Podcast Episode Transcripts:
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Hey listeners. Thanks for joining us today on learning from others today. Karen Ford joins us. She coaches and teaches people how to make money and also more importantly, or equally as important demolished debt. Karen, thanks for joining us. Hi, thanks for having me. I so appreciate it. Yeah. You know, we kind of chatted a little bit before and you got some yeah, interesting stories to share with our listeners.
So why don’t we kind of start with the basics of what you do and what it’s like to work with you. And then let’s kind of jump into some of those stories afterwards. Okay, sounds good. Well, I’m a master financial coach. I coach people one on one or one on two. Sometimes couples come and receive some financial coaching from me and I teach and train people how to get out of debt, how to build wealth, investing in that kind of thing.
I also give some financial freedom seminars, uh, but I so enjoy what I’m doing because of it. Helps people in a different way. I actually am a nurse. Um, my background is in nursing, but I haven’t, uh, worked as a nurse for the past seven or eight years. Uh, but I find this enjoyable because I am still helping people.
And it’s amazing to me that, uh, people have such a struggle with money where it’s almost like a taboo to talk about, especially if they’re having problems with it. And so if you wanted me to share a couple of stories, uh, one that comes to mind is the couple that came. And, uh, they sat down and I usually send couples a little form to fill out, which takes only maybe five minutes.
It just gives me a little snapshot of where they are financially. And so I kind of knew that they were already in debt. I knew they had a few credit cards. And so when we sat down, their income was great. But they had a lot of expenses. And so we started to list all of their credit cards, how much the balance was on each one, as well as the payments.
And during this time that I’m meeting with them, it’s a day of discovery. So just faith, because she said, well, I have some other credit cards that he doesn’t know about. And so she started to list the credit cards and then he’s sitting there and I’m surprised because he’s not upset mad or anything. And so when she got done, I said, okay, is that it?
Have we listed all of the debts? And he chimed in and said, well, I have some credit cards too, that she doesn’t know about. And so it was really unfortunate, uh, that, uh, That happened in my presence. It’s kind of a dual edged sword. It was a good thing in a way, because how long would, if they have, they kept that from each other, have they not met with me?
So that’s the first thing I thought, how long would this have gone on? And then the second thing was, it was kind of a bad thing because. Uh, that happened with me. And so he discovered she had credit cards. He didn’t know. And she discovered he had credit cards that she didn’t know about. So when it was all said and done between the two of them, a mutual and separate, they had a total of 86 credit cards between the two of them.
The balance on them, which is amazing. Yeah. You know, you say, it’s you say it’s taboo to talk about money sometimes, or at least that’s what it seems like. And, um, so the first thing that comes to mind when you say that is just society in general, but after that story, it’s interesting that you know, somebody in your position, you probably see that it’s taboo even within just relationships a lot more than at least for myself, I would have, I would have thought about, but it makes sense.
Sure. That’s so true. And you know, that’s really challenging for a husband and wife, because with men and women, they view money differently. You know, women find money having money in the bank as security. And for men having money in the bank is kind of like a scorecard for them, you know, because men are just, they’re just wired that way.
Okay. And so when they’re doing really well financially, that actually, it almost just bulks a man up, so to speak Moyle they’re in the financial arena. It can really be a downer for, for a man. And so, you know, if. If we’re talking to any husbands or wives out there, if you’re struggling financially women build your husbands up, don’t don’t drill down and say, hi, you shouldn’t have done that.
Say, okay, that’s all right, we’ll get through it. Don’t, you know, don’t be a Debbie downer, so to speak when it comes to money, because that’s really hard on men. Cause they really. Yeah, it is a scorecard, you know? Yeah. That’s interesting to, to hear that that men and women interpret money differently, but that, that also makes sense now.
So you have the couple that you just gave the example on, um, is there kind of detail? I tend to work with men, more women, more or couples more. Actually it’s pretty much equal across the board. I meet with women, single women, single moms, widows, uh, and the same thing with men, single men. Divorcement what have you.
And then of course the couples, so it’s pretty much equal, but what’s challenging is, uh, you know, there’s usually you’re either a spender or a saver. And so, uh, I heard Gary Smalley say one time, he’s a psychologist. And he said, if you’re in a relationship and you’re both alike, one of you is unnecessary.
