May 14, 2020
Today we welcome Evie’s personal financial consultant, Van Baird, to the podcast!
Titles that he enjoys going by:
Wendy’s Husband… of almost 26 years
Sarah-Ashley and Carolyn’s Dad…only one of which is still a tax deduction…barely
Lover of people, especially all the ones that God made
A missionary…cleverly disguised as a financial advisor
Van has been broke. Not so broke. And REALLY FREAKING broke at various times in his life. After 20 years in financial services, he now spends most of his days helping people to define their relationship with the money that God has given them.
Not only is he insanely funny, Van is PACKED FULL of knowledge and wisdom on everything from finances to business to social media. On the show we talk about mindsets around making money, “defining your relationship” with money, whether or not budgets work (hint: THEY DON’T), how and why to create a spending plan, and SO much more. Today you’re gonna walk away with a brand new view of money and how to navigate it in your life. If you’re struggling with debt… listen up. If you’re rollin’ in the dough… listen up.
Van is a “newlywed” of 26 years, a dad of two adult daughters, and a lover of Jesus. Van loves helping people achieve their hopes and dreams and spends his days finding things that excite him, excite other people, and finding ways to achieve what they want to achieve together.
Van has been in the financial services industry since 1999. He has been dead broke in that time period and on the other end of the spectrum.
Money is money and Van thinks people tend to make it more difficult than it needs to be.
In 1998, during Van’s “broke days”, he came across a newspaper article called “6 Steps to Financial Peace” by Dave Ramsey. Money started to make sense all of a sudden.
As his career advanced and he learned more about money management, he started to notice some of his friends were struggling with money and it was causing tension in relationships, marriages, and business. He wanted to help in any and every way he could. Even though there is a ton of information out there, some people just need someone else to come alongside and let them know it is going to be okay.
Many people subscribe to the idea that money is inherently bad. A lot of us make an association early on that money is bad and dirty. There is an attachment we make that “adulting” means money. Managing money is not taught as a pleasant thing. Budgeting is thought of as a chore. There is nothing fun around money. People put up a wall and make it harder than it needs to be.
At the end of the day you can only do three things with money. You can save it, spend it, or you can give it away. Somehow we have made it so complicated.
It is societal. There is a stigma in society where we just don’t talk about it openly. The number one thing Van loves to do with a group of people is have the whole room stand up and he will ask that anyone that has zero debt sit down. Rarely do people ever sit down. It allows the group to look around and realize that everyone has debt. It shouldn’t be a stigma that shuts people down, keeps people from having relationships, and keeps stress in people’s lives. If everyone has it, why don’t we talk about it? It is hard pressed to find anyone without any debt. In relationships, it is a stigma that can drag people down.
It has to start with your definition of relationship. We should all approach money with having a relationship with it. Back in the day, people used to have “DTRs” when they were dating to define the relationship. We define a lot of relationships in our lives. Defining a relationship gives us security.
When you take the ultimate relationship, with Jesus, you can really rest in that relationship because of all the promises that are in it. If we don’t define the relationship we have with the money we are earning it will affect all of those relationships we were planning on resting in because of those promises.
When Van and his wife were broke, it affected their relationship and trickled down. It can affect your friendships and who you get to hang out with.
It’s important to encourage people to define the relationship with their money. You can do this by creating a spending plan. You tell your money where it needs to go and you are on a path to financial freedom. That, in and of itself, can be really freeing.
The number one issue in marriages is when one spouse doesn’t feel that financial security. This can cause a lot of tension in many other regions of the marriage.
Once you understand that you do have a relationship with money and that relationship can affect every other relationship you have, then you can get past the word “budget”. It starts with ownership and saying that you will no longer be a slave to the way that money makes you feel. You need to master the money you are earning.
Sit down with the money you earned on your paycheck. Divy that money up into buckets that you are going to spend out of. When those buckets are empty you no longer get to spend money out of those buckets. You start to define the relationship with the money that you have. You get to decide what part of your money is spent on bills, what part is saved, and what part you give away. This is completely up to the individual.
People try to put budgets in a box and “have tos” with money in a box. It is just what makes your life easier with the money that you have coming in and then control it. You tell it where you are going to go with it.
This can be a touchy subject for a lot of people. Van describes himself as a follower of Jesus when people ask him about his religion or faith. Jesus has never made Van feel less than.
