Getting Financially Naked with Beca
At the Financial Gym, we call the first meeting you have with a trainer the “financially naked session.” In this meeting, you share everything about yourself financially so the trainer knows where you’re starting and so he or she can make the plan for how you can get where you want to go. Above all other meetings, this one scares clients the most because they are afraid or ashamed of their financial situation. About a year ago, I shared my financially naked session, and now it is a regular series on the podcast.
Getting in the hot seat today is not only a Financial Gym client, she’s also a Financial Gym Trainer. Beca is here to share her personal finance journey that led up to a very fateful day, when she attended a Financial Gym open house, and then she gets financially naked. I hope you enjoy getting to know Beca, as much as I love working with her.
What Are We Drinking?
Beca — Acadia’s Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water
Shannon — Black Cherry Schweppes
- Before working at the Financial Gym, Beca worked in hospitality by chance. Years ago, one of her sorority sisters posted on Facebook that she was wrapping up her internship at Sheraton Maui, and she said they were looking for the next round of interns for Fall 2011.
- Beca posted a comment about how that would be amazing to do. Beca’s mom saw her comment and encouraged her to go for it, but she didn’t realize it was in Hawaii. Beca went for it and got it within two weeks.
- Beca was there for three months and it was one of the most amazing experiences. She worked with Weston, which was just down the strip from the Sheraton (same company).
- Beca had never stuck with a workout before, but by the time she left Hawaii, she was 20 pounds down and her bosses were all surprised. No interns ever lost weight, they usually gained it while they were there. It was the beginning of the rest of her life. She became comfortable with herself, how to be okay with not pleasing everyone, and other things.
- The internship was during college, and when she came back she finished her last semester. Her family is all on the east coast, and she is an only child, so she hasn’t been back to Hawaii.
- She worked in hospitality until she worked for a tech company in the Chelsea/Flat Iron area, where she was a hybrid of an office manager, she ran the internal events, she spearheaded their diversity/equity/inclusion training, and she onboarded new hires.
- Beca and her boyfriend moved in together at the end of 2017 and they put everything on her credit card, because she wanted the points. She had been slowly racking up debt, but the expenses of the move got her to max out her American Express card.
- She had always been a financially stable person in her other relationships, and, all of a sudden, she needed to ask her boyfriend for help. He was helpful, but she didn’t want to ask him.
- Beca was a little depressed after that and she started looking for ways to improve her situation, so she was talking to different people about money all the time.
- In the summer, her friend sent her the post for the Financial Gym’s open house, scheduled for September 2018. Beca almost didn’t go, because she had the worst day at work that day. She wanted to go home and eat a pint of ice cream.
- The Gym was only 10 minutes away, so she decided to walk there and see what it was all about.
- This was the first open house the Gym held. It is meant for people to see the space, meet the team, and get comfortable before joining. Open houses are now held monthly.
- When Beca first walked into the space, she felt welcomed. There were a lot of people there, but the first thing she noticed was a scent that was floating in the air, like the Weston branded scent. She wanted to compliment Shannon, but Shannon said she needed to tell Alicia.
- Shannon smelled a scent in a former colleague’s apartment buildings and she fell in love with it. Alicia went through the process to get the scent, but she didn’t want to purchase it, because it was expensive, they pay $100 a month for it, but Shannon had to have it. Anytime anyone comments on the scent, she makes sure Alicia knows about it.
- Beca is usually very quiet, if she is by herself in a new situation. A woman came up to her and started asking her questions. They started talking and they decided to sit next to each other.
- Shannon was talking about opening a Gym in DC, which is where Beca wants to move as that is where she went to college, and the other woman said Beca should apply to work at the Gym. If she hadn’t said it so vehemently in the moment, Beca doesn’t think she would have had the courage to apply, because she didn’t meet all of the job qualifications.
- Beca couldn’t apply for the hiring round in December 2018, because there was a project she wanted to work on at her company, and it wouldn’t be finished until late January.
- After the project wrapped up, she sent an email with her resume. The subject line was “Meant to Be Here” and her cover letter included her financial journey. She didn’t hear anything back, and a couple of weeks later, she sent another email to make sure they responded. Eventually, she received an email and she came in and talked to Alicia.
