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The Embassy Wealth Podcast is kicking off the new 2023 season with our favorite topic: money!  On this episode, certified Trauma of Money coach and financial wellness practitioner, Sherrette Garate-Estes challenges us to dig deep for an introspective look at our relationship with money. 

Do you overspend when you shouldn’t? Hoard money? Avoid looking at bills? Overwork because you feel stressed there won’t be enough money?  Or maybe you are overly conservative and feel you should invest but have never taken any steps to study investments because you feel blocked or intimidated? 

Join us for this fascinating discussion into the field of money trauma and how money events, especially negative ones experienced early in life, can continue to impact how we manage our finances even years after the event has passed. Learn how you can identify and remove these hidden mental and psychological obstacles to clear your path to financial wellness and success.

Hear Sherrette discuss:

  • What is financial trauma and how it shows up in our lives
  • The three money disorders that hold people back 
  • What is a healthy relationship with money?
  • How examining your money story and relationship with money can clear your path to greater financial wellness and success
  • How cultural and family programming plays a large role in how we perceive money and our relationship to it

…and so much more! 

Sherrette is a certified Trauma of Money coach, financial wellness practitioner, host of the Disability Adjacent podcast, Sign Language Interpreter, and Child of Deaf Parents. Her current work is focused on people who are adjacent to a person with a disability and how to heal the financial trauma that often comes with those experiences. 

Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Episode Transcript:

Embassay Wealth Podcast

Tanya: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the Embassy Wealth Podcast. This is your host, Tanya Salsa, and I am going solo today. What, well, I just wanted to give you a quick update on where the show is going and take a look at what we’ve done so far. I mean, we’ve had really amazing episodes last year in 2022, and we talked about a big variety of topics.

We talked about retirement, how to have a great retirement, how to retire. And then we also talked about when you’ve got some money, after all of those posts with hardship differentials, or even if you’re a great saver, which it can be, you know, not having a housing or utilities and all of those kinds of expenses overseas, where do you put your money?

We, we talked to real estate investors. We talked to people doing alternative investments like crypto, and we reached out to a lot of members in the foreign service community to see what they’re doing with their money and their time. . We also talked about side hustles, EF FM businesses, people writing books, and FSOs leaving the foreign service to blaze new career paths in [00:01:00] different fields.

So what’s up for 2023? Funny you would ask, well, we’re going broader this season of the Embassy Wealth Podcast, and we’re bringing on people beyond the foreign service community who have something interesting and unique to say. So this season of the show, we’re getting a little more introspective for 2023, we’ve all just been through C O V I D and all of that.

just, I think it made us rethink a lot of the things that we thought beforehand. And I think a lot of us are pushing the reset button this year and saying, you know, maybe I want something different, or maybe I’m going to try something different than what I did before. And I think that’s that year for everybody.

And so we’re gonna get introspective to start off the season and talk about things like, what’s your money? . And it’s funny, you would ask, what’s a money story, right? But are unwritten rules about money sabotaging your investments or leading you astray or maybe keeping you in a little box? [00:02:00] You know, a lot of the people that we talk to, you know, whether it’s through, you know, real estate or, other fields or even on this podcast, I think people go around with a lot of limiting beliefs about what they can or can’t do.

not just with their money, but with other things. They say, oh, I can’t do that. That’s too risky, or that’s too fill in the blank, because they don’t feel comfortable. And so my question for you is, what’s your money story and how is that going to define what this year brings for you? And are you willing to examine that money story and maybe broaden it and broaden your horizons to see what’s possible for this year?

Cuz I firmly believe anything is possible and with. Let’s get to a new season of Embassy Wealth. The views expressed on this podcast are only those of the individuals featured on the show and do not in any way reflect the official policy of the United States government.

You are listening to the Embassy Wealth [00:03:00] Podcast. We believe wealth isn’t just about finances and money, it includes health, relationships, and anything else that makes you excited to get up in the morning. We interview members of the foreign affairs community to see how they’re building wealth, both personally and financially, no matter where they’re posted.

This is your host, Tanya Salsa. Let’s get to today’s show. Welcome to the Embassy Wealth Podcast, and today I am very excited to be joined by Sherrette Gárate- Estes, and Sherrette is not in the foreign service community, however, she has studied a specific area of financial wellness, shall we say, that I think members of the Foreign Service Committee are going to find very, very interesting.

And to give you a little bit of background about Sherrette, she’s. Certified Trauma of Money Coach and a financial wellness practitioner. She is the host of the Disability Adjacent podcast, a sign language interpreter, and a child of deaf parents. And as you’ll hear her story, [00:04:00] she got into studying the trauma of money from her relationship, as a child of deaf parents.

