GIRL – I’m so excited for today’s episode! We’re interviewing guest host (financial coach and CPA) Vanessa Linenberger and we’re going to get real on how we can create a budget (not only the logistics of HOW, but the MINDSET that is required to make it work!), and we’re also going to have some honest conversations around some of the mistakes that you (and I!) might be making when we’re creating a new budget. Are you ready?! Let’s dive in!
As referenced in the episode:
- Here’s a link to a free trial of the YNAB (You Need A Budget) App!
- Want to chat with Vanessa 1:1?! Schedule a free consult call with her here!
- Find her on instagram & listen to her podcast (Minding Your Money)
I am so dang proud of you for all of the hard work that you’re doing. I can’t wait to see where these steps are going to lead you! Click here to listen to the podcast and let’s dive even deeper on this topic!
View the Full Transcript:
Hey girl, and welcome to the Sheep Calls or Shots podcast, where we’re all about making a bigger impact while learning how to live bolder, brighter, and happier lives. My name is Krista, and I’m a photographer, coach, and an entrepreneur, and I am so excited to dig in, do the work, and tackle our biggest goals together.
In this community, we are committed to taking massive action in our lives and in our business, while also learning to celebrate progress over perfection. And in this podcast, we focus on the real talk. In every episode, we’ll deep dive into honest and open conversations about life. Business relationships and inner growth, and we’ll share insight and tips on how to play a bigger game and ultimately live a life that we truly love.
So girlfriend, let’s make some moves and start calling our own shots. Hey girl, I am so excited that you’re here for this episode. We have a guest host today, Vanessa, and we’re talking all about how to create a budget that we can actually stick with. Vanessa is a CPA and she’s worked in corporate accounting for 10 years, and she recently started a new journey to become a financial coach, to help women find clarity and confidence with their money, but to also help them make wise financial decisions that will align them with their long-term goals.
I’m so excited for you to hear our content today. Let’s dive in. Vanessa, thank you so much for joining us today. I am super excited to talk all about how we can create a budget that not only works for us, um, but I know for a lot of my listeners, they’re gonna walk away with so many little nuggets to just help them take action in their finances and just make it more practical and realistic and something that they feel like they can.
Put into their lifestyle. So, um, but before we dive in, I let’s, you know, hear about you. I wanna hear about how you initially kind of got drawn into becoming a financial coach and really just how you got to where you are today. Yeah, yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I was so excited to hear from you to have be on your podcast.
This is so fun. Um, yeah. So I am, as I’m a CPA and I’m an accountant and worked in a. Private accounting for the last 10 years. And I love my job. I love what I do, but, um, I, the last few years had really been looking for something that had more connection and felt like it was making more impact and had more meaning and, um, really wanted to help other people.
And so a couple of years ago decided, you know, I’m, I’m gonna try to make a business for myself in the finance area. I didn’t really know what that was. Um, but I had helped some other people. And then, um, earlier this. April, I guess last year we’re 2021 now, earlier at the beginning of 2020, um, Had some family members that were asking for advice and so I kind of like coached them through some different things and I was like, oh my gosh, this is like something people could use.
And then I realized there are actual financial coaches out there, people that do this. So, um, yeah, I started the business and it’s been so fun. I do a little bit of personal finance and business finance. Helping people on both sides of those things. Um, but I really just wanna share some knowledge on, um, finance.
I think, um, so many people, it’s a topic we don’t discuss. Um, so it’s, uh, very, you know, not a lot of people know about it and know what they’re doing. So being able to provide that, um, information and a non-judgmental, like everyone knows stupid questions, like I’m just here to help, is a really great thing.
Totally. And I think so many of my listeners can relate to that too. You know, kind of working that nine to five, you know, that job, that is something that you’re passionate about, but you realize like, this is something that I wanna do more of on my own, and I wanna kind of call my, call my own shots and like Yeah, exactly.
