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Planning Ahead With Your Private Practice Finances Coaching Session

Planning Ahead with Your Private Practice Finances

“This feels like helpful clarity. I like how this is working, and I’m already seeing what you’re saying about putting that amount aside for bills and obligations, and then once I’ve reached what I need for the year, I don’t need to put in anymore. So that’s really reassuring. I can see all of that, and it works well for me.”

~Fireda Ahmed

Meet Fireda Ahmed

Fireda Ahmed is a clinical social worker in private practice and has been in the field for over 15 years. She was recently the school social work clinical services manager at a French public school board in Ottawa. Fireda is passionate about equity and mental health and she will be joining School Mental Health Ontario as their Organizational Equity and Education Lead. 

In This Episode…

What is the next step with budgeting when looking toward the future? How can we make sure that we are saving appropriately for upcoming expenses? In this coaching session, Linzy and Fireda really dive into what is going well for Fireda with her budgeting, and they focus in on her desire to take her budgeting planning to the next level.

Don’t miss listening to this practical coaching session full of great tips! You can hear how Fireda is already leveraging budgeting software to help her manage her money within her private practice. She and Linzy really focus on what concrete steps she can take next to really get her money working for her even more effectively, and these action items apply to all of us who are looking to better plan for our future with our money!

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Episode Transcript

Fireda [00:00:04]  And this feels like helpful clarity. I like how this is working, and I’m already seeing what you’re saying about putting that amount aside for bills and obligations. And then once I’ve reached what I need for the year, I don’t need to put it any mor. So that’s really reassuring, I can see all of that and it works well for me. 

Linzy [00:00:29] 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 guest is Fireda Ahmed. Fireda is a graduate of Money Skills For Therapists. She’s a clinical social worker in private practice who’s been practicing for over 15 years. She was recently a school social worker at a French public school in Ottawa, Ontario, that’s where she was working, I believe, when she started Money Skills For Therapists. She is passionate about equity and mental health, and she will soon be joining School Mental Health Ontario as their organizational equity and education lead. Fireda is a really thoughtful, lovely human, and today we dig into a very practical issue around budgeting. This episode, I think, is the most practical one that I’ve recorded in terms of coaching sessions with graduates. We get into a challenge that Fireda has with budgeting around, kind of taking that next step to create more clarity in what money is going to be due in the future, like getting more ahead of herself, looking around the corner from money that’s due after she hit a bit of a snag in the road and spent some money thinking that it was fine to spend, and it actually turned out that she was going to need that money very soon. This is a very tangible episode, and we really get into the value for Fireda that I think so many of us find in having money in tangible buckets. You know what I find with money? There’s kind of two types of people, you know, to say it very simply. Some people are happy to see numbers on paper, and that feels real and tangible and fine. So like a spreadsheet or tracking software is going to do more than enough to give them clarity on money. And other people really need to have that money in distinct buckets for it to be real – like separate bank accounts, it needs to be very tangible, and Fireda definitely falls into that camp, as you’re going to hear in this episode, so we look for some very tangible solutions to her challenges with budgeting and getting ahead on her money. Enjoy. So, Fireda, welcome. 

Fireda [00:03:08] Thank you for having me. 

Linzy [00:03:10] So, Fireda, you are a graduate of Money Skills For Therapists. And remind me, how long has it been since you finished up the course? 

Fireda [00:03:18] End of January, I would say about four, three, four months. 

Linzy [00:03:22] OK, three four months. Yeah. So tell me about the piece that you’re bringing today to our coaching session and what do you want to do some work on together today? 

