101: Money, Career, and Identity

November 18, 2021

Talking with Brianne Firestone from School of Betty about:
Careers and identity, which types of bank accounts we should have, should we ask for more money at work, why it’s important to have a budget and know your debt amount, changing your thoughts around money, and setting yourself up for sucess in the long term.

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This is Joy & Claire: 101: Money, Career, and Identity

Episode Date: November 18, 2021

Transcription Completed: November 21, 2021

Audio Length: 46:00 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Welcome back. Happy Thursday. Hope you’re all well.

Claire: This week we’re so excited, Bri from School of Betty is joining us. We had Bri back on Episode 17 of This is Joy and Claire [00:00:42.10]. The episode was called “Money Talk” if you want to go back and listen to that. Bri is the founder of School of Better, which is an amazing program and coaching and universe based on helping women get more comfortable with their financial selves. We are excited to talk to Bri today about all sorts of things. Bri, welcome.

Joy: Welcome back.

Bri: Hello. Thank you, I’m excited to be here.

Joy: Thank you so much for joining us. This topic has come up again, so we were like, you know what? We should have Bri back. I feel like it’s one of those topics that we don’t talk about very often because… I don’t know, it depends on your comfort level. It’s not like a “how’s the weather” conversation. How’s your money situation? It’s not like we’re doing that all the time, but maybe we should be. But thank you so much for joining us again. We just want to dive into some separate things. Certainly, listeners, if you didn’t listen to the Episode 17 that we did on This is Joy and Claire [00:01:37.21] with Bri, you can go back and listen to that episode. We talked a little bit more about just your comfort level with money, how you were raised around money, and how it impacts how you deal with money now. I think this time we really want to talk more about how it impacts our identity, especially as it relates to career. You and I have had conversations offline about this, so can we start opening the gate with how that can be wrapped up into your identity as it relates to your career?

Bri: Oh my goodness. That’s such a layered question. And I think if you’ve ever gone through a career transition where you are actually changing careers and you identified really strongly with the one that you were previously in, that’s a rough shift. Because most of us don’t recognize or realize how much weight we’re putting towards something and how much we are identifying with it. So if you think about your life – I’ll use kind of a lame example. But when I was CrossFitting and a CrossFit coach and eventually left that, I had no idea how much I had put my identity into that. Being a CrossFitter, being a CrossFit coach. So when I needed to move out of it, a couple of things happened. Number one, I didn’t move out of it as fast as I probably should have for my health and what was happening in my life because I couldn’t wrap my brain around that not being a part of my life. And the second thing is, when that thing goes, if you have put too much of your identity into it, there’s a big hole that you have to fill. All of the sudden when it’s gone, you feel very ungrounded and very untethered. You can imagine what that does if you’re shifting careers and all of the sudden you’re leaving something that you have identified with it, it has been your whole personality, everything you do people know you as this thing. Which is often how the identity becomes really baked in. And you’re moving into a career that maybe is making less money, or the people around you are like, “What is that? I don’t even know what it is.” You will often be tempted to make decisions that feel more comfortable for those around you instead of what’s probably in alignment for you. Because usually what’s in alignment for you when you’re heading into one of those transitions, it’s hard.

Joy: Well, the other piece that comes to mind is how other people will project their discomfort onto you. So if you want to start your own business, they’ll be like, “Well, what about…” It’s all their projections onto you and their discomfort. Let’s say just with your example. So were you in a place where you didn’t want to leave because of the identity? Why didn’t you want to leave as quickly?

Bri: I had identified with that for so long. I mean, I coached for three years, but I was doing CrossFit for nine or ten years. It was very foreign for me. It was the unknown. It was the unknown of what is next. It goes into deeper, right? Will my body change? What kind of workouts am I doing? What is this going to look like? But the area I think really pops up is the unknown of you going into the transition. You just don’t know what it’s going to be. Are people going to judge me? Are people going to be like, “What’s going on?” Again, as I say all of these things, it’s never internal. It’s always the fear of someone judging you from the outside that is curbing how you move forward often.

Joy: Do you think that people need to have their next step planned out before they jump to something?

Bri: I don’t. That’s such a great question. What I do think they need, they need to feel safe and secure financially and emotionally in that space. Because if you are taking a leap and you don’t feel financially secure, emotionally it’s going to be different. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of different things. You’re going to add a lot more stress onto your life instead of creating the freedom and the spaciousness that you need in order to actually think through what the next step is, to have that discovery, to have that revelation. The flip side of that is so many people can take a leap, but they don’t ever run the numbers or actually did down with it. If they have a shared household with their partner to say, okay, what would this look like if I left my job and I wasn’t working for six months? What would it look like if I took a job that paid less? Sit down and actually get comfortable, actually know the numbers. Because so many people assume they can’t do it, and that’s not necessarily true.

