November 15, 2021
Emma speaks to Ayana Campbell Smith of Millennial Money Guide about budgeting, intention setting and money mindset.
In this episode Emma speaks to Ayana Campbell Smith of Millennial Money Guide about budgeting, intention setting and money mindset.
Ayana is a debt-free money coach with a passion for helping millennial women and couples get unstuck and become financially empowered so they can ditch debt, save more, and win with money!
In August 2019, she launched Millennial Money Guide. Through her email newsletter, Instagram, blog, and money coaching programs, Ayana shares practical tips and money advice to help young adults navigate the sometimes intimidating and often misunderstood world of personal finance.
03:23 Money mindset
07:42 Challenging your mindset
10:31 Scarcity and allocating budget
24:11 Setting your intentions for your budget
32:46 Smarter spending
36:19 Quickfire round
Free Budget Guide: https://millennialmoney.guide/free-budget-guide/
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz: https://mikemichalowicz.com/profit-first/
Ayana Campbell Smith 0:00
Behaviors when it comes to your money don't align with things that are important to you or that are your priorities. And so even though it's easy to say, because I'm not the person doing it, I think that you know, when you are cutting back your spending because you feel so strongly about your business and you're excited about it, I think it's a lot easier to do because you sort of self set that priority for yourself. And so many times it is technically like depriving yourself or you have that delayed gratification, but you know, it's for a greater good and so I think that makes it a lot easier sometimes.
Emma Peacock 0:35
Welcome to the Digital Hive Podcast where we talk all things digital marketing for small businesses. On this episode, I spoke with Ayana Campbell Smith of Millennial Money Guide about money mindset and management. Through her email newsletter, Instagram, blog, and money coaching programs. Ayana shares practical tips and money advice to help young adults navigate the sometimes intimidating and often misunderstood world of personal finance. I hope you enjoy listening to this chat about mindset, investing, and goal setting. Welcome to the podcast, Ayana. It's so good to have you.
Ayana Campbell Smith 1:05
Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here.
Emma Peacock 1:09
So to get us started, tell us about you and your business,
Ayana Campbell Smith 1:13
Of course. So hello, everyone. My name is Ayana Campbell Smith, I am the founder and debt-free money coach at Millennial Money Guide. And what I do is I work with millennial women and couples to help them get unstuck with their money so they can ditch debt, save more and finally start winning with it. I launched my business in about 2019. And I've been having so much fun working with my clients and my couples, and my female entrepreneurs who I love working with helping them better understand and manage their money.
Emma Peacock 1:40
Hmm. Cool. So tell us a little bit about your business story. How did you end up landing on this offering that you have?
Ayana Campbell Smith 1:47
Yes, so it all started very randomly. And I feel like I've told this story so many times on on different platforms, but I love sharing it so much because it is just so organic. But I basically, I work full-time as a creative director and designer, I have a degree in graphic design. And so I was looking in early 2019 for some form of creative project to devote my time to outside of my nine to five that would give me that sort of creative freedom but not be like me working 24/7 on my work stuff. And so personal finance is another one of my interests. And so I decided that I wanted to create an email newsletter, something that was going to be very low barrier to entry. Not super difficult to maintain. But that would still be very beneficial and educational to people in the same sort of age group as me, which is millennials. And so like randomly one day I was sitting down on my couch, I was watching Downton Abbey and I had started this list of like personal finance topics that I would want to learn about or teach about. And when it grew to 30 topics that was when I really knew I was like, okay, I need to start something. And that's when I landed on the newsletter. So I immediately started drafting newsletters, looking into, you know, platforms to be on, I started my Instagram around the same time, too. And I sent my first newsletter in September of 2019. And everything from there has really just grown very organically to now include speaking and coaching. So its been really fun.
Emma Peacock 3:08
Hmm. Yeah, I just think the way that you explain things just makes so much sense to me. Like you just break it down into like the actual, like doable little things, and then you can get started. That's awesome.
Ayana Campbell Smith 3:19
Yeah, that's my goal.
