Podcast

Episode 388

Nov 26, 2021

The word "budget" gets a bad rap when it doesn't really deserve it. Listen to Michael and Allissa discuss how to get unstuck with values based budgeting.

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EPISODE 388

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Get Unstuck With Values-based Budgeting

Quick Tips

  • Don’t confuse ‘doing a thing because I like it’ with ‘doing a thing because I want to be seen as the sort of person who does such things’

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

This episode is sponsored by PocketSuite. PocketSuite is an all-in-one app that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule and get booked online by clients, and manage all your forms, and notes, and contracts, and payments and reminders, all of the things! All within the PocketSuite app and it is all HIPAA compliant, my friends. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner, PocketSuite helps you save time and make a good living. A massage therapist can be up and running on PocketSuite in 15 minutes. Our podcast listeners can get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year of PocketSuite. And, for more information you can visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite.

Allissa Haines:

Hello everyone, welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, improve your quality of life. This right is here is Allissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, and this is Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And, we are delighted that you're joining us today. Michael, what's going on? How are you doing, how are you feeling?

Michael Reynolds:

So many questions, oh my goodness. Let's see, what's going on? It is the week of Thanksgiving. Kiddo is home from school today, probably will have a Minecraft date online with friends. Yeah, that's what's going on. As far as what I'm reading, I don't have anything on the list today so I'm going to kick it to you on that. And, how I'm feeling, great. I'm feeling great. I'm getting a massage today so that's awesome. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

That's wonderful!

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. How about you, what have you got?

Allissa Haines:

I read, over the past weekend, a book called Malibu Rising by an author, Taylor Jenkins Reid. I really like her books. It's fiction, it's great. I was trying to find the ... Oh, there it is. I've read two of her other books, Daisy Jones and the Six, and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which probably stands out as one of the top fiction pieces I've ever read in my lifetime. But, this particularly story, Malibu Rising is a story of four brothers and sisters, and their dad's a famous singer dude, and just about their relationship growing up and different things that happen with each of their parents. But, it's told from each character's perspective. Each character's story told on their own and then, they're woven together.

Allissa Haines:

It's just a really great piece of fiction. It was interesting, it was fun, it was sweet, and it was exactly what I needed to read and what I needed to chill out last weekend. So, Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid. Once you read that, or even before, maybe check out some of her other books.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice, thanks for sharing that. Also, as a side note, I wanted to mention this. I have been told by a listener recently that the what are you reading and the quick tips part of our podcast are her favorite parts of the podcast. She says she learns something really cool every time we do a what are you reading and a quick tips so I thought that was interesting. Nice to hear.

Allissa Haines:

That's nice!

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. So, Michael, who is our first sponsor today?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, our friends at Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

They sure are. This episode is indeed sponsored by the original Jojoba company. You know how I feel about this. I think that if we're going to have our hands in something 10, 15, 20 hours a week, it needs to be really good. Not just for the client, but for our bodies. I really like that Jojoba is non comedogenic, so it won't clog pores. So if you have clients that have super sensitive skin, or just a lot of acne breakouts, Jojoba is really great for them. And, I'll say it again, one of my favorite things as well is that it doesn't go rancid. It doesn't have triglycerides, like many products do, and so it means it won't get rancid and go bad. Which means you can put eight ounces in a bottle, throw your favorite essential oil in there and you're not going to lose that essential oil because, in three months, your oil gets nasty because the Jojoba will not get nasty. It's great.

Allissa Haines:

You can get 20% off the price of the product if you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. Those have really great email stuff going on now, so if you go visit the website you should get on their email list, because they are having occasional sales off of half gallon or gallons, and also some free shipping sales now and again. It's worth getting on their email list. And, that is what I have to say, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

Yay!