Joy: Assume they can’t leave their job?

Bri: Can’t leave their job. Can’t take a leap. Can’t take a part-time job and start a business on the side. We make these assumptions because everything around us tells us that that’s really risky, but what most individuals don’t do is actually sit down and run the numbers and look at the numbers for their household. How much do I actually need to make to survive and live a life that I’m comfortable with in that moment in this transition?

Joy: And that can be uncomfortable in and of itself, to sit down and make a budget.

Bri: Yes.

Joy: I’m guessing. 

Bri: 100%.

Joy: Sometimes even facing debt, and that can be scary to people. I know that that’s probably a lot of reason why people get into credit card debt. I’m not just not going to look at it, it doesn’t exist. So I think that that’s another thing. But facing this is really why we wanted to have this discussion too. If you are going to do it, you do have to face the reality of what your budget looks like. So for example, you and I talked briefly right after I left my job and I was like, oh yeah, it’s really scary. I’ve been really lucky in my life to have jobs pretty consistently out of grad school, and I’ve never really had to free fall with money because I’ve always been able to support myself in some way, shape, or form. You were like, “Cool. That’s what savings are for.” Because I was telling you, “Yeah, I have savings.” And you were like, “Awesome, that’s what savings are for, right?” And I was like, “Oh yeah. I guess that’s what savings are for.” Which sounded so silly, but I assumed – I’m just using myself as an example – but I was like, it’s going to run out. I’m so scared. But you’re like, “But that’s what savings are for.” I was like, yeah, I guess you’re right. You have to kind of check yourself sometimes about how you think about all of this.

Bri: Oh, 100%. And that is super common with a lot of my students lately, especially as we’ve gone through COVID and pandemic. So many, if they had savings had to dip into it. That has stirred a lot of feelings and emotions. You just have to ask the question, what would you use that for? So it’s really important when you have these buckets of money or you have savings that you actually sit and list the intention or how would I use this so that you’re almost giving yourself and your mind permission. Because when you get used to having a big chunk of money in an account, when it goes down, it’s going to stir naturally – and it doesn’t matter how good your money mindset it – it’s going to trigger an “Oh no.” I’m losing money. When we had the conversation and it’s like, it’s going to run out. And it’s like, well, what’s the actual timeline of it running out? Well, let’s run the numbers.

Joy: Run the numbers, right. That’s exactly what Scott would say. The other conversation is how you manage money with your partner. We have a very unique way of doing things that’s our business. But he was like, how much time do you have? And I was like, I don’t know. Because it’s scary to look at it. But you have to and you make a plan. Stop freaking out.

Bri: Yeah. Yeah, because there’s so much stress and anxiety in the not knowing when it comes to money. We worry about swiping the card at the grocery store if our financial circumstances have changed because we’re not sure exactly how much is in there or how much we have to spend on our groceries. We are stressed out about our debt because we don’t actually know what the total is or how long it will take us to pay it off or how much we have to put towards it. It’s all unknown, and there’s an easy fix for that y’all. We just rip the Band-Aid off and we look at the numbers. It sounds really scary, but once you do it – even just looking at your total debt and looking at that number you will feel relief in your body. It will be a very physical sigh because you at least know, and then you can get to work to start using your money and taking actions to chip away at it, to make a plan for it. But when you don’t know what it is, you’re just spinning around.

Joy: Yeah. This reminds me of how you do one thing is how you do everything. So if you’re like, “I just don’t want to look at that,” that there’s probably a lot of things in your life that you’re just trying to get through and not look at and not face. And that can bring up a lot of emotions too of course. I am a huge fan of rip the Band-Aid type of approach. You can’t just go gently into this. You just have to do it and deal with the emotions later But what are the first steps that people can do? How do you start? What do you do?

