Strategies for Financial Security During Income Insecurity & Going Back To The Basics

Episode Number: 367

Episode 367: Strategies for Financial Security During Income Insecurity & Going Back To The Basics

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Strategies for Financial Security During Income Insecurity & Going Back To The Basics

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In this week’s solo episode, I’m sharing how I am currently in a relaxed phase with my finances and business, focusing on having a balanced life and not stressing to maximize income for now. I give you tips for feeling financially secure during slower income periods and will guide you on how to reach this relaxed phase as well. 

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • How knowing your income, savings, expenses and investment numbers will give you reassurance
  • The importance of investments in achieving financial goals, even during slower times
  • How thinking through the worst case and best case scenario will help you feel empowered to withstand challenges & remain optimistic. 
  • Strategies for surviving extended periods without income and how to be prudent with expenses during slower times
  • How to release worry by setting a date in the future to reassess where you are financially.

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Jamila Souffrant 0:03

So when I was able to quit my job once things kind of got more on autopilot, I would say were okay, we're set in terms of our investments. We have a very healthy emergency fund, then budgeting honestly was not that big a part of my habits and what I did on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom 4321.

Intro 0:54

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now.

Jamila Souffrant 1:32

Okay, let's hop into the episode. Hey, hey, hey, Journeyers. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast, I am your host, Jamila souffrant. And I am doing a solo episode today. So you'll just hear my voice. If you're new to the podcast and to this content, welcome. I'm so glad that you gave us a chance and an opportunity to help you reach your wildest financial dreams. And if you are a returning listener, or someone who's been following me for a while, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I know quite a few of you look forward to when it's just me on the mic, and doing solo episodes or sharing more of my own financial independence journey. And quite honestly, that's how the podcast started out. Started with me sharing what I was doing to reach financial independence. And I wanted to be transparent as much as I could, when it came to that considering I am actually a private person. But I also knew that when I started my journey, I learned so much from people who were willing to share what they were going through, and just be open and vulnerable. And so my reason for starting the blog, and then the podcast was to help someone else who was listening. So that's what this is me sharing. And I thought this would actually be a great time to do this. Because I am personally right now going through a very, I would say relaxed phase of my finances slash business. And when I say relaxed, it doesn't mean that I am not working on projects or busy. But I would say my eagerness or willingness to do a lot of work or stress myself out for the bottom line or for income, it's just not there. I'm so focused more right now on everything else. Having a balanced life, my fitness, my kids, they're at the ages where they're doing more sports, particularly basketball. So that takes up a lot of our time. And we enjoy that as a family. So if they are getting picked up, or if I'm picking them up, it's very early in the afternoon from school around two o'clock. And then we are doing things there's tutoring, there's maybe swimming, there's basketball practice. And I really only have a couple hours to work in the day if I go to the gym. And what that means for me is that I'm really I feel like living what I always call it my financially free life, the feeling of being financially independent, and working because I still want to make an income because of our lifestyle desires and choices. But also feeling a bit like you know what things are slower now in terms of my business income. And with that, I wanted to share what I was doing with my finances to help me feel secure during the slower period of income and not being as intense with my financial independence journey and so focused on the numbers. Because I thought that you know, there are a lot of people right now maybe you listening who are maybe going through something similar. Maybe right now you're going through a slow phase in your business or you're not earning what you want to earn or you're just contemplating what the journey is going to look like for you over the next couple of years because of some