You know, really make that decision for myself of following the passions of the things that I wanna do more of. So I love that. Yeah. And being in a, in accounting, like, I, and growing up with parents who had, they were so good with teaching us about money, I took for granted how much that impacted me and helped me.
And it wasn’t until I was helping these family members that didn’t have, um, that experience that I was like, oh, like, okay, these things that I know, I. Um, they’re not common knowledge to everybody, so Totally. I can help people with that. Yeah, and I’ve heard you talk before too about how, um, a lot of people kind of think about budgeting as like, almost like dieting, like they think Yes.
And I, I will raise my hand to that because this is something that I’m also still very new. Uh, um, I’d love to kind of like, just quickly, like how do you think. How do you kind of get over that approach? Because I know when I hear the word budget, I like, I you feel that like lump in your chest and you’re like, oh no.
Like, like you get anxiety and you’re like, oh, I’m gonna have to say no to a lot of things. Exactly. Yeah. Uh, and I. I understand that feeling and why people feel that way, but I think it is a lot like a diet. If you try to do a diet that doesn’t work for you and it’s not something you’re gonna stick to, you’re not gonna do it.
So if it needs to be, your diet needs to be your lifestyle, it needs to be your healthy lifestyle. Choosing healthy things for your body, um, doesn’t mean you can’t have cookies. Just like when you create a budget that’s allowing you and giving you space to say yes to things. So when you say yes to going out for dinner, you know that that’s.
Set in your budget, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it because you allocated that money for it. And it’s, it’s okay. It’s just, it’s a very different mindset shift in, in how you look at it. But, um, I, I feel like having a budget allow allows more things. It says Yes, totally. It’s like having it in your plan as opposed to something that you feel like you always constantly have to say no to.
It’s just kind of prepping ahead of time to know what you’re saying yes to and what you’re saying no to. Yes. That makes so much sense. Exactly. Yeah. Cuz if you’re planning ahead and you know, like, I know that I’m gonna go out with my friends this weekend and I’m gonna spend this much money. But then let’s say like three days before you’re like, oh, I really wanna buy that new purse.
Well, now you have the options. Okay, I had plane for this, you know, night out. Can I, should I do that or should I buy this purse? So I. Yes. It’s all about options. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Well, I know, you know, kind of to just kick us off, um, around, you know, budgeting and how we can really transition into a lifestyle where we do actively plan for a budget.
Um, I’d love to start off with some of the most common budgeting pitfalls that maybe you’ve seen as a financial, you know, coach to other women and entrepreneurs. Um, I’d love to hear, you know, some of the most common mistakes that you might see people make when they’re brand new to budgeting. Cuz I know for me, sometimes I’ll.
You know, knowing not a lot about budgeting, I’ll think, oh, I’ve got this great plan, but like, little do I know I might actually be implementing something that really won’t work in the long term. Um, so I know for a lot of, um, me and for a lot of our, uh, my listeners, we are kind of more or less brand new to creating a budget that will actually work.
Um, so I’d love to hear some things that you, you know, um, think would be best to kind of avoid or like mistakes that you kind of commonly see from someone who’s just starting off. Yeah. Yeah. So the first thing is, um, is. Someone just not getting started. You know, it’s, it’s so scary and it feels like it could be like this giant monster because you haven’t looked at your finances.
You might look at your bank, bank account and see, okay, I’ve got money, I’m fine. But you don’t really dig into it at all, so it feels really big and scary. But once you. Look at it and you start tracking, it’s really not that bad. And you’ll find that it’s really not as scary as you think it might be. Um, so beyond that, like once you get started, it’s giving up too soon.
You know this, it’s an event, it’s a process, not an event. Once you create a budget, it’s not like you’re done. You have to keep track of it and you have to maintain it. And. It gets easier as it goes on, you know, in the beginning you’re still learning your habits and where you might spend your money and how you can adjust those things.