Emma Peacock 3:21
Yeah. So how can people start to assess kind of like their money mindset, maybe the stories they're telling themselves, and how that's impacting both their personal and business finances?
Ayana Campbell Smith 3:33
So I think one of the first things that we need to do is, number one, define what money mindset even means. And the way I see it is that your money mindset really encompasses your thoughts, your opinions, and your feelings, and just how you relate to your money. And so I really think that one of the best ways is to just begin to ask yourself some really personal questions like what do I believe about money? What do I believe about building wealth? What do I believe about earning money and saving money? And begin to really, number one, understand where you stand on those issues and those topics, and then also begin to challenge beliefs that maybe are impeding you from making progress and the things that you want to do. I think that many times, our money mindset is influenced by our upbringing, and by stories that we've been told and our lived experiences and what we witnessed growing up at home and all these different things come together to form a money mindset. But it's so interesting, because our mindset is so like under the radar, it's covert, like we can't see it on the outside. And so we really have no idea how much it's impacting our relationship with money and how it really plays out in our daily lives. So I think that's one way to assess your money mindset. And then from there, you can begin to make choices about how to improve it if that's something that you need to work on.
Emma Peacock 4:48
Hmm, one thing that came to mind there was the whole millennial thing as we are one of those generations that has been affected by the Internet. Generations older than us have been like those stories around them have really been their friends and family and we're impacted a lot too by those things, but also the internet and the thing of like, not totally having the story of that person that has that new car or whatever situation is happening in their life. We don't know whether it's bought with cash or on loan, or whether even they were gifted it because that is so many people that we see on the internet these days. And it will be interesting to see how people's story shift over their age as that changes as well. That's so interesting. So how can they assess how that is really impacting the decisions that they're making with their financial decisions, how they save, and how they view those things? How can they start to break down those stories and see them reflected back at them?
Ayana Campbell Smith 5:52
Yeah, for sure. I think kind of, like I touched on briefly before, I think that once you've been able to identify your money mindset, and even potentially some of the limiting beliefs that you have about money, that is the perfect opportunity for you to then begin to challenge those things. Like, you can actually sit back and say like, this is what I believe. But is it true? Do I actually have evidence to back up this belief? Or is it something that I should be working on changing? I think one of the best examples that I love to share is like this whole idea of we all hear this phrase of like money is the root of all evil, or, you know, building wealth leads to corruption or, or whatever sort of negative connotations people have about wealth and rich people and things like that. But I really believe that one of the ways we can challenge that belief is to begin to actually think in a way where we see wealth and money as opportunity and freedom, not corruption and evil. Because many times we subconsciously, you know, have these beliefs. And then they play out in different ways in our lives, such as maybe we don't pursue raises or bonuses or new job opportunities, because we're afraid of earning too much money. Or maybe we count ourselves out of, you know, different things. Because we're afraid that if we earn too much money, it's going to change who we are, or it's going to change our belief system or our values. But I really believe that money is a moral, it's simply a tool, it can be used for good, it can be used for evil. And I think that when you earn more money, that is going to just amplify who you are your true self. And so if you are a good person, I would hope that by having more money and opportunity and freedom, that that would increase you being a good person and not make you go the other way. So that's just one sort of like surface level example of sort of taking those limiting beliefs and the mindset, challenging it. And then, you know, really understanding how those sort of consequences that can happen if we don't begin to challenge the limiting beliefs that are holding us back when it comes to our money.
Emma Peacock 7:42
That's so true. Yeah, I like that challenging thing. And is it a stage of like, looking at your finances or looking how you interact with money? Is it kind of like thinking about how you feel after you make a purchase? Like where can people really start to challenge those things? I think so often, it's like subconscious.
