Get out of survival mode and get intentional with your finances.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by personal finance and budgeting. It can be stressful and intimidating, so we often just let it go on auto-pilot and hope for the best.
I created Finance with Intention to help you take the guesswork out of personal finance so that you start feeling like you are making tangible progress toward your financial goals.
Does this sound familiar?
- You get stressed thinking about checking your bank balances because you’re not sure what you’re going to find.
- You know you need to get your budget under control, but it all seems overwhelming.
- You’ve tried budgeting but can’t seem to stick to it.
- You “save” money, but don’t really know what you’re saving FOR.
- Whether it’s because of debt or just regular living expenses, you can’t seem to make headway toward being able to afford your biggest goals.
You need a goal-oriented, intentional approach to personal finance. One that’s not about militant expense cutting and a restrictive lifestyle, but also one that prioritizes the goals that are most important to you.
Hi, I’m Carrie Bach.
And I believe we all have room to get better with our finances.
I work with goal-oriented women who are ready to face their fears when it comes to personal finance. Whether you’ve just never been a “numbers person” or you’ve tried and failed to stick to a budget in the past, if you’re ready to take a careful look at your finances and make some changes, I’m ready to help. I believe in:
Spending and saving with intention
Saying no to the things that don’t matter
Adapting budgeting systems so they work WITH you, not against you
Showing yourself compassion and grace, while also keeping your eye on the prize
Making consistent progress toward achieving financial milestones – no matter how far away they may seem right now
For most of my life, I relied on luck and a natural frugal streak to manage my finances. I survived, even when the first condo I purchased suddenly needed $50,000 worth of repairs. And even when the housing bubble burst in 2008 right after putting the downpayment on the next, new construction condo. (I was determined to avoid those repair costs, but ended up having to wait years to sell the condo after it’s value tanked.)
I have been fortunate to have avoided student loan debt, in part due to my love of standardized tests. But I drained my savings during my two stints in graduate school, where my $17k-18k salaries were woefully inadequate in high cost of living New Jersey and Honolulu, where my schools were located.
At that time, the idea of budgeting seemed so tedious and boring. I knew I should be doing it, and I knew I wasn’t preparing adequately for my future, but I found myself living on auto-pilot.
My Wake-Up Call
Everything changed in 2020. And not just because of the pandemic.
My husband and I had gotten married in Korea in October 2019, and found ourselves expecting a baby soon thereafter. But because of some visa issues, we made the difficult decision for me to spend 2020 in our respective countries. I went back to Seattle in the US for the rest of my pregnancy and the first few months of our son’s life, and my husband stayed in Korea.
My plan was to work in my private tutoring business until our baby arrived in July. My husband would travel back and forth between the two countries. And it would be tough, but we’d make it work.
And then the pandemic happened.
The standardized tests that I teach got canceled left and right, my high school students transitioned into hastily planned online school where grades suddenly became a lot more nebulous, and many of my college students lost their jobs or faced other income uncertainty.
I had been counting on a solid income during these months so that I could take time off after the baby was born. Instead, it became a scramble to shift my tutoring business to fit the new pandemic reality.
I crunched the numbers. I planned out best and worst-case scenarios for my business and for the costs of labor and delivery. And I made the tough decision to leave my apartment early so that my baby and I could stay with my parents for a few months before we were able to get visas and passports worked out for our move back to South Korea.
It was a challenging entry into first-time motherhood, to say the least.
And it was a real wake-up call about the importance of having strong personal finance habits.
What I Learned
With a new family I now needed to provide for, I needed to get serious about my personal finances, but in a way I could stick to long-term. I wanted our budget to reflect our priorities, making room for the things that were important to us – like coffee, travel, and comfort foods imported from home. But I also wanted us to dream big about the life we wanted for ourselves and our son. I wanted us to set aside money regularly so that we could achieve these goals.
I have focused on growing my tutoring business, helping my students raise their scores on standardized tests so they could get into college, grad school, and law school. (I said I loved standardized tests, remember?) I tightened up my accounting and implemented a system called Profit First.
I have found that working for myself and charging what I am worth has allowed me the freedom to live my life on my own terms. I work enough to support our family but also have enough time to spend with my son, who is now an energetic toddler.
I set a budget for our family at the beginning of each month, update it regularly, then reflect on how we did at the end of the month. We have goals we contribute to monthly. You can read about our financial journey here.
And it’s true, there are times when I let myself get sucked back into unhealthy consumerism or an unhealthy obsession with frugality. But I work hard to keep our intentions in mind.
Many years ago, I set two goals for my life:
- To be a good grandmother to my granddaughter the way my grandmothers were for me. (Obviously, all I can do now is build the foundation for that one!)
- To have a “meaningful impact” in my career. (At the time, I was still working on figuring out what exactly I wanted that to mean.)
I’m so fortunate that I can now live out that second goal daily by helping motivated women, especially entrepreneurs, get a handle on their finances. Although I don’t gloss over the fact that some of us have far more privilege than others, I believe that we all are capable of making considerable progress on our financial journey. And I believe that it all starts when we get truly intentional with our money.
I’d love to hear from you!
Have a question?
Or want to work with me?
Send me a message to let me know how I can help.