Financial Gym Client Stories

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martinis and your money

Financial Gym Client Stories

I’ve talked a lot about my company, the Financial Gym, during many episodes, and I’ve encouraged people to join or to tell their friends to join the gym. As we are growing and publicizing it more, we have more and more people who want to know about the experience of joining the gym and what they can expect. So, today we have a very special Happy Hour episode with three members of the Financial Gym talking about their experiences and what it has been like for them joining the gym! Their stories are honest and inspiring. I hope you enjoy learning about their journeys as much as I enjoy being a part of them through the Financial Gym.

What are we drinking?

Jennifer — Plum Loco wine

Kelly — Water because she is pregnant!

Maria — Mango Ciroc with cranberry juice

Shannon — Boxed Rosé

Podcast Notes

  • Kelly has had credit card debt since she was 18.
  • After their second child, she and her husband started panicking about their finances.
  • She googled “best financial podcast” and came across a podcast episode where Shannon was interviewed.
  • She immediately started listening to Shannon’s podcast and listened to all of the old Martinis and Your Money episodes.
  • She found out Shannon worked near her and reached out to become a Financial Gym client.
  • Kelly and Shannon have been working together for almost 2.5 years now.
  • Kelly and her husband now have over $62,000 in the bank and their third baby on the way!
  • Jennifer has been going to the gym since December 2016.
  • Like Kelly, she found Shannon and the gym through a podcast.
  • One of Jennifer’s main reasons for joining the gym was to tackle her student loan debt before she eventually gets married.
  • Since December 2016, she has paid down around $12,000 of her student loan debt!
  • Her goal is to pay down $20,170 by the end of this year.
  • She says you have to have big goals to get things done!
  • Maria came to the Financial Gym through a networking event with her company.
  • After that event, she knew the gym was where she needed to be and immediately became a member!
  • She told Shannon no one had ever looked at her finances, and Shannon was the first person Maria was ever “financially naked” with.
  • Shannon asks the ladies why they pay money to save money.
    • They all agree they pay to be members of the Financial Gym for the returns and the accountability.
  • Shannon then asks the ladies what the experience has been like talking about their finances with their trainers – if they have experienced any shame or judgment, if it was scary, etc.
    • The ladies discuss their past conversations (or lack thereof) about money and how they felt talking about money then compared to now.
  • The ladies discuss how they work with their trainers – either in person or virtually – and what that experience is like.
  • The ladies encourage anyone to sit down with a trainer and have a 15-minute intro session and take the first step to begin their financial journeys!
  • The ladies discuss the biggest rewards they have received as members of the Financial Gym.
  • TAKEAWAY: If you want to make a change in your financial life, the hardest part is taking that first step. When you are ready to take that first step, I hope you know the team at the Financial Gym is ready to go on that journey with you!

Random Three Questions

  1. Vanilla or chocolate?
  2. Game of Thrones – yay or nay?
  3. If you were to write a book, what would be the title of it?

Upward Mobility for Women

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martinis and your money

Upward Mobility for Women

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement about what she’s doing to change the way that businesses support upward mobility for women and also how women can climb the corporate ladder more effectively. Her cause and mission are near and dear to my heart and I hope you’re as inspired to make change as I am after listening to her.

We’re through our 2-month goal at the financial gym, but we’re constantly growing so if you or someone you know wants or needs some extra support to achieve your financial goals, send them to the gym. No matter where you are, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

What are we drinking?

