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How Budgeting Helped This Couple Save Half Their Income

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Today’s guest is Kelly Smith from FreedomInABudget.com.

Kelly went from having her car repossessed to being able to buy her dream car with cash!

In this interview, we talk about the habits Kelly had to build in order to achieve such an incredible financial transformation.

Listen To Kelly’s Story

Read The Transcript

Kelly 0:00

Like I don't want to spend our money on just mediocre things. But we can say no so that we can say yes to Alaskan cruises and you know, other trips to the Caribbean and different things like that.

Unknown Speaker 0:15

You're listening to the wedding to wealth Podcast, where you'll hear real stories from real people who are on the path to building real wealth. These stories will show you how to earn more money, pay off debt, start investing, and make better money choices so you can build wealth for your future. Now, here's your host, Michael Lacy,

Michael 0:37

what's up? What's up? What's up teammates. This is Episode 35 of the winning to Earth podcast. And on this episode, we're talking about how you can go from a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle to a lifestyle of freedom. And it helped me with that I brought on the one and only Kelly Smith from freedom in a budget.com Kelly went from having hard time

Michael Lacy 1:00

Car repossessed at 1.2 recently being able to afford to buy her dream car with cash, cold, hard cash. And she's accomplished a lot more than that as well. So I'm definitely excited for you guys to hear more about Kelly's journey like I really am. But if you're a new listener of the show, first I want to say welcome and thank you for tuning in. I also want to ask that if you do enjoy this episode that you continue to support the show. And you can do that in two simple and free ways. The first way that you can show support is to just simply reach up and tap the subscribe button wherever you're listening to this subscribing just keeps you in the loop and lets you know when a new interview has been recorded and released. Now the next thing you can do if you enjoy this particular episode with Kelly is to leave a five star review on Apple podcasts. What this does is let other listeners know that hey, this show right here puts out really good financial advice and with that we can help more people

Michael Lacy 2:11

So Kelly, thank you so much for coming through and deciding to share your story with us today. I want to start off by asking just is budgeting something that you've always taken serious? Or was that just the result of like a life experience or something like that 31st Thank you for having me. This is such a pleasure. I'm excited. We fun fun chat. Budgeting was not something that I have always done. I used to be terrible with money and never budgeted in my life until I kind of hit rock bottom and then realize, alright, we gotta we gotta change some things going on in our life and make some huge, huge changes. And that's when when I started getting really serious, and I was like, zero to 60 and I'll have two minutes

Kelly 3:01

So, okay, zero to 60 in two minutes, so it just kind of came naturally for you, right? Yeah, I'm saying no, it didn't come natural. No, there is still a lot of learning there. But I was all in. Like, even though I was still making mistakes with budget even though I still had so much to learn, but I was 100% committed. I wasn't like just like dipping my toe in the water was Alright, we're gonna cut this we're gonna cut that we're not going out to eat we're we're getting hardcore. We're tracking every single penny that I'm spending that type of thing. Okay, so what were you noticing about your lifestyle at that time that made you feel like Alright, I've got to get it together. I had my car repossessed. I was in default to my loans. I had my lights turned off several times, just poor money management. Yes, there was a little bit of an income level issue where it wasn't you know, bringing in metros making 30 to 35,000 a year living in South Florida which is a very high cost of living area and part of the country but

Kelly 3:59

was a lot behavior. I didn't know what was coming in what was going out if I had $20 in my pocket that was $20 to spend, I never thought of saving or anything like that.

Michael 4:09

Okay, so you hit this point where you say, you know what, I'm gonna do something different. I'm gonna change the way I'm doing things. I'm gonna live on a budget. And so you mentioned that you had a couple hiccups and it took some time getting used to so what were some of those early struggles

Kelly 4:23

there early struggles was just saying no to friends when they wanted to, you know, go camping and go on an adventure go to Disney World because we're only a couple hours from Disney. And do you know different things going out to eat all of that stuff and having to change my lifestyle while at the same time not get made fun over if I didn't get made fun of you know, just being like, well, this is a decision I made and this is what I'm doing and having to say no to shopping, having to say no to eating out and there was times where I was tired and didn't want to cook dinner. wanted to stop in the drive thru and having to make those hard decisions of the like, we have food at home, talk with myself every night.

