Do you remember the first time you paid for something with your own money?
When I was 16, my parents gave me $1,600 for my birthday, but I had to allot $100 a month for 12 months as my “income”. When I threw a couple of items on the Target checkout line, my mom put them in my own section.I was almost offended when she asked for me to use my own money to pay for them…oh, 16 year old emotions.
Suddenly, I didn’t want them so badly anymore. Paying for my own items meant I had skin in the game - an emotional buy in. What having my own money DID do was teach me how to work for my own money and to spend wisely on the things I really did want.
So now, as an adult and making many, many purchases since you’re very first one:
When you hear the word ‘budget’, what words come to mind?
Restriction? Limitation? No fun at all?
Although there might be some preconceived notions about budgeting, my friend Rachel Cruze is here to change that. I am SO happy to have her on the podcast this week (especially after so many requests from you guys)!
Rachel is truly changing the discussion around money matters. As a natural spender and fashion lover herself, she is truly one of the girls.
She’s here to provide you with the resources and tools you need so that YOU can take control of your finances and live in freedom TODAY! All while still shopping the Nordstrom sale ;)
Here’s what Rachel and I are diving into:
- Three steps on where to begin with budgeting, and how to obtain more freedom, not restriction, in your life
- The clothing items she loves to invest in most - from what’s trendy to her favorite two-piece set
- Tangible ways to save money this season - I personally can’t wait to try out some of these tips, like the homemade house cleaner
I *LOVE* that both of our audiences overlap. You can love buying clothes while also being responsible - and we’re living proof ;)
Budgeting doesn’t come easily for everyone. It takes effort and discipline, even if you are a Ramsey daughter! So don’t feel discouraged if you love to shop and spend (we hear ya), because personal finance is PERSONAL. You can arrange the rules however you want so long as you are staying in the guidelines.
Starting a budget can be intimidating. Rachel is breaking it down for us into three simple budgeting buckets:
- Do it before the month begins. Be proactive, not reactive.
- Don’t give up. (It takes about 90 days to see results, so stick with it!)
- Ask yourself WHY. Discovering the reasoning behind why you might want something can reveal a lot about who we are.
Creating healthy spending habits, following a budget, and having open communication about these topics are absolutely essential in creating financial freedom. So get ready to unleash the fun in budgeting and take charge of your financial future!
One of my biggest takeaways from today was that “your net worth does not define your self worth”.
While finances are important, the number in your bank account does not define your identity. You are invaluable!
Follow along with Rachel on Instagram.
Check out Rachel’s website and free tools.
Rachel’s Homemade Cleaner Recipe!
- Glass Bottle
- 1 & 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 1/4 teaspoon castile or dish soap
- 10 drops of essential oil (optional)
Rachel so graciously is offering our listeners 6 months of the budgeting app she uses: EveryDollar (Premium Version)! Just go to EveryDollar.com/redeem and use the code below!
Follow along with Brittany here.
Follow for all things Life With Loverly Podcast here.
For other Life With Loverly episodes, visit our website.
Watch my episode with Rachel Cruze:
This podcast was transcribed using Rev.com. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to the Life with Loverly podcast. I'm Brittany, a wife, mom, and lifestyle entrepreneur here to help you discover your best daily style and encourage you to try new things when getting dressed each day, I took a tiny following on social media and turned it into a community of over 1 million amazing women, and I am so glad you're here. I'll be sharing my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds on Instagram. So we'll be diving into things like personal growth, friendships, motherhood, marriage, and of course the business of blogging. Really, this space is here to serve as your go-to resource to building a life you adore while sprinkling some kindness to others along the way. Grab an iced coffee and let's do life together. I'm Brittany, and this is The Life with Loverly podcast.
Hi friends. Welcome back to today's episode of Life with Loverly. You guys asked and we listened. Today on the show we have the one and only Rachel Cruz! You may know Rachel as the daughter of financial guru Dave Ramsey, but let me tell you, Rachel is one of the girlies she loves to shop and is a self-proclaimed spender at heart, which I find makes her viewpoints and perspective on money and budgeting so much more relatable. She even had on a few pieces in today's interview that she snagged from my LTK page, so don't worry if money isn't your thing, but maybe you should put some more intention around it. Today's episode is here to give you a warm hug along with a little kick in the pants, but cute pants that is between fashion and funds. I love teaming up with Rachel. On this conversation, we are chatting about three steps on where to begin with budgeting and how to obtain more freedom, not restriction in your life, the clothing items she loves to invest in most from what's trendy to her favorite two-piece set and tangible ways to save money this season.
I personally can't wait to try out some of these tips. As a Ramsey personality and certified financial coach, Rachel is guiding others out of debt and into financial freedom, and this conversation is no different. I love the tangibility of her money saving home cleaning solution recipe, but I also really appreciate how she gives us the pep talk. We all need to eliminate shame around money mindsets. You'll hear in this episode that Rachel spoke about the app. She uses Every Dollar to help keep her on budget. Her team has generously offered a promo code for six months of the premium plan absolutely free. So check out the episode notes for all of the info and signup details. I hope you guys enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Here's my conversation with Rachel Cruz.
Hi friends. Welcome back to Life with Loverly. I am so excited to have Rachel Cruz on with me today. Rachel, how are you?
Rachel: I'm doing so good, Brittany. I'm so excited to be here. I love you so much. I know you know that I feel like I just talk about you all the time, but especially when it comes to clothes, I'm like Loverly Grey is who I go to for fashion.
Brittany: You are so sweet. Thank you so much for saying that. It's funny, I reshared something that you posted the other day and was you had on an Amazon set that I talked about and then these cute shoes and a few of my followers were like, you have to get Rachel on the podcast. That would be such a great matchup. And I was like, well, guess what? She's coming!
Rachel: Little do you know little do you know. I know. And I have the shoes on too, Brittany and the Amazon pants. I have more pants and I got my anthro shoes.
