How to Pay Off Debt When You Have Kids- Part 1- Money Mindset

This is part 1 of “How to Pay off Debt When You Have Kids” – (You can find the Introduction on this series HERE) a 4 part series that encourages and guides you to believe you CAN pay off debt, even when you have kids! It provides practical tips, and includes a Free workbook, to guide you in changing your money mindset, beliefs and behaviors to create lasting change!

I tried my hardest to begin this series with something a little more fun.

Like: “How to save hundreds on Christmas in 1 easy step!” OR “How my newborn only cost us $1500 in her first year.”

I mean, those headlines would totally get you to keep reading, amiright?! I know I would click them!

The thing is, there really is no quick, easy solution to paying off debt with kids in the house. It’s a slow path, but it’s a path that will Change. Your. Life. And, it starts by understanding and transforming the way you think about money.

Tony Robbins says this: “If you want to change your life you have to change your STRATEGY, you have to change your STORY, and you have to change your STATE.”

And that, my friend, might feel like a long and difficult journey. But, really, transformation happens in a moment. One moment that puts you over the edge to make a choice and make some change. You know what I’m talking about, that moment where you’ve finally had enough excuses and you decide to do it differently NO. MATTER. WHAT.

My transformation moment with my finances was when I had my first child and I realized I had to go back to work full-time because we did not have enough money to meet basic bills without my income. I was furious that I didn’t have choices. I stopped blaming everyone else and finally realized I had the power to create change within ME.

I’m going to help you get to that transformation moment quickly – so you can start making changes and start living the life you’ve always wanted!

Lets start with something “simple” – your Money Mindset:







In my experience, the better we feel about our life and current trajectory, the more we are able to create change. You know that moment you just feel SO good about what’s happening in your life – you feel like you can accomplish anything? Well, you can. And, our first money mindset goal is to change your outlook.

I’m sure you’re saying “easier said than done, Nicole. If I could be in a go get ’em state all the time, wouldn’t I already do that?”

I have found that a very tangible and immediate way to connect with that “go get ’em” outlook is to connect with our physical bodies. Tony Robbins also talks about this as a strategy he teaches in his book “MONEY: Master the Game.” He says “emotion is created by motion.” Think about what your body feels like when you are really fearful or anxious. Your belly hurts, your muscles feel tight and restrictive, you feel stuck.

Now think about the day you felt like you could take on the world. How about after you gave birth? Or after you finished a really hard workout? It’s exhilarating. Sure it hurts a bit but you still swagger. Because you’re AMAZING and you know it!

Here’s an article I found that describes the “power poses” as well as “low power” poses to avoid. Good news, it only takes about 2 minutes to create some lasting change for the activity at hand! Check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk here. She’s the original Harvard researcher who gathered this initial data.

SO, if you want to change your money mindset begin with your state of being. Especially before you start working on finances. You’ll realize your power and start implementing rather than being satisfied with excuses!


Awareness of your financial situation can be like being the kid at a high school party who knows that drinking, drugs and driving just don’t mix. So, instead of living it up with your friends, you’re constantly worried about the choices everyone else is making and you feel stifled, stuck and SO annoyed that you know the difference between good and poor choices.

That kid is also the one who goes on to think outside of the box, start his own business at 18 and become a millionaire at age 30. My point is, avoiding working and being responsible is not going to get us pointing towards our goals. It may lead to some short term fun, but nothing down the road.

My hope for you is to come to a place of awareness of your financial situation so you’ll know how much you have available to put towards your kids. The more we know about who we are, what we want out of life, and the specifics of our NET WORTH – the more we can plan and dream and scheme.

Without guilt.

Without shame.

Without overspending.

Sounds so good, right?!


This is the title to Rachel Cruze’s most recent book – and I just love it. It’s so true nowadays. I mean, how often do you find yourselves wondering “how can they afford that trip to Disneyworld?!” or “she has the most beautiful house” as you scroll through your Instagram feed.