Michael 5:09

So I'm glad that you touched on the fact that like, sometimes your friends just weren't understanding they weren't accepting of what you were doing. That was something that we kind of went through on our debt free journey where we were really hyper focused on paying off our debt. And it was like, you know, people thought we were broke and like really going through a hard time. It's like, no, we're actually making the smartest money decisions we've ever made. So how did how did you handle that time period of like people just misunderstanding what you were doing?

Kelly 5:40

Well, at that time, I was broke. But like, let's be honest, I was back then. But now we still get that now. You know, like Jamie's coworkers are always asking me said in the budget, did your work allowed you to spend that? And it's like, you know, we don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our lives. We're not living paycheck to paycheck now. We're able to do amazing things like I think was my husband's boss at one time last year was like, you just went on an Alaskan cruise. And you just bought a house and you're getting impact windows for your house. How are you able to afford all this stuff? Like, what's going on? And he's like, man, my wife is good at that budget. And it was just really realizing of, you know, when you are making smart money moves, you can do crazy things with your money. And we wanted to live that lifestyle where we want to spend things on that we really care about and mean a lot to us. So we cut out the things that don't.

Michael 6:37

Yeah, you know, and and I'm glad you brought up your husband there. I mean, it sounds like he's pretty supportive of the journey that you guys on it. I mean, is that a safe assumption to make?

Kelly 6:46

Yes, his days. He has his days. He's supportive. He knows at the end of the day that like, I have our best interests at heart and I have our goals at the end of the day, like in mind of, but there's so many times where he's like, Just want to enjoy life now. Like, why do we have to save so much for retirement? Yeah, like, time is important, and we want to retire early. But I really want to live my life now and I want to enjoy today. And it's not only about the future. So it's a big balance between me kind of loosening up and him tightening up on the spending as well.

Unknown Speaker 7:18

Yeah, so you just gave me like a lot of different things that we're going to touch on let's do like two sentences, right.

Michael 7:27

So first thing let's talk about that budgeting process now that you guys are married, right? So like, you know, you go from it's just me, I'm by myself. I'm so low. I can spend what I want. I can prioritize what I want to now there's two people in this process. So what's that process been like since you've gotten married?

Kelly 7:46

Yeah, you know, Dan, we're gonna touch on that by him. I want to say that I'm really glad you worded it in that way because I get so many people that are like the Kelly you have to income so obviously you're able to save this all this money. Two incomes and blah, blah. Yes, I understand that. But lifestyle creep is real. Number one, number two before I only had to say no to myself, and I had turned I was a spender, but I turned into a saver. So now I have to say no to my, my spending habits personally and his spending habits, which his spending habits are 10 times more than mine. So it's, it is hard because yeah, we do have two incomes, but we have to, you know, kind of control each other and give each other some grace as well. And in that rant, I totally forgot your question. No, you're

Michael 8:37

good. You're good. I just wanted to know just kind of what the the budgeting process again, like for you guys.

Kelly 8:44

So I was always I was budgeting when we started dating. Or maybe maybe six months into us dating. I started budgeting. And we had separate finances up until we got married. And then when we got married, we combined finances and I took over I kept on doing the budget. So I did the budget for us still. And then everyone's who all have budget meetings, kind of rayline, taco articles, all of that. But I'm doing all of the planning, I'm doing everything. Right, in terms of the budget.

Michael 9:15

Okay, so you're handling a lot of that. And you mentioned that he has those moments where he kind of feels like this, this is not what I want to do. So how do you make budgeting feel less restricting and more empowering in those moments?