Brittany: What do you think about the shoes? Do you love them?
Rachel: I do. I love them. I'll be honest, I think this may be my second or third time wearing 'em because it's been so hot in Nashville, so closed-toed shoes, I'm just like, oh, I just wear sandals most of the time.
Know, but they're adorable and they're comfortable
Brittany: And they were on sale. So it's always a good idea.
Rachel: Well, I'm telling you, I'm going out of town this weekend and you post the Amazon set for travel. I was like, I'll buy that for the plane. And then you posted the one sleeve shirt. I'm like, I'll wear everything I'm wearing on my trip.
Brittany: Great. You're going to have to text me pictures. I was telling Elizabeth before this, I was like, I love when people show me pictures of them wearing the outfits, so please send them my way. I think that's so much fun. Well, I'm really excited for our conversation today. I think there are so many parts of money and fashion and budgeting that it's just going to be great to talk and get your expertise on the topics. So let's hop right into it. I kind of want to start, maybe go back a little bit and tell us a little bit about how money conversations looked for you growing up.
Rachel: Yes, that's probably a little bit of the unique part of just my story is because my dad's job was to talk about money all the time. So people just assume growing up as Dave Ramsey's daughter, that we were a money obsessed family and everything revolved around money. We had mutual fund birthday parties and everything had to be themed money and thankfully that was not the case. They were very, very well balanced in it, but they did talk about a topic that some parents, they don't like to talk about. It's very secretive or it's very shameful for parents. For a lot of parents, they feel like, oh my gosh, I'm terrible at money, so who am I to teach my kids? So I understand the attitude of why people are cautious around it, but mom and dad, they just dove right in. So I mean it was everything from we never were given an allowance as kids, we were always on commission.
So you work, you get paid, you don't work, you don't get paid. And that's how I learned. That's where money comes from and you give it, you save it, you spend it. And so that was talked about. And then even the heart's more emotional side of money from gratitude and contentment and what does money do to us emotionally, spiritually, all of that, what role does it play? So I mean obviously that was probably later in life when those conversations were going on, but they really did. And Brittany too, my parents, they filed for bankruptcy the year I was born. And so for them there was this charge of we don't want our kids to go through what we went through. There was so much pain and embarrassment and just terrible. So I think part of their motivation in that for teaching us and talking about it was so that we could avoid some of the mistakes that they made.
Brittany: It's interesting just hearing you say some of those things. I think back to my childhood and what money conversations we had, and it was always like, you need to work for the money that you're getting. We're not just going to give you money if you want to do something. When I was in high school, I would always be like, dad, I really want to get my nails done. That was like when you could get a acrylic nails. Do you remember that for $20
Rachel: French manicure all the time, yes.
Brittany: Why I did that, I don't know, but I would always be like, can I have some money to get my nails done? And he would be like, well, here's a list of things that I need done around the house or you can come and help me do and then I'll give you $20. And I was always like, come on, can I just have the $20? But I look back now and I'm like, there's so many things that I feel like I work really hard for and then this is the payoff. So it's so interesting, just not everybody grows up even having these conversations with their families.
Rachel: Yeah, yeah, you're exactly right. Again, I think it's a topic that parents, I don't even know if they know how to navigate, and so they naturally are just more cautious. But like you said too, I'm like, there's such helpful things with our kids in all sides of parenting every area of life, but with money, it's like this subconscious way of knowing how it works that you almost don't even realize you're learning it. And then when you're in adulthood, it's not necessarily a perfect transition, but probably a smoother transition being kind of this slap in the face of reality of wait bills or how much or cable costs, what I picked my cell phone. There's all these areas that's very overwhelming in life, and so when some of that is integrated in, I think it's helpful.
Brittany: It's a little bit easier for sure. Do you remember what the first thing that you spent your own money on as a child was?
Rachel: Oh, that's a good question. I'm the spender of the kids. So I have an older sister and a younger brother, and they're much more savers. They lean more savers than I. And still to this day, Brittany, I'm like, I am a spender. I'm a natural spender. My husband's a saver, so usually opposites of attract even in marriage. So I was always spending, and I remember probably one of my earliest memories, we had Opryland in Nashville and it used to be a theme park back when we were kids and now it's a mall. But I remember going, there was all these kind of carnival games, like a theme park game, and I remember taking my money and I was like, oh, I want to play. And I lost everything in the first two minutes I entered the park because I just was like, I'm like a gambler.
I'm like, next time I'll win. I'll win next time. I'll win next time. And I returning mom and dad and I'm like, I need more money, more money. We got to keep going playing. Yeah, I got to win. And remember, they were like, Rachel, it's gone. You did it. Now we got to move on and do something else. And it was just this defeating moment. And again, I was probably kindergarten, I was really young, so they could have totally given me another five or whatever. But even that understanding like, oh, money has limits, it has boundaries to it. And so even that, they weren't always that legalistic, but I do remember, I do remember that. So I hate to say if it was at a carnival games at Opryland, that's maybe where I spent my first money.
Brittany: You probably learned some lessons that you didn't even know you were learning when that was happening. I know for sure. That's so funny. I will never forget this. My parents, when I turned 16, I wanted to get a job and for my birthday that year, they gave me $1,600 and they said that my dad was like, I'm going to take you to open up a bank account that there's 1200 of, this is for 100 of goes to each month of the upcoming year. So my birthday's in September, so from now until next September, I want you to have a hundred dollars per month. And then the 300 was kind of the extra just fun, money birthday, kind of like money. And all of that was for if I wanted something that wasn't a necessity, I could pull from there. But I was also really wanted a job, so I needed a checking account.