Bri: Well, first of all, just tell yourself before you start to do it that it’s just a number. Gosh, we give so much emotion to the money. And money cannot take on an emotion unless you give it an emotion. We’re so good at saying money is stressful. Money is just a number. It’s just there. I always use this example – it’s like your sock is stressing you out. You’re not stressed about your sock. They’re just socks. They do them what you tell them to do, and money is the same way. Money will do what you tell it to do. Simply listing all of your debts, the interest rate, how much you owe, what your credit limit is, and your minimum payment. Just list it all out, and then add up that total minimum payment so that you know every month I have to be able to at least make this payment. Because 35% of your credit score is making the minimum payment on time. You don’t have to pay it off. That’s why some people have a lot of debt. 30% is your debt to credit ratio, but a lot of people can really swing a decent credit score and still have debt. It’s because they’re still making those payments on time. But the fact if you know all of that, then you can create a plan. Then you can look at it and say, alright, let’s focus on credit cards first. And then I’m going to choose snowball. I’m going to knock out the tiniest debt first because that’s going to feel really motivating. Or, no, that stresses me out. I want to do avalanche. I want to start with the highest interest first. But the first step is going through and writing out all the numbers. And what’s really powerful for most individuals is they start to realize very quickly how little they actually know about their credit card and the interest rate and what’s going on with that. A lot of my students have to really search for their interest rate. They’ve got to find it. And their limit. They don’t know what they are.

Joy: And that’s huge. Huge.

Bri: Huge.

Joy: You could spend so much money on interest if you’re not paying attention to that. Or yearly fees, annual fees that a credit card will all of the sudden just spring on you or what have you. Okay, so that’s a good way to start. I’m kind of all over the place today, but I have a lot of questions that I really also want to ask. Back to our question on career changes, let’s talk a little bit about your beliefs or your opinions around working for a certain salary and then maybe taking a less salary because it will make you happier. I feel like especially in this day and age, we’re all kind of like, “We’ve got to climb the ladder.” At least with a little bit of hustle culture behind us. Talk a little bit about your opinions on that piece.

Bri: I’ve got a lot of opinions. 

Joy: Yeah.

Bri: Well, I love that you brought that up because we do have a lot of beliefs and stories around success in our careers and what that looks like. For many of us, that looks like we have to keep gaining titles and we have to keep making more money. And that’s not necessarily true. I have students who are perfectly happy not being a manager, doing their worker bee job, 9-5 clock in. They make just enough money to live their life, and they are happy. Amazing. And so the first check I think is to ask yourself, what is it that’s driving me that makes me feel like I need to – I’m attaching some of my self-worth to the salary I’m making. We can get so focused on that. We can be in this tunnel vision around that when the other part of the equation, the other two resources we have to take into consideration, are the time and energy. So our money and our time and energy, those are the resources that we have every day and we’re using them every day. And you are never making a decision about one without considering the other two. Now when it comes to careers, we often forget or we don’t even think about the fact that I could make $20,000 less and run the numbers and how much time and energy I’m going to get back in my life to do these things that actually spend time with my family, move my body more, do some things that bring me joy, not have stress on my body. So many individuals aren’t taking into account the energetic costs, what they’re spending energetically, the debt that’s happening energetically because they took that higher job that is stressing them the “f” out because they got more money. When they can’t actually enjoy the more money because they’re just on the grind

Joy: I know this sounds really trite, but if you’re using that example – for example, $20k more a year is not – paycheck to paycheck, it’s really not that much more. So it’s how you weigh that out is that is really important. The reason I ask that question too is very much because I went through my health issues. The stress of a job was just not worth the money. But your thinking, especially as a woman and like, wow, this is really cool that you’re making more money or having a better title. At the end of the day, it was just – and I’m not saying this is every job, but I haven’t heard yet a lot of people who are climbing the ladders that are super, super fulfilled and happy. They’re usually pretty stressed out. I think it’s just that piece of paying attention and weighing that and also, it’s okay to look at what is the benchmark or the minimum that you need to make to live your happy lifestyle.

Bri: Yeah. And we’re conditioned to be in this space where – I mean, think about when you’re going to a cocktail party or meeting someone for the first time, one of the first questions you get asked is, “What do you do?” Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone was like, “What do you do for fun?” or “What makes you happy?” Who the freak asks that? That would be amazing.

Joy: I hate that question, I really do.

Bri: Yeah. Even with my students when we start doing a vision, like, what kind of life do you want? What do you want? No one knows. Because we haven’t spent enough time in this space ‘of what do I actually want my life to look like?