Kelly 9:31

We just talk about our goals and our dreams and why what do we want to do? And I like to have a goal that I'm personally working on. I like to have a goal that he's personally working on and a goal that we're having together. So that way I can dream he can dream and then we can have our goals together. Like right now his the goal that we're working on for him is a Tesla. He really wants a Tesla. And so last year, we bought my dream car in cash, which was a Jeep so we bought my jeep in cash And now we're saving for his next car. And that's going to be a couple years down the road, but he's able to, you know, be like, Alright, that's going to test the fund. And all right, we can sacrifice eating out because it'll go to the Tesla fund or because we're going to house or say he wants something for the house that's big or whatever, whatever it is, and I can kind of leverage that. of, if you sacrifice now then that's one last month, they got to wait for the Tesla, whatever it may be.

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Michael 10:28

Yeah, no, that's great. I love that. That's, that's kind of my mindset as I'm going through, like, and like I had this mindset shift like a while ago, where I don't even really view it as a sacrifice anymore. Like it's gotten to the point where it's like, I used to feel like, Alright, I'm sacrificing this so I can get to that. But now it's like, it's just become such a part of my DNA that it's like, I'm not even sacrificing that anymore. It's just I'm going towards this. And I've completely removed that from myself. And it takes time to get to that point. And we've been on the journey almost six years now. So it's like, it's Definitely takes time to get to that point. But that's awesome that you brought that up. So, another thing I wanted to touch on is, you know, a lot of financial pros, when we're talking about investing and saving for retirement, you know, they say save 15% 10% 20% somewhere around that. You guys have ramped that up and you're like, you're saving like 50% of your income. So where did that desire to live on half your income come from?

Kelly 11:24

Um, we've wanted to retire early, even before we started dating, like it was always like our own personal goals. I was used to being locked in a vault and a few mlms. And they're really big on retiring early. So that kind of mindset was just instilled at me since I was 18. And then, for Jamie, his parents, they wanted to retire early as well and they're retiring their early 60s. So maybe five, five to seven years more than typical American but they wanted to retire when Jamie graduates In high school, they were going to be in their 40s. And then the market crashed back in. Oh 809 And so that kind of derailed everything for for their retirement goals, but we've always had that instilled in us. And now with what's going on in the economy, like, you know, the fact that we have our emergency fund the fact that we have, like, it just makes it even more of a Yeah, we're making the right decision to have this and even if it you know, now we have to retire later on and we had wanted to we're still secure financially.

Michael 12:33

Let's, let's establish kind of what's gone on so far. In the few minutes that we've talked right in the beginning. You were car repossessed, utilities, shut off. Spending everything, no clue what's going in no clue what's going out. Nothing. You get on a budget. Now you're to the point where you're living on 50% of your income. So what kind of practical things did you have to do to go from that? Early stage to where you are now.

Kelly 13:02

I think one of the biggest things is I cut out the victim mentality. And so many people have that victim mentality. And I had it for years to myself, I'll be honest, but I really had to, you know, put my big girl pants on and say, Yeah, my income sucks. Okay, what am I going to do? How am I going to change that? How am I going to grow my income? What job moves Do I have to take, I only have my Associate's Degree in massage therapy, which I'm not using, like, education, let's throw that out the door like I can, you know, you can grow your income to good levels without degrees. It's just about having that mindset and having that entrepreneur spirit of I'm going to fight I'm going to do whatever I can to get ahead and to just to throw that when you always have that victim mentality, you're never going to get ahead. You're never going to get out of the same rut that you've been in the same rut that your family's been in, you're never going to have that generational wealth, you're never going to be able to get past that. from generation to generation.

Michael 14:02

Okay, so I know one of the things you just kind of touched on there was income, I want to talk about that. And so what has been your income range from the beginning of the journey to currently

Kelly 14:13

begin your journey when it was just me it was about 33 $35,000 a year. Now with us combined, we range between we're anywhere between 120 to 150. We just both took some very large paycheck, pay cuts because of what's going on with the world events right now. But between that between both of our day jobs, and then side hustle as well.

