‘Money Boss’ Jo Davison’s 5 Steps for Taking Control of Your Finances

UPDATED: April 2, 2024
PUBLISHED: March 20, 2024
Jo Davison sitting in cozy chair

Jo Davison has long been identified as someone who’s anti-spreadsheet and bad at numbers. And yet, perhaps it’s those very aversions to standard personal finance practices that make her most appealing to her clients. As the founder of a financial coaching enterprise called She’s a Money Boss, she’s not teaching people how to scrimp and save and budget their way to financial freedom. Instead, she’s teaching them how to believe they’re in control of their money—and then manifest more of it.

Davison, who lives in Essex, England, runs workshops and coaches clients individually on how to increase the gap between their spending and earnings.

She coined her “Money Boss” system after she and her husband started a brick-and-mortar chiropractic practice together. She was doing more work running their business than she had done as an associate working for someone else–and the pay wasn’t good enough to compensate for it.

One day, “I walked into our office and said, ‘Right, that’s it. I want a pay raise,’” Davison recalls. But, of course, it’s not so easy when the business is yours.

“My husband was like, ‘Well, the business can’t do that for you,’” Davison says. “And I was like, ‘Well, then I must resign.’ And he was like, ‘Well, you can’t resign. It’s your business.’”

That’s when she decided to try managing the money for a change. Armed with memories of elementary school teachers telling her she was bad with numbers, she aimed to disprove expectations that she would fail. She made a game out of running the business more efficiently, saving for growth and taxes, and earning more money. When it became clear the business was thriving on her watch, she started to teach other people how to manage and think about their money, too. Now, she runs courses and individual mentoring programs to teach clients how to stop fearing their finances, release shame around money habits and prosper by making their assets work harder than they do.

“The first thing I say to people is, ‘You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. So, don’t get stressed about that,’” she says. But, once you know the basics, it’s up to you how to continue.

5 tips on changing your personal finances

Jo Davison offers some suggestions on how to take control of your finances and change your life. 

1. Stop equating wealth with greed

One of the key beliefs Davison tries to change for her clients is that money doesn’t make you a bad person. People often worry that it’s greedy to want more money, but she says that’s a limiting belief that’s not helping anyone. 

“I think it’s the opposite,” she says. “It’s very selfish to only have enough money for yourself or your very close-knit family, because then we can’t make a difference with wider impact. We can’t help other people. We can’t donate to good causes.”

2. Keep your money in different accounts

Davison advocates having many different “pots” for your money, so that you can save in separate accounts for distinct needs. An emergency fund, for example, should be a separate reserve from your main checking account. If you’re a freelancer or you own your own business, you won’t have taxes taken out of your paycheck automatically, so you’ll need to manually save for tax day. 

Davison said she keeps her estimated tax payments in a bank account that’s literally far away from all her others. She doesn’t access it via online banking channels, so she has to physically drive to the bank to manage the account and can’t accidentally spend the money. This method has worked for her for years and takes the stress out of large or unexpected expenses.

3. Diversify your income

People often grow up believing that the only way for them to make money is to go to work for someone else and get paid for their time—and that belief is holding us back, Davison says. So, one of the main tenets of her programs is teaching her clients how to diversify their income. 

She teaches five primary ways of doing this: 

  • Creating a leveraged business model so that you can use savings from your job to buy assets
  • Creating products like an online workshop to monetize your intellectual property
  • Affiliate marketing to earn commission for selling others’ products or programs
  • Investing in index funds and stocks (for which she brings in her own mentor, who has more expertise)
  • Buying property

4. A fancy latte or more financial freedom? The not-a-budget budget

Creating a strict budget that limits how much money you spend on certain categories each month can take the fun out of finances, Davison says. Instead, she plays a sort of game that reverses scarcity notions around budgeting and going without.

“There are a lot of financial gurus out there who will tell us it all starts with the budget and that we should stop drinking our lattes because, actually, that should be invested in our future,” Davison says. “To be honest, I feel like life is short, and if you like drinking lattes, go for it.”

Rather than deny themselves small luxuries because they “should” save money, Davison recommends weighing those individual choices against bigger goals. Maybe you’re saving to start your own business or you want a house down payment, retirement fund, college fund, or you’re itching to get debt-free. Each time you consider a nonessential purchase, you can decide what you want more: that latte, that pizza delivery, that extra pair of jeans—or getting, say, $50 closer to the goal you’ve set.

“There’s nothing wrong with budgeting—we do need to budget,” Davison says. “But I just found it restrictive. I don’t want a budget, actually. I just want to sensibly use my money, but not in a way that feels restrictive, which I know goes against what a lot of money teachers might say.”

5. Control your money, control your life

Davison talks a lot about the “gap,” by which she means the difference between your income and your monthly essential expenditures. Her clients often don’t know how much they actually need for survival until Davison helps them add it all up. Sometimes, people are worrying about needing to make an exorbitant amount of money, when in reality, they only need $5,000 to cover their expenses, she says.

The bigger the gap is, the better your money can work for you—the more able you’ll be to invest wisely, get on the property ladder, take a much-needed sabbatical from your job or become financially independent.

“This gap could make you very wealthy if you want it to,” she says. “Or, it could just make you very secure.” 

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photo credit: ©Amanda Clarke Photography/Courtesy of Jo Davison.