Full Disclosure: Our Family Budget

Photo by Running Circles Photography

This is probably the scariest post I have ever written. I will gladly spill my emotions out without hesitation, but our society teaches us that money is a BIG secret. Asking “how much do you make?” is considered a rude question. God forbid you ask someone how much they paid for their car (but then we Google the MSRP and make some guesses on that monthly payment). However, a way to TRULY help each other is to talk about this stuff.

A few months ago I was writing in my Instastory about finances. We had recently become debt free and people were asking how we did it. I took a poll and asked how many would love to see an example of our budget and 100% of the responses were yes….and there were DOZENS of people.

I felt like I had opened the door and had to follow through, but I put it off for months. It felt vulnerable and scary.

My husband is in the film industry so with all the shoots cancelling during the pandemic we knew it was only a matter of time before his pay stopped. And then we got “the call.” After April, his income sources will dry up and we will be applying for unemployment. I know other people are facing similar situations, so I felt that it was finally time to open the window.

The reason I am choosing to take a GIANT risk, do something that feels VERY vulnerable, is because I am here to help people. I know so many people are facing financial challenges like us and talking about this stuff helps. Finding out what others spend on groceries, and life expenses helps us learn. So, I am going to share with you guys our February budget, which was a pretty normal month for us. Our May budget is being slashed by childcare and any other expenses we can trim to try our hardest not to tap into our emergency fund.

Important notes about reading this document:

  • I don’t run our budget off an excel document. This was just the easiest way to publish the data. We use an app called Everydollar that organizes it all for us very well. My two favorite features are the drag and drop syncing feature with our bank, so after I swipe I just have to drag to the appropriate category, and the ability to establish funds.
  • The green boxes are funds. Our app allows us set these up differently so that if we don’t spend all the money we budgeted for that category it will roll over to the next month. A great example of this is the car maintenance. We budget $250/month. Most months we will spend $0-50 on our cars and then have a $500-1000 repair a couple times a year. Setting aside the money each month anticipating those hits takes all the stress out of the yoyo-ing.
  • Any money we bring in beyond the expenses goes into the savings. We follow the Dave Ramsey baby steps. We are now debt free, but we have not finished funding our 3-6 months emergency fund. Full disclosure, since we just became debt free around Christmas time, we don’t even have 1 month of expenses saved yet.

Have any questions? I’ll gladly answer them! Please comment, reply or email me if this brings any value to you so I can feel better about totally laying out my personal life for everyone to see.

If you would like to receive an email whenever my blog updates, you can subscribe by putting your email address into the bottom of the page. When you do so, it will send you a free gift download that is a self assessment called the “Wheel of Life.”

****2021 Update***

Since the original post was published, I have switched platforms. We now use You Need a Budget (YNAB) to manage our finances on a daily basis.

My greatest recommendation is that you create a budget and find a system that word for you to monitor it daily. Using a budget to let you know how much money you can afford to spend in a category will serve you much greater than just pulling up your checking account to see if you can “afford it.” It’s all about the budget.

Free Gift Released!

I am so excited to announce that you can now download a free gift from my website that can bring tremendous value to your life if you choose to apply it.

Three years ago, I was frustrated and stuck. I had a yearning and desire for what I wanted to create in my life, but I felt like a gerbil in a cage running on the spinny wheel. I wanted so much more but here I was, once again, running on the same track with the same view. I needed a breakthrough.

I attended a workshop and the speaker presented the Wheel of Life. I did a self assessment at where I was in each area. I realized I was thriving in some areas of my life, but other areas were totally, completely depleted. No wonder I couldn’t get anywhere. What happens if you poke holes in a tire? It becomes flat.

After that day I realized that I was working so hard in a couple areas of my life, that I was completely neglecting the needs of others. I started taking a more holistic approach to my life and things finally started coming together. In my case, I had a huge goal in my business I wanted to achieve but year after year I couldn’t hit it and kept resetting the same goal. At the same time, I kept setting the same fitness goal and continuing to end the year where I began the last. I was so frustrated with myself.

