Money & Power: Prioritizing Your Expenses

Financial coach Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach helps single mom/entrepreneur Chrissy Steed look at how much might be too much in spending on her daughter.

ESSENCE.COM Dec, 08, 2014
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[MUSIC] I'm back in New Jersey, in Jersey City, New Jersey. And I'm with Chrissy Steed. She is a single mom of a six year old. And I know you have some financial challenges. Yes. I'm living paycheck to paycheck, you know. I get paid, all the bills are being paid. My daughter's expenses are being covered, and then the rest is going to my business. Her daughter is only six years old, but she's already like little miss theatrical, and she likes to be out there performing and so she's trying to be supportive of that, and I understand that. She's the mom who wants to just make her daughter happy. On the other hand, she's the mom who's overwhelmed. [MUSIC] She's struggling to kind of keep it all together because she has so much on her plate. Give me an example, you said she's a little spoiled. How? In what way? Why? Why would you say she's a little spoiled? I mean like for Christmas she got like a $300 motorcycle, toy motorcycle from Razor. Which she didn't really need. It was winter time. I could. Could've waited. Every birthday, I was spending about $500 just on a birthday party. She had three parties. Whoa, three parties? She had one at school. She had one at like a Chuck E. Cheese or some, something like that. So let me ask you, who's going overboard? Is Mya going overboard? Or is mommy going overboard? It's probably mommy. Probably? It's probably. Probably mommy. [LAUGH] Yep, yep. It's probably me. [LAUGH] I'm trying to tell you to manage her expectations and manage your own expectations as well. [CROSSTALK] Right, yeah. It's one thing to say I wanna support her ambitions. Right. I want her to be engaged, and if she likes the performing arts, that's fine. Right. I'm not gonna begrudge you those things. I am gonna say watch your budget. I am going to say, is this reasonable within the context of the you money you have? Right. Like, you may just say she can take one class. Mm-hm. One extra. Or maybe two. Okay. But it can't be three or four. Right. Right And it can't be these three or four plus running all around New York City. Adding $50, you know, twice a week to, to run in for auditions. Right. So again, priorities. Mm-hm. And, you know, knowing when to dial it back a little bit. I don't like to put people in a financial strait jacket and say, don't spend, don't spend, don't spend, but I think in a lot of ways, she is overspending. And she already. Acknowledge some that. So part of prioritizing of course is deciding where your money should go and where it shouldn't go. So if you said, you know what? For the next six months or for the next year or whatever time frame you choose. I'm really gonna focus on these two things. I'm gonna support my daughter in her efforts and I'm going to focus on saving money. I'm not suggesting that that is the path for you. Okay. Because it might be I'm gonna put, I'm gonna put everything, energy-wise, into my business and to my daughter and that's it, but you need to make some choices about priorities. That's probably gonna be a big challenge for her, to get her to say no to her daughter. And, interestingly, probably even more of a challenge to say no to herself. Because, as a mom, she feels like I'm doing the right thing by my daughter. I'm doing the best thing for her by giving her these experiences. By exposing her to a variety of things in the arts and elsewhere and by just buying stuff and doing stuff with her. So, she may have to curb back a little bit on that. Ao you should start talking to your daughter about the choices that she could make with her money. Mm-hm. And the choices that mommy's gonna start making with her money as well. Mm-hm. And there's only four choices. You can save, you can spend, you can invest and you can donate. [MUSIC]