Van uses this as a jumping off point and asks himself how he can be more like Jesus with his money. Van always goes back to the fact that Jesus loves him and in him he has eternal life. When he follows Jesus, and follows his words, he doesn’t find a restriction with having money. What he does see is that what is Caesers, give to Caesar, so he pays his taxes. It also says to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. There is a little mandate in there of how he should live his life with the money that God has given him.
As Van accumulates or makes money, he wants to do well and be a good reflection of Jesus. When you come from that approach there is a lot of freedom. You can make as much money as you need to. It’s a matter of where your heart is. The closer Van gets to Jesus, the more his heart is for other people. He doesn’t mind amassing wealth because he feels led to give to people who don’t have that.
There are some people who are called to simple lives and that is great, too. Van tries to serve Jesus, and Jesus only. If he has debt then he is not serving just him. Loving like Jesus loves allows you to define your relationship with the money that he is giving you. It gives you a perspective that you might not have had otherwise.
As a society, in America, we do not give enough whether you are a believer or note. There are some societies around the world that place a greater emphasis on helping other people.
At the end of the day, is your money allowing you to love like Jesus is? If it’s not then let’s reassess your outlook on money.
People often think you have to make money to give. If your approach is always to live off a certain percentage of what you make and give away the rest, it’s hard not to be happy or successful.
According to Van, budgets don’t work and you shouldn’t do them. In Van’s experience working with both businesses and individuals, he has never seen a budget work. By definition, a budget is when you plan on making a certain amount of money and spending x amount of money this month, quarter, and year. Inevitably, with a budget you will have too much money left over.
There is a freedom that comes when you define the relationship with your money and you create ways of spending it. Budgets come across as restrictive, annoying, and antagonistic. A spending plan says you can spend money. It’s just a mindset shift.
For example, if you make $1000 one week, you can decide to put $200 in a bucket to spend on food, $100 in a bucket to spend on groceries, and $100 to spend on dining out, $50 dollars in a bucket to pay a phone bill next month, etc. You get to spend out of these buckets until they are gone. When they are gone, you can’t spend until you get paid again. When you get paid again you get to divy up all the buckets again any way you want. 37:53 Instead of a restrictive budget, focus on the freedom of spending, giving, and saving. It’s an approach that works with a spreadsheet and some debit cards to define the relationship with your money.
A spending plan is meant to be looked at multiple times a week and month. In a way, it’s just a check in. Think about it this way. If you went a week without talking to your spouse it’s not a healthy relationship. It’s the same thing with money. If you don’t look at the money that God has given you and look at your buckets, then you aren’t going to have a good relationship with it. Take time and create a spending plan.
For example, if you get paid $1000 on the 31st, take your spreadsheet and your buckets that will show where you need to transfer your money. You get paid in your main checking account, then decide how much money you want in your buckets and where that money goes (it may be a separate checking account). These buckets can be anything from auto, groceries, fun, personal care, giving, saving or whatever best makes sense for your family. Then sit down weekly and go over your plan. Make sure everything is working with your buckets. If there is money in the bucket to spend, there is freedom in spending it.
Being intellectually dishonest with yourself is most people’s downfall. They will say one thing and do another knowing that it goes against the plan they just set up. At the end of day you are just being dishonest with yourself and it’s not helping you or your spending plan. It won’t help you get to the point of financial freedom.
Temptation can also get in the way. We live in a society where we are on social media all the time and can see what all our friends are doing and buying. This can cause us to buy things on credit that we don’t have the money for.
Getting some accountability in your life around money is key. The biggest downfall is when people lie to themselves about the plan that they set up.
Google is your friend. Take the time to research. There is plenty of information out there.
Step one is to know where and what your money is going to. For some people, that is just bills. If you can identify how much you are spending and where you are spending it, you can start to build a spending plan around that. Until you know where your money is going, you can’t figure out where to put it.
Go to mint.com and connect your checking out to it. Let it download the last 30 days of your spending and it will broadly categorize where your money is going. It’s a start and you can dive in from there.
When you define the relationship with your money, this includes the money that you haven’t even made yet.
As a small business owner starting out, get to where you value your work more than the opinion of others. That will affect the money you make. Your time is more valuable than money. If you let people take that from you, you will never be happy financially. To guard your time, tell people what you are worth and when you are and are not available.
The best advice Van can give to people starting out is that you define what you are worth from a business standpoint and define your time and stick with it. You can do money planning all day long but if you are feeling depressed about your business, and if you aren’t happy with the customers you have or the product you are making, none of it is going to matter.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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