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Making Financial Space for Joy Coaching Session

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“I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better idea of what this is looking like.” 

~Ellie Tripp

Meet Ellie Tripp

Ellie Tripp is an early career psychologist in solo private practice, starting their practice out of necessity.  Ellie’s approach to therapy is collaborative, relational, and individually tailored.

In this Episode...

How can we make intentional space in our finances for joy? How can we move from being too restrictive into finding a more balanced approach toward spending? Guest Ellie Tripp shares about how when it comes to spending on joy, she struggles to give herself permission to spend the money needed to participate in fun events like concerts and travel.

Linzy and Ellie dig into why Ellie is experiencing this friction with spending and what she can do about it. Linzy provides some insight into how this occurs and offers practical actions Ellie can take to find more ease with this aspect of her finances. This episode is perfect for all of us who struggle to allow ourselves to spend money on what brings us joy.

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!

Check Out the Jane App

Want to simplify and streamline things in your business? Jane is an online platform for health and wellness practitioners that makes it super easy to book, chart, schedule, bill and get paid. 

Click here and use my code MNB1MO for a 1-month grace period as you make the switch and settle into Jane!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Ellie: “I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so it’s almost like let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better picture of what this is looking like.”

[00:00:26] Linzy: 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.

[00:00:51] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today we have a coaching episode with Ellie Tripp. Ellie is a graduate of Money Skills for Therapists. She graduated about a year and a half ago. She’s an early career psychologist in solo practice, and she shares that she started her solo practice out of necessity when the group practice that she joined after postdoc was potentially closing.

[00:01:12] And she put here in brackets “due to financial mismanagement; they needed you.” She says, “Money Skills for Therapists help me get to where my practice finances don’t feel like a total mystery to me.” So in our conversation today, Ellie and I talked about this piece that, for her, is more around personal finances.

[00:01:27] She mentions, and what we focus on today, is around swinging between, “I can’t afford it.” Then like, “Whatever, I’m just going to make it work.” Right? These two extremes when it comes to making a spending decision, and Ellie and I dig into and explore where those stories might have came from, what she wants to believe now, and we look at both the mindset pieces around how she wants to think about and prioritize these things. Connecting with her values to know what is worth spending on, and then also going back to systems and numbers and grounding herself in her actual numbers for her practice, and figuring out what her practice can do for her now at this stage, into the second year of her private practice.

[00:02:09] Here is my coaching episode with Ellie Tripp.

[00:02:27] Linzy: So Ellie, welcome to the podcast.

[00:02:30] Ellie: Thank you. Glad to be here.

[00:02:32] Linzy: So you are a graduate of Money Skills for Therapists. And can you tell me,

[00:02:36] remind me, how long ago did you finish up the course now?

[00:02:41] Ellie: I think it’s probably been about a year and a half. 

[00:02:44] Linzy: It doesn’t feel like that long.

[00:02:46] Ellie: No, it doesn’t.

[00:02:47] Linzy: Okay. Okay. So about a year and a half ago that you finished up the course, and you were mentioning off mic that what you wanted to chat with me about today is something that you, you wanted to talk about when we had our time together in the course, but we ended up talking about other stuff instead.

[00:03:01] Ellie: Yeah, yeah. I feel like I got into some money stories there, but then, like, so much focus on systems and, like, navigating that. And so this is something I’ve noticed both personally and professionally. it is like this thing where I’ll look at something that I think I really wanna do, a coaching program or a vacation or concert tickets or whatever, and I’ll think, oh no, I really can’t afford that.

[00:03:26] And then not necessarily with anything to do with actual numbers, .

[00:03:30] Linzy: Yes. Okay. ‘

[00:03:31] Ellie: cause heaven forbid we look at the data. I will switch into this. Screw it. Let’s make it happen. I can totally do this. And I hadn’t quite teased apart like what in the world is happening here and like how could I maybe slow this whole process down?

[00:03:47] Or whatever.

[00:03:49] Linzy: I’m curious, like, how much time is there between these two reactions? 

[00:03:54] Ellie: That’s a great question. That’s interesting. I feel like sometimes it could be mere moments. maybe depending on the volume of the excitement to do the thing. Of like, ooh, I really can’t make that happen right now. Screw it. We’re in. But then other times I think it, there’s maybe a little bit more lag time, and maybe a little bit more like slowing down, potentially looking at some numbers, but almost like trying to fudge them to really make them work when maybe they can’t actually, and or maybe they actually totally can, but I, it’s like the emotion is getting in the way of like objectively really looking at what makes sense.

