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How to Motivate Yourself to Prioritize Your Private Practice Finances Coaching Session

How to Motivate Yourself to Prioritize Your Private Practice Finances Coaching Session

“I also had this belief system that if you were wealthy and had money and were rich, the money was going to ruin you in some way. Everybody was anti-wealth, anti-capitalism, anti all these things. And I had that belief system, and it definitely didn’t do me any favors to think that way. Now I think about money more as being part of like an energy or exchange and something that is part of our wellbeing rather than it being this ugly, dirty, negative thing that we don’t talk about.”

~Kristen McAdams

Meet Kristen McAdams

Kristen is a LPC-Associate in ATX, podcaster, and aspiring speaker. Prior experience in addictions and doctoral level studies in trauma and addiction. Her practice focus is on therapy for the modern world and practicing what she preaches; this includes real world approaches to health, money, and mindset. 

In This Episode…

Do you ever feel stuck when it comes to managing your finances? Do you find yourself putting off the financial planning you need to do even when you’ve set aside time to do it? In this coaching session, Linzy and Kristen really dig into Kristen’s financial goals and what might be holding her back when it comes to working on her finances.

Listen in to hear Linzy work with Kristen using Kristin’s real numbers and her real goals to see how you can work your way through your own finances using this approach! This is a very practical episode with so many good tips that you don’t want to miss!

Want more support with your private practice finances?

Free Workshop Series: How to Feel Calm & Confident About Money

Are you tired of feeling confused, ashamed, and stressed about your private practice finances?

CLICK HERE to join me for a free, live Zoom workshop series happening September 26 to 30 that will help you go from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. 

I’m also giving away $500 cash to one lucky participant! Make sure you secure your free seat by clicking here and all you have to do is attend the workshops for your chance to win.

Episode Transcript

Kristen [00:00:00] And I also had this belief system that if you were wealthy and had money and were rich, the money was going to ruin you in some way. Everybody was like anti-wealth, anti-capitalism, anti-all these things and I had that belief system, and it definitely didn’t do me any favors to think that way. Now I think of money more as being like an energy in exchange and something that is part of our health and well-being, rather than it being this ugly, dirty negative thing that we don’t want to talk about. 

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 I wanted to start today by sharing a review that we got on Apple Podcasts. I’m so appreciating seeing the reviews come in from those of you listening, and this review had the title A Must, the reviewer says, I cannot accurately describe how refreshing it is to listen to a podcast about money/finances, that is 1) specifically for therapists 2) talking about how it’s OK to make and have and enjoy money, and 3) encouraging listeners to explore and recognize the emotion that comes with their own beliefs, values, perceptions of money, and how that impacts our behavior with money. I have always struggled with all things money related, except how to spend it. Despite being well aware that the numbers are very black and white, and finances come down to simple addition and subtraction. Listening to this podcast has felt like my own personal light bulb moment, and I could not be more excited. This podcasts gets me. Thank you so much to whoever wrote that review, it’s so nice to get your feedback. I am so enjoying making this podcast, putting it out in the world, and it makes me so happy to know that it’s connecting and useful and inspiring you. So today’s episode is with student Kristen McAdams. Now, she’s not a student anymore. We’ve recorded this episode back in the summer, and we recorded this episode when Kristin was, like, very much kind of in the beginning stages of Money Skills For Therapists. Kristen McAdams is an LBC associate. She’s a podcaster and inspiring speaker. She has experience in addictions and doctoral level studies in trauma and addiction. And in this coaching episode today, we got into this issue that is so common for therapists and health practitioners and coaches, which is getting stuck when trying to work on your finances. So even though she was like in the course and committed had, you know, made that commitment to work on money, it was summer and she was getting stuck. She was going on vacations, getting distracted, other things were coming up and becoming a priority. And that time that she told herself that she was going to be using to work on her finances was just always going to other things instead. So if that is something you can relate to, if you have set the intention before of like, no, this is it, I’m going to be working on my finances and then suddenly you find everything else becomes a priority except for finances, when those times in your schedule come along, then this is a great episode for you. In the process of digging into this issue and helping her get more connected and clear around it, we talk about growing up with the experience of both privilege and poverty simultaneously in her childhood, and we really get into her real numbers. Kristen was so open and generous with sharing her real numbers with us to understand exactly where she was in her practice, and we get into the real numbers of not just where she is, but where she wants to be, which ultimately is one of the things that we identified was helpful for her, for actually getting really motivated and clear and actually making this a priority. But I don’t want to give too much away. So check out this episode if you feel stuck around your finances, if you often find yourself not prioritizing it. We really get into how to make money a priority with your actions, not just with you’re thoughts. Here is Kristen. All right, so, Kristen, welcome to the podcast today. 