Fireda [00:03:30] Yeah. So throughout the course and afterwards, I think I’ve really been able to start my practice on the right footing because I think when I started the course I was at a previous job – was, you know, coming to terminate and I’ve got a lot of things settled. So I have my Profit First set and I know how to budget all the income that I’m getting from my clients, whether it’s counseling or consulting. I feel ready for tax season, which is amazing, like it’s my first year and I’m set up for that. I also started seeing money differently. So, you know, whatever income comes from a consultation contract, I don’t get impressed with the numbers. I started breaking them down like, what am I actually making at the end of the day? So those pieces are, you know, settled in. But where I notice that I’m still struggling is in terms of like future – by that, I specifically mean budgeting. So I have the money, it’s in the right envelopes. When I need to spend it, I know how much I have to spend. But what happened between December and January is that I’ve spent all of my operating expenses on a training that I wanted to take, and come January, I had to pay rent and all of my other subscriptions and was like, Oops, I didn’t calculate for that. And it sounds really silly, I should have seen that coming, but this is where it kind of was a hint to the fact that that’s where my weakness is. I don’t have a budget where things are accounted for ahead of time. And if I had, I assume that I would have seen that coming when I made the decision to to sign up for that training. 

Linzy [00:04:59] You are doing some budgeting, but it’s not that detail oriented. You’re doing Profit First, so you have some separate bank accounts. So what I’m hearing is like the money was in that operating expense bank account when you saw that trading opportunity come up. But what you didn’t calculate was the money that was going to come due, you know as soon as we switched over to the next month? 

Fireda [00:05:17] Exactly. 

Linzy [00:05:17] OK, yeah. So with that Fireda, my first curiosity is what comes up when you think about now layering more of a detailed budgeting system on top of the system you already built? 

Fireda [00:05:28] I think it’s going to be a lot easier for me now. I know when I started taking the course because I was just starting my practice, a lot of things were not set up yet. I didn’t even have the income coming in to be playing around with the numbers, so that took a while to to build up. So I think it should be easier now because I have a better understanding of what some of my regular expenses are, with some of the unexpected expenses are like trainings that just pop up that you really want to take advantage of and things like that. So I think that part is OK. But then the other part is when I start thinking about the budgeting softwares and I get flustered again. I never got around to mastering YNAB and now I’m like, Oh, it’s still catching up with me. 

Linzy [00:06:05] Yes, OK. Because what system are you using right now for tracking your money? 

Fireda [00:06:09] What do you mean by tracking specifically? 

Linzy [00:06:10] Like, where are you keeping a record of the money that you have spent? 

Fireda [00:06:13] It is going through YNAB, like, YNAB is connected to my bank account. But I’m not going back to look at it very frequently. 

Linzy [00:06:22] OK. So YNAB for people listening is You Need A Budget, which is a program that is one of the options that we give in Money Skills For Therapists. And it’s one that many people choose because of exactly what Fireda’s talking about. It has this ability to budget forward, but also track the past. So I’m hearing you’ve already got YNAB connected to your accounts and do you have your categories set up in there as well? 

Fireda [00:06:43] I do. 

Linzy [00:06:43] OK. So, you know, whenever you sit down, that information is going to be there ready for you to categorize, to see where the money went. And what I’m hearing is because you’ve been using profit first, you are in integrity with your money in terms of like you do have these buckets, tax money is cared for and your paycheck is coming out of a certain place. But it’s this like more detailed, being able to see what’s coming around the corner, that is missing right now. OK. 

Fireda [00:07:07] Yeah. So like, December was a big month because I had to renew my membership with the Association of Social Work and with the College of Social Work, and so those were two big chunks. But now I know, you know, the end of January, 12 months from now, I’m going to have those expenses. I’d like to start saving those, and that’s the kind of budgeting I need to learn to do. 

Linzy [00:07:30] Because that’s the first thing I think about Fireda is what kind of budgeting do you want to do? Right? Because we do have that kind of software solutions available. And what I’m hearing is you’ve already got YNAB hooked up and it’s like, you’re kind of – at least you’re in position to be able to use it for half of what it does, which is tracks the money you’ve already spent. Right? The other half would be going back and learning to plan ahead with it. Tell me more about what comes up when you think about, basically kind of diving back in and continuing your learning curve with that particular software.

Fireda [00:08:04] Do you mean at the emotional level and struggling or at the intellectual level? 

Linzy [00:08:08] Let’s start with emotional. 