[00:04:40] Linzy: Yes. Yes. Because I’m hearing like both of these reactions aren’t necessarily grounded in any data. like if you, if you’re going for the, fuck it, do it anyways reaction, maybe you’re looking at data, but only to support the fact that you already decided you want to do it. Okay, so, let’s focus on the first story first, which is the like, I can’t afford it. Can you like tell me more about I can’t afford it?

[00:05:04] Ellie: My brain was just like, well, isn’t that just like the story we tell ourselves right out the gate? It’s just like, I can’t afford it. I don’t know how much that’s actually grounded in any truth, but that seems like, especially if something is of a larger price

[00:05:18] tag.

[00:05:18] Linzy: Mm hmm. Okay. Okay. So, yeah. For you it’s like such a default story.

[00:05:23] That you’re like, well obviously, it’s just the truth.

[00:05:26] Ellie: Mhm.

[00:05:27] Linzy: Okay.

[00:05:28] Ellie: Mhm. Mhm.

[00:05:29] Linzy: And like, I’m just curious, do you notice, is there a certain price tag that triggers this reaction? Or can it also happen for smaller things?

[00:05:36] Ellie: I think it can happen for smaller things. Like, like if I’m thinking of something in my personal life, like a concert ticket. Probably if it’s like over a hundred dollars, I’m like, ooh, I don’t know that I can afford that, can’t afford that, or make some choices that make that totally doable on a semi regular basis.

[00:05:57] If it’s something like, like a business coaching program,

[00:06:02] I think that has evolved. I think prior, you know, I’m only a few years out of grad school, so I think as I was kind of starting my business and all of that. Anything over like a thousand dollars. I was like, gird your loins. Um, But now that I have like explored more of like what’s available in business coaching and like doing money skills for therapists and things like that Now it’s you know, it’s more like if it’s over two thousand dollars then i’m really starting to… not that i’m not getting stressed potentially about things that are under that amount But probably anything over that is when i’m really like I’m, not so sure

[00:06:42] Linzy: Yes. Okay, okay. So, that number was 2, 000, you said?

[00:06:49] Linzy: Okay. Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s an interesting point that you make that it’s, that has shifted for you, you know, based on where you are in business. So that’s an interesting reflection, right? Like that the story has changed where it lands. Okay, so that’s with business.

[00:07:02] There’s kind of this dollar amount. Personal, I’m hearing like if it’s something like concert tickets, then like more than a hundred bucks makes you pause. What is more than a hundred bucks that you would easily spend though? You know, like what, where’s the rules difference? What is definitely always worth more than a hundred bucks?

[00:07:19] Ellie: Vacations.

[00:07:20] Linzy: Okay. Yeah.

[00:07:22] Ellie: For sure. But then, yeah. So I was thinking, like, okay, so personal and concert tickets, that’s one example, but like, a vacation or something like that, I don’t know, between, Or like flights, like anytime it gets over 300, even if it’s like you’re flying to Europe or Right? it’s like that’s going to be more than, that’s going to be more than 300,

[00:07:44] Linzy: probably. You kind of hope it is at that point, frankly. like,

[00:07:47] Ellie: I know, right, exactly, yeah, like we don’t want the plane to crash, so it’s kind of interesting to think what the difference would be there,

[00:07:58] Linzy: Yes.

[00:07:59] Ellie: I’m not totally sure, yeah,

[00:08:00] Linzy: What I’m noticing is, and this is generally something I’ve noticed in myself too, is the story of I can’t afford that seems like it’s a story about money. Right? Like it’s just a dollar amount. I can’t afford that. Like I just don’t have that money. Right? But generally speaking, there’s going to be something else that we would turn around and see at the same price tag that, that story wouldn’t come up.

[00:08:21] Ellie: Right.

[00:08:21] Linzy: If you go to the grocery store, and you spend 110 on groceries, does I can’t afford that come up when you see your grocery bill? Yeah. So what’s different about those things?

[00:08:33] Ellie: Oh, just spending for my own enjoyment and fulfillment. How dare I? Interesting. Yeah. There’s the juice.

[00:08:42] Linzy: There you go. Okay. So tell me about the, like, how dare I.

