Liv interviews Roderick Robeson on how to shift your relationship with money to make it work for you.

Like it or not, money is a huge part of your life. It’s the source of a lot of joy while also being one of the top reasons people get divorced. If you’re like me, you walked into your adult life with a lot of debt, minimal income, and no clue how to handle it.

It’s time to start having wholistic conversations about our finances so we can feel encouraged and empowered to create positive change. Whether you think you have enough of it or not, money can only work for you if you’re willing to work with it.

In this episode, I interview my accountant and trusted business advisor, Roderick Robeson, on how to start shifting your relationship with money. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that if you treat your money right, it’ll return the favor.

Listen to this episode for practical advice on how to manage your money better and start getting out of debt.

Read Full Transcript

00:02 Hello and welcome to self-aware millennial, the podcast for people seeking a joyously authentic life. I'm your host had, and I want to thank you so much for tuning into this episode. I'm really excited because it's going to be all about money and this is a topic that I think is rife with a lot of different emotions for many of us, especially in that millennial age range. It's a negative experience and sense of emotions. I like many of my peers walked into adulthood with a lot of debt and no real tools to know what I was doing to know what I was doing from an emotional aspect, from a self awareness aspect, I will say I was super blessed because I grew up in a household where I understood you do something, you get money for it. My parents never really gave me money for free.

01:21 It always had to be earned, so whether that was doing chores or at the point I was old enough getting a job, I was never handed money, which I think was really great because I wasn't jarred by the fact that I needed to have jobs to sustain and support myself. However, the part that was missing from my money education was understanding how my self image, my self worth and my self awareness level play a huge role in how I spend my money or don't spend my money and manage or do not manage my money. And for the last seven years, eight years now that I've been, um, you know, uh, an entrepreneur of some sort, mostly solopreneur freelancing and things like that. I have really struggled with all aspects of money asking for what I'm worth, charging what I'm worth, invoicing people on time, budgeting my money in an effective way.

02:22 Remembering when sir in payments are due, specifically those annual recurring annual payments. Like for example, like my prime membership, my Amazon prime membership. Even just like remembering when that's going to come out and planning for that and adjusting my budget accordingly. All of these things are aspects of my relationship with money that I have not paid enough attention to. If I had to describe my consciousness around money, I would say it swings from joy to apathy and there's not much space in between those. I feel very joyful when I'm in an influx of cash and I can spend it on other people. I can spend it on experiences with other people. I can spend it on paying off debt. Notice. All of the good emotions come from spending the money, saving the money, managing the money, earning the money. Those are more on the apathy side of things.

03:20 Not that I don't want to do those things or care about them. It's just my energy level around it has been really low and when I talk to my peers and other people like me, especially creatives, so people who are artsy fartsy, I get kind of that same feedback that there's this real struggle and having the privilege of watching my mom be a business owner and actually coach herself somewhat, but mostly other women because you'll, you'll find if you even look this up, women tend to, well we know women earn less, but it's also because women don't ask for as much money as men do. So anyway, all of that to say I am excited to start having those conversations because I think a lot of discourse around money is very practical when it's helpful and that's good. We need those practical skills and tools and that's something that roderick actually does talk about.

04:13 He talks about some practical things we can do and we also need to start thinking about the wellbeing aspect of all of it like we do in all of our lives. These things don't occur in a vacuum. You don't spend manage and save your money and a vacuum separate from how you treat yourself in relationship to other people, your career, your physical wellness, your mental wellness, all of it exists together in a dynamic back and forth as you age and mature so to your relationships with these things, and so we need to start framing the way we approach money the same way that we approach our physical wellbeing or mental emotional wellbeing, our self awareness, all of those things. Now, the reason that I chose to interview roderick, it's not just because he's been my accountant and by the way a fantastic accountant. If anyone is looking, if you're a creative, if your doing something that you're really passionate about and has a lot of social impact, those are kinds of the clients that he likes to work with.

05:13 So if you need an accountant who does a damn good job, provides excellent customer service, and is affordable, he's not cheap, he's affordable, then I highly, highly recommend him. Just for the accounting piece. Now, what's ended up happening in our dynamic is that he's also turned into kind of like a business coach for me. Um, he's always offered that as a resource and help and gone above and beyond for me. I've asked him all kinds of questions about my business, how to handle things, what do I do in these situations. He's actually the one who helped me get started in the process when I was going through that situation with that contractor who dipped down on me and stole money from me. He's the one who connected me to my lawyer, told me what steps I should be taking. All of that. He

05:58 has really great insights in this and his journey is just so interesting and funny and so I thought he would be a really great person to talk to, not just about the practical accounting side of things, but also to start thinking about why you're making the decisions you're making around your money and how to start thinking about those things differently and shifting your perspective. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with the wonderful Roderick Robeson high roderick. Thank you so much for joining us today to talk about money and self awareness. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you, one because I think you're excellent at what you do. You've given me a lot of really good advice and um, I think this is a topic that my generation really needs to focus on and talk about. We walked into adulthood with a lot of debt, so, um, I'm interested in your, your take on money, our relationship with money and how self awareness can be incorporated into all of those things. So please just share a little bit about who you are, what you do and what you want to share with all the people listening to the show.

