In this episode, Sonja Palomino details what all physicians should do to live financially free. She breaks down what it means to have margin in your life and the importance of having a clear roadmap. Sonja also shares how she analyzes her client’s financial situation so that she can assess and develop an individualized plan.
Sonja has personally conducted over 9,000 one-on-one coaching sessions to transform relationships between her clients and their money to get results. Her unique system looks at much more than simply the numbers. She empowers her clients to dig deeper to focus on expansion and growth in this typically black-and-white financial realm. Sonja shows her clients how to create strong financial foundations and build the lifestyle and future they silently dream about.
Physicians can only Practice: Impossible if they have their financial lives in order and we hope that this episode helps you start your transformative journey.
As a BONUS, Sonja wants to give you the opportunity to meet with her for a FREE 30-minute call.
Having helped Coach JPMD with his finances, she demonstrated that she can create order out of a messy and complicated situation.
Welcome to the Practice Impossible podcast. Where your host, Jude Pierre MD, also known as Coach JPMD, discusses medical practice topics that will guide you through the maze that is the business of medicine, and teach you how to increase profits and help populations live long! Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to listen and be transformed! Now, here's your host, Coach JPMD!
Coach JPMD 0:25
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening to my podcast. Today we're going to have a conversation with Sonja Palomino. And today's podcast is entitled Roadmap to Financial Freedom with Sonja Palomino. Sonja happens to be my financial coach and has helped me through some pretty tough times, several years ago. And I wanted to highlight some of the things that she can do for physicians to help them overcome some of their issues, our issues, that we all face. And I truly believe that financial freedom is important as it affects not only relationships with patients, but also with family, and your ability to actually take care of your business. Sonja has conducted over 9000 one-on-one coaching sessions and has transformed relationships with money and gets results. And I can say that she has truly helped me understand the importance of creating a budget and also getting out of debt. And so I am so happy to have Sonja Palomino on our podcast. And I want you guys to stay until the end because she does have something to offer that I think you'll all benefit from. So here we go. Thank you, Sonja Palomino for joining us in this discussion about finances and physicians. Why don't you introduce yourself?
Sonja Palomino 1:47
Thank you, Jude. Thanks for having me. I am Sonja Palomino, and I own Injoy Consulting. I have personally conducted over 9000 consultations. I have clients all across the United States, in Europe, and in the Bahamas. And I am passionate about working with clients that are tired of secretly feeling anxious and simply longed to have margin in their finances so they can pay their bills without stress and worry.
Coach JPMD 2:14
So you talk about margin. What do you mean by that?
Sonja Palomino 2:19
Well, and specifically talking about the physicians that I've worked with, I find that what gets them more than anything else... it's just this... it's this feeling of overwhelm. There's this exhaustion, and there's so much that's weighing on their shoulders. And so when they're managing their finances, it just doesn't seem like there is enough. There's not that margin in their finances. And so there's a lot of stress and anxiety and worry and pressure on their shoulders. And so when I work with my clients, I like to work with them. Because I want to lean into that because I understand what that's like. Because Jude, you know our story, we almost lost everything financially. And we almost lost our home. We had every credit card maxed out to the point that they were not mailing us notices anymore. And so the thing about it is, is that when we hit our rock bottom financially, it was a very scary place to be. And so what we did, I just knew that we had to do something different, but I didn't really know what that would be. And so we just started to go back to the basics. And the way we turned around our situation, it didn't... it was not an overnight process. For us, it took us between eight to nine years. For us to work our way, to dig our way out of our debt, we ended up becoming debt free for those credit cards. We then ended up paying off our mortgage early. We saved, it was a little bit around $135,000 of interest that we did not pay to the mortgage company, because we were able to pay that mortgage off early. So when I talk about margins in someone’s finances, I know what it's like to not have it. We didn't have any at a certain point in time. We didn't have enough money. And then to get to that point where we have margin, when there's extra, when you're not working for everyone else that you owe money to. Because Geez, my husband's biggest complaint, honestly, back when we were almost losing everything is that he's like, "Sonja, I work so hard, and we have nothing to show for it". And that we were just very discouraged at that point in time. So with regards to margin, it's having that sense of peace of having that you're on a plan. You know where those dollars are going to go and you're never going to be perfect throughout the process. And so, with regards to margin, it just having that buffer... that waiting room.
