The Fiscal Fitness Podcast Episode 67 Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

JILL EMANUEL:  Welcome back to another episode of the fiscal fitness podcast. This is your host coach Jill Emanuel with Fiscal Fitness Phoenix. And I’m so glad that you’re back again today. I have a great topic for you. This topic was inspired by some client conversations that I’ve been having lately. And not that it’s a recurring theme necessarily, but I’ve had this conversation beyond the forefront of my mind for too long and I’ve kind of seen it coming up in a few different ways. And so I just need to call this out. I think that we need to have a conversation around this. The topic for today is are you settling for good enough? Okay. So this thought is on my mind because I’ve recently talked to a few people that are saying, “you know what? I think I’m doing okay. I just don’t have the time for this. My life is so busy, I don’t have the time to focus on my finances. I don’t have time to dedicate to really paying all that close of attention I’m doing okay. I know that all my bills are paid every month. I’m not super stressed about where everything’s at”. For one thing that’s wonderful,! I’m always delighted, I’m very happy to hear when people are not feeling stress around their finances, you know, because there’s so many people that are on the opposite side of the spectrum and they are feeling stressed, they’re feeling totally overwhelmed. They can’t sleep at night. They have a knot in the pit of their stomach. And so to be on the opposite side of that, it kinda does feel like you’re winning.

 

It feels like you’re doing okay because you can say, listen, I know all my bills are getting paid every month. I feel really good about that. In fact, most months I know, I’ve got extra money and I have a little more to splurge with, or I can travel if I want to. And I don’t really worry too much if I have to buy school supplies for the kids or go buy new clothes. And you know what? Hey, I’m even putting some into my 401k every month. And so I’m doing okay and this is good enough. You know, here’s the thing guys, good enough is great. I mean, it’s wonderful when you can pay all your bills and that you’re not stressed and you’re not worried. But the reality is that there’s just still such a gap. There’s so much more for you, there’s so many more possibilities. And the longterm picture of good enough right now is not necessarily good enough for the life that you want for yourself down the road. So this is what I really want to call out is this gap in thinking. And if this is you, I’m not saying this to bully you, because I have been there. I understand it. I lived this way myself for decades, you know all of my college years and early adult years, I felt like we were doing good enough and I felt really good about that. I felt proud about it for a while and so I understand it and yet I know and I’ve seen with clients time and time again that there is still such a gap between doing okay and feeling all right with our money right now and actually living a life of intentionality, being totally confident in what you’re doing, knowing that the future is going to be beautiful and not uncertain.

 

There’s a big difference in that. And so you might be doing great today and you can say, listen, all my bills are paid and I feel pretty good about things and I just can’t pay attention to it right now. And you know what? Hey, that’s okay, but what are you going to say if in five years or in 10 years, if this becomes your mentality with money today? When we are planning for our longterm financial health, when we are planning for our dream life, for having a life of financial freedom, for being able to retire and travel or visit family or invest in another home or whatever that may be, we have to start now. Time. Time is the most important thing for us. The sooner that we start, the sooner that we are intentional with our money, the bigger the impact because we have time on our side to grow our wealth and if we keep delaying because we keep saying, “gosh, I’m too busy for this” or “it’s okay right now and I’m just not that worried about it” and not that I’m trying to raise fear.

 

Managing your money, I don’t want it to come from a fear based place. I want it to come from a place of excitement, of curiosity, of interest, of learning to play the game and see yourself winning month after month. That is where we try to coach clients to. Gaining this new sense of excitement around their money instead of this laissez-faire, “I don’t know”, “It’s not that big of a deal”, “It’s not that important”, “I’m okay right now”. We want you to develop that interest in it because money is never not going to be a part of your life. It is always going to be there and you have a choice of whether or not it’s in your life from a positive point of view or a negative. The things that we’re doing today, can help to craft that story for our entire life of how we’re going to feel about money; how we’re going to live our life; if we’re going to have a life that is fruitful and full of joy and full of all of the things that we value the most.