uncertainty. So I want to give you some tips of what I've been doing or just in general what you can do to put yourself in a mess mentally and financially emotionally great position to succeed. This is actually also very relevant because I recently met my financial advisor, I do work with a team who also does my taxes and business taxes, and then helps with just our financial planning. So they don't advise me on investing, but they just overall look at our picture and help reassure us on some things when the time comes. And we have our meetings. And I thought it was a great point to bring up that I do have someone or a team that helps me with this, even though it's great that I already know what I need to know. So I can come to the meetings prepared with my thoughts and ideas on what should be different, or what we should be doing differently. Okay, so steps to take that I've taken that I want you to look at if you are feeling that you are financially, maybe not where you want to be, or things are slower than usual. So first thing to do, look at your numbers for reassurance, and then to see what adjustments can be made. I always go back to this, the assessment of where you currently are, because a lot of times we think things are worse than they are when we don't know, the unknown is actually more scary than the known in some cases, because the unknown can be anything. So if we are feeling like things are not going well, or things are going slow, because we don't know the actual numbers, it might feel that way. So go back to the numbers, what are your numbers? What do you have actually saved? What do you have in your savings account? What is that number? What is your current income? What is that number? What are your expenses? So what are you actually spending your money on that what you think you're spending your money on, but what you're actually spending your money on. And we'll get to that in another point on how to, to get that together. And to really be honest with yourself with that. That's where budgeting comes in. We'll talk about that later. And then what are your current investments. So when it comes back to your saving, let's go back up to the top of that list. Your savings here, if you have any are meant to save you to give you a cushion, if things are not going well or if there's an emergency. So for me, I have a business savings account separate from our family emergency savings account. And with that, when things are going slower in my business, I have an account that is for savings. Now, typically, for me, the savings that I'm saving for is my income. So I want to make sure that even if I'm not consistently earning money per month in my business, I have six to eight months of my current income in my account and a separate account My Business account that pays my salary, no matter what's going on in the business. So I can look at that and say, If journey to launch doesn't make any money for the next eight months, I can still pay myself this consistent salary, because I'm saved for it. And then if I drill down to our overall family, even if that money in my business savings runs out for what I'm paying myself, I also can look at, okay, where are we financially in our overall family savings, and know that we have a year or two years worth of savings to help cover any lapse in income. Also, I do have a savings for my business expenses. So I tried to make sure that whatever I am paying monthly for my business to run, I have a few months of that saved already. And this takes time to build up. So whether it is your emergency savings as a family, or if you own your own business, and you're paying yourself and you have to make sure you can have enough in case things are slow. I did not save that money overnight, or even in our family account that was not saved overnight that took some time. Which is why it's so important when things are going well. Or when you're having a maybe a very strong year that you put enough away to help sustain yourself if things are not as strong. And so that's what I've done. And so when I go look at my savings, no matter what my mind, and my feelings are I am reassured that Oh, things are going to be okay. Because I have enough saved to carry us through whatever slow times there are. So that's why it's important to look at your savings. And if you do not have enough saved to help you through tough times or to reassure you maybe looking at your savings is not reassure you, it puts more pressure on you and gives you more anxiety. That is totally understandable. At that point. It's really important to look at the other parts of the assessment that I'm walking you through. So what is your income? And what are your expenses and what adjustments need to be made to your income and your expenses to help create more of a gap so that you can save and create a cushion for yourself? Remember, I actually think you should