But, Sherrette, I wanna steal your thunder. Welcome to the show.

Sherrette: Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. So

Tanya: talk to us a little bit about, being a certified trauma of money coach. Like what is this and, what is trauma of money? It, I feel like it’s a area that people don’t know much about. And as you and I were talking just before we got on to record.

It’s not really a thing. So for those of us who have never heard of it, what exactly is a certified trauma of Money coach?

Sherrette: Yeah, it’s a great question. So I should probably give a little context as to how I sort of found this organization, which is called Trauma of Money. It’s based out of Canada and the reason why I sort of went down the rabbit hole of looking for a resource to sort of further my development is that I was already really interested in money and I was really interested in talking with my colleagues.

[00:05:00] Mainly sign language interpreters about money. And then that was a, an easy sort of transition to start talking about, money with my community, which is the code of community. And like you mentioned, we are a child of deaf adults mostly. We’re all adults ourselves, right? So, I was really interested in talking to my specific community about what their relationships around money were.

 What I saw in all of my conversations, be it with my professional colleagues or my Coda of friends, my Coda of community is that. We don’t really feel super comfortable talking about money, which is probably no surprise to you. There is a lot of reservation shame, guilt around money talk anyway, and I was really curious to see where that shame is coming from.

Where is that guilt coming from? And so I started looking at. Places to learn about that. And that’s how I stumbled upon the Trauma of Money Organization. And it is a certifying organization that takes you through a very intense, [00:06:00] coursework and talks a lot about how we often, most of us have trauma around money and what that trauma does with how we relate to many as adults, some of our spending habits or saving habits, or just generally how we feel about money in general.

Tanya: One of the reasons that I asked her to be on the podcast is because I have found in my own experience that I run into roadblocks with money. Right. And I think a lot of times in order to create the abundance and the money mindset that you want to invite more financial wellness and good financial decisions into your life, you have to also confront what is not working for you.

And so, in my personal experience, I found that, and maybe this is on your money disorder list, I don’t know, you’re gonna have to tell me cuz you’re the coach. I found that I have trouble spending money, like I’m a bit of a hoarder. And so, you know, and this relates back to my own experience, from parents who both grew up poor, right?

And they didn’t have a lot of money and so [00:07:00] they always saved because they never knew what was around the corner cuz something bad might happen. And even though I did not grow up, in a household where, you know, I was poor, like my parents were very middle class, you know, we went to private school, we had like, piano lessons.

I mean, we did pretty well. . A lot of the relationship that my parents have with money has been passed on to me without me even realizing it. So I am a huge saver, which again, I thought was a really great thing. And mostly it is. But there comes a point where to get to the next level, you have to examine what you’re doing with your money and deciding whether it still works for you.

Can you talk to us a little bit about what kind of money disorders there are?

Sherrette: Yeah, absolutely. So, It depends on, what resource you find. So there are some differences depending on, which researcher you’re looking at. But generally there are three main types of categories, right? So there’s money avoidance, which essentially talks about how we may.

 Basically [00:08:00] run in the opposite direction of money that might look like we think that money is bad or evil. That’s a really common one that I see, or they feel like they aren’t deserving of money, and that might look like overspending, which could also be called excessive risk aversion. So not willing to put your money in a bank, not willing to invest. It could be underspending. It could be not willing to ask your boss for a raise. All of those are example of money avoidance. Another category is money worship. Now, that’s, those are really interesting because it could be things that you might expect, like unreasonable risk taking, gambling, but it’s also things like workaholism, right?

The intense urge to work and you feel a sense of like guilt or depression when you’re. Working. And so sometimes we do things thinking that the intent is one, but it’s actually the other, right? So we may think that we’re really into our jobs and we get a sense of accomplishment, but I would then ask, as a coach, ask a little bit more [00:09:00] about where those sense of accomplishments come from.

Right? Is it being rewarded with, a big contract at work where you get a high commission? Like where is that sense of sat satisfaction coming from to find out if one is actually, dealing with a workaholism disorder? Be a compulsive buying disorder. That’s another example of money worship, where we are seeking to spend money and that that act of spending money makes us feel good in a way.

So those are examples of money worship. And then the final category is money relational. And this is really particularly interesting because two examples of money relational disorder is financial infidelity, which is when people who are in a committed relationship who would typically. Financial transactions or decisions with each other.