Michael 14:39

So and then what are some things that you've done to raise your income? I know you said, I mean, you have an associate's degree that you're not using. So what have you done over those years to get to this point where you are now?

Kelly 14:52

I'm just career change. And you know, every time that I change career, it's making sure well, there was one time where I was on staff for sure. church when I took that job, I took a pay cut to go into ministry for a short period of time. But other than that every time I change jobs and make sure that I'm making more and you know, making sure that it's a step up, and you know, Jamie with him and his career, he has just blown it out of the water. He has His justice associate's degree as well. And he's making amazing money and he's passing other people in his fields that have been in the field for 20 years, because he has that spirit of learning more and he'll be up until two o'clock in the morning, researching and doing, doing whatever it takes to learn the new skill to set him apart so that he gets put on new jobs and more, you know, more skills into that he's seen apart from his co workers, and it's really paid off and his raises and his bonuses and and all of that. And then we also have, you know, my YouTube channel and everything which brings in a nice side hustle as well.

Michael 16:00

Gotcha. So that's a lesson for you listeners out there. You know, one of the things I always say is, just make sure you're doing your best work at work, right? align yourself, putting yourself in a good position to be noticed in your field. I know that my last career change, the biggest income jump I've had in my entire career was just because somebody that was in my industry noticed me, I didn't even know that this company existed. And they reached out and practically doubled my salary. So yeah, it's just a testament to just always be putting your best foot forward at work and and really be striving to be better at whatever it is that you've chosen to do. So let's go back into the the savings portion of this. So you're saving 50% of your income. What does that go towards? I mean, investing, sinking, falling, you know, you've kind of touched on a couple different things, but how does that 50% break down for you guys?

Kelly 16:49

I don't have the exact numbers but it breaks down into paying extra towards our mortgage savings, investing. You know, putting a lot towards a retirement Building up an emergency fund all of that.

Michael 17:03

So you know when in talking about your husband and co workers and and all those things I know a lot of people even when I was coaching a lot of people would be like, you know, man, I only get one life and I don't really want to spend it saving money like I could die tomorrow, right? So like, how do you balance saving so much of your income with actually enjoying life because I'm sure you still have a good life. You still have fun? Like you just said, you went on a cruise and like, so how do you balance when you have those goals? But also want to enjoy life today?

Kelly 17:35

Yeah, I always make sure we have those goals as part of the reason why we're doing it. Like, you know, one of our goals typically is some form of vacation so that we're able to or something that we're really excited about, like when we were saving for the house like that was a huge, huge step that we were, you know, going towards to become homeowners. And I'm really big like people will call me They'll call me frugal, whatever it may be, or cheap or whatever it is. But I'm really big on, I cut back in a lot of areas so that I can spend my money on things that bring me joy, and not to get to Marie Kondo on you. But like, it's not something that I really enjoy, or we really enjoy my husband and I, we're not spending our money on it. Like, I don't want to spend our money on just mediocre things. But we can say no, so that we can say yes to Alaskan cruises and you know, other trips to the Caribbean and different things like that. So those big vacations that we can do, and we can have really fun, extravagant lives as well.

Unknown Speaker 18:41

So another thing that you touched on was lifestyle inflation. So how do you actively fight against that and stay consistent as your income grows? Because I'm sure that's a challenge. I mean, you're doing a great job, you're saving half your income. You get a you know, a $5,000 raise, you know, how do you find The urge to spend that versus saying you know what, we're gonna continue to be disciplined even with this increase and continue to put money aside and do those things.

