The stories we tell ourselves and how we let the world affect us matter so much around money—that’s why it’s crucial to choose what story is going to be true for you.
Scarlett Cochran, attorney, financial expert, entrepreneur and the founder of One Big Happy Life, shares her approach in understanding and growing money in a way that is aligned with your unique vision of what a rich life looks like (rather than following society's definition). We also dive into the money stories that stop us from reaching our financial goals–breaking these stories down to allow space to build new, better ones.
Whether you’re just getting started as a business owner or you’ve been at it for years, tune into this fun and inspiring episode that will help you improve your relationship with money, push you to start moving toward your big goals and create the rich life that you deserve, on your own terms.
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Heather Sager 7:15
Well hey Scarlett. Welcome to the show, officially Hint of Hustle. It's the first time you've been on this show.
Scarlett Cochran 7:21
But I consider this to be like home, it's my, I'm back.
Heather Sager 7:25
Maybe. You've actually been on the show multiple times. You've contributed an episode. We talked about YouTube on another episode. I maybe there's a third episode. I don't remember. I love you so much. And I just want everyone to know what's in your brain. So, I am so excited to talk today about money, and not money, and lattes, and your book and so many things so we're gonna jump right into it. I've already done a little introduction for you but why don't you give my audience a little brief introduction about this book that is now officially out in the world.
Scarlett Cochran 7:55
Yeah, so It's Not About The Money really does incorporate all of my experience, 10 years as a banking and finance attorney, but also the hard won experience of me starting out as a single teen mom and really trying to create an incredible life for myself and my child. It's the information that I wish that I had had starting out. It is the information that I give to my child now that she's a 21 year old adult. And the whole idea is that we need to flip how we think about money on its head and first ask ourselves what kind of life do we want to create? What does a rich and fulfilling life look like for us? And then we can use that to drive our values and our goals when it comes to our finances, and that managing your money can be easy and fun and building wealth can also just feel like living your best life.
Heather Sager 8:49
Yeah, I love, I love this so much since I remember years ago when we had worked on a very specific topic that ended up turning into your book on a webinar. I like, as I was reading your book, I was like, oh, yeah, I remember that in your webinar. And one of the things that jumped out right away for me that we're going to start here, one of your go to phrases that you say all the time is something along the lines of, you can keep your lattes. Can we start there because I think a lot of times when people think money, they think budgeting, they think, Oh, I gotta get control of my finances. We instantly think constructing. And one of the reasons I look to you as my person to look to for money is you're like, Oh, hell no, let's build a lifestyle so let's talk about that.
Scarlett Cochran 9:30
Yeah, so I like to say that you can have your lattes and your millions to which is so fun. And again, it's that if lattes are the thing that you love spending on, that bring you joy, then it should have some place in your budget and so it's not that any particular spending category or types of spending are bad. We should never say that because your latte could be someone else's vacation, could be someone else's homestead, could be someone else's books like book lovers around the world unite. I like to buy books, hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook because for the different kinds of spaces in which I might want to read, and I value spending my money this way, buying the same book in different formats because that's what matters to me.
Scarlett Cochran 10:19
And so but the problem is that what people tend to do is feel like they can't spend on what matters and so they miss out on what is actually an essential purpose of money which is spending for joy, spending to create the life that we want and when you cut that and you try to pretend that you can live without it, well, that leads to binge spending, because you feel deprived all of the time. But also, it leads us to under-earn because we're not expecting our money to provide for us in this way and so we think that it's okay for us to earn less because we don't get to spend on that anyway so it's a lose, lose. Whereas when you decide, hey, this is what matters to me. I want to be able to spend this much on lattes and maybe it can't fit into your spending plan right now because of your other financial priorities but you can make the decision like, Hey, this is a goal of mine. I want lattes every single day while also setting aside my minimum investing rate so I know that I'm growing my wealth at the speed that I need to. It's not either or it's both.
Heather Sager 11:20
So what's interesting to me is, so most of the people who listen to the show are entrepreneurs or people thinking about starting entrepreneur businesses. It's interesting because a lot of people think about like, whew, I want to have freedom financially in my life and so they take that jump into entrepreneurship but then what I noticed a lot of times is instantly entrepreneurs become so aware of the money coming in the door and the money not coming in the door, and like the expenses that are happening. So I'm like, I see a lot of entrepreneurs instantly get like, ugh, about money which I'm sure you see all the time. Can you talk a little bit about, kind of just the overall taboo relationship that people have with money and maybe how that really impacts your ability to generate it?
