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#221 – Healthy Financial Systems in 2024 Part 2
Episode 22124th January 2024 • Money Boss Parent • Anna Sergunina
00:00:00 00:29:12

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In this week's episode, we delve deep into the mechanics of establishing effective financial systems, ensuring that the goals you've set for the 2024 don't just remain plans but turn into achievable successes.

We'll discuss popular tools and methods that have worked wonders for our clients and ourselves while also unravelling the mystery of obtaining a consistent financial discipline.

So whether you're just starting out managing your finances, seeking personal financial stability, or simply looking to refine your current systems, this episode is a must-listen.

Don't miss this chance to transform your financial journey with the Money Boss Podcast!

Anna's Takeaways:

  • Intro (00:00)
  • How Thoughts Influence Actions Towards A Goal (03:53)
  • Financial Planning + Automation (08:53)
  • Goal Tracking Methods (16:11)
  • Setting Smart Financial Goals That Align With Your Values (19:53)
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  2. Money Boss Parents! Welcome to Anna's Money Boss Parent podcast, your go-to resource for mastering money management while raising a family. Join me as we explore practical tips, expert insights, and inspiring stories to help you achieve financial success and create a brighter future for your loved ones. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show to support our mission of empowering parents like you to take charge of their finances and build a prosperous life for their families. Let's thrive together on this incredible journey!
  3. Links mentioned in this episode

David Bach’s Finish Quick Smart Systems: https://davidbach.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/FinishRich_Compressed.pdf

Book - How to Change - Katy Milkman

Book - Automic Habits -James Clear

  1. FREE GUIDE- Kid Money Boss: School isn’t teaching my son about Money. It’s up to us Parents. Here are 9 tools I am using to team my son, everything I never learned as a kid.
  2. Websites:

www.mainstreetplanning.com

https://www.instagram.com/mainstreet_money/

Transcripts

Anna Sergunina:

Hey, money boss, parents and Anna Sergunina here. And welcome back to the Money Boss Podcast. We are diving into the part two of healthy financial habits and systems. And in this episode, we're going to talk about systems. And what do you need to have in place in order to guarantee that the goals that you set for yourself, and things that you're trying to achieve this year are actually going to be true when you get to the end of the year. So tune in as we continue to explore tools and systems that we see are popular for our clients, as well as how do you finally get this consistency thing? Down? Because let's face it, we all struggle with it. All right, until further ado, let's tune in. We are thinking about goals. We know that they need to be smart goals. And I already forgot all the little pieces that Catherine mentioned. But we have the slide for that. They need to be specific. We know that we're going to take baby steps or small steps with making sure that we do something every day. Like I think Vita correct me if I'm wrong, but I think James Clear talks about this like being 1%. Better. Right? I think it's from from the from the book that you mentioned, Atomic Habits, that helps you like it kind of equates to that one small step that you take to get toward whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. Yeah,

Unknown:

that's right. He definitely talks about that. And this is not about you know, trying to come in and make this sweeping drastic, you know, recreation of yourself, right. This is about just making little little steps forward. Yeah,

Anna Sergunina:

exactly. Now, on the other hand, how do we make sure that we stay consistent? And if I have to confess, but that may be like, you know, if I could see all of your hands, I'm sure you would be raising them right now. But that's the area that I think we all could improve in 2024 and beyond. And so how do we like, how do we work that muscle, right, because, like, who doesn't fall behind, like, you know, if I had to ask you on, you know, in any area, not just finding your finances, but we do, it's just the human nature. So what I what I wanted to share with you actually, first of all, there's another book that I really highly recommend for you to check out. It's called The Power of consistency. And it's, it's, it's blue, but it's more focused on the business. It's like a business book. But there's so many really cool ideas and things that you can take away from the, from this book. And also, there's something called a personal prosperity plan. It's very similar to kind of how you lay out your financial goals, but it kind of opens up other topics and other areas in your life that you can, wherever you want to add consistency. So I really love this, this in terms of using it at the same time as you're trying to build these habits. So check, check out this book. But what I wanted to share here in terms of a framework to adapt, and really one of the reasons I am sharing this book, because it comes down to mindset, right, it comes down, it's not just habits, right? Like being better every day helps you or doing something small everyday helps you build those muscles, or you know those habits or whatever it is. But at the end of the day, it starts and it comes back to your mindset. So if you think if you think about how can you really make drastic changes. It's a framework that you can adopt tonight, I've really, I mean, I've read it in this book, because this is kind of the angle of it. But then I had a life coach a few years ago, and she presented it's called the model they use this a lot in life or in business coaching to kind of help you process right. And so turns out that there's the actual progression that happens when you think about something or when you When thoughts come to mind. So if you had if you had to kind of start from the bottom, and I hope that you all can see the chart right Vita, Katherine Yeah, yeah. Okay, so for some reason, it's a little bit blurry on my answer, but I just wanted to make sure that everyone can read. So I want to start at the bottom. So if we have a goal that we're trying to accomplish or a specific result, right, that we want we're after whatever it is, we put it at the bottom some kind of make the you know, the four the five different letters here. So result is at the bottom this is what you are really after and planning to achieve. But then I want you to jump back to the second line that says thoughts. And if you can read in in red letters. It's so if for example, let me give you a concrete example. So if let's say for example, you're really are after buying a house this year, but you need to save quite a bit it for a downpayment on that house, right? because interest rates are still, you know, high and prices increased on the homes and things like that. So you know what the end result is that you're after. But you think in all of these things, and maybe there's going to be reception or recession, or maybe there isn't going to be a recession, like all of this stuff in the news, and, and, you know, like, you're looking at your spending plan, you're like, oh, my gosh, how in the world can we afford that, you know, that house. So those are all kinds of thoughts that are going through your head, and there's nothing you can do. This is just how our mind works. And just all of these thoughts are in your head. But guess what, you get to choose how you feel about those thoughts, those thoughts in your head. And that's why there's an arrow going down, that says that our thoughts create our feelings. Now, of course, we can have worrisome thoughts we can, we can, you know, we can be stressing out about all of the states, but you can, but you can choose right what to focus on. So your feelings, right, are going to drive the actions that you're going to take in order to accomplish that goal. Because you have that goal, right? You set it for yourself. It's all of these things that happen before you get to the final goal. And so as you can see, the next the next arrow is and I know Jennifer, that the chart is real blurry, and I'm sorry for for that, we'll share the slides with everyone after the presentation. So you can take a look. Maybe just try to kind of visualize it for the moment. And as I'm explaining it, so your actions right are going to be driven by how you feel. So maybe all of these thoughts are over here. But the feelings right, are going to be something that's going to actually make you take that action, right, it's going to make you go look at your spending is going to make you or help you go save more money, because you need that for that downpayment example that I gave you, it's going to help you you know, get off your bike and go look for home. So it's going to help you start looking and doing the stuff that you need to do in order to achieve your results. So, so thoughts create the feelings, feelings, create the actions and the results is what was going to come out of that. So it's almost like the cycle. And once I thought of this, and this model, that's why it's called the model can be used for anything like, you know, virtually any any kind of situation you're in. And so when you adopt that mentality with with all of these changes, that you're trying to work on that consistency, right? When you think about oh my gosh, can I do this? Can I do this today, right, and you sort of run this through your head, I actually for some for some situations, I actually write this out, I take a sheet of paper, and I say alright, what is what is the situation and also I didn't mention the circumstances at the top. That's, that's a constant situation. So like, in the example that I gave with buying a house, that like the interest rates, the current economic environment, it is what it is, there is nothing you can do about it. Right? It's not a it's either, it's not good. And it's not bad, it's just neutral. So that's why you evolve around things that you can control. And so can taking consistent actions falls through this kind of lens, where you almost write out a model for yourself. And it does help actually, literally, for me, is to sit down, take a sheet of paper and a pen, and kind of work through this to remind yourself, right, because it is really a mindset that you can take on with you going forward. I hope this makes sense. And I'm sorry that the chart is somewhat blurry.