07:08 I'm excited to talk to you a little bit about me. Uh, was born and raised in Austin, Texas. So there's not a lot of us here in Austin anymore that could actually say they were born and raised and are from here. And um, it's interesting, my path to money started because I didn't want to work, so I thought it was going to be a stockbroker and we'll actually before then I didn't want to work at all and was not thinking about making money. It was how can I get more beer? But then after I started thinking I needed in order to get more beer, I would need to make money that I said what's the easiest way to make money without having to work. And I thought trading stocks would be a way to do that. I could create what is determined now, residual passive income without having to work.

07:56 And I could do on a computer and for three hours a week I could make millions of dollars and it would flow to me. And then I'd spend the rest of my time kind of drinking beer. And then I joined the military. I mean I'm short circuiting this, this whole conversation, so to speak. But then I ended up joining the military because I had a job that I hated because I saw very angry boss or very young angry boss who actually was pretty wealthy, seemed like he didn't have a very happy life. My Dad was in the military and so he said, hey, I think you'll like it. And I said, all right, I'll go do it. And I kind of liked it because I got shot at. And then after I got shot at I said, you know, let me rethink how I'm doing everything in my life because I'm making these kinds of random type choices and they're not getting me where I wanted to go.

08:44 Even funnier than them. I didn't want anyone to tell me to do. So I joined the military. That's me. And my dad laughed about that a whole lot. He's like, okay, yeah, go do that. But anyway, so after the I went into, went to college and I said, I am going to get that finance degree because no one, my dad was good with money. But something about the generation gap between us. We didn't really have conversations about money. The only thing he really ever told me about money don't get bad credit and he tells someone, don't get back credit. That doesn't really tell you how to manage your money, and I knew in my family there weren't people that were really good about managing managing money. I have a couple of brothers that were one brother in particular is really good with managing money, but that stuff was never handed down.

09:33 We didn't have conversations about it, so I thought if I got a finance degree I could then trade those stocks because I knew a little bit more about it, but then also I could learn about money, so that was the goal of getting a finance degree so that I can understand how to make and spend money and be smart about it. And a funny thing happened on the way to being a stockbroker. I ran into accounting and I helped a startup web consulting firm build out their entire accounting system and the rest is history, so to speak. I kind of developed a love for accounting. No, that's weird to say because there are no no law and order accounting or you know, there's no, there's no movies or shows

10:24 movies or television shows about accounting out there anyway, but if you understand

10:31 accounting,

10:32 what it can do in the result of all the accounting, then it's like this wonderful, wonderful thing. So now I help businesses love accounting or if they don't love accounting, I helped them love me so that I can help them understand it so they can use it to grow and kind of develop their business, you know, pay their taxes and all that. But that's a long way of saying my little 11 second elevator pitches. I'm a CPA, excuse me. I am a, a business trusted business advisor that is disguised as a CPA. That's my little elevator pitch.

11:06 Yeah, I think that's pretty accurate actually. That's a good way to. I think of you more as a, an advisor or mentor and I've asked you questions that have absolutely nothing to do with accounting and you've been super helpful, so that's awesome.

11:18 My pleasure. Always happy to help. Always happy to help.

11:21 Okay, so we were talking before we started recording about messages or things that you felt were important that you want to start sharing with the world and you were talking about being deliberate with your money before you spend it or before you have it. Um, I have no idea what you meant, so please.

11:41 Yeah, so you want to be deliberate about how you spend your money and you want to be deliberate about spending your money before you get it. And that's like a little oprah in eastern mysticism, you know, way of saying you need to have a budget. That's really all it boils down to. And a budget isn't. Well let me write these numbers down on a piece of paper. That's my budget. Let me kind of look at it. And then you throw it away and then you come back later and you go, all right, here's what I spent. Here's where my budget says, alright, I'm following my budget, but it's just not working. I don't have as much money as I thought I was going to have. This budget thing really sucks because it's supposed to help me. I wrote it down and it didn't work, right, the paper, the spreadsheet, all that stuff that's like a hammer or whatever.

