Have I told you that I've recently developed a money obsession? Not so much with money itself as it is with learning how to use, spend, and track my money. I know it's kind of sad that it took me until my mid-thirties to do this, but here we are. Getting educated on how to track my money not only in my personal life but also in my business. This is why I’m so excited to share today’s blog with you!
Becca Gonzalez, creator of Mind Her Business, joined me for a special episode of
The Beyond Leadership Podcast. Becca is a Personal and business finance coach who specializes in all things money mindset and is a freaking genius when it comes to how biz and personal finances meld together. She has created a plan that has served herself, me, and so many other clients when it comes to maintaining our personal, business, and family financial goals. Becca teaches from a place that makes sense, and she's able to do so because she's been there and understands what it's like to feel "not good with money".
When Becca and her husband first got married over 5 years ago, they realized they handled money in completely opposite ways, and not in a good way. Her husband bringing in zero debt, and Becca bringing in ninety thousand dollars worth of debt. They decided to start with a popular financial program that kickstarted them to killing Becca’s debt, however it made her completely obsessed over money. To the point of no vacations, never going out to eat,
basically on total lockdown. They weren’t having fun together at all or enjoying each other's company. Both working two jobs; a full-time job and a part-time job, and picking up hours anywhere that they could just to throw money at debt. Becoming consumed by a scarcity mindset. She decided to work on the way that money was controlling her. She began reading books and tweaking her strategy. They began dividing up what went into debt and what went to future plans. It really shifted the way she thought about money, it was no longer about what they did NOT have. The excitement started to rise as she saw the way her mindset was consciously shifting. Once she felt like she had really conquered this transformation, she began helping friends and family do the same. From there it turned into a coaching business teaching women financial literacy and how to walk themselves from their vision to their goals just like she did.
I first wanted to discuss money mindset. How do we get from the scarcity to abundance mentality?
Becca says, “from personal experience, when I was sitting in a place of scarcity mindset I told myself, “we will never be able to afford that vacation, we will never get out of debt, I will never make enough money”. If you tell yourself things like this, you can't see gratitude for what you already have. You have also blocked your mind from seeing a future, which blocks you from being able to see opportunities around money. What I tell people all the time is when you change your mindset, you're opening yourself up to opportunity. It won’t always necessarily be blessings in the FORM of money, but you can have huge blessings in the form of freeing your schedule up to receive money or freeing your mind up to receive an opportunity that could, in turn, lead to money. So it's not always about the actual earning of the money. If you're concentrating solely on the money you are not giving yourself room to work on how to get to where you want to be.”
When you made that mindset switch, did you notice that all of a sudden blessing upon blessing was just coming to you?
“Yes, but also I noticed that I wanted to be a blessing to other people. All of a sudden it wasn't “I don't have enough money to help this person” it turned into “we have exactly what we need this month, I can generously give to this person, I can give them my time and money without expecting anything in return” and the feeling of freedom that comes from that is really the one thing that I needed. I felt so trapped by the money that we didn't have. When I started focusing on all the things that we DID have, we did receive random money. A check here or maybe the insurance company filed something wrong and they sent us a check to reimburse us. Things that we had no idea were coming, when I loosen the reigns a little bit and focused on what we did have and how far we had come, versus ‘I'm here I'll never get that far’ wherever you're looking at future it changes everything. It changes your perspective, it changes how you want to help other people, and it's honestly changed my marriage.”
why is it so important to you to specifically teach women financial literacy?
“I hear two things all the time, either “I grew up in a home where my dad was the breadwinner” or “the male in my house was the breadwinner” OR “I grew up in a house and a single mom and she worked four or five jobs to provide for the family” and so what they see is either a male providing for the family monetarily or you see a female who has to work so hard and she doesn't have time to spend with her family. She has no time but to dedicate to working a string of jobs just to provide for the family. I want women to be able to stand on their own two feet, I want them to know finances the way that traditionally men have known about finances. More than that I want women to be able to make a difference in the world with their time, with their money, with their brains. I want women to be able to step out in confidence knowing that they know about finances so they can make better business, personal and financial decisions for their families. Really it just gives them their own two legs to stand on, they don't have to depend on anybody else.”
(Rather listen along? Tune into The Beyond Leadership podcast, now!)
Tell me more about what the experience is like when women decide to work with you. You talk mindset and then you talk financial literacy. Can you walk me through what those typical lessons look like?
“Yes, so no matter if you come to me and you need to work on your personal finances your business finances, or a combination of both, there are five things that we always walk through and it's my five-step process.
The first step is digging into your vision. What do you want? What do you want five years from now, ten years from now? Financially, what is that dream? You'll find that if you're not anchored in that vision or what you want for your life and the life of your family financially, it is very difficult to move towards your goals in that time, So the vision is something we always dig into.
The second step is to dig into your actual budget. Are there holes that we need to plug in neatly? Is there a space in your budget where you are draining yourself financially or time-wise? Is there something that we need to fix immediately? Then we'll see where we can maximize the money you already have coming in.
The third step that we always go through is to work on your mindset and habit changes. These are not meant to overhaul your whole life, because what happens when you try to overhaul your whole life? It's not sustainable, you can't keep up with it, it's overwhelming, and you will quit. It’s just the fact of the matter. So, we dig into very small habit changes and very small shifts in your mindset so that when we move to the fourth step-
The fourth step being goal setting, you are in a headspace where your goals make sense, they are measurable, they are trackable and it's something that's very attainable for you.