But as you go, it’s, it’s like little tweaks and you’re good and it’s smooth from there on out. Um, and then the other thing too is when you’re first getting started, you have to understand that much like a diet, you’re not gonna be able to make all these drastic changes overnight. Start small. So, What I always say is, in the first 30 days, don’t change your spending.
Just track it. Just whatever you’re using to keep track of who you’re spending. Just do that. And that way it gives you a picture of the, your starting point where you’re starting at. And from that you can say like, oh, I spent this much money eating out. I spent this much money on, um, clothes. I wanna, you know, Reduce those a little bit and put more into my savings or whatever your goals might be.
Um, or maybe you’re totally fine with it and you just maybe allocate your savings to where you want it to be or something like that. Um, so yeah, just. Making, um, small steps in the beginning to make the changes later on. Yeah. Um, I, first of all, I love that because, and this is exactly why I wanted to start with this because, um, I think it’s so crucial how the first thing that you said is just start.
Because I think for me especially and for a lot of my listeners, when something is new, it feels overwhelming cuz it feels so large to tackle. And it’s like, how are we even gonna start this? And then I love that. Your next thing is just observe. Just track, because I know that I fall into that pitfall of when I wanna make a change, I wanna make it now.
Yeah. And I want it to be like, you know, I wanna see immediate results and I wanna know that I’m making an impact. But it is so important to just know, like, know where your money is going. And not in a judgmental way, but just in a curiosity of like, oh, now I can have a more clear picture. Yeah, yeah. Of what my financial.
You know, place actually looks like before I really dive into like what I want it to look like, I have to know what it looks like right now. Exactly. Yeah. And you might look at it and be like, oh, this is like way better than I thought. Or you might be like, Ooh, I have a lot of things I need to work on. But being able to just have that, you know, baseline I guess is really helpful.
Totally. I love that. Um, let’s see. The last thing I was thinking, Oh yeah. Uh, kind of what we mentioned before was, um, when you are creating your budget, going forward from that first month is not making it too restrictive. You know, you’re not gonna, if you eat out every day for lunch, you can’t just all of a sudden be like, I’m not eating out at all.
It’s not gonna work. You’re not gonna stick to it. You’re gonna then hate the budget and you’re going to resent it and you’re gonna. Not do it anymore. So just being realistic in your goals. Totally. And I know a lot of us, 2020 obviously changed so many. Yeah. Life had, we had so many lifestyle changes and I know for us, especially one of the ways that we were affected by this, um, you know, we started ordering in a lot more because it was like trying to avoid the grocery store or at least like ordering in groceries once a week.
But then that resulted in us. Ordering out more, which is more expensive. Yes. Um, for my health goals, like I also had to take you to account, like trying to still eat healthy. Um, yeah. But I think that is so important because it’s like, it’s honoring kind of where, where you are, um, and not trying to live a lifestyle that.
Just won’t work for you. Like Yeah, don’t try and like go to the other end of the goal of like, I’m gonna be super extreme cuz like in the end, if that’s not what’s working for you in your life, like it’s probably not gonna be a long-term change. Yeah. Yeah. I’m like super big on being unintentional spending and also that what works for you is not gonna work for someone else like, Our lifestyle that my husband and I have would not at all work for someone else.
You know, we rent, we don’t own a home. We spend money on things that other people would be like, like, we bought a motorcycle. We love it. We, it’s something that we get to do together and it brings us joy. Uh, but other people would be like, that was a waste of money. But it’s, you know, it’s all, it’s all about what you want, what makes you happy, and creating a budget that fits for you.
Totally. And I’m excited to chat about too, cuz I know, um, you know, speaking of, you know, the way that we spend money and, you know, having a spouse and kind of creating budgets, I’d love to, um, you know, kind of dive in for a lot of my listeners. Um, you know, they, they might have their own, you know, side jobs or their own, you know, business that running.
Um, how do you. Manage creating a budget with a spouse, especially coming from someone who you know, is more of a creative, who may not have as stable of an income, um, as your spouse, how do you, do you have any tips around best practices of just like when you add in that other person, you know, what are some kind of ways of doing it and that in a way that, um, is beneficial to the relationship?