I remember going to Target or Walmart or somewhere with my mom, and I had some things in the cart and I put 'em up on the conveyor belt with her things, and it was stuff she would've normally bought me before. And she was like, you can separate those out and that you're going to pay for this with your money now you just got all this money and this is, and I was just like, excuse me. I was like, what do you mean you always buy me a shirt or whatever in Target? And she was like, yes, but you need to learn how much stuff really costs and this is, and then I remember being like, okay, well, I don't actually want this if I have to buy it myself. Totally. But it was like I still remember the feeling of just what I have to spend my own money on this
Rachel: In target.
Brittany: That's what I felt like, but then it was so great for me to start figuring out, do I really need that or is that just a want? And then of course, they were buying me the necessities that I needed. Totally, yes. But I feel like I look back and I'm like, am I going to do that to my kids when they get to be a certain age, these things that I'm like, I'm never going to do. Maybe we will do that. Right?
Rachel: Totally. Oh yeah. I had the whole checking account thing, and they put money in at the first of every month, and I bounced three checks. The second month I had my account at Hollister, just take out a second. I wrote checks at Hollister as a 15 year old. I'm like, I don't even know who I am. But yeah, spent too much. There was not good at adding up what I had. But it goes to show though, and I think you're exactly right, it makes you think twice of like, oh, if this was just an assumed purchase, then I don't have any skin in the game. Don't really need much of emotional, just a shirt. And then when it's your own money and you're having to choose and actually make choices of it, it's like, okay, do I really like that? I don't know. So that's so good.
Brittany: I love that. Yeah. The emotional feelings I got from that, I think back and I'm like, I'm getting abandoned
Rachel: The trauma.
Brittany: Seriously. Okay, so I want to talk about our overlap and just of our expertise of fashion and funds, but I really want to talk about the freedom a budget can provide. I'm not excellent with a budget. I'll just go ahead and say that, and I know totally no shame. You've already mentioned being a natural spender, which I love, but when was the first time you saw freedom in putting together a budget?
Rachel: Yes. So budgeting was one of those things. Again, mom and dad, they talked about, and with our checking account, we had to take our sheets that were mailed to us from the bank and reconcile it on Quicken on our home computer. It was like the whole thing. And I remember I hated it. I'm like, I'm just not a detailed person and number. I don't know. It just was stressing me out. And so I lived with this idea of budgeting because of probably that experience honestly of, oh, budget's not fun. A budget means that you have to be cheap. That means you can't go and enjoy nice things. A budget is restrictive. You, I mean, I had all these ideas of what a budget was because as a spender, that's what it felt like. And so I remember after college got married, we were young Winston, and I remember about four months into marriage, he was like, babe, I think we need to start budgeting. And I was like, Ugh. I was like, you're wonderful but...
Brittany: Not you too!
Rachel: No, no, we're just having fun. And I remember we did our first budget and we did it for probably consistently probably that first year or two of marriage. And I did it, it was fine. I knew we probably should all of it, but I'll tell you when we went, we went to Miami on a trip before kids, and I remember we were on the plane flying from Nashville to Miami, and he said to me on the plane, Winston, my husband, he was like, babe, I don't want you to have to worry about the budget. Don't think about it. We have kind of our number that we have set of what we're going to spend, but I'll just keep up with the math and all just have freedom and go and spend. I like you're telling me I can just spend money and you'll come in if it's getting too crazy, but I don't even have to think.
And I mean, I kissed him and I was like, I'm living in my strength. This is my strength. Let me fly and be free. So I remember we checked in at the hotel, we went down to the pool and we were going to order drinks and snacks and get the day going. And I remember ordering drinks and snacks, all of this. And Brittany, I had this moment, this weird moment where I was like, I want to know how much those were because I want to know are we going to, am I spending too much right here when we first get to the hotel that in two dinners we're going to be like, oh, we don't have that much, so we have to go somewhere cheaper or we can't get an appetizer at dinner. Later that night, I started having this moment of like, oh my gosh, I don't have this freedom that I thought I was going to.
And I told Winston City of the Fullers in Miami, I was like, can we just write down the budget? I want to see the numbers and how much I can spend on pool snacks to have the freedom to enjoy it because I found myself not being able to enjoy it. And that was really the moment for me where I realized, okay, a budget does not limit my freedom. A budget actually gives me freedom. It gives me permission to spend. It allows me to go and enjoy life without any guilt or shame or questioning. Like, Ooh, should we have put this money somewhere else? Is everything else? All of those questions are answered when you have a plan. And so I kind of want to take the word budgeting that's such a negative, the B word, oh my gosh, no one wants to talk about it, but actually say no.
It can give you such this level of freedom actually in control of your money. And I think that's one of the biggest money mistakes people make is that they're not intentional with their money. They get paid, they live their lives, they get paid again, they live their lives and then they look up and it's been 20 years of working and they think, oh my gosh, I don't have what I want to show for my money. I've just been spending and not knowing where it's going. So having purpose with it is really what the budget is. So I have a clothing line item, Brittany, and it's great. And the dollar amount when I agree on and I get to go, and when you post things, I click right through to to know it, and you're good to go. It's
Brittany: Great. It's so funny because I feel like I always wanted to capitalize on if I had $50 for some reason when I was growing up, I was always like, well, I could get one shirt or I could get three shirts off the sale rack. And to me, there was this emotional to having a few more things felt like, oh, I have more options, which I wouldn't have if I just had bought one thing. But sometimes with a budget, it feels like it's so limiting, but it's really not if you kind of do it the right way.
Rachel: Totally, yeah. And it's your mindset because it does give you a limit and a boundary. We can't just go this spend, but also you can be purposeful. And the great thing about a budget is it's yours, personal finance. It's personal, which means if you get halfway through the month, and let's just pretend you spent all your clothing money and you're like, man, I really want more. And you're like, okay, I could take some money from out to eat, not going out to eat that much, and I can move some of that down. You can rearrange it and let it work with you and your life, but it does cause kind of a hard stop where it's like, yeah, you're not in Congress. You can't just go and just print a bunch of money, spend it all the time. There's a limit. And that's a good thing. That's a healthy thing. But also that limit within your income, you get to decide what it is within your paycheck. So that's the other great thing.