Kristen [00:04:18] Thank you. Thank you for having me. 

Linzy [00:04:20] So, Kristen, for our coaching session today, you submitted a question about getting stuck, talking about this experience of getting stuck as you’re trying to actually kind of sit down and make changes and and work on these things. So tell me a little bit more about what is happening and what you’re noticing. 

Kristen [00:04:39] Well, it’s interesting because it’s like, when you think about getting stuck, it feels like this very broad sort of like, I’m just stuck. But when I started thinking about it, you had asked me a specific question about like the avoidance, and then I realized how many different pieces of things were getting me stuck because it wasn’t just one thing. So when I was able to break down sort of the stuck points, I saw that it was sort of a multitude of factors that were contributing to this overall feeling of like, What am I doing? I’m not moving forward. And then, you know, you go into this like panic downward spiral of like, I’m not doing it right or I’m not doing it well, or I won’t finish it. 

Linzy [00:05:12] Yeah. So there’s actually a lot that’s happening in this getting stuck, it’s not one thing. 

Kristen [00:05:15] Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot going on. 

Linzy [00:05:17] So tell me about that – the getting stuck, we’ll pull it apart a second and try to shift it and look at it, what is it looking like right now? 

Kristen [00:05:27] So right now, I was moving along in the program and I took a vacation, went out of town, and I had these time constraints that were coming up, so I had originally put time blocks on my schedule to address some of these financial goals. But the time constraints are getting all messed up and then I wasn’t meeting the blocks that I had assigned, which for me is one area, like one stuck point of like, I bounce back and forth in my life about, do I do an hour block at a time? Like mental health therapists do, right. Like we know how to join in like one hour blocks or do I do like a flow state sort of situation where I can, like contribute like a big chunk of time to learning something specific? So I’ve realized that I do better with the flow, for personal use, flow type of work because I can really get into it because the second thing I realized about getting stuck was that learning how to tackle my finances has been a complete rewiring of how I think about money and the act of actually addressing them and looking at them and plugging finances into individual categories and boxes and numbers and stuff, is having to come up against like, OK, you think of it this way, but that’s not working for you. Now, I have to figure out how to think of it in a new way through the process of practicing this. So I was like, OK, flow block chunk is right. 

Linzy [00:06:48] Yes. So you need to have like a good period of time and for you, what is a flow block, like how long do you need to get into flow? 

Kristen [00:06:56] Probably like chunks of three, like three hours. Maybe so I have like some some leeway. I don’t like to feel rushed, so I noticed that strongly in the last year, I’m like, oh, it feels way better to not be rushed and feel like I have to get everything in 45 minutes. 

Linzy [00:07:13] So these blocks then. Is it the three hour blocks that you’ve had in your calendar already, then that you’re kind of not getting to? 

Kristen [00:07:19] Yeah. So I had them in two hour blocks and I had them on particular days, but I noticed that they didn’t like fit into the day. So like, for instance, like one day last week, we were supposed to be home from traveling Sunday night and we didn’t get home till Monday night and then it messed up my Tuesday. And then this last Tuesday, I had a health issue that came up, so I had to erase that block. So it’s like these things that were taking priority or preventing me from hitting those time blocks was – and then that was like, What happens is I get frustrated and I hit this like spiral of like, you’re not doing it right or you’re not doing it well enough. And then I had to step back from that stress and like, manage that differently so that I can feel like, OK, no, realistically, one’s happier. I use the word avoidance. You were helping me and I realized also that like avoidance is sort of like an easy cliche tag term that I put on. Yeah, I must be avoiding and then I was like I’m not actually avoiding this. 

Linzy [00:08:16] Right? Yeah because it’s not like the time comes to do it and you’re finding yourself like on Facebook. 

Kristen [00:08:21] Right, right, right. Just, the time’s just not there anymore. 

Linzy [00:08:24] Yes. 

Kristen [00:08:25] I think it’s taken up other priorities, yeah.

Linzy [00:08:26] Yeah. And that’s – I was just going to say, that’s the second thing I’m hearing. Like, I’m hearing there’s a time crunch, but there’s also a priorities peace. So that is something that I’m curious about is for you right now. How much of a priority is it to be working on your finances, working through the course, making these shifts? 

