Money Mastermind: How to Surround Yourself With Positive People To Uplevel Your Financial Game

There is a saying that you are a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. But how does that translate to your money? Talking about money can be awkward (hello! that's why I have a job as a financial therapist) but you can find a likeminded group of people to support you in your financial goals. It's a book club-mastermind hybrid, and it is going to level up your money game. In this video, I’ll show you how to search for others who have similar financial goals (often saving, debt repayment, or investing), how to reach out to them, and how to structure your meet-ups to maximize everyone’s time. Watch the video above for all the details.

TIP: If you are somewhere where you are unable to listen to the video (under your desk at work, cough cough) be sure to click on the ‘CC’ button to get closed captioning so you can read along.

Want some activities to use at your Money Mastermind? Grab your FREE worksheets below:

Values-Based Spending Freebie

Financial Thoughts--Feelings--Behaviors Freebie (CBT Triangle)

How to Start an In-Person Mastermind (and Why you Need One)

Have you heard the statistics that 90% of small businesses fail in the first year? Don't let yours be one of them. Are you looking for help with your business that doesn't involve constantly running to google? Good news! There are TONS of small business owners who are full of first-hand knowledge and experience who are looking to connect with people like you! I'll break down what a mastermind is, why you should have one, and why I personally vote for an in-person mastermind whenever possible. Watch the video above for the details, the rundown is below.

  1. Identify people whose businesses you admire

  2. Find people in a similar stage of business

  3. Ensure that the people are close enough to connect with IN PERSON

  4. Reach out to gauge interest! Get comfortable doing a cold-ish email or DM

  5. Create guidelines for the group to keep it productive and positive

// Mastermind Businesses Mentioned

Think Beyond the Book: Successful Marketing for Aspiring & Self-Published Authors

--Lauren Ranalli

Hold Space Creative

--Monica Kovach

Makamashi

--Ida Rajabian

J Eliza Creative, Career Pivot Coach

--Julie Tobi

How to Have a Successful Money Date

If you want to get financially aligned with your partner, you need to be having regular money dates! Couples stressed about the impact money has on their relationship are a large part of my client base. In this video, I break down what a money date is, and how to successfully have one with your other half. These are the exact tips and techniques I use in my financial therapy sessions with clients. Here's the summary, watch the video as I break down each step!

1) Take a Step Back—Look at the history of where your beliefs about money came from

2) Mind your "Always" and "Nevers"

3) Dream Big—Collaborate together on what you want to achieve financially that aligns with your values as a coulple.

4) Look at your Spending

Get on the Same Financial Page as Your Partner

How do you handle it when you are on a different page—financially speaking—than your partner? I see so many clients who are in various phases of getting aligned with their financial relationship. When you are in a partnership where you are on different phases, don’t freak out! I walk through how to talk to your partner about this so you can be #couplegoals. Watch above, or scan through the bullet points below.

  • Own your own money story and remember that money is often emotionally charged

  • Make sure you are on a team—collaborate and agree on goals as a couple. Many couples find having separate or multiple savings accounts helps them visualize their progress towards their financial goals

  • Carve out time for a money date

  • Think long-term. What happens if you don’t make any changes to your finances? What financial goals do you have within the next five years?

What to Do When Your Credit Card is Declined

EEEkkkk! Talk about awkward! What do you do when your credit card is declined? In this video, I break down what you can do in the moment, and what to think about to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. The bullet points are below:

  • Try a different card

  • Cancel your purchase

  • Run to an ATM—Offer collateral if needed

  • Switch to a debit card

  • Set an alert on your card to ping you when you’ve started charging too much

10 Do's and Don'ts when visiting Amsterdam

I’m taking a little creative liberty and departure from my how-to videos. I recently went to Amsterdam using travel hacking and wanted to share some tips from first-hand experience. Enjoy!

If you are thinking about a trip to Amsterdam or have a trip coming up, you must watch to see what you should, and shouldn't do, to ensure you make the most of your time in the beautiful Dutch city. Locations mentioned/shown listed below:

  • Vondelpark

  • De Pizzabakkers

  • The Breakfast Club

  • Mama Makan (Indonesian rijsttafel)

  • Canal Ring/Red Light District

  • Jordaan Neighborhood

  • The Pancake Bakery

  • Anne Frank Huis

  • Brouwerij't IJ

  • CT Coffee and Coconuts

  • Hyatt Regency Amsterdam

  • Artis Zoo and De Plantage

  • Koffie Academie

  • Zaanse Shans

  • Heineken Experience

  • A'DAM Tower

  • Van Gogh Shop

What You Need to Know About Credit Scores

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I talk about credit a lot. As a financial therapist, some of my time with clients is spent simply ensuring that they understand all the financial terms that get thrown around. An area ripe for confusion is credit scores. I realize I haven’t broken down what goes into a credit score. In this video, I answer the questions: What is a credit score? Why is it important? And, how can I find it?