be doing this whether things are going great or slow or bad. Do it now if things are going great for you because then you We'll have a cushion for the more slower times. So we talked about your savings, you talked about your income, what is your potential income, if you are a W two employee, then you know consistently what your income is, if you were maybe a contractor or business owner, you may have to be more creative and look back at what the average income has been. And then look forward to other opportunities that may come in. And so if you know you have a project or a guaranteed and I see that in quotes, potential project coming up, that might provide you with some reassurance to help you with what's going on. I personally have a couple of things in the works, that I'm excited to share with you very soon, that for me provide comfort, because I know they are potential sources of income for me to help sustain what I'm doing. Current investments, this is important, especially important for me, because I always like to say my goal is still financial independence, I've not lost sight of that. And it's easy to do that, I think when you're on this journey, and you've started and you're making progress, and then you maybe start a business, like I've done, changing your mind is not losing sight of your original goal if your new goal becomes what you truly want. So for me, when I quit my job, it was still all about wanting to reach financial independence. And even if I grew journey to launch into a very profitable company that earned a lot of money, I didn't want to lock myself into a cycle of having to work, I still wanted to know what my number was when I could walk away. And that's still what I'm working toward. So when I look at where we are in this is was great meeting with our financial planner, to reassure and to look at the numbers of where we stood with our financial plan. And we are well on track to retiring at the standard age, very comfortably, and even early. And if we stop investing now or stop saving and doing anything, we'll be fine. So going back to the numbers helps a lot with any feelings that come up for me and may help you also, if you've been thinking or worrying about your situation. And if again, it gives you anxiety, or they're not the numbers you like or want to see, don't let that stop you or discourage you from making the changes today. So first things first, look at the numbers for reassurance and or to make adjustments if needed. Second thing to do. Remember your tools go back to the basics, depending on where you are on the journey. And I'll give you an example for myself. You may have outgrown and or you don't use certain tools as much because you don't need them. So for me that's budgeting. When I first started journey to launch, you know, actually, the blog was named before there was a podcast, there was a blog, that blog was called Mrs. Budget fab. I talked about this in my book, Your journey to financial freedom, that that's how much I was into budgeting back in the day. And for me, budgeting was more out of necessity, it was a means to an end. Because I wanted to squeeze out every additional gap I could gap dollar, which I also talked about in the book that difference between income and expenses, so that I could reach my goals. And so budgeting was key in that because it allowed me to really see where my money was going and to challenge the behaviors of our family meaning, okay, we were spending on this, is it more important than me being able to quit this job? No. So let's maybe cut back. And so the budget allowed us to have really that freedom eventually that we wanted. And when I reached that level of freedom, so when I was able to quit my job, once things kind of got more on autopilot, I would say were okay, we're set in terms of our investments, we have a very healthy emergency fund, then budgeting honestly was not that big a part of my habits on what I did on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. And that's fine. You know, one of the things that I think is so important is understanding who you are and what works for you on this journey to financial independence. There are some people where you enjoy budgeting you I mean, it's like it gives you true complete joy. And it's not just a means to an end, even if you are financially set, you enjoy being in full control of the dollars that come in and out, regardless of your journey or stage or where you are on the path. And then there are some people where they need to budget because it really helps them stay on track. Maybe you're not as disciplined without the budget and the budget is guiding you on what to do. And the people like me where there's budgeting to get me to where I need to be and once I'm there, I can pretty much set up some systems make sure I'm saving or investing enough and everything else can be spent more fluidly.

