Money and personal finance is something that can make a lot of people's heads spin, and chances are you may be one of them! Today's guest is the amazing Jen Hemphill, a Motivational Money Coach, an AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor) and host of the Her Money Matters Podcast.
Jen is super passionate about helping busy, ambitious women transform their finances from being overwhelming to bringing joy, simplicity, and confidence. When she's not talking money, she enjoys photography, coffee, chocolate, traveling, working out and spending time with her husband and two boys.
I just know you're going to love what she has to say, so go ahead and jump in below!
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Jen describes the start of her journey beginning back in 2000 when she married her husband, becoming a military spouse and living in the middle of nowhere.
Soon after, Jen recognized that it would be impossible to sustain career stability for herself, so she began brainstorming what she could do moving forward, also knowing she and her husband would soon begin growing their family.
“I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to be at home with the kids, and I wanted to have a career.” (1:43)
When her oldest child was born a few years later, she made the decision to stop working (a difficult decision at the time as she earning more at her job than her husband).
Despite going from two incomes to one and bringing in substantially less income, she dove in, managed the money well and made it work (though she couldn't tell you how, now!)
Over time she became sought after by friends, family and others for financial advice as people saw the kind of lifestyle Jen and her family were able to live on their reduced income. And that's when the entrepreneurial bug bit.
“I realized that was really my calling, that was my strength - being able to teach people about personal finance.” (4:55)
Jen explains that personal finance isn't just about budgeting, saving money, paying off debt, etc. It's ultimately about learning to become your own money expert over time.
There are so many wonderful money gurus out there to learn and glean from, and they give fantastic advice. But the problem is that we often tend to hold tightly to the one size fits all principles shared by these gurus and forget to tune into OUR needs and desires financially.
“The money experts out there are experts in money, but they’re not experts in you.” (6:19)
The backbone of Jen's business is empowering women to really learn how to become their own money expert by staying tuned into their wants and desires and being specific and intentional in setting and reaching their financial goals.
She encouraged women to look at things with a long-term, big picture perspective and have a holistic approach to how you handle your finances.
The simplification of personal finance is something that can feel overwhelming and out of reach for a lot of people, which is why Jen is so passionate about keeping things as simple as possible.
She says that's "her thing," stating, "the simpler it gets, the better it is!"
We discuss the reality that complicated spreadsheets aren't the only way to go about managing your money, and the importance of figuring out the tools and systems that will actually work because you use them.
Jen's first bit of advice when I asked her about where to start from a practical standpoint with realistic budgeting, is to acknowledge the fact that, like you, your finances are a work in progress.
"I still mess up, and I'm transparent about that."
But don't let the setbacks, missteps and mistakes hold you back from moving forward and growing.
She says for most people, budgeting the fixed expenses is the easy part. It's the variable expenses that are harder to manage and get people overwhelmed to a point of just ignoring their financial planning instead of owning it.
Jen encourages us to be intentional about making decisions regarding how much money we will spend on things, breaking it down into consistent monthly numbers and then separating that money and treating it like bill money. Getting things automated would be even better!
When it comes to saving, you also need to treat that money like part of the bills. Come up with research rough estimates, and then break your total number down based on the number of months you'll need to save for something.
Get it automated by using something like a virtual envelope system, which will allow you to "set it and forget it" as you watch the money accumulate and you never have to worry about those variable (and sometimes unpredictable!) expenses.
When I asked Jen how she manages juggling all the things she does, her answer was:
“I ask myself, ‘How did I get myself into this?!” (28:49)
She goes on to share her struggle with prioritizing self care and has been actively trying to improve in that area of her life because she knows it makes a world of difference.
One of the biggest things she has worked through in recent years is learning to give herself permission and grace to not have to do it all and be perfect, advice that we could all stand to take to heart as the hardworking boss moms we are.
(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)
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