If you are an overachiever like me, it’s so easy to put all our focus on our career, or our health goals, or maybe financial goals because we have set a standard and we’re determined to meet or exceed it. However, I learned that it’s futile, if even achievable at all, if it comes at the expense of our self-care, relationships, or mental health.

This Wheel of Life Assessment is a partnership between me and Tom Ziglar, son of the late Zig Ziglar, and author of Choose to Win. This guide will help you determine which area may be holding you back from creating the life YOU want for yourself.

How to download the assessment: visit www.sophiahyde.com. If the pop-up does not emerge offering you the free download, then scroll to the bottom of the page and it will be in the left corner.

Enjoy! Oh, and P.S., if you haven’t had a chance to watch the video I did with Tom Ziglar on the stronger mindset, I highly recommend that too.

Choose to Win Friends!


Stronger Mindset Series: Processing Disappointment

Photo by Running Circles Photography

Most of us are processing some level of disappointment right now. It could be as simple as fun outings cancelled or as significant as life altering changes like job layoffs. When we mapped out our plans for 2020, none of us planned for the interruption that is COVID-19.

Some people are very quick to discount this disappointment by saying it’s really inappropriate to complain when nurses and doctors are on the front lines risking their lives or families are grieving the loss of loved ones to this virus. But that’s not usually helpful. Not only does that feedback not take away the disappointment, but it adds guilt on top of it. So now you feel guilt for being disappointed, which just takes you lower. 

So what is actually helpful when facing disappointment? 

First, acknowledge it. If we don’t feel our emotions, we store them. We suppress them. This is not healthy for our bodies or minds. Admit that you are feeling disappointed and fully feel the emotion. 

Second, react in a way that helps you release it. For many people that is crying. If you need to cry, cry. Maybe you need to let it out through a run or some other exertion of energy. Find something helpful to you. 

Third, create a Plan B. Once we can accept that Plan A was never going to happen we can move on. It only existed in our minds. It was just a thought we created and attached emotions to. We can make new thoughts. And create new stories around them.

This is the magic sauce. These thoughts and stories are where we can take full ownership of our situation. If our cancelled plans have left us sitting on the couch, then we can decide what story we attach to that new experience. You have facts and then you have thoughts and emotions you attach to the facts.

Fact: I am sitting on my couch on the evening I was supposed to __________.

Story Choices:

I’m so lazy, I really shouldn’t sit here and watch TV. I should be doing something more productive. [Guilt]

I’m so angry. They have robbed me. These rules are stupid. [Victim-mentality]

I’m so grateful I have a home to be safe in with electricity and entertainment. [Gratitude]

I’m so lonely. I guess I’m not worthy of anyone’s love. [Shame]

I wonder if there’s something I could be learning about? I heard there’s a bunch of free courses from Ivy league schools. I didn’t want to be stuck on my couch, but maybe I can find something interesting to learn. [Curiosity]

I bet I’m not the only one stuck on my couch tonight. I’m going to text some friends until I find someone else sitting around. Maybe we can Facetime and have a wine night in our pajamas and catch up. [Connection]

Do I know anyone who is probably lonely right now? Who can call/text and check in on? [Service]

(And my personal favorite that I choose the most) This sucks. This was not what I intended. What would make me feel good right now? This doesn’t feel good so how can make myself feel better? A long, hot bath. Yes. [Restoration]

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. When you read through those statements, did you feel the emotions? There are countless other responses.

As we continue to navigate through disappointment, my hope is that we will respond in a way that serves us and makes the best of what we are facing. My prayer is that we will choose to be kind to ourselves and to others.

Much Love,

Sophia Hyde

P.S. To watch a video about the Stronger Mindset with me and Tom Ziglar, click here.

P.P.S. As a Choose to Win coach I help people fill the gap to get from where they are to where they want to be. To download a free assessment to help you see which area of your life may be holding you back, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Tom Ziglar on the Stronger Mindset

Recently I was able to sit down and chat with Tom Ziglar, author of Choose to Win and son of the late Zig Ziglar. We discussed the importance of having a stronger mindset during these challenging times.