 

Or if we’re going to get to retirement age or 40 or 50 or whatever, and look back and think, “Oh my gosh, what did I do for the last decade? I just lost all of that time that I could have had, being intentional and saving money, making sure I didn’t have debt, paying it down, putting it into investments, knowing that I was moving myself forward toward the life that I really want”. That is what I wanted to talk to you about today is to kind of hopefully help to inspire some action or to help you to have a bigger viewpoint of where you’re going with your money and why you want to be intentional today and not settle for good enough. And so I had a conversation with a client this week and that’s really what spurred this topic for me today. I love this client, you guys, I just, I really truly love her.

 

She is a beautiful human being, passionate, wonderful business owner, doing so many amazing things in her life and she is feeling like maybe this is just too much for her to handle. Getting into all the weeds of managing the finances and really, you know, dialing things in and paying attention to everything every month. And it kind of breaks my heart a little bit because she had said, “you know, I think I’m just going to hire a bookkeeper and I just think it would be valuable for me just to have the bills categorized and I don’t have to worry about that side of things”. And not that I’m saying bookkeeping is bad because it is very valuable. It certainly makes it much easier to come tax time for any of the busy business owner.

 

So there’s certainly value there and yet it’s not the same thing as being intentional with your money and setting goals for yourself and knowing that each and every month you are moving yourself ahead in a positive direction. There’s something in me where it’s like, I’m just going to hire a bookkeeper and that’s going to be good enough for me. And it’s kind of like just throwing your hands up and saying “I just can’t about this”. And it’s sad. It’s a little bit heartbreaking because you have to care about your money. You just do. And I wish that I could say that you don’t, but I lived at myself for a lot of years where, I mean I cared about it enough to know I was paying the bills and I was doing, the right things as much as I knew at the time, but yet I didn’t have that level of engagement where I knew for sure every month where I was headed and that I was headed in the right direction and you know, making positive strides and I was being super intentional and watching what I was doing to make sure that I was building the life that I wanted for myself.

 

I want that for every one of you. I want you all to know every single month that you’re headed in the right direction, that you’re not just winging it, that you’re not just paying the bills. And here it is another month writing the bills. No big deal. Oh, this is kind of boring or frustrating or annoying to sit down and have to do it, but at least it’s dealt with. Instead, I want you to be looking at your money and saying, “where else can we put this?” “How else can we move ourselves forward?” “What are we going to do to craft a life that we love and do I know that I’m accomplishing that every single month?” I want you to be able to say yes. I want you to know that even in the hard months, you’re not totally derailed.

 

That you are still making positive strides and that you’re being as purposeful with your actions as you can. Wouldn’t it be just so great if at the end of every single month you felt like you were winning? If you had a goal, a compelling goal, something that excited you. So maybe it’s taking your family on a big vacation, maybe it’s paying off your last student loan, buying a rental property, whatever those exciting sort of financial milestones are. Because let’s face it, financial milestones are life milestones.  Because our money backs our life, it shows us what’s important to us. It provides for us and wouldn’t it be great if you had that very compelling, exciting goal and you saw every month that you were getting closer and closer to it. Or, if you saw that every year, the big goals that you set for yourself you were reaching, wouldn’t that feel great?

 

Wouldn’t that feel fulfilling? Wouldn’t it give more purpose to the reason that you’re going to work every single day? To the reason that you get out of bed and drag yourself into the office and you might be doing something that you really don’t love all that much, or maybe you do love what you’re doing and that’s even all the better. But when you go to work so often, I hear from people, “Oh yeah, it pays the bills”. Oh, I hate that statement. I hate that statement. If people are like, “Oh, how do you like your job?”, or “how’s everything going?” and you say ” ehh, it pays the bills”. Gosh darn it, shouldn’t it be doing more than just paying the bills for you? Shouldn’t it be doing more? If you can’t love the job that you’re at, if it does not inspire you and you don’t have passion behind it and yeah, great it pays the bills. But wouldn’t it be better if that money that you’re working so hard to earn was being used to craft a life outside of work that you were super passionate and excited about? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that that hard work that you’re doing at the job that you’re going to every day is being used to invest or to save or to do, you know, whatever it may be, to give you more financial freedom so that you have more flexibility later in life so that you’re not tied to the monotony of going through your job every single day for the next 60 years. Like until death. Wouldn’t that be great? And so, you know, it’s very concerning to me, especially when I work with clients that aren’t in their 20s or thirties anymore.  I’m in my forties so I can speak from firsthand experience how I wished I would have been more intentional in my twenties and thirties I wish I would’ve learned all of this sooner because time was on my side.