That transfers us right to the last step, which is planning action steps to walk you to that goal. You can have a vision and a goal, but if you don't have the action steps to literally walk yourself to those goals then they're gonna be extremely difficult to hit, and typically they’re planned so far out that you're gonna give up before you hit them.”
What are some of the common ‘immediate fixes’ that you see that if someone was to open their bank account right now at this moment they could save an extra forty dollars a month? Is it subscriptions, paying the wrong debt, or that five-dollar Starbucks every morning?
“There are three places in the budget right off the top of my head that almost every single person who comes to me struggles with. The first being groceries. People spend an enormous amount of money on groceries because there's a lack of planning, and just putting planning in place can considerably lower your food
budget. The second place is exactly what you said, subscriptions. There are some people who open up their account and they don't even know that they're paying for some subscriptions. They may have auto-renewed or they thought they canceled and they didn't. So just really going through your account line by line or your budget line by line makes a huge difference. The last place is debt repayment. A lot of people work on the smallest at first and I work really hard with my clients to make a debt plan that works for them and gets them through their debt faster than just paying the smallest debt to largest debt because that's not always the best plan. You can really put yourself back hundreds and even thousands of dollars just paying smallest to largest debt.”
When I was looking at paying off debt, I kept hearing about the ‘debt snowball’ and that's where I started. But when I started looking at things like calculated interest rates over time and where that money was actually going, and what was costing me the most money in interest I realized that little two hundred sixty-three dollar Target bill can stay there for ten years for all I care because the interest rate on that thing is like pennies a month, whereas the interest rate on the card that has a twenty-eight hundred dollar balance I'm paying sixty dollars a month in interest and my minimum payments are only forty-two dollars a month so the balance keeps going up even when I make payments!
“Yeah and this is a huge place of lost income for people because what happens is you get so tired of paying debt that, again, either you give up or you take your foot off of the peddle. So what I teach my clients is not only about how to customize a debt pay-off plan for them, their family, and what works best for their income, but I also teach them that you cannot ONLY do debt pay-off. It's also not sustainable. So what we had to shift in our house was debt pay-off AND save for a vacation, or debt pay-off AND make time to go out to eat and do things with our kids that cost money. We could not live without both of those because it was not sustainable. It's not sustainable mentally and it's not sustainable emotionally for families.”
Do you ever get people who come to you and say, "I want to buy a house in a year, but I've got a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in debt." How do you deal with situations where that may not be the best option? Is it possible to work on both of those tasks at the same time?
“Yes. Are you going to need to work on debt pay-off in the more immediate future? Absolutely. Because several things that are involved in buying a house are debt to income ratio, and if it's not a solid number they will not lend you money for a home. The other thing that comes into play is your credit score and repaying debt back (in a smart way) is one way to raise your credit score enough to be able to afford a house. So yes, you can do both. Will your timeline be longer than expected? Possibly. But is it worth it to do it the smart way than just start throwing everything you have at debt, a year later do you even have money saved for a down payment on a home or closing costs?”
We talked a lot about personal finance but I know you also work with women in the entrepreneurial business finance space so I guess 1. how did you get into that space and 2. What different advice do you have for female entrepreneurs when talking about their business budgets?
“A lot of my clients have come to me right off the bat has been business owners and I myself have been in direct sales for many years so that has always been interesting to me and women making their own money and creating their own
businesses is something that I am really passionate about and love to see them do. I also want to see them do that so that they are profiting from their business. A lot of the women know that they're making money, they know that there is income coming in. What version of that profit? As in, what portion of that do you get you to give yourself at the end of the month? Paying yourself for all the work that you've already done. The other thing is a lot of them just lack a system for tracking their income but more than that tracking the potential income, tracking the expenses that are taken out of that income, and a business plan for an entire year. What income potential do you have? How close ARE you to that goal? So it becomes less about budgeting and more about planning profit and planning loss. Getting ready for tax time. I'm not a tax professional but I do work with female business owners to help them prepare for taxes and send them to the right people when it's time.”
I'd like to hone in on that paying yourself at the end of the month part because I think that is a struggle for a lot of business owners in general. Either they’re paying themselves too much or you're not paying themselves at all. what's the middle ground with the happy medium?
“My question to you, if we were working together, would be ‘What is that money doing for you sitting in the account? How is it working for you?’. Of course, mentally it looks so good, right? It looks great sitting there in the account. Emotionally, mentally, you see that number and feeling really good about your business, but you haven't taken any of that money for yourself to pay debt down in your personal finances, or to save for the down payment for the house, or to cash flow whatever business you are creating at the time. If that money's just sitting or if you don't know how much money you should be profiting at the month you may not know where it is going. And it's not working for you. You want your money to always be working for you.”
What is the one thing that sets you apart from anyone else in this business/finance coaching space?
“I tell everybody the same thing, whatever situation you're sitting in right now, I have been in that situation. I have been crushed under tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt and I did not see a way out. I have worked my way out of that, I have also built a business from scratch that I was able to cash flow. I know the emotions behind all of this as a female, and we like to think that we don't have to feel these emotions just because we’re women but the truth of the matter is we do have emotions. When it comes to money you don't have to take the emotions out of it in fact it's better if you know your emotions around money so that you can better equip yourself for when things happen in your finances or when you are not on track for your goals instead of just giving up you sit with those feelings you sit with your emotions and you've already done the mindset work so you don’t have to give up.
I hope you got so many takeaways from today's blog, and feel free to reach out to Becca on Instagram @beccagonzalezco or email with any questions you may have for her at email@example.com!
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