As a Choose to Win certified coach, I help people fill the gap of getting from where they are to where they want to be. To download a free assessment to see which area may be holding you back in your own life, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

8 Ways You Can Help Others During the Quarantine

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken our society into a place we haven’t been before. We are treading on new territory and making it up as we go along. 

I live in Florida, so preparing for natural disasters is part of our summer every year. We know how to prepare, and when disaster strikes, we know how to help. We’ve been through so many storms that we know the protocol. This time around, we don’t have a template. It’s leaving many of us feeling confused and helpless. 

I always revert back to the quote by Mr. Rogers that is so powerful, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” 

Personally, as a Christian, I know that I have been called to help. James 2:14-26 (NIV)What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Over the last week as the panicking and quarantining as grown, I’ve been looking for the helpers. Here is a list of the ways I have seen people helping and some ideas that may inspire you if you are looking for ways to help:

  1. First, you cannot help others if you are not helping yourself. Please follow the CDC recommendations. You are protecting others by following the recommendations. Before looking for ways to help others, make sure you have the proper resources to get through this time. Helping others is not supposed to come at the cost of your health and well being.
  2. Look after your family and friends. Does everyone in your circle have the resources they need? Do you have a relative/friend that lives alone and has trouble being mobile either due to physical limitations or lack of vehicle? Do they need your help physically or financially to get supplies?
  3. Do you know someone who is immune compromised or elderly? They may appreciate you offering to go to the grocery store for them to limit their exposure. And this need may go on for weeks or months as COVID-19 continues to spread. 
  4. Do you know someone whose livelihood has been impacted by the many cancellations? In Florida, tourism and conferences make a major impact on our economy. It could manifest in ways as simple as a waitress not getting tips because the restaurant is dead or an Uber driver not having anyone to give a ride. You may want to think of friends or family in these industries that have been impacted and shoot them a message. A gift card to Publix, Wal-Mart or a gas station may bring them a lot of relief as they start worrying about how they will pay for their expenses. Stocking up on two weeks worth of supplies may be more than their bank account permits. 
  5. Many people are finding themselves in a childcare crisis. The school closings create challenges for many people. Offering to watch someone’s children for them while they are at work is a tremendous gift. Many parents do not have the job flexibility to be able to stay home. Do you know a single parent? Check on them. Are you going to be spending the next few weeks of quarantine chilling at home? See if you know a family that would greatly appreciate it if instead of binge-watching Love is Blind on Netflix you would watch Frozen 2 with their child(ren). As someone who will be navigating this school closure fiasco myself, I know this is a tremendous act of love that is greatly appreciated. 
  6. Call your local church (many are filled with congregations of elderly) or your local Meals on Wheels organization. They are probably aware of some shut-ins that could use some help. Whether you help directly or make a donation to an organization so they can provide resources, it goes a long way. 
  7. Consider making a donation to your local food bank. The people who are financially impacted by this will be calling them for resources. They also are usually on the front line of feeding children who depend on the free/reduced breakfasts and lunches at school when school is out. 
  8. Get creative. Open your eyes to needs around you to see if there are opportunities. Sometimes it just takes removing the focus from ourselves and placing it on others to see opportunities for kindness. In a Facebook moms group I’m in, I saw one mother offering all her frozen break milk to anyone having trouble finding formula because so many places are selling out. Now that’s creative and generous. There is no limitation of ways to serve. 

The most powerful thing we can do in a time of crisis is focus on what we can control. There are so many things out of our control that it makes us feel helpless, anxious and afraid. Turning our attention to actions we can take to help others will alleviate some of the helplessness. In a world where divisiveness is everywhere we turn, we hold the power to make this a time we look back on how we all came together to help one another in a time of need.

Day 30- Mental Spoke- Personal Growth Books

Day: 30

Spoke: Mental

Habit: Reading Personal Growth Books

Dude. How the HECK did I get all the way to the 30th spoke before realized I didn’t mention my books. My reading habit is probably the single greatest thing I have done to change my life. The more books I read the more I crave to read.