  • WHAT Your credit score is a three-digit number that ranges from 300 to 850, that tells lenders whether you are a safe person to lend money to. You should really be aiming for a credit score for 700 or higher. Even though 850 is considered perfect, once you pass the 700-740 mark, it’s basically all considered excellent. You really don’t want that score to dip below 600 because your odds of getting approved for things is low and the odds that you’ll have a higher interest rate increases.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t want a credit card. A credit score helps with many aspects of your financial life and may come into play in other ways.

Your credit score impacts things like your car insurance rates, loans, whether or not you can be approved for a mortgage or apartment, and some employers now pull credit scores, especially if you are doing anything in the financial world. Even if you aren’t a “credit card person,” you still need to have a good credit score.

  • How? How does your credit score get calculated? There are so many myths out there about how your credit score gets calculates so I’m going to break it down for you as there are a few factors that go into it.

The two biggest are:

  • On-time payments--Accounts for 35% of your score. On-time payments means you are making your payments on-time, pretty straightforward.

  • Credit utilization or credit ratio--Accounts for 30% of your credit score. This one is a bit trickier to break down. You want to be utilizing 30% or less of the credit you have available to you. Let’s say you have a credit card with a limit of $1,000, you want to not have more than $300 charged onto that card. If you are charging $600, $900 out of that $1,000 limit, your credit score will go down because you are using a higher percentage of the credit available to you. This is why people in the travel hacking game often say their credit score goes up. Because they continue to spend little compared to the amount of credit extended to them. So they go from having a $1,000 credit limit up to $50 or $70,000 limit but they are still charging very little on it which makes their credit utilization lower, and thus, better.

  • Length of credit--15% of your score. How long you’ve had your credit line open

  • New credit--10% of your score

  • Types of credit--10% of your score. This is a variety of types of “loans” or credit. For example, a credit card is considered different than a car loan or a mortgage.

So really, the bulk of it is to pay your stuff on time and to not over-extend yourself as those two factors make up such a large part of your credit score.

  • Finding your score. Finally, how do you find that credit score? Most credit card companies or banks will offer your credit score for free. If not, you can try sites like credit karma or credit sesame (not sponsored). They pull up your credit report and take a look at the different factors that are impacting your score.

That's it! I hope I've answered your questions about what a credit score is, what factors impact it, and how you can find your credit score.


Saving Money when Traveling as a Couple

I love traveling as a part of a couple and encourage all of my financial therapy clients to take trips together to create memories, build security, and deepen a couple’s connection. In this video, I’m going to walk you through the ways that you can save money when you travel with your partner.

  1. Lodging. No matter how you look at it, your dollar is going to go farther when you have two people. Let’s say you had a budget of $100 per night for a hotel, and once you add another person to that, it’s more like $50 per night. The other way to look at it if you want to bump up your travel experience is if you are still willing to pay $100 per night, your partner can throw in $100 and now you have doubled your hotel budget!

  2. Double those credit card rewards. The nice thing is when you travel with a partner is that you both get to earn credit card rewards. With most rewards cards, you can share miles with a spouse. Maybe you have 15k hotel points while your partner has 5k points and a free night costs 20k points. Rather than waiting to reach the 20k mark, you can combine those points to get to your free night quicker.

  3. Sharing meals. This is especially true if you are traveling in North America where meals tend to be larger. So when you head to dinner, just ask for a second plate and then you can share that meal . Then you also have room for dessert, which is always a bonus.

  4. Use cash-back sites like Ibotta or Ebates. Each of them are essentially online coupon sites but you don’t have to worry about keeping track of codes. You install the app or the add-on to your browser and you automatically get between 1 and 10% cash back. Ebates is a little better at online merchants and Ibotta is better at brick-and-mortar stores. If you are going to be buying things anyway for your trip, you might as well get some cash back.

  5. Travel in shoulder season. Shoulder season is a fancy way to say off-peak season travel. If you are traveling as a couple, it means you don’t have to contend with kids which means you can save money by traveling outside of the times that many people are taking their vacations. For example, instead of traveling around spring break, you can travel a little before or after that time period. Why? Because those airlines and hotels are still looking for customers. They tend to drop those prices to entice more people to travel at off-peak times. So if you are traveling as a couple, be sure to travel NOT around the holidays and you are likely to save money.

  6. Share a bag. If you are flying. Most airlines are going to charge you anywhere from $25-50 for a bag, so if you can cram it all into one suitcase you’re in good shape. I know that sounds a little bit crazy, but if you know me, you know I love my travel packing cubes. They are essentially like vacuum seal bags without dealing with the hassle of the vacuum. If you have travel cubes, you can stuff them full, zip them up, and throw them all in one person’s bag. The problem is that that bag will probably be heavier, but you still only have one bag.

  7. If you are traveling internationally do some shopping at duty-free before you come home. Duty-free is more than just booze; they often have perfume, makeup, clothes, different local food items, etc. So you can get your shopping done on the cheap. That doesn’t have a ton to do with couple travel, except that you can double the amount you can bring home.

Those are some of my best tips for saving money when traveling as a couple. What did I miss?