- Beca did her warm up call at the end of the open house in September 2018, and that is when she became a client. Lindsey was her trainer and she got her plan the week of Thanksgiving. She didn’t stick to it 100 percent, but she stayed close to the plan and her holiday spending would have been much higher without it.
- Shannon and Beca reconnected in April 2019, during financial literacy month. At that point, Beca told her that she had the date of the first open house tattooed on her arm, because it changed her life.
- When bringing on a training class, Shannon is limited on how many applicants can be brought in. After Beca applied, Shannon saw her name on the list and heard rave reviews of her from Lindsey. Beca was top on Shannon’s list, because of the tattoo, because she was so committed.
- Beca joined the Gym with Jesse and they have been employed there for about six months now. Beca is filled with compassion and empathy for her coworkers and her clients, and she has amazing energy.
- Financially naked questions:
- Birthdate: 6/29/1989
- Employer: The Financial Gym
- Annual Income: $60,000, $3,550 per month take home
- Capital One Checking Account: $882
- Capital One Vacation Fund: $172 (recently used funds for her iPhone 11); contributes $400 a month to this account
- Capital One Hair Fund: $181; contributes $100 per month
- Capital One Random Account: $200, cannot remember why she opened it, but is going to use it for her personal loan this month
- Barclays Emergency Fund: $6,630; contributes $800 per month (15% of her income)
- Ally Account: $532; $52 per month for the next big purchase with her boyfriend, essentially a moving fund
- Ally Account: $301 for a new TV
- Retirement Savings: $4,589 Betterment Traditional IRA; 90% stocks, 10% bonds
- Marriott 401k: $10,291; will be rolling this over to Betterment by the end of the year
- Nelnet Federal Student Loan: $3,288, 5.5% interest, $50 minimum payment
- Upstart Personal Loan: $10,195, 13.15% interest, $345 per month; when she first met with Lindsey a year ago, her personal loan was $14,141
- Credit Score: 779, up from 734; she was briefly in the 800s
- Monthly Rent: $675, condo in East Orange, New Jersey, a sublet for her and her boyfriend by the owner, $1,300 total per month; between 25 to 35 minutes to commute; includes laundry room, fitness center, and no extra charge for her two pets
- Monthly Expenses: $1,065
- Pet Insurance: $29 per month
- Renter’s Insurance: $9 per month with Lemonade
- Children: None
- Will: Not yet
- 1 – 3 Year Goals: Move away from NYC – it will be about $10,000; travel once or twice a year (definitely to the Caribbean), saving for retirement
- 3 – 5 Year Goals: Wedding and kids
- Long Term Goals: Own an income-producing property, prior to owning her own place, have enough funds to cover eventually caring for her boyfriend’s mother and her own kids
- Sacred Cows: Travel and haircare products
- When Beca was in high school and trying to figure out what she wanted to do, she thought about going to college for psychology to be a therapist. She has always been interested in what makes people tick and how to manage that.
- She eventually decided not to go that route, but she ended up doing that. It just happened that she is actually helping people the way she has always wanted.
- In fourth grade, Shannon wanted to be a psychologist, because a psychologist changed her life. There is compassion and empathy that comes with the jobs at the Gym, because people share a lot with them.
- If you still have a 401k with a previous employer, make sure it is still invested correctly for you, so it is still working for you.
- The Gym uses the avalanche method, where you pay off the highest interest loan first, because the math is so significant.
- Beca’s net worth has grown $11,568 in the last year. This is after a $2,500 setback and $300 hit to her emergency fund, amongst other things.
TAKEAWAY: My biggest takeaway is that a financial health journey is just that. It’s a journey, it is not a quick fix, overnight process. It’s going to take time, from identifying what you want to work on, to setting goals, to getting the results you’d like to achieve. Like anything in life, with focus and dedication, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Connect with Beca
If you’d like to get financially naked with my team, and drop any fear or shame you have around money, I hope you’ll reach out to us at the Financial Gym. My trainers have literally seen it all, so nothing will surprise us. We don’t care how you got here, we just care about getting you where you want to go. The great news is that Martinis and Your Money listeners get 15% off Financial Gym services. So if you’re ready to manifest your dreams, like Beca, head over to or send friends to, financialgym.com to get signed up today.