As much as I would LOVE to curl up on the couch with a hardback, those moments are rare in my world. What reading looks like for me is a combination of 4 ways to get the material in:

  • I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone. Instead of scrolling social media, I will read a couple pages of my book
  • I have a Kindle Paperwhite next to my bed. I will read a couple pages when I first wake up and when I am trying to fall asleep at night. When my son was born, and I was nursing around the clock, I read a ton on my Kindle. It syncs to my Kindle app on my phone, so I can read the same book on both devices and keep my place
  • Before I became obsessed with podcasting, I consumed several books through the Audible app. It was surprising how quickly I could get through an entire book just driving around in my car doing my normal routines. The ones that were especially impactful I would listen to more than once
  • Actual books. I really do enjoy actual books, so I always have one at time sitting by the couch that I am reading through. I will read for a few minutes on the mornings I get up before the rest of the family. This is my preferred method, it’s just not a luxury I have in this season of life

I decided to put together a list of several books that I have really enjoyed. Each one has touched me in some way that it’s made a significant impact in my growth. I could write a blog post on every one of these books and the nuggets I took away from each one. In no particular order, here are some books that I recommend:

The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud

Choose to Win by Tom Ziglar

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Heal Your Hunger by Tricia Nelson

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Business Boutique by Christy Wright

Grit by Angela Duckworth

On Fire by John O’Leary

Love Does by Bob Goff

How to be Here by Rob Bell

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews

The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

The Zimzum of Love by Rob Bell

The 1% Solution by Tom Connellan

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Day 29- Mental Spoke- Wallpaper

Day: 29

Spoke: Mental

Habit: Cell Phone Wallpaper

Today is a quick one. Last year I picked a word for the year and made it my cell phone wallpaper. Every single time I looked at my phone I read the word. Are you ready for the irony of my 2019 word of the year…HABITS!!!!!! I reminded myself a hundred times a day that I am a result of the habits I create in my life. And now look what I manifested! One of the cornerstones of the Choose to Win coaching material is looking at habits we can improve.

This year my word is Peace. I want to remind myself to manifest peace everywhere I go. Peace in our home. Peace in my mind and heart. Peace in relationships. I want to create a peaceful life for myself and those around me. By having it as my phone’s wallpaper I will be reminded of it every single day this year.

Peace be with you my friends. Happy New Year!

Day 28- All Spokes: Minimalism

Day: 28

Spoke: All of them

Habit: Minimalism

Initially, I was going to write about this habit under financial because living below your means is one of the keys to building wealth.

However, as I started to reflect on the benefits I’ve seen in my life once I began practicing minimalism, I realize it affected every spoke.

The basic premise is that we don’t use 80% of the stuff we own. We are going through our day to day lives using 20% of our “stuff” but storing everything else. Excess clothes. Excess stuff in our kitchen cabinets. Excessive everywhere.

So I purged. Overtime we went through every room and got rid of what we don’t use. Before we purchase something new, we discuss if we really need it and if it will have a place to belong in the house. I used a combination of tips I learned from The Minimalists and Marie Kondo (Japanese Art of Decluttering) to learn how to be okay with throwing away, donating or selling things I had created attachments to in my mind.

Less truly is more.

What I found was that as I practiced this habit, every area of my life saw benefit. Spiritually, I felt lighter. Like a weight was lifted off my shoulders I didn’t know I was carrying. Mentally, it was easier to think because I wasn’t surrounded by clutter. My family benefited because our home feels more peaceful. Financially we benefited because we are living off less. Keeping things as simple as we can.

When I was a teenager in youth group, we were at a church gathering, and I was talking to one of the dads. I don’t remember the context of the conversation I just remember his response. He said “yeah, well, making more money isn’t that big of a deal. The more money you make, the more you spend. Your life just gets more expensive and you have to keep making more to afford what you own. So no matter how much you make, you always feel broke.”