So would it be, it comes to married couples or couples in general, if you’re a saver, then nine times out of 10, the person you’re involved with is going to be a spender. And if you’re a spender. Your opposite is probably going to be a safer, so you have to walk together in that. That’s funny now. So, so you, you worked with a couple of that 86 credit cards, and you had also mentioned, um, offline that it I’ll let you tell the story about kind of who, um, not who, but what situation you helped somebody with with the largest amount of debt?
Yeah. I think that that was somewhere around 800,000 or 810,000. It was an enormous amount of debt. Uh, they had credit cards, but they also had a lot of rental properties. And with the rental properties, they had income. Uh, but boy, that was a huge amount of debt. And I actually coached them rather than face to face because they were.
A great distance from me rather than trying to travel. Uh, for those coaching sessions, we did it over the phone. So that worked out pretty well. They had a couple phones in the house and he was on one end and she was on the other line. And so we coached over the phone, worked out really well, but I’m so proud of them because they actually, uh, you know, I can coach people.
I can talk to people all day long, but if they’re not going to apply the principles or the steps involved, you know, you’re kind of wasting your money for me to coach you if you’re not going to do it. So, you know, most of the time when I’m I meet with people, that first coaching session, first of all, if they ask for my coaching, I already know that they’re wanting to change something.
In their financial arena. They’re not happy with it. So I already know they have a desire. So when we meet and we talk about their income and their expenses and I’ll give suggestions or I’ll say, well, what do you think you should do financially? What do you think you need to change? If anything so that you can get out of debt and build wealth.
And most of the time, they’ll say that other times, if they’re Hamhung around or evading the question, I’ll say, look, do you want to change any of your habits? Do you want to change anything? And if they say no, then I say, well, then this isn’t going to work because if you’re not going to change to get the result that you’re desiring.
It’s going to be a long time before you get that result. You’re desiring. So long story short, this couple really got focused and they decided, yep, we’re going to do this. So they started applying those steps and I know that they’ve decreased it. I know by half I know without a shadow of a doubt. So I’m really proud of them in doing so.
They’ve really hammered it. And most of the people that I meet with actually will apply the principles, which is a good thing. Cause they’re paying me. Just tell them what you need to do. So, yeah. So you had said that, you know, are you, when people come to work with you, you ask them, are you willing to change your habits?
And that brings up an interesting point. An interesting point is that it sounds like it is a habit. You know, spending money poorly is a habit. So, you know, is there what contributes most to. These habits that you usually see is that their upbringing, is it just kind of the way of the world in general? Or where do you see this, these bad habits start?
Well, it can be a wide array of areas. Um, when it comes to money, though, this is what’s really wonderful when it comes to working with money and building wealth, it’s only. 80 it’s 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge, which is really great, which means that tells me I don’t have to be that smart. I have to know some things about money.
You know, I need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and, and kind of organize it in a simplistic way. But when it comes to dealing with money and building wealth, if I can change my habits and change my behavior, Then I can change my situation, which is fantastic. That’s with anyone. So yeah. Uh, upbringing has a part of it.
Um, but I’ve also met with people where their mother, their parents have been conservative and they’ve been taught correctly how to deal with money. But I think sometimes. Uh, with the younger generation, not all of them, because certainly everyone in all these generations are wonderful people, but sometimes I find that some in the younger generation have a mindset that money grows on trees, or, uh, they’re thinking, Hey, I want it.
This lifestyle. I want the new house. I want the new car. I want to be able to have what I want when I want it. And I don’t want to wait 30 years to get my, how my parents are living right now. But the problem with that is it takes many times 30 years for your parents to attain that lifestyle that they’re presently living in.
Would I have liked to have lived my parents’ lifestyle at the age of 20? Oh, absolutely. But. It, it, it couldn’t happen. I would have had to go into enormous amounts of that to live that lifestyle out there that moment, because my income wasn’t wasn’t there. So I think part of it is that I think so times people battle.
Certain, maybe depression, sadness or wins, you know, maybe they had a great day and maybe a bunch of their friends are gonna go the eat or a girlfriend is going to go shopping and they don’t want to feel left out. So they’re like, okay, I’ll go. And it’s okay. Almost like a peer pressure thing. Maybe not so much from their friend, but they don’t want to feel left out.
So maybe their friend is spending a lot. Yeah. The money. And they’re thinking, I don’t really have it, but. They’re spending. So now I’m going to spend that kind of a thing because they want to be up with their friends, so to speak and don’t want to feel like they’re less than, and having money or not having money has nothing to do with our identity or our value because we’re a human being.
