Financial Fluency Episode #34: Line Item Veto

Today’s episode is called “Line Item Veto.” For those of us in the United States, that has a certain meaning. I found out this morning when I was talking to someone in the UK that they had no idea what that meant.

So let me explain it real quick. Here in the United States, we have our House and Senate, the Congress who make laws and make budgets but then those budgets get sent up to the Executive Branch and the Executive Branch has the power of veto. Here in the United States, the president does not have line item veto, they just have full veto which means they have to either accept or reject a budget completely the way the Congress sent it to them.

There used to be something called “Line Item Veto” for the president and currently 44 states still allow their governors to have line item veto. So what that means is Congress puts together this budget, it goes through both houses, if it gets passed, it gets sent to the governor and the governor can then go through line by line, item by item and accept or reject the pieces of the budget without accepting or rejecting the entire budget as a whole.

Well, let’s say they usually accept it. So they can accept the budget but reject a few things. The purpose of this is to get rid of bloated spending, pork barrel projects, things that don’t really belong in the budget for one reason or another.

At the national level here in the United States, they decided to pull that power from the president because they felt like there was too much risk of the president punishing political opponents by line item veto-ing their particular projects for their states and their constituents. For the President, he either has to accept or reject the whole thing.

Sometimes you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater or you’re taking the baby and drinking the bathwater.

Okay, that was kind of a bad stretch on that analogy but it means that a lot of times things that you wouldn’t necessarily get passed on their own, gets squeezed into a budget either put in last minute or put in in a way that is not quite bad enough for them to reject the entire budget because the budget has to get through, there has to be money to spend but a lot of things go through that some people, at least, wouldn’t want in there.

You can listen in to the full podcast below

So how does this apply to your personal finances? Well, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a stretch except I love the idea of going through a budget line by line. Now what I’m talking about is not you actually making a budget with lots of lines in it, I’m talking about going through all of your transactions over the last month, couple of months, if you’re really ambitious it can even be the whole year, and seeing what you have spent on in the past that you are going to veto from now on. How about that?

My Favorite App

A great tool to do this, my favorite tracking app which I personally use, There are a lot of different tracking tools out there, what I like about Mint is that you can put all of your different accounts in there. I hook them up to everything, personal and business alike, so I can see this as the one place where I see the whole of my financial picture all in one place at one time.

I have my mortgage in there, car loans, our credit cards are in there, business accounts, personal accounts, anything that we own that I can put a value to. I did even put in values for other things, different collections of different kinds, anything that had a significant value if we were to liquidate it, that’s kind of how I use it, I put in there because it also gives you your net worth which is great.

In terms of this line item veto that I want you to do a really neat function that has is that you can hit an “All Transactions” button and it will show you all your transactions across all accounts and all categories, chronologically. What’s neat about this is I feel like sometimes when people look at their personal and at their business and at different categories and different budgets there are ways that some transactions can hide when you’re only looking either at one account or one category at a time that you may not take into consideration when you’re looking at the whole.

So this way, if you go onto, hook up all your accounts; retirement accounts everything, let’s just see everything in one place at one time and then hit that “All Transactions” button and you can either print out the downloadable Line Item Veto pdf, download the PDFs or if you want to be old school, just take out a legal pad, and start going through every item line by line, every single transaction that you’ve made; deposits, spending, credit cards, everything.

KonMarie for Finances

Now, this is where I’m going to go a little off the beaten path. I recently read a book called, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It’s by Marie Kondo. They call it the KonMarie Method and I’ll be honest, I have not managed to completely KonMarie my house, I would love to and it’s definitely something I want to work up to.

I have two kids and two dogs and a husband, yes I will get there eventually but I’ve managed to do it in little segments so far, like my jeans. I KonMarie-d my jeans. But the point behind it if you haven’t read the book, one of my favourite parts of this book was the idea of systematically taking every single thing you own, every item in your home, holding it in your hand and seeing if it sparks joy. Now that might sound a little esoteric, a little “woo-woo”, a little emotional for you and it doesn’t quite exactly apply to finance because there are some things that may spark no joy whatsoever, but which we still have to do for one reason or another. Regardless I still like having that criteria in there.