Scarlett Cochran 12:03
Yeah, so with entrepreneurs, we have so many things, right? I feel like entrepreneurship is like the biggest and best personal development that any of us will experience and so we're moving from having a regular paycheck, regardless of the work that we do, all we have to do is show up so time based pay to that's consistent, to now this other form of money where things can shift from month to month, which by the way was happening in the company that you were working for before. You just never saw it because you were the employee and not the owner, and so when you take also the baggage that most of us are carrying which is the fear of destitution. It is a thing in our lives that we all feel like we are two steps away from bankruptcy, from losing the farm, from ending up on the street, from ending up back in our parents' house in our 40s with the kids in tow, that it makes you constrict. You get fearful and then also you haven't yet learned how to actually ask to get paid for your work on a consistent basis, how to sign clients and feel comfortable with selling and marketing your programs. So all of those things combined hitting us all at once. It's not a wonder that entrepreneurs will struggle in the beginning until they learn how to work through those things, until they learn that absolutely with a price that I'm paying is a small price for the value that this will add to this person's life. People, someone is waiting for me to make this offer and they are ready and willing to pay because they want the solution so badly. Also, when we get recognized that business has ebbs and flows and so we start managing our business finances in a way to where we have reserves that we can dip into when we get into those inevitable levels and that comes with time.
Heather Sager 14:05
I love that, that, they're just, I have no words, which is hilarious because I'm always having words. Words are hard for me today on this day of recording. But there's just so many like ups and downs, as you said, and my, when you mentioned that, like we're terrified that oh my gosh, bankruptcy is coming. What's hilarious is even when it's not even logically true, there's a tendency to think about that way. If this launch doesn't happen, or if Oh my gosh, my bank account is dipping low, we catastrophize a little bit. I'm curious.
Scarlett Cochran 14:35
It happens to me too. It's so funny because, you know, after many years of the business is going up and up and up. I experienced a year last year where it didn't just go up, right? It actually went down a little bit everything is still fine but in my mind, I'm like oh my gosh, this is it. I was just waiting for the other shoe to fall. I knew this business thing is just a matter of time. My brain was doing this and it's like, I don't know what I'm gonna do. The business makes no money next year, right? That catastrophizing, and like we're just going to be destitute, even though we have a whole bunch of money in the bank, the money's there. But in my brain, that's what it offered me in that first instance, the self doubt, the worry. And even though I do this work on a daily basis, I still have a human brain just like everyone else and that's what it offered me and I had to just calm it down, say, Hey, okay, first of all, this is normal. You're just lucky that this is the first big year of business constriction that you've ever experienced. But again, you have what it takes to keep growing this business and you also have a financial safety net to shore up your finances if need be for whatever is coming in the future.
Heather Sager 15:45
Yeah, I love that real talk of you sharing that. I think a lot of times when people see someone an expert role, they just assume that like, oh, you figured it all out. You have it all together so you sharing that I think it's gonna be really helpful for people. It also segue way to, in your book. I tell Scarlett before I was like, I'm we're gonna love the book, like it was just so fun. Everyone is got to, will tell you how to go find it. You know how to find books, but I'll link to everything. But I love how in section two of your book you talked about, everyone has a money story. Like one of my favorite parts was like in every part of that chapter, you're like, get rid of your old buddy story, here's the new and replace it with and I think what you just talked about was a little bit of that. Can you lay the groundwork on that a bit and just talk about one of the money stories that a lot of people have, specifically entrepreneurs and how do we go about adjusting those?
Scarlett Cochran 16:32
Yeah, so many stories are really just unconscious ways of thinking that we have just adopted as truth and we believe them to be true but the reality is, they're not facts. There are different ways of thinking about things. And so it's important that we learn to recognize those money stories and ask ourselves the question, is this story still serving me because some money stories served us earlier at different phases of life, but it's time to let those stories go so that you can move on to the next higher version of you and hit your financial goals. So entrepreneur money stories, oh, my gosh, people don't have money for this, right? Especially if you serve consumers, right? That if I'm B2C, so I serve consumers, I can't charge these prices. People don't want to pay, people just want free stuff. They won't pay me for my work so that's a really common entrepreneur story. And the reality is that, first of all, admit the truth. There are some people who will not pay, who will never pay, but those were not your people to begin with, right? Just because there are some people who will never pay does not mean that there aren't people out there right now in any economy, who are ready, willing and able to pay you for your work, who are looking for someone just like you. They just haven't found you yet or you just haven't said what they need to hear just yet.