Allissa Haines:

Okay. Michael, you're covering a topic today. We like to rope you in, every so often, for some money stuff. This is a topic that I think you talked about a little bit in your Wealth Redefined Podcast, for your financial advising business, which everyone could totally go listen to. And, I'm really excited so please talk to us about values based budgeting.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. We're going to talk about get unstuck with values based budgeting today. And yeah, as Allissa mentioned, in my other life, I'm an independent financial advisor, I have a podcast there as well. And, I interviewed an author named Bari Tessler, who's the author of The Art of Money. It is a book that you can pick up wherever fine books are sold. She was fun to talk to and there was one piece of her book that we talked about. I'm going to borrow that and bring it over today for our discussion, because I think it's a really interesting life hackish kind of thing that seems to help a lot of people relate to money, and specifically budgeting and cashflow better. And, it's called values based budgeting. Again, this is from Bari Tessler, author of The Art of Money if you want to pick up the book and read more about it.

Michael Reynolds:

But, let's talk about budgeting and cashflow, and this is on the personal side. I'm pretty convinced this can be used in business bookkeeping as well, although it's a little more problematic if you're working with accountants, and the labels you use might be difficult to translate. But, let's go ahead and just focus on personal budgeting for now. So, while this isn't specifically a hey, how to run your massage business kind of topic, I think it does relate to massage business because anything that helps you manage your personal money and cashflow better is just going to be good for everything in life. Business overall, and everything.

Michael Reynolds:

Let's talk about budgeting. Budget is such a loaded and emotionally charged word. Allissa and I are huge fans of budgeting, we use the word budget freely. We are in love with budgeting and we use YNAB as our budgeting tool, and we talk about it a lot. We're not necessarily like everybody. Some people love budgeting like we do, but many people have challenges when it comes to managing their cashflow. Money coming in, money going out, tracking expenses, forecasting expenses, all that stuff that goes with budgeting can be very emotionally charged, and problematic and can be just ugh. We just don't enjoy budgeting, sometimes.

Allissa Haines:

Can I hop in?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I do want to note that, while Michael and I are money geeks, this was not always the case. And, he and I both are people who may not have used credit wisely in our pasts, and have worked really hard to dig out of debt. So, know that this didn't necessarily and doesn't necessarily come intuitively or happily to anybody. Usually, these kinds of epiphanies of having to make a dramatic in your financial life, or even deciding to make small, incremental changes, come from a place of disaster. And, know as Michael moves forward with this, that both of us have been in this position.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

In fact, I'll just side note for new listeners, Michael, when he went to massage school, put the entire tuition on his credit card.

Michael Reynolds:

I was about to mention that.

Allissa Haines:

I know, it's my favorite little thing. We have a lot of new listeners. Yeah. If you feel intimidated by this, just let it plant a seed, you don't have to take action today if you don't want to. But, know that this comes from a place of we have been there. And also, we have both made attempts to adjust our budgets based on our values. I just wanted to pop that in, in case anybody's feeling creeped out and they want to hit pause, or stop, or move onto some comedy podcast, I respect that. But, know that we've been there. I'm done now.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, that's a great point.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. If you're someone who has struggled or had a challenge with budgeting and it just doesn't feel like it's clicking, or like it's really making sense or able to really keep up with it, this might be an interesting way to approach it. And, so in her book, Bari mentions that, instead of using the traditional boring labels for budget categories, her recommendation is to use more creative labels that align with your values as a person. And, also things that make it literally more fun to budget, and more engaging and give you a better emotional connection to the flow of dollars in and out of your life.

Michael Reynolds:

If you think of the typical expense categories for budgeting, there's a lot that we can have. Some of the more typical ones are things like mortgage or rent, taxes, gas, groceries, utilities, debt payments, retirement savings. Even just saying these things out loud, I can feel they're very flat. They're just at best neutral, and at worst, there can be shame attached to these things. Debt payments and taxes, and there's all sorts of things that we can attach to these terms. It's easy to really get stuck and feel no connection with managing your cashflow, if you just use these categories.

Michael Reynolds:

Now, again, this is not one size fits all, some people are fine with these categories. But, I've worked with people that this has really helped, when you think about it differently. If you consider more personal and creative labels, that can often creating more meaningful connection to the flow of money in your life. So by choosing these labels for expenses that align with your values or just how you want to see these categories differently, you can feel more engaged with your money and enjoy the process of managing it much more effectively.

