entertainment and monthly subscriptions.
When you free up extra money after cutting back on expenses and letting go of some non-essential money spending choices, what can you do with it?
Looking at all your debt, you want to pick off the debt that has the highest interest rate. So if you are carrying credit card debt, that should be where you are paying the money first because you can easily find a few hundred dollars on the interest you are paying on your credit card debt. (Audrey Denholm)
- Consider setting up an emergency fund: with the extra money that you free up in your budget, consider building it together into an emergency fund – and the quantity can vary based on the family’s needs – of around $1000, or two to three months of living expenses.
The last step would be to evaluate and that’s where you look at where your plan was, your goal for the month, and how you did. Did you reach those goals? Because a budget on its own is just a tool so if you don’t evaluate, look at it and reaccess then it’s not going to help you move towards those goals. (Audrey Denholm)
Once you have set your financial goal for the month, you need to look at what happens and how the dust has settled at the end so that you can prepare for the second month.
Keep your plan adaptable so that you can respond to emergency situations as well as tightening the budget where you find some space and money to save.
Evaluate your plan every month for at least a year.
What the tracking does at the beginning is it enables you to be intentional with your money, so then you know instead of just spending, you’re like ‘okay, do I need this? Is this in line with what my goals are?’ and a lot of the times it’s like ‘no, you know what, I don’t need it and I would rather put that money towards another goal. (Audrey Denholm)
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Meet Veronica Cisneros
I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.
So I started Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.
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Thanks for listening!
[AUDREY DENHOM]: “You know, if we pay down this much per month and we put this much in savings per month, this is where we’re going to be at the end of the year.” And that is so motivating because when you can see that number, it’s like, okay, it’s finite. Like, this is what we’re working towards. This is our goal at the end of the year. And then you can make a new goal for the next year.
[VERONICA CISNEROS]: Have you ever thought, “How did I manage to lose myself?” Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are outside of all of the roles you play.
Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you, how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang.
[VERONICA]: Welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host Veronica Cisneros. Today’s guest is a CPA, mama of two, she’s been married for seven years and is the founder of The Bliss Plan. She is on a mission to help women master their personal finances by creating life-changing budgets and financial plans so they can live their best life. Please help me by welcoming Audrey Denhom. Hey, Audrey,
[AUDREY]: Hey, Veronica. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. Okay, so I have to do a little bit, we have to put ourselves out there. So we actually recorded this. We did the whole thing, the whole thing, and it was so good except I completely forgot to hit record. Like, what if I [crosstalk], like totally forgot to hit record and we’re like high fiving each other because it was so good and then I looked at it and I was like, wait a minute. “Oh my God, I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but I totally forgot to hit record. “And I just have to say thank you so much for being understanding and coming back. I know you’re a busy mama. So all of that to say, I appreciate it.
[AUDREY]: Oh, I’m so happy to be here. And it was great to kind of talk it out too. So I think it’s awesome.
[VERONICA]: So tell us your story. How did you become a CPA?
[AUDREY]: So really I was kind of, I’m good with numbers. I liked that part of it. I kind of ruled out other things that I wasn’t good at, like science and so that’s kind of just how it went. It went towards that. And but the more that I work in it, and the more that I talk to people, I find that the biggest thing that people have questions about is their personal finance. And that’s really something that I don’t really think is taught in schools or is really shown by a lot of people. And unless you’re in it, it’s really hard to kind of get that base understanding. So what I hear from a lot of people is that there’s you start your life, you start your family and all these things, but nobody’s ever walked you through how to create a budget or how to create an annual financial plan or what that looks like. And there’s lots of information online, which is almost hard because it’s overwhelming. There’s so many different ways to start a budget. There’s so many different systems and apps and all kinds of things. So it can be really overwhelming. So I just wanted to create something that was streamlined and is just a step-by-step. You just don’t have to worry about all the other things and take it one step at a time.
[VERONICA]: What would you say are the biggest mistakes we make? Because like right away, as you’re talking, I’m thinking “Well, I have money, which means I could spend it.” And that was my thinking for a really, really long time. And I shared with you, it wasn’t until we discovered Dave Ramsey that I realized, “Well, wait a minute. No, that’s not the way it works. If you have money, you have to save it. You have to actually like pay things off and you can’t use that credit card and just be like, whatever.” So what would you share like some of the common mistakes we make as moms?