Uh, yeah, that’s such a big question. Um, and the main thing that I would say is having communication with your partner. I, it doesn’t sound fancy or exciting, but having money dates is ideal. Like it’s huge and will help you move forward and, and how everyone implements it. Individually is, is gonna vary. Um, for my husband and I, we have combined incomes, like, I mean, combined accounts.
Everything is together. We just do everything together. But we also have been together since we were in, like I was in high school, so when we were together. So we’ve lived, like we’ve grown up together, we’ve lived our lives together. Um, I feel like a lot of couples who come together, uh, when they’re older and are more established, um, they’re gonna lean towards more of.
We’re gonna have our own accounts, we’re gonna have a joint account where this is, where the bills are paid out of. How you divvy that up is totally up to you. Um, but just having those, I think in the beginning, I always recommend doing, um, weekly money dates and looking at your budget and sort of like when you look at your calendar to, to say, okay, I’ve got these things going on.
Now we’re gonna look at our budget and say, these are the thing bills that we have coming in. This is the money that we have coming in, um, you know, kind of planning those things out. Um, and then, Having communication when things do come up. So, you know, if my husband wants to buy something, he’s like, Hey, by the way, you know, and, and this has evolved for sure.
So when we were first married and we were super poor and paying student loans and like trying to just survive every penny counted. So we talked about every dollar that we spent, whereas now we’re a little bit more established and more comfortable, and we don’t have to have. Such in, you know, in detail conversations.
Um, but in the beginning you really need to have, uh, just like a short amount of time between when the money is being spent and when you’re having that conversation. Um, and then as far as like having money, that’s not like regular, like you don’t have a, you know, salary that’s coming in every week or every two weeks.
So I am a huge proponent of using Y app. Uh, you need a budget. It’s an app, and it’s perfect for this because the way it works is you give every single dollar a job and you only budget the money that you have. So if you are budgeting every money that every dollar that you have, you know exactly the bills that you can cover and the can’t, the bills that you can’t.
And I like to combine that with a cash flow because then you can look at what money. As a whole, during the month, do I have enough money to cover everything that I expect for the month? But then in this Y Nav app, it’s really allowing you to see, like, this is what I, it is like a current stand, you know, like a current look at what you’re doing.
Um, but I. I don’t wanna be too, um, technical or like get into too much, like that’s gonna be boring. But when you deal, don’t have a, a, um, scheduled, you know, income at whatever time. Aligning your expenses with when your money is coming in is gonna be ideal. And sort of having a good idea of what money you have that’s gonna cover.
Yeah, totally. And I know for me, as someone who, you know, I did, I, I’m still, and I’ve done wedding photography for 10 years. When you, it is really easy to get into this habit of, you know, I collected this, this deposit, you know, for, you know, whatever session. And I, and I know in my head that I have X amount of money coming in, but it may not be for another, you know, eight to 12 months.
But it’s very easy to get into the mindset of, Counting that as money that you already have. Like I’ve, I’ve done this before, and it’s so hard to then really set yourself up for, for a successful, you know, savings plan or a way where, because it almost just feels like you’re spending your money before it even actually hits your bank account.
Um, and you’re kind of just like planning that it’s already there without really thinking about financially, where am I right now? What bills can I cover? I’m, I’m already thinking ahead to the money that I’ll have, you know, in however many months. So, yeah. Um, yeah, I think that that is, Like using the money that you have right now.
And it might require that, it sounds like you might need to have at least some sort of savings or like some have some sort of income up until this point, but then it’s like using that as your starting point where you are right now. And then as your money comes in, using it kind of just as a gradual, um, you know, Yeah.
Other than like spending it before you have it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have a, um, spending plan that I use with my clients and it lines up when their money comes in with when the money goes out, but it’s really more that is really ideal for people who have a set salary. YAB is perfect for people who don’t have a set salary coming in consistently.