Kristen [00:08:44] So I like to say it’s the biggest priority because it’s sort of the last thing in my life I have to address. Like I’ve addressed all these things over time, like depression and anxiety and like way in my past and all these things. And now last year, it was like really into health. And this year I was like, All right, well, the finances is the last piece that was underestimated. And yeah, it – I would like to say it’s highly prioritized, but realistically, I can tell that it’s not because I tend to over commit myself – so I’ll over commit myself to like social activities or other training. That’s really one of my biggest hang ups is like taking the priority and keeping it a priority and focusing on it. 

Linzy [00:09:25] Yeah. Like your actions are showing you that it’s not a priority, like other things are taking precedence into your schedule. 

Kristen [00:09:31] Totally. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:09:32] Yeah. So let’s let’s focus on that piece then, tell me why. Why is this a priority for you? I’m hearing. First of all, I’m hearing like a really common and relatable kind of journey or progression. Right? It’s like you move through like mental health staff and physical health stuff and now you’re onto money. I think that’s something that like I certainly do to, and I think a lot of people listening will relate to because I think money is one of those things that comes later as we kind of like work through our shit, right? And you’re here now. 

Kristen [00:09:57] It’s like survival mode, type of situation where it’s like, All right, well, if I don’t feel well enough, I can’t make decisions and if I can’t make decisions, you know, I’m just living paycheck to paycheck because that’s just like white knuckling thing was financially, while you’re trying to get everything else up on your feet. 

Linzy [00:10:10] Totally. Yes, absolutely. So now you kind of, it sounds like you’ve gotten grounded in some other ways. So now you’re working on money, your company finances. So tell me, why is this important for you? 

Kristen [00:10:21] So I grew up with a really crazy sort of money story where my parents were separated, my dad had filed bankruptcy and was living in his parent’s attic, and my mom had married this really wealthy man in town and he had had a stroke. So I grew up kind of with two different – like a lot of privilege and a lot of poverty on all sides. So growing up in the privilege, it was interesting because it sort of deteriorated like my right to have a bad day or right to do something wrong. And I lived in this very like weird, privileged bubble, and I always knew that the money wasn’t mine. So we had these like really extravagant spending habits and things like that, and I was at that age where it was like, All right, you would think that school or something like that would provide financial accounting information, or you would learn some kind of skill right through like high school or maybe a family member. But I was just sort of on my own, living in privilege and having no idea what to do with it. And then when we, when my mom moved on from that marriage, what I had expected came true, which was that, that money was not ours, it did not belong to me and I knew from, I knew from a very young age I was going to have to figure out money. Like when I was a little kid, I was like running around my neighborhood, trying to sell balloons and like getting a dollar here. Like, I always worked, it was always a thing. But I just didn’t know like what to do with it, you know, if I had it or how to keep it if I had it or how to spend responsibly. So it went through this very long term tug of war between, you’re doing something right versus you’re doing something wrong. You’re being frugal in this sense, but overspending in that sense. So it was like, a lot of shame and guilt I feel like was wrapped up in that because there was just so much like chaos and confusion. 

Linzy [00:12:03] Yeah, right, OK. And that messaging that you got, where did that come from? Like, are there actually particular voices that go with that or was that more societal? 

Kristen [00:12:14] I think it was a little of both. Like, there was this expectation that we lived a certain way and we did live a certain way. But underneath that sort of bubble, was like, there was no direction or structure or any sort of tools that I could use to effectively budget or use finances. I tell people all the time, like you could give two people each $10000 and depending on what they know how to do, one will invest and make a ton of money and one could lose at all. So, having the tools and the skills at that time, I think would have been helpful. And I was like very thirsty for that and couldn’t figure out how to get it. 

Linzy [00:12:48] Yeah, right. Yeah. And it sounds to me like from what you’re describing, there was this like insecurity that, you know, as part of that, like knowing, like this money is here. We’re living this certain way right now but this isn’t really ours. 

Kristen [00:13:01] Yeah, it was like fluid. It was like liquid, like it was like quicksand. You know, it’s just like, like, I could just see money just falling through our fingers. And I also had this belief system that if you were wealthy and had money and were rich, that like the money was going to ruin you in some way. You know, like everybody was like anti-wealth, anti-capitalism, anti-all these things and I had that belief system, and it definitely didn’t do me any favors to think that way. Now I think of money more as being like an energy and exchange and something that is part of our health and well-being, rather than it being this ugly, dirty negative thing that we don’t want to talk about.

