Getting Naked with Stacey
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. Now this is a regular series on this podcast. Getting in the hot seat today and getting financially naked with you is Stacey, a Financial Gym client with a not-so-pretty past financial life, hoping you will learn from her mistakes.
What Are We Drinking?
Stacey — Zolo Rosé
Shannon — Irony Pinot Noir
- Stacey recently gave birth to her first child, Scarlett, in 2018.
- She is a molecular scientist, and she works at a company that does personalized diagnostics. She does the DNA and RNA sequencing and processes the data to match treatments. Her company was recently acquired, so she is not sure what is going to happen with that transition.
- Stacey is married and she and her husband live in San Diego. She has a great home and she has a rescue dog named Lena. She is now trying to navigate motherhood.
- Stacey is 30 years old and she was married and divorced before. She could not have imagined having kids with her first husband. Stacey’s parents got divorced right after the honeymoon of her first marriage, and she realized she changed her values because of who she was with.
- When she met her current husband, she wanted to have kids with him and was excited when she found out she was pregnant.
- She found out she was pregnant three weeks after she and her husband eloped.
- Dating after being divorced is different than if you were never married.
- Both Stacey and her husband are spenders and live outside their means.
- Stacey’s parents paid for college and her cars. She had jobs when she was in school, but it was for spending money. She never had to work to pay for living expenses. Until you are hungry, the changes won’t happen, because you don’t feel the pain of it. She had poor money management skills in general.
- Stacey treated debit cards like gift cards – try it and see how much is on it.
- She never had accountability, because she kept getting bailed out when she overdrew her account.
- When her first husband was in the Marine Corp, he gave her $10,000 to use for rent for when he was gone, and she mismanaged it. She was about 22 or 23, was not yet married to him, and was going out all the time. She used the money on hair, nails, and going out. His parents were the first ones to call her out on it.
- Her in-laws helped her get the money she needed to pay for rent and then she took a Dave Ramsey course to figure out how to manage money.
- Stacey donated eggs to make money. She had to fill out a detailed questionnaire, go through psychological testing, and sign legal documents. When they went to retrieve the eggs, there was nothing there and they told her she was not ovulating. Later, she was surprised when she got pregnant within four months of going off birth control.
- It took having a child for Stacey to realize that she is trading her time to work and she needs to treat her money with the same respect as time.
- She transferred her bailouts from her family to her spouse. No one let her hit rock bottom.
- She got married to her first husband after he returned from Afghanistan, and her marriage ended after about a year and a half.
- After the divorce, she wanted to stay in California. Her parents, who were in Texas, told her she would need to do it on her own if she stayed there.
- She started pulling money out of her Roth and 401(k) and she is still paying off the taxes. She was pulling money out of the accounts until last fall. She also took out a personal loan to consolidate her debt, but she ended up re-maxing out her credit cards.
- She went on maternity leave and thought she would need to pay about $4,000 for the hospital bill, so her husband put that into an account.
- Stacey received 55 percent pay from the State and about 12 percent from her company and she was going to use that for debt payments. She had credit card bills along with her personal loan, but her husband didn’t realize how much she had in debt.
- Stacey didn’t think she would spend anything when she was on maternity leave, but a lot of little expenses came up. She decided to take a full 12-week leave, but the last six weeks were unpaid so she went back to work two days a week. During that time, she had to pay a part-time nanny.
- Stacey was making minimum payments to her different bills, but her financial situation was crashing down, because she couldn’t keep up.
- After Stacey hired a full-time nanny and went back to work for a couple of weeks, she realized that everything was in the red. She was at work and her husband said he put more money in her account to get her in the green, but then she missed her minimum balance in her Wells Fargo account and was back in the red within an hour.
- She didn’t have money for lunch, so she went in her car and googled “best financial podcasts” and Martinis and Your Money was on a list of 10 podcast. It was the only one that looked interesting, so she started listening.
- A couple of weeks later a debt collector called her at work and her coworker answered the phone. Stacey put her head in the sand and didn’t pick up the call.
- She never wants to be in that position again and she started changing her spending habits right after listening to the podcast and having her Financially Naked session at the Financial Gym.
- Questions from the financially naked discovery questions:
- Birthday: 30 years old
- Salary: $95,153.76
- Pay Cycle: twice a month
- Net Pay: $4,800
- USAA checking account: $189.69
- Wells Fargo checking account: $930.37
- Wells Fargo savings account: -$4.72
- 401(k): $4,224.97
- Rollover IRA: $0.03
- Roth IRA: $0.01
- Student Loan: None
- Mortgage: None
- USAA Credit Card: $14,330.13
- Citi Card: $5,188.46
- Capital One Card: $274.92
- Debt Collector: $540 (medical bills for birth)
- Radiology Bill: $90
- Dental Bill: $250
- Personal Loan #1: $738.56
- Personal Loan #2: $1,835.22
- Credit Score: 504 Transunion; 489 Equifax
- Car Loan: $7,933.67 (2.85%, $285/month)
- IRS Debt: $320
- Auto Insurance: $100
- Rent: $3,400 (she pays $1,500)
- Electric: $70
- Internet: $50
- Formula: $200 – $250
- Nanny: $1,440 (she pays half)
- Financial Gym: $68
- Life Insurance: $28.72
- Will/Trust: Will and medical directive; needs it notorized
- Children: one daughter
- Average Monthly Expenses: $4,200
- Freelancing through Upwork: $500/week
- Goals 1-3 years: Debt free by 12/31/20, hopefully sooner; raise her credit score back to excellent; start an emergency fund; start Scarlett’s college fund; get educated on investing; get a Scarlett tattoo; take a vacation to Greece; maximize her 401(k) contribution to get the full match
- Goals 3-5 years: Go back to school
- Goals long-term: Buy a house within 10 years; retire on time or early
- What’s important to you (sacred cows): her daughter (formula and the nanny) and time with family
Takeaway: My biggest takeaway is what I always say at the Financial Gym: everything you do financially is fixable. Short of death, everything is fixable. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, or feel like you are not where you should be, don’t stress about it, just get a plan in place and start working on it. I am so proud of Stacey for doing that.
Random Three Questions
- What are your top two or three podcasts?
- If this was your last night on earth, what would be your last meal?
- What is a show you like to binge watch?
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.
As many of you know, we increased our rates in 2019 for new clients, but I have instituted a 15% discount for Martinis and Your Money listeners going forward, so the new rates will not impact you. If you’re ready to manifest your dreams in 2019, like Stacey, head over to, or send friends to, financialgym.com to get signed up today.