Coach JPMD 4:50
Yeah. So are you saying that margins like in the emergency fund or something that you set aside? Because some people listening may not understand what that means because they’ve never had margin. They never had money set aside. I think I know what you mean but how would you describe that in your world, in the real world?
Sonja Palomino 5:09
Absolutely. Well, there were a couple of different margins from what we experienced, back when we really didn't have much, back when we were almost losing everything. The margin that we had was, first of all, to right size our expenses. We really had to. We had a significant overnight reduction of income. And that hit us just kind of right out of the blue. And the thing is, is that our margin, we had to create it ourselves. We had to go in and actually reduce our lifestyles to a pretty basic level, because our income was very minimal coming in, compared to our expenses. Our home was on the line, everything was on the line. I was pregnant with our second child at the time, so everything was hitting right at that time. And so, for us to pay margin back then, we had to go back to bare basics. And we had to look for ways to see how could we bring additional income. Though really, the foundational piece which is the budgeting piece, we actually had to put that into play as well. Now, then once we became debt free, well, then the margin changed at that point in time. And then we have extra money to which were able to, you know, build savings and dream and, and focus on you know, these things that we wanted to focus on for our family at a completely different level of margin than then back when we didn't have anything. If that makes sense. When we owed everybody else most of our paycheck.
Coach JPMD 6:32
Yeah, and I think physicians start off at having zero margin because we have so much debt. But you know... why would you, if you now have a plan, and you're debt free... why would you then get into coaching? What's kind of sparked you in that direction?
Sonja Palomino 6:54
I think the thing about it is, I felt like when I left, it was a corporate job. And I felt like there were magnets in my shoes walking into that corporate role just for the paycheck. And then, there just comes the time where there's not enough money, or we can't be paid to do something that our heart is totally checked out in. So that's when I left that corporate job. And I didn't know what it was, honestly Jude, what I was going to walk into doing. But this is what I knew, I knew that I had my clipboard in my hand, I had my pencil, I had my calculator, and I was having to stretch every single penny as far as possible. And so, you know, our friends just kind of watched us through this journey. And my girlfriend, she said, Sonja, you should not have made it, you should have lost everything. Can you come over to our kitchen table and help us out with this? And so I met with her. And we laid it out. And she said, "You know you're good at this. You should do this". And honestly Jude, this was my response to her. I'm like, "That's a really dumb idea. So I'm going to work with people, right? They're going to call me, they are struggling with money, and they're going to pay me the money that they're struggling with". Like, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. So, horrible business plan. I have an accounting degree and a master's degree, right. And so, but the thing about it is, over 9000 consultations later, as I mentioned earlier, I don't mess with this system. I'm so passionate about what I do. This is not even like work and it's actually an absolute dream come true because I know what it feels like to be really next to that fire. And then I know what it's like to kind of be on the other side of it. And so every single day I wake up, and it's just absolute, absolute fulfillment with what I do. Working with the clients that I do because I share with my clients. If you want to complain about your finances, well, you can do that for free. There are plenty of people Jude, right? That we can complain about our finances too, though, it really takes a special kind of brave someone that is just ready to take a look at their overall situation, not knowing exactly even how they’re going to work through it. But it's really at that point of entry, and that's where I see that there's this magic happening when we get this proper financial foundation under someone's feet. And I'm able to walk them through this step by step. It's not a boring budget process. It's literally someone's financial future. So I just get so fired up about it.
Coach JPMD 9:21
Yeah, and I know that because, you know, full disclosure to the Practice Impossible podcast listeners. You know, Sonja was my financial coach. And I looked through my emails, and I was looking at my first consultation with you which was in 2014, which is crazy to say that. And I remember the email I sent to you requesting and I think I found you online. I requested your help. And you said you lived in Brooksville, and I said, "Wow, that's where my practice is. I actually go to the hospitals up in Brooksville". There's no way I'm going to have a financial coach, look at my finances in the same area that I live in. So I actually, I don't know if you remember that email I said, you know, thanks but no thanks. I didn't want to work with you because of that. So how do you deal with clients confidentiality and fears of? Because I know a lot of doctors have fears of sharing their financial information with strangers. And how do you deal with that?