Kelly 19:09

It's hard it's a struggle you know, even for us, you know, you get a bonus at work, you get something you're like, Alright, let's celebrate and take a check with it or you know, go out and spend $200 on dinner or something like that, you know, like you want to celebrate you want to, but you just have to fight that and as much as I talked about goals, like I don't want to sound like I'm beating a dead horse, but that is, you know, really what it's all about. And I'm also like, I'm such a numbers nerd. In such Excel nerd, I'm like, I can increase my savings rate by by half a percent or whatever it is, like, like that, to me, like just gets me so motivated or hitting another like milestone in our net worth, like, Oh, we just hit another 50 K or another hundred k in our network. Like, if we just do this, we can hit that goal like that, to me. It's so motivating. Okay? nerdy as it sounds,

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Unknown Speaker 20:01

no, I

Michael 20:04

I get it. I'm the same person. I'm laughing because I didn't want to admit it, but

Unknown Speaker 20:12

I track our net worth, like all the time.

Kelly 20:14

Yeah, every month at the end of the month I do a net worth. I'm gonna

Kelly 20:18

say it sucks doing it now with only going down but yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:24

yeah, I'm with you. They're coming back. Oh, yeah, it's definitely gonna rebound. So let me ask you this question. I mean, do you need Do you feel like that? You need to have a, you know, mid to high six figure income to save a lot of money.

Kelly 20:39

No.

Michael 20:40

Hmm. Okay. So let's say there's somebody listening right now that that, you know, maybe they're making maybe they make an average income, but they struggle to save money. What are some things that they can do to get on the path to becoming a better saver?

Kelly 20:56

Let me look at your budget. that's step number one is You know, where are you spending your money? And I've heard you know, a lot of people I think it was, I want to say Zig Ziglar. Brother, maybe john Maxwell, someone was saying that, you know, let me see you were where you're spending your money and I'll show you where your heart is. And that's so true of like, Where are you investing your money? Where are you putting your money? What do you you know, are you spending your money on food? Are you spending your money on clothing? Where's Where can you cut back? What do you What are you spending on? And most likely there's, there's room for you to cut. But then even when there's not room for you to cut, okay, how can you grow your income? Yeah, you may be making middle salary at your day job, but there are side hustles there's businesses that you can start there's always something that you can do to grow your career or your income. So having that entrepreneur spirit is so important when you are strapped in it and then I've noticed for myself when I'm making more money, it makes me want to cut back my spending even more like it gives you that drive. When you're winning at one thing, you're gonna win at the other thing as well.

Michael 22:00

One of the things that you touched on was was early retirement. Can you talk about that goal that you guys have? Like, you know, just going a little more detail about that?

Kelly 22:10

Yeah, we, you know, we have been on numerous, numerous mission trips together as a couple of Jamie did it before him and you know, we'll take family mission trips as well. So that's a huge thing that we want to do is be able to have the freedom where if we want to go to Haiti and you know, help in Haiti, and we have connections over there, then we can just go to Haiti like it's nothing, you know, and just go and do it and we want to be able to serve more we want to be able to, to give more into pour into people's hearts, like with everything that's going on, you know, if I wish that we could just write bigger checks to organizations and health care workers or you know, buy groceries for everyone that that needs some type of thing. And so we have a heart to do that. I think so many people think that retiring Early is just sitting on the beaches. And yes, we live in South Florida and a couple miles from the beach. And I love the beach and I love sitting on the beach. But to me, that's not retirement, to me retirement is doing, you know what you're passionate about even more and having the ability to do that and not be tied down to a day job. If you still want to work your day job, even though you're, you know, retired, financially, okay, but you know, at the end of the day, you don't have to, and that's where that freedom comes in is the requirement to. Okay,

Michael 23:34

so let's talk about how you prioritize your investing strategy in order to reach that goal of early retirement. I mean, do you have kind of a set system that you're following for that? And if so, can you explain, you know what you're doing to actively get to that early retirement phase?

Kelly 23:51

I'll be honest, we're taught our investing is something that is still pretty new to us and I'm still learning and about investing and growing our knowledge and investing all the time and doing tons of research. So right now we're just kind of doing bare basics of, you know, maxing out our IRAs, maxing out our 401k matches, you know, investing in ETFs and index funds and in just the interim, like, some basic single stocks as well, but that's more of just fun play money. But we're right now we're just kind of doing that the basic as we're learning, and then as our knowledge about investing grows, then we're gonna start maxing out even more and, you know, really doing some more strategic stuff.