[00:08:47] Ellie: Yeah, that’s interesting. I mean it just. It feels like, yeah, like if there, oh gosh, it’s such like, like if, if there’s some sort of sense of personal enjoyment, then there has to be some sort of like martyrdom associated with it. Or I don’t know if martyrdom is the right word, but like

[00:09:06] there’s some sort of,

[00:09:10] I should be depriving myself or I, I don’t even, yeah, sacrifice… do I deserve this?

[00:09:19] Is this like, like, I feel like this. This sort of feels like it connects to, that’s like, this is maybe a different coaching session, but like, like the stories around like being able to raise your fees as a therapist, and like, no, we’re supposed to just give it all away for free, and you’re in a giving profession, and so, and so it feels like that’s like another side of that coin.

[00:09:39] Linzy: yeah, those connections to that area too, because, what it makes me curious about is, for, for this part of you, the like, how if you enjoy something, it has to be… it sounds like there’s, you’re not allowed to just enjoy something. There has to be something that comes with it, even, we haven’t quite articulated exactly what it is, but like, something in the realm of martyrdom or sacrifice, or maybe having earned it, you have to have earned it.

[00:10:06] Ellie: Yeah, that feels right.

[00:10:08] Linzy: Okay. So, this idea that you can only enjoy things if you’ve earned them. Do you know where that came from? 

[00:10:18] Ellie: Well, honestly, where my brain immediately goes to is like, you know, getting your homework done so that then you could like, watch your… I mean, we got like a half hour of TV probably or something when I was little, so, before iPads and screen time being what it is… So there was kind of that or like, like you needed to fulfill all of your obligations before you could do the fun thing.

[00:10:40] Linzy: Right, and in this case, like, what would be the obligations that you’d have to fulfill before you’re allowed to, like, have a concert ticket or go on a trip that’s more than 300 plane

[00:10:49] ticket?

[00:10:50] Ellie: Right. So it would be a “worth it” trip. yeah, it’s kind of, I don’t know, there’s like almost this kind of unrealistic expectation that what? I’m supposed to have all my bills paid for the next six months and have six months saved and have this huge gigantic cushion before I can do anything enjoyable. But even as I’m saying it, I’m like, well, that’s not a nice way to live or realistic…

[00:11:21] Linzy: Logically, there’s other parts of you. It makes me think about, like, the ant and the grasshopper. Do you remember that story? It’s, it’s, I mean, I’ve been refreshed because I’ve read it to my five year old recently, but it’s like this story about, it’s summer and the ant is like working hard to like save up for the winter and the grasshopper is just like having fun and enjoying the summer.

[00:11:42] And you know, like they have some exchanges where basically the, the grasshopper is like, why are you working so hard?

[00:11:46] Like relax. It’s summer. Enjoy. And the ant’s like, no, no, I have to save up for the future. Like I have to be responsible. And then of course winter comes, and the grasshopper has no food and the ant has got a bunch of food and I’m sure depending on the version of the story, I’m sure in some dark Russian version, the grasshopper dies a terrible death. In the like sanitized American, North American version, the grasshopper like gets a little food from the ant, learns his lesson, and then the next summer learns that he should be, there’s a time for work and a time for play, that he should be working hard throughout the summer, even though it’s beautiful so he doesn’t starve to

[00:12:19] death. This is kind of the vibe it brings up for me, what you’re saying.

[00:12:24] Ellie: Yeah. Well, and what’s sort of flashing? I grew up in a, you know… We were comfortable and like, you know, my parents helped pay for, you know, pay for college and things like that. So it’s like, it’s not like, there was this big deprivation, but I do sort of remember like, if there was a big celebration dinner or a trip or something like that, it would be like, yeah, let’s do it.

[00:12:50] But then, oh, we need to like, be watching, like there was then sort of a, on the flip side of it, we need to be watching what we’re spending. And so it was kind of this like, well, wait, but we can… we want to do this or even like, I feel like, you know, some of the ways that love is shown in my family is like, no, let us buy the dinner, or like being able to give in those ways or give to charity and things like that, but then like also hearing like, Ooh, but you know, things are tight.

[00:13:24] And so kind of having these confusing messages. And never actually talking about any of the, like, actual numbers. Like, we didn’t really talk about that.

[00:13:32] Linzy: Like, it sounds like enjoyment was always coupled with some sort of stress. Or there was like a hardship that had to come with it, or that would get coupled with it in the lead up to something that was enjoyable.