And they do not. And, and one person in, or more than one person in the, the partnership is, making financial decisions that would impact their partner and not [00:10:00] telling them or not getting their consent. And the other one is financial co-dependency. So we seek financial co-dependency a lot within my community, the Coda community, where the child will often take on a leadership role for the adults and the family. So the child is responsible for making sure that taxes get taken care of, making sure that things are being paid. That’s an example of financial co-dependency.

Tanya: I mean, that’s a lot to unpack there.

The three, sort of different kind of money disorders. And I mean, I guess my question would, from your training, what does a healthy relationship with money look like? Because obviously it’s not overspending or underspending. It sounds like there’s a lot of extremes in what the disorders kind of cover, but what does a healthy relationship with money look like?

First of all, to start, before we kind of dig in a little deeper on some of the other things,

Sherrette: you know, I think that’s a really hard, question to answer because it always depends on [00:11:00] where you. The socioeconomic status of your family makeup. So if you’re talking about me, I am a white cis woman and I live in the United States, and I, you know, am a middle to high income family.

Is, is my family makeup. And so what might be, what’s considered a healthy money. Behavior is going to be very different than someone who is from a, different community altogether. So for me, if you’re using about my, if you’re wanting to use my example, it would be a, average willingness to take financial risks.

And that would be like retirement, putting money in the stock market, investing in a house using financial products like a credit card. But not to the point where I’m not able to manage it financially. I think another example would be what kind of spending I’m doing. So we could talk about things like [00:12:00] our, appropriate spending being the 20, 30, 50 rule of how much you save versus how much you spend versus how much you invest and all of that.

And I think that that’s great, benchmarks to use for us in this country, who come from a privileged background, but that’s not always true. Other communities, right? So I sort of shy away from, suggesting what could or could not be considered healthy because I think there’s so many factors that come into it.


Tanya: completely agree that the culture piece has a whole nother layer, right? I mean, so. To, to draw from my own personal experience. So my father was a child of missionaries who lived off church tides. So they never really had any money. Right. And so they were very much in the sort of, they were like Midwestern farmers that DIY everything. Like they would save all of the Tupperware, that came like, you know, even like the, I can’t believe it’s not butter, the little plastic things. They save all the, oh yeah. All the jars. They would never buy [00:13:00] anything. They would save all their money for a rainy day. They would never spend it.

Right. Because they just, they didn’t have a lot of money and so what they did have, they just squeaked the last little bit of life out of all the things that they had. Contrast that with my. Who comes from a Japanese immigrant background, like they came from Japan back in the day, post World War II for a better life, and landed in California and they were, you know, my grandfather was picking flowers in the flower fields back when Orange County was flower fields and not Disneyland.

 And, and he, yeah, he made his way up as a business owner. Like he, you know, started a lawn mowing business before that was like really a thing. And then they opened up a liquor store. I mean, they kind of worked their way up through all these like blue collar jobs. So they have a very different relationship with money to just culturally speaking and hard work was always part of that, working seven days a week was part of that. So you have these like two meshes of different cultures and the the result is, as a kid, I saved all my [00:14:00] money and I never spent it on anything. Even now as an adult, like I make a lot more money than I used to and I still have trouble spending it even when it’s there.

So yeah, I think. , you know, roots, whether they be cultural or what we learn from our parents are really deep and it’s useful to examine, you know, where do my beliefs about money come from? And, you know, I like doing this with money. Maybe it’s, I love shopping on Amazon, right? and I get all these things, or I love saving and like watching my bank account build.

But then there’s always like a balance, right? So right when you, when you have somebody who has like a money disorder, whether it’s excessive overspending, excessive overs, saving or anything in between, or some kind of relationship with money, that, and again, I think, and I’m not the coach, but I would think.

it becomes a problem when you can’t move to kind of the next step, right? So how do you coach people around these kinds of [00:15:00] money? Trauma. .

Sherrette: Yeah, I think it’s twofold. I think it’s when you can’t move to the next step of whatever your desired goal is. And it also, for me, what is even more important is what are the money messages?

How, what are your current money messages and how is that impacting your overall wellbeing right now, right? Because I think that, What we often do is we create these arbitrary goals for ourself, and a lot of times these goals come from the money messages that we’ve learned as a kid. Right. So you just told me a story about how your father really came from a frugal background.

 But your mother’s side of the family did take a lot of financial risks, opening up a business as a financial risk, and so, I would be really curious. To hear more about how that shows up in your daily life and what happens when you do make a money decision, whether it be saving or whether it be spending.

