On Ethical, Sustainable Budgeting: What You Spend Is What You Value

Produced by #bossbabesATX, SHE TALKS is an ongoing discussion-based personal and professional development series, tackling topics from finances to intersectional feminism. Our SHE TALKS feature the perspectives of women and non-binary folks. All genders are welcome to attend.

On November 15 from 7 to 9 PM at the Capital One Café, we gathered for SHE TALKS: Bootstrapped Budgeting, a candid discussion about some of the practical and emotional barriers that keep us from making money moves as creatives, professionals and small-business owners.


Photo by Illyana Bocanegra

Photo by Illyana Bocanegra

Allegra Moet Brantly (founder of The ElleFactor & Ladies Get Paid ATX), panelist
Allegra Moet Brantly’s personal “why” is to help 100,000 women achieve early financial freedom. She is the founder of The ElleFactor, a female financial society empowering women to get active with their money and ElleFactor Circles, a new wealth-building accountability concept. She founded the ATX chapter of Ladies Get Paid and is their Texas-based salary negotiation coach working to close the gender wage gap and advance women.

Kara Perez (founder of We Bravely Go), panelist
Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a pop-up financial literacy event company. Kara works as a financial coach and writer, and Bravely has hosted events across the US. Bravely's mission is to give women practical and actionable financial advice to take control of their lives. Find Kara and learn more about Bravely at bravelygo.co or @webravelygo on Instagram.

Kaysha Patel (founder of Stretch Yoga ATX), panelist
Kaysha Patel is the founder of Stretch Yoga ATX; she recently led a session on business growth and bootstrapped budgeting during our summer WORK conference, particularly exploring her story as a self-funded entrepreneur. You can learn more at stretchyogatx.com.

Jane Hervey (founder of #bossbabesATX and group work), moderator
Jane Hervey is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. Her work is informed by history, wildlife, politics of space, romance and being a bad woman. She is the founder and Executive Director of #bossbabesATX, an organization that works to amplify women and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and community organizers. In addition to her work at #BBATX, and her creative practice as a musician and writer, Hervey is a communications and experience designer, specializing in community-building and messaging for nonprofit, arts and entertainment organizations. You can learn more about her work as a designer here: groupworkcreative.com

Amanda Dewoody, ACC, Money Coach with Capital One
Amanda Dewoody launched the Austin Money Coaching program at Capital One where she has helped 100's of clients improve their relationship with money.  She pulls from her training as a life coach, years of self-employment and experience with startups to help clients gain clarity and achieve their goals.

here are 8 budgeting tips and takeaways from this SHE TALKS session:

1.) Before you begin to design your budget, sit down and assess your mindset. We all have different relationships to money, and many of them are related to our identities. You may have positive or negative thoughts when you discuss money, and that’s OK. It’s good to know how you feel, though. Ask yourself what you would do with your money if you felt good at it. Ask yourself what you would do differently if you thought money were easy. Ask yourself how you would feel about money if you had more of it. Write down these answers, then think a little on where those answers may be stemming from. Did you have trouble with money growing up? Are you currently struggling with debt? Get those fears and concerns out in the open.

2.) Once you know where you stand, write your whole budget down. Your expenses are simply a reflection of what you’ve got and how you spend it. So, take an hour to write down (and categorize) everything you’ve spent and earned over the last three months. (Try not to judge what you write, while you’re doing it, or it’ll make the process really tough.) Here’s a sample template to get you started.

3.) Now, identify what you value. We use money to prescribe value to things, so your expenses are also a financial representation of what you find important. So, once you’ve written down your budget, it’s time to write down what you value and what you need. What’s important to you? Is it family? Is it your employees/staff? Is it financial preparedness? Is it a big house? Is it philanthropy?

4.) Next, pinpoint your goals around these values. What are you looking to accomplish within the next three months or the next few hours? Are you trying to launch a business? Are you looking to save more? Do you need to buy a new computer? Write out your goals and identify some of the things you may need to buy and/or spend your money on to get there. (It’s OK if you don’t have all of the answers to these questions at first, too. Our panelists suggest revisiting them ever month and adding/updating as you go along.)

5.) Once you’ve identified your values and goals, it’s time to design a new lifestyle (and budget) for yourself that better aligns with your aspirations and needs. And this is where things get fun. Now that you have your expenses and income labeled in categories, you’ll be able to determine where your money actually goes—and whether or not your values are reflected in your spending habits. (For example, if you say you’re invested in your personal development, but the majority of your income has gone toward new clothes instead of leadership workshops, where’s your heart at?) As you measure things up, determine what you can slash, what you can keep and what you may need to make more room for (even if you’re not sure how).

6.) Design a new lifestyle (and budget) for yourself based on your goals, aspirations and needs. Once you’ve written all of these things down, start figuring out a timeline and accountability plan. What are some things you can do today, tomorrow, next week, this month and next month to get closer to your goals? How are you going to check in on yourself? Do you need to find an accountability partner or money coach? Do you need to start using a budgeting app? Determine what your next steps are and stick to a plan for a few months. (Then, update your plan as needed, of course.)