Joy: Yeah, what do you want your life to look like? I also wonder if the people who do the #vanlife, just stripping everything away to feel what it feels like to just have very little, to go to that extreme. I could never do that. What I’m saying is I think there’s some beautify in thinking, could I live without all of these things and experience what it’s like to just be bare bones? Yeah, the titles, the money. I was thinking about this the other day. Even if I was a millionaire, I would have different friends. People that have tons and tons of – maybe millionaire is like nothing these days. But a billionaire, someone who’s super, super loaded, it comes with a weird echelon of people that I’m like, I think I’m good. I don’t need to make a crap load of money. But as you’re growing up, that’s the thing is you see all these great, wonderful things that you could buy. It’s very interesting for me to watch. Maybe that’s just something because I work in psychology, I’m always observing the people aspect of it and how it changes people

Bri: Totally. And we’re not actually shown the millionaires and billionaires that are choosing to use their money in a different way. So we have this vision of what that looks like. And I always say that money doesn’t necessarily change you. It just amplifies who you are inherently. So when you’re running across someone who’s not a nice person and they have a lot of money, they probably weren’t that nice when they didn’t have a lot of money. 

Joy: That’s super true.

Bri: That’s the belief that I have. Because most of us want more money and we judge individuals who have it and we’re afraid to ask for it.

Joy: Yes, yes. And that was my next jump. We’re talking money right now about the lack of it. Most of the people you’re talking to and coaching don’t have their finances in order – and they want more money? Or they want to get out of debt? And so that’s kind of the next jump of, then, how do we either ask for more money – fi you’re at a career, maybe asking for raises, and advocating –

Bri: Yeah. I think first of all, and I know this is not a sexy answer, but you have to know your money for your household. You have to know your expenses. You have to know how much you need to live. Because if you don’t know that, we’re flying blind. We have no idea. It’s like you have no senses around what is a good decision and what isn’t a good decision because you don’t have that base level knowledge. If you were going into a career change, if you were going to ask for more money, you have to know what you need to be paid just to walk in the door. What do you need to be paid just to walk into the door for the promotion? If it’s a promotion and you’re going to be managing ten more people, you need to have a sense of what that is for you, which is going to require that you are doing an audit of your money, time, and energy. To say, is this worth it for me? So first and foremost, I think you have to understand that and you have to know that. It’s not sexy by any means, but so many don’t know what that is. It’s not bad to ask for money or want more money. We just have a lot of judgement around that because we have this idea of if you want more money, you aren’t thankful for what you have, you’re super greedy. And we have this belief that if I have more money, someone misses out. I don’t believe that because I come from an abundant mindset. That’s not to bypass the inequities that are very inherent in money. I know we could talk about the inequities with women in the workforce. Then we have to go the layer deep to see the inequities within the inequities because I as a white CIS [00:20:48.26] gender woman, my experience is very different and I make more money on the dollar. Although not a dollar like a man makes, but it looks different than my Black friends or friends who identify as indigenous or people of color. So we have to just keep that in mind and be present and aware of that. But because we have this fear of judgement, so many women – 60% of women don’t even try to negotiate their salary. They don’t even try to ask for it.

Joy: That is very interesting to me. I learned that a few years ago. I was just like, oh my gosh, that’s insane. But I also noticed it when I would talk to my husband about salary and about how innate – no bash on Scott. It was normal to him, normal speak of asking for bonuses, asking for raises. He was getting a raise like every three months. I’m like, how are you doing that? And then I was like, oh, because this is your world, and you just do that.

Claire: I feel like when it comes to finances, there are so many parallels to dating. There are so many parallels to diet culture. Where so many of the same things come up of “who am I to want that,” “who am I to ask for that,” “what if they get mad that I asked for it.” When you’re accepting a new job and you go back and ask for $5k or $10k. Well, what if they get mad and they’re like, “You can’t have the job anymore. You weren’t supposed to ask for more.” I also think about with diet culture that we want this quick fix. We want things to just flip a switch and everything look the way we want it to look in our finances. And also, I think that there is a component there that is similar to diet culture where we see these people who have these big dramatic success stories, whether that’s with they got this big raise or they quit their job and started their own company and now they’re posting every month about their six-figure month and all these things. When the reality is maybe those dramatic lifestyle changes do work for some people, but for the majority of us, it’s small daily habits and that’s where any of this will shift. It’s not necessarily in that – Bri, to your point, if you don’t know what you need, if you don’t have a pulse on your day-to-day, then how can you expect to get what you want walking into that annual review. Yeah, the annual review might be the one big moment where everything shifts, but you need to have your poop in a group first before you can walk into that shift.

Bri: Totally. I’ve never heard that before.

[All laughing]

Joy: It’s a nicer way of saying “shit together.” Get your shit together.

Bri: I love it. Poop in a group.

Claire: It’s the kindergarten-friendly way.