Heather Sager 18:07
Yeah, and that's a zinger, right? To actually be honest with yourself and accept that and being like, Alright, maybe I haven't communicated in a way that speaks to them. Hello, you have a speaking coach here. That's what I'm for, right/But that of like, accepting that as truth, it stings a bit, but it's it's feeling that sting and then doing something with it, choosing a different narrative. Those are the entrepreneurs that push through. So I think it's really important we address it. You know, I'm curious. I'm gonna put you on the spot here. I'm curious in your take and now that I think about it. I heard of money story today on one of my client coaching calls, and it was around, she was talking about a freebie and she had said, you know, I'm really thinking I need to start charging for this freebie because people who pay they're already buyers, so they're more likely to become buyers and I asked, Is that actually true? So I'm curious on your take, would you classify that as a money story?
Scarlett Cochran 18:59
Oh, that is absolutely a money story. I question that a lot. This idea that people who pay, pay attention, because I've seen people pay a lot for things and not show up.
Heather Sager 19:09
Scarlett Cochran 19:10
Just saying, me, me too and I've seen people not pay that much for something but go all the way through the program.
Heather Sager 19:18
Scarlett Cochran 19:18
And I don't think I don't think that it's necessarily true, that if they pay that makes them more likely to actually show up and do the work. I think it's really about where their motivation is, because I've also seen people who didn't have a lot of money, but it was a big investment for them and they poured everything in to it. And then other people, it was no big deal for them and they didn't pay any attention at all, even though they paid even more money. So what I would say though, is that we don't assume that the story is true. We have to test it to see if that is holds true for us and our audience because you know, let's look at the numbers when it comes to business you have the number of people that actually opt in, and then on your freebie, and then that conversion rate and then presumably, when you're charging for something, your initial conversion rate, the number of people that enter into your world will be smaller. And so then the conversion rate has to be much higher, in order to make up for the fact that you've got a lower volume to begin with.
Heather Sager 20:22
Yeah. It's a, while you're just doing some business math there, which I love. It's my love language. I think I love the fact that you brought up that. You got to test it for your audience. I think, in this online industry, you'll hear me I know you're gonna agree with me on this. It's very easy to hear someone else's opinion and go, wow, that sounds logical and then we try on that opinion, aka, that story for ourselve and then you'll notice we start seeing other like proof of it, either other people or echo saying it like little parrots, people start repeating it and then it's like, what must be true? But the reality is, is true or false, you just have to choose what's going to be true for you, so I love that you said that whatever story you choose to accept is the context in which you will be successful. So if you believe that people who pay attention, that might be true for you, if you don't believe that that also could work for you. So you have to lean into your own truth, right?
Scarlett Cochran 21:20
And also, you know, I say that this is a story is conserved depending on your specific context. So if you have a massive audience, you get massive organic traffic. Your email list is overflowing with people and getting really expensive, right, which I'm lucky enough to be at that point in my business where I'm looking at the volume of my email list and wondering, does this make sense for it to keep growing at this rate and for me to keep paying, you know, almost $1,000 a month for this email list, based on freebies? Or what would it look like for me to have a tighter email list? It's fewer people, but doesn't cost me as much every month and somehow still makes me more money? That's a different question, a different story, then, like maybe that story makes sense. Well, let me see if I reduce that volume, what the conversion rates would look like versus if you're at a point in your business where you're still trying to gain traction. Growing your email list is challenging and so now you're putting up roadblocks in front of potential clients, when you really need, what you need right now is actually more traffic. So same story makes sense in different context.
Heather Sager 22:30
Oh, that's such a good point. This happens all the time that people borrow other people's tactics that have different audiences, different business types, different maturity and levels in the business. So I love this, and I tied it back to the money story piece. What's interesting is, I think a lot of people might try on those, I gotta do a low tiered offer, or I got it like whatever these tactics are, I think a lot of time they choose those or look to those as their story because they're trying to figure out how to generate more sales, when the real problem is exactly what you said earlier, there is a fear of selling. There is this weirdness around asking people to buy their stuff, like that's truly the root problem that we have to address. This is like, this is a fun conversation. I can geek out on this stuff all day long.
