New year who dis?
Alright, friends, this post has been a year in the making, and I want to share with you a bit about my money story and how I paid off over $70k in debt AND found enough money to invest in my first property in less than a year — I know, I know, sounds crazy right? I promise you, it happened, but not without help.
This all started a couple of years ago when I had some money in the bank — roughly $30k in my business account, and I wanted to start investing in real estate but had no idea how. At the time, I was considered self-employed because I was working freelance and shared another business, called LUXELIFE SOUND, with Lissa (which we still share). However, I knew enough about money to know that with the amount of debt that I had (roughly $120k) and status as a self-employed person, there was no way I could qualify for a mortgage. My debt-service ratio was just too high, even though my credit was pretty good. Anywho, long story short, after many conversations with Coco, I learned that I could invest in a pre-construction unit with Brad — we like to keep things in the family. So I drained my bank account and put down $25k on my first property called Bread Company. The only problem was that I would need to find another $75k over the next couple of years because you have to put down a total of 20% on new builds on new builds.
Truth be told, I had no idea how I would do it, but I knew that if I wanted to be wealthy at some point in my life, I would need to figure it out. I also knew at the time that I had no idea how to manage a proper budget. You might be wondering how I got myself into so much debt, and the answer to that one is easy. I went to school for almost 10 years, have 2 undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree, moved from Edmonton to Vancouver to Toronto, and had no help from my parents or family. It’s been an expensive decade. That debt was a combination of credit cards, Student Loans, and Lines of credit, and it was crushing me. I’d been trying to dig myself out of that hole for years and couldn’t figure out how to solve the problem.
Late in 2020, after trying to figure it all out on my own, I accepted defeat and enlisted the help of Vanessa Bowen, who is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP), and the Founder of Mint Worthy Co. Inc. Vanessa’s approach to money is WAY different than anyone I’ve ever encountered because her goal is to help you understand what the root causes of your money mindset are and help you release those blocks. What resonated with me was when she said, “Cleo, I can teach anyone to make a budget, but if you don’t understand why you think about money the way you do, then a budget won’t do a thing for you,” and that’s when I knew that this program was for me. I’ve often said it in many different blogs, but I am process obsessed. I need to understand things to truly execute them, and I knew I had no idea how to fix my understanding of money on my own.
Now, let me tell you that this coaching program is like nothing you’ve ever done before. The first day of the program is called the “Breakthrough Day,” and it’s literally a full day (8 – 10 hours) where Vanessa comes over and teaches you to release the limiting beliefs that are subconsciously keeping you stuck and controlling your life in the areas of money, career, business or relationship to self. I was desperately hungover when she and I did this day, so I absolutely do not recommend being hungover while doing that, but HOLY SHIT, I learned a lot about myself and my habits with money.
One of the most interesting concepts I learned with Vanessa while doing this breakthrough day was that many people are “running away from” being broke because they fear it. We were listing my values around my relationship with money and went deeper to investigate what was important around that. We determined whether or not I was motivated towards that factor or away from it. You see, many people are motivated away from being broke (you know, the people who squirrel away their money and are too afraid to ever spend). But that thinking and mentality don’t mean you’re necessarily motivated towards abundance. If every move you make around money is out of fear of being broke, then abundance is harder to come by. Then there’s the inverse, which is me. I have absolutely no fear of being broke, so I’m not motivated away from it. I’ve been broke AF in the past, so not having money doesn’t scare me. BUT, I didn’t know that, nor did I know how to move towards having a mindset of wealth and abundance. And that’s what Vanessa and I worked on for TEN HOURS that day. I can’t explain all that happened, because obvi I was hungover, but also, it was a very intense experience that forced me to do a lot of inner work to start rewiring my brain.
Vanessa and I worked together for months. I had homework; I had to write out affirmations; I had to figure out a budget spreadsheet — my inner student came all the way out for this. Now, I know this sounds insane to everyone, but, on God, when I started understanding how to change my money mindset and abundance, money started falling out of the sky…. ACTUAL MONEY JUST APPEARED. I wanted to be able to pay for a new couch and something else for my place, and it was going to cost me $2200, and then, my accountant told me I was getting a random return for $2800 THE.NEXT.DAY. I wanted funds to buy something else, and I got a modelling gig the following week that was more money than I needed. So, this year, I said I wanted to crack the 6 figure income bracket… AND. I. DID.
Vanessa showed me exactly how to change my money mindset and understand that tackling this was going to be hard work but so worth it in the end. I paid off all of my credit cards, figured out how to pay off the rest of the money on my condo, and most importantly, I could still live my life and have fun.
All I can say to you is this — if you struggle with understanding money, how to build wealth, and want to get on track, calling Vanessa is the best thing you could ever do for yourself. If you want to learn more about Vanessa, you can listen to the podcast episode that we did with her here, or you can find her on Instagram. Vanessa has been kind enough to provide us with a discount code for her new group coaching program, Unblock Abundance™. — you can use CLEO10 for 10% off. Full disclosure, this isn’t an affiliate code, and neither I nor the blog makes any money from this, she just wanted to extend a discount to anyone interested.
And even if you can’t work with her just yet, here are her 5 most important tips for managing your money:
Top 5 Most Important Tips for Money Management
- Set financial goals that set your heart on fire. These are not goals that everyone else has or tells you to have (you will never stay committed to achieving them).
- Create a budget. A budget makes your financial dreams come true and tells your money where to go, instead of your money going everywhere but nowhere.
- Set weekly money dates. These check in’s hold you accountable to know where your money is going and ensure your money is working in alignment with your goals.
- Create a debt repayment plan. By you wishing to be debt-free (or believing it will never happen) is the surest way to stay in debt. If you are serious about getting out of debt, create a plan to get you there.
- Begin building an emergency fund. Your credit card or line of credit is not your emergency fund. Being financially independent means being able to create your own financial security and not constantly relying on the bank to bail you out.