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How To (Actually) Reach Your Savings Goals Coaching Session

How to Reach Your Savings Goals Coaching Session

“[I’m noticing that] $8,000 just seems better. I just felt more relaxed just hearing that number. It just seems so much more attainable. Sometimes when I set these goals, I just feel like, ‘this is not possible.’ And the self-doubt starts.”

~Jenny Smith

Meet Jenny Smith

Jenny started her private practice after the pandemic, and it has been the best decision in her career. She has always struggled living paycheck to paycheck and wants to do it differently now. Reduce the scarcity mindset and feel calm and confident in her business finances. Since she is going into year 3, she thought, what better time to do this! 

In This Episode…

How much do you actually need to save for business expenses and an emergency fund? Once you know those numbers, how do you set yourself up to effectively save that money? In today’s coaching session, Linzy and guest Jenny Smith dig into specific numbers that would work best for Jenny’s financial needs, and they come up with a plan to attain that goal.

Linzy and Jenny take a realistic look at what Jenny really needs when it comes to emergency funds, and looking critically at those numbers helps Jenny set attainable savings goals that, when paired with effective strategies, will help her reach her goals. 

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Linzy [00:00:04] What are you noticing with this? What comes up? 

Jenny [00:00:06] Well, 8000- just seeing- I just felt more relaxed just hearing that number. It just seems so much more attainable. Like sometimes when I set these goals, I just, you know, kind of feel like this is just not possible. And the self-doubt and. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s episode is with Jenny Smith. Jenny is a therapist. She’s currently a student in Money Skills For Therapists. And in our conversation today, Jenny and I get into savings. She has savings goals. She’s always struggled with savings, though. How much to save, how to save, how to actually, like, keep money out of reach so that she doesn’t steal from herself. And so Jenny and I dug in today, starting with the topic of an emergency fund or a buffer. Looking at those numbers and then how to actually make it so that she can see herself and be integrity with her goal of saving and not steal from herself. So if you find that you struggle with saving, either putting money aside or actually leaving that money alone so it can be left for the actual purpose, the savings purpose that you have determined for it, then you’re going to get a lot out of this conversation today. Here is my coaching episode with Jenny Smith. So, Jenny, welcome to the podcast. 

Jenny [00:02:10] Yes, thank you. Thank you. I’m so happy to be here. 

Linzy [00:02:13] Yeah. So, Jenny, you are in Money Skills For Therapists right now and you’re like a few months in at this point. 

Jenny [00:02:22] Yes. 

Linzy [00:02:23] So we’ve had some coaching conversations already in our work together in the course. What have you brought today that you want us to dig into together on the podcast? 

Jenny [00:02:33] Well, I’m, I have some goals, and one of them is for my savings and to save the 3 to 6 month buffer. And I’m just it’s been really challenging for me to do so. And, and so that’s been a really big struggle for me, even probably before I came into the into the group. 

Linzy [00:02:52] Sure. Okay. Okay. And that 3 to 6 month buffer – to help me understand – is that like your buffer in your business for operating expenses, is that like an emergency fund for your personal life? What is that money for? 

Jenny [00:03:05] Well, you know, I have separated my business and personal. So really, I would like to have a buffer for my business and then also doing it for my personal. 

Linzy [00:03:14] Okay. Right. So those both sides you want to see. Okay. And so in your business, then, would we be talking about just saving operating expenses, like money to keep the business running because you’re going to have personal money saved in your personal accounts for like paying for your life. Okay, Awesome. Great. Okay, So that’s 3 to 6 months. First of all, let’s talk about that goal. You’ve got a range there of 3 to 6. Tell me, like, where does that range come from or like, what number do you want to land on in that range so we can make it like a really specific goal? 

Jenny [00:03:44] Yes, I was thinking probably about 10,000 would be a good a great little buffer. I’m kind of seeing my operating expenses around 2000 – 3000 depending on if I do training or or have to pay for dues and so forth yearly or or. 