Bri: And it’s so true. I mean, your money cannot work for you if you don’t know where you’re going and what you desire. Identifying what you desire is not a bad thing. We only get one ride in this crazy burning rock. We only get one ride. We get to decide what that looks like and how we want it to go. I just lost my train of thought. I had something to say in response to that.

Joy: Why don’t we take a quick break because we have a sponsor to plug. So this will be a good time, and then you can think about what you wanted to say. This week’s sponsor is our favorite people, the makers of Ned. Alright guys, we’ve talked a lot about Ned in the past weeks. We hope that you will support the podcast by supporting Ned. You know, the CBD market has become very saturated over the last few years. I’m sure you’ve seen a bazillion ads for CBD. You can buy it in almost every coffee shop or grocery store. But many of the companies out there source their hemp from industrial firms in China. So be careful where you buy your CBD because just like with low quality alcohol, low quality CBD can have undesired effects. We’ve really touted the products we’ve been using specifically. Mine is the sleep blend, which I still love and I stand by it. I’ve been starting to use just their CBD oil during the day. Most of you know we turned Cadet in last week and I was having some really stressful days, so I was taking that almost every single day just trying to calm myself down. But we love this product. Claire, you’ve also been using this as well. 

Claire: Yeah, I love the destress blend. I just kind of use it throughout the evenings as needed to keep me off the cliff when it’s bedtime. You know, it doesn’t necessarily make the cliff go away, but it does help take a few steps back. So that’s what I love about CBD is that it really just kind of helps you manage your own mindset a little bit more easily.

Joy: If you want to try the new destress blend from Ned, a brand that we love and trust, we have a special offer for our listeners. Every order over $40 qualifies for 15% off plus a free destress blend sample. Go to helloned.com/JOY or enter JOY at checkout to take advantage of this offer. That’s helloned.com/JOY to get 15% plus a free destress blend sample on any order over $40. Thank you, Ned, for sponsoring our program and offering our listeners a natural remedy for some of life’s most common health issues. Thank you, Ned.

Claire: Thank you to our listeners for supporting the brands that support our podcast. Yeah, let’s pop back into that conversation about noting the day-to-day and how those little habits add up so that you are prepared if you do have the opportunity to have a big picture moment.

Bri: Yes. Here’s the thing, y’all. There are a lot of millionaires walking around and you would never know, and it’s because they have these tiny habits or they’ve been putting into their retirement for a long time or they’ve been maxing it out. I think I talked about this on Episode 17 where the very first thing I had my students do is start looking at their bank account every day to start desensitizing themselves around money being emotional. And what happens with that is they actually start to become very aware of their spending habits and what’s going on. It is those tiny little habits that are going to change the game. I always say, you don’t have to move mountains. You just have to start having movement. It’s really important, as we’ve said a million times, that you know what your money flow is, you know what your expenses are, you know what you want to do, and you know you have this vision for your life. I say that because it’s really easy to get dazzled by someone else. It’s really easy to be like, oh, I’m going to do that. I want that. I should be doing that. Do you? Do you actually want that? Does that feel good to you? But we want to know all of those things because you could have an opportunity where a promotion is coming towards you and you don’t actually want it. That’s not in alignment with the goals you have for your life. Or you don’t want the extra responsibility. And that’s okay too, but you have to know what you want and what you desire in order to make those moves. By not asking for money, by having this idea that by asking for money I’m greedy and I’m not grateful, the reality is that with the pay gaps that women experience and also being out of the workforce, out of a 40-year career, that adds up to over $900,000. That’s significant. So if you’re in a moment where you’re worried about asking for $5,000 or $10,000, pop it into an IRA calculator or 401(k) [00:28:24.22] calculator just to show yourself so that you can see a number, know the number, what that actually might do in 15 or 20 years. Then it’s different. I had a student say, can I pull out from my 401(k) [00:28:38.09] to pay off this credit card debt. And it’s like, well how much are you really spending? Run the numbers. That $50,000 you want to use would actually be $350,000 at your retirement. Know the numbers. Then it’s like, oh, I’m not doing that. Cool. Are you willing to pay this interest? When you know the interest in the time span you can pay it off, totally different. Because you’re going into this with knowledge to make a decision.

Joy: I have a very basic question. Are there certain banks or accounts that you’re a fan of to have – separate from retirement, just a savings account – which banks have great interest rates? Do you have any preferences or do you think, no, people just need to find a savings account and a checking account? What kind of accounts to people have?