Mariela — Homemade Rooibos Tea

Shannon — Earl Grey Tea

Podcast Notes

  • Mariela is a writer and speaker and has been in the United States for almost 30 years.
  • She is originally from Argentina.
  • She started working at a company that distributed educational books to schools, and she eventually bought it.
  • That company created a platform to help Latino parents better understand how to take advantage of the education system.
  • As she began her writing career, she first started writing books about education.
  • She eventually wrote her book, Find Your Inner Red Shoes, to help women find success.
  • The title of her book came from the company Mariela started, Red Shoe Movement, that is focused on diverse women’s career and leadership development.
  • Mariela and Shannon discuss the job interview process and the struggles women face during it.
  • The Red Shoe Movement also provides tools to help women move up in their careers.
  • Women are experiencing a double burden that is preventing them from growing – taking care of a family and being asked to be on call 24/7.
  • Mariela names some websites aiming to help women get on company boards – org, Womencorporatedirectors.org, & 2020wob.com
  • She believes flexibility should be the default of companies so people can decide where and when they want to work.
  • Shannon and Mariela agree that even if you love your work and find it enjoyable, you have to take time to do other things you enjoy.
  • Mariela says “women & men can do anything they want, but they cannot do everything!”
  • #RedShoeTuesday is a movement created to help raise awareness of the Red Shoe Movement.
  • Mariela emphasizes that any style of red shoes can symbolize this movement – not just red stilettos!
  • November 17, 2017 is the next annual RSM Signature Event in NYC and tickets are on sale now!
  • TAKEAWAY: Think about what you can do to help promote women through the ranks of companies!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is a book that has inspired you?
  2. Are you an appetizer or a dessert person?
  3. If you were to win a million dollars, what would you do with it?

 

Connect with Mariela:

Red Shoe Movement

RSM Step Up Program

Email

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Instagram

 

Craft a Job You Love

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martinis and your money

Craft a Job You Love

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Kate Gremillion, founder of Mavenly + Co – a company that provides young women with resources to design a career and lifestyle with purpose – about going from being an employee to being an intrepreneur. I think there’s too much focus these days on taking the leap and becoming an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, I can honestly say it’s not the right career path for everyone and I love the idea of creating the perfect job for you within the framework of an already established company. Kate is going to share her best practices and tips for how you can craft the right job for you without having to create it on your own. And now here’s Kate.

As a side note: the first Financial Gym location has opened in New York City at 226 5th Avenue, 5th Floor. Please stop by and have a drink with us if you are in the area or check out The Financial Gym online for its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life! We’ll kick your assets into shape!

What are we drinking?

Kate — Vodka soda with cherry mio

Shannon — Deep Eddy’s grapefruit vodka with club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Kate graduated college and was offered a job as a sorority consultant with a one-year term length.
  • That job let her travel to over 30 different states to work & talk with women about what their sorority meant to them.
  • It really opened her eyes to how so many college women were focused on the here and now and not focused on the real world.
  • After a year, she moved to Dallas, TX and began working with one of the biggest PR agencies in the world.
  • A month in, she realized how soul-sucking her new job was.
  • She didn’t see an opportunity where she was to eventually be happy.
  • Shannon says her clients that are unhappy with their jobs spend more money.
  • Kate sat down with other women and started asking how they designed a career they love – this lead to her blog & podcast and eventually Mavenly + Co.
  • Kate & Shannon agree that there are opportunities within the place you work that will provide happiness by taking initiative in your job.
  • This is called being an intrepreneur.
  • Kate’s advice for those wanting to advance their career where they already work includes:
    • Time-tracking – write down every single thing you do in your job and rate every task either positive or negative based on the way it makes you feel.
    • Work to solve problems within your workplace.
    • Take a career assessment to find your strengths.
    • Tell people what you are looking for.
    • Don’t be afraid to apply for a job that you don’t qualify for.
  • Shannon says you shouldn’t just think about how much you dislike your job, think about the solutions to make things better for you.
  • Kate says there are so many companies searching for intrepreneurs.
  • If you are giving everything you have to a company that doesn’t value you, then you may need to find something else.
  • TAKEAWAY: The number one way to make more money is within the place you work, and the best way to spend less money is to be happy in the place you work.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your biggest fail as an entrepreneur?
  2. Are you a dessert person or an appetizer person?
  3. What is a movie or book that changed your life?

Connect with Kate:

Mavenly + Co

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Email

Women, Work and Worth Podcast

Giving Back with Harlan Landes

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martinis and your money

Giving Back with Harlan Landes

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am once again talking to Harlan Landes, blogger, podcaster and founder of both the Plutus Awards and the Plutus Foundation. Harlan is here to answer MAYM listener Jen Dane’s question about how you can give back by sharing his story of why he started the Plutus Foundation and what it means to run a charitable foundation. This conversation covers several different ways you can give back both before and after you achieve your personal financial goals. Cheers!