That stuck with me because it sounded AWFUL. My husband and I have set some very intentional goals related to places we want to travel together with each other and our family. Time we want to be able to take off to spend together and things we want to accomplish. None of them are possible if we stay broke from living at our means.

Day 27- All the Spokes: Daily 10 Year Goals


Day: 27 

Spoke: All of them 

Habit: Daily Goal Writing 

Almost every morning (life with a 1 year can inhibit daily morning rituals) I begin my day with my tea or fizz stick and notebook on my couch. I open it up to the next page, and I write down my 10 goals for the next 10 years. These are BIG goals y’all. 

I picked this habit up from Rachel Hollis after reading Girl Stop Apologizing. They are written as affirmations in the present tense. The more I write them down the more I believe in myself and my ability to make them a reality. 

When I created this list, I sat in the quiet and dreamed up my biggest, boldest, best life. What would that look like? No limits. And then I wrote it down. The first time was the hardest to write them and now I write them every single morning (almost). 

My goals touch on all the spokes. Some are related to my health and fitness, some are dream vacations with the family and hubster, several are career oriented, and one is a goal of my husband’s that I’ve been dead set on helping him achieve in his lifetime since we were 21 and 23 years old.

For me, these goals are private and personal. I don’t need anyone dream stealing my big hairy audacious goals. I just need to remind myself every single day where I’m going so that I continue staying the path. 

Because I know people learn best from stories, I’m choosing to share two of them with you so you see an example of what I’m talking about. 

Number 8 says “we take a month sabbatical to the mountains every summer.” I fully intend on structuring my life and business into a position that I can have one entire month of rest with my family every single summer. I know I can’t do it this year, and probably not next year, but I can get there. For the past 5 years it’s been a one week trip. Maybe this year it’s two weeks, next year three and by 2022 I’m checking out for the whole month of July.  

Number four says, “I have a full time executive assistant.” I am capable of managing details, but it is NOT my strength. It’s actually a point of stress and contention in my life. I thrive when I am operating at high levels and big picture thinking and have someone I trust walking out the details. I know if I’m going to do big things in this world I need a right hand person managing the details for me. I need to take the weight off my shoulders and free up my mental capacity to grow in other areas. 

What is one of your long term big goals? How often do you write it down?

Day 26- Personal Spoke- Retreating

Day: 26 

Spoke: Personal 

Habit: Retreating 

Rewind ten years ago, I was always on the go. I filled my calendar to the brim with commitments and activities. If someone said “can you meet at XYZ time?” and I didn’t already have an appointment on my calendar, I said yes. 

Naturally, as anyone who has ever done this experiences, this habit leads to burn out. We cannot go extended periods of time without rest. 

Previously, I would go, go, go until I crashed one of two ways. 

One reaction was that something really small would upset me so badly I would cry for an hour and then spend the evening in a bubble bath. I never cried or processed my emotions. I never slowed down. So I would run as hard and fast as I could and then every 3-4 months have a total meltdown, take an hour long bath, and then do it all over again. 

The other reaction is I would get sick. I had reoccurring colds and every now and then my body would shut all the way down until I had to spend a couple days in bed. 

Nowadays, I sense the feeling rising before the crash. Whether it’s stress, overwhelm or fatigue. At the first notice of it, I figure out how to retreat. I haven’t been on bed rest from a cold or illness in literally years. I no longer have emotional breakdowns over the tiny things.

For me, it takes building a little rest time into every single day. Whether it’s my cup of tea before the kids wake up, or sitting on the couch reading a book after they’re asleep, I know I must prioritize quiet time in my day. 

Obviously there are seasons where I can’t. I may have a chaotic stretch where I go-go from wake to crashing at the end of the day, but I know it’s not sustainable. If it happens more than two maybe three days in a row I will look at my calendar and find commitments to cancel so I can stay home and recuperate. I would rather miss out on one activity of a couple hours than days or a week of commitments. 

Building rest into every day, even if all I get is 15 or 30 minutes, is an essential part of my routine.