[AUDREY]: I think some of the common mistakes is just underestimating how much all the little things add up. So it’s, if you don’t sit down and look at all of it together, then there’s no way to know. And like, I, the same. I’m like, “Oh, I only went out for coffee a few times this month.” But then when I sit down and I look at them like, “Whoa, okay, last month, like you had a coffee problem. You need to slow down.” And so it just kind of is, and just understanding, and everybody does that, because on their own, they’re just little costs like it’s and everybody uses the example of a coffee, but with kids too, it’s buying things when you’re out. And I find it really easy to spend money on my kids because you know, you’re a momma and he just want the best for them and they need new shoes and they need new clothes. So kind of, it just adds up. I think that’s probably the biggest mistake. Not really mistake, is just, if you don’t see it all together, it’s hard to have an understanding of exactly how much you spent.
[VERONICA]: Yes. I could see that. I remember I was sharing with you I did the Dave Ramsey plan. I remember when we started doing it at first my husband was like a really, really big spender because he was always gone. He was gone due to deployments. He was in the Marine Corps and so whenever he would come home, it was like, we battled, both of us battles with, I wanted to go ahead and save. He wanted to spend, and then if we didn’t have it, well, we used a credit card. And as I admitted to you we ended up like with 20 grand and it’s so embarrassing to say, however, it’s so true. And I think it’s really, really important for me to be honest, because I think we all fall into that. Like we have it, we have it. And it wasn’t until we looked at all of our bills that we started to kind of freak out.
And I think my husband like crazy freaked out because it was time for us to go school shopping. Homeboy took us to the Goodwill and I like almost killed him because it’s like, “Wait a minute. Are we like this broke that we’re buying our daughter’s school clothes from the Goodwill?” Not that I have anything against Goodwill because I used to shop at the Goodwill and get all my clothes from there because I wanted to, because they had awesome clothes. I was like into the golfer pants and all of those other things, and you can’t find those on like regular stores, but my kids weren’t doing that. So this was kind of forced. And I remember when we walked in, all of the girls were just so excited to be there. And I remember looking at my husband and, like daggers, like literally daggers in my eyes. Like “Why, why are we here?” I felt like the biggest failure. And when my husband and I started to talk about it, a whole bunch of emotions came with it. My husband went towards avoidance I went towards complete fear and frustration. And so what would you say would kind of help us go through this, go through this financial journey together and it not separate us.
[AUDREY]: So I think the biggest thing is just to take away any blame and guilt, because I think that’s really one of the hardest parts about talking about it because everyone’s like, “Well, you spent on this and you spent on this.” So if you can just come to the table, just be like, “Okay it’s nobody’s fault.” Like take away all that because that doesn’t help the situation. And if you just come in and say, “Okay, this is where we’re at.” It’s first identify where we’re at. And that’s kind of taking a snapshot in time, like, “What is our debt? What do we have? What are our assets? What is working well for us?” And then the next is to make a plan. And if you can make a plan together, then you know, it really, really changes the dynamic because you’re working towards something together. And also keep in mind that you need to give people room to adjust and work through things. So trying to keep it can be positive and it can be really exciting to start paying off debt and creating freedom with your finances and having freedom to make go on that Disney trip, not on credit just because you planned it and it’s really exciting. So having a plan is definitely step number one.
[VERONICA]: Okay. So I hear you. And a couple of things that come up for me is, okay, so what if I’m in, but he’s not? What if I’m all about saving and being a part of this plan and he’s not? What does that look like? What do I do?
[AUDREY]: So my advice would be first to kind of get that first picture. So show the picture. Just be like, “Okay, this is where we’re at right now,” because there is a chance that without seeing it all together, you just don’t know. So you can’t change what you don’t know. So you have to really just figure out what that base plan is and a good way to do that is to calculate your net worth, which would be to go through and just look at, you can estimate this. It can be a really quick exercise and just be like, ‘Okay, what are all my assets worth?” And that would just be, “What would they be worth if I sold them right now? What if, my car and my house and anything else like investments, bank, account balances?” And that’s a really quick exercise.