Linzy [00:13:38] Right, OK, yeah. So then it’s like, I’m hearing, you’ve already kind of made some shifts then, in how you think about money. Now you have more this energetic way of thinking about it, rather than this kind of shame based way. So let’s come back to this piece about priority. Why is it important for you to develop these skills now? Because what I’m hearing is you were hungry for these skills as a child and you wanted to figure out what to do with money. You were making money as a kid. You and I could have been friends, by the way. We could have some little businesses together. Yeah. But now, as an adult, you’ve worked with these other things, you’re coming to money. So why is this important now? 

Kristen [00:14:16] Now I’ve worked, you know, 20 years studying psychology, and I always – I think my reasons for being in the mental health field have always sort of fluctuated and changed over time as I’ve grown and developed as a person. But the underlying theme was always like, I want to open my own business. And now I’m finally at that point where I’m like, Oh, wow, this is happening. I have a business, I have an income, I have clients, I’m building the skills because, you know, in mental health schools, they don’t teach you business and marketing at all. Yeah. So it’s like you have all these skills and it’s like, again, what do I do with them? You know, how do I, how do I build this? So I’m at a point now where it’s like, if I don’t make the finances work, then I’m going to have to go back and work for somebody else, And I know I could always go get a job someplace else and work for a corporation and work for somebody else. But that was never my goal or my dream like, this was the goal or the dream. So if I don’t figure out how to make it happen now, then I’m not going to figure it out, right? And I’m the only one that’s in control of that. 

Linzy [00:15:15] Right. So there’s something on the line now. If you don’t figure this out, you’re going to have to go back to working for someone else. You’re not going to get to have this business that you’ve wanted for so long. 

Kristen [00:15:22] Yep. And I really do love the business, I love the quality of life, I love the lifestyle, I love what I do, so I’m realizing that as I’m doing it and going, Oh, wow, this is actually really important. This is not just like a job that’s replaceable anymore, then I can just go get another job. 

Linzy [00:15:38] No, once you go self-employed, it’s hard to go back. 

Kristen [00:15:43] It’s tough. And I’d like to build from here, like my dream, ultimately, I run a podcast, I’d like to monetize that. I’d like to build the podcast company into a total health and wellness business outside of being a therapist. So I feel like this is the foundation, and this is the place where I get to develop the skills now. This is the time. 

Linzy [00:16:05] So, yeah, so it’s not just where you are now. There’s this whole possibility that the foundation of that possibility is having this healthy business that works. 

Kristen [00:16:13] Yes, absolutely. 

Linzy [00:16:15] So what you’re describing to me now, the importance of making this work – like it sounds like there’s a little bit of like do or die, which, you know, I would wonder like how absolutely true that is. But you know, there’s certainly a lot hanging on this right? The business working. This is getting you a lot of what you want in life and sets you up for even more of what you want in life. 

Kristen [00:16:32] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:16:33] How connected are you to that on a daily basis? 

Kristen [00:16:35] I think the days that I’m working, I’m connected to it, I don’t know, kind of fluctuate. It’s kind of hard to ask me now because it’s July and we travel a lot. 

Linzy [00:16:43] On summer mode. 

Kristen [00:16:44] Yeah, like little in vacation mode, like my time like off, but I don’t think I am connected to it as I could be. I think that I could be more connected to the reality of, You’re doing this and it’s happening and you’re building the skills. 

Linzy [00:17:03] Yes. And I’m wondering, Kristen, like, what are you doing? How are the numbers working in your business? Are they working? 

Kristen [00:17:11] I have to say that after COVID, they’re really not working. As a mental health professional, I just felt this immense pressure to like, show up and and help support in any way that I could. So I dropped my prices to the absolute bare minimum, I did pro-bono sessions, I have done peer support sessions. I’ve done all these things where I was working really hard and having no income, and now my caseload started to build and I don’t know where we’re at in COVID, but I don’t care anymore. Like, you know, I can’t keep these types of rates and these types of behaviors and the guilt that comes with being a mental health professional, I can’t let that dictate my finances anymore. I can’t allow that to be the the foundation. 

Linzy [00:17:59] And do you have a sense of your numbers, like how much you’re bringing in each month, how much you’re actually able to pay yourself each month, those kinds of things? 