We all have value. So it doesn’t matter how much money a person makes. You gotta know who you are. You know, and that you’re valuable and how much money you make, doesn’t determine your value as a person. So I think sometimes depression, peer pressure, maybe, um, they want to live that lifestyle, but they’re not willing to wait and see diligence.
Um, And determination, you know, and being able to tell yourself, no, at times is actually the definition of maturity. You know, if you can go to the mall and maybe you have so much money in your wallet and you can say no to certain purchases, because you don’t have that amount of money in your wallet, that’s a sign of maturity, right there is that you can say, I can wait, I’ll wait, I’ll have the bunny.
Yeah. Do you think that the first thing that comes to mind for me, when you talk about younger generation is social media, do you think that social media is accelerating kind of this lifestyle envy. I think sometimes, you know, I, I find, I think I love Facebook. I love Instagram, Twitter. I love all the social media.
I really enjoy it. You find out a lot of things about what’s going on in the world and certain individuals, you know, but sometimes if you scroll down and you see, Oh man, look at this or they got a new car or because people are always quick about showing you their new purchases. So that kind of thing, snap, that picture upload it.
And I think sometimes if we really don’t know our value, we can kind of feel that pressure. And so I’m happy when a friend of mine gets a new car. Couldn’t I afford a new car right now. Absolutely. Can I pay cash for a new car right now? Absolutely. Do I need to buy a new car right now? No, I like the money in the bank, you know?
And I think sometimes when we get ready to make a purchase, we need to ask ourselves, is this a need or is this a want and nine times out of 10, if it it’s a want, we can wait. If it truly is a need, you know, if your couch, you know, you sit on your couch and you end up sitting on the floor because the cushions are wearing down to paper thin, and you need a new couch, that’s a need.
If you’re driving your car and maybe it’s got a lot of miles on it, but it still gets you where you’re going and you don’t have much maintenance on it, then. Maybe it’s not really a need to get a new car. Maybe it’s just a one. I say, Hey, keep driving that car and pretend like you have a car payment and pay, pay that car payment every month into a separate account in the bank, whether it’s $300, whether it’s $500, whatever, every single month, and put that payment in your separate bank account for a new car so that when this car is worn out, you’ve already got the money for it.
Yeah, that’s a great idea payment. You’re paying yourself that payment every month. So when it’s time to buy a new car, you got it. No, that’s a great idea. You know, it’s funny. Cause as what you talked about, um, with car, so I have, uh, let’s see, we got three vehicles in my house and, and all of them are paid for and, and.
But I would, I would like a new car, but I take less. I think what holds me back as our kids, I tell my wife, I said, look, how beat up this car is from our kids. Look at the Cheetos on the floor. You want to go buy a new one? I’m not buying a new one until this phase is over,
but where I am guilty is a. It’s the smaller things. So I’ll go do the, I’ll go do the five to $8 coffee every other day when, uh, you know, and I don’t mind the five or $8 here and there, but then every, every couple of weeks, I think about how that. Compounds out over the year and I go, wow, that’s a lot of coffee.
Hey, you know what? You brought up a good point because I coached somebody one time and, and, um, they were actually pretty frugal. They, they really were. Uh, but there were a couple of things. Um, actually, yeah, there were three things actually they ate out at, they ate out, uh, two or three times a week. Um, and you know, that’s pretty expensive.
And it was a family of three, it was a husband and a wife and a three year old. And how much three year old eat now? Obviously they eat all day, but they’re little people, you know, how big are their portions? And so they ate out two or three times a week and they ate. In the cafeteria at work, you know, not every day, but it was frequent during the week.
And then they also drove through and got their free fruit coffee. And so we, I lead all of that up and they didn’t. Yeah. I mean, they didn’t really do meal planning either. They went to the grocery store every two or three days. And so when it was all said and done, they were spending. $1,400 a month on food for a family of three.
So they changed it up a little bit. They decided to go out to eat once a week. They decided to eat in the cafeteria at work one day a week, and then they changed the fruit, fruit coffee up. And so they ended up changing it. They got down to like $500 a month. That’s huge. Because at other money that they weren’t spending on food could actually be invested, but I did meet one other person that loved their fruit, fruit coffee.