You would also then go through all your debt, what you owe. So that would be like, “Okay, what do I owe on credit? What do I owe on my mortgage? What do I, if I owe any money to family members or a car financing?” All those things. And then you look at what that number is. And I can give you a really good idea of okay, what’s our debt right now, where are we sitting right now? And then it’s the first step to make that plan. And it could be a really good way to bring everything together and say, “Okay, this is where we’re at. I don’t know if you knew, but…” you know, it kind of creeps up on you. You don’t know, you’re just living your life and things change and sometimes that doesn’t always get factored in. And so, yes, I think taking that first step, looking at your net worth, having a big picture —
[VERONICA]: So when you say assets, you mentioned, you know your house, your car. So I’m not looking at my clothes. I’m not looking at my bed or furniture.
[AUDREY]: No, you’re not. You’re like, your big, take it items, the things that hold significant value.
[VERONICA]: How do I do that? Do I like, am I, going on, am I making just an estimate or am I going on Google finding how much my house is worth? Like, what would you —
[AUDREY]: For your house, you can just look at what’s been selling in the market. So I would just do an estimate because really it’s just for you to understand. So like, “Okay, this is about how much it is. This is about how much we have in assets.” And a big part of that too, is your bank, like how much you have in the bank? How much do you have in savings, retirement, pension if you have any of that. So then just adding all that up and say, because maybe depending all the different avenues you have more than you realize. So that’s just a really good idea to bring it altogether because everybody has different bank accounts. They have different like credit cards and you know, so you’re just going through paying things off as it come. And so it’s just a way to look at it all together, which is a really good idea. Oh, really good thing to get a big, just a snapshot in time.
[VERONICA]: Got you. So we look at it, we have it, we’re probably scared as crap about it because I’m wondering like, what would it look like if we’re negative?
[AUDREY]: Yes. So you know what, and a lot of that too has to do with where you are in life. So take that into consideration. Like if you’re starting out your financial journey and you know, you just bought a house, you’re not going to have a lot of equity on it. And you know, if you’re still paying off student loans and things like that, versus somebody who’s farther along in their career had a chance to build up some equity and pay that off. So always have that in the back of your mind when you’re looking at it. And the other thing I would also suggest is just, don’t look at it in a way that is negative. Look at it as this is your first step, because you know and you can change it if you need to. So if it’s negative, then look at those debt amounts, make a debt repayment plan, and now you have a benchmark for in a few months from now, in a year from now, you can look and say, “Listen, look at what we did. We increased our net worth by this much because we intentionally paid down debt or intentionally saved or did a few of those things.”
[VERONICA]: I love that you said that because I remember saying, “We have to do this. We have to do this no matter what. And you know, whether he was on board or not, I knew that we weren’t headed in the right direction if we didn’t do it. And so went ahead and did it, and he did jump on board. It was this amazing thing. He jumped on board so much so he ended up taking it for him [inaudible 00:14:52] he ended up taking over our finances because I was just, I recognized I was too emotional. There were times that my kids wanted to go to cheerleading or our friends would ask if they could go places, if they could go, you know I remember one of my friends asked, “Hey, you know what, I’m taking my daughter to Knott’s Berry Farm.” And I was like, “All right, cool. Yes, my daughter can go.” And she’s like, “Well just buy the ticket.” I’m thinking homegirl was going to buy my daughter’s ticket. I know that was off, but I just got so excited and I’ve been like penny pinching everywhere.
So I was looking for some hope and when she said that it was like, “Oh my God, that Doug. Yes, that’s right. I have to pay for this.” And I asked Willie and he’s like, “She can’t go.” And it was like, “Whoa, you can’t go. But she can go, like, I’ll figure it out.” And he’s like, “No, she really can’t go.” And it was so like, it was this really humbling experience. And I had to tell my friend, “She can’t go.” I was so embarrassed. I was so embarrassed because I was like, “Oh my God, dude, homegirl is going to probably ask me if I need to borrow money.” And that wasn’t the case, but it was still like, our money was already distributed and it was already, you know the Dave Ramsey does it where it’s like, whatever cash you have, you’re allocating it to whatever it is and then that’s it. That’s all you have. And so if it’s not in your budget, you don’t have it. And I couldn’t run to a credit card. I couldn’t run to anything. And so I remember like feeling all of the feelings and wanting to like, just scream and what I realized is, okay, this is part of it. This is part of the change. It has to be this way, even though it’s uncomfortable. So what are the step, what are some of the steps that we have to take towards this financial success?