Kristen [00:18:07] So right now, I have to admit it’s kind of ugly because it’s just – I just set up the separate bank account. So I’m trying to navigate how that all is going to flow because it’s just been like income in and bills out. And that’s it. And having to separate it, I think, has also been a little intimidating just because I can’t see how it’s going to work yet. I haven’t plugged the numbers in, so my business itself is doing great because it turns out I’m actually really good at what I do and people talk about that. So my caseload has filled up quite a bit and I have some more consistency with that. Now another thing I run into, I think a lot with owning your own business and it being a private practice is sort of the unpredictability of the income. It’s not like a steady paycheck that you can just balance, you know, a weekly similar income every week. 

Linzy [00:19:00] No, it’s not. Yeah, you need to create that stability with your systems. 

Kristen [00:19:04] Yeah. So that’s another part that’s like really, feels insecure for me. 

Linzy [00:19:10] Yeah, we won’t dig into the tool here because we’re on a podcast. But have you played with the – first of all, have you actually layed out your numbers so you know exactly how much you’re making and exactly how much you want to make? 

Kristen [00:19:24] I think I did loosely, but I don’t think I did clearly. 

Linzy [00:19:28] That’s, you know, that’s something I would say, first of all, Kristen, for how do you snap this back into a priority? Right is like, there is this process – when you’re describing kind of like how every things a mess right now, it makes me think of that process where it’s like, you’re like cleaning a room. And so you like, pull things out and you’re in the middle of organizing and it’s just like, this just got worse. Like, there’s no way this could get better. We’re kind of there it sounds like, in terms of just like your bank accounts getting set up and systems. 

Kristen [00:19:53] It’s going to get messier before it gets tidier. 

Linzy [00:19:56] Yeah. And part of it too is actually being real about your numbers, right? Like having those real numbers, like right in front of you to actually see what’s happening. Because what I’m hearing is, you know, intellectually that your rates are too low. You know that you’ve done like a lot of bending out of caring and compassion during COVID. But you know, you’ve done a lot of work for free and you know you’ve basically set your your fee as low as you can, but you also know that that’s not working. Right.

Linzy [00:20:31] So that would be a question for you. Would you be open to pulling up some numbers here that we can look at together or talk through together? 

Kristen [00:20:38] Yeah, we can talk, yeah. 

Linzy [00:20:38] I’ll just run some numbers. So do you know what your revenue is right now each month, like how much comes in from clients? 

Kristen [00:20:44] So it’s recently increased. I was making on average a thousand a month, and now I think I want to say it’s probably doubled, 

Linzy [00:20:54] About two thousand a month? And with that, like, are you saving for taxes already? 

Kristen [00:21:00] I’m not, no. I never do.

Linzy [00:21:02] So we know with that two thousand, you’re not seeing your taxes yet. I mean, you’re not going to owe a lot of taxes, frankly, you know, with income at that level, but still, you will owe some taxes. How are you paying yourself? 

Kristen [00:21:12] I just get my payment directly. So I am an LPCA, right now, so my supervisor pays me, it goes through her company, so she’ll pay me directly. And then that just goes, right now it just goes into my personal account. I do have the business account set up, but there’s nothing in it,. 

Linzy [00:21:28] OK, Right. Yeah. So what I’m hearing is like right now, it’s almost like you’re functioning kind of like an employee. You just kind of like, get paid. 

Kristen [00:21:35] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:21:35] And then you’ve been paying the money out of your own mixed personal money. That’s how you been paying for this. So, yeah, so I can see how like you’re kind of in this like messy midway, now that you have the business account because you are going to have to, like, get stuff flowing through it because that’s when you’re really going to start to see, Kristen and get real because there’s two pieces here in terms of making this a priority. One is the pain. 

Kristen [00:21:57] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:21:57] How in touch are you with the pain of the situation? Basically, like, how real is this to you at this point? And I’ll ask you that question, how real is it to you that right now your revenue is about two thousand a month? 

Kristen [00:22:09] So I feel like I’ve been operating so long on so little that the increase in pay feels safer and healthier, even though it’s still a very low number and nowhere near where I want to be. It’s still been steadily increasing since – because even before when I was interning, I worked for free. I was making like, you know, one hundred and fifty bucks on the side, working the front desk at a gym and then, you know, working 11 sessions a day for free interning and craziness like that. So. 

Linzy [00:22:41] Yes. 