Um, It’s, it’s perfect for that. That’s perfect. And I’m gonna, I’ll get the information from you and I’ll add it to the show notes and they can link to it. Yes. So for anyone that’s interested, um, and it’s just like a free app that you can use. It’s, it is actually paid, so you get 34 days for free. Okay. And it’s like eight, I think it’s like $8 a month or $7 a month.
Um, but it is completely worth it. Like I have, you save so much money that you. It’s well worth the money. You spend $8 a month to have like an actual legitimate budget and savings account. Yes. Yes. In your head it’s long term worth it. Yeah. Awesome. Um, well, I’d love to kind of dive into too, and one of the things that I appreciate that you value, which I think is so important, is, um, really having that positive mindset towards, you know, life.
And I think a money, a positive money mindset is so crucial. I read, um, You’ve pr you’ve probably heard it, but, um, Jen Sinero has, you are a badass, but then she has, you are a badass at making money. Yes. And reading that book was life-changing for me because I didn’t realize how unhealthy my attitude was towards money.
Just having that constant thought of, I’m never gonna have enough, I’m never gonna be able to make enough. Like, and it wasn’t something I consciously thought about, but as money came in, I used it as this like security blanket of like, oh good. Yeah. You know, I’m, I’m not broke like this, like so negative. So I’d love to kind of chat about, you know, how.
You know, in your opinion and in your experience having a positive money mindset, you know how important that is for your overall financial success. Um, and just some best practices on how to create that positive money i money mindset. Yeah. It’s funny cuz the first thing I, that, my first note on that was having an abundant money mindset.
And it’s, um, it’s interesting because when you’re growing up, you don’t. Realize the impact that your parents are making on your money habits and the way you view money. And even as an adult, sometimes you don’t realize it, and it really does like, like from a child, like what they do and the way that their relationship with money makes you feel has a huge impact on you later in life.
Um, my parents. I think, I don’t, I’m positive they have never heard of the abundant mindset, but they inadvertently like, um, sort of taught that to us in the way that they, you know, they saved money. They always, if I remember being a kid and, and if you listen to my first podcast, I can’t remember if I actually talked about this, but, um, They sat us down and they said, okay, we wanna send you to this.
Uh, you know, we were going to a private school and it was expensive. And they said, we’re gonna continue sending you here, but we’re gonna get rid of cable and we’re no longer gonna get the newspaper. And that was like a powerful conversation. I think I was like, I. Eight or nine, like I was such a young kid, but I was, I was viewing them and watching in real time them realizing, okay, this is what we want.
We value this, so we are going to get rid of some other things that we don’t value it. They weren’t saying like, oh, we can’t afford this. We can’t, we don’t have enough money to send our kids to this school. We can’t do that. Like, no, they, they worked it out. They figured it out and they made a plan. Um, so part of having an abundance mindset isn’t, I never want to, um, You know, I don’t wanna not acknowledge privileges or you know, certain thing roadblocks that people have that I may not have.
But at the same time, having an abundance mindset is more about looking at the world and continually seeing. Options and what resources you can have and what opportunities you could, you know, come across. If you are in a negative mindset and, um, in a fixed mindset, you’re, you’re not, even when those things did c do come to you, you’re not even gonna see it.
So just being open-minded in the beginning, you know, just flat out just being open-minded. You’re gonna have those things coming into you and you’re gonna be able to see them and you’re gonna be more resourceful because, That’s gonna be at the forefront of your, your thoughts. Totally, and I agree with that so much because again, I mean, you know, everyone has their own financial situations.
Everyone has hardships in life in, you know, in money, in so many different aspects of their life. But even similarly to, you know, no matter what your paycheck looks like, there’s even just that option of when you have a paycheck. It’s like you can look at it in one of two ways. Either this isn’t enough or I’m so grateful, what can I.