Hey journeyers if you are loving this podcast then you will love it. My book, your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. I wrote this book for you. This book is for you if you want a clear and enjoyable path to having more money options and a rich life, this book is for you if you hate your commute, and the fact that you need to seek approval or permission from a boss, I hated that when I worked. This book is for you. If you weren't born into wealth, you didn't marry rich or win the lottery, but you still want freedom. This book is for you. If you're at a crossroads, a major decision or event is imminent, maybe a career change marriage starting a family pressures are reaching a tipping point. And the discomfort and the desire for more can no longer be ignored. And this book is for you. If you find yourself zoned out at meetings, looking out the window or daydreaming about the life you truly want. So go pick up your journey to financial freedom.com. So I can show you how to map out how to get from where you are today to where you ultimately want to be. And enjoy the journey. While you're on the path. Head over to your journey to financial freedom.com. To see where you can pick the book up, it's available on Amazon bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, your local bookstore everywhere, go to your journey to financial freedom.com to get the book now. Now going back to the season of okay things are slow right now. So we do need to be a little bit more prudent with our expenses or at least gear up to if and when we need to be more prudent with our expenses. So what that means is going back to the basics, and budgeting are currently use why and maybe you need a budget, I've talked about them in the past budgeting system, I like them because it's digital, I can pull it up on my phone or computer, my husband can also access it, but basically dusting it off and opening it back up and looking at our budget at what we were spending on a monthly basis. So this kind of goes back to knowing your numbers, I wouldn't be able to know what our real numbers were unless I started back budgeting more consistently. And when you start this journey, I always say in the beginning stages, even if you don't think you like budgeting or really being more strict with your money, it's just important tool to learn. So that way, when you get to a stable point, if you don't want to use it as much, or in the same way, you can fall back and choose another method that works for you. But if you need to do it, at least it's a tool, you can go back into your toolbox and use at will. And that's what I'm doing. Now. That's the beauty of what I say is making yourself your biggest asset on this pathway. Because all the external things you can change, you can change the app you use, you can change your bank, and who you bank with, but who you are to understand how to pick something back up like riding a bike, like once you learned to ride a bike, even if you haven't rode a bike in a while you can write it again. That's the importance of learning how to do and use these tools so that when you need it, it's there for you. And so that meant dusting off my YNAB budget, it gives you an option to start all over again, if you haven't used it in a while. And that's what I did. And it allowed us to see, okay, what are we really spending on and seeing, okay, there's a lot of money going into, of course food restaurant. And maybe that's okay for now. But knowing, hey, this is going to be a place that we can cut back if we need to. And I know how much we need to cut back or what limit we can put on that. Because I'm going back to the basics. So what are the tools that you have or that you need to develop, that's going to be able to help you in your time of need, or when things are going slower for you. Also check back into the habits and mindset. Whatever habits that you've had, that you maybe have let go or you haven't developed enough to help sustain you during times like this. Go back to that basics. Again, my book, Your journey to financial freedom, I talk about what those basics are, and how to fine tune your habits and mindset specifically when it comes to your money journey. So think about what's happening that is serving you right now on your journey in terms of the consistent things you do your habits, and what mindset do you have about what's happening with your finances? So number two was remembering your tools and going back to the basics. Number three, what I want you to do and what I've been doing seems a little McCobb or negative but for me it's not because it helps me withstand whatever is the worst case scenario I think will happen. So number three is think through the worst case scenario. So if there is a concern about something financially or how long things will last or what will happen, think through if that If your worst fears come true, now don't go too dark, right? I'm talking financially. For a business owner, if I don't bring in any income over the next six months, or things are a lot, my income is a lot less than I need. What does that look like? Maybe work at a company and your worst case scenario is potentially getting fired. I want you to actually think through what happens if that happens. And what can you do if that happens? So I'll give you an example for myself. When I think through worst case, what if Jace launch makes no money for the next year? What are my options? What's the worst case? Well, I have some savings that will last for you know, up to a year or two years. So I have business savings that will carry the business through for up to a year, I have family savings that will carry the family through for a couple of years, especially if we make adjustments to our expenses. So okay, I've survived that worst case scenario. Also, worst case scenario, if for some reason, I don't, or I'm not making money with journey to launch consistently the way I'd like, what are my other options to earn money? Is it getting a job? Is it consulting? Is it dusting off all the other profitable things I've done in the past? And doing those things? Right, right. Now I have a choice to not do certain things. So they just don't want to. But if I had to, because our family was in dire need. And my worst case is okay, we have to pay the bills. What can I do that still feels in alignment with showing up in the world and earning money. And there are a lot of things when I think about that. My goal is not the worst case to make you feel or think through. And have you sitting at the end like I'm done, like the worst case was actually the worst case, but to hopefully empower you that you can withstand the worst worst case scenario, you can. I like to go back and think, have I ever let myself down before. Now of course, things have not always worked out the way I've wanted. But when they didn't work out the way I wanted, it usually was an opportunity or a springboard for something else I didn't even know I needed. That gives me power and confidence. There was never in my 40 plus years, oh my gosh, can't believe I'm saying that. In my years of being on this earth. I've always come out ahead even with a setback. So thinking through the worst case for me, kind of affirms and grounds me into the power of me being able to survive anything. And so hopefully you think you through your worst case scenario gives you the same fuel because you're here, you're listening to me. You know, I know we all have different starting points and scenarios and situations. And you may not have a year's worth of salary saved, or your expenses saved up. And it may feel and may be more dire for you. But I want you to know you're here. You're still here, you're still breathing. And so you being your best asset. You're resourceful. You can figure it out. I promise you, you can figure it out. So maybe you picked up that I'm big on making it through. And once you believe it's possible, it can be no matter what and despite your current circumstances. All right. I felt like I was about to go