 

And of course the more I’ll say mature, experienced, I don’t know what we want to say, but you know, the farther along we get in life, the less time is on our side, but the more that we know, hopefully. The more willing we are to seek help, the more willing we are to be intentional because we see that the timeline is getting shorter and yeah, it sure would have been great to start when we’re younger. And for those of you that are in your 20s and 30s and listening right now, now is your time. Seize the moment. Don’t let those years slip you by so that you’re looking back and thinking, “man, I could have made so much progress”, “oh my gosh, I could be almost ready to retire right now”. “oh my gosh, our house could be paid off.”

 

If only, we would have been intentional back then, but now we’re still burdened with this. For those of us that didn’t do it in our twenties and thirties and now we’re seeing the timeline and we’re starting to think about what does retirement look like for me? Or we see the years getting shorter and shorter and thinking “I don’t want to work for another 30 years”, “I don’t want to be 70 and still going to work”. “I don’t want to be 80 and still doing this”, “I want to be able to stop at some point”, “I want to be able to have a break”, “I want to be able to enjoy the last decade or two or three of my life”. And obviously the sooner you can do it, the better. The more freedom that you have, the better. So the less time that we have, it’s like all the more critical that we’re intentional.

 

It is all the more critical that we have a game plan. It is all the more important that you know exactly what you’re doing with your money and why. And that is actually going towards something that you really want and believe in. So as much as I love to go and get my facial, which I’m doing later today, but there’s a point of saying, “Hey if I’m not saving for my future, if I’m not putting my money behind my values and really making sure that I’m going to be provided for in retirement, maybe I need to make some changes right now.” And maybe I need to really reevaluate where things are going. Maybe I can’t say that “just because I can pay the bills and I have a little bit of fun money, everything’s good”.

 

There could be so much more for you. You’re missing out on this opportunity to celebrate wins along the way by accepting that everything’s just good enough. Wouldn’t it be a whole different world if every single month felt like a celebration because you were so excited of all of your hard work? Of all of the effort you’ve put in, you’ve seen your goals coming closer and closer or you’re celebrating reaching them and then you’re onto the next thing and your whole entire life feels like a giant celebration because you’re always seeing those goals be achieved because you’re intentional with what you’re doing with your money. It’s an entirely different way of living. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything that you love, but it does mean that you have to have some focus and some drive and some willingness to pay attention and you have to put in some time and some work because your money deserves attention.

 

Your money is your life, it really, truly is. Think anything that you really have mastered or that’s really important to you in life that you haven’t had to put any time or effort or energy into. I bet that there’s nothing that you’re super successful at that you haven’t had to put that time and energy into. And yet our money, we so easily dismiss, and it’s so bizarre to me because it is such an important part of our life. It is so integrated. It is responsible for so much joy or heartache not because of the dollar amount, but because of what that dollar amount means we can do in our life. The freedom that it gives us, the opportunities that it gives us, the stress that it us. The experiences that we get to create the freedom and you know, that’s why I don’t want you to say, “I think it’s good enough”, “I just don’t have the time”, “It’s too much work to learn this”. “It’s too scary”, “It’s not easy.” I’m not going to say that it’s easy. Exactly. It is like going back to school. I tell my clients that all the time. This is like the college education that you never got that you always needed. It’s the college education that everyone should have to learn how to manage your money and I think that to your college age days, think that to school, think that to learning a skill. It wasn’t easy in the beginning. It was hard. It was a little uncomfortable. It got you out of your comfort zone. It pushed you, it made you question things you felt, you know, nervous sometimes or doubtful. That truly is what it’s like to learn to master your money, to learn to manage it a different way, to begin to push yourself and challenge yourself. And yet it is one of the most worthwhile endeavors that you will likely ever make. Because once you learn how to manage your money, it pays you every single month for the rest of your life. It is going to be giving you more in your bank account, more in your savings, more for your future, more flexibility, more freedom, more opportunities, more experiences, because you’ve learned what to do with it. And you’ve invested in this education and this knowledge for yourself, and now you get to enjoy the fruits of that after you have gone through some of the uncomfortableness, some of the learning, some of the vulnerability, and you know, out of that comfort zone while you’re gaining this new skill. So it’s something that I obviously feel very passionate about and I just really wanted you all to kind of question where you’re at.