[AUDREY]: So I think there’s such a range in terms of how you decide to jump on the journey. So there are definitely some programs that are very, they’re like, “You’re going to do this. You’re going to do it a hundred percent.” And you know, Dave Ramsey’s a little bit like that, which is fantastic, right, because you get results really, really quick, but it doesn’t always have to be, as you know, like you can spread that out. You can budget for things. You can take a little bit longer. And depending on what your goals are that can change how significant the impact is on your life. And like you’ve experienced, it’s not forever, right? Like you’re taking a step right now to create that freedom down the road. And how involved you do at the moment is completely up to you.
So if you’re really just starting out and you’re just like, “Okay, this is very overwhelming. I don’t even know where to start.” My recommendation would be find out where your are right now, and then you would go through and you would try to be, to find out what your living expenses are. So where is your money going every month? And that can be a simple exercise of either looking at last month and say, “Okay, what went to my living costs? What went to other costs?” which could be subscriptions or clothes, or maybe non-essential items. And then in those other costs, that’s where you find the room. That’s where you find you’re like, “Okay, you know what? Like I do want to find an extra $500 to put away to debt. What am I going to do?” And it can be as simple as picking three goals for the next month, three financial goals.
Like, “I’m only going to eat out five times or three times, or I am going to put this $200 towards this credit card,” or so, like, it can be as simple as three goals and then evaluate at the end of the month, see where your money went during the month, see how you did towards those goals and then make three new goals for the next month. And that can be such an easy way to start changing habits, finding out where your money is going and being more intentional with where your money is going. And so if you’re really just starting out, that’s a really good place to kind of start. So you need to find out where you are now and just know where your money is going.
[VERONICA]: So can we reference, so I’m thinking of what you just said, and you know, where I was at, when we had first started. What we did was we referenced our bank statement and literally took the, we looked at two bank statements and we were able to make a spreadsheet. And how much did we spend on gas? How much is gas for the month? And then the other thing is how much are we spending on groceries? Like, what’s the average. The other thing is, how much are we eating out? Oh my God, I cannot tell you how much we were eating. It was crazy like crazy. Like that’s where those extra $200, $500 could come from if you kept your butt at home. But yes, I remember looking at all of that and we created a really easy spreadsheet on Excel. How much are we eating out? How much is our day-to-day living? Like how much are all of our bills? And so is that what you’re talking about? Like when you look at living expenses and then what was the other thing you said, I want to make sure that this is like broken down so these women can apply this right now because homegirls, no excuses.
[AUDREY]: So you want to look at your living expenses. So your true, like how much is your gas? How much is it to run your house and each beat, like for your groceries and things like that. And then you have more of an, either like a discretionary and that would be things that are not essential.
[VERONICA]: Like an entertainment.
[AUDREY]: Entertainment, yes. So like, if you have multiple subscriptions to different streaming services plus cable, maybe that’s something that you look at and you’re like, “Okay, do I need all these subscriptions and cable? Where can I…” So it gives you an idea of where you can really go through and figure it out.
[VERONICA]: Yes. And so once we have that established and we’re looking for those extra $200, $300, what do we do with that extra money? Do we put it away in a savings or like Dave Ramsey asks you, the first step is saved a thousand? I remember we were having garage cells, we’re looking in our couch for money and change. We came up with that thousand, but I remember like, “Okay, what do we need to do to create this?” And that ended up being our main goal. What would you say, so, shall we find this $300? What do we do with it? Where do we put it?