Brittany: Yeah, it's so interesting. My husband and I, we are in the process of doing a massive renovation on this house, and we're going to be moving next year, but we're pretty much have a construction budget, and there's some things we're having to shift around right now, and I'm like, so where's the tree? Where's the tree that we just go get the money from because this isn't working? What are we going to do? And he's like, we have to take something away from and add it here, or we're not going to get this yet or do whatever. And sometimes I feel like it's really hard to come to terms with this. Well, I want it, I want that, I want that. And it's like, that's just not how it works. You have to stay within the restrictions. And that can be really challenging at times.
Rachel: Yes. No, and I think that those feelings, we built a house and moved in November of 19 before the world changed, and we went through the exact thing, we had about a 12 month build, and we kind of put all of our dreams out there, and then we had to back down to what our number was. And I'm with you. I'm like, oh my gosh, okay, we'll get a cheaper pizza oven later. But I had this vision of this whole pizza oven out in our porch, all this stuff, which again, it's first world problems, but it's your dream and your house. And so cutting those. Yeah, I think that emotion is so real and valid because no one, yeah, of course everyone would love to have what they want, but the problem is when the behavior trumps that, and for some people, they continue to spend above their means and continue, and then they end up with a lot of stress.
I mean, the studies that show the amount of sleep that people don't get because of money, stress, the amount of marriage fights that people have, because they have extended themselves so much because of those emotions, it's caused more harm than the pizza oven ever. So it's so hard to do it. And I think it's okay to say that hurts, and that seems, and I don't like that because I don't, either's not fun, but really making sure, yeah, that emotions don't take over in the process because that's when I think people can get into a lot of trouble financially.
Brittany: So what do money conversations look like now with your husband?
Rachel: Yeah, so Winston, and I guess it's 14 years in December, I was like, how long have we been here? Yeah, it's been about 14 years. And honestly, not that we're perfect at it, but we very much, I will say the budget, it helps because he has his line item, I have mine. He can go hunt or do his stuff that he wants to do, and we agree upon it. So yeah, we do, we talk every month before the month begins. And our budget conversations are very shorts. We have an app that we use every dollar. And so we literally look at it and we're like, okay, so this month the girls have two camps. Let's put that in here. I mean, you just kind of go through your calendar and see, okay, what is life looking like? What dollar amounts are associated with all of this now?
But I mean, again, that's been 14 years. So if you're just starting out doing this, it can be actually a very contentious subject for a lot of couples. It really, it's one of the leading causes of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. So it really can be very emotional. So for us right now, we still, we've done what we talk about at Ramsey, the baby step. So we are funding retirement, we've paid off our house, we're generous. We are doing all of that. So at this point now I've learned we can't stop having goals though. So we want to do a pool. So we've been talking and we've been saving for about two years to do a backyard whole thing. We couldn't do it when we built in 2019. And that was one of the things had to, we had to come back and do it.
Yes, that's right. So for us, it's still like, Hey, here's goals that we want together. We dream together a lot and say, as a family, here's where we want to be. And if that includes money as a tool to get there, to get the thing, can we talk about that and say, okay, what sacrifices do we have to make here? What decisions are we making here to get to that goal? So right now in our state, that's kind of where we're at, but again, that's been over a decade of doing this together. But for couples out there, if someone's listening and they're like, oh my gosh, I don't even know how to talk about this. I always tell couples to start with the why. If you want to get on the same page with your spouse, why? What is that for you? Is it out of fear because you feel like, oh my gosh, if something happens, are we going to be okay?
Is it because you're not in the know, maybe he does everything or she does everything and the other spouse and they're doing it solo. Is it because you feel like you guys are working so hard and you have nothing to show for it? There's a reason, or even just honestly, the intimacy that's created, the unity that's created in a marriage when you work together in any aspect of life, but money as well. So yeah, I would say to always start with that, why with your spouse of like, Hey, I'm going to maybe create some new habits and actually do a budget together and be on the same team and see each other as one, but those can be hard. So I don't fly over that lightly because if you're set in your ways, sometimes it's a hard thing to change
Brittany: Seriously. I mean, think just that open communication. I just think of some conversations that Chris and I have had recently and just kind of being like, "Hey, let's put feelings aside really fast and just talk through some logistics, or here's some my must have lists and here wishlist. Let's compare these and then bring it back together. Is this actually possible?" I feel like whenever I've been able to be like, okay, so maybe we don't need that, let's talk. Talking it out has helped us so much just in some things related to budget. And I know this can definitely be hard though to have those conversations, especially if somebody is a big spender and it's like, this is my fault that the credit card is over this month.
Rachel: Right, right. Oh, totally. Yeah, for sure. And I would say too, when you are talking about it, to acknowledge that your spouse has strengths around money that you may not. So I always laugh, Winston allows us to actually have money. I would probably spend everything and be broke. So I'm like, that's very true for him. And he's very much a long-term thinker and very a realist and all of that. And he makes really wise decisions. And I'm always like, but I bring the fun. And so the strength that I bring is to enjoy life and to loosen up, and we can enjoy our money and have fun with it. So again, there's a humility to say, "Hey, they can actually bring something to the table that I can learn". And in that too, I think it's just a loving way to talk about it. But I think that's a great picture of even you and Chris, I'm like just saying things out loud is a step bringing, because for a lot of couples, and again, it's not just with money, it's with a lot of things in marriage that it can be so easy to say, eh, I'm not going to bring it up it because it's going to cause X, Y, and Z.
And there's a point of that being a habitual part of marriage that you just sweep it under the rug and then you look up and you're like, oh my gosh, we're not connected at all. I feel like we're running on these two separate tracks. So pushing through the uncomfort and the conflict, which actually can bring a lot of unity and intimacy. So true. It is worth it, in my opinion, and I think you win financially so much faster when you're on the same page.