a little churchy there or not churchy. But just I was getting into my feelings just now. Because I feel like this year someone's listening that needed that. All right. Number four, think through the best case scenario. I believe I did mention this on a previous previous episode, that you know what's the best that can happen? So sometimes when things are slow, we tend to think that that's how it will consistently be. There is a word for this. I know there's a word for this in psychology, where you base what's what recently happened, and you kind of forecast that's going to happen. So that's why in good times, you feel like okay, potentially, things are going to be good. And you're looking only at the good time. And then when things are maybe bad or slow, you're looking at, oh my gosh, things are gonna be bad and slow moving forward. But let's suspend that kind of thinking and think, what is the best case? What if you get that email that you got the raise and or promotion that comes with a raise, hopefully, what if you know for me, you know, my being an entrepreneur the way I am, anything can happen. Like I can get an email that can change my life deal that comes through or an opportunity that changes everything. It really is like a second there. There are people in rooms talking about you that you don't even know that are talking about you, or people advocating for you on your behalf that you didn't even know exists, but because you've been showing up, you've been working on yourself, you've been doing your part, God is doing his part. And so I just want to say I want you to believe that what is the best case and leaning into that? Because I know when I think about the best case, not only do the numbers assure me and By knowing I have the tools if I need it, and knowing that I can make it through a worse situation, I know that the best case like is possible. It's happened before. So what is the best thing that can happen? And how do you do the work? where you currently are? So you're prepared for that best case scenario. So when you get that call that says, hey, got this last minute opportunity? Do you want it? You're ready for it? So what's the best case? And are you ready for it? Get ready right now. Number five, set a date and reassess where you currently are. So if you maybe have decided, Okay, I've done the numbers. I've done some of the things Jamila just has said, and I'm kind of good here. Or maybe things are not to this extent that they're bad for you yet. But you can say, okay, things are not going to improve in the next year. What does that look like, set a date in the future to reassess where you currently are. So many of us, including myself, can maybe sometimes tend to worry about things that are not going to happen, right? If you've done the math, if you've done some of the work, and you know, where you stand that you're good for the next X amount of months, it won't help you to wallow in like the worst case or what's going to go bad, right, you kind of have your system set up, maybe you've gone back to budgeting to be more prudent with your expenses, you're doing some of the work. But you don't need to then now, every day, think about and like, check, okay, here's where I am with the numbers, right? Like I do believe like, once you do, check the numbers and everything is secure. Now you get to work on the positive things that can impact your life. But what you can do is set a date, maybe whether it's a month, or three months out, or six months out. So for me, I'm setting a date in the future, when I know I have to check back in with my finances. So if I know that I have a year's worth of cushion before I worry about anything, I'm setting a date in the future and six months ago, reassess where I currently am. And do I need to actually make any adjustments, right emotionally and mentally right now I don't need to make any adjustments to our expenses. And we can continue on life the way it is, but setting that date for us in the future, to think about what our life looks like and to to then sit and think about it allows me to release that energy of worrying about what's going to happen next. I'm like, I'm good. For now. I'm going to continue my work, continue working behind the scenes. And then in six months, I'll check back in and then make a decision from there things actually need to change or what needs to be done differently. All right, journeyers. That's what I had for you today. I want to thank you for continuing to tune in to the podcast. As always, I love and appreciate your support. Also, if you haven't checked out my book yet, your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. Check it out. I'm still getting messages every day that you see it at your local airports, Barnes and Nobles target. And of course, when you buy it online, like an Amazon or just a local bookshop. So I just want to appreciate and say I appreciate you if you're already bought the book. And that if you haven't bought it yet, what are you waiting for, you can go to your journey to financial freedom.com To see all the places you can buy it pick up that special freebie that I'm giving away when you get the book. And then also if you read it already, you've enjoyed it, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. You can go to your journey to financial freedom.com/review I'm going to be planning some more solo episodes. I know I always say that if you've been listening to me for a while. Like she's always saying she's gonna do more solo episodes. Where are they? I am I'm working on it. Maybe you know, I'm in my relaxed girl error. So it's like I want to make sure I'm feeling it instead of forcing the issue. But I am going to be working on some new topics. So if you have an idea for a show, or something you haven't heard yet, then hit me up. I'm on social media at journey to launch or Jamila souffrant but tag me Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Mostly I'm on Instagram, if you want to DM me and if you're listening to this, you know share it with your people. Share it and let some other people get in on the journey with you. All right. Until next week, keep on journeying journey airs. Don't forget you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever Have you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there, I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys, they're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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