Don’t forget to help my financial gym team achieve our big goal of 165 new clients in two months. We have until the end of June to reach this goal and I can’t wait to share with you our results at that point. No matter where you are, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

What are we drinking?

Harlan — Barefoot Riesling

Shannon — Schweppes Black Cherry Seltzer & vodka

Podcast Notes

  • Harlan started one of the first personal finance blogs – Consumerism Commentary – about 14 years ago.
  • He ultimately sold his blog and invested what he made from the sale.
  • He had the idea for starting a foundation on his mind since he was young and involved in the arts.
  • The first thing Harlan did was create a mission for the foundation – “Helping citizens of the world take control of their finances and to eliminate poverty.”
  • He says setting up the nonprofit foundation was probably the easiest part – maintaining it and making sure it is compliant is the hard part.
  • A lot of the initial work can begin as soon as you have an idea!
  • Shannon thought establishing a nonprofit would be the hardest part.
  • Harlan set up the Plutus Foundation as a charity and funded it with his own money in the beginning.
  • Shannon asks if he considered crowdfunding and he says crowdfunding is not always the best source of revenue and donations for charity.
  • The Plutus Foundation’s mission today is to provide grants to provide opportunities for the financial media to create, develop, and administer community-based programs that enhance financial literacy, education, and empowerment.
  • One project supported by the Plutus Foundation is Free, Ongoing Personal Finance Class for Teens by Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents
  • Harlan says if you can’t contribute financially, volunteer and help an organization you support.
  • You don’t have to have a million dollars to create an impact and give back!
  • TAKEAWAY: There are many ways you can give back to the universe and creating a foundation is one.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is a show you like to binge watch?
  2. What do you like to do for downtime?
  3. What do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?

Connect with Harlan:

Plutus Foundation

Podcast

Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money

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martinis and your money

Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking once again to Elle Martinez, host of the Couple Money Podcast and author of the new book – Jump Start Your Marriage and Your Money, about the various challenges we’ve seen couples face and how they can improve them to improve both their romantic and financial lives. Whether you are in a relationship or not, there is plenty to learn from this episode. Cheers!

As a side note: the first Financial Gym location has opened in New York City at 226 5th Avenue, 5th Floor. Please stop by and have a drink with us if you are in the area or check out The Financial Gym online for its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life! We’ll kick your assets into shape!

What are we drinking?

Elle — a Strawberry Blonde

Shannon — Tito’s & tonic

Podcast Notes

  • Elle interviews couples on her podcast to learn how they handle their finances.
  • She says all financially successful couples have clarity on their goals.
  • Shannon says couples should define their goals and not let others define their goals for them.
  • Once you know what you want, set things up so you are moving towards your goal – automate your finances!
  • Elle discusses what pushed her to write her book – Jump Start Your Marriage and Your Money.
  • The book is a 4-week guide to build the financial life you want as a couple.
  • In her book, she encourages couples to have “money dates”.
  • Communication is extremely important if you want to be on the same financial page as your partner.
  • Shannon calls Elle the “Queen of Money Dates”.
  • Elle suggests celebrating financial wins at the beginning of the money date and then review your financial situation together – do both a big picture review and a month-to-month review.
  • Shannon asks Elle how she advises couples who fight when they discuss money together.
  • Money usually isn’t the problem; it is a symptom of something deeper within a marriage.
  • If you and your partner fight about money, Shannon suggests spending the time during your money dates discussing your goals in depth instead of money so you have a clear definition of where you want to go.
  • Once a goal is set, your money choices will revolve around that goal.
  • When looking at numbers, couples must remind themselves that even though they have a goal, they also need to be happy while achieving that goal.
  • The journey to achieving your goals as a couple is just as important as the end result!
  • TAKEAWAY: The start of any great relationship begins with a strong foundation – and money, whether we like to acknowledge it or not, is part of every relationship and needs to be a part of that foundation!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your biggest money relationship regret?
  2. What is a show that you like to binge watch?
  3. What do you do for downtime?