Kristen [00:22:41] And then on the flip side of that, right after college, I went and worked in addictions and made the most money I’ve ever made. But it was so stressful that the amount of money that I used to offset the stress between tolls to get to work and coffee in the morning, just like dumb things. 

Linzy [00:22:57] All of it. Yeah. 

Kristen [00:22:58] It didn’t matter. So now I feel in a healthier space, and I feel like this is a space that I can actually start to build with. 

Linzy [00:23:07] Mhmm. Yeah. And I mean, it is interesting that you mentioned like the internship because it almost sounds like in a way you’ve been conditioned to work for free. 

Kristen [00:23:15] Yes, big time. 

Linzy [00:23:16] So the fact that you’re even making two thousand a month now feels like, pretty good, that’s a lot more than nothing. 

Kristen [00:23:22] Yeah. Yes, exactly. 

Linzy [00:23:24] So I’m hearing that the pain right now, you’re used to being so low that two thousand is feeling OK. We are not saving for taxes, so that might be some pain that’s coming, that you haven’t experienced yet. Tell me now about the flip side of it, which is the pleasure, the vision, like where you want to be. How much do you want to be bringing home to your family? Let’s start with that. 

Kristen [00:23:45] It depends on what we’re talking about because there’s a lot of things I want to do. I want to open this business, I want to do public speaking, I want to finish publishing books and the podcast and everything. So I have all these multiple streams that I would like to tie together in a consistent, efficient way. So, but just from the mental health practice alone, like, I would like to be able to keep my fees relatively low, but – and have everything else sort of offset that. So I would like to build it into like three, maybe four thousand a month and like double it from there, not including the other income streams, so. But again, as you’ve pointed out, which is totally accurate, I haven’t had – I don’t have a clear picture of it, right? I haven’t really thought about what I want to make. 

Linzy [00:24:29] Yes, yeah. And I think that that, you know thinking about how it’s been hard to make this a priority, that makes sense to me. One, because it’s summer and there are actual things in your life out of routine. And that’s great because it’s summer and it’s been COVID and like, go places, be with humans, that’s nice. It’s so worth. So that’s one thing right, like, first of all, it’s totally fine to have times when we’re like less motivated and less on the ball and just living our lives. But the second piece is like when you’re talking, I’m hearing about vision of kind of like what you would like to be doing and the kind of work you want to be doing. But what I’m not quite hearing yet is like a compelling reason how money comes into it. 

Kristen [00:25:11] Right? There’s no numbers attached to any of it.

Linzy [00:25:14] No numbers attached. So it’s kind of vague right now. 

Kristen [00:25:16] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:25:17] Right. And it’s hard to be motivated by that, especially when it’s sunny outside. 

Kristen [00:25:20] Yeah, exactly. 

Linzy [00:25:23] So if we were going to like hone in. Tell me about your peresonal goals in your life. What do you want to be accomplishing? 

Kristen [00:25:29] My life goals, I would really like to – I would like to be a millionaire. Like to be honest, like and it’s hard for me to even say that if you notice me like hesitate because that whole old story of like, you shouldn’t want to be rich, right? But I’ve always had this dream of like being really wealthy and doing it in a way that supports other people around me and that using that money with a purpose. So I’ve definitely thought about like what I would like to do with money once I get it. But there is a big chunk missing of –

Linzy [00:25:59] That middle piece. 

Kristen [00:26:00] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:26:01] Yes. OK, so you want to be a millionaire? And how much money do you actually want to have? 

Kristen [00:26:06] Have, like specifically in terms like how many millions? 

Linzy [00:26:11] Yeah, what do you want? Let’s say, how much money do you want to have like in the bank? Like how much cash you want to have? 

Kristen [00:26:16] I would like to have at least twenty thousand in the bank. Just I mean, for now, and that’s not really millionaire status, but.

Linzy [00:26:24] Twenty thousand in the bank would be like a starting place and twenty thousand in the bank. What about like tangible goals that would involve money? Is there any kind of trips, home investments, gifts to family, anything like that? That’s exciting. 

Kristen [00:26:42] So we would definitely like to buy our forever home in South Florida in the Keys, which is a very high priced home, you know, they’re usually in the million to 1.2 million range. That’s been a goal. And we, me and my partner have recently decided that we aren’t necessarily trying to have kids. But we’re open to the idea.

Linzy [00:27:02] You’re not, not trying. 

Kristen [00:27:03] We’re not, not trying. Exactly. So that is another piece of the picture and I have student loan debt. I mean, the thing that takes like the biggest amount of space in my brain is debt. 