Brittany: Yeah, no, absolutely. Okay. So if someone has typically been more reactive than proactive with budgeting, what are three steps where you would tell someone to start planning a budget?
Rachel: Yes, okay. I would say number one, you want to do it before the month begins because that's going to allow you to be proactive for the month. If you're throughout the month and just kind of spending on impulse, and it's that reaction, that means you probably don't have a plan that you can go back to and say, Hey, here's what I had planned out. So I always teach a zero based budget, which is your income minus all of your expenses, including giving and saving should equal zero. So every dollar coming in is assigned to a category. And of course, the categories of food, shelter, utilities, transportation, your big needs, actual needs will be up top. And then you prioritize down and say, okay, so when your paycheck hits exactly where it's going to go. And so that helps On that proactive side. I would also say don't give up because it takes about 90 days to get a budget to work.
And if you've lived in a reactive state with money, it's been spontaneous. So when things don't work, it's probably going to be natural for you to spontaneously stop. It's not working. So give yourself three months, give yourself some time. And then the third thing I would say too, it's probably more of the heart issue around money, because I think money magnifies a lot of who we are, but ask yourself why. If you really have trouble with it, which I'm in that camp, I have to ask myself a lot of the times, okay, why am I feel like I need this in this moment? What's causing me? I mean, you can even feel like a level of adrenaline even like, Ooh, okay, okay, this would be great. What is causing that in you? And I think asking that question's helpful. So for me, for instance, there was a stage, a lengthy time in my life where I very much was like, oh, yeah, I want this probably because of what people think.
And so I have to ask myself, if I bought this and nobody sees this purchase, do I still want it? Is it really for me? Or am I fishing for something else? Is it because bored, and I do this Brittany too. I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm at night and I'm just, oh, that's fine. Okay. It's excitement. There's a level of excitement to buying something. So I would check that. I mean, so just start asking those more hard questions of what's causing me to want to get this right now? Because it's doing something to you, right? It's fulfilling something in you and stuff is not bad. I always say, it's okay to have nice stuff. Just don't let your nice stuff have you. And I think it has when you go into debt for it, because it owns you at that point, you don't really own it.
And number two, it has you when your joy or your contentment is wrapped up in that thing or just stuff. And so there's a strength to be had to say, okay, I have the money for it, and I think not perfect, but pretty content. If I don't have this, I can live, right? Even with the house stuff, I can cut it. I know we can, there's a maturity there to say that, but yet you can still say yes to stuff and that's okay. So I think some of those kind of checks and balances with you in your heart or for people listening, I think is really a big part of personal finance.
Brittany: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. You mentioned that your husband and you check an app. Tell me about what apps you use that help make budgeting a little bit easier.
Rachel: Yes. So we have every dollar, so it's our budgeting app, and we have the same just login information, and it's great. It ties to your bank account. And so when you swipe that debit card, transactions just come in and you drag and drop 'em to each category. So it's like we have a Costco line item, a grocery line item, a restaurant line item. We have everything kind listed out. So as these transactions hit, one of us move to sit there and track 'em, move it, and we can see how much we have left in it. And it's just a place again, to kind of just keep everything. So we have that app we use. We both have our checking account app with our local bank. We have that. We have Ally Bank too that we use for high yield savings and stuff. So yeah, there's some of that banking world that we definitely use. But every dollar the app is what we use, and it's so helpful.
Brittany: I feel like my husband would be into this app. I'm going to have to ask him if he's ever heard of it.
Rachel: Yes, I can send you the information for sure.
Brittany: Okay. So I've heard you say budgeting is more about intentionality than intensity. Tell me a little bit about that.
Rachel: Yeah, so again, I think it goes back to this attitude of how we look at it, that some people can use the budget to weaponize life and they're not in the budget or with the kids. And it's like it's not in the budget. It's like this negative force, and people can be so legalistic about it that it ends up taking, I think, sucking the life out of their life. So there's this intense version of it that I'm like, no, no, no, that's not it. That's not the purpose of it. The purpose it is to be intentional. So you actually have a game plan, you know what you're working towards.
So that intentionality piece, and again, this could be with retirement or looking at investing, if you have a big goal of a home, whatever the thing is that's out there, you want to work towards it. And people that win in life in any area, whether it's their parenting or their marriage or their job or friendships, whatever it is, people, they're proactive and they do something. They don't just sit back and let things happen to them. And so with your money, it is doing things on purpose. And so the budget allows that intentionality to be there. And it just gives you peace too. It's just like, okay, there's a plan. There's a plan, we're good.
Brittany: So when would you suggest somebody start investing?
Rachel: So for investing, we always say to be completely but your house. So for a lot of people, they're starting there. And so that's student loans, credit card debt, car loans, all of it. So be debt free, have three to six months of expenses saved in the bank. So this is really your emergency fund, your fully funded emergency fund. And so all of those two steps on average, take people about three and a half years to pay off all their debts to get some savings. And then I always recommend 15% of your income going into retirement investing specifically. So we won't get too nerdy on here, but Roth IRAs or your 4 0 1 k at work, or 4 0 3 B if you're a teacher or work for the government. So these kind of retirement plans. So 15% of your income there. And then also if you have kids, next step would be for college, if you think that's in their future, start saving for college and then paying off the house would be the next thing to do.
Brittany: Yeah, that's great. Okay, so let's get into some discussion on budgeting and our love of fashion. What would you say are some staple pieces that you have in your closet?