Sonja Palomino 10:25
Well, that's a really good question, because I feel like there is a lot of guilt. There's a lot of shame when it comes to finances. There's a lot of overwhelm. And the thing about it is, is that I do have a confidentiality clause. And Jude, I remember that like it was yesterday. I remember that. Yes, I specifically do. And rightfully so. Because when I grew up, you know, and you weren't supposed to talk about money. I actually got in trouble at the kitchen table. My dad was in the Air Force and we lived in Japan. And we had, my parents had, invited someone over for Thanksgiving because they didn't have family there, as well as someone that worked for my dad. And I looked over and I asked this gentleman, and I'm a pretty, you know, kind of quiet person, but I had this just burning question in my mind. And I asked this, this guy I didn't even know, I literally asked him, "how much do you make"? Well, the look my mom shot me across the table was death. And so afterwards, she said, "Sonja, you don't ask those questions". But I didn't understand that. Because every time that my dad would get a raise, we would have real butter on the kitchen table for dinner, and my mom would take off my dad's patches. So, a raise meant a new patch right on my dad's shoulder. And so it was confusing to me, because I just assumed that based on your patch, and whatever you had on it, it dictated it. So I didn't think it was a private question. But I learned Jude, very quickly, that that is not something that you talk about, and especially don't ask a stranger, you know, at the kitchen table about it. So there's a lot of guilt and shame associated with that. And so there definitely is a confidentiality clause that I have. I take it very seriously. And I find that, you know, once the wind can get through that resistance, and that overwhelm, and even I think even deeper is the thought of "Oh, my gosh. I felt my clients feel so alone. Could someone even help me in my particular situation". And I think that there's so much that can happen on the other side of that, because that's just that resistance level, just keeping us stuck, and we can't move past that if we're not willing to kind of open up and trust at that level.
Coach JPMD 12:38
And trust the advice as well, because I think you gave me some advice. And I remember your... I think it was a Range Rover or Land Rover story. When I tried to... you know... in the process, within three months, I had my budget in place. And I saw that there was some extra income. And I don't know if you remember this, but I said, "Sonja, I think I want to buy a Tesla. What do you think about that?" And you were very kind in your answer. Do you remember that?
Sonja Palomino 13:09
I do. Okay. And so, um, the thing about it is, is that, I had a beautiful Land Rover. And we were at that point where we were about ready to almost lose everything. So guess what? This beautiful Land Rover... it gets listed. And it's up for sale because we need to use, you know, those dollars towards other things like keeping the roof over our head. So my Land Rover never looked so beautiful, as I'm looking at the pictures on the computer screen, as we're listing it to sell. And so we sold that beautiful Land Rover. And then we took $4,500 to purchase a Range Rover. Which that sounds fantastic, but this Range Rover was so ugly. The paint was peeling and we had to name her Pearl. She was so ugly and she almost killed me! The time they said not to adjust the seat because when you're driving, it could adjust. And so I'm driving Pearl around for a while, like how bad could it be? So I adjust. I hook it back up. And so I'm driving home around, five miles away from home, and literally my whole seat starts to push in. And then the whole back of the seat starts to! I'm pressed now against the steering wheel trying to do like, literally they weren't joking. This thing was trying to and it was like a lot of pressure. And so when I got home, we had to get it back into position, we just connected it again. So these are the things that, Jude, when you mentioned that because I know for us that debt is, you know, the borrower is servant to the lender. There's bondage associated. And so when you mentioned that vehicle, I'm just thinking, how can we get you to a point that you're not in bondage for this vehicle? And so we went down in vehicle to a $4500 vehicle. And then a few years later, my husband found the exact same vehicle. It was a Range Rover, but this one was gorgeous. It was a wealthy rancher that had it in his garage. And literally, the tires were dry rotted. Why? Because he just never drove it. It was beautiful, in mint condition. And so then we sold my vehicle for $4500 that we purchased and then bought this other cash $4500 vehicle and it was almost like this test. It was almost like this test of "oh my goodness, can you, can your ego take, going to this ugly horrifically like pink feeling everything on it vehicle?" Can you take that on the way to this journey of becoming debt free? And so then, this other one just opened up to us. So Jude, I think that's probably the the story that you're referencing?
