Unravel the emotional complexities of money in our event, "Managing Money and Your Emotions."
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THIS WEEK'S TOPIC:
Ever wondered how your emotional health might be influencing your financial decisions? We've got Christine Luken, a financial dignity coach, on our show to delve into this intricate relationship. Christine shares her personal journey of hitting rock bottom financially in her mid-twenties, despite having an accounting degree. In sharing her story, she unravels how our emotions and experiences shape our financial habits and decisions.
Christine explores topics such as hedonic adaptation, the role of pleasure purchasing, and the dangers of debt. She emphasizes the need for a comprehensive understanding of our financial habits, looking beyond the numbers to the deeper layers of our relationship with money. Marie shares practical strategies to identify and overcome money triggers, create sustainable changes in spending habits, and manage finances for happiness and less stress.
Beyond the practical tips and strategies, our conversation with Christine highlights the importance of a clear vision in financial planning and how managing our money properly can provide a sense of safety and security. We get into some serious discussions about the value of pleasure purchasing, the dangers of debt, and the role our upbringing plays in shaping our views of money. Join us for this enlightening conversation as we redefine the meaning of financial well-being and happiness.
Using Behavioral Science in Marketing by Nancy Harhurt
Money is Emotional Podcast
The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod
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Welcome to our weekly Power Lounge, your place to hear authentic conversations from those who have power to share. My name is Amy Vaughn and I am the owner and Chief Empowerment Officer of Together Digital, a diverse and collaborative community of women who work in digital and choose to share their knowledge, power and connections. Join the movement at wwwtogetherindigitalcom. Let's get started. If you're ready for money to support your happiness rather than stress you out, then you're in the right place. Today, as the founder of the Financial Dignity Movement, christine Lukin has coached hundreds of high earning professionals, business owners and divorcing women to pay off their staggering amounts of debt and massively increase their net worth. It's kind of friend you want, right Kind of connection you need. As the author of three books and the host of Money is Emotional podcast, christine blends wise money management with emotional intelligence. When she's not coaching clients, from her home office in Cincinnati, you can find this member of the National Association of Divorced Professionals curled up with a good book, a fluffy cat and a strong cup of coffee. You can find out more about Christine at wwwChristineLukincom. Welcome, christine, good to have you with us. Thanks for having me. Absolutely, I mean. Some of you might be fans of and have listened to our past webinars, but before we moved our webinar into a podcast, christine was actually a previous guest. I'm pretty sure, if memory serves me right which COVID memory is weird, right it was kind of at the very beginning of good. So it's been a couple years, money's still a thing, emotion's still a thing, and it just seemed like this is kind of a good time to bring somebody like Christine on. We're coming up towards the end of the year. We're looking back and reflecting. We're looking ahead. It just seemed like a really great time to have you back. So thanks for joining us yet again.Speaker 2:
I'm always happy to talk about money.Speaker 1:
I'm so glad you are, because I'm not always. We will get to that. This is going to be a little bit therapy for all of us. But first, Christine, tell us how your journey as a financial dignity coach which I love that term has shaped your perspective on the connection between emotions and finances, because there's some there, right.Speaker 2:
Yes, and you know I did not get into financial coaching because I've always done this perfectly. In fact, it's been quite the opposite. In my mid-twenties I crashed and burned financially, despite having an accounting degree, and it was because I was engaged to a guy who had terrible money habits. He was in and out of jobs and even in and out of jail, and I thought, if I just loved him enough that he would change. And he did. He got worse, so it was worse than you mean. Does that ever work? I'm just glad I got that out of my system when I was young and hit financial rock bottom as young as I did, but there was still a lot of shame and embarrassment around the mess that I had gotten myself into. Because, you know, I was working in accounting. I was working for the family business multi-million dollar machine tool company here in the Cincinnati area, so I was helping to make the budget for this company it's multi-million dollar company and yet I was bouncing my own checks at home and when I decided that I needed to exit this relationship because money was only one piece of the problem. It was definitely a codependent relationship and, as we know, especially when we're dealing with money and relationships, there's a lot of other emotional things that can get tangled up in there, and so I had to reach out to my family for help because I could not even afford to move out. I was behind on my car payment. I used to joke that my credit score was negative, but that's actually not possible. I think the lowest credit score you could possibly have is like 300 or 325. So it was maybe like one point away from the bottom. It was pretty bad. And so you know just those feelings of the shame, the embarrassment and having to go through that process of once I exited that relationship. Honestly, just looking at my finances was so overwhelming and the way that I like to describe it is if you could just imagine that a tornado has torn through your hometown and you know you were out of town for it, thank God. But you get home and you're driving, you know, up to your driveway you can already tell that your house is a disaster before you open the front door and you know you swing that front door open and it's just like everything needs to be fixed and you just have this feeling of I just want to slam the door and walk away and cry. And that was how I felt about my finances. And you know my dad, thankfully, was very kind, very patient. He didn't say like I told you, so you should have broken up with that guy sooner. How could you have done this? Because like he would have been totally justified in