Scarlett Cochran 23:22
It's so, it is, it's such an issue trying to figure out the get to the root, right, because we are the ones that make the decisions in our business. And so low ticket versus high ticket, what we're really asking ourselves is, which of these is going to be easier to sell. I must be missing something, why I'm not having the same success as everybody else., I need to do this thing, this is the thing that makes the difference. But actually what we said earlier, sometimes it's being aware that we're not actually selling our thing as well as we could be. And so there's an opportunity for us to actually just develop our skills and get better at selling what we're already selling, versus believing the story that selling something else will be quote unquote, easier, when in reality, you're just gonna find yourself having to figure out how to sell that thing too.
Heather Sager 24:08
Learn that lesson, it's gonna be a challenge, wherever you put it to. The question is, are you going to sit in the current challenge and problem solve it? Like I love your example of, well, my list is large, right? I have all this money going in. There's a different problem that you're solving, right? You sit in that versus trying to look elsewhere for easier to like, solve problem, right. That's great.
Scarlett Cochran 24:25
Heather Sager 24:26
You know, regardless where a business owner is in their finances, one of the things that I love that I saw on our notes before we started here. You have this phrase around how you feel good about your finances, no matter what, what where you are in your financial journey. Let's talk about that because I think regardless of as a business owner is struggling to be profitable, or trying to manage their money, this idea that you can be like you can feel good about your money, even maybe when it's not a good situation. Can you share a little bit more on that?
Scarlett Cochran 24:55
Heather Sager 24:56
She's like, okay. Here we go.
Scarlett Cochran 24:59
So many people beat themselves up about their financial decisions, no matter what they decide and so we put ourselves in a position where managing our money never feels good. We're just filled with all around negativity. We feel like we're not doing well enough that we're not where we're supposed to be. So we actually end up despising our finances our entire lives. Something that is never going to go away. Can you imagine, and I'm sure, maybe some people have this particular phobia, but being afraid of your own teeth, your whole life, so that you cannot look at them. You can't touch them, you can't think about them and you certainly cannot take care of them. You're not flossing. You're not brushing. Can you imagine going through your whole life just resenting your teeth and being angry at them, or like being so afraid of them, that you feel fearful that you avoid them? That is what people do about money with money. And that is a horrible way to go through life with something that you can't get rid of like, you could actually get rid of your teeth. You could gum it your whole life, right? But you cannot get rid of money. And so if there is another option, if there is another way, why wouldn't you choose that?
Scarlett Cochran 26:18
And again, this is going back to our stories and our thoughts. The thing that makes us feel bad about our finances is truly how we interpret what is going on with our finances. That we tell ourselves, I messed up so I'm bad. I'm never going to figure this out. It's the negative self talk, versus having kindness and compassion with ourselves, like, we would with our children. If a child messes up, most of us understand that the thing that we don't say to them is, oh, my gosh, you're worthless and you're never going to figure this out. You know, a little five year old, two year old can't walk. Well just give up now. We wouldn't say that. We would say it's okay, sweetie, you gotta booboo. I know you can do this. You're gonna figure it out. We're gonna keep trying as many times as it takes. And in the meantime, you're still amazing while you're learning how to walk. And we can treat ourselves with that same level of compassion and care with our own finances. And when we do that, we put ourselves in a state of positive emotion, right, or at least neutral. I believe you can at least be neutral about money because when we are in a negative mental state, where our higher functioning brain starts to shut down. We're hopping into fight or flight and we're not making our best decisions.
Heather Sager 27:31
Scarlett Cochran 27:31
So the the side effect of enjoying your finances is that you enjoy your finances, but you also make better decisions. You see the possibilities that otherwise would be for close to you, if you stayed with those negative and untruthful thoughts.
Heather Sager 27:47
Yeah, you know, what's interesting is, there's so much of thi, that you're talking about. People with their money and a lot of times they don't even know where they are with their money. It's like, they built these assumptions in their head that they're terrible, but they like, especially with business owners, there's so many that they don't even know how much money is going out. How much is money coming in? Can you share with that a little bit? And I don't know if that ties into your approach to the one year spending plan but let's talk about how you help someone wade into this discomfort to neutralize it.