Coach JPMD 15:41
Yeah, it's because, you know, I almost pulled the trigger on that. And I realized that that would have been a bad decision when I was trying to, you know, pay off my debt. Because I had... I still had a significant amount of student loans. I think over $100,000 in student loans just a couple of years ago. That's after being in practice for 15 years. And it's, it's hard, I think, for physicians to to get to the point where they feel like they have to wait for their rewards. But I think you can speak to it, obviously, because you've had many physician clients. But, you know, if physicians can pay off their debts as quickly as they can, then they're able to buy things cash and not be not be tied down by the debt and worried about making money to pay off that debt in their practices. What are some of the things that you find difficult to break in physician habits? Because we have some bad habits. We are very prideful sometimes. And we know everything... including the finances. So what do you say to a physician that it's really difficult to change their habits?
Sonja Palomino 17:02
I feel like it's very difficult for my physician clients, for them to reach out to ask for help, because they're the ones that people go to for help. And so there's a really sensitive kind of slot right there. And just in being willing to think that, you know, maybe there is another way that we could do this. And the other part of it is... its that guilt, its that shame, it's that overwhelm. There are a lot of things that are being juggled and a lot of things that are on their shoulders. And so, Jude, would it be okay, if I shared a little bit about this structure that I share with you? Because I find that if we're missing a critical structure, then you're going to be on a windy road, basically, on that windy road, and it's going to take a lot longer rather than just being on the interstate to attain that financial freedom.
Coach JPMD 17:52
Sonja Palomino 17:54
So the best analogy that I have, and Jude, you remember, I shared this with you on your initial call. Because what I find is, if we are missing even just one of these three pieces that I'm going to share with you, then you're not going to get the traction that you deserve. And the best analogy that I have is this analogy of a vehicle. Just like when you go to the store, you have your hands on the steering wheel, you look out that front windshield, you look out the rearview mirror, and we use all three interchangeably. And so the desired goal is to have our finances, we want it to, we want it to have four tires on the road. And the way that we do that, the first element is this, we have to have a budget that is paycheck by paycheck, because typically, and by the way, I'm thinking of statistics, 95% of Americans don't have a budget, 5% that do. So even the 5% that do, they're not budgeting at the level that I am Jude, at the level that you are, at the level that my clients are, because they're missing one or two of these pieces that I'm going to share with you. And so the very first thing is this, we have to insert a steering wheel into the financial vehicle. Because if we don't have that, this is what it feels like. Your hands are taped to your sides, your flooring it, and you're just hoping and crossing your fingers that you're going to be able to turn that corner, right? And so the way that we insert the steering wheel into that financial vehicle is we have to have some sort of structure. And so the structure that I put my clients on, that I would recommend for all of you that are listening to this call, we have to have a structure and it is a paycheck by paycheck structure. Because if we lay out a budget for our overall month of whatever, what happens is this, we get lost in the month and the month becomes really long. And so based on when that income comes in, that is the skeletal structure for the entire financial foundation. Because as new income comes in, we want to be able to see that, and we want to be able to see which pay periods are responsible for paying which bills. Most of my clients budget are not balanced. There's usually a paycheck where there might be some extra but then there's another page of actually, there's a shortage, and it feels like feast and famine. It just feels like we just can't gain the traction. And by the time we get to the pay period where there's a little bit extra, it's like, oh, finally, we have a little bit extra. So we spend that little bit extra, not even having a clue that we actually might needed that in two weeks or in a month. But we are unable to see that coming up in advance.
Coach JPMD 20:47
And I see that. I saw that happening with me. And that's probably when I used to use credit cards. And so people, at least I did, at least when I saw that shortage coming, I said I’ll pay the groceries with the credit card. And I'll cover that in the next paycheck. So I hear you.