Ayana Campbell Smith 8:01
Yeah, I love what you touched on. I do think that, you know, spending behaviors are a great indicator of your money mindset, too. If you're going through this cycle of, you know, feeling like you need to scratch an itch to spend money. And so you have this high of like spending and then immediately you're depressed or you're regretful or you feel shame about your money being spent or you feel guilty. I think that's another sort of sign of what I call like the toxic spending cycle. And I think that really assessing every area of your personal finances, whether how whether it's how you feel about budgeting, or how you feel about saving money, or how you feel about spending money and the the emotions related to those activities, I think there's so much that we can learn. And I think that many times, assessing those things in the context of either a course or a coaching program can be really beneficial too because you have an outside perspective, someone that can actually say, hey, I know this is what you believe. But what if you were to believe this instead? Or I know this is your current behavior in your current habit? But what if we were to change that? What would that result look like? And that's one of the things that I really love the most about coaching is just the fact that I get to be that person for so many people. And the sort of instant mindset shifts be the way that my clients eyes light up when I challenge their beliefs, even though it may be difficult in the moment. Just really witnessing those transformations is so rewarding. I cannot put it into words how happy it makes me feel.
Emma Peacock 9:17
Hmm, yeah, totally. And also I love that like so often I feel like business owners and things in content. I'm seeing content around that like fraudy feelings of like, Am I really the person who can do this thing? And in a way those like self sabotaging things that you're doing without totally realizing until you're reflecting on them is the same way that you're doing it in the context of money is it's like that little self sabotage of I don't want to be at that next level, because that scares me a little bit. So I'm going to hold back and I'm going to spend my money in a different way so that I don't get to that level. Yeah, yeah, that totally makes sense. And it's also the externalizing of it as well is really important as having that person who can help you?
Ayana Campbell Smith 10:02
Yeah, because many times we we repressed, repress those feelings, too. It's like, that's an uncomfortable feeling talking about money is taboo. And so I'm just gonna ignore it and never deal with it. And then you get to be 90 years old, and you're still in debt. And you're still, you know, haven't made any progress when it comes to your finances. So I think the the sooner you can nip it in the bud, obviously, the better but it is something that can be uncomfortable. And that takes time. And you have to have someone that you really trust to work through those problems with or those issues with, when it comes to things like that.
Emma Peacock 10:30
Hmm, yeah, because it is so personal. So that trust is is super important. Yeah. Yeah. So when small businesses get started, so often, maybe before they even start the business, maybe they need a little bit of capital to get started. Or they're looking at a time of like, okay, I might need to have a little bit of period where I go from getting my full time salary to paying myself for my business, but not as much as I may be used to. And then the first thing that comes up for me personally, with that is, what am I going to miss out on? What am I going to not get? Not the opportunities maybe that it could bring. The first thing that comes to mind is is a little bit of fear-based. So when people are looking at that either investment or the putting the savings aside as the emergency fund? How can people get started then and make those changes without it feeling like a scarcity thing?
Ayana Campbell Smith 11:26
Yeah, I think that many times, scarcity comes when your behaviors when it comes to your money, don't align with things that are important to you, or that are your priorities. And so even though it's easy to say, because I'm not the person doing it, I think that, you know, when you are cutting back your spending, because you feel so strongly about your business, and you're excited about it, I think it's a lot easier to do, because you sort of self set that priority for yourself. And so, many times, it is technically like depriving yourself, or you have that delayed gratification, but you know, it's for a greater good. And so I think that makes it a lot easier sometimes. But I do think that for many people that, you know, starting a business is scary, like leaving a full time job for the unknown of entrepreneurship is definitely a scary thing. And so there are smart things that you can do to sort of put safeguards in place such as, like you said, building an emergency fund, while you are fully employed, setting aside money as like startup capital for your business, I think that's a great, great idea and great thing to do. And also being just smart, when it comes to your business finances, and like not feeling like you have to jump into every new technology and pay for every coach and pay for every course, like start small. Use the knowledge that you gain, build slowly, this isn't a race. I mean, unless you make it a race, it doesn't have to be. But I really think that you know, especially in this sort of social media driven entrepreneurial space that many of us operate in, we have to, we feel like we have to get to that, you know, six figures in six months, you know, after I quit my job, or whatever it is, or 10k months, in three months, or whatever. So I think that you know, just taking a step back and knowing that it's not a race, and that you're going to be so much more thankful to yourself, if you do the right thing, when it comes to your finances and putting those safeguards in place than just sort of doing things without a plan. That's always my recommendation to just like, understand your business numbers, work slowly build slowly, and you're going to be in a much better position than if you just kind of do things blindly. I would say.
