Money Lessons The Hard Way (Finance Journey – Part II)
Hello beautiful friends!
I’m quite excited to share part two of my financial journey and money lessons the hard way that I’ve learned, mainly because the last post seemed to resonate with so many of you. I’m actually astounded at the amount of comments, blog views + personal DM’s that I received after sharing part one (READ IT HERE). The funny thing is that it’s always those moments that you are scared to share something because of how vulnerable it is, that it’s that very story/post/content that does the best. I guess authenticity is key in today’s day and age.
As a small recap, we left part one of the story off with my having the credit card debt, finally paying it off (after applying and being denied many cards). Part II begins here…
The $85k Expense / Experience
In November 2018 I had sold all my things from LA, put a small bit of personal belongings into storage and moved to Paris by myself. This was one of those brave moments in life that you have to trust you are making the right decision because it doesn’t necessarily “make sense.” I had an okay chunk of change (I want to say around $10- $15,000) in the bank at this point which allowed me to pay two months of rent of an apartment that I had only seen online upfront.
I was doing coaching at this point and not much else and my expenses were triple each month than that of my income. This is VERY important to make note of. The first rule of finance is to make sure that you are spending LESS than you earn.
By December I was off to Palm Beach, Florida where I would attend my first ever Tony Robbin conference (Date With Destiny – watch my vlog). I’d bought a ticket to sit in the general section and flown economy, staying at a motel 6 with another female, all ways to still do the things I wanted but not spend crazy amounts. It was here that I decided to join his Platinum Partnership for the year which is $85,000.
Yes, you read that right.
I didn’t have a ton of money at this time but I was about to receive a big chunk of change from the last payment of the advance of my second book. This would allow me to pay the TR year until August if I didn’t earn a single dollar extra. And so I did it. In my mind I questioned what I was doing – I didn’t think I could afford it. I should be putting a down payment on a place. I should save it.
Every question and doubt that you can imagine popped up – but in the end I realized that to get to the next level of anything, you must make an investment in yourself. It’s why we oftentimes pay $80,000 for college, to enhance our knowledge to get a better job and therefore make more money. I knew that going to all the conferences would drastically change what I learned (I call it getting an MBA in life) and the community would be next level for me and my business.
And so I joined, paying the $15k up front in order to start your year, then an additional $6k each month in 2019. I had to pay for flights and hotel outside of this, and the additional $10,000 two different times for the private Platinum-only trips. So while you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking that is a LOT of money. And yes, it was. But it was also truly one of the BEST investments I’ve EVER made for myself, my business and to learn things I wouldn’t have.
Although I’d love to share more about the Tony year I did and traveling from Singapore to Amsterdam, Las Vegas and London, I must stay focused on the finances. Because as incredible as the year was, it also helped me go back into debt. This time though, everything shifted for me. I didn’t have the same mindset as before and I actually became grateful because I knew now was the time for me to learn the lessons I never did.
During my Tony Robbins Platinum year I was still living in Paris, paying for rent, coaching clients as my primary income. My expenses were outlandishly more than my income and each month I watched this big chunk of change dwindle as I paid off my credit card (where I put the TR payments). I then moved back to London and in with my then boyfriend for a few months, only to break up and start traveling. I also flew to America where I recorded my podcast, Chicago to play in a celebrity poker tournament with Jenny McCarthy (non-paid as it was for charity, click here to watch the vlog), and to NYC to do the book launch in Times Square for a book I co-authored (watch the book launch video here). Flights, hotels, cars, dinners… it added up.
I was also flying business mostly because when you are going across the world and either have to be teaching, recording, or playing full-out at the Tony conferences the moment you land, you cannot afford to have jet lag. This is where I started getting very good at travel hacks and using points from credit cards which were accruing loads of travel points due to the high amounts of money I was putting on the cards due to the TR payments + hotels.
The thing about the Tony conferences is it’s pretty hard to stay focused on work during this year because you are on the road so much. Scheduling clients was not easy and I did not put everything I had into getting new ones to pay off some bills. And so the money was running out very quick.
But here is where I learned one of the BIGGEST lessons about myself.