doing that, but thankfully he didn't. But what he did when we were looking at everything. He said you know what, bring all your stuff, I will help you make a plan. And what he did was he did the equivalent of saying to me like, okay, don't look at your whole house right now, let's just look at this coat closet. All I want you to do is clean and organize this coat closet and don't look at anything else. For now. That was basically what he did for me, you know. It was like okay, what is our first priority? I just want you to do like these two or three things and then we'll meet again in a week and then we'll figure out what to do next. So it was just so interesting as I was wondering. You know my journey, you know, once I had gotten away from this guy, obviously my finances got better because I didn't have a grown man child that I was taking care of anymore. So you know, my finances started to get, you know, better pretty rapidly. But I started to ponder, like, why do smart people still do dumb things with money? Because I would say 95% of us would agree with the fact that we should track our spending, that we shouldn't spend more than we make, that we should be careful with debt and not have too much of it, and that we should save money for the future. I don't think any of us would say like those are terrible ideas, right, yet we don't do them because there are emotional things that get in the way of that. And what I realized was I hit rock bottom in 2000,. So it's been 23 years since this has happened. And back then, when I was looking at the different personal finance gurus, the courses, the different books that were out there, they had the how to down right, like you could buy a book and it would tell you like this is the seven step process and this is what you should do, but none of them were really addressing the emotional obstacles. It was just like buckle down and make yourself do it. Yeah, which what happens is, you know, if you start down this process and you come up against this obstacle and you can't make yourself do this, then you feel like there's something wrong with you, right? You feel like you're a failure, like I can see these other people that are doing this, like there must be something wrong with me and people will ask this question like what's wrong with me? And that's actually the wrong question. The right question is what happened to me that caused this emotional money trigger. And so that's when I really started diving into the psychology of money, which back then was really in its infancy, like we were not talking about behavioral finance the way we're talking about it now. We were not talking about money mindset. You know, very few people were actually talking about this kind of thing. But I'd always had a fascination with psychology. Like even in college I got my accounting degree but I got a minor in psychology because, like I started taking psychology electives and I loved it so much I think I actually went an extra semester so I could finish that minor because I was just like obsessed with that. And so I really started looking at the different areas of personal finance and saying what are the emotional money triggers that commonly pop up in here and what are some really tangible things that we can do to resolve this so that it's not a block for people anymore? And so that was really how the financial dignity movement started, even though I wasn't calling it that back then. But that's really where it started, where I was like you know, money doesn't happen in a vacuum Like we can't talk about it in isolation, away from our emotions away from our relationships. It's like we have to talk about it together. It's all tangled up together. We have to talk about it together.Speaker 1:
Well, and it's like a proven fact right that most partners with the thing that they fight the most about is money, and it's like why don't we realize the reason why we fight so much about these specific things and money in general is because there's a lot of emotion tied to that, you know yeah.Speaker 2:
Yeah Well, and we can't turn it off, because one of my pet peeves is I would hear financial planners or money gurus say well, just leave emotion out of this money decision. And it's like you can't. You're human, you are emotional, and they have recently discovered that the moment of decision happens in the same part of our brain that processes emotions. So we can't make an unemotional decision. It's not humanly possible.Speaker 1:
It's so funny. It reminds me a bit. We had a past podcast guest and she's been doing some really great rounds with her book as well. She studied a bit of psychology in college as well, but went the route of advertising and marketing. Her name is Nancy Harca and she wrote Using Behavioral Science for Marketing and it just like correlates, like how the how we make decisions has everything to do with the emotional part of our brains, yeah, and so I think you can kind of come at it from all angles. I mean, we all should be taken some psych one on one. By the sounds of it, it's the point in our lives. If not to just help ourselves, but maybe take a look at, you know, the rest of the world a little bit. I mean, you mentioned a few other things that we weren't talking about in years past but, and one of those are actually financial well-being. So I'm curious you know how has the financial dignity movement impacted individuals who are seeking this sense of financial well-being? And maybe, for those who aren't familiar with what financial well-being is, maybe elaborate on that a little bit.Speaker 2:
Yeah, well, you know, I one of my tag lines which you said like, oh, wouldn't that be, wouldn't that be nice for money to support our happiness. A lot of times, I think people, people come to this point of, like, all right, I need to improve my personal finances, and they think that that is the one thing that is going to fix their life, right, like, if I just made more money, then, you know, then life would be great, mm, hmm, but we need to be working on all areas of our life, so, as we are fixing our finances, so, you know, when we're working on our health, when we're working on our relationships, because we've all seen and heard the stories of famous actors or sports stars, singers, who, you know by, you know, by looking at their success, we would think, well, their life is amazing, right, right. And then we find out, you know, that they commit suicide, right, and we're like, how could they possibly? Right, and it's because, well, they thought that money and or fame was going to be the one thing that's going to fix their life. And it's like, you know, money is the frosting on the cake, yeah, or