Unknown Speaker 24:38

I love that. You know, what, for me basic is best. I mean, that's what we've been doing since we became debt free in 2016. We maxed out 401k max out IRAs, why and it's worked like there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Just keep on work. So that's awesome that you know, you guys have adopted that as your strategy as well. So so I know That you've mentioned some of the things that you guys are working towards Can you talk about just some of the wins that you guys have had with money and the things that that money has allowed you to do as a result of achieving those wins?

Kelly 25:12

Mm hmm we cash flowed our wedding we cash flowed You know, my dream car like I said, paid off student loans bought this house, which was a huge dream of ours to to do. And an Alaskan cruise. That was a big one. You know, we've done gone on few debt, free vacations, and cruises, but the Alaskan one was by far the most expensive because it is Florida to Alaska, they exact polar opposite of each other.

Unknown Speaker 25:41

Yeah.

Kelly 25:43

But we've done a lot of a lot of really fun things. And we've, I don't want to sound braggy but we've been able to give a lot we've been able to, you know, support a lot of missionaries we've you know, support a lot of people in the local church we supported people going through IVF treat We've done you know, a lot of just miscellaneous giving, which to me like that's what's most fun is being able to do that.

Unknown Speaker 26:09

Yeah, so and you know what, that's one of my priorities we have three priorities with our money three things that we try to aim for number one, we try to honor God Second, we prioritize family Third, we serve other people. Yeah. And so it you know, with two of those things, honoring God and serving other people, sometimes those clash and it's like, you know, it's like a honor God and a serve somebody else and it's like, get we're doing that we're giving to that. So that's awesome. And I agree with you. That's one of the most fulfilling things but I did notice one thing you said in there was you pay cash for a wedding. And that's not something you hear very often. So I definitely want to ask you a little bit about that process. I mean, how did you go about paying cash for a wedding?

Kelly 26:54

We just set in stone. We were like, this is what this is what we're doing and we you know how Like I was babysitting every single weekend, and I would be babysitting from Friday after work until typically all day Saturday sometimes all day Sunday like 14 hour days babysitting and they were for it was for a company that her family that they owned a DJ company. A wedding planning so it was husband was DJ wife was wedding planner. And so I would watch their daughter and then Jamie my husband would run light for the wedding or the bar mitzvah or whatever it was. So he was working for them on the other end running natural show, then I was taking care of that order. So we would bring in five $600 between the two of us, you know a weekend saving for that. That would be on a on a good weekend. And then when I live in South Florida So with those weddings that my husband was working they were like hundred thousand dollar minimum I'm weddings. And I was like, No, no, no, no, no, we cannot know. But that's where his like expectations his boogy lifestyle was. And we used to call him a groomzilla. And so it was it was interesting of having to do it. And then I went to the wife, who's our wedding planner. And I said, Okay, are, you know, our budgets, you know, probably about $15,000, and this and that, and she started laughing at me and she's like, do you want to in the backyard? No, no, like at a venue and this and that. And then she started laughing at me. And so we ended up doubling the budget. So it was $30,000. And we were about $500 under budget. So we spent about 29,500 and had a beautiful wedding on the intercoastal right on the water. We actually got married in the same church as his parents did. So that was really cool to have like that same stained glass background. And everything but it was a beautiful 150 person wedding in South Florida for 30,000

Michael 29:07

wow okay so you went from you doubled your budget did that push your timeline back any or were you guys able