Linzy [00:04:01] Okay so, your monthly operating expenses is 2000 to 3000. And for folks listening. Operating expenses is the money that we spend to run our business as Jenny’s saying, like, trainings, rent, software, the things that you know, we’re not talking about Jenny’s paycheck or taxes, we’re just talking about the money to keep the business running, keep the machine running each month. So $2000 to $3000 is your monthly. And so you’re thinking 10,000. So I could see like 10,000. Yeah. Like if you’re spending 3000, that’s like three and a half months buffer. If you’re spending 2000, it’s like five months buffer. With that, Jenny, like this is about kind of your your personal risk tolerance. What is it, about $10,000 that feels like the right amount for you for that goal? 

Jenny [00:04:41] Well, you know, 10,000 is a good amount. If there was an emergency, I could always use for the business or, you know, or if I get into, you know, a medical accident or condition, I’m able to take some time out and still have the business running efficiently. 

Linzy [00:04:58] And with this, like something I would want to reflect to you is that if you’re not working, your business expenses will also go down. 

Jenny [00:05:06] Correct. That’s true. 

Linzy [00:05:07] Right. So like, if it’s like I don’t know if you like, I don’t know. You’re laid up in bed because I don’t know. You have an accident or a surgery that takes a long recovery time. You’re not gonna be taking new trainings at that time, but you might still be paying on payment plan if you’ve signed up for other trainings. So that’s also just things to think about as we’re thinking about this number is, you know, at that point your business would be kind of just like you just be maintaining the minimums or if it’s actually something that’s more like a six month break, you probably would actually just shut a lot of stuff down. 

Jenny [00:05:35] Right. Right. 

Linzy [00:05:37] You wouldn’t keep paying for EHR if you’re not seeing clients, you would put it into like a dormant state and reactivate it. Yeah. So thinking about that, I’m curious, like if we think about your base business expenses, how much would that number be? We want a safe number, but I wonder if there’s a lower number there that would actually cover just kind of like covering your subscriptions for a month while you go away on vacation or for a couple of months if you break your leg? 

Jenny [00:06:03] Yes, I would say probably less than a thousand. 

Linzy [00:06:06] Okay. Okay. Because that’s kind of like your floor business expenses, your operating expenses. 

Jenny [00:06:10] Yeah, maybe 5 to 500 to 1000. 

Linzy [00:06:13] Okay. So a lot lower than that 2000 to 3000? 

Jenny [00:06:16] Yes. 

Linzy [00:06:17] Okay. What do you notice when I. When I say that, pointing out like the that lower number, that’s possible. 

Jenny [00:06:23] It makes it more doable. I guess. That makes me feel like it is more doable. 

Linzy [00:06:27] Yes. Because 10,000 like that is an ambitious goal to save in the business for your business, as I understand it. Your business being like a sole proprietorship where it’s just you. Right. And like, it sounds like most of the spending that you would do would be on professional development, But you’re not going to be doing if you’re not able to work. So if we actually had the floor at like $5000 to $10000. How many- how much time do you want to be saving for? Is it three months? Is it six months? 

Jenny [00:06:52] I would probably say six months. 

Linzy [00:06:54] Okay. And why six months? 

Jenny [00:06:56] Well, I guess emergency. You know, since I am the primary breadwinner of the family, I would probably like to save six months just to have a bigger buffer if something happens. 

Linzy [00:07:08] Okay. So with that, what do you think about the idea of saving for six months at home but saving for less time in your business? Because as I say, if if there is actually something that happens that you’re like, oh, my gosh, this crisis is happening in our life, I’m not going to work for six months, you’re just going to shut things down. 

Jenny [00:07:26] Right. 

Linzy [00:07:27] Right. Maybe you’d have to pay like a subscription or two, like a payment plan. But mostly you would just go dormant in your business. And it sounds like where you could actually use the money, since you’re the main breadwinner, would be at home, right? 

Jenny [00:07:38] That’s true. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:07:40] What do you notice, like thinking about that of kind of making the priority more about having that six months at home, but maybe only having two or three months for the business? Maybe taking some number between this low floor OpEx amount we talked about and this like higher amount. 

Jenny [00:07:55] That sounds a lot better actually, and it makes a lot more sense. Okay. 

