I couldn't be happier to have my amazing friends Vanessa and Shana joining me on today's episode. These ladies are not only incredible moms, but they're also Dave Ramsey solutions masters, financial coaches, and unofficial marriage coaches. Together, we're here to empower you to reach your financial goals while rocking the mom life!
We all know that managing finances can sometimes feel like a never-ending rollercoaster, right? The financial stress can put a strain on our happy homes, and that's where Vanessa and Shana come in. They're going to spill the beans on how Dave Ramsey's solutions can help you break free from debt, save money, and make wiser financial choices.
But here's the best part: Vanessa and Shana get it. They understand that being a mom means you can't always say no to that adorable birthday party invitation or skip out on those unforgettable experiences. They'll be sharing their own experiences of creating fun-filled memories while still staying within their means. Trust me, their tips on involving the kids in chores and teaching them financial responsibility are pure gold!
If you're craving a systematic approach to saving money, ditching debt, and finding that perfect balance between financial freedom and flexibility, this episode is an absolute must-listen. Let's dive into this episode and make sure we're all having an unforgettable, financially sound summer together!
What you'll hear in this episode:
[9:05] Give yourself permission to be a beginner.
[12:55] The differences between Ideal Balance and Dave Ramsey.
[16:40] How to use your bank account as a personal assistant.
[21:15] What about credit card points?
[29:20] Kid envelope, kid sinking fund, and saving for Christmas.
[37:25] How to teach kids about money.
[43:15] Men see money as a scorecard.
[47:05] Small steps to take if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
CONNECT WITH VANESSA AND SHANA
Follow Ideal Balance on Instagram: @myidealbalance
Learn more at: https://myidealbalance.com/publicity/
Find the Momma Has Goals audience page: myidealbalance.com/mhg/
CONNECT WITH KELSEY
Follow Kelsey: @thisiskelseysmith
Follow Momma Has Goals: @mommahasgoals
Learn more at https://thisiskelseysmith.com/
Use the code Kelsey for $50 off your ticket to EmpowerHER Live: https://www.kaciaghetmiri.com/empowerher-live
Join our text list. Text "Goals" to (707) 347-0319
Speaker 1 0:00
I think the most stressful thing for Mom is she tries to have a good budget. And all of these things pop up with the kids and it comes out of her pocket. And then she has no money to go to Starbucks for that mental health moment, right? Or there's no money for her to get a new outfit because they just keep sucking up all the money. And so what you want to do is have a kid envelope specifically, and then your own spending money specifically to you because you deserve to just know, okay, I want to treat myself if I want to do this, I can and my kids, we're not going to take all of the monies.
Kelsey Smith 0:29
Let's reimagine mom life together. Well, the high schools is your hub for relatable support and helpful resources that help you fuel yourself alongside motherhood. Your identity is bigger than mom. And whatever your goals are, together, we're making them a reality. Mama has goals is solely built on the idea of bringing you the people support and resources you need to accomplish your goals and allow you to find out what that is for you. Because one resource is not the same for everyone. Everyone has different goals, a different life and a different way they want to approach things. So what I do is bring experts to you to find who the best one is to support your dreams, goals, desires, ambitions, and way of doing life. And today, we have two amazing resources Shana, and Vanessa, who are best friends, business partners, and Dave Ramsey solutions, masters, financial coaches, they're also unofficial marriage coaches, as they say, because they support your family, finding the right way to operate through your finances, we know that financial stress is one of the biggest strains on a happy, healthy home. And this is one approach to make sure that you can get out of debt, have money to do things that light you up and spend time as a family making memories rather than just counting dimes. And well, they are using the Dave Ramsey solutions. If you're not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he's pretty strict on his getting out of debt formula and how to save money and how to really live life in a way that you think about your finances. So this might not be the right approach for you. And if it's not, we have lots of other resources. But Dave Ramsey has helped a lot of people get out of debt. So you'll have to use your knowledge of yourself to figure out if this approach is right for you. Now, Shannon, Vanessa do give their own little spin on it, because they're moms and they understand that you can't always just say no to that birthday party, and you want to go do those really fun things. They're even going out with their kids to Europe for two weeks. And they talk about how they set this up for their kids to do their chores and get money to be able to buy their own things, how they make fun in their household and what they do to talk about finances and make sure that they're living within their means and still having a good time. So if you're looking for a more systematic approach to saving money and getting out of debt, and giving yourself some boundaries, while a little bit of flexibility, this is a great episode for you. It is always good to get perspective and take pieces if not all to make your goals happen. So Mom, let's dive in and make sure that we all are having a fun and financially sound summer. Shana Vanessa, I'm super excited to have you guys here today. We were just chatting behind the scenes. And I was like, should we click record? And so bringing you guys up to speed what we were just chatting about, as I said, breathing stay at home moms when this started, or how did you get started? And we're gonna jump into all the nitty gritty talking about money and savings and so many good tips, tricks and things you should know. But out a mom world scale, how'd you guys get here?
Speaker 3 3:56
So we've been best friends since our boys were four. So it's been 10 years now. And we were still at home moms at the time working through maybe try like trying to figure out what that next step was for us. I think she was trying to go into journalism. I was trying to go into a different role. But we really spent a lot of time at church together at the YMCA and our boys grew up playing together and trying to navigate the whole working mom, or what does that look like after you have kids? And what is your new identity? It was a journey together for sure.
Speaker 1 4:26
Yeah, so we kind of ebbed and flowed is the right thing. We've been friends since the boys were four they were in VPK together, which is before kindergarten, and now they're almost 15 So they're going to be freshmen so I moved away and came back and what had happened was I used to be a personal trainer, and people would come to me with all of their other problems. So I went ahead and got certified with Dave Ramsey, and meanwhile in Florida was going on with you Vanessa,
Speaker 3 4:50
though I was at a job where I was not happy. It's called soul crushing. Yeah, it was soul crushing it you know it's it was soul crushing behind the scenes. It was one of those jobs where like Fried, everything was fine. And it was made to look good. And then behind the scenes, everything you had to go through and I just I knew I didn't want to be part of that. And so I remember it's praying to God going, What am I supposed to be doing that? What is this look like for me? And that same day I told him I need neon shining lights. I don't do well with suggestions or like, little hands. I don't do that. And Shana that exactly said and I've always been really good with finances. And I have a big story there. And Shana said, You need to get your certification and do this with me. And I said, done.