And when I say fruit, fruit, you know what I’m talking about, that drive through that special place and any, they were anyway, they were spending $280 a month just on coffee, on their way to work. And they had no idea. You know, they had no idea. So they decided one day. So they’ve really trimmed that down and they were actually, I’m not against anybody having their fruit, fruit coffee.
I liked my fruits for coffee. I’m not against anybody eating out, but calculate it and see how often you do it. Maybe if you decided to trim it down a little bit, you can use that money for something else. Yeah, I think, um, I might be in that two to $300, but yeah, but here here’s, what’s funny about it. So the place that I go to is half the time I go there, I don’t even want a coffee.
I just want to go because they are so unrealistically happy all the time. I don’t know what they’re doing in there, but you go through and you get your dose of happiness. And so here here’s, here’s my, here’s my little cheat and I hope they don’t hear this. So on Mondays at four o’clock they have happy hour from four to five.
And so I’ll go buy like 10 coffee, stick it in the fridge.
Oh, you’re prepared. Aren’t you? Yeah. So why don’t you tell our listeners, uh, you know what it is? Like to work with you, where do you start when somebody comes with you and comes to an approaches, you and, and obviously the timeframe varies, but how long do you usually spend working with somebody? Oh, wow.
You know? Well, when they, somebody contacts me, whether it’s a single person or a married couple I’ll email them or send them somehow the form it’s a little snapshot, takes less than five minutes, lets me know where you’re at financially. And then I’ll contact the person and let them know my fee and let them know that the sessions are an hour.
Each session is an hour. And so most of the time folks are good with three sessions. Most of the time, three sessions, they get a ton of perfect information one-on-one specifically for them and the stuff or not, you know, three sessions consecutively every day. The first session is done. And then in two weeks, I’d like to do the second session to make sure they’re applying the principles and the steps they need to do.
And then the third session would be at least four weeks out from the second session. That way it gives them a month between the second session and third session, make sure that they’re right on track. And if I know by the third session that they. Did exactly what they needed to do. Then I say, look, you’re ready to fly.
You’re spreading your wings, feel free, you know, but if you need to contact me again, you can. Now I actually met with someone else, the people that had the 750 or $800,000 in debt, we met for six sessions and that wasn’t my doing. I said, look, you can do this. And they actually wanted that additional sessions.
One every month for accountability purposes, they didn’t trust themselves. They wanted someone to hold them I’m accountable. And I actually appreciate that because they, that tells me they know them so pretty well. They wanted to make sure that they were doing it and have someone hold them accountable.
But yeah. I’ve heard people do that in, you know, health where they want to either lose weight or, you know, bulk up that, um, I’ve heard people do that just for the accountability purpose. Sure. Yeah. That’s a good idea. If you know yourself that way and especially single people, if you’re a single guy, single lady, it’s always good to have an accountability, a partner.
You don’t want an accountability. Partner where you’re gonna go, uh, you know, to Lowe’s guys or ladies shoe shopping, and you pick out something really expensive or whatever, what have you and your accountability partner says, uh, Oh yeah, that’s great. Why don’t you get two or three of those? That is not a good accountability partner.
The accountability partner needs to be able to speak truth to you and say, those look great, or that new, you know, tractor is awesome, but let’s wait a little while. I mean, they need to be able to tell you, Hey, awesome. But wait, so being the voice of reason, right? That’s right. So how did you get into this profession of helping other people.
You know, I’ve always had a fascination with money and I always enjoyed working with people. And so my mother and father taught us some things about money, but I’m one of seven children. And so things were tight financially growing up. So as I got older and then went into nursing, I discovered people that I worked with, um, had some money issues and I would just share some things with them.
And, and one woman, one other nurse told me, you know, you’re really good with money. And I didn’t really think I was that good at it was. And so I had gone to a training several years ago, I had gone through financial coaching training and then spread my wings and I love it. And so that’s how I got into it.
And so I’m always studying, I’m always looking up various ways of investment. Um, my husband and I invest in a variety of areas, but real estate is one area we really enjoy. We really like real estate. So we buy property, sell properties, we’ll buy them at auctions. We’ll buy them through foreclosures.
There’s a wide array of areas. You can buy properties fairly inexpensive and then just turn them right around and make some money, which is great. Yeah. So, uh, I’m real estate. Do you, um, You know, how do you take into consideration capital gains? I usually kind of sit on your investments for a little while or, or do you feel it it’s a quantity play and it’s worth flipping them quicker and paying capital gains.