Kelly 29:17

just we got to buckle down were hustling like we are who because and we like I made it in my head like we're not going to go into debt for this like hundred percent we're paying cash if we cannot pay cash we're cutting stuff and stuff did get cut from the budget you know there was stuff that would have pushed it over the 30 grand that did get cut but we had our like bare minimums this needs to be done like when I Jamie's Behrman was was like we will have an open bar and I don't drink but he was like I do not want to have a wedding does not open bar and I was like okay, whatever. And then I was like this is something that I need to have like this is we had our must haves but other than That if it was outside the budget it got cut. And as you know, after our budget had gotten doubled to 30,000 I was like alright, we gotta hustle more we got to do more what else can we do? How can we make money and I think also when you're in that mindset of I gotta do what I gotta do to make money jobs will come to you. You know when you have that open heart of whatever happens you know, people come to you and be like, Hey, can I pay 2050 bucks to do this for me? Or can you help me with this? And absolutely, you know, like, when you're ready and open and putting yourself out there things like that will come they may not be the easy jobs. They may not be the ones that you want to do you want to sit on the couch, watch Netflix, but like if you're putting yourself out there, I truly believe that they're going to come to you.

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Unknown Speaker 30:51

Awesome, awesome. So can you share now now that you guys have accomplished all this, right, you've got a you've paid for your wedding cash, you bought your dream car you buy your house. And that's just that's a lot like that's, that's incredible. So now what? Three years of marriage? Yeah. So So what are you working towards now? Because I mean, that feels like for a lot of people that's like the pinnacle, you know what I mean? So like, so outside of the early retirement, obviously, but you know, what are you working towards now?

Kelly 31:21

Um, we really want to, you know, financially set ourselves up for kids and have kids next year. So I went ahead 10 Jamie wants to have two so we will probably compromise and have to, because I'm sure he's gonna win that one. So we want to you know, financially set ourselves up for kids and, you know, potentially be staying home with the kids. Who knows what's going to happen with that. And then also, you know, setting the kids up, you know, financially as well and starting their, you know, retirement accounts and their college funds and different things like that. Find the Tesla for Jamie You know, there's house repairs that we want to do upgrades that we want to do like a pool and different things like that which pool is like 60 grand here, which is just crazy, but, you know, so different things that we want to do next 10 years.

Unknown Speaker 32:15

Gotcha. Okay, so one thing you said there was financially Prepare yourselves for kids. Mm hmm. What What does that look like?

Kelly 32:23

I think for us, it's, you know, having, we have a good emergency fund, but I want to have like, a rock solid, you know, emergency fund What if, you know, something happens, you know, medically or something happens with, you know, one of our jobs or whatever it is, and, you know, just the freedom that if one of us needs to walk away from our jobs, we can do that. You know, who knows what's gonna happen with you know, a kid a child, I don't want to think for the worst but, you know, I have friends that have had kids and they have Down syndrome. So then you know, they have to take care of you know, it takes on a lot of financial burden or whatever it may be sooner or later. Know what God's gonna throw at you, but so we just want to be prepared.

Unknown Speaker 33:05

Awesome, awesome, great answer, by the way. So I want to ask you one more question. And that is, you know, let's say there's a couple out there that's listening to this. And they're polar opposites. One is like, Hey, you know what, I want to do this, this sounds great. And the other ones like, Man, that sounds like a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice, count me out. What can that couple start doing to get on the same page and start crushing some money goals together?

