I Hired a Financial Trainer and it Changed My Life

The Financial Gym Reviews by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a office desk with a Apple computer, white mug full of pens, Canon DSLR camera, gold picture frame, and gold lamp stand with a cream lamp shade.

Remember back in January when we were making resolutions and hopeful for a great year? Well, I think it’s safe to say that 2020 threw us all a major curveball, and we’re all facing new challenges this year.

Back when I was naive optimistic for a great year, one of my New Year’s Intentions was to get my finances in order. Being self-employed is fantastic, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it comes with quite a few challenges. I don’t get paid every two weeks (in fact, I’ve had to chase down quite a few payments in the past), I have zero benefits with this gig, and the future of this industry isn’t certain.

This past January, I decided to hire a financial trainer at The Financial Gym to help me budget for the future and meet some of my financial goals, and it’s hands down the best decision I’ve made so far this year. While some of my goals have been thrown off by the pandemic, and I’ve lost income as a result of it, I still feel comfortable and confident that I’ll be able to weather this storm.

I know the idea of a financial advisor sounds a bit intimidating. There’s going to be someone who’s able to analyze my spending habits? I have to own up to that spending spree at Anthropologie I made a few months ago? I have to be upfront about my student loan debt? I have to admit the balance that’s in my savings account? Phew. I put it off for a while because of the fear of being judged.

Admittedly, I’ve never been the best at managing my money. I started seeing my friends grow up, buy houses, invest, and raise families on their income. Me on the other hand? I was laid off three times from the ages of 24-26, and after those layoffs, I decided to follow my dream and run my own small business, which came with its own set of challenges. I had a considerable amount of student loan debt and had no idea how to tackle it.

2019 was the most successful year I’ve had with the blog to date. However, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be financially. I wanted to pay off some debt and focus on long term goals such as buying a home, putting more funds into retirement, and investing. I had no idea where to start, so that’s why I decided to hire a financial trainer.  With that being said, here are my personal The Financial Gym reviews for any of you who are wanting/needing help from a financial trainer.

The Financial Gym Reviews by popular D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a office desk with a Apple computer, white mug full of pens, Canon DSLR camera, gold picture frame, and gold lamp stand with a cream lamp shade.

My Personal The Financial Gym Reviews

  • The Financial Gym is a no-judgment zone. I was sweating bullets before my first training session. Here, I had to be completely candid about all of my debts and assets, plus my monthly bills and income. I was afraid that my financial trainer would judge me and tell me things were bad, but she simply said: “We can work on this, and we can get you to your long-term goals.”
    Your financial trainer isn’t expecting you to be perfect with your finances. They’re here to help. No question is too silly, and no goal is too farfetched. It’s a great environment where you can be open and honest, and receive gentle (but constructive!) feedback and guidance. 
  • You can keep that expensive gym membership if you want to (or any other non-negotiables.) One thing that I love about The Financial Gym is that I was able to list my “non-negotiables,”  aka, any monthly expenses that weren’t necessarily essential, but things I wanted to keep. Did I want to pay off debt? Yes. However, there are some things that make me happy, like takeout meals and my OrangeTheory membership. My financial trainer was able to build those into my budget, and I didn’t have to sacrifice those little luxuries.
  • They create realistic budgets and plans specifically tailored for you and your lifestyle. What I love about the financial training program at The Financial Gym is that it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” type of program. They’re helping me tackle some debt and start saving based on my income and lifestyle. In my situation, we’re working on paying off smaller debts, then working our way up to the bigger bills. In the past three months, I’ve paid off one credit card completely, and now we’ve moved on to the next loan. It feels incredible to have a detailed gameplan on how to pay off my debt in the short-term! 
  • You can work on short-term and long-term financial goals. I had a lot of goals that I brought up during my first meeting. I wanted to pay off debt, but I also wanted to save up for a house, a wedding, and be more aggressive with funding my retirement account in the long-run. Before I hired the financial trainer, meeting all of these goals seemed a bit impossible. However, my trainer was able to break it down and build a monthly budget for me to start achieving all of the goals I had in mind.
  • They’ll help you navigate through uncertain times. I’m especially thankful for my financial trainer now. I’ve lost quite a bit of income due to the pandemic, and I thought I was going to have to abandon all of the goals I set forth. However, I’ve been able to meet with my trainer frequently during this time, and revise my gameplan a bit. With her help, I was able to reduce a sizeable number of my monthly bills/expenses, and I feel pretty comfortable at the moment financially.

Want to hire a financial trainer for yourself? Click here to schedule a free 20-minute consultation!

Photos by Tom McGovern

Have you seen any other online The Financial Gym Reviews?  Could you use help from a financial trainer? Let me know in a comment below!

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