Rachel: Oh, man. Okay. I always have two or three great pairs of jeans. I have more jeans than that, but if I had a lemon, I'm like, I want, so I have my, yes, my nicer ins. I've got my crazy fun ones that are out on the town and then my medium with some holes or whatever, and I'm like, oh, yeah, I can pull those off for work. So a level of a jean selection for me, I love, you may have even said this to me, and during our Instagram live, you may have, but a white T-shirt. So I have two that have fun sleeves to them, and I compare those with skirts under blazers, just with jeans, all of it. So I have two nice just plain white shirts. I have a good black blazer that's longer that I can roll up the sleeves. I'll throw that on sometimes if I need to. So a black blazer would be, and then I have probably, yeah, I would say I would want at least one for me, maybe just because of my job and my work, but one great sheath type dress, so like a jeweled color, something like that I can have, and I can even wear those a wedding or if I'm doing a media interview or whatever. But to have some good stapled, those kinds of dresses are good for my closet, the good staples. And then you know what I've gotten into Brittany,
Rachel: It's not in my closet. It's like in my drawer, technically. Good pajamas. Yes. I'm like, I love a good pair of PA drama.
Brittany: There's something to be said about feeling really good when you go to sleep. Yes,
Rachel: This is a matching set. I'm not mad. I'm not mad. I'm going to bed in a matching set.
Brittany: It's so true. What would you say is the last trendy outfit that you bought?
Rachel: It was from you Brittany. Okay. Because I'm a two piece person now. I love, give me a two piece all day, two piece set.
This is the one which I don't even know where I'm going to wear it. I don't even have, but it's the one sleeved, it's kind of like a bunch with the flowy skirt.
Brittany: The skirt, yes. Okay.
Rachel: Oh, it came in the mail. I put it on, my husband was like, should we go out to dinner tonight? And I was like, I don't dunno if I can wear this around Nashville. I guess I could, but it's very beachy to me.
Brittany: But it's trendy. It is trendy. I love though that the skirt is a really good skirt by itself. You could wear some of the other blouses from your closet in with that skirt and it's lined, so it's not, but then it comes with that cute little more trendy top. I feel like that's what makes it trendy. And then you can actually use the skirt later. Yes.
Rachel: Okay. And then my other two piece that I got from you was the striped loft. It has the blue and white stripe. I just wore that and I'm going out of town and packing it. It's so cute.
Brittany: It's so cute. It's very comfortable and just, I love pieces like that too, where you feel elevated, but it's easy to wear. Easy to wear is something I think is you really need to make sure with every outfit that it is easy to wear.
Rachel: Absolutely. I would say, because the shorts, even, I've worn the shorts, which just a white tank a few times too, and so I love that one.
Brittany: Okay. What would be a more elevated piece that you would say is worth investing in?
Rachel: I mean, a good pair of shoes, like a good nude heel or something is where I would go nicer quality. I would wear that a lot all the time. So I would say a good pair of shoes, a heel, a nice gosh. I mean, I say that the staple piece of the dress, I would spend more money on a nice dress than a top. So
Brittany: If you're a dress person or a top person, that feels like a good place to invest to a statement.
Rachel: And then a good jean jackets, which I got mine from Able, so it wasn't too expensive. But just one that has actually good quality lasted me, gosh, probably four years, maybe not at this point a long time, but I can throw that on with anything. So I do love that.
Brittany: Totally agree. Okay. Do you organize your closet in a certain way that helps you shop your closet if you wanted to do that? Or how would you go about organizing?
Rachel: Yes. So I'm not the most organized person, but I kind of am in my closet. So I have all my long sleeves, in one area. Short sleeves and tanks, and then dresses and pants on the other side. So for me, yes, it is helpful. I can go and look at skirts or pants like the bottom, and then I can go over to the top. And then if I'm really good, and I'll kind of get crazy sometimes. I'm not always like this, but I'll try to even color coordinate Brittany. I'll try to do colors and then whites and darks.
I mean, that's a solid 20% of the time though, so if you watch in my closet eight out 10 times, it's not like that.
Having the section though is very helpful for me with jackets, even all of that.
Brittany: I think it's interesting. I always tell people, obviously my job, I'm showing outfits all the time and telling people, this is where you can buy this. It's on sale today, yay, yay, yay. But so much of what I'm doing is trying to just give people outfit inspiration to where they can go back to their closet and be like, well, I have a skirt like that, and a top like that. Why don't I go put that together? And I always tell people it takes a little bit of time on the front end, but going into your closet and kind of looking around and putting some outfits together that are those fail safe. So when you walk in and you're like, I don't have anything to wear, it's like, well, you have these five things that you love. You always have those you could pull from. Or if it's a time where you're like, I really want a new outfit, I'm really just like, you need to spend some money. And it's like, well, maybe actually go in your closet and put together some outfits you haven't worn together yet, and that could fill your need of, instead of spending money, you just use that time to put some outfits together. And that can give you that same joy as a new, actually buying a new piece of clothing would.
Rachel: Yes. Oh, a hundred percent. And when stuff just gets lost in the closet and you forget about it, and then you see even something like you post and you're like, oh my gosh, I could do that white shirt with that skirt that I've worn for. Where is that? And you put it together and you're like, oh, I feel cute. It's like, this feels good. I like this. I like this feeling. Brittany, what do you do with all your clothes?
Brittany: So many clothes?
Rachel: Well, I always think about that. I'm like, man, I wonder what she, yeah, because you don't rewear, I guess, in real life. Do you rewear stuff?
Brittany: I do. I actually have some stuff that if I'm not going to be on camera, I have a whole section of my closet that's like, if I'm not going to be on camera, this is what I'm going to wear. And it might just be favorite dresses that I got that I'm just like, I have to keep this. I love it so much. I have this one dress from h and m from probably three years ago that I wear all the time. It is my one fail safe dress. If I don't have anything to wear, I always go back to this one. And it's so great. But for the rest of the clothes, it's kind of interesting because I am in the business of selling clothes as well, so it's kind of a missed opportunity if I am on camera or talking on stories and I'm not wearing something that somebody could just buy.
Rachel: Oh, sure.
