Hi, my name is Keina Newell. I'm the Founder at Wealth Over Now Financial Coaching and Education.
I grew up in a single-income household. My dad was in the military, and my mom stayed at home. Please understand, we were not well off, by any means. As an adult, I now recognize how my parents stretched a single income: they knew the importance of sacrifice.
Fast forward to May 2007, when I walked across the stage as a first-generation college graduate. By that time, I had over $75,000 worth of student loan debt and a job that was only paying about $33,000 a year. I had decided to join Teach For America because I wanted to expand the educational opportunities available to low-income students.
Prior to that, I never really worried about my debt because I was following the path that society prescribed: go to school, get a degree, get a good job, and independently support yourself! So, I went to school, got a degree, and got a good job - by my standards – only to find out that the “support yourself” was a little tricky. Society said I needed to max out my retirement, contribute to a Roth IRA, pay rent, pay utilities, and pay back debt! That was overwhelming. The amount of debt I was in exceeded my salary two-fold. A girl was stressed!
It felt like debt was holding me back from LIFE! I had gone to college to better myself, to do better than my parents, and to truly thrive. But I left college feeling like I needed to give up on a personally fulfilling opportunity to get a job that would pay my bills.
I had to decide on my priorities. I couldn’t compare my situation to anyone else's. I had to think of solutions to the problems in front of me. I began to make sacrifices that would change my future. I knew this would be temporary, even if temporary meant five, ten, or twenty years out.
I made sure to set dates with myself. Budget dates.#budgettherapy
The first date was about my current situation. How much debt was I in? How much money was I bringing home? What essential expenses did I have? What frivolous expenses did I have? How much did I have in savings?
On the second date, I examined my goals. Why was any of this important to me? Why did it matter in the end?
On the third date, I reflected on the big picture. I needed to make my funds work for me. My income needed to align with my values and my goals. I had to start somewhere, so I focused on the how. I gave every dollar a home. I created projection amortization tables for my student loans. I designed a savings table. I projected my future spending.
And every date after the third date was me holding myself accountable and checking off my milestones. Slowly but surely, I saved $1,000 or paid off one loan.
In this journey, I was transparent with my circle of friends, and we openly discussed our financial challenges. I was able to share my story and, in this way, support them in their personalized journey.
Now, in a little over a decade after walking across that stage, I’m proud to say that my grandmothers and parents ability to sacrifice has enabled me to do the same. I was able to create a plan to pay down my student loans, increase my savings over time to build an emergency fund, save for a down payment for my first home, start a Roth IRA, and increase my retirement fund. Most importantly, I’ve been able to put myself in a position to help others. The more I have, the more I give away because this life is not just about me.
I’ve been where my clients are. I’ve been the young professional making $33,000 a year. I’ve had monthly student loan payments that were as high as a rent payment. I’ve charged up credit cards. I’ve gone on a trip, knowing I didn’t have the cash. I’ve joined the Joneses family when I should’ve just stayed put. I’ve wondered if I’d ever get out of debt. I’ve wondered why I couldn’t just take Sallie Mae to divorce court for a dysfunctional relationship. I have been there. But being there has taught me perseverance, humility, and perspective. Being there has also shown me that my purpose in life is all about helping others and changing the world. I can make this world a better place by walking alongside you on your financial journey.
I started Wealth Over Now because my role as a financial coach is the perfect intersection of passion and purpose. I want to bring about generational change, and I truly believe my service will impact generations. What you will learn working with Wealth Over Now (WON) can be passed on to your kids, siblings, parents, and neighbors.
I empower young professionals to focus on optimizing their income to reach these goals. Your dreams might seem far off, but we can help you put them within reach. Remember, if you add up one day of sacrifice and another day of sacrifice, that results in riches.
What's your story? Where do you want to be a year from now?
Why Wealth Over Now?
Sometimes it takes people a minute before they say, Awww, I get it Keina, Wealth Over Now! As a former math teacher, my logo plays off my love of numbers, specifically fractions. My company name came from my own personal finance journey. To achieve financial freedom, I had to think of the future I desired (wealth) over my present situation (now). My approach to budgeting allowed me to pay off consumer and student loan debt and save to purchase my first home before the age of 30! I now support my clients, as a financial coach, in reaching their financial goals by empowering them to weigh their financial habits and decisions against where they want to be a year from now, five years from now, and eighty years from now. Others may call it delayed gratification but I call it Wealth Over Now!
Are you wondering what the difference is between a financial coach and a financial advisor?
Check out my blog post!