Michael Reynolds:

What this would look like is let's say you're using You Need a Budget, which is YNAB for short, like Allissa and I do. There are categories you would create. And again, the typical categories would be things like mortgage or rent, taxes, gas, groceries, et cetera. Or, maybe you're using Mint, or maybe you're using a spreadsheet, or maybe you're writing it down on a piece of paper, whatever it is. However you're managing your budget, the categories are where you track different areas of spending.

Michael Reynolds:

So some suggestions here, what this might look like. Some of these are from Bari's book, from The Art of Money, some of these I made up, I'm just mixing them together. I got inspired by some of her suggestions and made up some of my own. These are simply examples. These are not meant to be, "Oh, do this exactly," these are meant to be just what it might look like to rename these categories in your budgeting system, in a way that you can relate to better.

Michael Reynolds:

So for example, mortgage and rent. Instead of calling it mortgage or calling it rent, some examples might be Home Sweet Home. One reader that Bari talked about called it Love Shack. Your home could be called the Love Shack, or Base Camp, or the Sanctuary. I'm a Star Trek fan, maybe I would call it the Starship Enterprise. Whatever you want to call it, you get to decide. You get to decide what the category is called that you're using to track an expenditure. Obviously, your home is probably the biggest categories of spending, whether you're renting or it's a mortgage so that's going to be an important category to think about.

Michael Reynolds:

Taxes. I really, really loved this discussion on taxes because how often do we think of, "Oh, paying taxes is this awful thing and we hate it. Blah, blah, blah. It's sucking up my income." We just have this negative attachment, this negative energy around taxes. I'm not saying you have to start loving taxes, but what if you thought of tax payments as things like Community Contribution. Or, I made up one called Funding Civilization. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of how you think about taxes, it might be worthwhile trying to change your perspective on taxes. So for me, personally, I don't mind paying taxes. I feel like taxes ... Now, whether or not they're put to good use, it's a whole different argument. But in theory, I like the idea that I'm doing my part to contribute to roads, and the services that we enjoy as a society and in my community. To me, that makes sense. Calling it Funding Civilization or Community Contribution, to me, makes a lot of sense.

Michael Reynolds:

What about student loan debt? These are just examples. Calling it student loan debt feels ugh and we often have shame attached to it, and all sorts of things. But, what if you called it something like Fabulous Education or Mind Expansion? Something where you're attaching a more positive level of energy or perspective to it.

Michael Reynolds:

There's a cool story in the book where Bari was talking to somebody about her credit card debt. This person she was talking to had a lot of shame around this huge credit card bill she had and was not able to pay off very quickly. And, it was just sucking the life out of her. So she said, "What did you use this credit card for and why is there so much debt on it?" The person said, "Well, I used it for this vacation to Italy last year." The conversation went, "Well, did you have a great time?" She's like, "Yeah, it was fabulous, it was life changing." Her suggestion was instead of calling it credit card debt in your budget, how about calling it My Big Italian Experience. I was like, "Wow, that's really cool." How great is that, to completely turn it around into an interesting, positive, happy thing. And, this person went on to say, once she renamed it and thought of it differently, she was able to pay it off much more quickly because she enjoyed the process of funding this literal debt, but funding this money going into this experience she had.

Michael Reynolds:

Groceries. I made these up. So groceries, what if you called groceries Body Fuel? As a side note, to me, that promotes maybe even healthier eating. If you think of it as body fuel, that's a fun thing you're thinking of. Retirement savings. What if you called it Happy Future Me or Freedom Fund? So suddenly, saving in your Roth IRA doesn't feel so boring and adulting, more like, "Hey, I'm contributing to this Happy Future Me fund, or this Freedom Fund, for later in life." Accounting fees, that could be called your Financial Support Team. Getting chiropractic or massage services could be Body Tune Up or Organic Maintenance. The list goes on and on, these are all just examples.

Michael Reynolds:

But, the idea is to take these categories that have been historically boring and not terribly interesting, and maybe things that you don't have a tight connection to or really enjoy using money for, instead, turn them around, make them things that they sound interesting, they feel interesting, they relate to how you view your use of money, according to your value system.