the sprinkles, right, like you don't just eat a spoonful of sprinkles. Like that tastes gross, like that's not, that's not filling, right, right, it's like we want the cake, the frosting and the sprinkles. So when I'm working with my clients, we we are looking at what are the things that are really going to make you feel happy and fulfilled, right, and let's make sure that money is supporting those areas. So, you know, there's a lot of people where they come into my world and they say, like I know you're going to tell me to, like I got to let my personal trainer go, or I'm going to have to stop doing this, and I'm like, if this supports your happiness, like and this is important to you like we need to look at everything. Right, and there probably are going to be some changes you need to make with your spending, but like you don't even know what you're spending on things right now. So let's just figure out exactly where everything is going and then we'll start making decisions about you know what needs to go, etc.Speaker 1:
Exactly. Well, I'm speaking of a little bit of psychology. Your note on the fact that money fixes everything. A hedonic adaptation proves otherwise. And a hedonic adaptation is that notion that you know, once we have X or Y or Z, we will be happy, fulfilled, whatever. But the problem is is that the even once we get to kind of that peak, that summit, and we think we've made it, our mind becomes accustomed to that new way of life and is like what's the next thing? So we can't even sit in our success for a moment. I remember reading an example of several lottery winners, but one of them that stuck out to me was a lottery winner I think. He won like over a million dollars and ended up in prison and lost five hundred and sixty two thousand dollars, was taken off of him at a strip club. His daughter ended up going to jail. A ton of his friends tried to sue him. You know, and you know a lot of times. You know, obviously things happen when you come into money. That are other people. But they also found that there were just these instances where people who found great fortune or sudden success actually started making really poor decisions because of two things One, hedonic adaptation and two, one that's defined in the book the Big Leap, which I've been referring to a lot because I'm rereading about our upper limit, yeah, where we think we only deserve so much and so when good things come to us, we find the next bad thing Are we instigate that bad thing. So I think, right, understanding emotions and and where money can actually help work towards satisfaction and comfort and containment versus access, is really a much better way to go for the long term. Yeah, yeah.Speaker 2:
And my approach is more. You know, slow and steady wins the race yeah, a lot of. I don't even like using the word budget because from a lot of people, they think about a crash diet Right. So I like to say there's no financial keto in my world, right? So because people think like, ok, I'm going to hire Christine and she's going to cut all the fun out and I'm not going to have any fun for six months, but you know, once it's done it'll be worth it, kind of like you know, all right, I'm getting married in six months, so I'm going to do this keto, it's yo-yo budgeting instead of yo-yo dieting Right, exactly so it's like. It's almost like, if you go from complete unrestrained to hyper controlled restraint, it's almost like we're teaching ourselves financial bulimia. Yeah.Speaker 1:
All I know is how to binge and how to purge. There's the only two things I know. I don't know how to be healthy, yeah. So for me, when I'm working with clients, we are making very small, sustainable changes over time. I love it, and I love to say that my approach to money is more like the Mediterranean diet. Yeah, we're going to do a lot of healthy things, but you still get to have a glass of wine and some dark chocolate.Speaker 1:
Sounds like my kind of diet. Yes, you mentioned money triggers earlier, so I assume this will be part of that list, but I would love to hear more about some of the common challenges that people face in their relationships with money, and money triggers are one of them. I'm kind of curious of some examples there, but how do they begin to even overcome those once we get them all listed out, because I'm sure there's more than a few?Speaker 2:
Yeah, well, I think they're different for everyone, but there's two main categories that I see, and the first one is really rooted in how I feel about me having money. You know, do like, do I feel worthy of money? And so there's a lot of triggers that you know. Once we kind of trace the root back, it's like am I worthy of this, am I responsible enough for this? And it all comes down with what do I think about me having money, having big money or bigger money that I have now? And then the other one comes from what will other people think of me when I have money? So those are really like. When you get down to it, those are really like the two base things. So sometimes people will self-sabotage because they feel like you know, if they came from a working class or middle class background, when people would say things about rich people and no one should have that kind of money, and they're greedy. And you know my boss is a jerk because you know his company is making all these millions of dollars and I'm only getting, you know, x amount per hour. And so you know, when we imbue money with morality and we basically say, it's almost like we are reassuring ourselves Like, well, I might not have money, but at least I'm a good person, right, yeah, yeah. And so then, as you start to you know, educate yourself and add to your skills and increase your earning power, you start to come bump up against this place of how much money you have. How much money can I have and still be a good person, right, right. So when I see people self-sabotaging, it's either how they feel about themselves or their fear of what other people are gonna think of them. Yeah.Speaker 1:
That's so true. I mean, those are things I know. I myself personally have heard since childhood. I mean, I've been my husband for a long time, since I was 15. I've known my mother-in-law all that time and neither of our families came from wealth. And so you know, she would always say, oh, the rich people, those rich people. And it wasn't until I was in my 20s and we moved to Chicago and we started earning a little more grant and we still didn't have that much money. And she called us yuppies and I'm like I don't know what that means or what it's about. But this whole idea of being upwardly mobile even from, you know, a generational standpoint it gets put upon us and I don't think we realize oftentimes that we begin to internalize that and actually turn away from or don't go after opportunities for more wealth and abundance because, like you said, we don't feel we're deserving. And then, on top of that, it's got friends, you've got family, whomever from your past who might look upon you differently, because now you do have it.Speaker 2:
So Right, well, and then there's also this expectation too, of you know, if I make a lot of money, then my family's gonna expect that I'm going to take care of them, right? And it's interesting because I read a book about, like you know, some of the psychological constructs around poverty, and there really is this. So in the South, there's this phrase called you don't rise above your raisings, meaning you don't want to outdo the people who raised you, like it's yeah. And there is a similar you know thing in the inner city poverty, where it's like you know, almost like you're abandoning the tribe, you're abandoning the family, and or, if you are making a lot of money, it is expected that you are going to help, and if not, then you will be ostracized from the family and, as we know, as humans we have a very strong need to belong, and so all of this stuff can get all tangled up together. Oh yeah, so it's not just a matter of. Here is my seven step plan. Just follow these seven steps and you will be a millionaire in five years.Speaker 1:
Great, we gotta do some digging Because obviously you know as we both given some examples too like there's a lot of emotion, not just within ourselves but around with others. So when it comes to managing our emotions and our money, like well, emotions, just let's stay there. How can this help us achieve our financial goals?Speaker 2:
Yeah, Well, I think just becoming aware of what we're thinking and what we're saying and what we're feeling about money is very important. So one of the first exercises I do with my clients is I have them keep a little journal of the things that they catch themselves thinking and saying about money for like a week, just to see what comes up, Because those are usually, you know, kind of like those little. That's like a little treasure map, Like, oh, there's a trigger buried under that statement right. Or it's like, oh, I've had clients say like oh, I heard my mother come out of my mouth the other day or my father came out of my mouth the other day when I said X, y and Z, and so I think, just like being awareness is always the first step in, you know, fixing anything is being aware of what's going on, and I would say, probably the next best advice that I can give people is you know, we can't turn our emotions off when we're making financial decisions, but the one thing we want to do is we want to allow our emotional volume to come down before we make important financial decisions. So, really, the best financial decisions are made when we can hear the voice of reason, and we can also hear and consult our emotions. So, I like to say, it's almost like having like two radio stations playing at the same time. So your voice of reason is like that classical music that's always playing in the background, like it's real soft, but it's always there. You know, it's soft, it's constant, it's always there. Your emotions, though, are more like a top 40 station, right, like you don't know if there's gonna be like some crazy dance song that's really loud, or some sweet, sad love song, right. So it's like we've got this constant flux of the emotions up and down. So when we are facing some sort of decision that we have to make with our finances. We just want to ask ourselves how loud are my emotions right now? Right, yeah, can I hear the voice of reason through the noise? Because most financial decisions that we have to make, they do not have to be made in a split second, right, and like we can wait a couple hours. We can wait 24 hours and allow those emotions to kind of calm down. So one of my mentors says wait for emotions to subside, then decide oh, I like that, I like that, yeah, so it's just like I like that little rhyme and I always think about that. Like let them subside, and it's not that they're going to go away completely, you know. The other thing, too, is that we also want to do that gut check and check in with our emotions as well, because there are times when a financial decision looks really good on paper, but we have a bad feeling about it, and I know every single time that I have gone against that feeling, I have regretted it, even though you're like there is no good reason for me to have this bad feeling. So we have to consider both of those.Speaker 1:
That's great advice and I think, too, you know, as you're speaking, one of the things I was just reminded of is, you know things such as you know the term shopping therapy. You know we live in very much a consumer driven society. Granted, all of us have our own hands in marketing and advertising, marketing and advertising so we know there's a lot of emotion, even as marketers, in what we spend and how we spend, and oftentimes, I think, maybe the last time you and I talked, something that stuck with me is maybe why this whole thought even came back up again was, you know, slowing down when you're selling, especially because nowadays it's so easy to just go online, start shopping. So how many of us have been laying in bed you're anxious and depressed about the leader of the day behind you or the day ahead, and you're looking and you're shopping and you're buying something, and I think one of the things you had mentioned before when we've spoken was what is the void that I'm trying to fill? The need, the true need that I have, that's not being met. So when you slow it down in that way, I mean, I don't think many of us even necessarily realize how much quote unquote and I'm using air quotes for our podcast listeners. Emotional spending we do, right, I feel like that could be, you know, a huge trap. I have some family members in particular that I know for a fact will have nothing in their bank account and as soon as they get stressed yeah, the guarantee thing there's going to be 10 packages that their door from Amazon. I can tell the level of stress based on the number of Amazon packages at their front door.Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah, it's so true, and it's like if you know that this is a problem for you. There are some very tangible things that we can do about that. Turn off Amazon one click Right. Remove the Amazon app from your phone.Speaker 1:
I had a client.Speaker 2:
I had a client who who would emotionally spend from the bathtub. I've been doing any bathtub shopping, so I forbid her from doing any bathtub shopping. I'm like, first of all, if you're going to have your phone in there Just to put on some, like some soft music, that's fine, but it's got to be on the sink, away from the bathtub. Reach it right. Like there's no shopping allowed from the bathtub. So it's like, make those tempting habits as hard as possible. Like I don't save any credit card information on any shopping websites at all, so I have to literally get a really much there, oh man, to go and order it. And I do that on purpose because I know that it's it's easy for me to do it too, right, yeah, so you know, you just have to figure out like what are your temptations? And you know, unfortunately most of us are not taught anything about emotional intelligence. We're not taught to. You know, just kind of take that minute to breathe and to ask ourselves, like what am I feeling right now? Like what do I? What do I need? One of my coaches she said, you know, when you're really emotional you have to look at the emotional part of yourself, almost like a little child. So if you want to be like your inner child, right? So whenever you are feeling upset or you're feeling sad or whatever the case may be, you just have to ask yourself, like, what does my inner child need? Yeah, and when you think about a four year old, what does a four year old usually need? A nap, a snack, a hug, like what? What a cry. You know like how many of us, as as adults, actually let ourselves cry until we're done. Yeah, oh, yeah, we don't, we don't. And and one of the things that she says is, you know, rather than like, if you feel like you need to cry to get something out, she said, one of the best things that you can do is go watch a sad movie, because you'll get sucked away into somebody else's story and, rather than crying about your own situation and making yourself feel worse and ashamed that you're crying about your situation, like, go watch the notebook and just like, get that physical release out and you're going to feel so much better, yeah, right, I mean, how many of us have experienced, like, you know, your own child or a niece or a nephew, and they're just inconsolable and their mom is just like, look, you just got to let them cry it out Right, and then, when they're done, they they get up, they wipe their snotty nose and then they go play Process, oh my gosh, oh, that's so true.Speaker 1:
I have a good friend Would always tell me like we would just be having a certain day at work and she's like I'm just going to go home and turn on a sad movie and cry for an hour and then I'll be fine, I'll be great tomorrow. You see me, and it's true, it's so true. That's why I tend to like bittersweet, like books and movies and things like that too. I like that tinge of like the nostalgic plus also the little sad. It's more complete bittersweet feeling versus just the depressing. But yeah, I think that.Speaker 2:
Well, but if we need, if it's anger like them, yeah, maybe you need to go and do some axe throwing or maybe you need to do a kickboxing class or something like that.Speaker 1:
They really go in and like break things. I don't think they're around, but I don't think there's popular as they once were beforehand, but yeah you know no, some pillows. Lots of emotions. People are allowed to do it. Oh yeah, co-hatch is a new kind of shared work, social and family space built on community. Members get access to workspace amenities like rock walls and sports simulators and more, to live a fully integrated life that balances work, family, well-being, community and giving back. Co-hatch has 31 locations open or under construction nationwide throughout Ohio, indiana, florida, pennsylvania, north Carolina, georgia and Tennessee. Visit wwwcohatchcom for more information. So what? We've talked a lot about emotional spending. What are some practical tips and strategies that you would recommend for someone who is looking to leverage their money for happiness and less stress?Speaker 2:
Yeah Well, yeah, the first thing really is you want to make sure that you're you're managing your money properly, and I know that you know we were going to talk a little bit about provider money and pleasure money, and this is really where this this comes in. So there's there's two types of energy within our finances. We have the provider piece of it and we have the pleasure piece of it, and the way that I like to describe this is it's like the circus trapeze. Okay, we need you know that that person who's getting ready to climb up on the ladder and swing there. There's really two pieces to this crap piece there's the safety net and there's the swing. Okay, if there's no safety net, the swing is not fun, it's terrifying. I'm already scared and we're just doing right, it's freaking terrifying, right, but if we have the safety net and we never get up on the swing, then we've missed the point completely. Yeah, so what we really need to do is to look at our finances and say what do I need, or what do my family and I need? To have a good, solid safety net. You know what are those pieces that we need to have in place in order for us to feel safe and secure, because you can't feel happy until you're safe and secure.Speaker 1:
Yes, exactly.Speaker 2:
So you know, I tend to see. You know, people love extremes and like to fall into two camps. So we've either got the people who are double and triple checking and quadruple checking and reinforcing their safety net yeah, and they never want to go have any fun, right, they never get on the swing or we have the people who are swinging with this rickety safety net and then they're living in this constant state of financial emergency and drama and it's like they're swinging in between crisis and pleasure, which means that there's never a sense of peace and calm, right, and my goal is to have people be swinging between peacefulness and pleasure, and you can't have the peacefulness until you have that safety net. And so that really does mean, you know, first of all, you've got to get organized. You've got to look at where is all the money going, like, what things are essential. You know, do we have money and savings? Do we have the proper insurance? Yes, that stuff is boring, that's it. You know, if you were to ever try the trapeze, are you gonna say, like I don't need that safety net, that's too boring, I just want the swing. Oh, no, of course not, right? So it's like we need to have both pieces of the equation in there, so each of those is gonna look different for everyone. You know the things that I may have pleasure. You know when I spend my money. You know for me it's like travel you know we were talking about. You know we're both in the Cincinnati area and we both have parents down in the Gulf Coast of Florida, and so for me, having money to spend on travel so that I can go down there and be with my dad for a good chunk of the winter and enjoy myself, like that's important to me, but for other people it might be totally different things. So it's like you really have to decide and really define. You know what does happiness mean to me? There's a lot of people, well, I just wanna be happy, and they'll say, well, what would make you happy? More money, no, no no, it won't.Speaker 1:
It's definitely those smaller things, it's the smaller joys and those moments. It's like the lasting happiness it's not that trap of that had done a adaptation, which is a huge increase of dopamine and then all of a sudden dropped because you didn't technically get like the long-term serotonin boost that you needed, as if you were like walking through a beautiful for me maybe walking through a park or hiking, or having a moment with a loved one that was deeply meaningful, Like the stuff that you really constantly have to time, don't even have to spend money on, but those things that you do. You're right, you need to determine what truly does make you happy and that's where you can funnel not just your focus but also the money if you have it, Because I think what we're talking about is psychological safety and understanding and knowing what keeps you feeling safe and secure mentally throughout your life and your day. I mean, I think about it all the time when I maybe this car becomes from growing up in a household where we had to count every penny, but anytime I walk into the grocery store and I can just take stuff off the shelf and put it in my cart, I am so freaking grateful the fact that I can walk into a store and even just buy my groceries and I don't know if all of us take the time to think that. But promise me, the next time you all go grocery shopping, stop and think about hearing this and say I am grateful that I don't have to worry about the pennies that I have in my purse and whether or not I'll be able to afford the things that I put in my cart. And I think, one other thing I wanted to point out we kind of alluded to it earlier in partnerships and in relationships money we tend to argue about a lot. I think one thing I learned from you as well, Christine, the last time you and I talked was we all have a different threshold in understanding not just what makes us happy but makes us feel psychologically safe, and that can be very different from one partner to the next. So, like your partner might have a higher threshold for debt than you do, to the point that, like you lose sleep over it, but they're like ain't no big deal and every is very different in that space. So, understanding not just what makes you happy and feel psychologically safe, communicating that with anybody that you're tied to from a money standpoint, even a business and financial standpoint, I would say, is super important.Speaker 2:
Absolutely yes. It is so important because, you're right, there are so many relationships that dissolve because of financial issues. And I think having those discussions around what's important? Because, when we think about it, you don't really want more money for the money. You want more money for what it will buy you. Now, even if you say, well, I want to have $50,000 in my emergency fund, well, that's buying you safety and security, even if you're not buying a boat with that $50,000. So, really defining what are those things that make me feel safe, secure and happy, and putting dollar amounts on those, because a lot of times people will say I'll never make enough money to afford my ideal lifestyle. But how do you know? Right, you've never really put that down on paper, down the map. And what's so interesting is I did this about five years ago and I looked back at it just the other day and I'm like, oh my God, I've done this, like I'm doing this, like this is our annual income. It's a good feeling. We have all these things, you know, and the way they came in wasn't exactly the way that I thought, and some of it is even better, you know, because for me it was like I wanted to spend a month or two someplace warm in the winter, because I hate January, I hate February, I don't like the cold, like my feet get. I mean I have to buy like the warmest slippers from LL Bean, otherwise my feet are like two little popsicles. And so, you know, the first couple of times it was like I was renting a place down there, and then it was like my dad's like hey, I'm gonna rent a place for the whole winter. Why don't you just come stay with me, okay? And then it's like next thing I know he's buying a house and it's like I can go down whenever I want to and I don't even have to pay anything for it, right, only my plane ticket, right. So it's just like I didn't even need the money for a rental for two months because it's all taken care of. But had I not put those things down on paper and actually saw, this is how much a month I actually need to make this happen? Yeah, and most people have never done that.Speaker 1:
Yeah, that's a great exercise. I just wrote that down. What will make me happy and how much would it really cost? Yeah, I think sometimes we think it's just the moon. But again, if you don't sit down and put together the numbers and you've run it in the time to consider it and it's not just haphazard stuff, you might be surprised by what you find, because, yeah, maybe it is like a date night once a week and one vacation a year and you look at that versus your Starbucks app expenditures.Speaker 2:
Do not mess with my coffee.Speaker 1:
Never, never, hey, that's a part of your happiness. That's a part of your happiness so absolutely.Speaker 2:
It definitely is, but I usually make mine at home because I'm really picky and I wanted, like a super dark Colombian organic beans Nice.Speaker 1:
I'm a coffee stop right along with you, but I love coffee shops so I do make that and that's like. My treat every week is a coffee at my favorite coffee shop, because I love them, they love me. It's great little, independently in an operated place, so it's my way of helping support the local community and bringing myself a little happiness. All right, what's my next question, before we get too off the topic and keep talking about coffee, because I could you have shared, oh, no, wait, this one. You mentioned it earlier. I would love to have you elaborate it on a little bit more about what is provider money and pleasure money and how can it affect our financial well-being.Speaker 2:
Yeah, so the provider money, it is that safety and stability. So we need to look at income-wise, what is that number right? So anything that's over and above that, then that gets to be part of our pleasure money. Because a lot of times and I've seen this especially with couples where they'll say, like, well, once we start making X amount, then you can think about starting your own business, or then you can take that trip to Italy that you've wanted to been taken, or whatever. But then it's like, once you reach that milestone, then they're like, oh well, wait, now we gotta do X, y and Z Right. So if we can say these are our provider needs, right, and then that gives us permission to spend that money on the pleasurable things without guilt yeah, which is so important and without debt, yeah, because one of the things that really ruins what I call a pleasure purchase is debt. Yeah, so you know, if you're like, oh, a pleasure purchase for us would be to have a boat, because we live near a lake and we can go boating every weekend, well, in the middle of January and February, where it's snowing outside and you have to make a boat payment and a storage payment, yeah, all of a sudden you start to resent that and it's not a purchase anymore and you basically ruined it with debt.Speaker 1:
There's time to throw boats out there people. It's an amazing thing. Check those out too, if you're a boat person. I was just thinking that too. Like I'm like a new car, and then it's usually the lot you're like oh man, a car payment.Speaker 2:
Yeah, but like that's the thing, when you buy a pleasure purchase and there's zero debt attached to it, yeah, it's huge, it's amazing.Speaker 1:
Double rainbow purchases yeah.Speaker 2:
And then you continue to love it and appreciate that, and I just did a post last week on LinkedIn. So two years ago I bought my Alpha Romeo Julia with cash.Speaker 1:
And so, you know, this past week was my Alpha Versa is what they call it if you're an Alpha owner. But it's like I love it as much today as the day I brought it home. And because there was, you know, I saved up for it, I paid cash for it and there was zero regret and there was zero debt attached to it. Now it doesn't have to be something as big as a car, but you know, like there's a piece of jewelry like you know, this necklace that I got. You know I didn't buy it right away. I've been eyeing it for several months and I call this pleasure purchasing instead of delayed gratification. Yeah, right. So what delayed gratification? It's like right. But if we think about pleasure purchasing, this is more like we're flirting with what we want to buy, right, and so, like I would go and look at it online. I could put a picture of it on my vision board. I could get my savings account where I'm saving up the money to pay for it. I can think about where exactly in my jewelry box it's going to go once I bring it home. Well, once you buy it, then there's so much more meaning to that.Speaker 1:
So, rather than thinking of it as well, I can't have what I want right now. If we think about it like I'm flirting with this until I get it Right Right. So if you think about relationships like the longer that flirting stage is like, by the time you actually consummate the relationship it's like fireworks right. But if you meet at or in a couple hours later right, then it's like walk of shame, right. Like all right, you know. Two weeks later, it's like what's the space from that bar?Speaker 1:
Oh my gosh, it's so true. It's the financial shame, the shopping. What's the shame?Speaker 2:
Oh, I think we're all from here at some point, yeah, so, but I mean, really impulse spending is kind of like that one night stand. You get that same sort of yeah feel of it.Speaker 1:
And it feels good at the time and later you wake up the next morning like why did I do that? I canceled my cart. Now, and something else you mentioned is that we create all these false limitations about what we can and can't do, because, even without truly knowing our situation and our numbers and how and where we want to spend our money, we just assume it's never going to happen and then we're all laying in our death bed going. I never took my trip to Italy, but you always somehow had an extra $10,000 in the bank Because, again, you took that safety net versus jumping on that swing. But one other thought I had while you were talking was this could be so powerful in negotiation. I think sometimes we think we have to ask for a certain number when we're talking about a job or an opportunity, because the more money is going to be better. But actually knowing what you need and how much will help you not just get by, but also have the psychological safety and do the pleasure purchasing that you like. You can be realistic and you know what's behind your request and what you're asking for or what you're shooting for, instead of just constantly shooting for the moon and being like, but no matter how much I make, I'm never happy yeah.Speaker 2:
No, I love that.Speaker 1:
We've got a couple minutes left. Our hour has flown by, as always.Speaker 2:
No, I see a whole bunch of comments. Were there any good?Speaker 1:
questions, no questions, yet I'll ask a question or two. We've talked about some target therapy. We've all kind of been there, every you know what?Speaker 2:
I canceled my target debit card and deleted the app off of my phone like two years ago. Yeah, I kept contacting me saying like we think your debit card might be lost or stolen because you haven't used it.Speaker 1:
We also had some conversation for those who are listening to the podcast about rage dancing or listening to death metal is getting out of anger. Actually, maria does have a question, so I'm going to go ahead and ask it to make sure that we get it in the past, those few other questions that we've got. What do I do if my partner is not on the same page with my financial plan? Slash ideas.Speaker 2:
Yeah. So I think the most important thing is to lead with the why not the? What I mean and say, like here is my financial plan and you are spending way too much on car parts and sports betting and if we want to go to Italy, then we're going to have to cut that out Right because it's gonna work. So I recommend that my clients who are couples, that they have a dream session together. Okay, and this is really about taking the limits off and saying, you know, if we woke up tomorrow or next week and we were living our ideal financial life, like what has changed, you know, and it might be like, oh well, we're, we're out of debt. You know we've got this much in our savings, we've booked our trip to Italy. You know we're able to get the kids into competitive sports that they want to play. You know, like, whatever the case may be, and when you lead with that, then you know, a week or two later or a couple days later, you know, after you've had that dream session, you can say, okay, well, let's like do the reality check and see where we are right now. I highly recommend using an app to help you with that. Right now, I'm using Mint with all my clients. It's free. You can, you know, have both partners link all your accounts, so basically aggregates all your transactions in one place, so you can really see, like, okay, how much money are we spending on eating out? Because you might think you know, but if you know, if you've got two credit cards and your partner has a credit card and you're also spending on debit cards or PayPal or whatever, you really don't know what you're spending, right? So once you start to gather that data and look at it for a month or two, then you can start to see trends and say, okay, like are we okay with this? Yep, and when you have that vision out there of this is what we're working for, then it makes it much easier to say, okay, well, maybe we'll eat at home instead of going out this week. Right, and I'm not saying cut out all of your pleasure spending, because that's that's not my vibe at all. But, you know, maybe we just need to put some healthy limits around that. I mean, I've got clients who love to go to the casino or, you know, they love to do sports betting and I'm like, look, that's fine, but we just need to put an upper limit on. You know like hey, if you win, sure, you can keep on going, but you're never going to lose any more than this much $200 a month or whatever it is you know for you, and so that way people don't feel stifled. Yes, right, it's like like they can still have fun, but we're we're working on the important things.Speaker 1:
I love that idea of a dream session. That is noted. I love this. I appreciate all of our live listeners notes because I think the next one, too, is probably highly relatable for many of those who are listening. Do you have any tips for more stressful money situations? My husband is unemployed and looking for a job and we have a good emergency fund, but I feel strapped around spending even though there is money available, simply because you can't estimate when he'll find a job. It's a funny balance between feelings and reality where it's kind of hard to see through.Speaker 2:
Yeah, well, I think the most important thing when you're dealing with a financial crisis is understanding that we can't really worry about the things that are out of our control. So I like to say, like, we can't control the world economy or the national economy, but we can control our personal economy. So I do think that, looking at your spending and seeing, okay, are there some areas that we can temporarily tighten up in the meantime? Yeah, what are the things we can control? Are there certain things that I can do to help my husband? Like, maybe you have a lot more experience on LinkedIn and you're like look, let me help you. Yeah, you know, find some things on your LinkedIn profile. Or you know I'd be happy to read over your resume and some pointers. Or you know like, hey, I know some HR people in my network. Let me reach out and see. You know, so there are things that are under your control. So it's really a matter of saying, like, what do I have control over? What do we have control over as a family? And let's put those things on our to-do list, put those things on the calendar, and then we have to have this trust that things that are out of our control are going to happen in the right timing.Speaker 1:
I love it. That's great advice, christine. I have to remind myself of it so often that really worrying fixes nothing. Instead, I need to go down and figure out what can I control, what can I do. It might not be the thing that makes the change that is exactly needed, but at least I know it's something to start to push us in the right direction.Speaker 2:
So yeah, there's a great book that I kind of got that nugget out of. It's called the Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod. You might get him from, like, the Miracle Morning Books, ok yeah, but he talks about developing emotional invincibility and that was extremely helpful for me because it's interesting and I'm very transparent about this. I had one of my worst years in business. It was like the sixth or seventh year that I was in business. We usually think that, like our business is through, like this, that's not yeah Right. So, and I mean it was a terrible year for me. It was a very hard year personally because there was a lot of personal yeah that happened that year and so I wasn't in a very positive frame of mind to be telling myself, yeah, and you know, I mean I even thought about quitting and going to find a job and this book was like that book that got me through, oh God, because I mean it really, it really focused on like, what do I have control over? Yeah, how do I make a plan to execute that and how do I deal with the stuff that I don't have control over?Speaker 1:
Yeah, for me it came through in a bit of therapy, but I love it. I've already brought the book up on Amazon and Kaylee was so gracious to find it for us and include the link in the chat for those who are listening live. Then we'll include it in the bio as well. We always love one. A good book recommendation to. I'll just say, as we wrap it up, just your vulnerability, christine. I really do appreciate it. I love that you come in and you are a subject matter expert on all that you do, but it comes from not just like the book learning, but the life learnings, and I love that you're always willing to bring those to the table and share that so vulnerably. So, as always, fantastic conversation, thank you.Speaker 2:
Well, and I would love for everyone who's watching to pop over and subscribe to the Money is Emotional podcast. I am sure that there's going to be an episode or two that you're going to be like oh yep, I need that one.Speaker 1:
I agree. We will definitely include the link to your podcast as well on the show notes. So wonderful, all right, we're on a break, everyone for the next week, so we get content marketing world. So all of you, fellow content marketers, if you happen to be in the DC area, send me a note on LinkedIn, let me know I'd love to see you all. But until then, christine, thank you so much. This is always so helpful. It's always like a million notes and have some good conversations with my husband. When he gets home he's got no idea what's coming. But so helpful. Thank you so much for all you do and thanks for being a guest today. We appreciate you.Speaker 2:
Welcome. Thanks for having me.Speaker 1:
All right, everyone Enjoy the rest of your Friday. Take care Bye.