Do with it. Like, and it’s something as simple as, you know, it doesn’t matter how much you’re making. Yeah. It’s just like the way that you look at it. And I think it’s so easy to fall. I mean, again, like I was talking about in my experience, it’s so easy to fall into the, okay, you know, I’m not broke. I at least made some money, but it’s like, that’s not the place that’s gonna move me into the places that I want to grow into.
So I, I, I definitely can feel that. Yeah. I think it’s also really important to remember that, um, Even if you didn’t get this, you know, you didn’t have these role models to look up to, you didn’t have your parents teaching you money as a kid. It’s, it can be learned. There are so many free resources. There’s podcasts and articles.
There’s, you can get books on like every single topic. Um, TikTok and Instagram have tons of resources out there for free. Oh, wow. And, um, so you can, you can learn anything that you decide that you want to learn. That’s so true. I never even thought about that. TikTok. People are using it as educational things now.
Yeah. I’m like seeing some of that and it’s just like watching technology move into like the educational space in it’s insane TikTok world. Yeah. Crazy. Oh, I love that. And yeah, so I think, I think for me too, in life in general, ha, kind of starting off with that mindset, I feel like that’s the crucial number one thing that you have to do really before you make any changes.
Because if you don’t have the mindset to be able to see the opportunity, like you said, even once it presents itself, you’re not gonna see it as the opportunity that it actually is. So I think starting with that is something that’s so important. Yeah. Yeah. No one is actually bad at money. They just don’t have the understanding yet.
They’ll get there. I love that. Perfect. And I know so many of us have, you know, if, I know my listeners are probably like me, we’ve started a budget and like a plan and um, if they’re anything like me, they’ve maybe tried to bite off more than they can chew. Um, and, you know, inevitably fall off track, you might.
You might do it for a month, you might do it for a week. Yeah. Um, but something that we’ve had, you know, struggled with actually maintaining. Um, you know, if you were kind of, if you were giving advice to someone who’s just starting off, um, you know, wants to take it slow, but also wants to see somewhat of an impact, um, what are some of your favorite, you know, steps around like how to implement a budget that will actually work.
Yeah. Yeah. So first, you know, Making sure that when you do implement it initially it’s just tracking and, um, don’t get in over your head right away. But just the biggest thing is there are. A million different ways that you can make a budget and that you can track your spending, but you need to find the one that works for you.
So if that means writing it down on a piece of paper, like it doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be in a notebook, but if you have it in a notebook, then put that notebook somewhere that you’re gonna see it every single day. So by your computer desk or in your, you know, at your bathroom sink where you’re getting ready in the morning.
Um, or if you use, like before I used yab, I just use a spreadsheet, a Google Docs spreadsheet. Actually, I still. Do that too. But, um, and so every morning it was a, like, my morning routine included updating the budget, it was having my coffee, doing the budget, and then I would start on work. Um, and so having whatever you need to set yourself, maybe it’s a reminder on your phone or, um, just having a note, sticky note somewhere to remind yourself to update it.
Either every day it, it’s easier if you do it every day, cuz then you only have a couple of things to update. If you’re doing it once a week, you have a week’s worth, worth. And if you are like me and you go to Target 12 times a week, you’re like, now what did I buy at that target trip? I don’t even know. So it’s a lot easier to keep up with it, um, than to try to do it all at once.
Oh, and then the other thing too is, um, Once you are doing this, like once you’ve made the decision, I’m gonna do a budget, I’m gonna, I’m going make these changes, find yourself an accountability partner because much like a fitness journey, you need to have people that will hold you accountable. So whether that’s a family member, a friend, your spouse, um, someone that’s gonna be like, Hey, have you been doing that budget or, Hey, did you budget for that purchase that you made?
Or, you know, whatever it is, whatever it is that you need that accountability partner to be, let them know and tell them to, you know, ask ’em to help you out. And for me, like as a financial coach, that’s. The piece of it that I’m providing is that accountability. So, um, yeah, it’s super helpful and the additional guidance as well coming from an actual coach of course.