12:30 It's just a tool that you specifically use. So the one of the first things that I learned to do coming out of a finance degree and then actually having my own money to manage when I was wise finally became wise about what to do with money because I said, look, I know I'm going to have x amount of dollars that are going to come in before payday rolls around. Before payday rolls around. I need to write down exactly where all those dollars are going to go. I know that I got to pay rent. All right, so I know this percentage of money that I have part of it's going to go to red and then I know I got to pay for my car or I got to pay for food and. And then you spend it before it gets to you so that when the money hits your bank account and you pull out that debit card or you put that cash, you're not just willy nilly spending it because people go, where did all my money go?

13:20 What happened? I just, I'm, I'm charging stuff up and I'm trying to be mindful of it. But if you don't compartmentalize where every one of those dollars go, if you don't train your daughter, soldiers could march in line to all the places where you want to go. They're going to venture into territory where you don't want them to venture and now you have all these dollars everywhere and you've got to try to reel them all back in. So you do it before it happens. You become very diligent. You say, I have a $100 this week for food and that's all I got and I'm not spending any more than $100. And then you have to be disciplined. So the next step is not only being deliberate, but it's being disciplined about those dollars. And so ways you can be disciplined about those dollars. If you can't, if you're not disciplined enough to look at your bank account and track it in and do it through a, you know, downloading your statements and what you can do is pull out all of your cash except for enough to keep things from being overdrafted and then put all of your cash in envelopes and you write food on the envelope and you put $100 in the food envelope and you carry that around with you.

14:30 Here's my $100 for food and I only buy food out of this envelope and it's amazing what happens when you have cash and you see that money coming out of that envelope. It's just a dwindle. You get less hungry and there's less spontaneous chip buys and pistachios and there's one less coffee, but we're in this digital and so it's easy to just kind of spin stuff. You know, and I'm a perfect example. I like to tip big. My wife hates that. I tip so big all the time. I love the tip because it's easier for me to take run a credit card because it's just a number I'm writing down, you know? Okay, it's a $40 meal. I'm going to round it up to $50, right? Because it's just an easy round number to me. But if I had to pull that out of my envelope and I see that there are $60 in that envelope, I'm still attempt to 20 percent, but I'm not going to do it. That's almost a 50 percent tip. So you have to be deliberate about where the dollars go. You have to make the dollars go where you want them to go before they get into your bank account. That's what I mean by that.

15:38 Okay. So that makes a lot of sense. And actually the envelope thing is something that my dad has done forever that I've watched him do forever. So I, I think I'm probably going to be a pretty good use case for you. Um, and, and you, you're my accountant. So you've seen all my finances and you know, my spending habits are not excellent and you know, I'm working on slowly every year I'm getting better and better at managing my money, but what I'm learning is I have a lot of anxiety around it. I have a lot of knowledge, like there's things I know about how to handle my money, but then when it comes to actually doing it, the way I feel about it is affecting me. Executing what I know and I know there's a lot of people my age in my age group that get really stressed about money and we don't feel like the generals of our money soldiers, we feel like we're a slave to our money. It's more than money driving things than us driving the money. So I'm wondering what your perspective is on how to kind of start shifting from that, like anxious victim kind of mentality to empowered and encouraged and in charge of.

16:49 Yeah, I can, I can understand why anyone would feel that way. Especially now millennials are making less money coming out of college then genexers and everyone before them. Um, having said that it's too bad. No, this is just kind of the reality of what you're working with now. That sounds kind of harsh, but what you're going to have to do, not just you but everyone and it's something I had to do. You have to change your entire, a psychology around money and I mean after I'm about to say because my wife says you overshare, just temper it down a little bit, but I went through a really, really bad phase where I was broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, depressed, like almost burnt down the apartment complex where I was staying at graduate school because I was smoking and drinking through Grad, trying to get out

17:50 to, you know, I want to get out of this debt hole. And it was bad. It was real, really bad. And I remember is the weirdest thing in the world. I flicked the cigarette and we there's a, there was a balcony and there was a wood balcony and there was this little bitty hole between the width balcony and the foundation and the cigarette landed right in that little hole in the whole things started to go up in flames. I was fortunate that I had water and put it out and nobody got hurt and it didn't get big enough, but that was kind of a turning point for me and I was like, man, I'm sitting here drinking beer every day and I'm smoking cigarettes and almost burned the thing down and I'm finding money to do all these things. To kind of self medicate what's going on.

18:40 I was like, you know what? I have to change my perspective on how I view money and how have you all of these things. After look at I have to look at myself and why I'm making these decisions and then I have to come have to completely take control of the money. All money is is just a tool to buy the things that you want to buy and if you write down where the money's going to go, you write a plan, put a savings line on the budget line, you know, one of those envelopes to savings and you start to see that saving bucket grow and you start to make these incremental successes. You, you tell yourself, okay, I'm going to do one envelope this week and if I only do this one envelope right, then that's the success that I'm going to keep adding up and you just keep adding more and more and you keep getting more and more control.