We will pay capital gains. We won’t wait. Um, because that actually varies in various States, you know, that timeframe, but most of the time, even if you do that waiting period, which I think is a couple years, a year or two, something like that, we’re not going to wait. To flip a house to do that. We’re not going to wait there.
So we go in, we get it done and then just put it on the market. And we already know the comps in the area. We know how much we’re buying the house for how much we’re going to put into it. And we know how much we’re going to sell it for. So we actually know how much the capital gains will be on it when it’s all said and done.
And then on the day of closing. I go to our tax man and say, tell me how much we owe mr. Tax, man, the IRS. And let’s go ahead and take care of it. Now I won’t wait until the end of the year. I just go ahead and take care of that capital gains right then and there, once he calculates that up. Yeah, because all of them want to be surprised at the end of the year, even though I know it’s going to, I already know how much it’s going to be.
I’d rather just get it done and over with. Yeah, no, it’s smart now. So that’s cool that you’re able to kind of take your background of being an RN and helping people and help them in a different industry. So as you’ve kind of been through these different places in your career, I’m sure you’ve learned a lot along the way.
And is there anything that you would tell your younger self that you know now, or maybe something that you could tell our listeners? A little bit of wisdom that you’ve kind of picked up over the years? Sure. Two things I would tell my younger self don’t go into debt and the second thing would be start investing.
Yeah. I mean, when you’re young start investing, even if you don’t think that you have the money there’s money there’s, you can find money, you know, uh, look in your garage in your basement, in your attic for things that maybe you haven’t used in a year, sell it. Just sell it and take that money and invest it or save it up to them.
Invest whether you buy some single stocks or you’re going to save up to buy some property, but begin investing. Now don’t wait until you’re older. Start doing it now. And it’s okay to start small, start small now. And then as you go, you’re going to really like it and it’ll grow. So those are the two things that I would tell people don’t go into debt and start investing.
Yeah. I think one thing that the younger people might not realize about why it’s smart to invest, you know, sooner than later, even if it’s not a lot is just how big of a difference, um, the interests that you accrue can make. And that, that adds up. It compounds quite a bit. Now I have this one, um, This one, IRA.
I think it’s an IRA that I set up like 15 years ago and I just put a thousand bucks in it and, and then, you know, my investments changed and I don’t think I ever touched that thousand bucks again. And now it’s up to like five grand and I, I literally made, I think, just one deposit and haven’t touched.
That’s awesome. But yeah, I mean, it really adds, it really adds up. Yes, it does. Um, well, as we kind of get called sort of wrapping things up, what do you, what do you do outside of helping other people? You know, what do you do in your downtime and your hobbies? Oh, my gosh, why I enjoy walking? I am an author.
So I’ve written a few books on money, which is, that was fun. And I’ve got booked four or five and six on the cooker. They’re not, they’re not ready to be published yet. They’re still being written, but. Writing books, speaking financial seminars. I’m very involved in our church and a home life. My husband and I have three girls and 10 grandchildren.
So that makes for a busy life as well. Yeah, no. Are your, your books four, five and six. Are they also financial related? Number four is on procrastination. Yeah. The title of it is do it now and the keys to overcoming procrastination and then book five and six will be on money as well. But I, you know, that’s, you know, you could say procrastination actually can be wrapped up with money too.
Cause it’s. Because if people wait or hesitate that can actually cost them in the long run, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, just like we were talking about interest, I mean, you could lose out on all of that. It’s basically free income that builds up. Sure. Well, very cool. Um, Karen Ford, I appreciate your time.
Why don’t you give our listeners a, you know, your contact information, whatever you want to put out there so people can get ahold of you. Absolutely. The website is Karenford.org. Or you can email me@firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, Karen. Now we tried this recording once before, so you might remember what’s coming, but we surprise our guests at the end with a random question generally.
And I don’t remember what your question was last time. I don’t either. So, but I know this is a new one because I haven’t seen this question before. If you could invent a holiday, what would it be? Oh, if I could invent a holiday, what would it be? How about a you holiday? Why are you holiday? You holiday celebrate you.
I like it like birthday number two, but without all the birthday. That’s good. Well, Karen Ford, everybody. Thanks for your time. Okay. Thank you. Alright.
On today’s show, we welcome, Karen Ford, who is financial specialist. She shares stories of helping couples with as much as 800,000 USD in debt or another couple who is approaching nearly 100 credit cards. Amazing financial success stories today with Karen Ford