Kelly 33:32

Sounds like they need to come over for dinner, because that is us in a nutshell. I say just, you know, you both have to sacrifice you know, as a couple when you got married, you know, you knew that that was going to be part of it with sacrifice. There's things that you want to do or the things that he doesn't want to do whatever it may be, and that's just part of marriage. And, you know, that's something that we've struggled with and that's, you know, that's still a struggle. For us, when we first got married, and we're going through premarital counseling, the topic of finances came up and I was like, we don't need to talk about that. We're debt free. We're casual in the wedding, like we didn't talk about so we just grazed over it. And I wish we had dug in. Because we didn't talk about like, Okay, well, what about money from your families? Like how did that How did your family growing up handle money? Because for us, it was night and day difference. And we fought about money so much in the beginning of our marriage, anytime money was brought up in the littlest thing, it turned into a big fight. And it was a really big struggle for us and it's, it's gotten a lot better now. We don't fight nearly as much about money. But you know, it is a struggle and there are things that you're going to have to compromise on. You know, even me as the saver I've had to compromise a time and I've had to loosen up the reins and bite my tongue and said, okay, you know, you can go out to dinner there and you can do this like Jamie Hammond is one of his friends. They go out to get dinner every Wednesday night at a local bar. And it's $25 every single time, you know, I'm like, Well, why can't you go to like chick fil a where it's like $7 like that Do you got to spend that much, but it's like, you know, it's something that he really enjoys. It's something that he's able to have that time with his friend and I need to cut somewhere else in the budget or factored into the budget, like I got to loosen up my reins as well. So it's definitely a two way street. And I think also not to like, make it braggy but kind of let the other person know where you're sacrificing. So they see it like oh, okay, so I think it's good to talk about it. Like, Hey, babe, I'm, you know, I wish that you wouldn't do this, but I'm allowing it like, I'm working this into the budget. So I'm making a sacrifice here. Can you make a sacrifice here and just have that communication because they may not see it as a sacrifice. But when they hear from you It is like oh, okay, she's she is sacrificing for me she is working on this as well I can put in my two cents as well or I can cut this as well.

Unknown Speaker 36:09

Perfect. Perfect. That sounds great. Why Kelly, thank you so much. You've been fantastic. I've appreciated and enjoyed talking to you over the last few minutes. So can I want to give you this opportunity for you to share where people who are listening can find you if they want to follow along with your journey. And if there's anything you have to offer Feel free to share that as well.

Kelly 36:30

Absolutely. My main main platform is YouTube freedom and a budget on YouTube. I also have a blog freedom and a budget calm Instagram that's my main social media that you can find me DM me send me a message and follow me there.

Unknown Speaker 36:47

Awesome. Well hey, all you teammates out there listening Be sure to head over to winning to wealth comm slash Episode 35 where I have linked to all the ways you can connect with Kelly on Instagram her blog, you tube, all of that. But hey, Kelly, thanks again for coming on and joining me this week and sharing your journey. I really do appreciate it. Now it's time for this week's win of the week, Kelly increased her household income from 30 k range to being well over six figures. Now, I do want to be fair and remind everybody that Kelly did get married. So that obviously helped. However, increasing your income can go a long way towards helping you on your wealth building journey. And the reason I say that is because you can only cut spending so far right? But there's no limit to how much you can earn. And so Kelly and her husband increased their income with side hustles and by just taking their job seriously, which led to more raises bonuses and things like that. And the reason that part of the interview resonated with me is because I have done the same thing. So I started my sales career in 2011 as a door to door commission only sales rep. didn't even make like $25,000 that first year, it was awful, right. But eight years later, I was making over 100 K and I was one step removed from the VP of sales in my employer, you know, before Rona happened and everything like that, and although I'm not working there anymore, I do still have those same fundamental marketable skills, and I can use those to secure another six figure salary should I choose to in the future. So if you're looking at your spending plan, realizing you don't make enough money, that is O. K, you now have a starting place and you know what you need to do, which is find a way to increase your income that works for you and your family. Now, I did do an entire side hustle series, which took place from episodes 24 through episodes 28 where I talked to side hustlers that are making thousands of dollars every month and one even built a million dollar business. And they're doing this completely online so you can check those If you haven't heard them, they're episodes 24 through 28. And I'll be sure to link to those in the show notes as well which you can find at winning to wealth comm slash Episode 35. Also, if you realize, Hey, you know what my incomes great, I just don't really know what I'm doing with this whole money thing. You can head over to winning to wealth, comm slash playbook and download my free book. And in this book, I'll walk you through some simple steps you can take to start improving your finances today. But that's all the time I have for this week. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care.

Unknown Speaker 39:41

You've wrapped up another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. To learn more about how you can start making winning money decisions head over to winning to wealth.com

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How creating a budget helped Kelly smith save more money and start living on half her income. Check out these budgeting tips.

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