19:27 That will help to kind of, you know, suppressed, suppress the anxiety around spending the money, but it's just, it's an emotional things, so you have to just, you have to talk, you have to have good self talk. That's another way to do it. That's another thing that I did because if you notice in the story and went from I was a person who is depressed and I'm doing all this stuff too, hey, I gotta get my stuff together. I know that I'm better than this, I got to turn this around, I have to take control of these things, and so self clock is another way to do that is to help you to kind of get the anxiety because you are not. You aren't exactly the product of your reactions. That is just the result of bad decision making, but who you are as a person, you're not that bad person.

20:15 I mean, I know you, I stereo financials, we talk all the time and what have you, and I know if I went by how you spend your money on the personal side because I don't see all the personal side stuff. I see the business side, but if I've made my decision on who you are as a person just on that, I probably would have a bad thought about you, but that's not who you are. That's a result of something you did. So changing your conversation with yourself. The moment you pull the money out. Now we're back to the whole discipline thing. When you pull the money out, it's, I'm making these dollars go where I want them go. That's a different emotion than, Ooh, I gotta pay this bill, or I need to buy some food and I'm probably not gonna have enough money to buy some bio. This other thing that I need because I got to buy the food and I'm making less money than I did and the people before me did, you know I'm underworked and underpaid. All that stuff starts coming in when you're spending the money. If you have a plan, then that will help to squash that whole emotional psychological game you play with yourself.

21:16 Yeah. I think that's. That is good advice changed in the conversation I'm having with myself about about money and one of the things that I have kind of tied my conversation with myself about money to my conversation with myself about myself. Is that just not enough. There's not enough money, there's not enough, whatever. I'm not enough of this or that or or all of those things. Those two things seem to be tied together and you said something to me the other week when we met at the library that I. I haven't told you that it had such a huge impact on me. You were talking to me about setting my pricing and I know not everybody who's listening to this show has a business where you would set your own pricing, but you are someone who can ask for promotions, who gets raises, things like that, and you were talking about charging what you're worth and being very aware of what your worth and knowing that if you commit to charging that and saying you're worth that, that it will come to you.

22:17 And I ended up changing. I went in as soon as I got home, after our conversation, I went in and I changed all my pricing and Oh my God. It felt so much better. As soon as I saw the numbers, when I changed them to what I knew they should have been, it just felt good and better and I actually have less anxiety about making money or building my business because I changed my pricing even though I changed it to be more expensive and so I think that that's. That's maybe something that I would love for you to elaborate on more is just maybe some of your stories of how you've seen people undercharge. I mean, you've seen me under charge the entire time I've been with, um, but just shifting that I, and I don't know that I would've been ready to hear that a year ago, but when you said it to me a couple of weeks ago, it just clicked for me that I was undercharging and then that, that the undercharging is what was causing the anxiety, not the concern about me getting clients.

23:15 Well, think about it from this perspective and I don't remember if I remember the conversation, but not exactly what I said in the way I said it, but look at it from this and I'll give you some personal examples. When you undercharge for your services, whether you're an employee or a business owner or whatever, you're actually doing not only yourself a disservice, but you're doing your customer is in society a disservice. I think that's a strong statement, but I think it's a real statement. And so here, here's why. I'll give you a recent example and I'm talking like within the last week I caught myself doing this person a favor in. I cut my prices for them trying to help them out. They weren't very appreciative, appreciative of it, and I knew when I engage that person I should have said no in that done it and I should have charged them what it was actually worth worth.

24:10 I spent several hours, actually. I spent several days I, I. I stopped working on other projects to try to help this person that's spent a lot of time getting everything prepared for them and getting it done in just shy of me completing the tasks. They terminated the agreement because they were impatient about how long it was taking and without getting in all the minutia about accounting and whatever, but they wanted 11 months worth of statements. Financial statements prepared back in a couple of days is kind of what their feeling was and then they made a complete mess of their business. We're talking they had seven, eight different accounts and they were commingling personal funds with their business funds and they had fun. They had transaction spread out across all these different platforms and everywhere and everything, and there's no. There's no realistic way. We could have done it as fast as they really wanted, but I wanted the business and I wanted to help them and so I undercharged and working to get it done and that is the worst feeling in the world.