Katherine Edwards:

Yeah, we'll make sure when we send that out, but it's a little bit clearer and bigger. So we're sorry about that. I do think I love that this like it being called the model that applies across the board in so many different situations, but especially in finances or financial planning, there's so much in terms of our feelings, either preventing or fueling actions, whether it's the markets going crazy, or you know, whatever the case may be, there's so much that goes into that where we have to go back to the plan and also reminding ourselves what the goal is. So yeah, the circumstance being things that we can't control, like the market or like the housing market, or whatever the case may be, it's a good reminder that we can only do what is in within our control. So totally. Yeah, so we're gonna talk about, we're gonna talk about automating some of our financial processes. So more so focusing on some of the systems that we have, and I know that we did recently put out an article about different you know, budgeting apps, such as monarch and tiller and all those sorts of things, but we're gonna kind of zoom out and talk on a big picture like what systems are there? What polls are there and how they might be able to work for you. And I would love if you have one that you, you know, that works for you that is not on here that you'd share it with us. Yep. So because, you know, we can, we've heard of a lot of different things. But I think sometimes a lot of our best suggestions come from our clients and what works best for you guys. So

Anna Sergunina:

I wanted to comment on some of these. I mean, we all kind of can chime in, I think, at the end of the day, to get you know, to get started, wherever you are, right with, with with your financial journey, whether you've done a full comprehensive plan, you've done some financial planning topics are you've never done anything, think it's a good start to have some baseline just like understand where everything is at. And so if you're done the work, and you coming back for a review, it also comes down again, to those basic things like, what is the spending going to look like, right. And notice, we do not use word budget here, we like the spending better, just because just it just gives you a little bit more freedom, right? Again, it's like this reframing in your head, right, versus limiting yourself based on just the word, it really is just the word, nothing else. So some of the tools that we think are systems that you can maybe go back, maybe you have them, um, no all of us have smartphones. So we have tools on that smartphone, that that can be really your friends versus just kind of ignoring it. So baseline money roadmap, or a financial plan, a couple of things that you can start with updating your financial statement, if we're working together in your clients already. That's great that would be discussed regularly or what the next meeting that we get to meet you spending plan. Again, what what is what what did 2023 look like one of the things and I feel like over the years, credit card, credit card companies have gotten so much better with categorizing or aggregating your spending. Now, I don't know if all of you use credit cards to pay your bills, and some do and some don't. And sometimes you have two or three credit cards, that might be a little messy. But if you I mean, if you're just like, oh my gosh, where do I start? That might be a good place, right? Because you will have a summary of 2023, which just happened three, not even three weeks ago, we just ended that year. So you should be able to download something, if you've never put a budget together, or a spending plan, I just used the wrong word, a spending plan. That's a good starting point, take a look at what happens right and do not beat yourself up. That's not the point here. The point here is to take a look at what's going on. Some of you may like spreadsheets, some of you may not like spreadsheets. And so Katherine talked about we do have some resources on our website, about a few applications. So these are programs that you can either have on your phone, or you can use the browser on your computer to help you manage a lot of what I just talked about passively, right and let all of these transactions be accumulated. And you get a summary report every day or however often you want every week, and you know exactly where all of your money is going. Again, this is a baseline because if we can't get a handle on what's the baseline of all of these moving parts, we all have bills, we all have expenses, we all get paychecks. So like a lot of a lot of things are out there. If we can't get a handle on that, it's really hard to focus on our values, like how consistent you're going to be with all the stuff we just talked about it probably not. So here just hear us out whatever system you use is great. Maybe you were like QuickBooks, which I despise, but that's, that's not even a personal thing. I do hear clients use QuickBooks sometimes for their for their personal finance management. Another idea is and we've had already discussed that is is to have blocked time on your calendar, like it's a system and if if you have that recurring time when we call that money date on your calendar, bring that gelato bottle of wine or whatever it is that's gonna get get you excited, but have it have it be there consistently have it be there recurring for you because again, sometimes you may have to force yourself into a situation right in order to grow that habit. So I've personal story I've done money dates for many, many years. You probably have heard some of my podcasts or videos on this topic for years now. But I literally I swear I don't anymore. I don't know what happened but it kind of got off my calendar but I've had it on my calendar for for years. And it was really it was a 15 minute block on the Sunday because that's where I was like okay when is like looking at my weak one is there a time during a week was weekly, that I could just like mentally be present to take a look at my finances and it was really some felt like it was just like really simple three questions to ask. But, but the reason it became simple is because there was a system to use. Now, last year, we all know that mint.com has gone away or transitioned onto another platform. And that's why we have some of these other options for you. But it was a tool that I that I used, or you're in I, my husband and I used together to, like, literally open up a phone and have a just a quick chat about what's going on, where are we, with what we're trying to accomplish with our spending, right, like a really simple 15 minute check in time for ourselves. And believe me, over time, it became a habit, it really did. It was it was not even something like on Sundays do most of you look at your calendar, probably not like it's a, you know, unless you have to work. So I sort of tricked myself right into, into having that block on on the calendar for years. But But these days, I don't need to, it sort of became a more natural conversation, to have discussions around money, something else that a client shared with us. And Catherine, I'll let you cover that one, because that's your client.