Linzy [00:07:59] Yeah. Okay. So six months, we’re gonna talk about that as your home goal. But in the business, if you know your base expenses are somewhere between 500 and a thousand and your top end expenses are 3000. What if we say it’s like 1500 a month is kind of like your average safe number. So three months would be $4500. 

Jenny [00:08:17] Mm hmm. 

Linzy [00:08:17] How does that number land with you? 

Jenny [00:08:19] That feels a lot better. Yes. 

Linzy [00:08:21] Okay, good, good. I’m noticing, like, some relief or relaxation that’s just happened. 

Jenny [00:08:27] Absolutely. Yes. 

Linzy [00:08:28] And I am curious, Jenny, with that. Like, what do you notice is different for you about thinking about the 4500 as a goal in the business rather than 10,000? 

Jenny [00:08:37] Well, it seems to be more attainable for me. It doesn’t seem it’s such a far stretch like you know, it kind of makes you feel like you’re unmotivated to get to ten. You know, that’s like you can’t really even get there. 

Linzy [00:08:48] Yeah. And what I’m noticing with ten is like ten is a really large goal for being in solo practice, but it’s also an unnecessary goal because there wouldn’t really be a scenario where you would actually need a full ten because if something is really that serious, you would be cutting down and reducing expenses. Yeah, so we don’t need to make you save for something that’s difficult and also unnecessary. 

Jenny [00:09:08] Yes. Yes. 

Linzy [00:09:09] Whereas the money could be necessary at home. Okay, good. You’re smiling. So that tells me we’re going in the right direction. So. 

Jenny [00:09:14] Yes, we are. 

Linzy [00:09:15] Okay. So that would be a goal for the business. Now, a goal for home. Again, we want to think about the fact that if something happens in your home that you can’t earn, you’re probably also going to adjust some of your expenses, right? Like probably not going to be living the high life right. While also having some sort of like medical or family emergency. 

Jenny [00:09:34] That’s true. 

Linzy [00:09:35] Right. So thinking about that, what would be a monthly number that you would want to see set aside given your role in your family’s finances that would cover an emergency, a monthly number? Let’s start with a monthly number. 

Jenny [00:09:47] Yeah, I would say maybe around three thousand, you know, maybe to 2500 if I’m really pinching. 

Linzy [00:09:54] Yes. 

Jenny [00:09:55] With meals and everything. Right. Everything. 

Linzy [00:09:58] Okay. Okay. So maybe let’s not go that low. Let’s go 3000 then. And so $3,000 for six months would be a goal of $18,000. 

Jenny [00:10:09] Yes. 

Linzy [00:10:10] Okay. What do you notice with that number? 

Jenny [00:10:12] That’s a lot. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:10:14] That was a bit of. Ooh, yeah. Okay. Yes. But now we have two real numbers. Aim for one for your business, one for home. 

Jenny [00:10:21] Mm hmm. 

Linzy [00:10:21] Okay, so now let’s think about how to actually make these things happen. So tell me, like, what has been your relationship with savings so far? 

Jenny [00:10:31] So far, it’s been a very difficult role. I don’t think I have ever really been a great saver. If I have it, I’ll spend it. And so that’s been challenging to just be able to save. And if I do have it in savings, sometimes I’ll go and use it for something else. 

Linzy [00:10:48] Okay. Right. So there’s even like stealing from yourself when you have put it into savings. Yes. Okay. So right now in your business, you are- you’ve set up profit first. Do you have this as part of your profit first yet like an OpEx- right now, let’s think about the OpEx part of it and operating expense emergency funds. Is that part of some of the calculations you’re doing so far? 

Jenny [00:11:11] It is. It’s just not really consistent, I guess. 

Linzy [00:11:16] Okay. And tell me about that lack of consistency. 

Jenny [00:11:19] Well, one is due to each month fluctuating and since December, you know, kind of went into a little bit of a slump. So I’m trying to get back up to it. 

Linzy [00:11:29] Okay. Yeah. And when you have those lower numbers, what do you end up kind of doing in those months with your numbers, with you’re dividing up? 

Jenny [00:11:38] Well, really, it’s mostly going to either salary or, you know, taxes or the operating expenses and not nothing to the savings or, you know. Right. 