No matter how much money I had in my bank account I would always leave a balance on my CC, preferring to pay the interest versus pay the card off fully. And this was due to a scarcity mindset of money.
It’s not something that I ever knew about prior – but when I realized I had this it was a game changer.
Your money mindset
Your mindset about money tends to come from your family as your grew up. Think back to when you were a child and how your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were with money. Did they always think it would disappear and need to save / not spend? (Many are like this because of the Great Depression and truly needing to ration + save.) Did they spend freely on things like education? Did they think money makes people bad? Did the adults in your life spend money on experiences or minimally on anything nice?
In essence, your money mindset is the attitude you have about finances and affects/impacts how and what decisions you make. These can be positive means towards your goals like saving, or negative ones like scarcity and never feeling secure or safe around money. Understanding your starting point is key to making a change in your finances and truly, far more important than cutting out the $5 latte every day.
We will dive into this more in coming blog entries because it’s SUPER important and something I’m excited to teach you all about. But do try and answer the questions above to get an understanding what your mindset is.
The lessons of debt
This story of being in debt a second time is another full long story in of itself, however I want to get more into the points that I think will help you. Just know that part of the reason I’m sharing all the back story to this is because I want you to remember that you are no alone, no matter where you stand with your finances.
Some people are born into money and they have to deal with challenges. Others are born into families with none and must work hard to make a living. No matter where you stand there are going to be battles you face and you never know what someone is going through, especially from their Instagram. (The fake lives that IG people live will be a whole other post as it relates to money and how many have gone into debt trying to keep up a lifestyle for the ‘gram.)
Where we are in the story is that my Tony Platinum year was coming to an end and I made the decision to end it early. I didn’t want to do this, however due to work conflicts there was no way I could attend the last two events and that meant I would be paying $12k to be part of this AMAZING community, but one that I wouldn’t see. And so I thought long and hard about ending my year early, which I finally chose to do.
This was a good decision in the end as it allowed me to shift my focus on paying of the nearly DOUBLE debt I had from last time. It crept up on my and one day I looked at my CC and flipped out. I didn’t know how that was even possible to get to over 40k. But it was. And I did it.
It came from the the business tickets (when I ran out of points), all the travel expenses, my TR monthly payments, food, random expenses, business expenses. I was never going overboard on anything and so this was a shock.
Then quarantine hit and that’s when I finally got my shit together.
I sat down daily and forced myself to get comfortable with numbers, with spreadsheets, I learned how to do my taxes, I monitored my bank accounts, called the bank with random changes I saw pop up and started learning from the experts.
And here we are today. I have enough money in my bank to wipe the remainder of my debt (around $10k) easily, but with the pandemic many of the financial experts have said that you should hold on to emergency funds in cash. I realize part of this is still the scarcity mindset that I have, but it still feels good knowing that I have enough to fully pay it all off.
Here’s the thing though, money is POWERFUL. It has the ability to help us in so many ways – but – it also has the ability to make us fearful (of losing it), angry when we think we make the wrong decisions, and scarce because we want to keep it. I’m still on my journey and as scary as this is to share, I know that it’s powerful to tell my story in order to help someone else. I’m committed to working on this every day, just as one would work on getting their body in better shape.
That’s all for now…
Once again, this was a long entry and VERY vulnerable (to where once again I’m thinking OMG why am I sharing this?!) BUT… I keep reminding myself that I think the lessons I will teach in upcoming posts will have a greater impact if you know the back story. As I keep saying, you are not alone. And I for one wish more people would be open and honest about money because it’s something that’s so quiet yet so powerful.
So stay tuned because the next time we chat, you’ll be getting some direct lessons (no more long stories, for now) about:
- money mindset and how to change it
- my AHA moment of calories and money (and how this applies to you)
- easy tips to start becoming financially aware
And further down the road I will be giving my tricks on how to travel in a luxurious way without breaking the bank, resources that you need in your life, and answering ALL your questions.
I hope that once again you have enjoyed this blog post. It would mean a lot if you’d drop a comment if you are enjoying this new financial series, or if you relate to anything I’ve shared. And if you are excited to read the next one definitely let me know! And whatever questions you have, leave them below.
Tons of love,