Bri: I mean, find what works for you. If you’re loyal to your bank or whatever, great. I’m not sponsored by anyone. I love Ally [00:29:34.02]. I like Capitol One [00:29:36.17]. I’m drawn towards online banks. They’re just easier I think to open up accounts. And for example, Ally – [00:29:43.16]  

Joy: Is that A-L-L-Y?

Bri: Correct. You get to bucket out your savings. Just in general, what I want my students to have is you have your main checking account. If you struggle with overspending or you’re struggling to try to stay within a spending amount or your play money. And everyone should have play money, y’all. You cannot expect – that needs to be a line item. Even if it’s $20 a month, you have to have money that is yours to spend however you want because if we don’t have that, we are in a budget diet mentality and that doesn’t work. We’re looking for sustainability. So I always encourage my students, have an account where you get to move your spending money over every month that has its one debit account. Then you know you won’t overspend or dip into any of the money that you need for your actual living expenses. I always say, have a high interest savings account. You can literally pop in “high interest savings account” and Google that and see interest rates aren’t that great right now, but a lot of the online banks will give you really, really awesome interest rates. That’s great for your emergency fund. So when you’re not necessarily going to touch that money a whole lot. And I always recommend another account that is – let’s just say you cut and color your hair, and it’s a chunk of money every time. Or you pay your electric every three months. I don’t know, I’m making these up. But you can add those up. How many times do I those in a year? Divide it by 12. And each month you can move that money into that account. It’s called a sinking fund [00:31:18.23], and that just allows you to get a better cash flow. So when you go to the salon and you need to drop a couple hundred dollars, you’ve already been saving for it a month at a time, and it actually is going to give you a better cash flow. I always want people to have their main checking account, a spending account, their savings account for sinking funds [00:31:39.01] for things that they’re just kind of placing the money there to hold for a little bit, and then an emergency fund that’s probably at another bank because it takes a few days to get to you, It’ll help stop you if you try to move some money and you probably shouldn’t.

Joy: Some built-in buffers. That’s actually pretty smart. And as you’re talking about all that, if listeners have recommendations for online banks that they really like or credit cards that they find are giving good bonuses or benefits. I know Capitol One [00:32:05.11] is great. I really like the online bank Synchrony [00:32:08.14] because they have awesome high-yield savings accounts that have really good interest rates. But once again, it’s not for the cash flow. It’s just for putting your money there to save it and get interest. I’d love to hear from listeners. Maybe we can put a resource list together for people. Alright, do we want to do some rapid-fire questions?

Claire: Yes. So mere moments ago, Joy posted on our Instagram to get some listener questions. I think it would be great to wrap up with those and hear what is on everyone else’s mind about money. I think these conversations that we’re having, again similar to relationships, similar to diet culture, this stuff never goes away. I don’t think you just wake up one morning and you’re like, I have solved my finances. I may go on with the rest of my life now. Unless maybe you win the lottery. But actually probably not even then. This person asked, and we’ve kind of already covered this, what are the basics of taking care of our money that we should all be doing?

Bri: Yeah, that’s a big one. Number one, you have to start reframing your mindset around money. The easiest way to do that is to start thinking of your money as a relationship you care about. It sounds really silly. But it will change your behavior with the actual money. Because what we don’t want to stay in is in this space where money equals bad and money is scary. Because your brain will do anything it can to keep you away from it, to keep you in avoidance. And we don’t want to be in avoidance. We want to spend time with our money. Because knowledge is power. And so when we think about our money as being a relationship that we care about, that looks like checking our numbers every day just to see what I spend my money on. Having a money date every week where you’re actually updating your budget and you know how much money you have left in your line items and you’re moving money around. A budget is meant to be flexible y’all. It’s just guiderails. When you know the guiderails and, “Oh, I’m overspending in this area,” then you know what you can move around and what you’re willing to do without. But when you don’t have that, you have no idea what you can and cannot do. So treating your money like a relationship you care about, which is going to lead you into creating a good money flow, AKA a budget. Know what that is. Money coming in, money going out. It should feel flowy. There’s a reason why I use that word. It should not feel restrictive. If your budget feels super, super restrictive – and granted, there are going to be individuals who are paycheck to paycheck, and this is going to be an edge [00:34:32.09]. It’s going to be a tough. [00:34:32.05] But we want it to be flowy because when it’s flowy we know we are in a space of sustainability. We are not in a space where we have to grit and willpower our way through it like an extreme diet. That’s not what it’s about. We are about changing your habits completely so that you have a really good relationship with that money. So starting to build your money flow and getting used to it is great. And just recognize, y’all, give yourself some grace because when you put numbers down in a budget, you’re committing to new habits and behaviors. So recognize that, right? If you go to extreme, you’re not going to be able to do it. If you’re living off of credit cards still, you might have to still live off of credit cards a little bit as you start to dial in your habits and behaviors and just get used to everything. And that’s okay. Because again, we’re not playing the short game. We’re playing the long game. Start doing that. If you have credit card debt, start paying attention to that so that we can actually create a debt plan and eliminate that. So many individuals, they pay so much money towards their credit card debt and interest, it’s stifling. It removes the freedom that they have to do the things that they want to do in their lives. And then start to educate yourself around retirement and how you’re going to set yourself up for your future. I always tell myself, give your future self a name. Mine is Shirley. How’s Shirley going to feel? When she’s edging on retirement, what kind of life does Shirley want? Is she doing bridge a lot? Is she traveling to the beach? What does Shirley look like, right? Because we want to take care of her, and that’s not to say you can’t enjoy your life now. But I think once you go past 40, you’re like, oh, second chapter here we go. I need to start paying attention to this stuff. It’s coming. It’s coming, y’all. The time will come.