[00:13:43] Ellie: hmm. Yeah.

[00:13:45] Linzy: Or even it sounds like in the, potentially, in the wake of something, like a gift, there might then also be mention of financial stress.

[00:13:52] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. Like, we’re happy to do this, or we’re really excited to do this, but also,

[00:13:57] ooh, like, biting our nails about it.

[00:13:59] Linzy: Yes.

[00:14:00] And this, this is your parents?

[00:14:01] Ellie: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

[00:14:04] Linzy: Do you see this in other family members as well?

[00:14:07] Ellie: I’m trying to think. Part of me is thinking, I don’t think we’ve talked openly enough about money for me to really know.

[00:14:14] Linzy: Yeah. that’s true, eh?

[00:14:15] Ellie: Yeah.

[00:14:18] Linzy: Okay. So there’s this pairing that has happened in your family. Which you’ve

[00:14:21] experienced for decades, probably the whole time you’ve known them, where it’s like anytime there’s something enjoyable, there’s also going to be this stress or hardship that is paired with it.

[00:14:32] Okay, so thinking about that, Ellie, like zooming out

[00:14:38] with your adult brain, because this is something you absorbed all through childhood, I’m sure, and into your teen years and twenties. With your adult brain, what do you notice about that story, thinking about your family? Hmm?

[00:14:51] Ellie: I don’t know if this is necessarily what you’re asking for, but really what I’m thinking is I don’t want to keep doing

[00:14:57] Linzy: Mmm hmm. That’s not for you. 

[00:15:01] Ellie: Yeah, it feels like then it’s hard to be able to just enjoy things, and because we didn’t actually talk about the numbers, like, I don’t actually know, were we, were we really stressed then about paying for groceries?

[00:15:15] It didn’t feel like it, but I don’t know, I have no idea. And that’s also, like, thanks for protecting me from that, and also talking about it could be helpful. but I think, for myself, like, I’m thinking about doing this, this next level of clinical training. And turns out, because of Money Skills for Therapists, I actually set aside way too much money for taxes.

[00:15:40] Linzy: Nice.

[00:15:41] Ellie: Which is a great, great problem to have because then I’m like, and I’m just kind of leaving it there as like a,

[00:15:47] Let’s just kind of keep it there. Let’s get through the first quarter and make sure this story is true. I still am holding too much for taxes,

[00:15:55] Linzy: Okay.

[00:15:55] Ellie: but also it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like how I treat my tax return.

[00:15:59] I just pretend it’s never going to happen. So then it’s super bonus money when I get it. So I’m kind of treating it like that. But in my head, I’m like, Oh, but okay. This, this training is, I mean, it’s like 5, 000 plus stuff. Like it’s a big clinical training.

[00:16:13] Linzy: Significant, yeah.

[00:16:15] Ellie: But I’m like, Oh, but I actually kind of already have a couple thousand dollars just sitting there that I’ll be able to just shuffle into that.

[00:16:24] And like, there’s something about that. It just like, my whole body relaxes where I’m like, I really want to do that. I think it’ll be great for me clinically and like personally, just based on what I’ve heard from people and what they get out of it.

[00:16:38] It’s actually based on the data and the numbers. I’m not depriving myself and like, I can still pay all my business expenses.

[00:16:46] And so there’s something… so I think that story is like,

[00:16:51] yeah, I’m good with that. I don’t really want to live in that space anymore.

[00:16:57] Linzy: No, and what I’m hearing is you’ve now built skills and systems that mean that you also don’t have to live in that place, right? Because that place is very much about having a purely emotional relationship with money. That is, that there isn’t any sense of like, oh, actually there’s more than enough.

[00:17:12] Or like, oh, but we have like this extra paycheck coming next month. And, you know, we’ve already hit this goal. Like there’s, there’s no grounding there. Like it’s all the emotion around money. The feast or famine. around money with none of the actual data. But what I’m hearing is you actually have systems and skills that mean that you do have data, and you actually do have money set aside because you’ve over saved a bit for taxes, which is way better than super under saving.

[00:17:38] Ellie: Yes, best problem.

[00:17:40] Linzy: So there’s like a couple thousand that’s already there that you earmarked for taxes, and now that you’ve done your return, you see that it’s extra that could go right into this training. Mm hmm.

[00:17:50] Okay.