So like an example that I could just sort of think of is if you do go shopping at Amazon, does that result in a lot of guilt about what you [00:16:00] buy? Right? So if we use myself for an example, I did struggle with some financial behaviors, specifically with overspending in clothes. That money narrative comes from my mom, never rewarding herself with clothes, interest when I was young, interest, and she had a lot of shame and embarrassment about how she looked as a, a person, as a mother, as a woman, and so, Overcorrected and I would see these models on Amazon that are not the same body type as I am. I am a very curvy woman, and oftentimes these women that are wearing these desired clothes don’t look like me, and so I buy the clothes. They look terrible on me. I feel guilty because I didn’t make a good financial decision. I don’t even want to return the item, and it ends up living in my closet. , right?

So I’ve wasted the money, I don’t get the clothes, and then I shame and blame myself for doing that, right? So instead of trying to create a goal of just not [00:17:00] buying the clothes as a coach, I would wanna know where that behavior comes from first. And the reason why I think that’s really important is because oftentimes we create these, and this is where it’s January now when we’re recording this, but everybody’s gonna make a New Year’s resolution.

and they’re gonna be like all gung ho for the next couple of weeks. And then 66% of us are gonna drop the ball and then you know, we’re gonna be done. But the reason why those cycles keep repeating itself is because we haven’t addressed the money trauma that’s underlying it. Right. So, as a coach, I’m gonna ask questions to understand more about the narrative, the money messages that you were taught, and then we need to do a little bit of.

Around that. , right? So like, I need to get to a place where I need to honor the fact that my mom wasn’t in a position to where she could purchase clothes that made her feel good, you know? , or the fact that she had a lot of shame as a deaf woman in a small town trying to raise a child, right?

Like there’s a lot there. And if I can sort of come to [00:18:00] terms with my mom’s story and then I can get clear on where I wanna be as now a mom, as a mother, how I wanna show up in the world and how I wanna feel, and then I can come up with some goals about my spending behaviors. But I can’t really do that in a sustainable, successful way if I’m not really clear on what trauma’s still sort of like would needs why sources, why.

Tanya: Yeah. And I think, you know, and one of the reasons why interview, or I invited you on the show to talk about this subject is because as a real estate agent, it is amazing the amount of conversations I have with people about money, right? And money’s not a topic that. Ya wanna talk to people about, let’s just say like, hey.

 But as a real estate agent, you get a little glimpse into, you know, what people can afford, like their worries and concerns about it. And I think a lot of times, and you know, in my team, we always talk about how we’re like real estate therapists in a way because we do do some coaching about, you know, because we, we hear the whole gamut of things.

[00:19:00] So people will come to us and they say, well, I can’t afford it. And my answer is usually, well, let’s explore that a little bit because. , the bank says you can you say you can’t. So there must be some reason why you feel that way. Why don’t like talk to me about it? And so then I get these really fascinating stories usually linked to past history, whether it’s themselves or their family, about some kind of money issue, whether it’s.

well, you know, my, one of my family members bought a house and they lost all their money or Right. You know, it’s some kind of, something happened to either them or somebody in their immediate circle, whether it’s family or friends that has influenced them enough. And sometimes they’re aware of this and sometimes they aren’t.

But after, you know, multiple years of doing real estate, I find that you can’t just talk to clients. , like, here’s the house here much, here’s how much it costs and here’s the mortgage. It’s really about, you know, where their mental headspace is. And not all clients, like some clients are pretty, they have a pretty healthy relationship with money.

 They know what they can afford. They [00:20:00] come in knowing they’re very organized. Lots of our foreign service people are very organized, but there are, I think, doubts for everybody where they get to a point where like, am I making the right decision? This is a lot of money. This is scary, right? So, yeah. And that is part of our job as agents to kind of be that buffer and.

kind of financial coach in a way, if you will, but we do run into a lot of these issues while we’re working with our clients. So I think it’s a topic that should be discussed a little more than it currently is being discussed. Why do you think that is that more people don’t talk about it? Is it just shame you think?

Sherrette: Oh, well, I mean, I think it is shame, but I am really curious about how did the shame even come to be? Well, I mean, I think. We don’t talk about it in schools. We’re busy learning about parallelograms and , things that we don’t really use as adults, but true. I have yet to see in like my kids’ schooling, my friends’ kids schooling, my own schooling, my colleagues in professional friends and all of that.

I don’t know of anybody who [00:21:00] actually learned about how to budget and finances and investment investing. In school, unless you decide to have a focus, have a major in that sort of topic area in college. Right? So, it really sort of is dependent on the family makeup and making sure that the parents or other family members are teaching these children and young adults about money, right?