Emma Peacock 13:21
yeah, yeah. And shifting the focus from how do I want to, like make lots of money with this business? Maybe. It's about how can I help people? How can I serve people? How can I like create a little bit of joy in their life, like, depending on what the business is, focusing on that, and potentially, like the number of people you can impact rather than in a year am I able to tell that story of that, like headline grabbing thing, which like, there have been a few of those that I've seen across the internet, where they're like, my business was sold out right from the start or whatever. And then when you actually look into the backstory, the they actually spent nine months promoting that business before they launched it. And so therefore, that was why they were sold out. Or they were sold out, because they only had they only opened up two spots, like the story of how things get twisted, can sometimes make us have those kind of expectations of ourselves. When really, like, what do you really want? Do you like most people aren't actually striving for that headline? Title? So what do you really want to focus on? And how can that do that thing? And then that way, when you're thinking of, am I going to buy this or not? It's does this have the higher purpose of whatever your goal is?
Ayana Campbell Smith 14:41
And and when you do good work too when you actually help people get transformations, whether it's with being a coach or providing a service or selling a product like that is really what's gonna lead to success. I know it's not like the quick and sexy thing of like, you know, I made all this money in five minutes, but I think that when you actually care about who it is that you're serving it goes so much farther than, you know all the noise of, you know, the flashy headlines like you said, and all this other stuff.
Emma Peacock 15:07
Hmm. Yeah, that's so true. Yeah. And like the, the feeling of fulfillment of seeing the potentially that like money in the bank account is important and it gives you that like, great feeling of assuredness. But the feeling when you get that email from that client that's like, Oh my God, I love this thing or whatever is like, amazing. So it's like, how can you like figure those two things out? Yeah, I like that. Yeah, shifting the focus and reassessing it.
Ayana Campbell Smith 15:39
Yeah, obviously, money is important in a business, because if you don't have money, then you just have a really expensive hobby. I think I've heard someone say that before. But I think money and serving people, they can both be equally balanced. We're not saying that you, you know, shouldn't want to earn money. Because obviously, like, that's important, too. But I think you can do so much more when you actually care about the people and you value their their sort of investment in your business. I think it just goes a lot farther.
Emma Peacock 16:04
Yeah, it's easier to sell to them, it's easier to market to them. People refer people totally. And that is kind of like almost like what builds a successful, successful business as well. Yeah. And then just yeah, just bringing in where am I getting that feel good factor from? And just leveling out those expectations? Totally. Yeah, like that. So what about when it comes time to invest money? Or am I going to put that money aside for like that emergency fund or a different fund? How can people decide how to make those decisions, especially when one of the alternatives could be taking the profit out for themselves personally, and setting up their personal finances? How can business owners make that decision of where to put the money?
Ayana Campbell Smith 16:49
Yeah, I think that, you know, this one is a little difficult to say, just because every business is so different. And there are so many factors that are involved. I think that when it comes to investing in your business, though, it's really important to sort of think about, like, what is the success metric that I'm setting for myself when I'm making this investment? And how will I be able to prove to myself that this was a worthy investment? So for example, you know, speaking from my own experience, like I decided to invest in a business coach early, or like mid last year, and my metric for success was like, I just want to make the money back that I'm investing in this business coach, and everything on top of that is like icing on the cake. And so when I was able to make my money back in a relatively short amount of time, within the first two months of working with this coach, I was like, Okay, this was a great investment. And so now that I know that that's what's important to me, that's definitely going to be a decision, or sort of a metric that I will use moving forward when I decide to invest in other things. It's the same thing when you invest in a course or when you invest in technology, it's like, what does this actually equate to in dollars in terms of like the return on investment that I'm getting, and again, just not, not falling victim to that sort of like, shiny object syndrome of like, oh, this person released a course and they're successful. So I want to get this course or this business coach has done this for this person. So I want to make sure that I'm sort of in there, there is this whole idea of like FOMO and missing out, but I really think that in order to make smart decisions, when it comes to your business finances, you really have to do a little bit more than just like, picking up everything, like you really have to take time to step back and figure out are these investments that I'm making worth it? Or, you know, is this something that I should save towards? Or is this something that I should do in the next quarter next year when I actually have time to do it? Because many times we buy those courses, and we don't even watch them? Because we're so busy? Things like that. So I've definitely been there before. But yeah, I think there's a number of factors that go into it. But when it comes to investing in your business, that's my advice. And then when it comes to taking a profit, I will recommend a really great book called Profit First. I love the whole system that the author lays out I completely forget his last name. I don't want to butcher it on your on your podcast. I think it's like Mike.
