Your Money with Erin Harmon

Your Money with Erin Harmon

Jan 26, 2023

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Struggling with budgeting, saving or paying off debt? Ready to reach your money goals? This episode is for you! I’m talking with financial coach Erin Harmon all about your money and how you can use it effectively to create the life you want . 

Erin is the founder of Tranquil Finance. She helps individuals and couples get ahold of their finances and manage their brain so they can create the life and money of their dreams! 

When Erin became a mom in 2013, she started to feel a lot of pressure to provide all the things her child would need. They had student loan debt, car payments and wanted to save for emergencies and her kid’s college fund. 

It all felt overwhelming and confusing, and it created a lot of stress. On top of it all, she and her husband had very differing views on how to manage their money.

She convinced her husband to take a financial course at a local church. It helped them get on the same page, pay off debt and create an emergency fund. 

A couple more kids later, Erin discovered coaching. Her experience working with a weight loss coach combined with her friends’ interest in her own financial journey led her to start her own financial coaching business.


Your budget

Erin says many people dislike the term budget because it feels restrictive, when it is really just a spending plan.

She teaches zero-based budgeting, which means that your income and expenses should equal out each month. You give every dollar you have a job. Because if we aren’t intentional with our money, it tends to disappear.

Maybe you’re overspending or living on your credit card. Or maybe you just want to know where your money is going or have goals to save up for something big. No matter what your situation, a clear budget is essential.

A budget not only helps you reach your goals, but it also removes the stress of not knowing what you can spend money on. It is a decision-making tool. It can even turn emergencies into mere inconveniences.

Start with your highest priorities and basic needs, like housing, utilities, transportation, food and clothing. The order of these priorities will be different for different families. There’s no one right way. 

Erin and her husband each get their own “fun money” every month that they can use on whatever they want, which brings a sense of freedom to their budget. 


Having money conversations

The first conversation you need to have when it comes to your spending plan is with yourself. What is important to you when it comes to spending and saving? 

So much of our view on money is related to our values and priorities, the things or experiences we find valuable. And your values may be different from your partner’s.

Erin says that it’s actually very common to have one person in a relationship who is all about the numbers and practicality, while the other is a little more free-spirited. 

It can be hard to get on the same page. In these situations, it can be helpful to have a neutral person (like a financial coach) mediate the conversation. 

Some common conflicting values are:

  • Material things vs. experiences
  • Quality vs. quantity
  • Status or wanting to “match” up with others in your neighborhood or circle (e.g. cars, clothing, etc.)

None of these values or priorities is wrong, but understanding where you fall will help you plan for what you value most.


The emotional side of money

We all know that unexpected things (and lots of thoughts and feelings) come up around money. 

Money can be a major source of stress, for individuals and in relationships, especially when you feel there isn’t enough to meet your needs and goals. 

Having a money plan removes so much of the stress and anxiety because it gives you more control. 

When you have the data you need, you are empowered to make decisions that line up with your goals.

And if you feel guilty about spending on something you want, you can remind yourself that you already decided and made a plan for it. 


You can bring a sense of calm to your finances, and getting clear on your priorities, goals and budget is the first step.

Erin says you can get intentional about your finances in less than an hour a week, and start to see clear patterns in your spending after about 3 months. 


You’ll Learn:

  • Why you need more than just strategies and tools to manage your money well
  • How to budget without feeling restricted
  • Why it is important to have a goal for your money
  • Fun ways to involve your kids in the process


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