Linzy [00:11:49] Okay. So these ones get kind of deprioritized when money’s a little bit lower. Okay. Yes. And with that, like our you know, I’m picturing in my mind your profit first calculator, which obviously folks can’t see on the podcast, but we do have a calculator in the course that I know that you have where you know, you put in the money that you’ve made that month and then it tells you how to divide it between the different categories that you’ve determined. What is the paycheck amount that you want to see that you’re like prioritizing when money is lower, what is that paycheck that you send home? 

Jenny [00:12:19] Well, it would be nice to be about 4000, but three three, you know, would be a good start. Yeah, at least. 

Linzy [00:12:28] Okay, so 4000, but 3000 is like doable, but 4000 is what you actually want, right? 

Jenny [00:12:33] Just because I have some other you know, I want to save up for a new car, you know, I want to put some in vacation. 

Linzy [00:12:39] Rights. 

Jenny [00:12:40] You know, so I can fill that up a little bit. Yeah. Okay. 

Linzy [00:12:44] So there’s those goals at home, too, that you’re trying to fund in addition to the ones we’re talking about here. So with this then, Jenny, tell me, what have been like the numbers that you’ve been seeing that have meant that you had to move things around? Because I know for a while you were above ten every month. 

Jenny [00:13:01] Yes. 

Linzy [00:13:02] And so $10,000, I should say, to people, $10,000 revenue, you were above that. And now that’s shifted, right? 

Jenny [00:13:08] It has shifted even down to like 6800 a month, you know, maybe seven a month. And so I’ve even used the profit first calculator and done it like for weekly. 

Linzy [00:13:20] Okay. 

Jenny [00:13:20] Yeah. Gone down to weekly, which sometimes it’s like 1700 a week or something. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:13:25] Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And doing those disbursements weekly is a good idea to actually move the money around weekly just as part of your money time flow. But okay, so you’ve brought it down to 7000 and what’s the percentage that you have set aside for paycheck in your calculator? 

Jenny [00:13:39] In the calculator it is 45%. But then I have a salary too, which is the retirement, saving up for college, and you know, vacation, car – in savings, which is 17%. 

Linzy [00:13:51] Okay. Right. You have that big goals fund. So something I’m noticing is you have a lot of savings goals. 

Jenny [00:13:57] Yes. 

Linzy [00:13:57] Which is great. But I can see how it’s stretching the dollars in different directions. 

Jenny [00:14:02] Yes. 

Linzy [00:14:02] Right. 

Jenny [00:14:03] Okay. 

Linzy [00:14:03] Yeah, because I’m sitting here. Okay. So at 6800, 45%, your paycheck would be like 3060. So it just gets you that low amount. When you had those 6800 dollar months. 7000 at 45% would be a take home paycheck of 3150. So still on that lower end of what you want to see. So we’ve got that 17% and tell me about that 17%. Again, what are those goals for retirement? 

Jenny [00:14:29] Yeah, I have a college fund for my son. Yeah. Vacation eventually. Want to get a new car. I would love to pay cash for the car. That’s a big goal of mine just to be able to do that. Yeah, that’s great. And then also now for the $18,000 I need in savings, right? 

Linzy [00:14:47] Yes. And this emergency fund. Okay. So what I’m hearing then is you have a lot of goals. We’ve got these emergency funds, we’ve got these, you know, retirement. That’s a very important goal. We don’t want to forget about that one. College fund, vacation, new car, all of these things. And then also at the same time, sometimes you struggle with saving and end up taking money out of savings. At least historically that has happened. 

Jenny [00:15:10] Yes. 

Linzy [00:15:10] Okay. There’s two pieces to this here. The first one that I want to think about is priorities. You know, priority. Like Jesse, the founder of YNAB, has an article that I like about budgeting with children. You’re a parent, you have a son. I also have a son, similar ages. And he talks about when you teach kids about budgeting and you you know, his suggestion is like you- every time they see a toy that they like, you add it to their budgeting list and then when they get allowance, you say, okay, is this going towards the Lego? Is this going towards that dragon action figure? Is it going towards this? Kids are very good at picking one thing. They understand what a priority is. A priority is one thing. As adults, we never use the word priority. We use priorities. And then we list five things because we’re trying to balance all these things at the same time. And that’s really what I’m feeling from you here, right, is like this money is being pulled in all these directions because all of these things are important. So I’m going to ask you, which of these things is your number one most important? 