[00:17:51] Ellie: And I guess where my mind, my brain goes is like, I’ve done all this work on the business money side of things, but then at home, for me personally, like, I’ve been able to give myself a little bit of a raise, and still would like to be bringing home a little bit more. So maybe that’s also looking at that stack of extra tax money and going, okay, well, could we also split that between professional you and personal you.

[00:18:19] Linzy: Also, yeah, if, if you’ve over saved, there can be a rechecking of your percentages and your system that you’re using, right? And then you can see, yeah, is that money that stays in the business, or is that more paycheck for you on a monthly basis, based on now that you’ve seen how your taxes have actually shaken out? So there’s opportunity there to also give you just more month to month stability and comfort. 

[00:18:44] Ellie: Yeah, I think so.

[00:18:46] Linzy: With this story then, you know, that you inherited, that you know you don’t want, the like, kind of feast or famine story, the like, you know, we can’t do it, let’s do it, like this pairing that’s happened,

[00:18:57] what do you want to believe instead, Ellie, about making financial decisions?

[00:19:02] Ellie: I want to ground my money decisions in actual numbers and in alignment with my values in like a really mindful and intentional way.

[00:19:15] Linzy: Okay.

[00:19:16] Linzy: So, thinking about concert tickets and travel, which are two things that I also like, let’s talk about how those connect to your values. How are concert tickets relevant to your values as a person?

[00:19:31] Ellie: Yeah, I mean, I can be somebody that is maybe a little too like perfectionistic and works too hard sometimes, or just, or then also is just like whatever just going through life and I… Like concert tickets light me up. Like live music lights me up.

[00:19:51] Whether that is me just going to see somebody I really love and I go by myself and like It’s the best, or I get a group of people together and we like, dance like idiots and have a great time, and so it’s like, also a connection, community sort of thing.

[00:20:07] Linzy: Okay. So I’m hearing there’s connection and community if you go with someone else. What is the value associated with that first part you talked about where like you can tend to over, you know, work a little too hard. What is it that concerts then bring into your life?

[00:20:21] Ellie: Joy.

[00:20:22] Linzy: Okay.

[00:20:22] Okay. So I’m hearing values here of joy.

[00:20:25] Connection.

[00:20:27] Ellie: Mm hmm. Like Freedom.

[00:20:29] Linzy: Yeah. Okay. Joy, connection, freedom. And what about travel? What values does that connect to? 

[00:20:45] Ellie: Same thing. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And like a sense, sense of like adventure,I don’t know, those are all things that make me feel more alive. 

[00:20:46] Linzy: Yeah. And that’s what I’m thinking of. It’s like, it’s living. Right? You’re giving yourself experiences of like deep aliveness. And that’s how I feel about live music as well. And I have a list of concerts that I regret not attending.

[00:21:01] Ellie: Yeah.

[00:21:01] Linzy: Because often bands don’t come around 50 times, you know, like it’s like, and especially like being in Canada, you know, I’m not in New York City where every band hits Toronto, right?

[00:21:12] Ellie: Right.

[00:21:13] Linzy: you know, sometimes it’s exciting if somebody even crosses the border, on their tour. So what I’m hearing here is almost to like seizing opportunity, like seize the day, seizing life, and actually giving yourself those experiences of joy and connection.

[00:21:28] Ellie: Mm hmm. And I think that there’s a piece of, like, so, in my personal YNAB right now, it’s like, I’m going to France in May to see a cousin, and Taylor Swift. And,

[00:21:40] Linzy: Nice!

[00:21:40] Nice!

[00:21:41] Ellie: so, get the package deal.

[00:21:43] Linzy: There you go. Mmhmm.

[00:21:48] Ellie: Traveling to Denver in June for a friend’s wedding, and like, so there, there are things on the budget that are, like, grounded at all of those things. And, feels a little bit like living outside my

[00:22:00] Linzy: Mmhmm. Mmhmm. Yeah.

[00:22:02] Ellie: And so, there’s like the joy/ adventure / doing the things that make me feel alive… and also then wanting to stay grounded in reality of like car payments, student loans, medical bills. Those are real.

[00:22:21] Linzy: They are real. They are real. And if you don’t pay them, it doesn’t go well. yes, yes. And yeah, like what I’m hearing here is this, Inside of you, and I’ve experienced you as a very, like, you can come across as very, like, focused, you take care of things, you’re like serious in terms of like, I’ve never once thought like, Ellie’s kind of reckless.