 

To question, “am I settling for just good enough?” “Am I really pushing myself?” “Do I know that what I’m doing with my money and is going to be the best thing possible for me?” “Have I even began to think about if there’s more possible for me then what I have right now?” Because sometimes we get so into the routine and the monotony of life and we’re feeling like everything’s okay and have no worries, it’s all good. I can pay the bills, we’re fine. And we don’t oftentimes even stopped to question, is there more though? What else might I want in my life? Are there things that I haven’t even entertained because I’m just kinda going through the motions right now.

 

So this is something that I challenge you all to, to look at, to question yourselves on a little bit, to push yourselves, to imagine how life could be if you didn’t settle for just winging it every month. If you said, “maybe there is more that I can do”. What would life look like if I tried to learn something new or if I challenged myself to have a goal every single month and I knew that I was on a deadline and trying to hit that goal, wouldn’t it be great if I could move myself forward and not just be winging it? Am I really ready for retirement? And what does retirement even mean to me? Sometimes that word seems so far removed that we can’t identify with it, but it could be something you could do in 10 years regardless of your age if you’re really intentional right now. Wouldn’t it be great? What would life look like? Is it even a possibility? If you’re not paying attention it’s not. If you’re just paying the bills and there’s nothing to show for it afterwards. If you’re settling for saving 5 or 10% of your income, you’re probably not going to retire. So we need to have more than that. We need to be pushing ourselves beyond this good enough syndrome. We need to be challenging that belief. We need to see what more in life we want and not be afraid of going for it. And if you don’t feel confident going forward on your own, ask for help. It’s so funny to me that to be successful in almost every single other thing in life, we know that we have to get an education on it,

 

We know that we need to go to school, get a degree, seek a mentor, do more research, ask questions. But when it comes to our money for some reason we think, “Oh, we should just know how to do that. I don’t need to ask for help. I don’t need to get an education. I don’t need to seek a mentor that will help me with this”. I’m admitting that I’m not good at it if I do that, but yet no one would say, “oh, you’re going to engineering school. Gosh, so you’re stupid then if you don’t just know how to do that”. It’s so bizarre to me. We have to be taught, we have to ask for help. You have to get an education. The same is true with our money. Good enough really isn’t good enough. It just isn’t.

 

There’s so much more for you. There is so much more. The possibilities are limitless when you really get this dialed in, when you really push yourself and that is what I’m challenging you all to do today is to really question when that thought comes up or if you notice that you’re just going through the motions or you’re feeling proud about yourself because you paid the bills but isn’t there more? Isn’t there more to life? Isn’t there more that you could be doing? Feel that sense of fulfillment and excitement if you want that, you know that’s what I’m here for. That’s what Fiscal Fitness is all about. You can reach out to us. We would love to be the mentor for you. Give you that education, push you challenge you. See what more you have available to you beyond just what’s good enough. All right guys, that’s all that I’ve got for you today. As always, please drop a comment, give some feedback. If you are loving listening to the podcast, please do share with a friend, share with a family member, with your coworker who’s complaining about having to pay the bills this week. Make sure that they all are getting a little bit more insights into their finances because together we can change the world. All right, have a great day guys. Bye bye.