The thing is – those statements quickly lead to judgments on your friends as well as yourself. It’s really not my business how they afford that trip to Disneyworld and while your friends house may, in fact be beautiful, it doesn’t help to go down a negative self-deprecating line of thinking that says “My house is so ugly. We can’t afford anything cute. I’m embarrassed to have people over.” Blah. Blah. Blah.

Please. Please. PLEEEEAASE. If you take nothing else from me, please take this: Stop comparing your life to everyone else’s. The result of comparison is a belief that you’re lacking and that resources are scarce.

Some have more than others, yes. But the majority of us have what we need to live a happy and healthy life. We just need to put things in perspective.

Listen, the heart of the matter is we all need to take time to define what our own specific “American Dream” looks like. What, in my life, is most important to me? How do I create more of that in my life and just stop worrying about the other things?


This is similar to us comparing ourselves to our friends, but it takes it to a whole ‘nother level! I mean, now we’re comparing our children! Yikes.

You may be laughing thinking you don’t do that, but…have you ever put your child in an extracurricular activity just because another parent was doing it? Or, have you ever thought to yourself, “I HAVE to put my kid in that baby music class.” Or, “if I keep my child home with me rather than attending preschool – he’ll not be as smart as the other kids come kindergarten.” It’s just not true!

I don’t want to belabor this, but I also feel this is a huge factor in overspending when it comes to our kids. Your kids are unique and beautiful no matter what extracurriculars they are in. Don’t believe the sh!t that our society is selling. Kids will be OK, (actually more than OK) if we love them and they know it and we give them a bit of nature daily. All the rest is gravy.



OK, here’s the crux of it all, and the hardest to change: our money beliefs.

Here’s what society tells us about money:

  1. Money is finite and scarce.

  2. Money is the biggest and best resource.

  3. Money needs to be hoarded so we can ensure we have enough.

  4. You will NEVER make enough money. You’ll always want.

  5. You are smart and successful IF you have LOTS of money.

  6. You deserve to have everything you want, whenever you want it.

Here’s what I believe about money:

  1. Money is all around us and free flowing.

  2. SO many resources are more valuable to me than money – my life, my family, my health, my creativity, my time, my ability to dream, my faith, my relationships, living a full and authentic life…

  3. I believe in abundance. This belief alone will change you and how you interact with the world.

  4. I always question myself when I find myself saying “I want more.” It’s OK to choose contentment. Contentment with your 8 year old van. Contentment with your house. Contentment with you.

  5. Money does not define how successful I’ll be in life. Not everyone chooses money as their measure of success. Was Mother Teresa smart and successful? Just sayin’.

  6. I (and you) can’t have everything. There are choices to be made. I can’t start a business AND buy a new minivan this year. I have to choose.

The beliefs we have, about anything, but more specifically around money will define how we choose to live our lives. Let’s choose differently. Let’s choose to believe that money is full of good energy, that it’s abundant in our lives, that it flows freely in and out of our lives, and that we will always have what we need.

That feels different, doesn’t it?

Tony Robbins says: ” With a dis-empowering story, failure is nothing less than guaranteed.”

So, no more:

“I don’t make enough money.”

“I can’t save money.”

“I’m not good with numbers.”

Turn it around friend. Turn that old story of limitations and lack mindset into a story of empowerment!

Then, “I don’t make enough money” turns into “I will start budgeting my money to keep better track of it and then learn where I can cut costs to have more money – I can also start a side hustle for extra cash.”

AND “I’m not good with numbers” becomes “I am smart and can learn how to budget. I will make mistakes early on but I will find someone who is succeeding with money and ask for guidance.”

Which resonate more with you? What are you telling yourself about money? What do you want to believe?

So, to wrap it all up, there are 5 shifts that likely need to occur before you can begin making real lasting change in your debt payoff journey – especially while paying off debt with kids. Here’s how to make some change in your money mindset:






Start with the FREE Printable above to examine your own money beliefs and begin to define what you WANT to believe! Money has energy friend. Let’s begin to connect with the good energy!

I believe in you!


FinanceOlivia Zurawski