And so, but something happens along the way, right? So we grow up, we don’t learn about money, we become an adult, and then just magically we’re just supposed to. , we’re just supposed to know about money. We’re supposed to know how much we make. We’re supposed to know how much we budget and save and spend and invest and all that.

But nobody really talks about it. And then there’s shame because we don’t know about it. And so we don’t talk about it. And so it’s just a, it’s a vicious cycle that keeps perpetuating itself. And what I have found is the second that one person is willing to say, I really don’t know what I’m [00:22:00] doing when it comes to finances.

Usually several other people will be like, oh my gosh, me too. I have no idea. Right? And so it’s so interesting to me that we all feel this way, but we’re all not willing to talk about it. . So that for, I, I think the one big takeaway from me as a, as a wellness coach is just talk about it. Like literally you can throw a rock and hit a person that is struggling with probably the same types of feelings of shame and guilt and embarrassment that you are,

Tanya: it, it is much more common than people think.

And I do think that that’s a large part of it is like, oh, I don’t want people to know that. Like, I don’t have everything together. Right. And the, I mean, the, the reality is none of us have it all together. Let’s be fair here, right? Because I mean, even in my own life, like I feel like I’m pretty decent on the financial side, but there’s a lot of stuff that I run into that I’m like, don’t know anything about that.

But I think what I’ve learned over the years is the more forthcoming I am that I don’t know something, I find people that do know about it and I’m, I’m blatantly honest. Like, I, like, I’ll go to these people and say, Hey, [00:23:00] I think you were really amazing at, you know, X type of investing. I don’t know anything about it could I talk to you for a little bit? And most people I find are actually happy to help, you know, and so, oh, they’re excited to help. Yeah, they are. And whether that’s real estate investing or stocks or finances, we’ve had like people that talked about crypto on the show, Molin Car’s been on our show and she does, money groups, you know, at embassies to like break down these walls of like talking about money.

Because at the end of the day, I find what happens is in a lot of, regular conversations is, oh, don’t talk about money because either you feel like you don’t make enough compared to other people and you’re like embarrassed and you feel less than or not good enough. Right, right. Or you make a decent amount and you don’t want to say anything because you feel like, well, other people might not make as much as me and they might feel bad.

So I think the. on both sides. No one says anything. And then it’s like, all right. And I mean, I’ve talked on my show before about groups that I’ve been in where we’re, we’re like, we have all of our finances on an Excel spreadsheet, like our [00:24:00] net worth, our entire net worth, our real estate assets, our stocks, bonds, cash savings, investments, anything we have on there.

 And we. , like, present that to the group. And then people make comments like, and again, I’ve talked about it before where it like feels like you’re, you’re kind of naked. But, that’s the only way that you can learn sometimes too, from people who are doing a lot better than you. They’re like, oh, look at this line item here.

Have you thought about doing X, Y, or Z? But you have to be willing to put yourself out there and be in a position where you feel a little uncomfortable to make some changes. . That’s

Sherrette: right, that’s right. You know, you talk about being financially naked and I think that’s, exactly what I tell my clients to do, is to find three people that make you to naked be financially negative with.

 And that’s exactly what I tell ’em to do. And it’s funny because a lot of them can’t even get financially naked with their partners or their parents. Right. Like there’s a lot of guilt and shame around that. And the other thing that I think is really important is that we often think. Step 100 [00:25:00] and whatever this new thing is that we’re supposed to learn instead of just focusing on step one and then step two and step three, so, so that would be the other thing as a financial wellness coach, is to try to get things into perspective that if you’re focusing on step one, two, and three, you’re going to learn how to take step four, five, and six.

And so an example of that is a lot of the times I just have to get my clients to look at their bank statements. as simple as that. You know, like, open up your mail, , look at your credit card statement and avoidance. It’s as simple as that. Cause it’s scary I mean, and I am a product of that.

I had a lot of financial trauma and that resulted in a lot of debt and it was really, there’s a lot of avoidant behaviors. I would not open my mail. I thought it was the. Only one that struggled with that until I finally started talking to other people. And I realized like that is a very common problem, that people are not even willing to open up their mail to get visibility of what their financial [00:26:00] situation looks like, because their imagination is running wild.

That they are, you know, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt and they’re not gonna be able to get themselves out of it. And so they would just rather pretend like it doesn’t exist, right? So that often is what I do is just. Open the mail together. Let’s go through the bank, the bank statement together.

And what I have found consistently is it is a never as bad as you think it is. Agreed. It is never agreed as bad as you think it is. And then it feels really empowering. You know, you did this big scary thing, now you have clarity on where you are and where you stand. And then we can talk about step two, which is, all right, so then what are we gonna do next?