25:20 When you are working on something, busting your tail and you feel like I'm not getting paid enough for doing this, and it makes it even harder to kind of do the work and to get motivated about it. The flip side to that, where I say you're doing your customers a disservice is one, this person now doesn't have an fuller understanding of what the value of my service will be. So he will go to another accountant or bookkeeper with this same flawed expectation and now that's going to do a disservice to that other one. The other CPA, bookkeeper, they're going to have to train him up or they going to get under your charge and they're going to bust their tail and they're not going to be working. You know, working for what they're worth and they may keep that client and then they'll do more than what's expected of them and then they're going to be miserable.

26:08 And on top of that, now there are other customers who pay me what I'm worth, who didn't get that time. So everyone ends up losing in the scenario. When you don't charge what you're worth is just, it's, it's better to say, you know, I'm going to charge what I'm worth and I'm going to wait. I'm going to follow my gut when I get in that engagement with something and go, man, that's just. It just doesn't feel right. And you, you know, most people, most of us know when our gut is telling us something, we know the difference between fear and this is just bad. It's not that I'm afraid. It just doesn't feel right and you have to embrace the moment it happens. You have to embrace it. And I've been telling myself and walking through this for years, I've been in business for years and every now and then that happens and I don't listen to it, but do you just have to learn to listen to that voice necessarily?

27:04 It's a. it's a disservice not to charge what you're worth. Same thing with the job, and I know it's kind of hard job market out there now, and I'm going to shift gears to the job markets here in just a second, but having said that, it's the same thing. If you get a job where you're getting under paid, now we're going to do something you hate and not. Don't even do something you hate. You're not going to get paid enough for it. Now you're taking time away from being with your family. It's this never ending cycle that just kind of perpetuates on itself in the only way to break that cycle is to kind of embrace your value in only accept what your value is and along the lines of employment, we live in one of the greatest ages in the world for business. We have this thing called the Internet and I'm telling you, I wish I had internet 20 years ago the way we have it now.

28:02 It is so easy to find a way to make money in live. Whatever lifestyle you want to live it is. It is extraordinarily easy to do that, and so for people that say, well, there's no way to make money and Duh, Duh, Duh. I'm sorry. There are all kinds of ways to make. You can do it. You don't have to be a full blown business owner side gigs. There's Fiverr, there's upwork, there's, there's all kinds of ways to make money now, money being underemployed or what are all those good things. There's too many ways to get the money. You just have to rethink and completely change your paradigm and be deliberate about how you want to live your life.

28:43 So I'm actually wondering for all the people who are in my position who they walked right into adulthood with an insane amount of debt, where do. Where do you even start? Like let's say you're. You've walked out of college, you're as soon as you're a student loans kick and you're going to be paying $800, $900 a month, something in that ballpark and you're working as a server or trying to figure out what the hell you want to do with your life because you're only 22 and you don't have it figured out. What's what's. What's something that's digestible that you can do right now to start shifting that perspective?

29:19 So I'm going to give you something that's not digestible and then I'll give you something digestible because the digestible is going to be the thing that makes the digestible work and you have to not look to your left and your right instagram, social media and buy into the lie. Just don't know if that means you off of social media altogether and start working your plan. You need to do that because it's the only way you're going to get out of debt. Because if you're looking around going, I need to have this kind of car and I need to have this kind of food and I need to be traveling and I need to go out to eat all the time and I need to. You're never going to get out of. Out of the way that I got out of debt. When I had that horrible time in graduate school was I sold everything I had.

30:06 I'm talking everything. I had no TV. I had no cable. I got rid of my truck. I bought a bike from Walmart and I made sure that every dollar I spend, I knew exactly where I was going before, before it was going and I just got completely real about myself and said, here's the doubters I have coming in. Here's the dollars that are going to go out. My lifestyle is going to be really bad for a long time, but I'm going to get out of there. So you have to not look at everything around you and feel like, oh, I need to be doing all these things that all my friends are doing and I need to have this instagram live on a need to have this social media type labs I'm in to go to the concert and all that. There's going to be a time for a long time until you get your hands around it.

30:52 If you're serious, like if you're really serious about it, you have to be serious about it. You have to be. You have to feel like you're on. You're on cardiac alert. That's how I felt. That's how I got out and there was, there were a couple of years, there were a couple of years where people were calling me crazy. They're like, dude, you are nuts. You ride a bike to class. Don't you know? I lived in San Marcus and I'm from Austin because I went to graduate school at Texas state and I rode a bike everywhere or I took the bus somewhere, uber and all that stuff. I was walking, cycling, but that was how I got out of the hole. Now, the flip side of that story was I was able to buy a house, went to graduate school after I got to Grad school. I got a job making way more money than I'd ever been making, you know, my life completely turned around and I was in a position to be able to do those things because I sacrificed for about two years. I did crazy, crazy, crazy stuff for about two years and everyone call me crazy, but all those people that called me crazy, they all now come to me for advice for finance.