Sonja Palomino 21:03
You got it. That's right, because the birth of debt is when there's not enough income in that moment to cover those bills. And then, that's the birth of debt. It's filling that gap between the income and the expenses. If you can do that, we can use debt up to a certain point in time, until the credit card companies, their hands off. They're like, no. Your debt to income ratio, it's too risky. We're not going to play anymore. Now you force them to doing kind of what we did. We were forced to go back to the basics. And so, I just, my desire is for no one to get to where we went. It's a very scary place to go. And so I just want to walk people back away from that as much as possible. And so the second piece that is critically important, it is that front windshield. So just imagine, if you go out to your garage, and your entire front windshield was blacked out, would you go anywhere? Probably not. Right? You wouldn't. You wouldn't be able to see in front of you. It would be blacked out. And so, the second thing is this, we have to have a budget. And the structure is so that way, this budget, is forward looking over the next two months. Because where we are today is going to be very different than where you are going to be in a month or two. And so if we don't have that front windshield view, if we are unable to look ahead over the next few months, this is what it feels like. It feels like you're very reactive. It just feels like you can't get ahead. And it just feels like you don't have that forward vision and you're unable to plan and prepare. And I feel like our finances, it's one of those areas that it's not often a box to the side, it's interwoven into every area of our life. And so when that is out of control, we also bring that into every other area of our lives as well. So when I insert this front windshield into a client's budget, it's when I prepare that budget. So it is forward looking over the next two months. So we can see what is happening paycheck by paycheck over the next two months. So Jude, if there is that shortage that you're talking about. If there is a shortage, we don't want to be smack dab in the middle of the shortage. We actually want to be able to see that a couple of months ahead of time. So today, we can better prepare. So we don't even experience that shortage. Make sense?
Coach JPMD 23:31
Yeah, it makes sense.
Sonja Palomino 23:32
So that's the second piece. And then this third piece, I was actually never trained and taught on this third piece, though, when I started coaching my clients, I wasn't satisfied, this very first few. And I would ask my clients, how are you doing with your budget? And so Jude they would say they were doing well. You know what? I didn't know. I didn't know if that client was doing well. And if we needed to bake a cake and celebrate or if there was a lot of guilt and shame and it really wasn't going well. And they were just lying to me because they wanted me to feel good. And so it was almost this middle of the night awareness of this, "Sonja you need to take this budget. What is missing? You've got to take this budget and you need to route it in reality". This budget, and I know those of you that are listening, without this piece I'm going to share with you, the budget, it feels like it's floating out there. It's not grounded. It's a guide at best, but it's something that we hardly never look at. We might take the time to do, which I would say we waste the time to do a budget if it doesn't lead us to implement it, if it doesn't lead you to results, if it doesn't lead you to a sense of peace and clarity with regards to your finances. So this was the game changer. This is the rearview mirror. What I mean by that... It's this... it's one thing to have a budget, though it's a whole nother to look back to that prior pay period. And Jude, you remember we did this paycheck by paycheck, right?
Coach JPMD 25:03
Yeah. And thankfully, I still do it.
Sonja Palomino 25:06
Coach JPMD 25:06
For six or seven years.
Sonja Palomino 25:08
And it matters. It matters! Because, when we go back and retake this hypothetical budget, and we reconcile it to the bank account, and we update the budget with what really happened, and so then we're actually better able to project out when we see and where the money actually went. What I noticed is a night and day difference in results. Because what that did, was it amped up my accountability to my clients. Though, also, Jude, it also amps up my clients accountability to me as well. So that's the rear view mirror. So when we can pull together and put your hands on that steering wheel, right? And we have that front windshield, and we have that rearview mirror, then for the very first time, that is when you're going to have those four tires on the road. That is when you can gain traction. And by the way, that is just the starting point. That is the 20%. That is the budget structure. But most people don't have those three elements. And then the other 80% is the behavior, it's the implementation. It is walking through good pay periods, bad pay periods, it doesn't matter, we need to have a plan in depth. The depth of a budget, once we have one the depth of the budget, where it doesn't follow the perfect plan but that's just where we get started.
Coach JPMD 26:26
That's awesome. I mean, that's a really good analogy. And I think you also share that analogy on the course that you helped to create with us, on the LAMA course, on LearnAboutMedicareAdvantage.com. And you know, and I know that you're planning on also giving a bonus at the end of this podcast. So I... I highly recommend that everyone stays until the end, because Sonja is going to give something out that I think you'll all be interested in. But there was a statistic I recently saw... of that... there was a research study that was done on millionaires and out of 10,000 millionaires that were surveyed in this country, doctors were not on the top three of that millionaire list. And it was accountants, engineers, and teachers. So I wanted to get some insight from you, as a financial coach, as to why you think that doctors, lawyers and and business owners were not on the list of 10,000 millionaires, or at least the top three?