Scarlett Cochran 28:18
Yeah, so with an entrepreneur, one of the first things is figuring out like you said, what's going in and what's coming out? So what does it actually look like? And really what we need to pay attention to our spending because it is so easy to buy all the courses and to buy the newest tools, and for our expenses to get kind of bloated unnecessarily which will then push us into the red. So paying attention to what's going in and coming, and going out and coming in will allow us to be more intentional with our spending. But also, it's important that we base our business goals at the very least on how much we want to be paid and I think that that's something that a lot of entrepreneurs don't do because in the beginning, when you're bootstrapping your business, something else was paying for, paying you, keeping you alive, maybe it's your day job, maybe it's a partner, maybe it's your savings, and your business is actually in the negative because it takes a bit for your business to switch over to positive and then it takes a bit more for your business to pay you what you need to be paid, to live the kind of lifestyle that you want to live. So it's important to know what that number is for setting goals, for the purpose of setting goals because here's the other thing. With entrepreneurship, there is this pressure to have the six figure business and then the million dollar business. Those are the two milestones.
Heather Sager 29:41
No, we didn't goal setting evidently.
Scarlett Cochran 29:44
Yeah. And and look again, full disclosure. I am guilty of the million dollar milestone. It's been my milestone for this is my third year it being my goal, but it's no longer the thing that I'm obsessed about. I don't believe now that if I don't hit a million dollars, then my business isn't successful because I understand actually, here's how much my business needs to make and this is all it needs to make for me to have the kind of lifestyle that I want for the rest of my life, right. And this is my really solidly ideal lifestyle and then I've got some moonshot goals for my lifestyle, which I'm working towards, as always, like, I would love to one day have a private chef, that sounds amazing to me, right? Not just because I don't want to cook but because I love the idea of having really delicious, but really healthy food that fuels my body and I don't have to do the mental work to make it happen. Someone who loves to cook and is gifted at it can make it do it for me and so that is an aspiration of mine. But if I never reach it, that's also okay. My business is still successful and I'm still enjoying my life and so it's important that we, as entrepreneurs, ask ourselves, kind of what's our bare minimum, like bare bones to keep the lights on? What is our kind of ideal right now, right in the in the shorter term and what's our kind of audacious view for our business and understand that never hitting the audacious goal doesn't mean that we fell.
Heather Sager 31:10
Yeah. Okay. And I love this and one of the reasons why I love having these conversations about business, but you're doing a really great job tying it back to, it all ties back into what is the life that you're creating the rich life, as you call it. We're going to talk about that in a moment. But I think this brings up a really good, just a thought point for any entrepreneur listening is sometimes we go into silo thinking about our business finances and we're like trying to hit that milestone or trying to optimize the offers and all those things, but pausing to say, but what's the contribution back to the life that you're creating? I know that sounds so simple, but that pause, sometimes when you're really ambitious, you get so focused on the milestone, on the business, that you ignore what you're creating the process so let's talk about your definition of rich life.
Scarlett Cochran 31:54
I define a rich life as the kind of life where you can look back on it when you're old, when you're at the end of your life, and see that you've lived a fulfilling and meaningful life. And for every person that is going to be different, so rich with the kinds of experiences that you want to experience over the course of your life, over the different phases of your life, rich with meaningful connections, meaningful relationships that you nurtured over time. I mean, so many of us have heard about people who were so focused on their work, that their most meaningful relationships were damaged in the process. So we want to make sure we're paying attention to that rich in time, so that we felt like we had time to savor both the small moments and the big moments and we spent our time in ways that really matter to us, versus spending it on being worried about things that never ended up happening or spending it maybe binge watching way too many shows, too many reality shows. This is me raising my hand here, that realizing that I won't actually care about those things later in life, and so it's just really being intentional with our lives and going after the things that really excite us the most in life.
Heather Sager 33:10
Yeah, I think this is so good. This is such a good alignment between the concept of the show to this whole idea of hint of hustle. It's around being intentional with your time. When you're excited about something, go full ass on it, work on it, be inspired by it, and then remember why you're doing it. Take a rest, build some things out. So I love, I love this approach, because it really centers people to say, Okay, let's pause this like rat race, we're on, building these businesses with all these offers and continually innovating. There's a reason for it and at the end of the day, which are those things are actually going to matter and contribute so I love this, I can eat this for lunch all day long. I want to get into something kind of we're gonna like flip the script here for a moment. Let's get to the tactical thing because I love how your concept of building a one year spending plan and your approach to budgeting. So let's flip over that it's a personal finances but like in our business for a moment. But so can you talk about the concept of how someone would do this and I'll give you full disclaimer. Every time I think about sitting down and creating a budget, I definitely have the personality where I love to dream and then I have to operate like right in front of my face because I've changed my mind every damn week. So speak to the people who love planning and maybe the people who like suck at planning or sticking with the plan.