[AUDREY]: So that is definitely where you would look at your personal situation. So there’s definitely not a one size fits all. And so looking at your, so if you had done the looking at all your debt, you’d want to pick off the debt that has the highest interest rate. So if you’re carrying credit card debt, that should be really where you’re putting your payment because you can easily find a few hundred dollars on the interest that you’re paying on the credit card debt. So I would recommend to do that first and kind of just chip away at that. Also you want to look at having an emergency fund. So Dave Ramsey has that thousand dollars, definitely a good place to start. For an emergency fund, you really want to try to get two to three months of living expenses. So when you look at what your true living expenses are that’s what you’d want to make sure that you can carry on for a few months.
[VERONICA]: Okay. So which one do we do first, living of the savings or paying off the credit card. It’s only $300 and so on and I need to know where it’s going.
[AUDREY]: I think I would do the emergency fund, but again, that depends on how secure you are. Like if you feel a lot of uncertainty, then build that emergency fund. This year has taught us anything. Yes. I know emergency fund is needed because you never know when it’s going to have a pandemic, like not foreseen, if things happen like that. So I would put it towards your emergency fund and then once you have that established, really start to pay down that credit card debt first. And yes.
[VERONICA]: So that number is dependent, the savings account is dependent on two to three months of living expenses.
[AUDREY]: Yes. That’s what I would, because that’s really what the savings emergency fund is for. Like, if someone loses their job or gets laid off because of the pandemic, you know never know, you never know. A3nd so that can help bridge the gap for a few months.
[VERONICA]: Yes. The other thing is what I noticed with us, the minute we started saving and putting that money towards the emergency fund, something happened with our car or something happened with the kids. And it was, it started to fill a bit frustrating because it was like, “Oh my gosh, we’re trying to put this money here or whatever, but it just stopped moving.” But I was, at the same time, I was so thankful we had that because we were able to use it. We didn’t rely on a credit card. We even cut up our credit cards. Like it’s not happening. This is no longer an option. Like they’re all gone. They’re all gone.
[AUDREY]: Yes. So I’m sure that was able to get you through it so much faster.
[VERONICA]: It’s motivation.
[AUDREY]: It’s motivation. Yes, and it doesn’t have to be as extreme. Like if you’re listening to this and you’re just like, “Oh my God, I just can’t be in that space right now. Like partner’s not going to jump on board,” then you can take it slower. You can save, say $300 a month. You can put 200 to a savings and you can put $100 against your credit card. And what starts to happen is, and like things do come up. So for that emergency fund, if things come up and you’re just like, “Oh man, like I need to pay for the car and I need to pay…,” like, that’s what it’s for. So once you start, once you really, and you’ll notice this, I’m sure you noticed this when you, once you start really being intentional and know where your money’s going, you’re going to find other places.
So you’ll be able to not just put away to your emergency fund and keep that kind of going, but also pay down debt and savings. But all that should, like, you can do an annual plan for all of this, which I teach in my course, it kind of works through a debt, repayment plan and a savings plan. And it shows it all on an annual calendar so that you can be like, “Okay if we pay down this much per month and we put this much in savings per month, this is where we’re going to be at the end of the year.” And that is so motivating because when you can see that number, it’s like, okay, it’s finite, right? They’re like, this is what we’re working towards. This is our goal at the end of the year. And then you can make a new goal for the next year. I think if you can set it up that way, then you’ll be able to tick all those boxes.
[VERONICA]: Got you.
[AUDREY]: You’ll have an understanding of, “Okay, where is it going? Is it going to savings? Is it going to debt? Is it going to emergency fund? Is it going to our Disney World, family trip fund?” You know, like you can really create it to how you want and you can portion off. So it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. Like, “I have to build a hundred percent of this and then only then can I start doing the other things.” You can create a plan that kind of chips away at all those things.
[AUDREY]: Absolutely. So it’s more tailored to your comfort level.
[AUDREY]: Yes. It’s tailored towards goals. You know, a personal plan is so personal. It’s, every family, everyone has different goals for their family and different things that are priorities. You know, if traveling is a really big priority, then you can include that in your plan. If retiring early is a really big priority, then you can include that in your plan and see if paying down debt as fast as possible it is part of your plan, then you can tailor it towards that as well. So like, it is very personal.
[VERONICA]: All right. What are the last three steps towards financial success?