Sonja Palomino 27:35
That's an interesting question. And the thing about it is, because I have clients just in every industry you could ever even imagine, and interesting that they say school teachers, because I've seen this personally. I have single wonderful teachers that are wealthier than other people that you think would be very successful. Because the single mom school teacher, she is putting money aside in savings to building that retirement. Her expense to income ratio, it's at a point in which she's able to grow and to move forward, if that makes sense. So and what I find is that, it all comes down to the ratios because you can have a significant income $13,000 a month coming in, though, when you're spending 12,500 going out, you see how my my single mom school teacher could be wealthier, right? Then a doctor making $13,000 a month?
Coach JPMD 28:33
Yeah. So you know, that I found very interesting because we think that doctors are wealthier. And we think that you have to go to law school to become a millionaire. But yet the studies are showing different. And it kind of goes back to your your margins comment at the beginning, where if you can create a margin, that margin can go towards a 401K or 403B and I think most of the millionaires that were studied also were seen as, or contributed to a retirement plan in a company for a prolonged period of time. So can you talk to us about compounding interest and how you see that helps in building wealth?
Sonja Palomino 29:13
Absolutely. And I feel like one of the biggest steps, even before getting to that investment stage stage, it's really taking a look at those debt ratios that you have. And so my biggest encouragement is to whatever debt levels you're looking at right now, the student loan debt, credit card debt, and things like that. It's really to see and to look foundationally at that budget. And to have a budget with the various elements that I've recommended. Because if you can get that financial foundation underneath your feet, if you can, like fire is underneath your feet, knock out the current debt load that you have. Because then as you start to free yourself up, so the income that's coming in isn't going towards that debt that you have, then when you head into retirement, than big picture, you're not heading into retirement with student loan debt.
Coach JPMD 30:01
Do you see? Do you see physicians going to retirement with student loan debt?
Sonja Palomino 30:05
I do. I do.
Coach JPMD 30:06
Wow. I thought that 20 years was was a lot time to pay debt. So you're saying over 20 years, physicians are carrying student loan debt?
Sonja Palomino 30:21
Correct. And so the thing about it is... is to just really kind of go back to the basics. And so once you have that financial foundation in place. Then as far as you know, investing, and in taking those dollars, and being very strategic with those dollars, and investing in, and then yes, that compound interest. And I know that there are studies that are out there that if you know someone at age, I want to say 16, invest $2,000 a year for five or six years... I'm just saying this off the top of my head and stops, then, then basically, they'll have more than someone that starts to invest, you know? Those five to six years later. And, and so it just really goes kind of due to a point that compounding interest, the sooner the better. And because those dollars can start to work for you, though I find without that overall foundation... so that way, you're really looking at that entire financial picture.. and really seeing how you can reduce those debt loads as quickly as possible. I find that when you put those two things together, that's where that financial freedom really starts to open up.
Coach JPMD 31:27
So what would you say to a physician that says, "Hey, I can do this on my own. And I make a lot of money. And I can make more money in the stock market before more money than the interest on my student loans?" What would you say to that young physician coming out of, say, residency or fellowship?
Sonja Palomino 31:51
That's a great question. And the thing is, this is that, typically the role that we follow if you are okay with losing that money, and if you don't think that you'll need to touch those dollars for five years or more, then that's kind of our role as far as investing. And so, if you're in a, if you're in a position, where if you didn't lose those dollars, because it can be risky, they're the ups and downs in the stock market. Got to be in it for the long term. So the recommendation would be to really focus foundationally first, before layering in that step, because I find that when my clients start to do simple over and over and lay that strong financial foundation, there is that inherent compounding system, and they're going to get to that investment step even faster, with a stronger financial foundation. For my clients that invest before they're at the stage in which they are ready to invest. This is what I see happening, Jude, they end up... they do it a little bit backwards. And then they end up having to take money out of retirement, and they're paying a penalty because they're doing it before they're retired. And they're also going to have to pay taxes on those dollars. So I find that if we skip to that step too soon, then there is that... it's going to kind of hit us on the back end, and then it will cost you more in the long run.
Coach JPMD 33:10
It makes total sense. So Sonja, anything... any other advice that you could give to physicians who are listening to this podcast and wanting to Practice Impossible?
