One story I internalized when I first started changing my relationship with money was that I thought I’d always be in debt. With over $46,000 remaining, I looked at my student loans, saw the huge number, and just thought I would be in debt forever.
I resented the debt for years before finally deciding I could consciously make the decision to change. I was able to pay off my debt in 18 months working as a nurse. Here are my five keys to financial wellness.
Having a healthy relationship with money is so important, it controls how we spend, what we save, and what we think we are worth! Managing your finances is another form of self-care!
Allison Grotteland, The Debt Free Nurse, helping other nurses conquer their debts
1. Create awareness of your relationship with money
We have stories about money that we have learned from a young age that we replay subconsciously. They impact the way we feel about money and the way we spend. When we are unaware of the stories we were told and don’t create our own, we also develop bad money habits that don’t serve us. Figure out how YOU want to feel about money.
2. Track your spending
You can do this any way you want to; use an excel spreadsheet, an app (like nav.it) or even a pen and paper. The key to making this work for you is to actually find the time and the method that works for you! You need to do this BEFORE you even create a budget!
3. Be mindful of your financial habits and create better ones!
Whether this is spending 15 minutes per week tracking your spending and being aware of where your money is going, doing a bank account audit or even learning how and why you spend.
You can even create a habit of looking at your bank account once a day before spending!
Pro tip: Make sure you tie your new financial habit to something else you like to do.
4. PAY YOURSELF FIRST!
The only way you will become a saver if you are a spender is if you create the habit! one way you can do this is to decide on a percent you want to start saving and automate it into your savings. Another way to pay yourself first is to take out the company match (if you have it) for your retirement account.
When I was changing my financial habits, I not only automated my savings, but I also automated my debt payments. Right before payday, I automatically scheduled my debt payment for the upcoming paycheck!
5. Know your spending triggers and create new healthier ways of coping with emotional spending
So many women emotionally spend. Whether you are feeling sad, stressed, or had a bad day, many of us spend to get that feeling of satisfaction. Instead of doing this and feeling guilty, replace it with another healthier habit! (for example, you can go on a walk, cuddle your dogs, cook a meal, read a book). The goal is to continue to replace the old habit with a healthy one.
BONUS: Reframe your mindset around your debt to what did your debt allow you to do instead of beating yourself up about the debt and the amount! Take away the shame and journal about what the debt allowed you to do that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to without it.
Allie is a PICU nurse and was tired of living paycheck to paycheck and having to work overtime to pay her bills. She started learning about personal finance, but never found a method that worked for her until she created her own!
After she found a method that worked, she was able to pay off 46k of student loan debt in 18 months while saving 10K for her wedding. She has been student loan and credit card debt-free since December 2019!
Now she teaches nurses how to align their spending with their values and feel confident with their finances so they can pay off debt and save money without sacrificing what they love!
She also teaches them how to become a money magnet through money mindset work and a money course!