32:06 I'm really glad you said that. What you said about social media, because that's obviously that's something our generation is in a constant battle with and I also think what you're talking about speaks to the instant gratification thing that a lot of us expect now and that when you say two years for two years, I have blah, blah, blah. I'm thinking, wow, that's actually really not a long time at all. Two years to have an entire life of financial security. Get rid of the anxiety around money to feel confident in your decisions, to feel stable. To have that freedom because really

32:44 when you're managing your money well, it goes from feeling like a prison to just total freedom, but if you're, you know, me, me three years ago would have been like, I never know when I'm gonna die, Yolo, like I need to spend my money now because I can't, it's not going to go in my coffin with me, blah, blah blah. It's like that instant instant gratification need of while I have the money now, so I'm going to enjoy it now. There's, there's gotta be some kind of balance in that and I think people are on the note of social media. I think that all the balance happens all at one time and I think it's a better perspective to say that the balance happens over the course of a lifetime. So those two years for you now you've, you've had way more years of financial prosperity then you had of being dirt poor, riding your bike and taking the bus around.

33:38 Yeah. Imagine this, and this is what I told myself as I went through those things, after I had my turn. There's gonna come a time when I can buy something and I'm not worried about how much money

33:54 that was just the greatest feeling in the world. I can buy what I want and I don't have to worry about it. When I moved into my house, like I underwrote my house, I knew that I was going to get approved. I knew that I was going to be able to get the house that I wanted to get and I had A. I had a drop in salary because I went from corporate America and then I started teaching accounting and my salary was cut to like a fourth of what it was when I was in corporate America, but because of the skills that I'd developed, pulled out spreadsheet, underwrote my loan. I went and bought it brand new house, you know, on a fraction of what other people could afford. And I walked into the, walked into the bank and walked into the builder's place and I said, this is the house I'm going to get.

34:40 This is what you're gonna. This is what you're going to charge me for. It went to the lender and said, here's gonna be, here's what my monthly payment will be. This is what my interest rate will be in everybody toed the line because my credit was great. I had the financials. My personal balance sheet, which is a financial statement, was completely clean and I had control over everything. I had the control. I went to buy a car, the car that I always wanted because I hadn't had a car for a long time. I had a bunch of beat up cars and I've always wanted to, so I found it and I told the person, I'm going to give you cash for this car. Here's what I'm going to pay for it. You're going to take exactly what I'm going to pay you for it and I'm going to drive away with this car after I get it inspected to make sure it's legit and that's exactly what happened.

35:31 And so for two, two and a half years, it was pain and dealt with the pain and I embraced it. I was like, all right, this is only temporary, but on the other side of this is complete freedom and if I ever dug myself in the hole again, I wouldn't know how to dig myself out of that hole too because I'd been through that before. And so it's, it's, it's, you're, you're right. It is so liberating when you have control over your money and that's really, that's really what in my opinion is what money is for, is to create a tool to do what you want, you know, and I work a lot of hours now and all that good stuff, but I can do whatever I want. Yeah. I keep trying to get my wife to let us move to the Caribbean because I can do my job and Grand Cayman, our a ruler or something, but she doesn't want to do it. She likes, she's done an Austin and I'm like, man, it is liberating. It's money buys you freedom in. If you have debt, you are in bondage. That is a true statement. It is a, you are in complete bondage because your dollars belong to that creditor and you can't buy anything without thinking about your partner, the creditor every time you get paid. So pay that stuff off, pay it off completely.

36:57 Okay, and I'm going to round this conversation out. We started talking about budgets. I'd love to end talking about budgets specifically. Um, I, I know there's gonna be some people out there thinking all this sounds great and I make $27,000 a year is really fricking tough. What, what do you, what is your advice on how to set up a budget and start tackling that debt regardless of the amount of income you're making.

37:25 So the first thing you have to do is get 100 percent real with yourself. If you have $27,000 in income that comes in, you need to have $26,000 in expenses. I know that sounds very easy to say, but that's just the reality of it. So that may mean moving back in with your parents. That may mean getting a roommate. That may mean selling your car. It may mean selling a lot of stuff, but you're never going to get out of debt if you don't get below the $27,000 mark, if that's what she make a year. Don't forget, you don't get all of that because Uncle Sam, your other partner is going to take their percentage, so you're probably going to get into like 25 of that when it's all said and done. On the flip side simultaneously, what you want to do is then start up and your income, so there's uber, their side jobs like upwork.