Fireda [00:08:09] I don’t know. I mean, there’s a bit of resistance still. I think I know I need to do it, I think there’s a bit of resistance, and it’s part of why I wanted to make this coaching call about that because I need a push, I know I need a push. I think I started to internalize that I don’t know how to do this and that I won’t figure it out. And so it’s just like, Wow, whatever, I don’t need to waste time anymore on this, it’s not something I, Fireda, am going to figure out. But at the same time, there’s a tiny little piece of hope, which is why I’m here, I guess. 

Linzy [00:08:39] Yes, because what I’m hearing is, you have figured out like 80 percent of your system, right? 

Fireda [00:08:47] That’s a lot more than I thought. 

Linzy [00:08:49] Oh, I think so. You have bank accounts set up, you have Profit First working for you, which in itself has a learning curve and planning. So you’ve planned out your numbers, you’re moving them every month, which means your taxes are taken care of and which means your paycheck is coming out of a regular place. Do you have like a regular paycheck that you’re taking at this point? 

Fireda [00:09:06] Not yet. 

Linzy [00:09:06] Or little up and down, OK? 

Fireda [00:09:08] I did just sign a major contract, which I’m excited about, so there will be a regular income. 

Linzy [00:09:13] Yes, because you’re in a building place still. 

Fireda [00:09:15] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:09:15] So you’ve got all those things done. You’ve also, Fireda, just to stop and validate, you’ve confronted and looked at your resistance to money in general and connected with enough motivation to learn all of these things. Because where were you before, like, let’s say, when you started the course? What was your relationship like to money back then before you did all this work? 

Fireda [00:09:35] Oh, it’s a whole other world. I knew I had a steady paycheck because I was working at a school board at the time. And, you know, as long as I needed to spend, I spent. I never really thought about what money was going into my pension plan or what money was going into my benefits. All of that was taken care of by the employer, so I wasn’t worried about those elements. And then in terms of what I had to spend, as long as the money was there, I just spent it. I never even looked at trainings. I only, you know, took the trainings that were being offered within my organization. Or I would look for them if I could propose them to the organization for them to pay. So I was still like dependent on their budget as my own budget. So there was a bit less freedom in that sense, which meant that when it came to my own personal money, I gave myself all the freedom, so I would spend on whatever I needed to spend. There was a bit of a challenge with saving up for my kids RESP in a regular manner, so that was something I needed to work on as well. But all in all, I think it was just a little mindless the way I managed money, and this made it so much more mindful, obviously, but just more intentional. Like, there was a very clear way in which the money came, in which the money was being placed, the percentages that I allotted to the different categories and Profit First, that was the first step in the intentionality, and it was very rewarding to watch, you know, this amount specifically every month going to my kids RESP, for example, or watching the amount of taxes I’m paying. It’s not something I would think about throughout the year, when I had an employment. At the end of the year, you kind of, you gasp at how much taxes you have been paying out of your paycheck. But now I know, I see it monthly because I’m calculating it monthly and putting it in the right bank account. So I’ve become a lot more aware and in control and a lot more free as well, because now I’m looking at trainings that I’m interested in and I can decide whether I can afford them or not, and not have to wait for anyone to tell me whether they’re in their budget because they’re in my budget, right? 

Linzy [00:11:35] Yeah. Like, I’m hearing so much more empowerment around money there, like it’s yours. Before, it sounds like it was something that was being managed for you. But then also, there was a flip side to that where at home, you were almost being extra mindless with it because it’s kind of like you weren’t the boss of it. Or where do you think that extra mindlessness at home came from? 

Fireda [00:11:55] I think it’s just a mental exercise, like you’re either looking at it and managing it or not. And I was not at that point, you know. 

Linzy [00:12:02] So I’m hearing now there’s a lot more – intention is a word you used a few times, which is like one of my favorite words around money because I think intention is so much more of like a gentle, compassionate word than something like control or – right. So you’re being intentional and mindful, and I’m hearing there’s now this extra little step that you’ve identified. Maybe it doesn’t feel a little, from where I’m looking over here, it seems a little, but from where you are, there’s this extra step to get into planning your money proactively in a more detailed way, right? To be able to say OK next year, I know in December my college fees, which is our regulatory body here in Ontario, I should say, and my association fees come out at the same time. So next year, I want to make sure the money is there, right? So I’d be doing that thing of like setting aside a little every month, you know that process? 