Joy: Faster than you think.

Claire: You’ve got to keep Shirley in pink lipstick and curlers. 

Bri: Yes.

Claire: You can’t run out of her pink lipstick budget. Okay yeah, so speaking of that, somebody asks, we have our budgets but what happens when inflation throws everything off? Eat less? Help.

Bri: I hate this. We are in it for sure with inflation. Here’s the reality. Not sexy, you’re not going to like the answer. These are our options. We can spend less. We can make more. We can do both. And so when we are in that space and inflation is happening, then we have to start going through an audit. Again, know your values for your life. Know your values for your life. Know the vision for your life. These might have to shift. You might be in a circumstance where you’re not making enough money or the dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. You need to be able to go back and say, what am I willing to let go of or shift in order to make this work? Are there options for me to make more money? That’s the reality. I’m not going to say eat less, but you could – I don’t want to give anyone diet, food, eating advice. This is not what this is about. But it might be something like, oh, I eat vegetarian twice a week now. That helps me on my grocery budget. I don’t know what that is, but you have to start being creative. But know, make more, spend less, do both, those are your three options. They really are the options. And when you know that, it removes any of the angst because you’re like, well, okay I’ve got to figure it out within these parameters. 

Claire: That sounds so simple. It’s like, make more, spend less. What could be simpler? But that process is so much more complex. It is always so freeing to hear super complex processes summed up in quick advice. And also, I feel for anyone out there who is sitting there being like, but I had this figured out. Come on. That’s a crappy feeling.

Joy: And you’d be surprised of what you come up with if you just kind of evaluate all your expenses and maybe the businesses you’re doing business with. For example, we just recently looked at our trash pickup people how much we were paying per month, and we asked our neighbors. They were like, “What? You’re paying like five times as much as we are.” We were like, what? So we changed garbage disposal services. So things like that, you just don’t know until you dig into some of the services that you’re doing. Or Scott will be like, “We don’t watch Showtime anymore. Can we get rid of that?” Or just the things you assume you’re always paying for – do you really need to pay for that? So that’s what I would suggest too is just everything that you’re already paying for, see if there’s something cheaper or you really need to do that.

Claire: And maybe this is just city of Longmont. I don’t know that I would have an option to change my trash pickup people. Who knew? Who knew that that was even something that you could be looking at? Not me.

Joy: Oh yeah. We are saving so much money.

Bri: I love that. Assess everything that you’re currently spending and ask yourself, am I using this? Do I care about it? Is it important? What attachment do I have to having this thing? And that can do wonders for sure.

Joy: Yeah. Another example is we were paying every single month just auto draft, those gnarly things that it’s impossible to cancel. And every month I was getting automatic draft or whatever from a security company because we had an alarm system in our house. We got our windows reinstalled. We got new windows. So we had to redo all of our security system. Well it turns out it’s so much cheaper long-term to just get cameras around your house, and I cancelled that service. Even though it was impossible to cancel. They really lay it on thick. They’re like, “How about a dollar a month?” They really want you to stay. It was like Ross on friends where he’s like, [00:40:07.16] “I want to quit the gym.” That’s exactly how it was for me. But I was spending way more long-term than I would just buying cameras for the house. And we’re like, actually cameras are way better than an alarm system because the noise just goes off versus you have – anyway, those are the things we were just kind of like, why are we paying for this? Yeah, so highly recommend doing that too.