38:12 There's places where you can do freelancing, but I would also say during that whole evaluation is if there's something you're really passionate about, and this is gonna Sound Corny, but I'm gonna say it anyway, but there's something you're really passionate about. Now is also the time to start thinking about how to pursue that. Because that's going to generate more money for you and more than, well, I got to go get this dead end job in order to pay the bills, so I'm going to just keep getting all these dead end jobs. You can keep the dead end job making the $27,000, but that means that night again, you got to make some serious decisions. That means that I may be working the extra three to five hours to get this thing up so that it makes more than the $27,000 and so it's so it's be real with yourself.

39:02 Budgeting is simple math money management. It's really just simple math. It's we're talking pluses and minuses and maybe some division and multiplication every now and then. Twenty $7,000 in salary, which mainly means $25,000 in cash flow would that goes into my bank account. That means I can always been $24,000 in expenses until I can start generating some cash flow to the right and you live under that. You live on that 24 until everything starts to increase your income to where you can start spending a little bit more money and so you start off, like I said before, being deliberate about where the money goes. You figure out a tool. Envelopes is one tool, if you're like me and like spreadsheets, spreadsheet as a tool and I can give you cash flow statements that you can send to listeners that they can use. Another way for people that are really disciplined that they can do is they can use a percentage system so you can open up different bank accounts and you can say, all right, 10 percent of my income is going to go to food and entertainment or whatever, and then you do the math and you put 20 percent into this other bank account in the.

40:15 You have a debit card for that bank account and then the other bank account is for all your other bills and you just leave that thing alone and let it auto debit and draft all your other payments and stuff. So you know this one debit card where I put my little 10 percent. That's what I have to live off of in the other bank account is to cover all your debts and all the living expenses. And so that's a way of having a budget without having to go through the machinations of a bunch of envelopes in a spreadsheet and paper and all of those types of things. So there's all kinds of tools and methodologies to kind of get to where I'm saying we need to go. But in the end it all comes back to the same [inaudible] back to the beginning of where we started. You have to be very diligent and purposeful about where the money goes. You have to have a hard conversation with yourself. You just got to do the math and go from there.

41:12 Yeah. I think on the note of getting real with yourself, something I realized I hadn't done until the end of 2018 was actually sit down and add up all of my debt and what was that total number? And I actually couldn't believe that I hadn't done that yet. It had just never. I wasn't such an avoidance mode. I, I didn't to know the answer. Um, so I don't think it ever even crossed my mind. Um, and as soon as I did, as soon as I added it all up, I was like, oh my God, I don't want to spend money anymore. I want to

41:44 pay this off. That's just how America functions. There's a video, I'm going to link to a video I'm going to send you. It talks about the five percent. In long story short, it basically said if you took people that were at the, if you took a group of people at 25 and then you came back, you know, 40 years later, and so now they're 65, what would their financial life look like? One person would be rich for one percent would be rich, five would be in a position of financial independence or whatever, and the rest would either be broke, dead are still working a job or something like that. So the, so the moral of that was only five percent of America society ends up being financially independent because we're on autopilot. You were, you had one psychological approach to money and you got that from your family or whatever.

42:52 So if you saw on television, but really most people I see, they're just on autopilot. It's not that they're not, I don't think they're avoiding it. They just feel like this is how it's supposed to happen. I get my check, I go out and party and I go buy some stuff. I'm supposed to get a house, I'm supposed to have a car, was supposed to travel and post these pictures and have this kind of life and I'm kind of entitled to all this stuff and I'm supposed to get it, you know, and it just kinda. This is how society works. This is how job in life works. And it does for if you want an average life, you want to be in bondage if you want to be beholden to the government or a creditor or something. But people that are like, you know what, this is what I want out of life.

43:36 I'm going to take control of this and I'm going to be very deliberate about how I spend my money and what I do with my time there. That five percent there, that there are those people that, you know, 10 years from now, five years from now, 20 years from now, whatever are in a position to where they can do whatever they want and those people generally aren't on instagram and facebook and I'm not bashing social media, you know, I'm, I'm really not, but I'm telling you from doing these individuals taxes, they quietly make decisions in our mindful of how they spend their money and their time so that they can do whatever they want with their money and their time.