Emma Peacock 18:55
It's Mike Michalowicz. It's the hardest name to Google.
Ayana Campbell Smith 18:58
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But yeah, I love his book and his sort of take on profit and paying yourself because many times also when we're starting a business, it is hard to transition from like, you know, either a full-time job to a full-time business and feeling like we're worthy of paying ourselves or like we're able to pay ourselves. So I think that I would recommend definitely checking out that book if you're someone who struggles with that decision.
Emma Peacock 19:22
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Ayana Campbell Smith 21:20
Yeah, I think it works really well, not only for my clients, but also my own personal finances. That's where you know, everything that I've learned from my personal finances is what I teach to my clients, because it's stuff that has worked for me, I think that, you know, one of the steps that many people miss when it comes to goal setting or achieving savings goals, or debt payoff goals, when it comes to their finances is just that they try to do too many things at one time. And that's why it feels like you never make any progress. You know, it's like I'm trying to save an emergency fund, and pay off all my student loans, and still live my life and go on girls trips and vacations and things like that. And so that's when it can really feel like we're being stretched too thin is when we don't have our priorities in order. And we haven't broken down our goals into smaller, more manageable, bite sized pieces. And so one of the things that I always do with all of my clients is, before we even start, you know, setting up the accounts to save and putting numbers to things, I have them make a list of like, what are the goals that you have? What are the things that you want to start saving towards? We make that list and then I help them prioritize it. And it's all just me, guiding them, I'm not telling them what they should be saving first, like, if you want to save for vacation to Greece, before you save for your first home, like I'm not going to tell you you can't do that. But I do think that by having that those priorities set, it becomes a lot easier, because then you can decide a timeline for those priorities. And then the timeline helps you break down how much you can actually save. And then once you know how much you can actually save, you can plug it into your budget and see if it's actually possible. And then you have the the ability to make changes in that way too. So I think that, you know, getting clear on those things first is important. And then breaking down the goals into smaller pieces actually makes you feel like you're making progress as opposed to two steps forward and one step back.
Emma Peacock 22:59
Yeah, totally. And then too, you can look back at the last like six months or three months, and see how you've spent your money because you have spent some of your money and you have experienced some of it. And then you can look at the numbers and be like, Wow, I'm so much closer to whatever. And then because those priorities are set, you have that why? And that that comes into marketing as well like the knowing the why behind it. Like why am I on Instagram? Like what am I trying to achieve here? Rather than it just being like, I want to get my follower count up. And I feel like that's almost like the savings goal equivalent of like, how do we get the number to go up? Rather than how can I create like a feeling or opportunity? Or whichever through this? And that, knowing the why also allows you to restructure when things change as well, like, life happens, things happen, and you need to restructure that. And it helps with that feeling of like, okay, I was doing this because of this. How did I go through that process before? Okay, I set my priorities. Let me sit down and see my priorities and see where things shift now. And that's super important.