Here is what I want you to do. As you go through item by item, transaction by transaction through your “All Transactions”, I want you to take a look at each line and ask yourself:

  • Is this an absolute necessity for my family?
  • Is it keeping us warm and fed and healthy?
  • Is it doing something important which would cause my life to be significantly diminished without it?
  • Is it something that helps me make money in some way?
  • Does it support my job, or my business?
  • Is it a tool that I use?” and then the last criteria I want you to take is,
  • Does this spark joy?

Looking at those three basic things (do I need it, does it help earn income and does it spark joy), really if it does any of those, it’s a “yes”. If it doesn’t do any of those, I want you to take a good hard look at it, think about that item. The items that I want you to write down are the ones that don’t fit into any of those three criteria. So if it does not sustain your family in some very significant, real and positive way, if it does not help you to earn income in some way and if it does not spark joy in your life, ask yourself, “Do you really need it?”

If it’s something that recurs and you don’t need it, cut it right now while you’re doing it, just stop, go cancel that subscription, change that thing, get rid of it right now. You’ll feel a new lightness come over you. You just decluttered a financial drain on your system. If it is not a recurring charge, if it’s something you bought once but regret, is it something that you could return to the store and get a credit for it? Is it something that you could sell on eBay or sell in some other way? Is there some way you could get rid of it and recoup some of the cost?

Is It REALLY Worth Your Time to Sell it

This one can be a really tricky one. I did an episode a while ago with Lisa Sharp from the Clear Calm Space and on the episode I brought up this idea of selling things as you declutter them and she said there’s a fine line because sometimes people think that they will be able to recoup some of the money and that makes them hold on to it. They put it in a closet, thinking,

Oh one of these days, I’ll get time to list it on eBay and do all of that

But they never do which means they have a closet of clutter. They’d be better off just getting rid of it. As you do this, if you find any purchases that you regret, ask yourself, “Will I feel better just getting rid of it or do I want to go ahead and try listing it, try selling it, try doing something? Is it worth my time? Will I be able to recoup enough of it to not only be worth some of what I paid for but really just to be worth the time that it’ll take to photograph and list it right now?”

Could you make more than that doing something else? Like if you’re going to sell some books on Amazon, how much do you really get for used books? Are you going to spend 25-30 minutes, taking pictures, writing the description, listing it and then get $3 for the book? That’s not worth it, just give the book away, just take it to Goodwill, take it to a used bookstore. Give it to someone as a present if you think they’d like it.

If it’s something like, say, a handbag and you keep thinking, “I’m going to use it” or a dress that doesn’t quite fit right but it was really expensive. If it’s something that’s brand name enough, do a quick search, look up what people are getting for them, especially if you’ve not worn it much and see is it worth it? Could you get $100 for it? Well $100 is probably worth 15-20 minutes of your time to go and take some photos and list it. If it’s less than what you get paid or pay yourself hourly then really question whether if it’s worth the time. You might feel better just getting rid of it.

Now that you’re doing this, try at least once a month. I recommend doing at least every quarter if you can and if you’re super ambitious, go through a whole year. Even though in some ways it might be depressing to see the things you’ve spent money on that you don’t now think were worth it, it also can be really liberating because you can put that information to work from now on and not spend that money on those things anymore.

The problem is that a lot of times we have those experiences, it’s unpleasant to realise that you made a purchase that you regret. So rather than thinking about it and being intentional about it in the future, we just kind of ignore it, push it aside, try to pretend it never happened, just put it somewhere else. But then I think that makes us susceptible to that same kind of purchase again in the future.

We ALL Do This

Have you ever bought something again that you once regretted for some reason? Anything? Courses, clothes that don’t quite fit, things you’re going to grow into.. You know, I feel like we all have these things, maybe, weight loss programs. I’m thinking of myself here. I have done a lot of things since having babies to lose those last few baby pounds and a lot of them didn’t work.

I kind of wished I hadn’t spent that money and yet I would do it again another time and then another time I’d try something else. I don’t do that anymore. I’m stopping because the results that I’ve gotten have not been worth it and the money that I’ve spent, in the end, you know, I could have put that to better use.