44:16 I think that's, I think that's great. And I like ending on this note of total freedom. Jesse and I actually committed to making January a no spend month meaning like, no, no extras. You know, it's just like, are we on our budget and that's what we're sticking to. And um,

44:36 I'm trying to reframe that from being oppressive to being free. And this conversation just help reignite that because yesterday I remember thinking, um, I got, I was in a work meeting and we got lunch and I was like, well, here, here, this is it. This is, I'm done with my spending for the next two weeks, like this lunch is the end of it, and I was feeling sorry for myself, which I recognized was really silly and stupid because this is a choice that I'm making. But I still went through that and then this morning I was like, alright, you need to reframe this. You need to shift this. And just hearing you say over and over again, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom. I'm like, okay, that's my anchor. Thought. That's my. Every time I'm like, I really want to spend some money. I'm just going to go, do I want to spend money and not be free or do I want to not spend money and be free? And that's going to be my mantra for, for this, you know, foreseeable future until I can get myself out of, um, out of the hole

45:34 is the shawshank redemption. Go back and watch that movie. And Andy Frain and his whole approach to being in jail. And he was in prison the whole time, but he was completely free while he was in prison. And he knew that he was eventually going to get out and ultimately he did get out and was in this prison and he was out of this prison. So, you know, being deliberate in having a plan is not freedom. It's liberating. The first couple of weeks when I started walking this plan out, it was very painful. But with every success it became more liberating. And just think about, like I said, think about how it feels to be able to dictate the terms of how you buy whatever you buy. It's, it's a great, great, great feeling.

46:27 Yeah. I can only imagine what it's like to be able to buy a car with cash. That sounds amazing.

46:33 It's great. It's really great.

46:37 Alright. That's a good aspirational goal and really good homework. The homework is to watch shawshank redemption and think about it in the sense of money freedom.

46:46 Yup. Yup.

46:47 Awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Roderick. I really appreciate you all the work you do and you sharing your wisdom.

46:54 No problem.

46:57 I want to give a shout out to roderick. Thank you so much for that conversation. I feel very confident that I will have him on the podcast again, especially because I'm very much on this journey right now, like I'm in the middle of this path of working all of these things out for myself, so as I'm unfolding and uncovering new insights and epiphany is I'll definitely want to jam sesh with people who have a handle on on their money game. For all you listening,

47:24 there's out there. I hope you found this helpful. I hope you maybe were inspired or empowered at the very least

47:30 encouraged that it's possible no matter what your salary or income to start getting more of a handle and control over your money and just start doing little things to kind of shift that perspective in that relationship. If you are interested in working with roderick or have any questions or are looking for the cashflow spreadsheets that he mentioned, please visit the show notes. That's self aware,, and while you're at it, please give the show a rating. I subscribe a follow wherever you're interacting with the show right now. If you haven't already, please do a little bit of of interacting the way all algorithms work on all platforms has to do with engagement, so the more engaged you are with my content, the more exposure and visibility it gets for other people that really puts you the listener in the power position, and so I'm asking you at your mercy if you would please be a part of helping me get the word out about the show so that other people can find this and use this as a resource in the same way that you're using it as a resource and it's also a great opportunity for you to provide some feedback on what you're listening to.

48:44 If you're, if the platform you're on doesn't provide a place for comments or ratings, you can feel free to comment on the show notes of any episode or you can also just email me podcast at self aware, a I will respond to every inquiry I get as soon as I possibly can. I try to do that within 48 business hours. Usually it's sooner, sometimes it's longer. Needless to say, I will respond to you. I look forward to seeing those subscribes and those ratings or getting those emails. In the meantime, remember, I love you and I like you.

Meet Roderick

Roderick Robeson, CPA

I am a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified QuickBooks ProAdviser. I have over 20 years of business, tax, financial and accounting experience. I’ve worked with companies as small as start-ups to as large as global Fortune 500 corporations. My number 1 goal is to create time for you to run your business, not worried and buried in the accounting and taxes of your business.

I provide the following services to individuals, sole proprietor, LLCs, partnerships, and S Corporations:

* Bookkeeping

I do QuickBooks setup or cleanup, bank and credit card reconciliations, miscellaneous 1099 management, etc. This includes everything you need to do to make tax time less taxing. I also offer payroll services on a limited basis.

* Accounting

I provide monthly and quarterly feedback that allows you to understand what is really going on in your business and create ways to improve profits, productivity, and cash flow. I am your experienced financial business adviser.

* Tax Preparation and Planning

Tax laws are constantly changing. I stay current and constantly research “the code” and employ strategies that relate specifically to your situation. I use practically every legal strategy available to reduce the taxes you owe or to maximize your refund.

* Virtual Accounting/CFO Services

I work almost exclusively in a paperless environment. This allows me to work with companies around the globe and gives you 24/7 access to your data.

Want to connect with Roderick? Find him on his website or Thumbtack.


Show Notes

  • To download the Cash Flow template Roderick mentioned, click here. If you don’t have Excel and still want to use it, open it using Google Sheets. If you’re unsure how to use it or overwhelmed by it, don’t worry! Roderick and I will be making a tutorial video ASAP. Subscribe below to get notified when it and all SAM content is available!
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