Ayana Campbell Smith 24:11
I love that you said the the why? Because that's actually something that I run through with my clients too where, you know, I have them write what I call three W statements where you identify the what, the when, and the why of the goal that you're setting. So the what is basically the amount that you're saving, the when is one when you want to save it by, and then the why is like the overall goal that you're working towards, like what is my why? And so like an example of a three W statement would be I'm going to save $200 a month for the next four months. So I can you know, pay for this plane ticket to wherever I'm going on this vacation. So it's a very succinct statement, but it has those three W's in it and it makes the goal so much more concrete. It's more of a plan as opposed to like just saying, I'm randomly going to save some money and if I do it cool if I don't whatever, you know, like I really like helping my clients get very clear and intentional about their finances, whether it's with a budget, or saving, or paying down debt, or understanding their spending, I'm all about intentionality when it comes to coaching, because I think that that is really the difference between just sort of rolling with the punches and going with the flow or actually making significant, meaningful, meaningful progress when it comes to your finances.
Emma Peacock 25:19
And when people are making that priority list of like, which one, especially if there's a feeling of not having enough money to go around for everything that they want, how can they structure and prioritize which one they're- Because with that, there's some math of like, when I save $200, for four months, $800 equals a time bracket of how long that's going to take me? How can people prioritize when those things will essentially become accomplished? How do they figure that out?
Ayana Campbell Smith 25:51
Yeah, I usually just challenge my clients to look at the deadline typically. So if it is a goal that actually has a deadline, because you know, some goals are more loose and not superduper defined, and some of them actually have deadlines. For example, if you are saving for a trip that is going to be in four months, then obviously there is a deadline attached to that. But if you're saving just money for a treat yourself fun, that's something that's not really super concrete. And so I typically tell my clients to prioritize things that have deadlines first, and then just go down the list and work that way. And really understanding the numbers versus the timeline, and what you can actually accomplish when it comes to your budget. And if you have too many goals, or if the timelines and numbers don't quite work out, that's when you actually are empowered too to go back to your budget to make some decisions about what needs to either be reprioritized, or cut, or do I need to work some extra hours at work? Like how important is this thing to me? Like is it important enough to put more hours in at work? Or is it something that I can push the timeline out a little bit. So a lot of the things that we do when it comes to our finances, it is it sorry, it is up to personal choice, and we have that sort of like autonomy over our money. But I think many times a lot of my clients or people that I've worked with or spoken to feel like money controls them, because they just haven't been taught how to control their money. So I think that that is one of the things that's really cool, too, about coaching and working with my clients is seeing sort of like the, the shift in and that sort of attitude about their money, when you realize that your money isn't really out to get get you, if anything wants to help you. You just have to be a good partner when it comes to your money, too. And do your your your part of the bargain or your end of the deal. So yeah, I think there are a number of things that you can do. But really putting the the clients or my clients back in the driver's seat when it comes to their finances, I think is my number one. My number one goal always.
Emma Peacock 27:38
Mm hmm. Yeah, that made me think of also like time, of like I have 24 hours in this day. So I'm going to choose how I'm going to spend that time. And it's almost the thing of like, I have this amount of money. I mean, you can't make more time, but you can't really get more than 24 hours. But you can, you could do some shuffling around to make some more money. Or you could restructure how you're using your money. Is there a process that you go through with clients when you're reviewing that budget and how they're already spending the money that feels like a fixed expense in a way?
Ayana Campbell Smith 28:16
So typically, before my clients even build a budget with me, I have them do a spending audit. So they audit their three months, last three months of spending, and I really show them like, you know, I am someone who has no clue about what your life is like, why you're spending money this way. I'm completely neutral in this. And I'm literally just looking at the numbers. So I see you earn this much. I see you spend this much. There's a discrepancy there, I see you're spending this much on this category and this much here. So it's not about me judging or saying that you can't spend money on these things anymore. But it's really challenging my clients to look at their actual spending, because many times we ignore that part of our personal finances to what we're actually spending. And basically just saying, like, you know, you're spending this much money in this category. But what if you were to shift that money over to this other goal that you've said yourself is more important? How would that change? And how would you feel about doing that? And many times, you know, surprising that, surprisingly, that really is all it takes for my clients to make a significant change is being shown the real data, having that accountability and support to know that they have the power to make those changes and then just challenging them to do it. Because I know that they're capable of doing so much more if they had this priority set and they do you know the work. So yeah, it's always really fun. I think many times they sort of dread the spending audit, but it's always my favorite call because I love looking at the numbers and being able to challenge them on those things. But yet, it's always really fun for me.