Katherine Edwards:

That's what I was saying earlier, we have gotten so many great ideas from clients, and this specific one, he has a personal day for himself every month, so and the the day that he uses is the date of his birthday. So if your birthday is on the 28th every 28th of the month, or if your birthday is on, you know, whatever day of the month, so it kind of aligns with the same time every single month, and it's meaningful. So you'll remember it or the goal is to remember it, he sets aside time so that he can sit down and look at everything. So not just finances, but it's things that he needs to get done for that month, or goals or a time to review or plan for the next month. But it's a specific day that he sets aside to kind of review where he's at with all of his goals. And even with the finances. So if it's reconciling your budget, or checkbook or whatever works for you, maybe that's something that resonates or will stick with you setting aside a day of the month, maybe alignment with the day of your birthday, and have that via a treat. Like it can also be a money date with yourself or, you know, do something fun on the same day that you take care of all of the business side of things in your life that you've been putting off or need to review and get done. So I loved that. And I think it's a great tool. So yeah, he's He has lots of great ideas, that was a good takeaway.

Anna Sergunina:

I am, that's my thing, going into 2024 I already put it on my calendar, kind of like just like what I told you about a money day, I am having a personal day. And I did a half a personal day, so far. And in January, just because we had a lot of days off at the beginning with school and everything and holidays. But I tell you, it is so freeing, it is so awesome to have the dedicated time to do this stuff. So I maybe we can talk about this again in at the end of the year and see how it how it goes. But I'm excited for our personal day. Somebody commented commented about a using a nerd wallet to keep track of what they're spending on. And I like nerd Wallet. So I've never heard that note nerd wallet has a any kind of tracking systems. But that's something new, we'll learn today. So thank you for sharing, we will check it out. For sure. Something else too, maybe, you know, for those of you who like to use, you know, paper and a pen, maybe maybe, you know, the day timers, or sometimes like the the day timer that I use is 90 days long, or like 13 weeks is a little more than 90 days. And so it comes with a poster. Like it's about this big, you know, you can kind of hang it on, we can hang it on your fridge if you want it. And it's broken down on to 13 weeks, and so comes two days. But it's like that the power of building the habit or staying consistent. So it's a visual, right, like so whatever goal you have you break it down into the quarterly right? Remember I talked about that. And then every day you can cross off right, whatever your goal, if you're losing weight, if you're saving money, if you reading 10 pages, you can just kind of have this visual. There's something magical about that. Like I swear like it's it's so satisfying, so rewarding when you just like, cross off that box. I put an axe. I don't know. It just that's what I do. But it's amazing. I know there are a lot of tools out there if you want I'm happy to share the day timer that I use for for doing that. And it comes with that tracking tool, like really, really old school, but it works. It doesn't have to be all technology. It could be just something simple that you can take or see in front of your eyes every day. But again, small consistent changes over time. Leads yield to really big results.