7.) Remember that money is a tool, and what works for someone else might not work for you. Your budget is your budget. What you value is what you value. It’s OK to be overwhelmed by money talk, and it’s certainly OK to feel like a work in progress. Your money journey is your own, and you’ll learn as you go along. So, hold yourself accountable, do what makes sense for your goals and your needs and research. You won’t become a financial master overnight, and you certainly aren’t expected to. Be gentle on yourself as you learn.

8.) The best thing you can do for your budget is focus—not compare. Here are four tips from our panelists on how they prepare for big financial goals:

  • Kara Perez: Start with the end in mind. Find out how much money it takes to meet your goals, then break it down from there. It’s easier to smart with smaller steps, and this will also make larger financial goals (that take long periods of time to accomplish) more feasible.

  • Allegra Moet Brantly: Find out what you want before you go for it, then set your intentions and go at them full force. If you can visualize yourself doing/getting what you want, you’ll start doing the things you need to do to get what you want.

  • Kaysha Patel: Translate your thoughts and financial goals into a visual board and timeline. Break down your bigger numbers into smaller numbers and chip away at your goals a little at a time. And if you’re stuck—ask for help and get creative. Where can you achieve parts of your goals through partnerships or bartering? Where might you be able to hire someone that would really go a long way?

  • Jane Hervey: Don’t get frustrated when you can’t figure out every step you’ll need to take toward your goal. Remember that it’s a work in progress and that things may change based on your life. Whenever you get stuck, write down your needs and assign a dollar value to them. What are you missing? What are you not accounting for? What is it not working? Your rent/mortgage has a specific dollar value, but something like stress can also cost you time and money, so try and assign all forms of needs—and find out where you income needs to be to meet all of your needs.

PS: Want more? here are some next steps from our panelists and partners.

  • This Sunday, Dec. 2, you can attend Allegra’s Coffee and Coin talk. From 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Allegra will be interviewing a woman on her money story—the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can RSVP here).

  • Get some free money coaching! Money coaching with Capital One is a complimentary, three-session program available to anyone (not just Capital One customers) designed to connect your values to your money, get your money under control, plan a path for your future financial goals, and the confidence to make it happen. You can learn more, see client testimonials and sign up for a session on our website or email Amanda DeWoody, Capital One’s Money Coach, directly at Amanda.Dewoody@CapitalOne.com.

  • Explore becoming a part of one of Allegra’s ElleFactor Circle. ElleFactor Circles help you learn how to build out a wealth-plan (with new earnings, savings and investing skills). If you’re interested, you can take this $ fundamentals questionnaire. Anyone is welcome to take it and it's actually 25 questions that starts to dig into your money mindset. :)

  • Join Ladies Get Paid ATX! Led by Allegra, Ladies Get Paid ATX is a local chapter of Ladies Get Paid that provides monthly money talk sessions and coaching. Click here to join.

  • If you’re based in Austin, Texas attend the 2019 Bravely Go retreat. On January 5, 2019 in Austin TX, Bravely is hosting a day long retreat devoted to all things MONEY. This retreat will talk everything from debt payoff to investing, to negotiation to freelancing and business development.

  • Attend Capital One’s Your Money, Your Values workshop on Tuesday, January 8 from 5 to 7 PM at the Downtown Capital One Cafe. During this conversational, hands-on workshop, attendees will be asked to examine the relationship between money and values, and how our financial habits can influence (or impede) our goals.  You will see how your individual values are connected to how you spend your resources (time, money and energy) so that you can spend and save in ways that feel purposeful—and in line with what you care about most.  Click here to register.

  • Attend #BBATX’s next WORK Conference! WORK is a biannual conference, exploring new ideas and approaches to creative and entrepreneurial work. Hosting 300 guests every summer and winter, this biannual, one-day event's panels, workshops and speaker sessions touch on personal and professional development, marketing, wellness, business management and entrepreneurship.  ✨The next WORK conference is on January 19, 2019 from 10 AM to 5 PM at the University of Texas at Austin’s Rowling Hall. Click here for more information.


About #bossbabesATX: #bossbabesATX (#bbatx) is an online and offline space for women-identifying and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and community organizers. Through event series, showcases and personal/professional development programs, we've provided a platform of visibility, outreach and financial opportunity to 1500+ Texas-based women and nonbinary creatives, entrepreneurs and community organizers. We make space to catalyze multi-industry coalitions, share our crafts, seek help and provide each other with practical and emotional resources. There is power in our shared experiences. We were named "Best Bossy Babes" of 2015 by The Austin Chronicle, were selected by The White House to attend the United State of Women Summit in June 2016 and inducted into the City of Austin's Hall of Fame in 2017. Learn more at bossbabes.org/bossbabesatx

Our events prioritize the voices of self-identifying women and nonbinary folks. We are not gender-discriminant; all are welcome to attend. This production has been made possible in part by presenting partners Resplendent Hospitality.

About Capital One Café: Capital One Cafés are places where you can bank, plan your financial journey, engage with your community, and enjoy some coffee. The café and its resources are open to the community (whether or not you’re a Capital One customer).

This recap was compiled by #bbatx Executive Director Jane Hervey, with notes from #BBATX volunteer Cara Cates. To stay in the loop with our SHE TALKS, check out our upcoming events at bossbabes.org/events or sign up for the BBATX email list.

Jane Claire HerveyComment