Fireda [00:12:48] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:12:49] What do you think is the belief about what that process is going to be like, that’s making it hard to take that step to go back and learn this last bit? 

Fireda [00:12:57] I can’t visualize it. Like I know, for example, those two subscriptions at the end of the year, they’re about $600. So I can take the $600, divide it by 12 and that money needs to be put aside, but I have an envelope for my operating expenses out of which I’ll be paying for those. But where do I put it aside? Like, am I going to have to create another envelope? And the abstract notion of the budgeting system with the YNAB, is that you’re putting money aside as a concept, it’s just not tangible. That’s why so far, I’ve gotten this far because everything else was quite tangible, but this seems a little not tangible to me. 

Linzy [00:13:35] OK, great. And that’s really helpful to know about yourself. I was just on a call last week with a student. She said, like for her, YNAB feels like make believe. Like, it’s like, Oh, I’m moving money, but I’m not really. And so that’s really good to know about yourself because it sounds like Profit First is giving you this tangibility. The money is really there, it’s really earmarked in a bank account that says taxes, and that’s really the money you have for taxes. And with budgeting Fireda, you can bring that tangibility into your planning if you know that’s important for you, right? Like the multiple bank account thing, for some people, that’s like hell. Like, they’re like -find it so overwhelming and it feels so cumbersome and confusing. But for those of us who are tangible and I’m counting myself in that category right now, too, because I started doing this at home, I’ve got like a dozen bank accounts at home, and I would not have thought that would be helpful, but it’s been really clarifying. It’s so clarifying to have that separation. So with your system now, what if you did set up a bank account, that is for future fees and to even get you ahead a couple of months? Basically, your like operating buffer because that sounds like something you might not quite have in place yet, right? If this expense cleaned out your operating expense account, then that’s another piece that would give you more cushion is having a couple of months operating money set aside, but also there’s those annual fees that you know are coming, and we know that there’s these two. Are there other annual fees that you anticipate will be coming in the next year as well? 

Fireda [00:14:56] I think my liability insurance, I’ve paid that one, so I probably have to pay that again on an annual basis. 

Linzy [00:15:02] Yeah, OK. So those are three big ones. And as a, you know, we’re both social workers in Ontario. So those are the ones that I always have in my mind, as well, those are the three big ones for us. So what do you think it would be like every month to actually move money from your operating expense fund into that, like annual fees? And maybe it’s an annual fees and buffer fund like, actually do have a separate account that is just for those big things, so you know that money is protected and it’s there when you need it. 

Fireda [00:15:30] That sounds pretty simple. So what I would need to do for that is figure out what my annual fees are, add whatever buffer amount I want, split that into 12 or 24 because I do Profit First twice a month and then transfer that amount. So it’s not necessarily a percentage of my income, but it’s a fixed amount that would be transferred? 

Linzy [00:15:50] It would be a fixed amount, yeah. So it’s looking at what would be, you know, two months of operating money for you and then what would be, you know, those totals, as you say, you got the math right there immediately. You know, you would divide by 24 because you’re doing 24 transfers right, 2 transfers a month, and then you would actually physically move that money aside, because what that would also do, Fireda, is it would give you a little bit of like a buffer, like sink money, so that if there is an opportunity for a big payment that you do have to make right away, like sometimes when trading opportunities come up, you have to pay it all at once. 

Fireda [00:16:19] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:16:20] It would mean that there would be a buffer that you could have taken like, this month’s rent money, you could have taken from that buffer fund to cover rent, rather than being down to zero on that account. 

Fireda [00:16:29] Right. That makes sense. Yeah, because that’s where it gets complicated because if I’m zero on that account, but really need the money like I did just this month, I’ll go take it from my salary and then I have to remember to pay my salary back. Whereas would make it much easier because it would all be for operating expenses, but annual, plus buffer, versus monthly. 

