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budgeting - the new $elf care
A lifestyle company
I'm AJ, and I didn't always have a good relationship with money...
This is a story about a girl and her money
At the worst stage of my financial history I was in $10k worth of credit card debt, that had been sitting in collections for years. I hadn't touched my $34k worth of student loans, hadn't filed for taxes in 5 years which amount to $10k AND I started to accumulate debt to my family another $9k.
I was in constant fear.
I felt helpless and lost.
Working so hard and never seeing the fruits of my labor.
I was exhausted, I was angry and I could not see a way out.
I had spent the summer of 2016 traveling with friends, acting like I was having fun, when in reality I felt like I was drowning. I finally realized how reckless I was being with my life. My grandparents were getting older, my friends were starting to get engaged and I had nothing to my name. (In 6 months time I would be sleeping on my friends couches, too proud to go home, to broke to find my own place) I couldn't afford ANYTHING and I felt like a fraud, awaiting judgement, all the time. No one was going to come and fix my finances. No magical check was going to come in the mail and pay off all my debt. I was going to have to face it, pay it off, piece by piece.
That meant facing the ANGER
Facing the SHAME
Finally I reached my breaking point, completely broke and nowhere to live..
What they're saying!
"Before AJ, I felt "There's got to be a better way than this"...and by this I mean no real way, just sort of unrestricted money in money out. My number 1 goal working specifically with AJ is to build out some structure that I can rely on and then move forward (and upward) from. I also needed to talk about finances and be heard and get solid advice about all of the emotional deformations and hang ups I have about money...which is partly why I had such a garbage system around it in the first place. I needed someone more than just a money Spock. Only a few sessions in, but so far I was surprised that I could make a plan to pay my necessities, save money for the future, tackle debt AND still have a chunk left over for myself to actually enjoy life. I was convinced being financially sound meant living in a black and white, tight butt cheeked world. I’ve been able to let my subconscious relax. I’d recommend AJ to anyone who like myself and my partner; two very smart, creative, high spirited people who are (but now becoming awake) dumb af about money."
"You saved my life"
Dance & Program Coordinator, Kennedy Center
"Before working with AJ, I was stuck in a loop of fear and dis-empowerment. I was unintentional with my finances because I didn't feel that I had any tools to make any changes in my life. I knew I needed someone to help me get unstuck, feel empowered, and turn my financial life from something that caused a lot of fear and anxiety into something that made me feel powerful, independent, and back in the driver's seat of my life. AJ helped me discover that my financial life was covered in shame which made me feel alone and trapped forever in debt and a scarcity mindset. AJ gave me a team, someone to hold my hand, and practical tools to help me get unstuck and envision a new future. I can now prioritize and enjoy being in control of my financial life and future instead of spinning my wheels, constantly working to be scrappy, and digging myself further down into holes of uncertainty. There's still some work ahead, but I now have a vision for the future that is full of more possibility than I could have imagined when I was living paycheck to paycheck. I would recommend AJ if you are stuck in uncertainty, have financial goals or want to develop financial goals for the first time, anyone with debt, anyone who feels stressed about the current economy under COVID-19, anyone who feels like they need a little extra support in their corner when it comes to planning or envisioning a healthy, free, and independent future."
"Before I had a lack mindset. I never felt like I would ever have money. I was super defeated and felt I had tried everything. I had constant anxiety about money, I was spending more than I was making, and I had $10,000 of credit card debt that was accumulating.. Now, I have more power and control of my finances. I see more possibilities. I am 2 months away from paying off my CC!!!!! I have negotiated pay which led to raises. I have consolidated my student loans which lowered my monthly rate, I increased my income, and learned I can say no to things that are out of my means and it is not restrictive it is empowering! I track my expenses and income every month. AJ says financial wellness is self care and it’s so true!! I have literally recommended her to everyone in my life."
“I was stubborn and thought I can do this on my own, I know I need to pay off credit card debt and then student loans. I chose to work with AJ when I was feeling overwhelmed by all the opinions surrounding debt and what is the *best* way to get rid of it. My goal from working with AJ was to make sure I am saving smart. I am no longer staying awake at night doing calculations about saving and what I can afford. Talking about money does not cause frustration or arguments anymore. I have peace that saving money takes time and it’s the little victories that are the most important. I am able to have a budget for clothes and my car loan without stress! I would recommend AJ to any of my friends, especially those who recently graduated from higher education with debt. ? I don’t want it to sound like I would recommenced you to ONLY recent grads."
Health & Wellness Coach
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I had the mindset of "fly by the seat of your pants" - meaning, as long as I was getting by, that was sufficient for me. This, of course, created a lot of anxiety revolving around money and my relationship with money was very hindered by my dependency on others when in truth my finances were in shambles. My biggest goal with AJ was, and still is, financial independence. Not only do I want to achieve financial freedom on my own, I don't want to rely on family when times get tough. Thus far, AJ has taught me the tangible skills needed to achieve financial independence, as well as the mentality I need to have to obtain this goal. AJ has taught me to think for myself! I now feel empowered to make my own decisions without others' input. Every time I speak with AJ I feel a sense of both relief and empowerment - she makes me feel at ease, while also giving me all the tools I need to succeed! The first breakthrough directly relates to my relationship with money. For me, I viewed money in its most raw form - as a transaction. Now, I feel that I have a better understanding of what money means to me, personally, and the ways in which I can use it to benefit my life in a way that aligns with my values. AJ has empowered me to aggressively strive toward my goal of financial independence. Not only does she encourage me to purposefully think about what's important to me and why, she also provides me with the support and guidance I need to make the necessary changes to achieve that goal. And my final breakthrough relates to the way in which I spend my money, aka, my budget. feel that I now spend money very differently than before, in a much more mindful and decisive manner. I feel much more confident in making financial decisions that support both my values and my goals. The word "budget" wasn't even in my vocabulary before beginning my journey with AJ. I truly feel that ANYONE could benefit from AJ's guidance, whether you feel financially free/stable or not. I think she is a magnificent coach that has the ability to adapt herself to each and every person's situation and mindset, while also not altering her mission as an advisor. She is highly emotionally intelligent and is always sensitive to my needs, but is also strong in her beliefs and very adamant on follow through - which is something from which I VERY much have benefited, as I am a highly motivated client, but have always struggled with staying on task - I have praised her in her ability to gently push me toward the goals I so badly want to achieve.
"I am very fortunate and lucky to have AJ help me with my finances. I am not a crazy spender but I was in a little financial debt between jobs... With AJ’s guidances I feel so much more secure about my financial future and now way more aware of not being so frivolous with my money!"