Linzy [00:27:15] Yeah. 

Kristen [00:27:15] Student loan debt, debt revolving credit card debt. Paying off my car, things like that. 

Linzy [00:27:20] Yeah, OK. And that student loan debt. How much is that? 

Kristen [00:27:23] I believe it’s one hundred and forty thousand or something like that. 

Linzy [00:27:28] OK, 140. And then credit card debt?

Kristen [00:27:31] I believe it’s like eleven thousand, I want to say. The credit card debt kind of revolves, though, like I’ll pay off like a ton of it and then it goes back up. 

Linzy [00:27:40] So I’m hearing like, there are some quite specific things that have number value associated with them. 

Kristen [00:27:46] Yeah, it’s usually debt, though. 

Linzy [00:27:49] That is part of it, for sure. But there’s also this home in the Florida Keys, right? A million dollars or a million plus, there’s going to be a specific down payment number there. You can name for it. If you have kids, that cost dollars, let me tell you. You know, so thinking about when you want to have a maternity leave, you know, when you have those kids, how much time would you want with them? What kind of life do you want to be offering them? Do you want to be saving for their education, you know, so that they have support when they do post-secondary? It’s these things that I think might be a missing piece of your equation. 

Kristen [00:28:20] So putting clear definitions to the future, to the bigger future goals rather than the individual? 

Linzy [00:28:27] Yes. So it’s – what I’m going to encourage you to do, Kristen, is find these numbers. And then actually start to set a timeline to these numbers, when do you want that house? When would you potentially be taking a mat leave? It could be as soon as nine months from now if you’re not, not trying. 

Kristen [00:28:42] Right. 

Linzy [00:28:42] And you know, and so too to use mat leave as an example, because that’s a potentially a shorter term thing. You know, if you’re talking a mat leave, let’s say, a year from now. Right? And for that mat leave, how much time would you want off? 

Kristen [00:28:55] I’m not really sure. I never thought – we only just wrapped our head around having kids. So that’s a great next question. 

Linzy [00:29:05] Yeah. Just to give you a sense of like making this concrete, right? Because what I am noticing is there’s quite a gap between what you’re bringing in now and and where you want to be. The way to get where you want to be is by changing what’s happening now. And making it so that money is working for you today. So there’s down payment money building up every month, today. Right. That’s going to build up towards that hundred thousand dollars or two hundred thousand dollars that you need for that down payment. And same with kids, right? That’s, I bring that one up because it’s a shorter term one. I’m hearing it feels a little abstract. But you know, if it’s in a year and you want to save $12000 to cover you for like three months of mat leave, that’s a thousand dollars a month to set aside between now and then. And so that’s a very concrete number that you would want to be making your business work to serve those numbers and those goals. 

Kristen [00:29:59] It helps actually to like, get rid of some of, not the imposter syndrome because like, I believe that I can make these things happen. It’s the tyranny of how I get wrapped up in and sort of like how to get there when you’re not tackling like the how and like putting numbers like you just suggested. Like when you’re not doing that, it makes your dreams feel like they’re like some weird fantasy. 

Linzy [00:30:23] Yes. Well, I mean, really, they’re wishes at that point, right, they’re not goals, they’re wishes. Yeah. Like, a wish is a goal without a plan. By putting a goal and a plan in place, then you’re actually making these things happen. So thinking about this, then Kristen and starting to come to the end of our time together. How can you connect with this? How do we use this to help to make money a priority today? What do you need to do next? 

Kristen [00:30:47] I think just answering your question and tacking on realistic like financial timelines to what it is that we’re trying to accomplish and trying to figure out if if I can tack on those specifics to the dream right? And have it become a goal with action steps. Then it helps carve out my time management as well. It helps carve out like what I’m doing with my time, how I’m going to spend my money and what that money is going towards. Because right now it’s that mindset of like, Oh, I have some extra money in the bank this month, like, let’s go out to dinner and that money never gets put toward anything that is building toward that goal, so. 

Linzy [00:31:28] OK and knowing yourself, what will be the process to keep this front and center for you? Once you’re connected to these numbers, how do you make that actually present in your life? 

Kristen [00:31:39] I think it would have to be sort of similar to the way of – I prioritized health, which is to tend to it every day, something you tend to every day. You know, I keep telling people, I”m like can we normalize mental health as something that’s like a standard daily behavior rather than like something that’s this bold, courageous move? Because I feel like health, mental health and finances being part of my health like I, I look at them every other day, but I want to, like, attend to them and make sure that financial base right? 