Linzy [00:16:49] Yes. And then what you could do is if you do have to dip into that buffer, then you just figure out, OK, how quickly do I want to pay it back? OK, for the next couple of months, I’ll put an extra hundred in there among until I’ve talked it back up to where I want it to be. What do you notice thinking about this idea, this add on for your system? 

Fireda [00:17:04] This seems really feasible. Like I can visualize it, I can see the bank account sitting there and I can see the category added on my excel sheet for my Profit First. So I would just subtract that fixed number from my income for that period, and then the rest will be split up into the percentages that I’m going to put into the different Profit First categories. 

Linzy [00:17:25] Nice. And is there anything else that you would need to or want to layer to give you more clarity on the system? Or does it feel like this would be the clarity that you need? 

Fireda [00:17:33] So that’s one level, I think even the monthly payments, like my other subscriptions and rent, again, I don’t have a plan in the budget for them. The money comes into my account, I split it up, and then when it’s time to pay, I just pull out of the operating expenses. So, so long as there is money in the operating expenses, I don’t have any concern. But after what I had just gone through, I just would like to not always depend on the money being there, but really know that I’ve put the money aside for it.

Linzy [00:18:02] Right. Yeah. And in that case, Fireda, you know, another option with budgeting, and I know this is what we do in my personal budget at home, as in any situation, be it a business or a home, there’s always those like fixed expenses that we can expect every month, and then there’s our variable expenses, right? So in your business, every month I’m hearing like, you have rent that comes out, you probably have your your clinic management software, your EHR, and you’re going to have like a list of expenses that are there pretty much every single month, they’re usually subscriptions. Would it be clarifying for you to separate those out to have like your -basically your bills, your operating expenses bills account, which would be separate from the variable expenses like trainings where you might not spend on a training for months and then suddenly you might drop $2000? 

Fireda [00:18:46] Exactly, yeah. 

Linzy [00:18:47] Would that be a helpful addition to your system as well? Or does that start to become too much if you think about separating into bills and variable expenses?

Fireda [00:18:54] No, it be it would be helpful. And what would that look like? It would be another account that I would label as – what would I label it? 

Linzy [00:19:01] It could be operating expenses, bills and obligations or something like that. And then it’s fixed because then you’re also going to know as you change things like if you add a different software, if you get another subscription to, you know, an online listing, you’re going to know, OK, I just signed up for this online listing, so that’s another 30 bucks a month that I needed to make sure is there for my bills, right? And then when money comes in, the very first thing you fund is your bills. You make sure your bills are covered, right, and then when you fill that up, say, if you know, every month, OK, it costs me $800 a month to run my practice. When you fill that account up to $800 and that $800 is covered, then you can move the rest of the money into that variable. Basically, like, what do you want? Right? You’re covering off the needs and obligations in that bills account and then on the variable account, that’s where you get to have your training money, your beautiful stuff for your office, travel money, that kind of stuff. 

Fireda [00:19:52] OK, so we’re talking about three different accounts. One is bills and obligations, one is variable account and one is annual fees? 

Linzy [00:20:00] Yeah. 

Fireda [00:20:00] OK. And the annual and the bills and obligations, those are fixed amounts because I know them? 

Linzy [00:20:06] Exactly. 

Fireda [00:20:07] And whatever is left is my operating expenses for the variable account? 

Linzy [00:20:11] Yes. 

Fireda [00:20:12] All right. 

Linzy [00:20:13] That would be another way to put it, and it’s like, it’s whatever, Fireda, basically makes your brain happy. Right? So you can always make it as simple, as complicated as you want. Right? Like some people, their version of clarity is have it all in one place, then I know it’s together and like, I’m going to look at it on a spreadsheet. That’s their version of clarity, right? But it’s always building a system that when you look at it, it’s going to click for your brain, it’s going to make your brain happy. You’re going to see the right numbers immediately and have the information you need to make those decisions, you know, pretty much right away. So for you, does that start to feel like too much? Or does that feel like helpful clarity? 

Fireda [00:20:49] No, no. This feels like helpful clarity. I like how this is working, and I’m already seeing what you’re saying about putting that amount aside for bills and obligations. And then once I have reached what I need for the year, I don’t need to put it in any more, so that’s really reassuring. I can see all of that and it works well for me. 