Jenny [00:16:07] Well, I think right now, obviously, retirement and savings would be probably the savings and. 

Linzy [00:16:13] Savings for what? 

Jenny [00:16:15] Emergency.  

Linzy [00:16:17] Okay. So your emergency fund. Okay. So retirement is up there. An emergency fund is number two. Okay. And your retirement goal, how much do you like to see going away for retirement, you know, each month?

Jenny [00:16:28] I would like to do 500. My max I can put in is like 6000 a year. So that kind of. 

Linzy [00:16:34] Okay so that hits your- beautiful. Okay. So that’s very clear and simple. 500 a month. Great. Which still gives us quite a bit to work with. So that emergency fund. Jenny, how important is it for you and also think about your life circumstances and any kind of like illness or family stuff that might be swirling about? When do you actually want to see your family have an $18,000 emergency fund? 

Jenny [00:16:57] I would like to have that as a goal this year if possible. 

Linzy [00:17:01] By the end of this year. 

Jenny [00:17:02] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:17:03] And right now, do you have any money towards that goal or are we starting at zero? 

Jenny [00:17:08] I have like about 800. 

Linzy [00:17:12] And tell me, why do you want to have it by the end of the year? 

Jenny [00:17:14] Well, one of it- just to kind of cross that off my list of things that are on that I need to do, you know, kind of is done. And so it’s financially okay. 

Linzy [00:17:25] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It feels good to like, got that, you know, pat yourself on the back. Because the other things here, like your college fund for your son. Is there a certain annual payment that you want to make or need to make in terms of those investment rules? 

Jenny [00:17:42] Yes. It’s about 169 a month. 

Linzy [00:17:45] Okay. Okay. So not very much. 

Jenny [00:17:46] Yeah, that’s a little bit more doable. Obviously, my goal is to be able to put even like a thousand a month or something to get that paid off sooner than the time. But. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:17:57] Okay. Yes. Yeah, yeah. And that would definitely be very nice. But 169 is your obligation. 

Jenny [00:18:02] Yes. 

Linzy [00:18:02] And then the new car. Do you see yourself needing a new car in cash this year or is that more like in the next four years? Five years? 

Jenny [00:18:09] I would say like three years. 

Linzy [00:18:11] Okay. Three years in the road. Great. And then what about vacation. 

Jenny [00:18:15] That I would like to maybe do one or two this year would be great. 

Linzy [00:18:20] And how much do you want to see for that vacation fund? 

Jenny [00:18:23] Maybe around. Maybe 4000 total for the year. 

Linzy [00:18:27] So 4000 total would be if we’re looking at the rest of the year, I’m going to divide it by ten. That’s like $400 a month. 

Jenny [00:18:34] Okay. 

Linzy [00:18:35] And just to give a sense of like you’re going back to your numbers again, like if we’re looking at 7000 months – and I think you can get your practice income up again, but we’re going to play with these super safe numbers just to be conservative. If you’re putting aside 17% towards these big goals, you’ve already got that built into your profit first calculator. That would be $1,190 a month that you’re working with. Okay. And if 500 is retirement, if 169 is college, because I know for our sons where, you know, I’m Canadian and you’re American, so different rules. But we do set aside that money because we make up we have to there’s a matching that happens so I know that that one is small but important. And then your new car I’m going to pause that for a second just to see what the numbers can do before that. 400 for vacations, and then emergency funds. You want to have the $18,000 by the end of the year. I’m going to run these numbers. So what I’ve done is I’ve just taken the 1190, which is kind of our very safe number for savings. I’m going to take out the 500 for retirement, the 169 for college, the 400 for that vacation fund. So it leaves 121 a month would go towards your emergency fund, which is lower than you want. 

Jenny [00:19:48] Mm hmm. 

Linzy [00:19:49] Now, if we’re curious, you have had $10,000 months before. 

Jenny [00:19:53] Yes, Right. 