Katherine Edwards:

Yeah, so that's pretty much what we had for this afternoon. I know we there looks like maybe there's a question or two in there. We'll take a few minutes to take any questions that remain. But I do hope that you've gained something from this presentation, whether it's focusing on a SMART goal or something specific that you want to accomplish this year, or whether it's focusing on something more big picture, like, what are your values? And how will that impact what goals you set for this year and for years to come. And I know for me that's helpful with aligning what I want my life to be about. And a lot of times that does tie back to our finances in a huge way. So I certainly have really enjoyed enjoyed this time and enjoyed even preparing for it and hearing about what betas learned and the books they read, and even other members on our team who have learned a lot and have a lot to offer in terms of habits and things as we do this as a profession. But we love working with you guys and helping you align what your values and goals are and helping you get there and accomplishing them. So if you aren't already a client of ours, if you're interested in just hearing more about how you can set yourself up for success this year, you know, we always offer a free 30 minute consultation. Anytime you can go to our website, mainstreetplanning.com. Or you can you know, give us a call, you know, our website, our numbers on our website, and all those sorts of things. But we would love to connect with you. And if you if you do have questions, I don't know, either. And if there's anything that's come in anything afterwards, you feel free to reach out. Okay. There is a question. Yes,

Anna Sergunina:

I think I think we should talk about like, we brought this idea of of consistency and like having having some actions that we can, like really be proud of. So like if we wanted to use the money date idea, because I feel like both Vita and I talked about that. How often should somebody have a money date? Yeah,

Katherine Edwards:

that's a great question. I know, you said you did it weekly, I think if you have never done it before, a good time to set, a good goal could be to set it up for even doing it once a month. So maybe even just for January. I know there's a couple of weeks left, set yourself up to even just do it once a month and then maybe reevaluate in June. But I do think I like the idea of doing it every week. But if that feels overwhelming, maybe starting smaller and using the date of your birthday, and setting up for once a month, what do you think? Yeah,

Unknown:

I think that's great. But also, you know, something to think about is doing it on a weekly basis takes more of a like kind of commitment on your calendar. But you might have like to spend less time if you do it once a week. If you do it once a month, you know, then, you know, transactions build up, it'll take you a little longer to kind of get through the tracking process. So, you know, that's just something to consider as you're building out your money date.

Katherine Edwards:

That's a great point.

Anna Sergunina:

I agree. I agree that sometimes weekly might be overwhelming. And maybe you skip a week or two, though, that happened to like you just kind of think we're feeling good. Okay, I didn't tell you that. I just told you. I would consistently but you know, maybe you had too much gelato that week? Who knows? But yes, depending, you know, depending on what you want to focus on, if you haven't regularly consistently that that definitely counts. But don't get overwhelmed that someone said you have to have it every week. might feel a little heavy. Do we have any other questions? I don't see anything else? So I'm curious. For those of you who are still here, what, what systems are we going to adopt? Like how? Because at the beginning, we've asked you guys, what if we have worked if you had worked on your financial goals for 2024. So now that we've at the end of this conversation, what how we're gonna make sure you have goals. That's what I want to know.

Katherine Edwards:

That's a good question.

Unknown:

Yeah. Yeah. Or if you want to put in the q&a, kind of what what's, you know, one thing that you're excited about maybe trying out from, from what we talked about today, whether it's, you know, going through in establishing the SMART goals or building you know, really getting in touch with your values, or maybe one of the techniques that we went over as well.

Katherine Edwards:

Yeah, I'll definitely take away some of these and we can wait a minute and see if we get some Oh, we got some answers.

Anna Sergunina:

Gelato it must be funny 2024. Must be that year. Yeah. My while you're typing my, my five year old son always wants ice cream for dessert. I don't know maybe that's a year old but he never asked for gelato. But yeah, we'll take ice cream.

Katherine Edwards:

It's a good one. Someone shared making spin new decisions based on values. I think that's what I took away as well, which is kind of funny because this is my job. But I think I'll probably incorporate that too as I talk to clients of focusing on that more because I think it does help inform what your goal should be. So I love that. I'm so glad. Yeah.

Anna Sergunina:

I like that as well. It's a it's a filter that we all can adopt. Well Awesome. We want to thank everybody for joining us today. Thank you so much. It's been awesome to hang out. We definitely I think all of us. I mean, you usually don't get three of us to come. That's how excited we are for this topic. So no, we're like y'all guys, it's it's a fun time of the month for us to hang out with all of you. So totally, totally, totally worth it. Thank you so much. We'll be sending out a follow up email with the recording and slides and we'll see you on the inside. Have a great 2020 for the new year.

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