Claire: Okay, one last question. This one is a big one, so maybe this is a more of where to look for information on this. The question is, thoughts on crypto? [00:40:36.29]

Bri: Oh boy, that’s a big one.

Claire: So maybe what are some resources? Maybe we can share some links. I know crypto is this whole gigantic topic. Very quick, do you think it’s worth it for the average person to be spending time worrying about crypto? Is this the compression tights of the financial world where if you don’t have everything else dialed, then compression tights aren’t going to help? 

Bri: Oh my God, that’s the best. You know, there are a lot of different schools of thought. There are some coaches who would guide you to say you have to start investing in the stock market, even if you have credit card debt. And there are others who are like, pay off your credit card debt and then you can start investing. So you have to start to find your edge and your risk and what feels good to you. I always tell my students this. What feels good to you? Because your risk tolerance, the life you want, your values is different from the person next to you, and you have to pay attention to that. Otherwise, you’re going to get on a plane and a trajectory that’s not going to serve you. There’s so many sites you can look at. I really love Investopia [00:41:45.12]. It’s a site that gives really good articles to break things down. I’m sure Elvast [00:41:51.09] probably has something as well. There are other money coaches out there that are doing trainings on it. I think if you popped in “crypto currency and money coach” you would start to find a lot of individuals. I’m not going to tell you if it’s good or bad. That’s not my space. I know that sucks. Because it is so up to your risk tolerance. Some students don’t want to get into the stock market or it freaks them out. Well it freaks them out because they don’t know enough about it. So knowledge is power, just remind yourself of that. And whatever money you feel like you’re going to put in just in the stock market, you’re playing the long game. That’s my philosophy. You’re playing the long game. So if you were hoping to beat the market, good luck. Lots of people have tried it. And if you lost that money in five years, how devastating would that be. Start to go through some questions in your head so that you can evaluate your own risk tolerance for those things.

Joy: I almost feel like that was a little bit on the edge of I could have asked you about multilevel marketing, but I’m not going to.

Bri: [laughing]

Joy: It feels like the same answer. Uh, just be careful.

Claire: I think that crypto is so new and shiny that we feel like it’s kind of forget that it’s kind of just another stock market. A lot of us use stock market experts to help us invest our money in the stock market. I have money invested in the stock market, and I have a financial advisor to help me with that because I know that I don’t have the time or the resources or the background knowledge to really understand what’s going on. I also don’t know why I would expect that from myself around crypto. But all of the sudden, I’m going to wake up one morning and have special interest in this entire currency system that I have not been paying attention to.

Bri: Well, what’s really fascinating is most people don’t think about this. Our money system, our current currency, it is make believe. There’s only 8% of the currency that’s real. If everyone went to the bank right now and wanted to get their money, it could not happen. So 92% of the currency rolling around is in spreadsheets and hard drives and whatever, and it works because we believe in it. So remind yourself of that the minute you’re telling yourself “I can’t make more money.” Listen, have you ever transferred money and you’re like, “There went $6000. I haven’t seen it in the other bank yet. Just hanging out in the ether.”

Joy: Just floating around.

Claire: We should all aspire to have a Scrooge McDuck pool full of gold coins, but that’s just not the reality.

Joy: [laughing]

Bri: And you could get it and no one’s going to take it. Like, we don’t take actual money.

Claire: Right, right.

Joy: Yeah, that’s true.

Claire: The only place they can is at the farmer’s market.

Joy: We’re doing touches now, thank you. What is this money? This dirty money with COVID all over it.

Claire: Actually I’m just going to scan your retina and deduct from your credit.

Bri: Yes, remind yourself. We believe in it, so it works. 

Claire: Great point. 

Joy: Well Bri, thank you so much.

Claire: Where can everyone find you?

Bri: You can find me at theschoolofbetty.com. That’s Betty, B-E-T-T-Y, not Buddy. That happens a lot. I spend most of my time on Instagram if you are on the social media platforms. That’s @theschoolofbetty as well. Yeah, I’ve got courses. I’ll be launching the next year’s [00:45:12.16] finances in January. That’s usually our biggest cohort. It’s so fun to get everyone rolling into the new year. So you can find information on my Instagram and on my website for that.

Claire: Well thank you again so much for joining us. Listeners, you know where to find us. @joyandclaire_ on Instagram, joyandclaire.com, thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. Send us your questions. Send us your thoughts. Send us your hopes and dreams. We will talk to you next week. Don’t forget to check out our sponsor, Ned, helloed.com, discount code is JOY. Thank you so much. See you next Thursday.

Joy: Bye, guys.

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