Connect with Elle:

Book

Website

Podcast

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

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martinis and your money

Stop Making Excuses

Today is the last Friday of the month and in case you are new to this blog or my podcast, on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour on my podcast where the happy hour ladies and I talk about various money topics while drinking cheap drinks! Today, we are talking about a topic that Tonya suggested – excuses we make as to why we aren’t making financial changes in our lives. I thought it was a great idea because I see this quite a bit in the Financial Gym. To skip our rambling in the beginning of this episode, fast forward to about 10 minutes in. Otherwise, enjoy my rambling group of fantastic friends! Cheers!

Don’t forget that we are also in the middle of a big campaign at the Financial Gym, and I hope you’ll help me and the Financial Gym team achieve our big goal of 165 new clients in two months. We have a month to go on this campaign and we’ve had over 75 new clients sign up. Many have been listeners of this show, and I just have to tell you how much I appreciate that and you! Any of my trainers or team who speaks with or works with listeners of this show always say amazing things about you, and I say I’m not surprised because I’ve known you’re amazing people for over 2 years now. Thank you for the support so far!

If you want to get started on your own financial fitness journey or send friends, you can go to financialgym.com/friends – the listener who refers the most new clients in the next 2 months will get three months of free financial training with me!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — a Mezcal Negroni

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Cabernet

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Bota Box Malbec

Shannon — Vodka & Black Cherry Schweppes also known as Vodka Foo Foo

Podcast Notes

  • Tonya suggested this topic because she has recently noticed a pattern of others justifying their excessive spending.
  • She says people justify their spending to make themselves feel less guilty.
  • Shannon says some of the worst excuses she sees are when people blame their spending on their children.
  • Tonya admits she justifies the cost of her gym membership.
  • The ladies discuss how many people trust seminars and the advice they receive which often lead to terrible financial mistakes.
  • If you want to save more and spend less, you have to work for it!
  • Do the work and you’ll get results.
  • Melanie recognizes that she often saves money in one area and then justifies spending the amount she saves on something else.
  • Frugalwoods says she often fails to plan ahead – especially for dinner – and justifies it to get take out.
  • She suggests eating the same things over and over again to make meal planning easy and stress-free.
  • The ladies all agree dinner does not have to be a 5-star meal every night.
  • You work hard for your money, so you should make it hard for you to spend it!
  • When traveling, pack snacks so you don’t have to spend money on airport food.
  • Tonya says another big excuse she hears is people saying they want to live their life and don’t want to miss out because of money.
  • The only person hurt by justifying your spending is you!
  • TAKEAWAY: We can all make excuses and justifications for why we’re not making change, but it’s not until you stop telling yourself those stories that you’ll truly be open to achieving the financial success that you’re meant to achieve!

What excuses to do you continue to make for your money situation?

Life After Bankruptcy

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martinis and your money

Life After Bankruptcy

Today I’m talking to Natalie Jean Baptiste, an attorney who found herself with over $200,000 in student loan and consumer debt and decided to declare bankruptcy. It was certainly not the path she envisioned when she was in law school, but sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to rise up again. She shared how she made the decision to declare bankruptcy, why it makes sense for some people and how her career changed because of the whole experience.

What are we drinking?

Natalie:

Shannon

Podcast Notes

  • Natalie and Shannon both discuss how getting into school was the bigger concern for high school grads that paying for the school
  • Natalie said that 3-4 years after graduating from law school, she started to realize that her student loan debt was a problem
  • Natalie was working as an entertainment lawyer but not making enough money to cover her debt payments
  • Natalie not only had student loan debt, but she also had credit card debt
  • Natalie realized she needed to file for bankruptcy but couldn’t afford the $2,500 lawyer fee, so she decided to represent herself
  • Natalies says that if you don’t have a solid debt repayment plan (excluding longer term debts like student loans and mortgages) that could happen within 3-5 years, then you could be a candidate for a bankruptcy filing
  • Natalie talks about how filing for bankruptcy is like a divorce and sometimes you need it for moving on to a healthier place
  • Shannon talks about how she feels colleges and universities keep students from getting financially educated just to keep raising their tuitions
  • Natalie discusses what debts are dischargeable and what are not in bankruptcy court
  • Natalie then tells about her experience of trying to get her student loan debt discharged in bankruptcy court and the two year long process of getting a resolution
  • Natalie had $156,000 in Federal student loan debt and settled it for $36,000 at 0% interest
  • Natalie is now helping people with bankruptcy or student loan debt through My Student Loan Counselor
Random Three Questions
  1. What was your favorite class in high school?
  2. What is a book you’ve read that changed your life?
  3. If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?

Don’t forget to help my financial gym team achieve our big goal of 165 new clients in two months and go to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

Have you ever thought about filing for bankruptcy?

Making Big Changes

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martinis and your money

Making Big Changes

As I shared on previous shows, my team at The Financial Gym, the company I started, has set a major goal in an effort to attract venture capital investors and we need your help to accomplish it. In two months, we plan to sign up 165 new clients of The Financial Gym. If you’ve ever thought about joining or know someone who could use the personalized attention of my financial fitness trainers to achieve their financial goals, send them to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today.

We launched this effort a few weeks back and we’ve had over 50 new clients join the gym and I have to tell you that all of our new clients make me thankful we’re here and doing what we’re doing. We’ve had people join who are under invested in their 401ks, people who have spent their way into 10s of thousands of dollars of credit card debt, people who were being counseled into bankruptcy and people currently working with financial advisors who are not helping them with their total journey. I’m thankful I’ve created a financial services business that cares for people of all financial shapes and sizes. So thank you for sending people our way and I hope you continue to do so knowing that we will take great care of them. So go to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends and get started on achieving your financial dreams today!

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Casey DeStefano, mentor, coach and host of the Women with Balls… in the Air podcast, about preparing yourself for making big changes in your life and having the guts to do it. I hope this conversation inspires you to do just that! Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Casey — Bacardi & Coke

Shannon — Deep Eddy Grapefruit vodka & club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Casey started her career as television/film producer & director.
  • After having her children and taking time off, she started her own production company.
  • Both Casey and Shannon’s businesses were built by bartering services at first.
  • Casey aims to help women take back their lives.
  • She says fear is the main reason for why women are not succeeding and you must wage a war on it!
  • Her fear-fighting strategy is:
    • Know the enemy and that the enemy has a secret weapon called the ‘comfort zone’
    • Use your own secret weapon – your passion
    • F
  • Shannon discusses how she experiences fear all the time but she pushes through.
  • Being scared doesn’t mean you don’t have courage to do the things you’re frightened of.
  • You have to re-train your brain by becoming aware that fear is okay and you can conquer it.
  • You must look at your comfort zone as a refueling zone instead of as a permanent place to hangout.
  • Shannon asks Casey how to help someone who has no idea what their passion is in life and has no idea how to find it.
  • Shannon was in her 30s before she figured out her passion!
  • Don’t be afraid to do what you are passionate about and stop caring what anyone else thinks.
  • Casey talks about people are afraid of the word ‘no’ but hearing no builds character.
  • Failure is the strongest lesson in life.
  • There are so many things that make us afraid so it is so important to have a solution to beat that fear.
  • Casey is offering Martinis and Your Money listeners a free 30-minute coaching call on fear and strategizing how to achieve any goal you have – visit com/rock2017 to book your consult!
  • TAKEAWAY: Don’t be afraid of making leaps and taking chances, you can truly always go backward or overcome a financial setback it might lead to, but you will never know what could have been unless you make that leap!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your big goal for 2017?
  2. What do you do to relax?
  3. If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?

Connect with Casey:

Website

Schedule your free 30-min call

Podcast

Facebook

Don’t forget to help my financial gym team achieve our big goal of 165 new clients in two months and go to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 What’s the last big change you made?