Right? So as we start to build our financial plan together, that’s when some of the money trauma usually comes up. And like you were saying with the, the example of a real estate client, you know, you don’t think that you can, you can afford this house because you are. Mother’s brother bought a house and then lost it, right?

Those are the financial narratives that level we sort of take with us. And we carry it for years and [00:27:00] years and years and years without really no reason. And so then what we do is we avoid taking this financial risk of buying a house even though we’re, we’re financially able to do so.

Tanya: And that’s the piece that always is, is a bit of a hurdle for my agents to understand because they’re like, but logically this all makes sense, Tanya, and the client doesn’t wanna do it.

I said, They’re not, they don’t have their logical thinking cap on. They have their emotional one on. Yeah. Right. And there’s a whole bunch of story under there and money narratives and all kinds of pieces that you don’t see. It’s like icebergs, right? Like there’s a big piece under the water that you don’t see.

And until you understand where that is coming from, it’s going to be very hard to talk to this client. And so for that reason, I mean, I coach my agents too about like, we need to understand the client in a holistic sort of way. It’s not. Okay, what can you afford? Here’s the house, here’s what you like.

There ya go. You know, matchmaking. It’s really, you know, and, and, and again, not for all clients, but there’s some. . And for most, especially for first timers, even if you [00:28:00] have a pretty healthy relationship with money, it’s still a very scary step. I mean, absolutely. I remember when I bought, I was like, and then I’m not gonna get a tenant if I move overseas when I’m in the foreign service.

And then I’m, and then like, I’m gonna get foreclosed on. I’m gonna live under a bridge. And it was just, it was ridiculous. It was a very extreme way of thinking. And like you said, if you just open up those bank statements, if you just actually confront the thing, the horrible, scary thing that you think is going to.

most of the time it’s not that scary. It really isn’t. Yeah. And I think it’s really great that people have a financial coach like you to go and, and help them through that because sometimes you do need support for these kinds of moves cuz they’re big. Some of them. Yeah.

Sherrette: They are big. And I think what’s interesting about the community that I’m working with is I specifically focus on.

People who are adjacent to someone with a disability, right? Which is a whole other layer to this, right? So like, earlier we were talking about when, so my parents were on social security when I was young, and I knew. That my parents had to go through [00:29:00] all of their earnings in a given month because if they earned more than the federally allowed allotment of $3,000.

$3,000. So just think about that. Like a family of three is only allowed to have about $3,000 in assets. Yikes. Or savings, right in their banking. That’s, this is still true today. So I was born in 1984. It is still true today in 2023 that a family, a married couple is not allowed to have more than $3,000 in a savings account.

And if they do, if they earn more than their allotted earnings allow and they, if they have more than $3,000 in their savings account, their paychecks will get garnished and they’ll have to pay back the federal government. . So I would see my parents every single month trying to make sure that they weren’t earning too much money, because if they earned even a dollar more, they would lose the benefit and they needed the benefit because they were underemployed.

So it is a vicious cycle that sort of, that perpetuates itself. And so I saw [00:30:00] that and the money message that I took away is that money is bad, money is evil. And so I would avoid money like the plague, and I would do that through overspending. I would get money away from. . Right? And so I, I think it’s so important for you and your team or anybody to really get clear on where the narrative is.

Yeah. And that’s the reason why the cycle keeps repeating itself. If you’re someone who pays off all your credit card debt and then racks it right up again, or if you save a bunch of money and then you drain your bank account, right? If those cycles keep repeating itself, you’ve got underlying trauma that needs to be addressed.

And so that’s the reason why it’s so important, because we. , we can like see our bank account and we can talk logic all day long, but if we don’t heal the trauma, we’re never really going to change the behavior.

Tanya: And I think a lot of our listeners do tune into this show because they’re specifically interested in building their wealth and their finances and you know, building better finances to have a better life.

Right? And so I think. Most of us, [00:31:00] we, we have our parents or you know, our family as a background of like what is possible in life. Right. And I don’t remember where I heard the story, but I think it was at probably a conference that I attended, a real estate conference. And they essentially, the speaker was talking about a time where they were at a.

I think a high school. And they asked people what they wanted to be when they grow up. And one kid was having a really hard time thinking about what they wanted to be. And finally, you know, and it, this was an underprivileged kind of poor school. And the kid said, well, I wanna be a pizza delivery driver.

And the teacher was like, well, what are you talking about? And he said, well, my uncle’s a pizza delivery driver. And he was like the one person in that kid’s life that wasn’t, you know, Mixed up in gangs, selling drugs, basically doing a bunch of bad things. And so that for him was a way out. And I think sometimes we are limited by the environment that we are in.

