Getting Financially Naked with Kayla
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.
A few months back on this podcast, I shared my financially naked session and it led to a request for more. Getting in the hot seat today is our client Kayla. She started her journey with us to getting financially healthy only to take a huge step in another direction, which was certainly not part of the original plan. She joins me today to share her story and how that impacted her finances.
What Are We Drinking?
Kayla — Opolo Rosé
Shannon — Grapefruit Schweppes and Vodka
- Shannon met Kayla at Lola Retreat and at the Money Tribe Meeting in L.A.
- Over the last three months, Shannon has visited the top four Money Tribe locations and San Francisco.
- The L.A. group has been meeting up every month and they went on a Saturday hike recently. Kayla likes the accountability of the group and Crystal, her Financial Trainer.
- Another New York Financial Gym is needed, because they are outgrowing that space. That will happen alongside the D.C. Gym. D.C. will be the first non-New York Gym and they have narrowed down two spots for two more physical locations. Once the D.C. location build is finalized, the L.A. location will be next.
- Shannon set a goal to go to all of the tribes during the first quarter of the year. Being with everyone and asking where they should put the new Gyms has motivated Shannon to raise the money she needs to get them up and running.
- In January 2018, Kayla was reading an article in the New York Times about upleveling your finances and getting your finances on track. This led her to the book Your Money or Your Life, which completely upended everything she had learned about finances and saving up to that point.
- In a small workshop in college, she learned that if you are saving five to ten percent of your income, you are doing great. After reading the book, she learned that she could save 30% or more of her income.
- Kayla then started listening to podcasts including Martinis and Your Money, which she leaned about by hearing Shannon on another podcast.
- One year ago, Kayla decided to sign up as a client of the Gym. She benefits from external motivation and having someone help her lay out a plan was critical. The time has gone so quickly and she has changed and her goals have shifted. She now feels more ownership over her finances.
- It is the little changes you make that add up over time.
- Sometimes it is difficult to stay motivated and focus when the changes aren’t massive, but it is worth it.
- Kayla veered off the road a few times, but Crystal helped get her back on track. The important thing is for clients to feel good about their decisions and not have any regrets.
- Wherever you are is exactly where you need to be. If you are listening to this podcast, you are already miles ahead on educating yourself on your finances.
- Don’t feel guilty or regretful of the past, just continue to look forward. Small steps really do add up.
- When Kayla started at the Gym, she was in a different job. She recently changed jobs. She worked in the higher education field for most of her career and moved from a traditional campus role to working for an ed tech startup.
- When she joined the Gym, she wasn’t planning on looking for a new job. Career change was a goal that she outlined with Crystal, but she was originally focused on saving toward a skills training course.
- Kayla reached a point in her previous job where she felt better walking the path of risk taking and challenging herself to get the new role than she did suffering day after day in her position.
- She considered the financial impact of the job change and intentionally saved to have a cushion.
- The Gym is obsessive about clients saving for the emergency fund/larger life fund. It is freeing to have it there. It gives you more choice and freedom to dictate where you want your life to go versus having to be somewhere. There is nothing worse than having to be someplace, especially if it is to stay in a place of unhappiness.
- After six months of joining the Gym, Kayla established her emergency fund. She went from someone who was just marginally spending more than she was making for a long time to the emergency fund being her biggest focus. It saved her a lot down the road when things went crazy.
- If you are thinking of changing jobs, find out what your company’s policy is on paying unused vacation time. It may be the deciding factor.
- Unused vacation payouts are different based on what state you live in and the company. The payout could really add up.
- Questions from the financially naked discovery questionnaire:
- Birthday: 12/21/86
- Job: Works at an ed tech company
- Salary: $70,000
- Kayla’s Net Pay: $1,900/bi-weekly
- USAA Checking Account: $1,656
- Discover Emergency Savings Account: $8,402
- Betterment Account IRA: $70,049
- Roth IRA: $6,197
- Transamerica Retirement through work: $355
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card: $234
- Alaska Airlines Credit Card: $41
- USAA Credit Card: $0
- Car Loan: Paid off in January (was $3,830 when she started)
- Net Worth Increase: $24,000 (Goal: $100,000 by Dec 31)
- Credit Score: was 790 in January; a couple weeks ago it was at 756
- Rent/Utilities: $1,500/month (split evenly between her and her boyfriend)
- Auto Insurance: $90/month
- Health Insurance: Yes
- Life Insurance: through work
- Long-Term Disability: through work
- Will: Yes
- Children: No
- Average Monthly Expenses: $1,820
- Goals 1-3 years: get net worth over $100,000; save $10,000 to $20,000 for continuing education; continue saving and investing
- Goals 3-5 years: Increase income
- Goals long-term: Saving for financial independence
- What’s important to you (sacred cows): traveling to see family and health
- Kayla took a substantial pay cut ($16,000 – a 28% reduction) to take her new job. She was willing to take the pay cut, because it still put her in a comfortable place and she was gaining a lot of other things. She now works fully remotely, and she doesn’t spend and hour plus in her car getting to work every day.
- When she tallied up the pros and cons it was things like this that she couldn’t put a monetary value on but she knew it would have lots of effects on her overall happiness and satisfaction.
- Research consistently shows that we undervalue time and overvalue money.
- The Gym has a lot of clients on an exercise now of how do they lower their cost of living so they can have more flexibility in their job.
- Before Shannon started the Gym, she was living a lifestyle where she had to make $200,000.
- When Kayla was in transition to her new job, she picked up a side hustle, freelance writing, that earned about $200 – $250 per month, depending on how many hours she worked.
- Kayla was unemployed for about four months before she started working at her current job six weeks ago.
- Her assets have increased by $21,000 in the last year, even with taking a job cut and being unemployed for four months.
- Shannon really focuses on clients’ cash, and Kayla’s cash is up by $3,000.
Takeaway: My biggest takeaway is the value that financial health can give you when making life changes, especially around jobs. The more healthy you are financially, the more options you have for making changes when you need to.
Random Three Questions
- Do you have an interest in traveling, and if so, other than traveling to visit family, where would you like to go?
- What are some of the other podcasts you listen to?
- If this was your last night on earth, what would be your last meal?
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 Kayla in 2019, head over to or send friends to, financialgym.com to get signed up today.