Brittany: Totally. Every time I'm on stories, we get a dm, where's that shirt from? Where's that dress from? And so it's like, I want to be able to send that to people, because if you put a bunch of people in a group, some are just like, Hey, I'm ready to swipe my card. We're good to go. So I do feel like I try to re-wear things or make sure that I have a good amount of pieces that are stocked so people do see me re-wearing stuff. Norm isn't to just have a huge closet of overflowing new arrivals all the time.
Rachel: Totally. Yes.
Brittany: But once items sell out, it is harder to rewear them. And so for me specifically, this is so unique to my line of work, but a lot of times I give clothes to my mom or my sister-in-law, the girls in the office, there's a few of 'em that wear the same size as I do. And so I'm like, "Hey, if there's anything that comes into this section of the closet, it's free game. Feel free to take whatever you want.
Rachel: So good. Yeah.
Brittany: One of my assistants recently, I told her she had free range at a bunch of stuff, and she went on vacation with her family, and every outfit was something that had been in my closet. And I was so excited to see these dresses going to the beach and having a vacation. I loved it so much. And then we also, I sell some of it on Poshmark and donate a hundred percent of the proceeds to charity.
Rachel: Oh, that's cool.
Brittany: And a lot of times it's people who are maybe missed out on it or they couldn't get it at the price the brand was originally selling it for, or it was sold out. And so I'm, I feel like it kind of has helping people to be able to actually get their hands on the clothing and then we are able to donate it to charity. So I feel like that is kind of a fun trade off, and I've always really enjoyed doing that, but it's definitely not normal to have the amount of clothes in their closet.
Rachel: Love it. I would switch jobs with you for a little bit.
Brittany: Yeah, it's lots of clothes. It's so much fun. I love it. And I think if I'm ever in a negative head space, I always just go in my closet and find joy in putting stuff together, outfits together. I get creative by touching the product, and this texture would really go well with this silk skirt. How can we make this work? And then next thing I know, I'm out of my funk.
Rachel: So it's a creative outlet for you!
Brittany: Totally. Yeah.
Rachel: Oh, that's so great. I love it.
Brittany: Okay. What about, I have some friends who love spending money on their children and on their children's clothes. Do you have any tips for where we can save money when we're buying stuff for our kids or their clothes?
Rachel: Yeah, so I have an eight, almost six and three year old. So that's kind of like the seasonal life we are. And so if you asked me seven years ago when my daughter was one, I would be like, oh my gosh, I got all the smock and I did all the acclimate. I mean, I did the whole probably more southern mother dressing.
And I would get, honestly, a lot of my stuff was hand-me-downs from friends. I would even go to, we have great consignments places in Nashville. These private schools, we'll do 'em twice a year, and it's all these moms that have all this stuff, and you can go and get it a fraction of the price. So I did that a ton. And of course, we have some really sweet little boutiques around Nashville too, so I'm like, if I was going to go spend some money, I probably go to one of those. So that was kind of my, I would say though, from the savings end for sure, people want to get rid of their kids' clothes. So if you have a friend and you love their kids' style, and they're still kind of not in the rough and tumble stages of kids
That will get two in a second because stuff gets ruined. I would ask and be like, Hey, if you need to get some of those clothes off your hands, let me know. I'll take 'em, or I'll buy 'em from you. And of course, it'd be at a fraction of the price or consignment and all of that. So that's a great way. But honestly, now, in my season with my kids, my girls, my sweet little smock wearing daughter is now eight, and she wants athletic shorts and t-shirts and high top tennis shoes, and she's running her game that way, which is awesome. So honestly, I'm like, I don't buy, I now spend less on kids' clothes now with three kids than I did, honestly, with two baby girls that I had it first. I know. I'm like Old Navy.
Brittany: Its so hard.
Rachel: It's so hard. So I, I thought I would be more of the mom that had more of a put together looking family, but I feel like we look homeless half the time. You see us out in public because they dress themselves. And I'm like, well?
Brittany: Well, and you got to give them freedom to, it's like this double-edged sword sometimes.
Rachel: Totally, totally. So honestly, I've kind of given up on the whole kids' clothes thing. I kind of just let them go, and I don't buy very expensive clothes. And then my sister, she had two boys. So for Charles, my three-year-old, she's given me, oh my gosh, Brittany bins and bins of the sweet little alligator, what it, the applique? Yes, yes. All of those. All the little sailboats. Sailboats,
Brittany: All the cute little boys. I know I have some friends who have boys, and they're just dressed so handsomely. I'm like, these little boys are just so sweet and put together and I love it.
Rachel: A little button up a little boy and a button up is just so cute!
Brittany: Oh I know.
Rachel: So yeah, so he has some of those. But honestly, for my sister, so I'm probably not the best. I mean, I would say honestly, consignment, if you want to go the higher end and you don't have the budget for it, especially if you live in a bigger city, drive to the wealthy suburbs of the city, and I'm telling you, those moms,
Brittany: They'll just, yeah,
Rachel: That's actually a great advice. Unload all their nice clothes
Brittany: Love it. Okay. What about the men in our lives? How many ties do you guys actually need?
I mean, I am sure your clothes budget is different than Winston's clothing budget.
Rachel: Yeah. Winston's not. I shop for Winston. I'm like, I'm the one that's like, I find stuff and I'm like, oh, good. You'll love this. You'll love this. So yeah, he is the most low maintenance he'd wear REI, total dad style
Brittany: All time. I feel like Chris is a good sale shopper too. He likes a bargain. He gets nice things, but he also is like, oh, I got these Page jeans on sale. He loves the thrill of the hunt too. Or if he knows, well, I can get that on sale, he's going to wait because he's like, I just would prefer to get it on sale. I'm like, that's fair.
Rachel: You're like, that's great. I know. So he has one or two nice suits. I remember we bought those in the last few years. It was like, okay, we need to Winston. We got to up the suit game for weddings or party Christmas parties or whatever. So I remember spending some money doing that, but honestly, he's not a shopper. I am the one that spends all the clothing money.