Scarlett Cochran 34:26
The one year spending plan is where you lay out your spending for an entire year on a single spreadsheet. So you can see all 12 months and the power of the one your spending plan which by the way, I have a one year spending plan for business and I have a one year spending plan for my personal finances. It's really it helps you predict your cash flow and it helps you intentionally put in the things that you want to accomplish over the course of the year in your spending plan because there are some things that happen every single month and there are some things that only happen a couple of times a year. A big one is the Holidays and it catches people off guard year after year, even though it's at the same time, every single year and the reason is because we're not planning for the holidays until the holidays get here versus planning for the holidays in January. We're also not seeing the spending that we did in March, how it's that domino effect that's affecting what's happening later. And so that's why I say it's great whether you are a natural planner, and my natural planner is like to chain together when you're spending plans. They're like, five years out, I'm that person, right, because you can carry it over year over year. But for my not, but here's where my natural planners trip up. They think they're just gonna plan at once, and everything's gonna be perfect and they'll never have to look at it again and then they get frustrated because they are human and no one does things 100% perfectly. And of course, things are going to come up, like this month, my son's school decided there was going to be a luau or something and he needed a Hawaiian t shirt and sunglasses, and so $60 later because I didn't want to get just a random pair of sunglasses that were just gonna get thrown away. I wanted something durable, because I'm trying to be earth friendly. I wasn't planning on spending $60 on a Hawaiian costume for a beach day outfit for my son and then there it was, so those things happen. But the power of the one year spending plan is you can adjust as you go and also, you're supposed to adjust as you go. It's a plan and then you have to actually see how it works out. But year over year, you actually get better in anticipating how you spend and how things will go. You even get better at putting a cushion in because you know, typically, if something is catching you off guard, this is how much cushion you need. So you have a cushion so you're prepared, even if it's some unexpected expense.
Heather Sager 36:51
Yeah, okay, I love this. I did this while I did a very, very particular spreadsheet years and years and years ago. I mean, it's probably 15 years ago, when James and I were first married. We had a ton of debt. We're like gonna pay it off. So we did the whole spreadsheet thing to get everything dialed in and then I don't know if other people resonate with this, but I feel necessary to share, then you go through life, right, and then you start making money and you don't have to penny pinch. You don't have to like keep track of everything and then what happens is that like eyes on money, you look away, right? And then it's just kind of habits change and then until something else happens, you don't look back at it. So we're actually at that phase right now where we're like, we should probably start, maybe we manage our money well, but we should probably start like being a little bit more intentional with our personal finances as I am my business finances so this is very good timing or me, personally, Scarlett. I'm glad we've had this one on one conversation to help me with my life.
Scarlett Cochran 37:47
So it's really good that you mentioned that though a lot of people think that what things look like in the beginning when they're just starting to figure out what their actual budget can accommodate versus the mental money math, what they thought their budget could accommodate, and what their actual spending should be meaning what they want it to be based on their financial priorities. In the beginning, you have to pay more attention to it. It's going to take up more time. You actually get better at spending in alignment with your priorities and what you've decided that you're going to do. And so then you can spend less and less time on your finances over time unless something changes, and then you've got to go back and look at it but you actually get really good at making those changes.
Scarlett Cochran 38:34
So for example, once upon a time, we were watching every single penny, right, like you mentioned, and that meant we weren't eating out at all and we also were trying to keep our budget as low as possible. So for our family of three plus a dog, we were sticking to no more than $200 a week for groceries, for household things like everything. And we got really, really good at it. Often we were down to like $150 a week without doing any extreme coupon cutting or or anything like that, just really being conscious about what we were spending our money on and then things, our income grew, we paid off some of the things that we were looking to pay off and then we were able to spend more including eating out more. And then we got here we moved into a new house and the house needed all these extra purchases that we don't normally buy like we needed a new lawnmower, we replaced the windows, things like that, expenses that we didn't have before, and the eating out all the time wasn't cutting it. We needed to cut back and all we had to do was say hey, it's time we need to cut back and within a week we're cut back and it feels normal. It doesn't feel like a deprivation but cutting back in the sense that you know, we're still, we're eating steak. Our grocery budget is like 1600 so it's still like substantial, but there isn't the extra two or $3,000 eating out unnecessarily anymore for a family of four but the habit it was very easy to pick back up much easier than it was years ago when we first had to build the habit.