Speaker 1 5:27
I'm moving back to Florida. Yes. And we're gonna do it. We need to do this together. And she's like, wow, that sounds like a neon flashing guy. And
Speaker 3 5:35said, and go. So that was in:
Unknown Speaker 5:51
really good time really great day to start a business.
Kelsey Smith 5:54
I think that it just goes to show though, whether it's finances, motherhood, anything like you can't wait for the next day, because it's just April 1, and you're not sure like how that's gonna play out, or you have to follow those signs and just go for it. So that is such a great story. So, you know, what were your backgrounds to make you feel qualified in even if it's not the actual certification? Like, it's great that you got that, but more the interest of being like, yeah, you know, I want to pursue this. I want to teach people to that, because I think qualifications aren't just a piece of paper. So what happened to bring you to be like, Yes, this is super important for us to teach and be a part of sharing and supporting families.
Speaker 1 6:38
I really want to hit on that. Because I think that's such a great point, I have so many certifications, and they're all junk. And I could throw them all in the trash. And I shouldn't say they don't help with anything. But it's very minimal compared to actually getting your feet wet. Doing the thing learning as you go and just trust in that process.
Speaker 3 6:53
Because people want to know, can you help me? They don't really care how many certifications you have all that. And that's the
Speaker 1 6:57
other thing. Let me tell you how many times people have asked, I remember. So for example, when I got my personal training certification, I got the best one, because that's what you do. And nobody cares. Literally, nobody cared. It was the hardest one, I was stressed out. Whatever, I got that certification, how many people do you think ever asked me, I do think making me feel qualified, how it made them feel, and whether I got the results. Those are the things that qualify, me I felt as a coach is those are things I can do. I can break it out down into action steps, and I can encourage you, and so that just being able to see myself doing that in different things is what made me feel good about finances. And also it just seems simple enough to do. And so that I guess that would be why I felt qualified. And then I've been through fpu like three times
Kelsey Smith 7:38
and is fpu. Dave's program.
Speaker 3 7:40e up again in conversation in:
Speaker 1 8:45
want to throw it out there for anybody thinking about, you know, you have goals, you're maybe feeling a little trepidatious. Her first client still didn't know and for four years that she was the first client but she helped this person who was a millionaire pay off for rental properties. But she had no idea that she was her first client, so much of it's in your head and just get started. I think that's for sure what we would say,
Kelsey Smith 9:06
I think that is really important with anything, right? You have to take that first step. And in the business world we always talk about everyone started with one follower. Everyone started with one person on their email list. Everyone starts with one client and everyone starts with the first night being a mom, like everyone figures it out and you don't know all of a sudden how to raise a 15 year old right like your boys are freshmen. My boys are My oldest is four. So I was in that same boat and I don't know how to raise a 15 year old boy but I'm sure I'll figure it out by the time I get there or I won't. I'll figure it out in the moment. But I think that's important for everyone to hear and I appreciate you sharing that is there are steps that you take like sometimes education and certification and also doing it first like leading by example. But then you figure it out as you go and you have to be proud of yourself for as you go along the way.
Speaker 1 9:57
I just love the quote give yourself permission to be a beginner yeah And that's totally fine. Just be a beginner and you can learn as you go.:
Yeah. And I think I was recently listened to a podcast and you talked about the difference between your passions and what you're good at. And a lot of times you want to follow our passion, follow our passion, which I don't think is wrong. But also take a minute to look at what are you good at, because I just had this conversation with, with my daughter, if somebody were just telling me when I was in college, you're going to be a financial coach, and this is going to be your business, I would have laughed because my family, I come from a line of entrepreneurs. So I felt like that was always in my blood. But I actually thought it was going to be what they were doing and how they were, how they had their businesses. And looking back, no, I don't want any part of that, thank God, and they finally sold those. But I would have never thought to become a financial coach. But that's just what I was really good at. It's what I understood. And allowing me to follow what I'm good at allows me also to have fun with my passions. On the other side.Kelsey Smith:
And you know, sometimes it's hard for people who don't know that world exists, right? Like you said, what would a financial coach even look like? And even when I started this business, I didn't understand that's the whole premise of nomad schools is showing the possibilities and how you can get not just ideas to start your own business and support others, but get the help from those people. Because a lot of people don't know that there's financial coaches out there, like you guys to support that. And they're like, oh, gosh, I need to go either to my financial planner, at my bank, or, I don't even know if I can trust those people where sometimes it's more helpful when you can see yourself, I know, I would feel so much better sitting down with you guys. And being like, Okay, here's the deal. Like, we have this goal with our family, you went to Europe for three months with your kids, like, I want to know how to do that being able to have those conversations and prioritize the things that are still important. And so that's what I'm excited to dig into. Because I think budgeting sometimes as a parent is difficult, because you're like, I'm just trying to keep all the wheels spinning, like I'm trying to make sure that I can take my kids to sports, if they want to do that. And I can still donate to the school, and I can show up and put food on the table and that maybe they get a couple new outfits for the first day of school, and all of the things that are important to the kids, but you're also trying to balance. And so before we dig deeper, you guys mentioned that other people have controversial thoughts about Dave Ramsey, and you have your own journey of getting there. So I want to start there and just talk about how this is a solution for some people, and how you've made it your own.:
Yeah, absolutely. We love Dave, we both use his system, and in different ways, right to kind of help us through this. I did the baby step but honestly, completely backwards in some ways. And but that's just what worked for me. So yes, he has a system. It's worked for 30 years, we understand millions of people, for millions of people. And I was listened to a podcast the other day, and she was talking about how she doesn't believe Dave Ramsey as a coach. He's a financial educator, because it is a lot when you listen to his show, when you hear the advice that he gives, it is based on his thoughts, his results, his opinions, and that's fine. That is what you're asking when you go to himUnknown Speaker:
to a teacher and a teacher. That's what you're getting.:
So you know, when you go to a coach, when you find a coach, we are asking our client, what is important to you? What do you want to accomplish? is getting out of debt important to you? Or is it just trying to talk to your spouse about finances? Is it trying to change your family legacy with your children? So we just really find out what our clients want and make sure that we gear, our conversations, our coaching our budget around them.:
Yeah. And so Dave has this scorched earth thing where it's rice or beans or Yeah, and that's just not first of all, it's not exciting. Nobody wants to do that. I shouldn't say nobody, there are some people that want to do that. But as a mom, it's not as easy as it sounds, and it can feel so overwhelming that you don't even want to start. So that is where we're like, No, we're just going to start with what you just talked about Kelsey, how can I afford all of these things that the kids want? Let's get that system in place. And then once we feel like we have some confidence there, then let's look at what are your other? Do you want to get out of debt so that you can do more vacations or whatever. And like Vanessa said, we're looking at their goal. But we know for sure our lady, our lady, she does not want to give up or pumpkin spice lattes or hair, or hair or when and we're fine with that we can budget that in and you can still make progress that and that. And that's where the difference with him with what we believe is you can still have a life. So there's two main things that we really differ. First of all, we know for example, we only have, oh, gosh, let's talk about it. But we only have four more summers with our son for more spring breaks. As a mom, are you gonna say no, no more vacations because we're trying to hit this goal or is the memories that I get to make with my kids more important than that? Probably first of all, and then another place where we really disagree is we believe that your health is an investment. And if you don't have your health, you don't have a wall so we're not gonna we're not gonna say rice and beans. We're gonna say if you believe in eating healthy for you and your family, we're gonna prioritize that we believe you can do it on budget, but we're not going to ask you to do that. We're gonna say if you're not eating healthy and your kids are not eating healthy right now you're going to pay for it in medicine, prescription illness doctor visits anyway, or the dentist if they're cavities, right. So we want to prioritize that as an investment in the budget as well. So those are some of the differences that we have. But like we said, we love Him, we think he's done so much good in the world. He's just like Vanessa says kind of a starter system, it's something to do andUnknown Speaker:
something to spark, like, spark that fire. And once you get,:
and that's always how it is, once you get some discipline and you get some habits in place, then you start to tweak it for what makes more sense for you and your family.:
Yeah, for instance, I just had a client, I showed them how they were able to put $300 toward their daughter's birthday party, and get the oil changes both of them on time and replace the windshield, and I think go on, like a date night weekend, and also pay off 12 of their death. So it's like you can do both, in that both also had pocket money. So it was just It was eye opening for them to realize, oh, I don't have to live in such a scarcity mindset, you can have both and feel good about it. Right? And no, I can spend this money on view. But also all of this is happening on the other side.Kelsey Smith:
I love so many of the things you brought up because yeah, we don't want to shame people into not going to Starbucks, if that's like gonna bring you joy that day or like, truly, sometimes that's what you feel like you need that day for your mental health, right? Like, if that's bringing you joy, as a mom to sit in your car and drink Starbucks, I am here for it. So go ahead and do that. And also understand that if you do that three times a day for the next three years is going to have an impact on your finances and your health. And so how are we going to make a balance between that and so you guys use a term to set your bank up as a personal assistant, I want you to talk a little bit about that. Because not only do we probably all as moms be like, Yep, I want a personal assistant, but also if it's gonna help me make money. So what does that look like?:
Yes. The truth is, we live in a digital world, we are digital people. So we want to lean into that. And what we know is a lot of people are doing what we call bank account balancing. So when they're at the checkout, they're looking at their bank app to see if they have enough money for whatever they're about to buy way. So we're leaning into that bank account balancing practice with our system.:
Yeah, might as well just work with the habits that you're already doing is if you're checking your bank account to hope that there's money or do the calculations, like what bills are coming out what's in processing, what's still has to come out, Oh, does that mean I have money for groceries, if you're doing all of that already, let's just work with that. And so one of the things we talk about is to separate you need to separate your bills from your spending, right, we talked about spending that like everything that you swipe for you pay cash for, which is usually your pumpkin spice lattes, your groceries, and you're sitting like that, you need to have two separate checking accounts.:
For those. Yeah, the overview of using your bank as just really quick as a personal assistant is you're going to have an account that specifically for your bills online, and is funded, and those bills are gonna get paid automatically, and they're gonna be completely separate from any spending. So you never have to worry if a bill is gonna balance or if a bill has been paid, right. So it's all over there working for you, you fund it automatically, it gets paid automatically, you can watch it or not whichever one brings you joy, and it's over there. And then the other part of the system is the spending accounts. So then from there, we're going to a lot certain amounts, and we have clients who have different ways. So sometimes they have one spending accounts, whether gas spending and groceries, or sometimes they have an they're really special, they will have a gas account, a spending account, a grocery account, and then they know they have debit cards go off all of them. That works too. They're all labeled, yeah. And they're all able to worry about that. And then the other part of this that's really important is the savings buckets, which we can get into more details. But like you said, if I want to go to Europe, I need to start saving for it now, because it's not $5. So we're going to have you set up a bank account that is going to say, Europe, or what, you know, Greece or Italy or Portugal or wherever you're going, because that's exciting to relabel the account, and then it's going to be automatically funded with transfers every paycheck, whatever you can afford, that money starts stacking up automatically. And your bank did it for you didn't do anything. And it's really amazing.:
So the wonderful thing about this is that Dave talks about the envelope system. So this is basically a digital version of that because like Shannon said, we are in a digital world, let's just lean into what that looks like. Obviously, you need to have a bank that works for you. There's a lot of banks that charge so many fees and transaction limits and requirements, all that so just just find one that doesn't have any. And so you can have these extra savings, buckets, accounts for travel and for Christmas, because hey, guess what, that's December 25, every year, and people forget that until Black Friday. The idea is that you have these Christmas accounts and maybe a vacation account, maybe a vehicle maintenance account, because you need to get tires, you're rotated and alignments and things like that. Maybe you have some home repairs that you're trying to save up for. Right. So if you have these different accounts, and here's another big one, there's two big ones pets and kits. For y'all forget that your pets have their annual visits and shots and heartworm medicine. And then your kids have birthday parties if to make friends. And they have only birthday parties that you have to budget for and maybe school events and classroom projects or whatever that you have to get. We'd like to have some of these main accounts as savings buckets where you're starting to put a little bit of money into them each paycheck. So for instance, my husband gets paid every Wednesday. So Wednesday night the money comes in Thursday morning, all the transfers happen. So pay myself with my guests and vacation money. Then the vehicle maintenance money goes in all of that the money goes into the bills account, I don't have to do anything though. I know his paycheck exactly the same. So if the paycheck isn't the same, yes, you may have a little bit more work where you have to manually go in there and do that. But if your paycheck is exactly the same, every time, you can set up these transfers to go out when the paycheck comes in and done, like everything is funded. Yeah. And so when you start off with these savings bucket, this may be the first time you're doing. So don't start off with a need to put $100 in there every single month, or 150 or two, we get that the idea is to start small, start up with five or $10 or $20. A paycheck to put into these accounts to start watching it grow. And then eventually, once you get everything systemized, you can go more.:
And this is what's really cool, Kelsey is because most people are living paycheck to paycheck. And again, if they have enough to cover in between, it still feels like a cut, it needs to be paid a you know, and then this paycheck pays for this and this paycheck, and then that's just stressful. Like, I'm just thinking about you trying to do that, while you're trying to get the toddler to not play with the ketchup all over the table. Like that's not fair, you don't have room for that. Okay, so that's what this system does, every paycheck gets deposited into bills. And then some of it goes to all the different other things that you said, were your goals, and you just have money everywhere. And you don't have to think about it, you have to work worried about you have to do it.Kelsey Smith:
Yeah. And we talked about the mental load a lot of motherhood. And that's really what you're saying is saying like, we know you're carrying all this mental load. So let's set this up one, so you don't have to think about it all the time. And it's bringing me back because I was very not had zero money. When I was in college, I was typically looking at like $2 in my bank account when I was in college trying to make it work working three jobs. And the very first thing I did was set up a monthly transfer, I couldn't even do it each paycheck. But I set up a monthly transfer that went from my checking to my savings for 20 bucks. And that did build and it did get it was the first time I even had a savings account after a while. Yeah, and it's you know, it's bringing me back to basics. Just hearing you talk about this and how important those foundational basics are. But I will say the first thought that comes up for me is what about credit card points. If I'm using these different debit cards, and I'm using these savings accounts like now my credit card points pay for a lot. So what would you recommend for that?:
So here's the thing about credit card points, the reason you're able to get credit card points is for because the credit card company charges, the company that you use the card for the fees. So all small business owners, if we take credit card, three to 5% interest or a fee that we're charged is what pays your credit card. And so when I thought of it that way, we have a lot of small business owners that we coach, and they all complain about them, they all complain about the fees, and they hate it. And so for me, I thought about like, oh my gosh, if everyone just said ACH payments, everyone just did the straight the 1% transfer fee, that would save everyone so much money, and also the small business owner that's having to take the credit card for you to get your points you didn't nobody gets rich off of credit you did, you're not going to build wealth off of credit card points. And you're going to actually spend more money using that credit card, if you were to budget amount for getting groceries because for instance, if you go to the grocery store with $200 in your gas and groceries account, you're spending $200 It's not, I'm gonna spend 220 Because I said I was going to spend 200. But I always this limit is like $5,000 just not a big deal. If I go over, every time you go over, you're stealing money from your future self.:
Yeah, using your credit card is not budgeting. So if you if your goal is to get credit card, credit card points, that's fine. That's your goal. But if your goal mama has goals people is to master your money, to build wealth, to get in control of your finances to stop obsessing about whether or not enough this to stop stressing to communicate better with your spouse to teach your kids good financial habits. Credit cards are not they're not in the picture. And that doesn't mean they never can be that that just means you've got to get the system and the discipline down for the budget. And exactly knowing and we can talk about we do have clients that use that dewpoint sometimes, and we can talk about that we can add that back in once we know that we have everything set up. And everything is going according to what your goals and your vision is for your finances. But like Vanessa said, One wealthy people don't care about credit card points. It reminds me although I know it's a lot easier now. But it reminds me of a member when everybody coupon. It was like this took me a long time to figure out full:
time jobs like I'm part of this credit card point group thing. And like to see the amount of work and effort that they put into this. Yeah, to get what they want out of it. Like it's just overwhelming. Yeah,:
and the numbers like pure numbers, which none of us she literally loves numbers. None of us love numbers this much. But the pure numbers are going to show that you're going to save more money for your own self by not using a credit card than you're going to gain by getting credit card points. Now I know that's not what the credit card companies want you to think They want you to be like, Man all year because you use your credit card. But like Vanessa said, What you won't spend because you're not using credit card will be more than that. But yeah, again, it's it. That is the number one thing. And again, going back to Dave Ramsey, He is an educator, we are coaches and we are working with each individual situation was all very different. They're all so different. Everybody has a different story and different goals. And so we can work with all of that. But we are going to tell you just like we did, we're going to tell you the truth, the real truth, and then we're gonna see what you think. And then we'll go from there. And just know:
that credit card companies like their marketing budget is more than you and I will probably make it in a lifetime is what they're doing. They're very smart, they know exactly how to get you to use it. We're not saying we're not we're against credit cards because of Dave Ramsey. We're against credit cards, because we've seen what they do to our clients what they've done ours, I will tell you, after I became mortgage free and debt free, I had a client that said, hey, I want to try this credit card point thing. And I thought, before I teach you to do it, I'm going to try to do it. And it did not go well. I'm not gonna I'm just gonna flat out tell you it was a terrible idea. We went down a rabbit hole again, we got we went back into debt, because there's the credit card limit is however so much, right. And so we weren't spending just the $200 on groceries weren't spending just the amount that we budgeted for vacation. It wasn't it didn't work for us. It was really hard. And so I we stopped that:
immediately. Let me just I know we've talked a lot. No didn't mean great. But I just want to ask this question. Why do you think the credit card company is offering you point? Do you think it's because they're altruistic and they have your best interests at heart? Or do you honestly know in your intuitively can tell that they're making money off of you. And that's the only reason that they're offering it because they are a for profit business, right? They're not doing it, because they're just like this will help that sweet mama out. Now they're making so much money because you believe credit card points are the way to go. And they're fine with that. That's why they're doing it. So just ask yourself that question and then see if you want to be in that position,Kelsey Smith:
I think you make some really good points, because I'm thinking back to when I got my first credit card. And it is so important to have good credit card habits, like you're saying, like you need to be able to pay that credit card off in full, you need to make sure that you're still hitting those budgets, like I think, to your point, if you are going to go into the grocery store, and you're going to spend more because your credit card has a higher balance than Yeah, you shouldn't be using your credit card, you shouldn't be doing that. That's exactly why you're going to people like you to get support and get help to be able to do that. I think my brain is also going places with like, large businesses, right, like, between my husband and I, we have five businesses, and there are certain things that like we have to use credit cards for. And that's where points do come into play, right? Yes, the credit card company is charging someone else. Yes, they're making money off of us. But I'm also able to do some cool things because of that. And it wouldn't make sense for just our household only if we're trying to get out of debt, to be focusing on credit card points and be able to become debt free. If I was just focusing on like a points program. And that's definitely not what I would advocate for either is being like, oh, but if I do this, I'm gonna get points. Yeah, that's not going to set you up for success. It's not going to work out that way. So I do think that's a really important point. What are some of the ways that people can save for those bigger expenses? You talked about the holidays, the things coming up, you talk about the bank accounts, and you also talk about making each paycheck the same so that you don't have that mental load? What does that actually look like? If someone gets off the call today after the podcast? And they go and they take action? What is the first thing they can do to be like, Oh, my gosh, we're still six months out at the time of recording this from the holiday season. So what action can they take today to be like, Okay, I feel a little more prepared.:
Super simple. Yeah, this is super simple. First, first step, write down all the things that you think you spend a large amount on annually, which like Vanessa said, There's dogs, there's the trips, there's Christmas, there's the house, there's a vehicle, whatever. So write those down. Because everybody's different. Again, we have a huge list that we can give you, but everybody has different one. But when spent. So taking the example of Christmas. Now you need to calculate and this is key, how much are you going to spend on Christmas?:
So there's two questions you want to ask yourself, How much do I normally spend? And how much do I want, right, that thing?:
And then it's a very personal question, and especially in context to your budget. Yeah, if you have different goals than wanting to spend all the money on Christmas, then you want to make sure you take that in count anyway, doesn't matter. Whatever your amount is, then you're going to divide that amount by the amount of months you have until it's that simple. So if it's, you know, gosh, don't make me do math in public. Let's go with a good number guys. $3,000 and we have six months left is that $500 Okay, if you needed $3,000 For Christmas, and you have six months left, then you're gonna want to be putting $500 aside into that account every month, and then you'll know that you have enough by Christmas. And here's the key that I love about the Christmas sinking fund in particular, when you see something on sale or something that delight I choose to buy to be able to give your somebody at Christmas throughout the year you're able to buy it instead of having to wait for all of these rushed decisions that maybe you're not sure if that was the right thing. You'll have money in constantly in there to buy these things and set it aside for Christmas, which is a different feeling than most people have for Christmas. They're just rushing around crazy trying to figure out what they're gonna do. So the idea:
is to take the amount of money that you want to budget for that specific item like Shana said, whether it's kids home repair Christmas, divided by 12 months, what we're trying to do is divide it by 12 months. If like Shana said, Christmas is six months away, then you take it and divide it by the six months that we like to tell clients try to have your Christmas budget done by the end of October. Because most of the bulk vending happens in November and December, we get that if you can feel good to say, Okay, I've been budgeting all year, I've got this little thing in July, I got the sole thing in August or September for somebody if you could have the bulk of it done by November 1. So you can really have two months accuse your holiday parties and things like that, just spend your money. And then on November 1 for that month, you're already starting to budget for next Christmas, because you're budgeting now for 12 months. So take that amount divided by 12. And I have 12 full months to budget for it just makes you feel better. When you can chunk it down to smaller amounts like that. It's just more manageable. And I do want to say:
your oldest is four. And I know this, it just starts at four and then it just creeps anyways, Kid envelope, Kid budget, Kid sinking fund, this is so important. So right now, think about how much do my kids cost me a year, I think it's maybe a little easier when therefore possibly, but you're gonna need their clothing, they keep growing. So annoying. And then the younger they are the more birthday party is like everybody, let's all have the 12 people for the birthday. And then if they play sport, let's consider all summer camps, all of these different things that you paid for your kids every year, let's make an item for that. Because this is what I think the most stressful thing for Mom is she tries to have a good budget. And all of these things pop up with the kids and it comes out of her pocket. And then she has no money to go to Starbucks for that mental health moment, right? Or there's no money for her to get a new outfit because they just keep sucking up all the money. And so what you want to do is have a kid envelope specifically, and then your own spending money, specifically to because you deserve to just know, okay, if I want to treat myself if I want to do this, I can and my kids are not going to take all of the monies. But anyway, so the same thing with the kids. It doesn't have to be perfect. Yeah, Kelsey, so you might forget something, that's fine. The next year, you'll get better at it. But you just want to start setting my end. Even if you don't, you can't mentally just start setting aside some money every month that you know, is dedicated for the kids. And I do want to point out one of our favorite clients, because she has really young kids today, they don't really have a lot of expenses other than the school that they go to, which is a big one, but they have a Chick fil A envelope. And so the whole family knows that if they want to go to Chick fil A, let's check the envelope. How much do we have left? Okay, we can only go one more time they should get involved. Yeah, yeah. And they were involved. And they can do the math. And they can say, Okay, let's go this week, we can't go next week or whatever. And so I think that's part of it, too, is getting them involved starts to teach them some of those habits and decision making. So the kids learned. It's not that we were saying no, or there's kids do it, we get to decide when we can we're choosing to do this now based on our budget, instead of it's always a No,Kelsey Smith:
I love that. And I think that there's so many things that we can teach our kids right about good financial habits. What are some of the things that have been the biggest impact in your guys's households,:
you want to make sure biggest thing is, obviously, we grew up and we have different money baggage, everybody either. Maybe you came from a scarcity mindset, you came from abundant mindset, either both of those situations can hurt you negatively. So we want to make sure we don't create another one of ourselves with our kid. We know what we went through. We want to make sure our kids are set up differently. But just creating those positive good habits, habits around money, and not making it like we're broke, we can't know there's no money. Like you never want to talk like that with your kids. And also they read facial expressions, right? They're very smart. They know exactly what's going on. So being positive about it. And like Shana said, we are choosing to do this, or we have decided together that this is what we're going to do. And there's opportunity costs. When when in whatever decision you make, like you said, if you decide to get pumpkin spice lattes every single week, that's obviously going to add up over time. So maybe it's okay, if we do the Chick fil A thing today, then we're not going to go out to eat for ice cream later, right? So you just have to let in honestly letting them to decide and bringing them into the conversation. And it empowers them and helps them understand. Okay, we can't know as a complete sentence. You can't say yes, all the time. It is okay to let them know, we're going to do this but not that. Yeah.:
I think yeah, I think it's a balance between too much and too little and every parent kind of trends toward one or the other. So if you're one of these that no we can't, there's no money, we're broke bla bla bla, then your kids are gonna pick up on that and they're going to have the same mentality. And then on the other hand, we just I think we just started whoever we talked to recently, and she said I got whatever I wanted all the time. And so I did And realize that I had to not do that when it was my own money. So when she was a kid, so you just want to balance that one of the best ways to do that is to find a way to empower your kids with their own money, whether that is you paying them to do stuff around the house or extra chores, and then they manage that money, they get to say what I do with it, that's important. I do believe that if you're going to pay a kid an allowance, then they need to be paying for their own way, and a lot of things. So that's the deal that my kids that I made, like, I'm going to give you money every month, I'm not paying when you want to go skating with your friend or you want to go get ice cream that's for you to pay for. And I'm fine with that. Because then you can decide when you decide what's in priority and what you want to do. And then the other thing, and we'll talk about this as when they're earning money through once they get a little older, and they can start earning real money from doing different things, they can manage that too. And that really, that particular thing, turned my spender My middle child into a saver. Now she's much more of a saver because she's managing her own money. If we're waiting until they're 18, or they move out to teach them some of these skills, then:
what are you going to do? And I also think having them write it down like this is what we tell our clients and in kids are no different. Have them write, make a little budget for your nine year old, right? This is the amount of money you have, what do you want to spend it on. And this is what you're going to have leftover. And so visually showing them that it's going to make a big difference. And it's going to make them think about how they're going to spend their money and why they want to spend it the way that they thought they did. And maybe it's not actually going to make sense. Yeah, so:
our kids pay at least a portion of their summer camps through their, quote unquote, side hustles. And they have different ways of doing it. So Vanessa's kids have jars. And they just put every time they earn money, they put certain things, certain monies in there certain monies, that's a good grammar, don't worry about that. My kids have a bank account in an envelope for summer camp. So then they have to split up to go put it into their bank account, so that they learn how to manage theoretically how to manage the bank account. And then they put their money in the summer camp so that we can afford it, we can pay for it when it happens. And then they get to keep it little in their pocket to be able to bend that skating rink or whatever. So there's just a lot of different opportunities. But definitely, I think sometimes we can shy away because we feel like maybe I don't know. Or maybe they're too young, they're not too young, they don't maybe need to know a lot of the complexities of your budget. But the earlier the better,:
the early you can start that communication with them, it's just going to end really well for them for you want them to have a good relationship long term, you want them to start off their marriage with the bang and money in the bank and knowing how to spend it not going into credit card debt. You want them to have that. Yeah,Kelsey Smith:
I love that you bring that up, we actually have a clear front piggy bank for our four year old and right now the boys share it. And they have bank accounts too. But they don't know those exists. But their front of it is clear. And I love that every time someone gives him $5 Or $1. Or he finds one and we let him keep it for whatever reason. He puts it in there. And recently, he wanted to go get a toy. And so I was like, Let's go open up your bank at your piggy bank. And let's see what's in there. And we can pull it out. And so we pulled it out. And it was we had driven by someone that was giving away a like Workbench like a toy Workbench outside. And they were selling it for like $15 or something like that. And so I was like, let's go see what's in your piggy bank. And we opened it up. And I was like, This is how much that is. This is your money from here. Do you want to use it to get that? And he was like, yeah, like, I want to do that. I was like, okay, but then it's not going to be here anymore. So we're not going to be able to use it for different toys. Are you sure you want to use it for this? And he loves the thing. And it was a great choice. But for me, it felt like a parenting win. Because I was like, Okay, I don't know how much of this. He's gonna remember. But we're at least visually showing, hey, it wasn't a versions of a savings account. We're taking it out. We're going and making a transaction. I don't know what else I can teach too much at four. But we tried to talk about it in those conversations. But I think that you said how do you teach your kids when you're going through it with yourself? And there's certain things that we can learn. And both of you started this when you weren't necessarily receiving a paycheck formally, right? So for our moms that are listening, that are maybe trying to figure out how to implement this in the household and they're not the primary earner. What are some steps that they could take to navigate that conversation and have an active role in the finances in the house,:
I think it's really important to realize that one thing we want to make sure that everybody knows is how valuable you are as a mom or a wife. And so even though you're possibly not bringing in quote unquote, income, your value is unquestionable, outweighs that. And it's a way it's a really, it's way more than the money.Kelsey Smith:
It's hard to stay home with your kids. It's so hard. It's:
so hard and it's also you're worth more than rubies. Okay, that's what we know. But here's the deal. It doesn't matter if you are or not. The finances should never be on one person anyway. That's not fair. Either way.:
It's just a lot of it's a big burden to manage the person who's taking care of the finances, and then it's a big burden for the person if they're not to go feel like they have to ask permission for money or not. Need for something right? We just want to remove that.:
Yeah. And so if only one person is doing it can become like a child parent relationship where you're asking permission, or it's mine, there's yours, whatever, we don't want to do that. We want to make the goal to do it together. And teamwork makes the dream work. All of your goals are like this, for the most part, right? You want some goals for your kids, you want some goals for vacation, you want some goals for when you can retire, all of our goals are the same. So of course, you need to be on the same page with your finances. Now, how do we do that? So in a marriage, somebody's a free spirit, somebody's a nerd. And another part is like, let me do the spreadsheet. So that's fine. What we like to do is, can we set up just one time and let's talk about it for the person that doesn't really want to talk about it. So I think sometimes we get in the danger of we have to talk about a lot or it can be a burden to bring it up the budget meeting is the answer is as simple as it sounds. But as a spouse, can we talk Can we sit down talk about money, our goals, once a month. And we love to see:
how fun we can make that whatever works. So bring the beer, bring the wine, bring snacks, bring whatever, bring your favorite food, just make it fun and interesting. Put the kids to bed and have a little mini date night budget meeting with your spouse and just talk about things I want to reiterate really quick when Shana was talking about you are valuable when you're a stay at home mom, I remember when I quit my job. And literally our income was cut in half for me to do that. And so I immediately my brain is like I have to provide provide provide. And that was exhausting. But then you know you are the childcare provider. That is a paycheck. You are a chef, that is a paycheck. You are the house cleaner, you are the teacher, you are the interior designer, you are doing all of these things that also those add value in there a lot of money if you were to paper them separate, right? Yeah. And so for me, it was like, How cheap Can I get the electricity bill? Like? How much electricity can we save and how much water the cheapest groceries that I can buy? Right? There is a way for you to provide income, quote, unquote, by saving.:
So that's the other part is what are you in charge of? And how can you store that? So yes, we want to have a conversation overall, because it's both of our goals in the house. For me, for example, my husband was deployed for a year, and it was just a mess. So whatever he just sent me $1,000 A month or something, I don't remember what it was. And so that's what I could really work with. That's the thing, I was like, I'm going to budget this I'm going to teach my kids about money with this, I'm going to do the grocery and for example, groceries is number one thing you can help out with having a monthly plan and how much it's going to cost you to do groceries not to fly by the seat of your pants was always cost more. But anyway, what am I responsible over right now? What can I do with it? And how can I do that really well. And then another part of it, if you get to go to that budget meeting might be to list out. This is our expenses. Yeah, this is what I'm seeing on my end of the business that we run as a household. What does that look like for the budget and stuff like that. So just taking ownership of what you're in charge of what you're stewarding as far as finances go?:
Because a lot of times, they may not know like, we have a lot of clients, her husband maybe gets frustrated with the grocery budget and how much it is. And it's like, but have you actually showed him the bill have you showed him it's not just you making up these numbers, or it's not just you going out to Chick fil A every day. This is literally what the groceries are costing from what you need to put food on the table. And so by just showing each other sitting down and really seeing it all laying it out on table talking about it having a discussion, it's really going to allow both sides to come in and have a conversation and have input and talk about it.Kelsey Smith:
I love how you lay that out. And I can just think of situation. So first, I just want to put in caveat, if you have financial abuse going on in your marriage or household, there's resources and support for that this conversation isn't about that dynamic. But if we are able to have a conversation as a house partnership as a household to talk about finances, then once a month is like a great goal, because then you have let's say roughly three other weeks where you should just be hanging out right as a partnership and a couple and so you're sitting down and you're like No, we're just like friends and a husband and wife are partners in this conversation. And then once a month, one of those is going to be a little more serious, we're going to have a little bit more of receipts out or a conversation around finances. And so I think like roleplay conversations are really helpful for people. So if somebody gets off of this, and they're like, Okay, I'm gonna get off of this, I'm going to go and talk to my partner. And I'm going to say, Hey, babe, I was thinking it would be cool if what are some ways that you would word that?:
So let's keep in mind that a lot of times and like you said, there's different things that happen. But there's a lot of similarities with men, and one of them is that they see money as a scorecard. Let's just be real open about that. If on their shoulders is to be a provider, then they're gonna see what's happening with their money and what they're bringing in as a scorecard whether or not they're winning at life. So we want to have that in mind, not because we're judging them not because it's because we love them. So we're gonna start the conversation somehow with that, how can I build you up and say, I'm so grateful and truly, there's a lot just that there's a lot on your shoulders as mom there's so much on their shoulders too, as dad as provider, whatever. So You want to start the conversation with that? How can we build that up? I think you're doing so great. I wanted to just want to see how we can make really good use of all the hard earned money that you're making something like that just address the fact that it is a scorecard in their mind for the most part, that'd be something to start with.:
Yeah, and I would say one time, I had this conversation with my husband, and he was feeling really down about we were strapped to just, it was a season of our life where everything just felt tight. And I thought that I laid out his paycheck and everything that it was doing. And I was like, This is what you're providing for our family. This is what we are allowed to do because of your pain. And and that really helped. It really was like, oh, it's took him a minute to go, Okay, this is working. So like Shana said, there's always room for improvement. When we look at client budgets, it's usually never an income problem. It's an expense problem. It's a spending problem. It's just usually. And so having that conversation and saying, your income is amazing. It's awesome. This is what it providing for us. Where do you think we could as a team together, make better decisions? Are we getting the cheapest option for auto insurance and home insurance? Do we know that? When was the last time we checked? Do we need all these subscriptions? Do we actually use them all just asking those questions and not just saying we need to do ABCD that never ends.:
So when you're having this conversation, and even in the beginning, something to do is to ask a question and then stop talking. And so for me, that's really hard. And this is why the budget meeting eventually is gonna be so important. You gotta choose your timing, while the kids are running around him in circles, because he just got home. So that makes sure that you guys are that he that one, he doesn't feel cornered. And two, it's not when you're both gonna be distracted, because that's not gonna end well to ask a questions like that. And then if you have the time, make it the whole reason for doing any of this is your goals, your vision, what you're excited about doing because you're being good stewards of your money?:
Because the whole idea is this like, is your everyday money habit, aligning with your values and your goals? And what's important to you, too? And so asking, What am I going to be doing in 10 years? Five years, six years, a year from now? And is our everyday spinning? With that? And maybe that will spark some thoughts and some conversation to go, Well, no, it's not. Or hey, yeah, actually, it isKelsey Smith:
so good. We all have money that we have to manage. And so this is such an important conversation. I absolutely loved this. And I know we could go on forever. There's so many things that we could continue to talk about. We talked about envelopes, we talked about multiple bank accounts and utilizing that envelope solution in a digital way. We talked about how you can have your kids be involved in the conversations with your partner, so many good takeaways. But for everyone that's listening today, it's going to be specific, right? So probably the best thing is to book a free 30 minute call with you, as you guys have offered. But for even before they get to that spot, someone gets off of the listening to this, and they're like, Gosh, I wish my finances were in a different place. And should I go open five bank accounts? Should I sit down and have a budget conversation with my partner? Should I put jars in my kid's room? What is the very first thing that you would recommend most people that are feeling like, gosh, I can't even believe they just said Christmas is six months away. We're already paycheck to paycheck, if anyone's feeling overwhelmed, and they're just like, gosh, I feel worse about my finances after listening to this. And I don't know what steps to take, before booking a call with you What is one step that they can take,:
I would say the first step is to print three months of your bank account and look and see what you're spending your money on. That's the number one thing because a lot of times, it's a lot worse up here in your head than it actually is on paper. So put your income up top, write all your expenses at the bottom of what you're spending your money on. And maybe you don't know how much you're spending on groceries each month. And that's okay, you're not alone. Just find out what it is that you're spending your money on. And then the next question to ask is, what do I want to be spending my money on?:
But I wouldn't even worry about that. Yeah, I think the like, Vanessa, the best thing to do is just get it out. So we call it wrecking balls in your brain, get it out of there onto paper, because it's almost never as bad as it seems. But the also you will see possibility, that's what we do. So just print out that 90 day thing. And the other thing is just really having that conversation with your spouse, about our big draw dreams and goals. Because that gets the why that gets the positivity in it and then you're pulled more to your why then you're held back by the overwhelm.Kelsey Smith:
And I would love for us just to end this with pouring some belief into someone that's like, I'm already in so much debt, there's no hope for me. There's no way I could make it back. We know that's not true. But can you speak to them really quick.:
You can do it. I promise you. If you write it on paper and you see what's in front of you, you're going to find extra money at the bottom of it. But like we said before, it's never usually an income problem. It's always a problem in it because we maybe see an extra $5 And we spend it we maybe see an extra $10 This day and we spend it but if you add that up and really find out how much extra money you have at the end of the month, you're gonna be surprised.:
It's just math one Have our clients, we had to add so many rows of how much debt they had. Just on our spreadsheet, we had to keep adding rows. And they're just doing so good now, but they couldn't even afford groceries without using credit cards when we started with them, but the process works. You just have to tap the gumption to start. That's the deal. That's all it is, the only way to do it is to start because the number one rule of getting out of debt is you can't use that anymore. So you have to just start and wrap your mind around that it's absolutely possible. We no matter what your situation is, I guarantee we've had people in collections, we've had people who already signed up for debt relief for consolidation. And we've helped them get out of debt and all of that. So it's so possible, we believe in you. So you can borrow our belief,Kelsey Smith:
amazing. And I would love for you to just share where everyone can connect with you. You guys have a podcast you're on Instagram share where they can receive the most support. And we'll also link everything below of course.:
Yeah, well, the number one place to get support and help and tips is our podcasts. And so you can just search idle balanced any of your podcast providers, and we'll pop up. And then we made a page for your audience at our website. It's my ideal balance.com forward slash n H G. For mama has goals. And all of the different ways you connect with us are on there.Kelsey Smith:
Thank you so much for that. And I always like to know what are some things that you're excited about goals that you have? You have kids transitioning into the real teen years, the high school years, you guys have your business really expanding helping so many people at this point? What are some curtain things that are a priority and a goal for each feel.:
My family is headed to Europe for two and a half weeks next month. So our priority right now at this moment is to get third June, and just really send some one on one time together. I would say in the future. I think mission trips, family trips, things like that. That's our new big focus for our family. And to make sure like Shana says, We've got four summers left, I'm dealing with that it's fine. I saw a little mom and her little two kids the other day at the restaurant, I just looked at my husband, I started bawling. And he's like, What is wrong? And I'm like, did we do enough to be teaching them enough? I'm still like dealing with that. But we have four more summers left. And so for me, it's just really spending that quality time when I have them. That's what's really important to me.:
When it comes to family, it's definitely it's trying to navigate because Mommy has not there's no manual, nobody tells you what to do. And so for example, I'm just navigating through different ages and trying to do as well as I can and just really enjoy my children, which they are very enjoyable if I make the time to do that. But as far as our business, we are so excited, we go for a walk on the beach, try to once a week. And I said if we could give anybody advice that nobody asks us for about business, I would have been just to focus on one thing, because we finally whittled everything down to one thing and our business this year. And we have had exponential growth ever since. And so just watching that faithfulness, and doing that, and watching the reward that comes from it, it's been really great. And hopefully they don't hear us because they're all out there. Our biggest goal is to make enough money with our business. So their husbands can pursue a different career that they want to do instead of what they have been having to do to provide for us. We're all very grateful, right? And we are on track to get to that. And it's like the biggest, most exciting goal that we have so exciting.Kelsey Smith:
Well thank you both for being here. I love this conversation. Like I said, we all have money and we can either make it fun or problematic. So thank you so much for pouring into our audience today.Unknown Speaker:
Thank you for having us if you enjoyed it,Kelsey Smith:
mom in your life that you see and love her by sharing this episode. Giving while your cup is overflowing always pays itself back tenfold when you need it most.