Brittany: But I guess maybe it goes back to if your husband, if you are a shopper and your husband is also a shopper, that's got to be open conversation that you have when you're creating the budgets. And it's like, okay, we got to put some parameters around this for both of us. Or, Hey, I'm real shopper, but husband's really into playing a lot of golf. It's like, okay, where we got to.
Rachel: Be open communication is the hobbies thing. That's where his always goes is like, yes, golf or hunting, or he's doing all this gardening stuff right now in our yard, so he's going to Home Depot every other day. I mean, it's all this stuff, which is all great, but I'm like, yeah, this is your clothing. Clothing budget where I spend on clothes he spends elsewhere.
Brittany: Yes. No, I love that. Okay, let's talk about a few tangible ways to save money. Tell us a little bit more about your homemade kitchen cleaning supplies.
Rachel: Yes. Okay. So I did this episode on my show probably four years ago. And there was, in the episode, I think there was probably three cleaners that we did that were, you make homemade. And I think obviously health wise, it's like free chemicals, all of that. And it's so inexpensive. And the one that I keep constantly, all my stuff is the cleaner for my kitchen counters. So we have a lot of counter space in our kitchen. We built, that was one thing. I was like, I want some islands. I want counter space. So we have a lot of counter space. So we would go through so much, I mean, with kids, I'm like, you wipe down counters all day.
Brittany: All the time.
Rachel: So this cleaner, it is my favorite. So I got a glass squirt bottle thing, so it's half, I'll have to get the specific measurements for you if you want to post later, because I may mess it up, but it's like I know to fill it halfway up with water, and then you fill about that much with rubbing alcohol. I think that's what it is. Rubbing alcohol, right? Not peroxide, but rubbing alcohol.
And then this type of soap, it comes in a huge thing, but you only don't use a ton, maybe two teaspoons or something of a soap. And then I get lemon essential oils, and you do 10 drops of lemon in it. Lemme think it was water. Yeah, it's those four. And close it up, shake it up, and it smells delicious. It's smells kind of clean. But I like that.
Yes, agree. But I would rather smell like that than something else. So it's very clean, smelling and fresh, and it gets up everything. It gets up everything. I can't remember the name of the actual soap that's used in
Brittany: It. Let know, it's a
Rachel: Specific kind. I think it's a pretty high intenseity soap that you use, but it is my favorite. I squirt that thing all over my house. It's so great. And I refill it Brittany all the time because I'm like, we spend so much on that. So that was one thing. There's a shower, a shower cleanser. I don't have it memorized for inside your showers if you're doing that, or even toilets, more of like a disinfectant cleanser. But yeah, I'm, I mean, self-admitted looking for all the clean ingredients all the time and all my stuff. So I'm not hyperfocused on that, but it is so nice where I'm like, okay, it is really healthy.
Brittany: Yeah, It's clean, it's safe.
Rachel: And it's so inexpensive because I don't use a ton of the stuff. It's not that much to refill it. So that's been huge.
Brittany: Yeah, no, that sounds awesome. You'll have to send me the recipe for, because I would love to know that too.
All right, so let's wrap this up. And this is one question that I'm just excited to hear your answer. I think that some people actually feel like this sometimes, but what would you tell the woman who have money, shame or anxiety around money? What would be some advice that you would give somebody listening today?
Rachel: Yeah, I would say control what you can control. And so I think there's a lot of things in our world right now that we can't, even with interest rates and inflation, all this stuff that's happening, it's like we can't control the Fed and Washington and all this stuff. So what are the things that you can control? And so you can control when your income hits your account, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to use it to further yourself financially and get out of debt, save, have money saved? Are you going to use it to bring more peace to your life? Or do you continue down the same road that you're on? And if you're in a spot that you're stressed out and freaked out about money, obviously that what you've done has not given you the result you want in life, so you're looking for something different.
So yes, I would say control what you can control. I know we keep harping on the budget, but honestly, that will give you a level of control maybe you've never had before to actually say, okay, here's where money's going and I have some direction to it that will feel good. And then number three, I always tell people, your net worth is not your self-worth. And so much of money conversations today is about how successful you are. And that means of who you are as a person is better or whatever. It's we put such value on whether it's our stuff or our income or what's in our bank account. And so really unplugging that and just saying, Hey, who I am is not wrapped up in the number in my bank accounts. And so separating those two things I think are really important because I think shame can get in our heads and say, oh, wait, well, I should have done this, or I could have done this, or, I'm so stupid, I didn't do that.
These voices in your head. And you have to say, that's happened. The past has happened. But the beautiful thing is, is that we all have the ability today start making new decisions towards something better. And I just have seen every income level, every debt level, every story you can imagine from single moms to people with 12 kids or whatever. I've seen the gamut of people that have chosen to actually take control of their money and find peace with it, and it is possible. So that's my encouragement to them is don't allow that shame to paralyze you actually be able to say, okay, what am I fearful of? What are the things that are keeping me up at night? And make a plan and decisions around those things to change it, because you can. You really can.
Brittany: I love that. Well, I feel like I hope that people listening find some encouragement there and even take your advice from some of your steps from the beginning of this episode. I think there's so much great information in here. Rachel, just thank you so much for coming on the show today. It's truly such an honor to have you.
Rachel: Oh, thank you, Brittany. Thanks for having me on. It's always fun to connect with you, and I know all the work you do. I just love it so much. So thanks for all the joy you put into the world.
Brittany: Absolutely. And for our Life with Loverly listeners, we are going to leave all of Rachel's information in the bottom of the show notes so you guys can follow her on Instagram and get some more tips. She shares lots of great information that I know you guys will love to continue hearing from Rachel. So thank you so much and we will talk to you guys soon!
This season of Life with Loverly is produced by Elizabeth Evans Media Productions. Hi friend. If you're loving the show, will you go find that follow button on your podcast app? This will ensure that you won't miss a single episode. I love having you in this community. Until next time.