[00:22:42] She might want to rein it in a little. That’s never occurred to me in the time that we worked together when you were in the course, but what I’m hearing is like there, you know, there is that, that side of you that’s like very much, you want to make sure you’re taking care of things.

[00:22:54] Ellie: Mm hmm.

[00:22:54] Linzy: But then there’s this other side that’s about like joy and living and like being in, in the moment now. Right? Because I always think about that, too, is like we don’t know how long life is going to be. We don’t know what our life is going to look like as we get older. Right? So I also think about that now, like living while you’re young and healthy and all of those

[00:23:09] Ellie: hmm. Mm

[00:23:10] Linzy: And something that I’m curious about is you mentioned, you know, that you ended up saving more for taxes than you needed. There might be opportunity in the business. Like, can you revisit your business numbers and just reassess whether you could give yourself a raise at this moment?

[00:23:27] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that that’s helpful because I think… I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so it’s almost like let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better picture of what this is looking like now that it is more….  Because I do, I wonder if I do start to kind of stockpile money in the business out of fear.

[00:24:10] Ellie: And then at home, that then makes the concert tickets and the fun things feel like they go in the fuck it bucket, where I’m just like, Well, there’s the car payment and all this, but like, fuck it, we’re going make it happen.

[00:24:25] Linzy: you know, I am hearing that there is planning for trips, right? Like you are saving money, but it doesn’t sound to me like there’s necessarily like a concert ticket line in your budget at the moment.

[00:24:34] Ellie: No.

[00:24:35] Linzy: That’s part of it too, right? What I’m picturing for your budget is either a line that’s concert tickets or that’s just like straight up like joy.

[00:24:42] Here’s my like two hundred dollars a month of joy and maybe that’s a concert, and maybe it’s dinner with friends, and maybe it’s some other spontaneous thing, to make sure that that is actually getting space because otherwise it’s almost like you’re

[00:24:53] setting that up as like a devious part of yourself that’s not getting considered and then has to just be like, “Fuck all of you. I’m going to the concert!” Because it’s not being taken care of; there’s no space for it in the budget otherwise.

[00:25:06] Ellie: Yeah. And I think your point of even just like observing me as like a coach for six months or whatever, is like, I haven’t been a reckless person, and so, but I think because I’m not a reckless person, that then at some point I reach my limit, and then I’m like, screw it, we’re going to Mexico.

[00:25:26] Linzy: Yeah, and there is this extreme that happens, I

[00:25:28] think, yeah, when we don’t let all parts of ourselves get expressed in our life, right? And like in IFS parts work that, you know, those would be kind of exiles, right? Like parts that are owning like disowned feelings or desires. And that is what happens is we do end up like doing things in the extreme because, you know, that part of you is not getting fed, like it’s not getting space in your normal life, or specifically in your budget.

[00:25:52] It’s not getting its own budget line, right? And so there is no space for it other than to kind of like break through and impose itself. And just say fuck everything else because there’s no other option it sounds like at this moment.

[00:26:07] Ellie: Yeah. Well, well, and I do have… I have like the fun money line, but I think it’s gloriously too low.

[00:26:14] Linzy: I was going to say it’s insufficient. Can I ask how much money is in the fun money line?

[00:26:19] Ellie: And you know, I think I probably have it at like 50 or 80, and that does not include dining out.

[00:26:24] Linzy: Okay, dining is separate, but $50 or $80. Yes. Yeah, and considering probably a decent concert ticket is more than $100, it’s not meeting your needs. So, I am curious, like, if you check in with your concert loving, joy and connection seeking part of yourself, how much money a month would help to feed this part so that it gets regular space in your life?

[00:26:51] Ellie: Yeah. I would say like $150 to $200, and I would almost say like $200 to then start to kind of build up the buffer.

[00:26:58] Linzy: That’s true.

[00:26:58] Ellie: Because some months, nobody’s coming to town and I don’t care. And, you know,

[00:27:04] Linzy: So 200 a month. And it sounds to me, you’ll have to go back to your numbers, look at maybe your profit first calculator, take another big picture perspective. But it sounds to me like there’s probably at least $200 a month in your business that could be coming home to you instead.

[00:27:21] Ellie: Yeah, that would be a nicer raise than the, like, I don’t know, $60 raise or whatever…

[00:27:27] Linzy: Ellie!

[00:27:28] Ellie: to myself. I know, I know, I’m scared.