Linzy [00:32:10] And what will that actually look like? 

Kristen [00:32:12] Probably setting aside maybe an hour a day or setting aside, I kept saying, I want to do the flow state thing. So I think training wise in terms of like tackling how to think about it might take a little bit more time than that, but actually attending to it and being clear about where the money is going day to day, that could be more of a behavioral habit. 

Linzy [00:32:38] Yeah, I was going to say it could be less than an hour or two. And something about that, Kristen, that might also be helpful, is it just kind of breaks down the phobia to just like touch it a little bit every day. Even if you’re just like looking at where things went, looking at like your budgeting before you make a purchase. Just being with it a little bit every day, it demystifies it. 

Kristen [00:33:01] Yeah, I don’t want to be like blindly throwing darts at the wall anymore. Take the blindfold off.

Linzy [00:33:08] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And taking the plunge is also the only way to actually get where you want to go and there are places you want to go. 

Kristen [00:33:15] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:33:16] So it’s like, getting clear about the present and also like setting that path to the future. 

Kristen [00:33:21] Yeah. Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:33:22] And I’m curious, once you do these things, what that’s going to do to your ability to prioritize working on this stuff and how it might shift on the priority list, even one other things come up in the space you planned. 

Kristen [00:33:36] Yeah, I think just even having like the conversation or just even having the quote on quote permission to be like, OK, yeah, yes, attend to this every day. It’s like, that’s motivation enough to just be like, OK, yes, you can now incorporate these things and focus on these things and bring them into focus, rather than ignore them for so long. 

Linzy [00:33:56] What is the biggest thing you’re taking away today? 

Kristen [00:33:59] I love the clarity around the plan, right, the clarity around bringing clear numbers and clear direction and laying that out for myself in a way that isn’t like, OK, well, I need to make more money first. If I can’t figure out how to work with what I’m working with now, then why would I be able to work with more money later? Like that – I want to develop these habits now that are mildly limited, you know, then just wing it later, so. 

Linzy [00:34:29] Yeah, and that’s – there’s such a myth about that. I will say, like, there is this idea in the culture, like. And then when you have lots of money, then you know what to do with it? 

Kristen [00:34:38] Yeah. it’s fine. 

Linzy [00:34:40] And that is absolutely not how it works. So I love the idea of you developing this now because that’s also going to get you there a lot faster. 

Kristen [00:34:49] Yeah. I feel like I’m looking at it now more of as like a consistent relationship, like I did the same with health, right? Like, I got all the stats and information that I needed, and I know what I need to do now and now I can just execute it. So I feel the same way about the wealth piece, now. It’s like I’m building that skill set and the tool – and picking up the tools. And once I have that a little bit practiced and learn how to look at it in a different way, then it can be a healthy relationship with money. 

Linzy [00:35:17] Great. Awesome. Thank you so much, Kristen, for coming on today. 

Kristen [00:35:21] Thanks for having me. This is actually very, very helpful and very enjoyable. 

Linzy [00:35:26] I’m so glad, thank you. Something that stuck out to me in this coaching session with Kristen is how, even though her finances were essential to getting where her and her partner want to be in terms of their goals, their dream home, their new plan to possibly have kids. Without having that clarity of the actual numbers, it wasn’t really motivating. It wasn’t real, right? And so that piece that we got into about making those numbers real and also for me, really seeing the gap between where she is now and where she wants to be is so clarifying. And as we talked about, turns that wish, those wishes, you can actually turn them into goals when you know what you’re actually working towards and you can reverse engineer from there, a plan to get there. That can help to create so much more clarity in our businesses about what our businesses need to look like today, when we know what it’s actually going to take to get us where we want to be tomorrow or in this case, a few months or years from now. So that clarifying is so, so valuable and just helps to make it an actual executable plan that we can do something about, rather than this kind of like vague more, which is always really difficult to achieve, both in terms of how we structure our business, but also in terms of making it compelling or motivating to sit down and work on money and figure these things out when we don’t really know where we’re going. If you want to hear more from me, you can follow us on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We are putting free private practice money content there all the time. Practical, emotional, mindset. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you get it by now, we cover all of that. If you’re enjoying the podcast, please jump over and review us on Apple Podcasts. It’s so nice to get your feedback, and that is the best way to help other people find the podcast. Thank you so much 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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