[AUDREY]: So you’ve got, what’s your snapshot in time right now and then your second step would be understanding where your money is going. So tracking and then your, and making that budget and that plan. And then the last step, which is the most important step is evaluate.
[VERONICA]: So it’s three steps, not five steps?
[AUDREY]: Yes, sorry, it’s three steps. So then the last one would be to evaluate, and that’s where you look at where your plan was. So your goal for the month, and then how you did and did you reach those goals? Because a budget on its own is just a tool. So if you don’t evaluate and look at it and reassess, then it’s not going to help you move towards those goals. So if you really need to look at what happened during that month and compare it to what you had planned and then make your plan for the next month and be like, “Okay we are on track with these things. We weren’t on track for these things. How do we change that for next month? What steps do we need to take?” And then go forward.
[VERONICA]: Got you. So how do we know if we’re doing well? Like, what is the indicator? How do we know if we’re failing?
[AUDREY]: Well with numbers is pretty easy. So if you make a budget of where you want to be, how much you want to pay down in debt, how much you want to save, you’ll have a pretty good idea of if you’re meeting those goals or not. And I know a lot of people just are more visual learners. So I’ve created a template that has kind of a dashboard and it has more visual graphs and visual charts that can really show where you are progressing.
[VERONICA]: Girl I want that template.
[AUDREY]: Yes, I will provide that for sure.
[VERONICA]: Awesome. Okay. And so how often do we evaluate? Every three months, once a year? Because I know me. If I’m doing it once a year, well, then I’m going to get off track. It’s kind of like me sticking to a healthy plan. Like if I don’t have a Johnny bowling partner going meeting [inaudible 00:30:26] everything else. How do I, how do I keep myself accountable? How do I keep myself disciplined?
[AUDREY]: Okay. So I would recommend at the beginning to do it every month.
[AUDREY]: Because yes, that is really where, and you’ve got, a lot of expenses are monthly, right. And so I would do it every month and I would do that for at least a year. So you have your plan. Once you, and you’ll notice as like, once you’ve done it and you, I’m sure you understand that too, like once you start to change those habits and you’re much more aware of where your money is going naturally, and you’re much more, so if you’re thinking, “Oh my God, I can’t do this every month for the rest of my life. This is crazy.” It doesn’t have to be forever because you start to understand once you have that plan and you know where your money’s going, and you understand what your monthly costs are, you’ll know when you’re spending a little bit more in areas that you normally don’t.
And when that happens you can really check in every few months. So like, for us, like I check in probably every three months. I kind of say, “Okay where are we compared to…” but I have a whole, I’ve sit down with my husband and we have a whole annual budget of where we want to be. And if we check in in three months and we’re like, “Whoa. What went wrong?” Then we have a really good, we’re able to, like that way, then I’ll start to be like, “Okay, we’re going to track this again next month, because we need to get back on track.” So it doesn’t have to be a monthly thing forever, but to set up those habits to understand where your money’s going and to really be intentional, I recommend every month.
[VERONICA]: Okay. That makes sense. As you were saying that I was thinking of like, again, I was reflecting back to where we were and we were taking the course together very, very much intentional. And we started to become, like, I don’t know, it was, we started to become smarter with our money. Like, we don’t need that. We don’t need that. Do you want it or do you need it? And it was more, most of the time it was something we wanted. And it’s like, okay. Then we got to a place where we’re like, “Okay, we don’t need it. We don’t need it, we’re not getting it. I don’t care if you cry. We’re leaving.” And so we started doing that, the same thing with food and the same thing with like some of the things that we thought we had to buy, like, “No, we really have to buy this.”.
We ended up even cutting cable. We ended up cutting and figuring out like, what was a good internet plan for us? What was a good phone plan? Like things we had never done and realized, “Wait a minute, all of this time, we’ve been spending extra money on these items when we could have been pocketing that money.” And I’ll tell you what, once we did finish this process and we ended up paying off all of our debt, our, both of our school debt, credit cards, our car, like everything with the exception of our house, we paid everything off. It was just, I don’t know, it was just this huge weight off our shoulders. And it was like, “Dude, we’re totally debt free.” And even with my business, my business debt-free. I don’t know owe anything to anybody, my business, just like, “Oh my goodness.”