Linzy [00:19:54] And, you know, practices ebb and flow and there’s always some things you can explore around your marketing and networking and all of that good stuff. If you have a $10,000 month, that 17% now becomes 1700 dollars. Mm hmm. And at 1700 dollars, if I take out the ones that we talked about here, that gives you 631 a month to put towards emergency fund. Mm hmm. So that gives you a lot more wiggle to start building up that fund. Now, that’s not going to get you to $18,000 by the end of the year, but it is going to build. And so this is something for you to think about is like really gut check with yourself. Of that pool of money that you are right now, that you’re earmarking for savings. And you could also look at your optics and see like, okay, can I bring down my OpEx a little to bring up savings a little? How would that feel? But if you saw it, divide it up in this way, how would that sit with your body? Would you feel like you’re on track or does it feel like you’re not making enough progress on those goals? I am curious to read you the numbers. 

Jenny [00:20:54] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:20:54] Okay. At a lower month, it would be $500 going towards retirement. Mm hmm. 169 Going towards your son’s college fund. Mm hmm. $400 towards vacations and $121 towards that emergency fund. 

Jenny [00:21:08] Mm hmm. 

Linzy [00:21:09] On a higher month, it could be $631 going towards an emergency fund. Okay. Now, in this, I will point out we have prioritized vacation over emergency fund. 

Jenny [00:21:18] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:21:18] So if you wanted to say, like, okay, vacation is important, but I’m going to do one trip instead of two and it’s going to be 2000. Right. Then that extra 200 could go towards the emergency fund instead. 

Jenny [00:21:27] Yeah. And get that going. 

Linzy [00:21:29] What are you noticing with these numbers? 

Jenny [00:21:31] Well, I don’t know. Part of me is like, well, maybe 18,000 for emergency is too, you know, unrealistic right now. I dont know.

Linzy [00:21:38] Yeah. Yeah. And what I would think about is, as a self-employed person, our circumstances are a little different, right? Because it’s like if you’re working for Twitter, for instance, if you were recently working for Twitter, your world got changed upside down when it was acquired by somebody and like all these people got laid off. You are more precarious when you work for somebody else. Working for yourself, unless you actually become like injured or some other way incapable of working at all, you are able to earn money quite quickly because you have a skill set where you get paid a high amount of money for like literally an hour of work. 

Jenny [00:22:14] Yes. 

Linzy [00:22:15] Right. Because we have this kind of like quality over quantity profession where it’s like in one hour we can like change someone’s life. Therefore, you have like high earning potential. So that six months may or may not actually be super important given your life circumstances at the moment. 

Jenny [00:22:31] Right. 

Linzy [00:22:31] Right. If there was like chronic illness on the horizon, if there’s like cancer scares or possibilities, like there’s going to be reasons that we might not be able to work, that would mean that six months is going to be a really important number. But right now, in the constellation of these other things that are important to you, I wonder if maybe a lower number for this year, but still a real number. But like, if you aim to get your emergency fund up to $8,000 this year, how that would feel to bring down that bar a little with the intention and the next year you can save another 8000 and then the year after that you can save another 8000 and you could have 24,000 three years from now, which chances are you’re never going to use all of that money. 

Jenny [00:23:09] Right. 

Linzy [00:23:10] Even if you have it, you might dip into it a little bit. It’s kind of worst case scenario money. 

Jenny [00:23:15] Yes. 

Linzy [00:23:16] Right, Right. What do you what are you noticing with this? What comes up? 

Jenny [00:23:19] Well, 8000- just seeing- I just felt more relaxed just hearing that number. 

Linzy [00:23:24] Yes. 

Jenny [00:23:25] It just seems so much more attainable, like sometimes that these goals, I just, you know, kind of feel like this is just not possible and the self doubt. 

Linzy [00:23:35] Yes. And $8,000. Like if we’re looking at, you know, if you can get your practice back up to the place that it has been, you know, and that it was in the fall, $8,000 divided by 631, you would be there in a year. Right. So in a year you could be at $8,000. If you have some higher months, that would go even higher if you deprioritize your vacation a little and plan to save 2000 instead of 4000, it would be much faster. Maybe it would be nine months or ten months instead of 12. So there’s like, you know, there’s variables here. But having that as a goal, what do you think the impact of that would be, having an $8,000 goal instead of 18,000? 