And you know, that’s an extreme example, but I think a lot of us grow up in families where, you know, people make a certain amount, [00:32:00] that’s all they’ve ever known. They don’t know people who own more than one house, or maybe they don’t even know anybody who owns a house. And so in their imagination, their limits.

here’s what a normal life looks like. Here’s what is possible for me. And I think that, you know, this topic, trauma of money, I think is a really important thing for people to, you know, think about and your own money story and how that money story contributes to your wealth. or doesn’t, right? So I think there’s parts of my own money story that have really helped me, cuz savings generally is where you have to start, right? You have to have something to invest. So I’m really strong on that piece. Then I got to the investment side where I’m like, okay, I will invest. But then there comes a point where you have to do things differently.

It all that will take you to a certain place and then to get up to, you know, rarefied air, you’ve gotta make some other like, You know, risk taking, like you mentioned with the businesses, right? You have to take generational creation exactly. Or you have to like branch out into [00:33:00] things that maybe your parents never did or, or no one in your family’s done because they work, you know?

So I think at every point of your financial journey, it is very important to understand your money story, the money narratives, what your culture and your family and your environment has been telling you about. ,

Sherrette: right? I think what you said, the example of this kid in the school and what he thought was possible for himself as a really important one.

And I would also add that even if you do see people that are in a higher tax bracket than you who do jobs that your family doesn’t do, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you take away the message that you can also do it, right? So like, No. Of Bill Jeff Bezos is multi, multi-billionaire, but that to me is so inaccessible.

 That I may not think, oh, I, it’s also possible for me to do that. , right? So like even if this kid grew up and, you know, went to school with some kids who were in a different, socio socioeconomic [00:34:00] status, he may not believe that that’s possible for him for one reason or another. And so I think that’s exactly, that’s exactly what I really am.

Excited to start talking about with my community because not only do we see things and believe things around our home life, right? But then we go out in schools and we go out in society and we hear things like women are frivolous spenders, you know, they can’t be trusted with money. We hear those narratives all the time.

Not true. It’s not true. It’s totally not, oh, no research. No, no, no. Comes up with these, like these facts over and over again. But for some reason we believe some schmuck down the street who says this and not the research that proves otherwise, right? And so I’m really interested in finding out why.

Why is it that we believe some random person walking down the street when they say it, or whatever news media outlet wants to say it, and we’re not willing to actually look at the truth and accept the truth. And I think it’s really important [00:35:00] when we talk about how our thoughts will impact how we feel about something and how we feel about something is gonna impact what we do about something, right?

And we always know that actions equal results, right? So if our thoughts impact our feelings, and if our feelings impact our actions, Our actions are going to impact our results. So if we think that women can’t be trusted and our frivolous spenders and we feel shame about money, and then we do things that reinforce those beliefs, then we’re going to keep finding ourselves in this, this cyclical behavior of not having generational wealth to create for our

Tanya: families.

and I think all of that is really fascinating and really interesting and I think, you know, that whole kind of process that you mapped out of like it starts with the thought and then it goes to the feelings, and then the actions and then the results. I think what happens is a lot of people think, I want that result, so therefore I will do this action.

They only go back one step in the chain. They don’t go back multiple steps to be like, correct. Well how do I feel [00:36:00] about it and what are my. Beliefs, my solid beliefs and, and again, a lot of people don’t take the time to examine where these beliefs come from because, you know, most of us have grown up, well, I don’t actually, I won’t even say most of us, I would say.

A few of us have grown up in, in households where, you know, what are, what is the money narrative? Money doesn’t grow on trees. Money is the root of all evil. Oh. You see those people down the street? I bet they did something terrible to get that house. You know? And it wasn’t like, oh, good for them. I wonder how they did it.

Right. I wonder if I can do that too. And that’s where I think we have to flip that. narrative of, oh, those people, they must have done something terrible to get that. Or, oh, I’m sure they’re terrible people. Or they did, you know, whatever, whatever it is, that that story is, that you carry from wherever you come from or whatever it is.

But I think it is not that common to be like, oh, that person’s doing really well. Why don’t I ask them? and see if there’s something that can work for me. Right? That’s right. And I’ve been trying to seek out those things because there [00:37:00] are lots of things that I’m not very good at and I don’t mind and I have no shame cuz I am shameless at this point, in asking people and saying, I don’t know how to do this.

Right. Because that’s the only way we learn.