Emma Peacock 29:38
Yeah, I guess it's the realizing just how many things you're spending money on that you maybe aren't even using. And we live in like almost a subscription economy, the things where you like, if you when you look at your spending, you realize just how many subscriptions you have that come out of your bank account every month that you you know, maybe don't even fully process that they're coming out. And that's part of it too. And that totally translates into business because so much of the software that business owners use, especially in an online marketing world subscriptions or retainers, it's that money that processes over every month that you're kind of you're signed up for. But you could totally unsubscribe from their software shift to a different one. Is this really assessing? Like, is this bookkeeping software, the right one for me? Or am I piecing together four different software's to create one thing that actually already exists somewhere else, and is half the price. And then there's just that time of shifting everything around. But that makes total sense. Yeah, I also talked to all of my clients about like the marketing budget being the money that you have on hand. And that's the thing of like, we're not trying to make a certain amount of money in the next three months, so that you can pay for your marketing for the rest of the year, we're acting with the money that we have on hand now, because it is an investment, and that can mean that it might not pay off. So having that money as like, essentially spending money. And looking at that as strategically as possible, and then shifting as that cash on hand becomes larger. And I guess that's totally relevant to how people spend, especially that initial savings, as you when you feel like you have a lot, you spend differently to how you feel like when you don't have enough, and and shifting that around. So yeah, I can totally see how this all relates to marketing, and everything.
Ayana Campbell Smith 31:38
And it kind of, you know, even what you said to it's not even just with savings, because with the whole, you know, credit card thing, too, it's a lot of like, you know, this free money, quote, unquote, that I have, that I can spend, but at the end of the day, that's not really money that you had, we just have that sort of like delayed consequence of spending on that credit card. And so if you're spending not only what is in, you know, available to you, and your checking your savings, but also going above by spending on a credit card, that's another thing that I you know, I talked to my clients about too, and kind of the same way that you said, with your marketing, you spend what you have now, if I have a client that struggles with being responsible with credit cards, I actually tell them like, you know what, I'm going to challenge you to not use the credit card at all, while we're working on this program together and only spend on your debit card or only spend with cash, because I really want you to feel the consequence of the money that you're spending. It's not to say that a credit card is evil, because I definitely don't think that that's the case. But you've demonstrated that maybe you don't quite have a grasp on using it in a way that's not going to dig you deeper into a deeper hole. So let's, you know, pump the brakes, take a step back and actually work with what you have. So that when you really can manage that, well, we can actually add more benefits with like credit cards and things like that.
Emma Peacock 32:46
Yeah, totally. Because it almost feels like that the the money that will get paid back is the credit card amount, it's like the I'll get that kind of thing. And then the marketing budget almost sometimes can actually come out of what essentially is like the actually the payroll budget. And it's like, okay, so if this marketing doesn't pay off, you still need to be able to like make payroll in a month. So like, and that's where marketing can become like, starting to feel like a super risk is because you have put too much into their basket. In a way of like, I've put this whole trip on my credit card, and now I don't have any money to pay it off. But I can't cancel the trip, because I've already paid for it. Or I can only get so much back. Yeah, that totally makes sense. I really like that. And then as people are going through this process, like how long does it actually take to review everything and go through coaching with you?