Michael Reynolds:

I thought it was really interesting. I know a lot of people that have been helped by this simple little life hack. And, my suggestion is if you're going to try this, start small. Pick one or two categories and just play around with it, and gradually adjust your budget categories to reflect your values. And, see if it helps you stay more engaged with your cashflow and the flow of money in and out of your life. It might be worth a try. That's my suggestion for the day. Thanks again to Bari Tessler, author of The Art of Money.

Allissa Haines:

And, I actually read that book and really, like any finance book, I liked a lot of it and then, a lot of it I was like, "Eh, not for me," and pitched it. And, that's okay because you still learned something for it. For me, renaming my categories, when I thought about doing that way back, it felt really cheesy to me. I was like, "This is too cheesy for me." But, I did add a couple of emojis to my category names.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes, I do that.

Allissa Haines:

Because you can do that in our budget software, so I think dining out ... I don't really dine out anymore, we never really did that much anyway. But, I put a little glass of wine there because I really like funding that because someday, I have the idea that it'll be safe to walk into a bar, and sit at a bar, and have a glass of wine and an appetizer again. I look forward to that.

Allissa Haines:

Even just the act of thinking it through really helps me. I came to that years ago, with taxes. This is great, that I get to pay the government some money and they're going to make sure I have roads to drive on and an ambulance drives up to my house when I dial 911. This is a good thing. Just reframing that has been really helpful for me. I don't need to name things cheesy names, that I feel are cheesy, because that's not how my brain works.

Allissa Haines:

But, whatever it takes to make you feel good about planning where you're money's going to go, I am 100% on board. So, rock on.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. I'm looking at mine. I do the same thing you do, I don't rename them like this necessarily, but I use emojis. I've got a popcorn next to entertainment. My Roth IRA category has the disco guy dancing. Yeah, I've got some fun emojis, too. Yeah, whatever it takes.

Allissa Haines:

Rock on, dude.

Michael Reynolds:

I'm looking at my categories now. All right, cool. Yeah, let me know if that helps you. Like I said, I know a lot of people its helped in my work individually with people. Give it a shot, let us know what you think.

Michael Reynolds:

And with that, whose our next sponsor?

Allissa Haines:

I was just going to say, you know who our next sponsor is? It's ABMP. Since we're talking about money, I like to mention that we have a whole money CE, I think it's actually 90 minutes, maybe 1.5 CE hours, in the ABMP education portal which we're just going to talk about today.

Allissa Haines:

You can go to abmp.com/learn. 600 hours of CE courses included with ABMP membership, also available for purchase at a really good price for non-members. You can buy one course, or you can buy three in a bundle. Topics include hands-on techniques, ethics, self-care, cultural competency, all kinds of things like that. And, we might actually have three or four education pieces in there. I know one of them is your retirement CE, course. Sorry, course. Words are hard this morning. And, we've got our money one. I think we have a website review course in there.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, we do.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, that was the last one we did. We'll probably have more next year. I'm a big fan, I use it all the time.

Allissa Haines:

Let me just see, I lost my place because I got so excited. It is a really good, and easy and convenient way to meet CE requirements. And also, to try out new presenters, to take one of their online courses before you commit to that five day, in-person course next year. It is just super cost effective, we love ABMP. And, you can learn more at abmp.com/learn.

Allissa Haines:

Now, Mike has got a quick tip for us.

Michael Reynolds:

I do have a quick tip. This is a quote that came along in various sources I pay attention to and I really liked it and it really hit home with me. It's more of just, I don't know, an inspirational thingy I guess. The quote is, "Don't confuse doing a thing because I like it with doing a thing because I want to be seen as the sort of person who does such things."

Michael Reynolds:

I really liked this because it hit home in a couple of ways for me. How often do we think, "Oh, I should be the kind of person that does these things and I want to be seen as doing that, but it's not really something that is true to what I want."