So when someone has questions, of course they of course someone who has, you know, good answers for them. Yes. Um, and I know if you, if you don’t mind kind of digging into a little bit of like, cuz when I think of a budget I’m sometimes a little bit lost on like, where do I even start? So I know you, you mentioned is it the wine.
Y a, it’s y you need a budget. So Y N A b y A Y, yab. Okay, perfect. Um, so with that app, I, it’s, it sounds like maybe starting there because it sounds like with that app it’ll help you cover the expenses and the things that you know you have coming up, so. Mm-hmm. Well, I guess first month track. Yes, just know where you are.
And then, so this is, so what I would do, just get a piece of paper, write out, okay, this is how much money I have coming in in the month, and these are the bills I know I have. And then from there, like it, it’s funny because when I very first started, our budget was super tiny. But then as I’ve gotten, like as we’ve grown, like I have like more detail and I kind of know like, oh, these are the things that I want to be able to go back and look at.
Um, so yeah, ju, but just like. This is the money coming in. This is the money that’s going out. Perfect. And then any additional money, as you start to have additional money, you can start to allocate that towards the the purchase that you might come across you didn’t expect for the month, but only allocating for those things.
Once you know that you’ve covered everything that you need to cover. Exactly, yes. And that’s what I love about why not because you can easily say like, In yab, it’s a zero based budget, which means that you, like I said, you’re giving every single dollar a job. So at the end of the month, you’re not gonna have like money left over just sitting there with nothing.
You’re gonna put it somewhere. Um, so as money’s coming in and you’re like, oh, I filled up all of my bills. Now I can put money into my eating out, or I can put it into my vacation fund or my down payment fund, or, um, it’s a really great, also for those annual expenses that come up and you forget about. Um, this happens to me all the time, and so now I’ve got a list of them and I can allocate a, a monthly amount.
And so I know I’m reserving money each month for it. And that way it’s not such a big hit when it comes up that, you know, once a year. Yeah. That’s so important. And I think too, um, One thing that, you know, you always hear people talk about having like three months of like your salary in savings. Um, and I know for some people and especially, and again like me, and especially if you have fluctuating income, yeah, that thought sounds a little scary, but I think it’s, I.
You know, it sounds like even like with something like with this app, or even if you’re just tracking it on your own, just allocating that little bit like week by week and it like slowly starts to build up. And as it becomes a habit, like even if you don’t start with three months, even if you start with three weeks, that’s still three weeks more of savings than you had before you started.
Um, so just like having something like this to kind of keep you, um, maintaining it because like something is better than nothing. And I think so many of us get into this like we need to have a. Everything. Mm-hmm. Um, and forgetting that we all have to kind of just like start somewhere. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.
When my husband and I first got married and we were, you know, we paid off our student loans and we were like, oh, we’ve got so much money now. But we were like, okay, now, like, what is our savings goal? What do we ha wanna have it in? And now when we think about it, it was such a small number compared to what we have now, like, 10 years later that it’s like so proud of us for like starting, you know, being able to like, see what we could do and like, and, and know what we.
Set a goal that seemed big to us at the time, and then continue to like increase our goals as our life, you know, allowed it. Yeah. And it’s so just building that habit is so, I mean, it, it really makes the difference between like a couple dollars saved here and there, like, you know, over time, like you start to realize how easy it is and then like you said, your goals get bigger and you start to realize you can start like saving more, but it all has to compound.
But it has to start from Yes. Something that might feel small. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Awesome. And you know, kind of based on the goal, obviously I know you, I’ve, you know, I’ve heard you talk about this before and I know you’ve briefly mentioned it on this episode. Um, you know, you and your husband both had some like student loans and some debt that you had to pay off.
Mm-hmm. Um, and I know, you know, for a lot of my listeners that might be the case too. And obviously 2020 was the year that nobody expected. Um, so there might have been some financial hits that were taken there. Um, you know, As we’re creating these goals and, and trying to pay off, you know, sometimes some really big, heavy things, um, how important is it to, you know, you hear all the time that goals need to be time-based.