If you have anything like that, maybe it’s online courses. A lot of people do repeatedly buy online courses now because it’s such a huge industry. We all want to be learning things all the time and we can learn a certain amount from books but with the courses, there are these specific things that we want to get from them and the sales pages can be so persuasive, they can have so much influence over you that you get in there and once you’ve bought it, once the purchase is made, the money is spent, you might get distracted.

A lot of the courses have great material but what you’re really buying is the experience of going through it with the other people in it and getting some of that attention from the person leading the course, right? You want to learn directly from them and a lot of them give you lifetime access so you’re like, “Well, you know, some things have come up. I’ve not been able to really keep up with it but I can always go back.” How often do you go back? If you’ve bought courses before and haven’t gone back, stop and go back now. Go back and take stock of them, look at all of them.

Ask yourself how much ROI you got on them, how much return on that investment. Could you get more? Could you go back right now and squeeze more out of that investment by revisiting that course?

Do that before you buy another course. Make sure you get something out of it, enough out of it and I’m just speaking from experience here myself because I’ve had a few times where something’s come up, one of my kids have gotten sick, I haven’t been able to finish something and I think I’ll go back and do it and some of them I’ve never gone back to. So, that’s some of my decluttering that I’m doing right now is I’m going to go through and get rid of the things on my hard drive, things I’ve downloaded.

There’s so much information out there now that there are times when free stuff that just takes up space somewhere isn’t worth it either. It isn’t worth cluttering up your space with something just because it’s free and might someday help you.

Just In Time, Not Just In Case

One thing that I really like from some of the productivity books that I’ve read is this idea of “just in time” instead of “just in case” and it came from looking at the Toyota model for manufacturing where they set up the companies where the parts that were needed and the things that had to happen, these different process used, things would arrive just in time for the next thing to happen.

That way, they wouldn’t keep tons of inventory just in case they needed it and that saved them so much money both on buying the extra inventory and then on the storage for it and then if it was things that perished like rubber pieces, belts and tubes, they wouldn’t lose the money on the items perishing. So it saved a lot of money, it cut out a lot of the waste and bloat in the U.S car manufacturing industry and the U.S car manufacturing industry learned from that, they learned a lot from the Japanese model. Again, that takes us back to this cutting the waste, cutting the bloat, line item veto.

You’ve got the information. If this sounds like something that could help you out, do it, go and do it, do it right now. Sign up for, print out the PDF or get a legal pad or something with enough pages that you can really go through and write all those things down and ask yourself how much you’re getting out of this. Yes, you’re investing a little time in this but you might make some really good discoveries and take some really good action that can save you a lot of money that will be worth the time of sitting down and going through all of your transactions, one by one.

If you like this episode, if you like any of the episodes, please subscribe to the channel so that you’ll get it every week and I would love for you to come over to our Facebook group. Join the group and join the discussions there. I’d love to hear what happened when you did this, how it went for you, did you discover you’d forgotten about or make some connections you’ve never realised, have an “a-ha”, I would love to hear it. So, join me over on the Facebook group and I will talk to you soon!

Financial Fluency Episode #33: Killer Content with Jo Gifford

Welcome to another episode of Financial Fluency – I KNOW I have said this before but this REALLY is one of my favorite people in the online world.

Jo Gifford has helped me with my business from the very beginning. I struggled (who doesn’t?!) with trying to get my content to be right. In a sea of financial information, I wanted to sound like me, while still making sense. Not easy, then I found Jo!

Jo and I talk workflow, content creation and how to just get started. She shares her amazingly simple take on how to build up a file of killer ideas for your audience as well as nailing guest posting and getting eyes on your posts.

Her new site Killer Content Academy is all about learning hints and tips to start creating and more importantly getting the most from what you do create. And if you need a hand finding your own brilliance, no worries! Jo’s also got your back there with her Brilliance Ignition Process.

You can listen in below and Tweet it out hereTweet: @jturrell and @dexdiva rocking content creation on this podcast:

Favorite Quotes

I am the queen procrastinator on content – Jen, confession time.