Linzy [00:21:07] And with the bills and obligations find, too, Fireda, like most the time bills and obligations, they’re things where we have either like a set check or – Canadians, we have e-transfers, like a money transfer that comes out. So we point those coming out of that bills and obligations account and then usually we would attach like our debit card to the variable account. Right. So it’s kind of like all the bills are covered out of that bills account, but you might want to put your debit card with the other account because that’s where you’re more likely to just like, go to the store and buy a book, right, or whatever, so you can figure out where to have money coming out of and how, to make a useful system, right? You want to have it so that when you’ve got to pay for something, it’s easy for you to, as much as possible pay for what you want to pay for out of the right place. 

Fireda [00:21:49] Right, right. That makes sense. All right. That looks good to me. Now, the other part that I want to bring up, if I may. 

Linzy [00:21:56] Yeah, please. 

Fireda [00:21:56] Initially, when I did my Profit First, I set up my operating expenses, I think it was 25 percent, and now I brought it down to 20 percent because it’s not that high. I don’t have that many expenses because I do work from home. I have an office, I rent one day a week, so that’s my rent and it’s minimal. And so I’m wondering how to figure out what’s the right percentage because I’m wondering if even 20 percent is too high? 

Linzy [00:22:21] Yeah. And that number, you know, the biggest thing about that number, Fireda, is it’s going to change as your income changes, right? So as you grow your practice, basically your operating expenses are probably going to go down, right, because they might not – they’re not going to grow, hopefully, they’re not going to grow as quickly as your practice is growing. So it’s mostly something to keep an eye on, like month after month. Does it end up feeling like you have extra money left over? Like, do you end up kind of accumulating a bunch of OpEx? You’re like, I would really get paid, like rather get paid that money instead. 

Fireda [00:22:49] Mm-Hmm. Exactly. 

Linzy [00:22:50] Or does it end up feeling tight because maybe you take on some extra expenses and you start to notice I could use an extra five percent in OpEx? Right. So it’s kind of feeling your way through that situation. And then if you do start to notice, Fireda, that you’re over contributing to OpEx. And when we say OpEx, we’re talking about operating expenses just for people listening. You can always choose to move it later. Like, that’s the nice thing, right? Is you don’t need to kind of get it perfect as you go, and I’m not hearing that from you, which is great. I think sometimes with Profit First, I notice people get stuck in that where they’re kind of like, well, this month I actually need a little less, so I’m going to change this percentage and I’m going to change this percentage. And then next month, I need a little more, so I’m going to change them again. But the ideal is like, you kind of set it and forget it. So it sounds like, that at 25%, that ended up being too much, so you brought it down to 20%, so I would say just keep an eye on it. And if you notice that it starts to accumulate too much again, then you can always split that money up between your salary and taxes account, take it as a paycheck, and then trend down your operating expense percentage a little bit more. Right? 

Fireda [00:23:44] OK, that makes sense. And this is the beauty of it is like, you get to learn one year after the other and you get to learn, you know, monthly, there’s so much learning throughout. And this is what I find really nice about this whole process is that, you know, you’re really in tune with, you know, the ebbs and flows of your business because that’s how it is when you’re an independent worker, it’s not a regular salary, so it’s nice. For me, I like the spreadsheet of Profit First, and I’ve now started using it for my home. I’ve converted my husband to, it took a while, but he came around. And so the same kind of clarity that I’ve grasped in my business, I’m happy to now transfer and grasp in our home home finances. 

Linzy [00:24:24] Oh, that’s so good. Yeah. And with this, Fireda, like what I’m hearing, and maybe you could agree with me a little more now, I don’t know, its like you have set up so much clarity, right? Like you have built out so many systems and now you just get to tune them up to fill in the gaps, right? But like, you’ve identified those gaps by actually doing it right, it’s not kind of an intellectual exercise, you’ve actually noticed, like, oh, I actually spent money that I needed for the next month because I didn’t have any kind of failsafe to prevent that. So now you’re building that. 