Ayana Campbell Smith 33:42
So my coaching program, right now, it's eight calls, and it usually is between like 10 and 12 weeks. So it's definitely not a short program. But it's not a long term thing. If clients want it to be, we definitely talk about that. But typically, you know, one of the things that I really pride proud, pride myself on, I'm sorry, is that, you know, when I have my discovery calls with my clients, I actually tell them, like, I want you to get to the point where you never need to talk to me again, unless you actually want to, because I want you to be so self sufficient and confident in your finances that you don't need, like, feel like you need to extend our time together or, you know, come back for a second round. And I'm happy to say that that has been the case, I would say like 99% of the time. Sometimes I have clients that want just another extra call just to make sure things are sort of neatly packaged and wrapped with a bow as we sort of put the put the cap on things. But yeah, I think that, you know, many people go into coaching, thinking it's going to be this long term thing. I'm not going to be able to change, it's going to take so much work, I'm going to hate everything. But typically after the first, you know, three or four calls like halfway through the program, they're feeling really great and they're excited that they made made the choice to invest in themselves and get on the right track with their money because, you know, I really think I say it all the time too that getting on track with your money is sort of a step towards becoming the best version of yourself and I think that so many times personal finance, our personal financial health is overlooked. We focus on all the other things, our physical appearance, our you know, our internal health, our mental health. But for so many people, financial health is overlooked. And that's one of the things that I'm definitely hoping that I am contributing to changing that because it is so important.
Emma Peacock 35:19
Hmm, yeah. And that like money is power. It's not something evil to be willed it over to you that you do have control of it. Yeah, I really like that. And also, like 12 weeks can sometimes feel like a long time, but it's also that thing of like, but what if you started this 12 weeks ago, it would be done by now and imagine that transformation. I feel like that's a good sweet spot of like, working your way through it, but it not feeling like it's like, a three week program of like, Oh my God, I have to sort all this out. Because I imagine there's a certain element of homework, right?
Ayana Campbell Smith 35:48
Yeah, there's definitely for sure.
Emma Peacock 35:50
Yeah, yeah. So it's that thing of like, what am I signing up for? Yeah, I like that as a balanced amount of time. Yeah. And I find that too with marketing is every time when the client has like a lightbulb moment, or like, Oh, my God, I wish it earlier. It's like, okay, let's apply that to the next thing. What are we going to find us the next thing that we're going to do? And it's that thing of like, I wish I'd done this sooner. That was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
Ayana Campbell Smith 36:14
Yeah, I was scared to do it before, but now I wish I had done it a long time ago.
Emma Peacock 36:18
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Cool. I love that. So let's move into the quickfire round. Bunch of questions that I ask everyone. It's so interesting to see the different answers that I get from everyone. So longer explanations are welcome. But quick answers are also good. So where do you get the most of your sales from?
Ayana Campbell Smith 36:40
Most of my sales come through Instagram, or referral through word of mouth.
Emma Peacock 36:44
What is your favorite place on the internet right now?
Ayana Campbell Smith 36:48
I would say YouTube, I spend a lot of time on YouTube.
Emma Peacock 36:51
That's cool. I like that. What are you looking forward to the most in the next year of business?
Ayana Campbell Smith 36:58
I always look forward to serving new clients. You know, I'm starting my next round of coaching in January. So I'm definitely looking forward to January 2022 starting.
Emma Peacock 37:07
Amazing. I like that. What are you looking forward to the most in the offline world in the next year?
Ayana Campbell Smith 37:15
Looking forward to continuing to find a good balance between you know, business and resting. I definitely did a lot better with that in 2021. And so planning time on my calendar to not do anything it's my favorite thing. And so I'm definitely looking forward to doing more of that next year.
Emma Peacock 37:30
Hmm, yeah, I like it. And like putting it on the calendar. It really like gives you that like anticipation. It's why I don't like surprise trips so much. I just like I love the head time. It's so good. Yep. So if someone is listening to this episode, and they want to work on their savings, or investing or getting down their debt, what is the one thing you recommend they do first?
Ayana Campbell Smith 37:53
I definitely recommend understanding your starting point first, and the best way to do that is to do a spending audit by reviewing your last months of spending and really seeing where your money is going so you can make a plan about the next steps that are going to be the best for you.
Emma Peacock 38:14
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Digital Hive podcast. I'm your host Emma Peacock and today our guest was Ayana Campbell Smith of Millennial Money Guide. You can find out more at millennialmoney.guide. If you're enjoying the podcast, I'd love it if you could share it with a friend or on Instagram and tag us @honeypotdigital. To find out more about Honey Pot Digital and the work we do or to find more episodes of the podcast and handy tips for small businesses marketing online head to honeypotdigital.com