I needed to have ways to do stuff much faster, that turned into something I loved to share! – Jo on the start of her online business

I finally have an editorial calendar! First time since 2012! – Jen, in 2016

I’m really bad on podcasts, because I talk so much – Jo, missing the point of podcasts a bit

Once you’re armed with a swipe massive file of ideas, half the process is done – Jo, on creating content

You have a unique story that you bring to your business, so we need to pull out your special sauce – Jo, on what to blog about

You’re creating content by having a chat – Jo, on Podcasting

You’re GREAT on your podcast – Jo, to Jen

Look on Way Back Machine, look at where the big names started – Jo, on just getting started

We’re still young!! – BOTH JO & JEN!

Don’t fear whether Pat Flynn is doing a tear down of your thing – Jo, on starting with being enough

There will always be people who need to hear what you know – Jo, making total sense on content creation


Jo GiffordJo Gifford is a recovering overwhelmed entrepreneur with an addiction to making things easier.

Champion of working smarter and creator of the Brilliance Ignition Process, she has a loyal global audience and a stellar client list of biz owners making big sales and a big difference.

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, she is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner (main coping strategy= juniper berries. Ok, gin).

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.

Grab free training, swipe files, tips and sanity from

If you enjoyed this episode you can subscribe to Financial Fluency here on iTunes and listen every week. If you like what you hear, please also leave an awesome iTunes review

I do two episodes every week, one solo and one interview.

I also have the fantastic Mastering Money Matters group, a monthly membership group where you can join and we talk about all the different pieces week by week of getting our money systems set up and how we look at, think about and value money and all areas of our lives.

It’s a very supportive and private group just for women and it’s a safe place to hang out and talk. It’s kind of the extension of the interviews I’ve been doing with mainly entrepreneurs on this show, and it’s where we can talk about the things we may not want to broadcast out to a broader audience.

Let’s Keep the Conversation Going

If you’re enjoying the podcasts and something has lit a fire for you, carry on the conversation over on the Financial Fluency Facebook Group.

See you there!

Jen x

Financial Fluency Episode #32: Pay Parity in Sports

Today, I am super excited about something that has been in the news. I don’t always attach the topics of my podcast to current events but something so exciting has come up in the Sports news, no less, that I can’t wait to talk about it on the episode.

You can listen in or read it below and Tweet it out hereTweet: Pay Parity in Sport - it's within our reach! Find out more with @jturrell here:

Five, star players from the U.S women’s national soccer team have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying that the U.S Soccer Federation pays the reigning World Cup Champions far less than their male counterparts.

Most of us already knew this. Back in July, I wrote an article about the pay gap in sports, specifically concerned with the U.S World Cup winning team. The thing is that when people push back against the idea of equal pay for women, sports is usually one of the areas that they highlight, and then how many times do we hear:

“Well, it’s not our fault, it’s not like we want to pay women less, people just don’t want to watch women play sports. They just aren’t as good at sports. They don’t have the really exciting plays, they can’t slam dunk in basketball, they don’t hit each other hard enough in football.”

You know, they don’t do all these things that we’re used to men doing in male sports. Therefore, we don’t get the butts in the seats in the stadiums, you don’t have the eyes on the television broadcast, they aren’t generating the ad revenue.

However, when the U.S soccer team won the World Cup, a lot of those arguments were completely shattered. I have problems with those arguments to start with and I’ll get to those in a second, but the fact that they won the World Cup, the U.S men’s team came nowhere close to winning the World Cup. I think they made it…did they even make it to the final 16? However, not only did the U.S win the World Cup, which is just a stunning achievement in its own, they also brought in far more revenue than the male soccer team.

And then we get the arguments…

Now, some people will say, “Oh, soccer’s totally different. Soccer’s not a very American sport,” you know. While on the worldwide stage, soccer is basically the most loved sport of all countries around the whole world. When you watch the World Cup, (Hey, I’m married to a Brit, so I get to watch the World Cup every 4 years) and see that the rest of the world loves soccer.