Fireda [00:24:52] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:24:52] Right? But you know, what I notice about you and maybe you’re just presenting very calm, is that you’re just like, very thoughtful and intuitive about it. Like, I’m not hearing you spinning off in any negative directions about what this means about your system or you or money in general. You’re you’re just thinking about, OK, what do I need to add here? 

Fireda [00:25:09] Yeah, no. It’s all running really well for me. And I’m, you know, I guess I am agreeing with you that I probably have it more under control than I thought. I think for me, it’s the YNAB piece. It’s still, like what you’ve proposed is to build on what I already have, and that works well for me. My fear and concerns came around jumping into YNAB and trying to work with that and perhaps having spent the next year doing it this way, YNAB will start making more sense, eventually. I just, I like to get things, and that’s frustrating that I don’t get YNAB. So maybe it’s just a matter of time. 

Linzy [00:25:44] Yeah. And with YNAB, like, what I’ve noticed is, some people work and work and work at it, and then it clicks and they get it, and they’re like converts, almost. 

Fireda [00:25:52] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:25:53] And other people, it just doesn’t click, like it’s just not meant for their brain. And I’ve seen students, I’m thinking of one student in particular, who I worked with back in 2018, when I first – my very first round of the course, YNAB didn’t click for her and she never used it, and she is doing amazingly with her finances, right? Like that just wasn’t the right tool for her, right? And so just because it is the right tool for a lot of people, doesn’t mean that it is for you. But also, as you say, as you get your feet under you and you’re like that much more grounded in your systems and you have that much more clarity and confidence, is how I think about it. You might come back to YNAB and noticed that there’s almost like increased resiliency there, around the learning curve and working away at it. But I think that what we talked about today would actually be a good – in the meantime, if not just full on replacement for YNAB. 

Fireda [00:26:37] Yeah, no, I like it. I’m excited to end the call and go put it into practice before I forget because I can see this working and I like to plan to plan ahead. So, this will be good. 

Linzy [00:26:49] Beautiful. All right. Thank you so much, Fireda, for being here today. 

Fireda [00:26:52] Thank you. 

Linzy [00:27:08] Something that I noticed in my conversation today with Fireda, is how easy it is to not fully own or sink into or feel the gains that you’ve made with money. You know, on one hand, Fireda was, you know, saying and she knows just how different her relationship to money is since she’s done this work. And yet, on the other hand, she definitely came in with this belief that this next part was going to be very challenging and figuring out this problem was going to be the thing that she wouldn’t be able to figure out, right? There was still this defeat there and not seeing all of the groundwork that she’s done and all of the foundation that she’s built, which actually made this particular challenge something that was pretty easy for us to figure out a fix. Sometimes the challenges with our money don’t require a huge overhaul, sometimes they just require tweaks and add ons and once you have a system that’s working for you and – it’s also once you’ve done that emotional groundwork on money and you’ve kind of cleared aside some of the noise and obstruction and you can look at it and think about it with your full mind, those little add ons can make a huge difference in getting your system really working for you. The final thing that I really noticed this episode is, money is something that you do. You know, Fireda was talking about how like, you know, she’s doing this and see as she’s continuing to do this, how it’s going to become more and more clear. So often, I think we’re daunted by money because we think that money is something you think about and you have to understand and it’s this very intellectualized thing. But really, money is something that you do, and by Fireda moving that money every two weeks and seeing where it goes and having that tangibility around what money is for what – that’s how she’s actually learning how to manage money, and that’s how she’s building confidence by doing, and that is so key. I really encourage, if you’re listening today, if you’re feeling paralyzed around money, just start to do something small. Maybe something like what Fireda is doing, where, create a little bit of clarity, so you have a bucket you can start to fill up, little by little for a distinct goal or need that you have. And it is amazing how solid and clarifying that can feel to start to just take small, meaningful action. If you want more content for me, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts, we’re putting out free content there all the time. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, please go give us a review on Apple Podcasts, that really helps people to find us and tell your therapist and health practitioner and coach friends about the podcast if you’re enjoying it. Thanks for listening today. 


Picture of 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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