[00:27:32] Linzy: You’re scared. I was like, that doesn’t even count as a raise. Not, not like in the world that we live in. Maybe in like 1930 that would have been a good raise per month, but you know, a hundred years later, it’s not going to make a big difference for you. No, maybe not. Maybe not. It’s like you got to buy like one slightly nicer item at the grocery shop maybe is what that would get you.

[00:27:51] Maybe. Yes.

[00:27:52] Okay. Okay. So thinking about our conversation then, what do you see as your action

[00:27:57] plan? What are your next steps coming out of this conversation today?

[00:28:02] Ellie: Yeah, I mean I think it is, like, kind of in this first quarter, like actually going back and reevaluating the numbers and that that might be like, I feel like I am using the tax percentages that profit first says, and all of that. And it’s kind of like, and it feels like it’s actually, I’m, my buffer is a plenty.

[00:28:22] And so I think it’s actually reevaluating it on what are the actual numbers say? And what are the averages that I’m going to need to pay out so that then I can shuffle that around.

[00:28:31] Linzy: Well, and part of where you are with having been newer in practice is, chances are you’ve just earned less than you will earn in the future. So that’s also something to consider. And that’s like going back to module five in the course and just like looking at those tax lessons again and thinking about, okay, last year this is where I landed with my new cruising altitude and what’s normal now, or if I actually get to capacity this year,

[00:28:52] this is how much I’m projecting to make and this is the tax bracket I will land in, because something else with taxes, that an accountant pointed out to me once is when you’re on the lower end of the taxes, like if you’re paying, I don’t know, if you’re going to owe like $15,000 of taxes, Americans are entitled to about $10,000, kind of like the first $10,000 of the income you earn is not actually taxed, right?

[00:29:13] So there’s this certain amount that you’re just not going to pay and when you’re only paying, saving for a few thousand dollars of taxes, that’s a big difference, right? But as you get more established in your business and maybe you’re going to start owing like $40,000 of taxes, that exemption amount doesn’t make such a big difference anymore. Right, so that would be my suggestion is to ground in not just where you’ve been but where you’re going. What is going to be your tax percentage this year?

[00:29:38] And then I would say run it by your accountant to say like, “Hey, looking at what I’m planning to earn this year, I’m seeing I’m going to earn about, I don’t know, like 80, 000 take home. That puts me in this tax bracket. But can you tell me also what you know I’m going to be eligible for and what you would actually predict I’m going to owe for taxes?

[00:29:54] Because they’re going to know your tax picture the best. Because they know everything that you’re eligible for. They can put you in the context of all these other things. So that would be my suggestion. And then see what else that number, like, that money can do for you if you do get to lower that percentage.

[00:30:10] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. That’s helpful. And I think that there’s a space of like, because, like I had surgery last year and then was taking less clients for part of the year. It’s like, okay, let’s actually base this on the last like six months.

[00:30:21] Linzy: Yes, exactly. What your new normal is.

[00:30:22] Ellie: Yes, versus the full last year.

[00:30:23] Linzy: Yes. And it makes sense to me too that you have been having a hard time kind of maybe like trusting the numbers or wanting to give yourself a raise because you did come into a new practice. You had a serious surgery that had a serious, you know, recovery time period.

[00:30:38] So it’s really, it sounds like, only maybe the last six months where life has been really normal and where you’re like this, this, where you’re kind of what I like to call cruising altitude. You’re at the spot where you’re like, yeah, this is kind of like, if we just go along tickety boo. This is where I would be.

[00:30:50] Ellie: Mhm. Yeah. That feels right.

[00:30:54] Linzy: Okay. you’re going to be going back, looking at your numbers, seeing where there’s opportunity to give yourself a raise, talk to your accountant so you get a really accurate picture,

[00:31:03] and I’m curious, Ellie, you have your action plan. What else are you taking away from our conversation today?

[00:31:11] Ellie: Increase my fun money category. Like, like, let that be one of the priorities.

[00:31:16] Linzy: Mm hmm.

[00:31:18] Ellie: Yes, we have to pay the car payment and the student loans and all of that and those are substantial, but really making sure that those things are prioritized.

[00:31:27] Linzy: Yeah, when I was a teenager, I was an overly serious teenager. You might be

[00:31:31] shocked to find out.

[00:31:33] Ellie: Really shocked.