Um, and I have such mixed feelings about this because I think that they should be time-based, but I think that people should also give themselves grace that if you don’t hit it doesn’t mean to. Stop working towards it. Exactly. Um, so how important would you say, especially with financial goals, is it to have a set date for when you wanna pay off any debt versus creating more of that, you know, lifestyle around, even if I only save a little bit this month, and even if I don’t hit my goal, this is more of a long-term, you know, life goal that I have.
Yeah, I think just like you said, you, it’s good to have a timeline on your goals, but it’s also really important to be flexible because. Especially with finance, something could happen. You could get sick and you might be out of work, and that’s gonna, I mean, that’s gonna derail your goals. Or you might be sick and you have hospital bills then, and that’s gonna derail your goals as well.
So just give yourself grace for when things come up and be flexible with your goals, but also always be intentional with your spending so that your goals aren’t happening because, You’re just not paying attention or you’re not being intentional. You’re not, you’re not working towards them. You know, always be sure that you are working towards them, but also give yourself grace when unexpected things happen and, um, they might derail you a little bit.
So, like, for instance, for our student loans, um, I had all of these different points and I was like, oh, if we pay them off, this is how much we would need to pay every month to pay ’em off in this amount of time. And we ended up being about six months over. Well, we were about, A couple of years. Early from my original goal, six months over my stretch goal.
So it was really exciting that we were that close to our, to my stretch goal. Um, but we did go over it and that’s totally fine. Like it’s not a big deal to, you know, have other things that come up and just need to take a little more time. Totally. And do you have any kind of final, you know, any last. Uh, you know, thoughts around, you know, whether it’s like creating that mindset around it, having kind of that long-term goal and continuously working towards it.
Are there any other kind of final tips or any little nuggets that you would love any of, you know, the listeners to kind of just walk away with remembering that like, this is something that they can actually start implementing? Yeah, I think just. Just start, you know, once you get started, start with something small and then you’ll continually be able to build on that.
And in 10 years they’ll be like, I don’t even recognize that person who didn’t know how to do a budget. Definitely just start. That’s my goal for after this episode. It’s like, just track. Uh, well thank you so much. This was so helpful. I’m so glad that we were able to, you know, uh, chat and just like talk about something that, you know, sometimes feels, and you’ve talked about this, like a taboo topic, like.
Yeah, people don’t really talk about finances and um, you know, I think creating a budget is something that all of us can relate to, no matter what job we have, what lifestyle we live. Like we all kind of have to. Yeah, we all spend money, so. Yep. Um, so let us, you know, let everyone know, you know, where can we find you?
You know, I know you have a podcast that we can listen to. Yeah. So let us know, just all the places we can find you on social media. Yeah. I’ve got my podcast, her money, her life, and I am mostly on Instagram at Vanessa Lindenberger. Hopefully you’ll put that in the show notes cause I will name I, so I have to double check this.
Feeling much less of someone who doesn’t know. So yeah, um, Instagram and my podcast and, um, I’ll drop my email as well. That way you can reach out to me if you need. Perfect. And I’ll include all of that in the show notes too. So definitely check out, um, her podcast, she talks about so many things, even just.
Beyond budgeting, just how to create a financial life that is empowering for you and like in a way that works for your lifestyle. Um, so Vanessa, thank you so much. I’m so glad we’re able to chat today. So, so fun. I’m so glad to do this. Awesome. We’ll ta we’ll talk soon.
Thank you so much for listening in and for committing to yourself along this journey. I’d love to hear your favorite takeaways from this episode today. Tag me on Instagram at She calls her shots, and let’s celebrate the fact that you showed up for yourself today. Or if you know someone that would benefit from listening in, feel free to share this episode with her in a dm.
As always, I am so excited that we get to continue on this journey together, and until next time, I’ll talk to you soon. Girl.