Sonja Palomino 33:21
My biggest suggestion would be currently... just to kind of evaluate your situation and ask are you satisfied? Are you satisfied with the results that you're getting? Do you feel as if you've had those four tires on the road? And if you can, and this is my heart, Jude, if your listeners can take these recommendations I'm giving to them, if they can implement the budget at the level that I'm recommending, I say, do it. Rock that budget and just be consistent with it. If there's someone out there, and they're just... they feel like there's this missing link. They know what to do, though, for some reason, they don't know how to make that happen for their particular situation. And I recommend... and kind of just to go towards what I have as far as the offer for the listeners today. I have a complimentary 30 minute call. And what that does, it allows for me to understand your specific situation. I like to run percentages. How much of your income and I would recommend for you to run this to yourself, how much of your income is currently going towards the roof over your head? We recommend that percentage to be between 25 and 35%. And so when I run that percentage, then if you're at 40% or higher, well then the home is a red flag. And the other percentage that I like to run, it's almost like I'm triage in someone's financial situation, right? And the second thing is, I want to run the percentage and of the vehicle, how much are you spending on that vehicle? And what percentage of your income is going towards that vehicle? We recommend ranges around, you know, 10 to 12% for the vehicle. And so I like to run those two numbers, and it allows for you to immediately triage a particular situation to know, if I have a client in front of me, that is an income crisis situation, or if this client is a management situation. Because I will go in one of two different directions, and they're completely different based on that client that is in front of me. So in the complimentary 30 minute call, what I like to do is to understand your pulse. Where are you? And basically give you specific recommendations. And if that's what you need, and you're able to run with it, I think it's absolutely fantastic. And then just for those clients that feel, maybe there is something, maybe there is something that I'm missing, and they are interested in moving forward. Only at that point in time do we move forward. Though, I do recommend that initial 30 minute consultation, because like I said, if you just need to have something, you know, lit underneath your feet... just to point you in that right direction, and just say, "Okay, now, let's go ahead and attack this"... and you have that ability to do so, then I say go for it!
Coach JPMD 36:15
I so thank you for that offer. And, you know, full disclosure, I am a referral partner to Sonja. And we do have a referral agreement. And I have referred several, several clients to Sonja and they are really excited with what they've done with their finances and with her, and I know what she's done for me. And I would want that for everyone that's listening to this podcast at this time. Any parting words and where can we find you?
Sonja Palomino 36:46
The best way is my website, and that's www.injoyconsulting.com. And it's spelt differently. It's spelt with an I and really, where my heart is in financial coaching, it's really thinking about what more is possible. So it's funny, Jude, right? Your podcast. Because we didn't discuss this whatsoever, but my whole... when you go to my website, literally, on my homepage, where my heart is, it's just about my clients living there possible. What more is possible in your particular situation? And if you feel any sort of limitation or constraint, and a lot of times, the financial realm is one that just triggers a lot of that fear and anxiety and overwhelm. And so, it's really about leaning into living your possible and so this is how I work with my clients. Not just even on the black and white numbers, we go a little bit deeper as well and really feel this thing to the root. And so as far as parting words, Jude, I would actually, I'm going to turn it over to you because you're a client of mine, and I'm going to share it with everyone else as well, you know, as far as the benefit to, to having a financial plan underneath your feet, that strategic financial foundation, so that way, you know that you are on purpose with your finances. So my goal, in my heart is for my clients, is to get back to life. Get back to their families and not have the weight of the world on their shoulders because of the finances. Because it just felt like our finances can suck the living life out of us. That is not okay.
Coach JPMD 38:28
Yeah, that's what it was. It was with me. And that's why I was so blessed to have found you and to have you help me move in the right direction. And it's opened up so many doors by putting things in order. And, you know, it's written that the wise seek counsel of many, and it's a fool that doesn't take advice. So I recommend that all our podcast listeners seek the advice of wise counsel and Sonja is one of those wise counsels that I've used. And I so appreciate. And we'll put links to your website in the show notes below. And, again, want to thank Sonja for joining us on this conversation. Would you come back if we had questions from our listeners?
Sonja Palomino 39:19
Absolutely. That would be fantastic.
Coach JPMD 39:21
Cool. Thank you again, Sonja. And it's been an honor and a pleasure to have you on the podcast today.
Sonja Palomino 39:28
Thank you, Jude.
Coach JPMD 39:29
Thank you so much for listening. For more information, please visit www.practiceimpossible.com You can also leave some feedback as to what other topics you might want to hear.