For some reason, America doesn’t. For some reason, we actually changed the name. We took “football”, which is what everyone else calls soccer in the rest of the world and we made it our own sport in America and then called what everyone else calls football, soccer. And we definitely relegated it a lesser position than pretty much any other sport than we have.

In America, we’ve got football, we’ve got baseball, we’ve got basketball, all of those in terms of revenue and ad money and viewership all rank above soccer. However, because soccer is so important worldwide, I think it’s a really poignant moment to look at why the women’s team winning the World Cup is so important.

A lot of people argued that pay gaps in general, especially in sports, are not sexism but the economics that women have different bodies, different abilities, they quite literally cannot play on the same field as men. Some people have also told me on my own Facebook page, in fact, that the pay gap doesn’t even exist.

I’ve had a lot of push back here and there. I mean, not a lot of times but from individual people. I’ve had individual people come at me very strongly about the fact that pay gaps don’t exist. Oh, and where they do, that’s actually not because of anything that we’re doing, that’s not sexism, that’s just biology, you know, that’s just how it is. “I’m not saying it’s right that women aren’t equal to men but yeah, they’re not equal to men”. That’s basically the argument that you get.

The cold, hard, stats

The statistics that I found when I did my article last summer on the U.S women’s soccer team win showed that U.S women soccer league salaries range from $6000 a year to $30,000 a year. In a lot of cases, this can put the player below the poverty line in the cities in which they compete without having another job and each National Women’s Soccer League team operates with a salary cap of $200,000 which includes all the games they play, for any bonuses they get for different things,

Women soccer players can’t earn more than $200,000 which is about what David Beckham makes for sneezing or frying an egg

Given all of that, I am so proud of the five, star players from the U.S women’s national soccer team who have filed this complaint. It is such a huge step towards equal pay in all areas of life. I mean, this one area that has always been kind of the sacred cow of discriminatory pay in terms of women. If they can win this, if they can get those salary caps lifted and actually get their pay, at least, equal to what the men are getting paid for not winning World Cups and for not bringing in as many viewers. I personally think they should be getting paid far more. Tweet that!

What does it mean off the pitch?

Beyond that, let’s look at what this would do for the world of sports as a whole for women and also for equal pay overall. So, like I said, sports is this area where everyone has always been like, “Okay, sure. Yeah, a female hairdresser should get paid the same as a male hairdresser. Sure, a female chef should get paid the same as an equally talented male chef.” But, when it comes to sports, women can’t compete on the same field as men.

I feel like in the U.S, at least, there are a lot of ways in which equal rights for women have followed behind equal rights for non-white men. For example, the vote. When the Emancipation Proclamation happened followed by the 14th amendment and former slaves were declared to be full citizens who had the right to vote, women were still not considered full citizens and still did not have the right to vote. That took several more decades for us to win.

Let’s look at the Supreme Court too. The Supreme Court of the United States had its first African American male member in Thurgood Marshall in 1967, I believe it was, and it was several decades later that we got Sandra Day O’Connor, the very first female Supreme Court justice which was super exciting. However, it was still really difficult for her. It wasn’t until a second female got on the Court that they even put a female restroom in the chambers. There were no female restrooms, it was just the restroom of the Courts which was for all the men because it had always been men.

So again, the rights and the opportunities following a bit behind, a few decades behind that of giving the same rights to non-white men.

And it’s not just the USA

So, for a long time in sports as well, non-white men and women really were not welcome. Not only on the field of play, but also in the bleachers, in the seating.

I was talking to my husband the other day about how this worked in England and he was saying that for football, British football, what we call soccer in the U.S, it really wasn’t until the numbers started lagging with Sky TV and people watching at home that they started even trying to market football games as a family-friendly environment.

It used to be all standing which meant you really couldn’t bring children. He said it was really rough. For the most part, women really weren’t welcomed there or on the field of play.

If you look at how long it has taken for Asian men, African men, men who don’t look like “British people”, to break into both soccer and cricket, the big sports over there.