Jenny [00:24:10] Yes, I like that a lot better. I really do. It just seems so much more doable. Just like with a business. 

Linzy [00:24:18] Exactly. Yeah. Yes. And with that operating expense goal that we talked about, too, which we also brought down from 10000 to 4500, that’s something that you could look at saving inside your operating expense fund. So you could look at, you know, okay, every month in my fund, I actually have a line in my budget, which is my OpEx buffer goal. And every month I’m going to put away. Same thing.  Think about when do you actually want to hit that 4500. So if it’s like if we wanted to see that 4500 in a year, you would put away 375 a month that would get you there. If you want to make it a little bit longer, a little bit shorter, you can wiggle it. But like building that into your profit first budgeting is going to be a really powerful way, especially for the OpEx goal where you’re just like, keeping it in the business, right? Of making it happen. Okay, so now we have adjusted numbers. So now we’re onto the next piece, which is like actually making the savings happen and not stealing from yourself. 

Jenny [00:25:06] Right. 

Linzy [00:25:07] Right. Because numbers, numbers can be beautiful, but if they don’t end up doing the job that we want them to do because we end up using them for something else, then they’re not serving us in the way we intended. So with these numbers, I mean, we can think about each of these goals individually or you can think about them all together. Knowing yourself, what do you need to do with this money to make it actually stick around and actually be available for the goals it’s intended for, rather than getting used on a month where money’s a little bit tighter. A shiny object that comes along. 

Jenny [00:25:37] I mean, make it where it’s not accessible. 

Linzy [00:25:40] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Out of reach. 

Jenny [00:25:42] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:25:42] Do you have somewhere like that right now? Do you have a bank account that’s out of reach? 

Jenny [00:25:47] Well, I do have an extra one for my business, but I have different savings accounts lined up just for my different expenses. So I can maybe make one of those, like, savings accounts difficult to get into or something. 

Linzy [00:26:03] Yeah, Like, I mean, when we have the tendency to steal from ourselves. And it talks about this in profit first, it’s like, put it far away, Make it hard. Right. Like if you know, you have a piece like a part of yourself that is prone to thievery or prone to scarcity and therefore grabs the money because you feel like you need it somewhere else. Hmm. You need to set up, you know, the saying, Jenny, is like, create systems that are smarter than you are. 

Jenny [00:26:27] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:26:27] Right. We all have our own kind of like, things that challenge us, or our own flaws or areas that we’re working on. And so it’s like build a system that is going to make it hard for you to do the thing that you’re trying not to do. And so having a totally separate bank, a bank where you cannot make an easy transfer. 

Jenny [00:26:43] Right. Right. 

Linzy [00:26:44] There’s a lot of sucky banks in the United States. Find a sucky bank. Where it’s very hard to get the money out. Where they make it difficult. Because you want it to be difficult. 

Jenny [00:26:53] Right. 

Linzy [00:26:53] Yeah. Right. We want this money. We want the vacation money to be there when it’s time for your vacation. Right. And your retirement money. Could you just directly send that to your investments fund? 

Jenny [00:27:03] Yeah, I could. I usually just save it and do it at one bulk, but I could. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:27:08] Yeah. And with that, you could look at doing an automatic transfer if it’s going to be 500 a month. Like if that’s the number that it’s going to be. From your business account, you can set an automatic transfer. An automatic bill payment is I know how we do it in Canada. I don’t know how your bank specifically will talk to each other, but, like, get it out of your account every month and, like, into that retirement fund. And then you can always, like, invest. If you have to invest that money in a second step, you can do that later. But just like get it where it’s supposed to be basically as soon as the money’s ready to go. 

Jenny [00:27:37] Okay. Yes. 

Linzy [00:27:38] So that might be like an end of the month transfer. Like the 26th of every month, $500 gets sent to your retirement because, like, automation is a great thing. You know, it takes- we don’t have to actually make the decision. There’s an opportunity for another part of you that’s like, Oh, but we could really use the money somewhere else, or It’s a bad month and we should just keep it in the business. We know there’s parts like that in the mix, so we want to remove the opportunity for them to kind of interfere with our bigger plans. 