Heather Sager 40:07
Yeah. Okay. I think this is really good point. There' a lot of as I know, you know, there's a lot of alignment on in the metaphors between what you're talking about with money and I think with health, like health habits. That was one of the metaphors that keeps reading everything that you're talking about. I think when I established some really strong health habits two years ago, when I did 75 Hard for the first time, I remember I was like, super intense and super go and then I went a little lax, but still healthy and then when I snapped back and did it the second time, a year later, I assumed it was going to be super hard and it actually felt like a cakewalk. I mean, granted, 75 Hard for anyone who knows, like a very, very intense challenge so it's not easy but my brain snapped back. So what's fascinating with what you're talking about is once you build those habits, even if you're not constantly using them, you build upon them and I love that. I don't think people think about that often enough with money and finances personally and also in business.
Scarlett Cochran 41:00
Yeah, it gets easier. It's the moral of the story. It gets easier. It starts to feel effortless especially when you make the effort to do it in a way that feels fun and light and easy to you. I think one of the mistakes that people make is they focus too much on the shoulds outside of themselves to what other people say they should be doing, like cutting out the latte, and then they rebel. That willpower only goes so far. So if you have to willpower your way to doing something, it is not going to last, and it's not going to stick because basically you're trying to BS yourself into thinking that you're okay with this but you know, you're not. Okay. And so you might as well figure out a way you brainstorm ways to make it work. How can I be okay with this? What can I give myself in return for this and you're giving yourself you're bargaining? And at the end of the day, you feel good about the decisions that you make and it's easier to stick to.
Heather Sager 41:50
Yeah, it's been confident that self exploration. I think, a lot of times when there are so many, you and I talked about this before. When there are so many experts telling you, this is how you should do it and you don't necessarily know much information about. Let's say money or personal finance, it's very easy to default to well, they're an expert, I should do what they do. But what you're talking about here is at the end of the day, it never works out, right? You have to build your own knowledge around it and you can do that by just asking yourself questions like you just went through a series of but could I do this? And how can I do this? And just that self reflection process like that is a really powerful thing and I think a lot of people maybe discount that thinking that oh, maybe I don't know enough to that self exploration can go real far. x
Scarlett Cochran 42:33
Yeah. But if you don't know enough, then the key is to take yourself out there and learn more. And if someone all you see, first of all, if someone is making you feel bad about yourself and your finances, they're not for you. Leave that person alone and go look for someone else. If someone is trying to tell you what you should be doing, versus starting by asking you, what does a meaningful life look like to you, they're also not for you because they're trying to impose their money values on you versus helping you find your own money values. They have their own lives to live.
Heather Sager 43:06
Hit the 15 second back button and listen to that, again, y'all like that is a good just business advice. Side note, for anyone who sells anything slash provides education. If you are not taking the time to understand what's important to the person in front of you. Your advice is kind of like a cookie cutter type thing. like, oh, that's really good. That's really good.
Scarlett Cochran 43:27
Yeah. And so you want to make sure that you're expanding your knowledge and focusing on the financial principles with many of which are inside of the book. So the principle that you want to make financial decisions that grow your safety over time, so you're able to withstand life's inevitable ups and downs, the principle that you want to build your your nest egg over time, your financial freedom over time, so that you have something that will continue to generate income for you, when you are ready to stop working and for entrepreneurs that can look very different, right? It's not just investing in other people's businesses but potentially growing a business that will still pay you even though you're no longer working in the day to day of the business, somebody else is. Not this have to become like BS, but that there are other people who are now the face of the company and running the company because Oprah is not running all her companies herself. There are people who do it and she gets paid. So we all can create that maybe on that scale, but at the very least on a smaller scale for ourselves and also spending for joy. So when you take those three things and you have that as your foundation and you build the principles on top of that then you feel confident making your own financial decisions because you will know whether or not you are on track. Do things keep catching you off guard? Are you growing your wealth, your income producing assets over time? Yes or no? It come so much easier.
Scarlett Cochran 43:28
Yeah, it does. Okay, so that is the, this is going to be, if you were subtle I will make my not subtle plug. Everyone needs this book. It's one of those things that especially if you're a business owner, you're not only responsible for your, like your business finances. You're responsible for your personal lives and the the way those two things go together, you have to be really clear, because as we talk so much about today, the business is contributing to this, like this picture that you have and we have bells happening on my computer that I don't know how to turn off so we're just going to roll with it.
Scarlett Cochran 45:23
Could you hear my bell?
Heather Sager 45:24
I don't know. I have no idea what the bell is.
