Talking about money or even just thinking about money can be difficult and really just make you want to bolt to the nearest exit to avoid it at all costs, especially when you are just starting out on your own; maybe you own a business or are learning how to manage your finances. For the last few weeks, I've been fortunate enough to work with amazing women from The Financial Gym to help me to all of this - better prepare me for my future; help me set goals, balance and manage my finances, make all of this feel less intimidating, and present it in a way that was comforting and just easy to understand. Trusting someone to talk over your finances with can be difficult but I felt at complete ease when I was discussing my future plans, where I was at now, and the little information I knew about my money currently with one of the financial trainers. It is almost as if you are talking to a friend; a casual conversation that flowed effortlessly between money, finances, goals, to more personal topics or off conversation topics that naturally found their way into our first Skype sessions. A little background first: can be found here on The Financial Gym website.
For most of us, we leave this magical land of college where our lives were pretty carefree and somewhat tied to your parents (possibly) compared to the reality post graduation looking for a job, apartment, moving to a new city, and the burden of budgeting your paycheck, saving for retirement, a family and maybe even trying to throw a vacation in there! Feeling unprepared we just go through the motions, living our lives and not too concerned as to how we are spending our money. We may be oblivious to the $5 latte or $10 smoothie we buy every day because we are only thinking in that moment, not realizing that it truly does add up; month after month and year after year! For me, it is always out of sight out of mind. When I do not look at my finances in front of me, then I don’t always know what I am spending.
After leaving my stable job this past April; one where health benefits were covered, I received a paycheck each week guaranteed, I had vacation days, and paid sick time…life was pretty good. Yet, I decided to pursue my true passion, leave that job to start my own business (of blogging, writing, teaching yoga, and anything else that came my way) and knew it was a risk, but it would be worth it.
Living in the city, with things like high rent cost, blogging and teaching yoga isn’t the most ideal job to have especially when you are first starting out because you are constantly wondering when and where your next paycheck is coming from AND you are working 24-7. Just because Friday comes, does not mean you receive a paycheck, in fact there are some weeks that I do not even get paid! It is a constant struggle to manage your money, balance your spending, while constantly finding new projects for the future as you always need to stay a few steps ahead of the game, while working on current ones, all while staying afloat, manage your stress levels, stay relevant and most importantly, not burn out!
I wanted to change all of that, now that I have established my own business. It is a goal of mine to be more aware of how I spend and save my money so I can better prepare myself for the future that I hope to have. It is always important to think about goals, what you want in the next few months, next few years, and where you see yourself in the long term future. Speaking with the women from The Financial Gym helped me with all of this! On their website, they have a podcast, "Martinis & Your Money," if you want to tune in where their CEO, Shannon, speaks with 3 clients who go over their process and experience of working with them! So, not only can you read about my experience here, but you can hear from others as well and Shannon! There is also another great article on the blog that talks about the top ten ways to save money! Click here.
In a nutshell, you, have the opportunity to work one on one with one of their financial trainers that offer you tools, resources, and their full support to make sure you stay on track once they have gone over your full financial profile. The best part is you can do all of this online! For me, I was paired with Joy, one of their financial trainers and so far we’ve had two Skype meetings, each lasting about 1.5 hours. During our first conversation I will admit that I wasn’t prepared for the call at all. I was slightly embarrassed but Joy was so easy to speak with, she wasn’t intimidating, and constantly reassured me that it was OK that I wasn’t prepared for the meeting. The first meeting with one of their trainers, is the discovery session and the second is the plan delivery where they give you a financial roadmap! During the first meeting the trainer literally discovers everything about you and during the second meeting they lay it all our for you and act as your accountability partner and money mentor to help you and hold you accountable along the way to accomplishing your goals!
To summarize, in our first meeting, Joy talked through different points; such as setting goals, mapping out my journey, how their approach is private, judgement free, answering the question: what is the most important to me, and what my current financial situation is now, etc (a total of 8 points). We went through all 8 step by step and it was a real wake up call, but in a good way! It really allowed me to think about my future goals, how I spend my money, what areas I need to be better with spending my money, and most importantly allowed me to think about what I want to be doing in a few years financially or even in general. It didn’t necessarily cause any added stress, yet this first call was a proactive way to begin to think about the ways in which I can prepare now wisely in how I spend my money so I can have the future that I have always dreamed of having.
The second meeting is a week later and before this meeting, Joy, had sent over a spreadsheet of everything that we had talked about during our first one; my income, assets, liabilities, my goals. It was amazing to see everything put together as I have never taken the time to actually put this type of information down on paper myself. You could tell that she was truly listening during our first conversation and also made notes on the documents, suggestions as to how I can save money, areas in which I can manage my money in order to reach certain goals that I have set for myself. Nothing was out of my reach. Once again, it wasn’t intimating at all, nothing was forced upon me and it was as if I was once again conversing with a friend!
I think my favorite part was, their Financial Gym Training Zone. Here, you link your credit cards, bank accounts etc, and you and your financial trainer (which would be Joy for me) can keep track of your money together, what you are spending, how you are spending it, where etc. This truly does make you more aware of how you are handling your money especially since someone else is watching how you are spending your money too! It almost feels as if you have your parents watching you spend your money on something you shouldn’t be buying!!
After the first two meetings with one of their financial trainers, the next time you officially speak with your trainer again is in a few months. The reason being, is they want to check in on you then to see if you have essentially done your homework. Have you saved money, have you reached any of the goals you have set for yourself that you discussed, have you changed any of your spending habits and so forth. So for me for example, I am trying to set aside money to re do my blog, I also want to become better at spending money at the market, and I want to begin to save money each money and set it aside for the future. During this time, you can still email your own personal trainer at any time and use any of their resources, such as the Financial Gym Training Zone or even attend any of their events in you are in the area!
I am excited to see how far I have come and where my life is at then. Blogging is a different world because it is different every single day, week, and month, for me at least, yet that is what makes it exciting for me. I have set certain goals for myself, yet things are constantly changing and evolving but I am excited to make certain financial changes, be more consistent with my spending and saving, and reach the goals that I have set and discussed with Joy. I can’t wait to continue to share this journey with you all too!
So far, I think that this has been a really great resource and is especially great for anyone that feels lost or intimidating by handling their finances. It is such a great start! If you want to try it out, they have been so generous to offer a 50% discount code by just simply saying “balance with b” off your first month of service if you get started in September! You can also sign up for a free 15 min consult call here to learn more about the service and get all your questions asked and answered before making a decision to use them or not.