Michael Reynolds:

One example is going back to my previous career in owning a marketing agency. This may sound weird and nerdy saying it out loud, but owning a marketing agency, in some circles, is seen as pretty cool, and trendy and interesting. For the longest time, I was done with it but I kept saying, "This is who I am. I owned a marketing agency and this is what I do." I'm like, "You know what, who cares? It doesn't matter what people think I should be doing or what I think I should be doing, I need to do what I want to do, what makes me happy." That led to a great career change and being more true to myself.

Michael Reynolds:

And, on a more simple note, I look at people on Instagram and they're climbing mountains, and they're doing all these outdoorsy things. I'm like, "Yeah, well gosh, I'm missing out. I guess I should be an outdoorsy person too, because it looks like they're living life." And I'm like, "You know what, I don't like climbing mountains, I don't want to do that." I'm really happy just spending time at home with my family and that makes me happy.

Michael Reynolds:

So letting go of that image of doing a thing because I want to be seen as the person who does things was liberating for me. This hit home with me in a big way, so I really enjoyed the quote. That's what I got.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry, I couldn't get to my unmute button. I really shouldn't be in charge of these episodes. Yeah. There's a lot of places to go with that and I'm not going, because this is not Allissa's storytelling hour. But, I really like that and it's something we all need to keep in mind. If we're doing something that we don't love but we're doing it so that we look like something, or other people will think something particular of us, and it's nice to be able to let that go.

Michael Reynolds:

I can tell when you're scrambling for the mute button. Every time, I picture you squinting in the screen, trying to jam your finger down on the mute button.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

I get this really comical picture in my head, every time you can't unmute fast enough. It's really funny.

Allissa Haines:

I'm a total stumble bum. Usually, it's because I've got a mouthful of coffee or whatever. But also, just an aside, today the reason is because I'm not in my little backyard office, I'm downstairs in Walt's office and I don't have the extra monitor. All my windows are on top of each other and I'm like, "I can't find the Zoom window!" Although, I think I could just hit the space bar or something. I don't know, I've got to play with that.

Michael Reynolds:

Hey, we're lucky to be here this week, that's all I've got to say.

Allissa Haines:

We are. We showed up, okay? Y'all enjoy your turkey sandwiches this afternoon, or whatever you do. Michael, are you doing the full turkey dinner thing?

Michael Reynolds:

We've tried to scale it down. Ariana's parents are super traditional turkey people and we're hosting. They're like, "Oh, we need a huge turkey, and cranberry sauce, and stuffing and potatoes," all the stuff. We're like, "Hey, okay. We're going to make a short list, small turkey." We're keeping it pretty simple. Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Good.

Michael Reynolds:

But, I'm getting my gluten free pumpkin pie, which is the most important part of about Thanksgiving for me.

Allissa Haines:

That's wonderful.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

We're doing our traditional ... We do bagels on Thanksgiving, but we do full on lox and I get the fake cream cheese that is crazy expensive so I only buy it once a year, but I can't eat real cream cheese. And, tomato, and sliced onion, and dill and capers. We do an old school bagel bar thing.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. The kids just like their bagels plain so Liam's just going to eat blueberry bagels all day. He'll just munch on one, constantly, all day.

Allissa Haines:

Then on Friday, I found this recipe for turkey stuffing meatballs. So it's the turkey and stuffing together, that make a meatball. And then, we'll have mashed potato, and gravy and cranberry sauce with it. So, there you go.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. If it were up to me, I would do tacos but I've never won that battle yet.

Allissa Haines:

Right? Oh, someday. We were talking the other day about how we'd really love to just go away for the holidays. I don't know, I have visions of being in resort in Costa Rica and eating fish tacos or something. Anyhow, this episode went on too far, sorry.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you all for listening. If you want to learn more about what we do at Massage Business Blueprint, where we help you make more money and live happier lives, et cetera, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com. All of our archive of podcasts are there, as well as on iTunes, and Spotify and Google Play, and all the podcast places. We have a bevy of blog posts and just a pile of resources if you visit us there. If you have questions or you've got a topic for us to cover on the podcast, we love that. Email us, podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And, that is all I have to say.

Allissa Haines:

Happy beginning of holidays, everybody.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks, everyone.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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