[00:31:33] Linzy: I know, I know. I was like a punk goth, so on the outside I looked kind of scary, but I was also like a straight A student, very responsible. And I remember starting to like to use this phrase which I thought I made up but I probably didn’t, which is, life is for the living.

[00:31:48] Which is something I had to remind myself of like, you know, if I was slightly older, I probably would have gotten it tattooed on my arm to be like, I need to look at this every day. Life is for the living. Right. And I think when you’re really good at managing and being responsible and like not making mistakes, it’s easy to forget that life is for the living, right?

[00:32:05] Like life is about joy and connection. It’s not about like having everything totally lined up perfectly. and this is what I’m hearing with you is like, there needs to be more space for actually just planning for that, for just being alive.

[00:32:19] Ellie: hmm. Yeah. And not having it be a deprivation. And I think some of that, that’s probably another episode, is like graduating from grad school a little bit later in life and then therefore retirement planning and all those things are happening later. I think that that probably attaches to that. I’m like, no, we got to get ahead.

[00:32:37] Linzy: Yeah. It feeds that. And, you know, like something that I’m taking away from our conversation today is just the importance of taking care of all of those parts of you, right? Not letting that part that knows that you’re not where you want to be in terms of retirement, not letting that part take fun and joy away from the part of you that loves going to concerts.

[00:32:55] Ellie: yeah, exactly.

[00:32:56] Linzy: Those dollars can do multiple jobs for you.

[00:32:59] Ellie: That’s right. Yes.

[00:33:01] Linzy: Ellie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. It was lovely. It’s lovely to talk to you again.

[00:33:07] Ellie: Yeah. This was great. Really appreciate it.


[00:33:24] Linzy: My conversation with Ellie, just really brings to mind for me, balance, just the importance of balance with our money. Balance in life, obviously, is also a good thing. But in terms of finances, I think what we see over and over again is if you put too much money towards one thing, right? Like if we don’t let our money take care of many parts of us, ideally all parts of us, right?

[00:33:47] If we’re not using our money to really take care of who we are as whole people, then we end up making plans that we can’t actually stick to, right? We can’t be in integrity with our plan or our budget if we are denying that part of us, like in Ellie’s case, that loves concerts and travel and connection and joy, right?

[00:34:05] And what I see people often do, where this often comes up, is people paying down debt too aggressively, right? Where the part of you that wants to pay down debt is like so urgent and just so stressed about the debt that you try to put so much money towards debt every month. But ultimately, of course, other things are going to come up in your life, right?

[00:34:23] There’s going to be fun things that come up, like in Ellie’s case, but there’s also going to be responsibilities that come up, and then you can’t stay to that plan. And you have to break the plan that you’ve made, and do something differently because you’ve set up a plan that isn’t really sustainable. And in Ellie’s case, she has set up a plan for her money that is not sustainable in terms of like, it doesn’t actually take care of this part of her that really enjoys life, right? She doesn’t actually have enough room in her budget to do the things that really feed her, like going to concerts, and traveling, and being with friends, right? 

[00:35:01] And so by actually building that into her budget, she’s now going to have the opportunity to approach those decisions from a balanced place with actual numbers because she’s not just denying that part of her and then having it have to rebel to get a, to get its needs met. So there’s so much, I mean, I relate heavily to Ellie in this conversation today. We chatted a little bit off mic afterwards about how I am planning a trip to London and Iceland for my 40th birthday that is coming up this year, and it’s definitely a stretch.

[00:35:23] And it hasn’t actually been in my budget, but I am going to make it work and I’m, you know, going to be strategically doing things, to help the money to be there because it’s really important to me. And that’s also another thing too, is we can’t always plan for the really fun and exciting opportunities that are going to come up.

[00:35:39] But if we commit to them, we can also make the money work, right, by making strategic decisions, and being in our own businesses, it’s a beautiful thing because you can actually make decisions that help, more money show up when you need it to, to feed you, and feed your life, and let money actually take care of us.

[00:35:54] So thank you so much to Ellie for coming on the podcast today. You can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts and if you’re enjoying the podcast, you know, ’cause I ask you a lot, but it’s really helpful if you review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. It is the best way, for other folks to find us, for other therapists and health practitioners to be part of these conversations.

[00:36:19] So if you’re enjoying the podcast, if you could take three minutes to jump over to Apple Podcasts, and leave a review, maybe share about what you appreciate about the podcast, about your favorite episode, that would be deeply appreciated. Thank you 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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