Jenny [00:28:01] Yes. Okay. Yeah, I can definitely do that. 

Linzy [00:28:04] And same with the college prepaid. Does that already automatically going out? I think I’ve seen that in your books before. Or does that sit around too? 

Jenny [00:28:10] Yeah, it goes out every month. 

Linzy [00:28:12] Okay, so that’s already. So same thing. You can automate that if it’s not already. A vacation fund. Think about where to put that. Does that need to be at a separate institution? And then emergency fund. Maybe it’s your vacation fund and emergency fund live in two different bank accounts. Yeah, in some bank that is out of sight, out of mind? 

Jenny [00:28:30] Yes. Okay. 

Linzy [00:28:31] That’s what we want. How does that feel for you? 

Jenny [00:28:34] It feels a lot more doable, for sure. Just having this conversation. Yes. 

Linzy [00:28:38] Yes. Like your numbers. Your numbers are good, right? And we know that your numbers have been even better at different points in time. So it’s just building out this system so that what you want is automated and that happens automatically. And that’s the default rather than what has been your behavioral default, which is maybe scarcity or taking. We don’t want that. So we want to make it super easy for the thing you actually want to have happen. Happen. 

Jenny [00:29:02] Yes. Yes. That sounds doable. 

Linzy [00:29:05] Awesome. So, Jenny, coming into the end of our time, what are you taking away from our conversation today? 

Jenny [00:29:10] Well, I just feel a lot more, you know, motivated and feeling like this is possible and more calm about the situation rather than scarcity or anxiety, right? 

Linzy [00:29:22] Yes. Yeah. So I would encourage you, if you have 20 minutes after our time together, just like put this stuff in place. 

Jenny [00:29:28] Yes, I will. 

Linzy [00:29:28] Make it happen. And yeah, I’m excited for you. I’ve said this to you many times in the course, but like I see your growth and I also like, see your potential with, like, the earnings that you’ve built up, the practice that you’ve built, your ability to hold all these goals. So it’s just like building out these systems. You are, you are on a very good path. 

Jenny [00:29:45] Okay. Well, thank you so much. Yes. 

Linzy [00:29:48] You’re welcome. Thanks, Jenny. 

Jenny [00:29:49] Thank you. 

Linzy [00:30:03] In my conversation with Jenny. You know, something that I noticed at the beginning, and I think this is so common when we have stress and perfectionism and scarcity around money is the goals that she had set were just way higher than she needed. There could be scenarios where, you know, we do need to have a six month buffer right away. You know, if we have a parent who’s in failing health and we know that we want to stop and like take a caregiver leave to be with them, or if we’re having a serious health scare, you know, there are scenarios where we might eventually need to have six months of money. But in Jenny’s case, at this time, compared to her other goals, those initial numbers that she set, first of like her operating expense buffer in the business, once we talked about that, it didn’t need to be 10,000. It only needs to be 4500. And that emergency fund for home, rather than being 18,000, you know, we settled on 8000. Having that as a goal by the end of the year, releasing these ideas that, you know, creating stability needs to be by hitting like these high numbers, like doing it right – and putting this in quotations – often just sets us up to feel like we’re failing because we set goals that are so hard but also unnecessary. Right. So once Jenny actually identified realistically what she actually needs to achieve this year, she could align those emergency fund goals next to the other things that are important to her in her life now and her retirement and her son’s college fund and vacation and have a much more kind of balanced approach to saving. And then, of course, that piece of putting it out of reach using automation will mean that Jenny has a system that will work against her tendency to take that money and will allow her to have the money go where it actually needs to go and have that vacation money, for instance, actually be available when she wants to go on a vacation. So such a lovely conversation today with Jenny. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find me @moneynutsandbolts. We share emotional and practical money content on there all the time as well. As I’ve mentioned, some reels working on reels and if you are enjoying the podcast, please leave me review on Apple podcast. It takes literally 2 minutes if you have an Apple account. I actually tried to do it the other day at an Apple account that didn’t work. But if you have an Apple account, if you could take 2 minutes to let me review, it’s super helpful and is the best way for other therapists to find us. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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