Like we did all of this. Even I had to talk to a financial planner with regards to investments and whatnot. And he was just like, “Wait a minute. Your business has no debt? And it’s like, “No.” And he’s like, “Well, what about this?” And it’s like, “No, zero, zero, zero. We have nothing.” And it just feels so good. And the way we think and the way we approach things when we go out, it’s totally different than before. And it’s crazy because I never thought, nobody’s taught us this. And I never thought that it would, that this could happen, that this was actually possible. I thought, “Well, yes, it’s normal. You have a credit card debt. Just use that.” I never thought, “No, don’t use that. Use cash.”
[AUDREY]: Yes. It’s very, you know what, it’s very freeing. And it just, what the tracking does at the beginning is it creates it, you’re able to be intentional with your money. So then instead of just spending, you’re like, “Okay, yes. Do I need, this? Is this in line with what my goals are?” And a lot of the times it’s like, “No, you know what? Like that would be nice, but I don’t need it. And I would rather put my money towards another goal.” So yes, I think that is fantastic that you have a business that’s set free and super inspiring. And all those things can really change and affect your whole life. So really like, it’s just such a great life skill. And there’s not enough emphasis on it.
[VERONICA]: I think another thing is it changes your relationship. It changes your relationship significantly. That’s one of the common stressors in a marriage; is finances. And yes, ladies, if you’re listening to this, Audrey’s on point. Do it anyway. Even if your husband’s not on board, do it anyway. Present him with that net worth calculation so you can see that like, “Wait a minute. No, we’re not, we’re not yet in the right direction.” In addition to that, it might scare him. That’s okay. That scared me. And that’s all right, because now you have a plan.
So I’m going to ask you Audrey, my last two questions, what are you doing right now to live the life you want to live?
[AUDREY]: So right now I’m pivoting a little bit to, so that I have more time with my kids, I’m creating a course that really helps women set these plans. Pretty much everything we talked about and, a step-by-step. So taking away the overwhelm, because I love helping people and I really like the financial success and how it changes people’s lives is so amazing. So that’s what I’m working on right now.
[VERONICA]: Totally stepping outside of your comfort zone, right?
[AUDREY]: Yes. Yes.
[VERONICA]: Awesome. Awesome. My last question, in one sentence, what advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected
[AUDREY]: Make a plan because a plan will help you tackle that stress. So that would be my recommendation.
[VERONICA]: Awesome. I agree. I agree. So where can we find you, Audrey?
[AUDREY]: You can find me at theblissplan.com and I’ve got templates and net worth calculators that you can also find through a link there.
[VERONICA]: Okay. And what free giveaway are you giving us?
[AUDREY]: So I’ve created, it’s called Master Your Money Mindset, and it helps kind of work through some of the emotional things that might come up when you start talking about money. And it also has a tracker. We can track your spending on a weekly basis and a monthly basis, and kind of start the process where you set those goals. So it’s very simple. It’s a very easy first step and allowing you to tackle those money blocks that might be there and find out where your money is going.
[VERONICA]: Is it something where we just can key in some numbers and it’ll help us make those calculations?
[VERONICA]: Oh, girl. Yes, that’s amazing. I wish I would’ve had that when I started, because I’m going to tell you right now, it’s hard to do it on your own. Thank you so much, Audrey. You’ve been absolutely amazing.
[AUDREY]: Oh, thank you for having me. It’s been so wonderful talking to you.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. So ladies, I want to know where you’re at. I want to know what this looks like. You know, what is your net worth? You don’t have to put it anywhere, but just let me know it was done. So make sure to tag me either on Instagram or on Facebook, because I want to go in and support you throughout the process. And we’re going to have Audrey, we will schedule something where Audrey comes on live in our private Facebook group, Empowered and Unapologetic. If you’re not a member girl, get your butt over there. We will have Audrey on there answering any of your questions that you have. So make sure you get going and you do the things because it is so, so important. Audrey, again, thank you so much. It was a pleasure.
[AUDREY]: Oh thanks so much, Veronica. So great.
[VERONICA]: What’s up ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you guys.
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