It’s interesting how dominated a lot of U.S sports are by non-white men. However, when you think about the culture that we’re all brought up in, this culture, if it tells you all your life and all your parents’ life and all their parents’ life, that you don’t belong somewhere, that this thing is not for you, say non-segregated education. When that was not something that African American people were brought up to expect and to think as something that belong to them, it took a long time to get people in there.

But some are more equal than others

I know that there are a lot of people who argued back in the day when they wanted to keep schools segregated that, “Well, they’re not actually equal.” People who are not white are not actually equal to white and I feel like the same thing has happened over and over with women through all of these different eras, through all these different milestones that we overcome one by one.

“Well, we’ve always done it this way. You’ve never been considered equal here, so you aren’t equal.”

Speaking of Beckham, I brought him up briefly before, one of my favourite soccer movies ever, or football movies if you’re in England, is “Bend It Like Beckham” and I loved it, that he lent his name to the film and that he appears at the end because the whole film was about girls who are fantastic at football/soccer but it’s so frustrating that they don’t have much of a career path to follow.

For them, it was coming to the U.S where there actually is a National Women’s League where they have somewhere to compete but even then the salary is so paltry that it’s not a fantastic career proposition. And also in sports, often your career is limited by injuries, by age, by fitness, you know, if something happens, if you have some illness or some difficulty, that can really affect your ability to compete.

Can women make a career in any sport?

For a lot of sports, you don’t really have a long term career. It doesn’t stretch out as far as for other things because it’s reliant on your physical body. I feel like for ages we have discouraged women from thinking of sports as something that they could possibly do for a career. Women have never really associated sports with their income except in a few small, narrow regions where say they go to the Olympics, but then were training at such a young age and again you can only win Olympic gold for so many years, usually, before you age out of your ability to compete, before there are younger, stronger people coming up against you which is so interesting.

Let’s think about it in terms of say, a figure skater who wants to compete in the Olympics. It is so expensive to get the coaches and the equipment and the training and the hours, you have to travel for these minor competitions, the amateur competitions, go from one place to another. Doing all this work, not getting paid for it and if you win your Gold medal, you might get some endorsements, you might make money for a while. But really, then, what is your career after that?

Maybe you can do the “Ice Capades”, you can go do Ice Shows, Disney On Ice, that kind of thing but if you’re actually an athlete, what’s next? What’s next after the Olympics and so many people never even make it to the Olympics. So I think this idea that women can have a real career in sports beyond this super, super slim proposition of being able to win an Olympic gold is a relatively new thing. I think it’s a new and exciting thing, I think that women should be able to have real careers in sports, just like men do and I’m hoping that this is going to be the start of it.

Here’s hoping

I hope that they’re successful with this complaint, I hope that they do get better pay and I hope that this has a knock on effect through different sports industries. I can only imagine how inspiring this would be for girls in high school who play soccer right now. Looking up to this woman for inspiration and thinking, “Wow, well maybe some day I can do that. Maybe some day I can actually make enough to make a living without having a second job as a professional athlete the way men do. Oh my gosh, that would be amazing.

So I’m not only going to link to the article that I wrote last Summer which cites some interesting statistics about women in sport but also an article that I have right here in front of me about this Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint that the five, star players from the U.S women’s national soccer team have filed. I really hope they’re successful.

Good luck, ladies. We are all watching you, we are all cheering you on and wishing you the best. You are trailblazers for us and I am so proud of you. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this episode you can subscribe to Financial Fluency here on iTunes and listen every week. If you like what you hear, please also leave an awesome iTunes review

I do two episodes every week, one solo and one interview.

I also have the fantastic Mastering Money Matters group, a monthly membership group where you can join and we talk about all the different pieces week by week of getting our money systems set up and how we look at, think about and value money and all areas of our lives.

It’s a very supportive and private group just for women and it’s a safe place to hang out and talk. It’s kind of the extension of the interviews I’ve been doing with mainly entrepreneurs on this show, and it’s where we can talk about the things we may not want to broadcast out to a broader audience.

Let’s Keep the Conversation Going

If you’re enjoying the podcasts and something has lit a fire for you, carry on the conversation over on the Financial Fluency Facebook Group.

See you there!

Jen x