Scarlett Cochran 45:26
Okay, good, I have probably why? It's fine.
Heather Sager 45:30
We're calling people welcome to life. I'm surprised a dog hasn't come barging in, or a child from one of us. Anyway, it's still coming back to our point of my last one is you have to continually improve your education, right? I think that that goes with anything but especially with finances. If you don't feel super comfortable with it, instead of just looking to other people, like educate yourself and I love your writing style. I love your storytelling style, call me biased, but I'm obsessed with the way you talk about money and you empower your students and your clients around how to own their money stories in a great way. So I think this book is definitely something that everything everybody has to pick up and put on their shel., I'm probably going to be talking about it a lot and refer to it all the time but I think that is an exceptional place for everyone to get started or just to kind of maybe like me, you need to re engage in a personal finance plan. Please do not tell my husband I said that. He is a certified financial planner and he's going to kill me for my comment today about our budget on the podcast, but he doesn't listen so he'll be fine.
Scarlett Cochran 46:30
Oh my gosh. First of all, I love that you do that because every time I'm like, Oh, her husband, I'm thinking in the back of my mind but also, I have bankers inside of my program, Wealth Builders Society. They are accountants inside of the program because understanding this is big thing, knowledge and actually implementing things consistently are two completely different skill sets. CFPs, it's real easy to tell someone to do something. It's another story to enact those changes in your own life which is why it's not just about the knowledge. It's about figuring out a way that will work consistently for you but also keeping, keep coming back to the work because habit slippage is a thing and our changing preferences are a thing. Once upon a time, your current spending plan would have been perfect but right now something's different and so that means going back to the drawing board and seeing what needs to be tweaked.
Heather Sager 47:31
Yeah. Okay, I love that. I do have to add a disclaimer that we do have a great personal financial plan. We have all of our retirement and our assets and investments. Those are unlock. James, you're doing a great job. We'd love for you for that. I just need to get a control up like grocery spending so there is that. All right, Scarlett, where would you say, besides the book, where is the next best place for people to go to learn more about what you do and also to get more control over their finances?
Scarlett Cochran 47:59
Onebighappylife.com, it is our website. It's where you could find all of the episodes of the YouTube show so it's an easy place to go to just kind of go through our catalogue and lots of resources to help you with your finances like the one year spending plan.
Heather Sager 48:14
Yeah, it's great. Okay, I was gonna ask the one year spending plan that's on onebighappy.com.
Scarlett Cochran 48:19
Heather Sager 48:20
Yeah, onebighappylife.com. We're gonna link all of that in the show notes. Y'all be sure to send Scarlet, like tag her and your Instagram stories. If you're listening today, give her a shout out. Let her know what resonated with you. I am just so grateful for you and your continued willingness to share stories to keep it real with people and to provide like information without the jargon and fluff. I think that is a big problem with the finance industry is a lot of times people make it feel very gated or that we're not smart enough to know about it and really, people have to take ownership of education their own hands and you make it really easy for people so thank you for for all the work you do, and in that I just, I'm so I'm so proud of the work that you're doing. I friggin love the book and I'm cheering you on.
Scarlett Cochran 49:02
Well, thank you so much. Thank you for having me. And I will just say entrepreneur to entrepreneur, that's one of the reasons why I quit being a lawyer because I was a banking and finance attorney while one big happy life was on the side and I had the hardest time speaking like a regular person and not like a banking and finance attorney. In my content, it was hard to context switch and just be normal. So transitioning away from being an actual lawyer where I had to speak like that in my my day to day life really did help me as an entrepreneur so thank you for that because I've been working on it.
Heather Sager 49:37
You're doing great, girl. You're doing great. I think it's just a reminder to all of us as entrepreneurs is sometimes we get really close to our topics, but I love that you brought the context switching. I see a lot of people who work with corporate clients versus entrepreneurial clients like there's a different piece. I think, I think it's just the challenge for all of us is constantly be thinking about how is the way we're communicating, impacting our ability to serve the people we want to serve, and you do a phenomenal job of that. You're a great example on the show of someone who's a phenomenal communicator and you're exemplifying the hint of hustle. You're, kicking ass, girl so thanks for being here today. I know y'all love this interview so be sure to give Scarlet lots of love. Go grab that one year spending plan. I know I'm gonna go jump to it for sure and I hope to have you back on the show again real soon.
Scarlett Cochran 50:21
Yes, I'd love to.
Heather Sager 50:23
Alright friends. We'll see you in the next episode