Sherrette: Yeah, that’s right. And and one thing that I would add to that is it is a practice, right? So I also used to believe that I was bad with money. I also used to believe that like, you know, it’s because I am lousy at math for X, Y and Z reason. And it took a.

Practice. It is a practice for me to consciously say that thought is not true. What is true is that I can learn all the things about money that I wish to learn. I have to practice that thought over and over and over again, and even still, even though I have bought multiple houses, I’ve invested in many, many things and I am in a really healthy financial situation now.

It still creeps up if I am not paying attention. I still have to catch myself and say, actually Sherrette, you are really good with money and here are the reasons why. I know that’s true. Here are the examples of how I can prove that to be true. And I do a lot of [00:38:00] that practice thought work with my clients as well.

So for the listeners, that would be something to take away that you could start doing literally today, is what is the thought that’s hindering you right now and how can you replace it with a thought that’s actually product? .

Tanya: I think that’s really, really good advice. And that’s something that, I mean, you can practice really anywhere in your car on the way to work.

If any of of us are actually working at an office these days, or you know, really wherever you’re taking a walk with the dog, I mean, you can start to think about your money story and think about the things that, I mean, could some of the stories that we have, we absorbed as children and never really questioned.

And That’s right. Like you’re talking about Sherrette, is that, that programming that we got as kids, we’ve never really. Questioned it or examined it. And a lot of times, like we’ve outgrown a lot of that programming, so you know, even just not money related. I always thought of myself as a shy, quiet kid that nobody wanted to talk to, and everybody that meets me is like that is.

Like, what, what is that? That is so far from the reality, but [00:39:00] some days that programming still comes up like, oh, I’m shy and nobody wants to talk to me. Which seems silly now, right? But yeah. And so we have to examine those old, old stories that have been imprinted on us over the time that we’re, you know, young and see if they service anymore.

And occasionally those, that programming is still running deep below the surface. And we have to remember, okay, it’s. and like Sherrette saying you can do this exercise where you can question that and say, you know what, no, I’m not a shy person that nobody wants to talk to. Haha. actually. Yeah. And then, you know, fill in the blank.

So, and it can be for your money story or other parts of your life too. Exactly. Exactly. So as in your work as a, trauma of money coach, how. How can people either, benefit from this type of coaching or what’s sort of the process for, working on this aspect of people’s lives? So you’ve given some [00:40:00] tips about how to think about it differently, but if they wanna go deeper, what are some resources that people can look to?

Sherrette: Well, there are some, financial wellness coaches that are out there. I spo I, like I mentioned, I specifically focus on people who are adjacent to people with disabilities, but there are others who are certified, financial wellness practitioners. But if you are interested in going deeper, I would be really careful in trying to find someone who also recognizes that it’s not simply just creating a goal for yourself and following through.

It’s going to be education, it’s going to be. Trauma informed, healing, along with creating goals and creating a plan and accountability and support because, what I have seen is there’s a lot of financial advisors and financial wellness coaches who give these blanket statements of take x, y and Z step, and then all of a sudden all your money problems are healed.

So if, if your audience is interested in going deeper, I would just make sure that when you’re [00:41:00] looking for a financial wellness coach, which is different than a financial advisor, I just wanna stress that, a financial wellness coach isn’t going to give financial advice. What we’re gonna do is talk about how we can create a holistic, healthy way of living around money.

right? And what you’re looking for is someone who can consider things like the education piece, the trauma piece, the healing piece, and also create a pa, a plan and a path for you to, find the financial goals being more achievable for

Tanya: you. And I think this is important because, you know, a lot of us, I mean, speaking of New Year’s resolutions, , we, we have these ideas, and again, we we’re just focused on, oh, we need to do this to get this.

And if we don’t underlying, examine all of those underlying beliefs and things, I, it’s very hard to make progress. It’s same thing with any big goals in life, like weight loss, for example. Yeah. You know, better relationships. I mean, this, this tends to so much more than just relationship with money.

It’s really Oh, absolutely. Examining your own [00:42:00] personal narrative and. What you are saying to yourself, the world that you are creating in your head internally and seeing how that shows up externally for you. So I think, a financial wellness coach could be very interesting for a lot of people. Yeah. So, yeah, definitely.

Any other tips that you’d like to tell listeners before we wrap up? Well, I mean, check out our podcast disability adjacent. It’s on all of the, you know, Spotify podcast. Things, the apps. We talk about some of the financial trauma stuff, again, with the lens of people who are adjacent with disabilities, but I think it really is beneficial to everyone.

Sherrette: The course that I took, I could not stress that this was life changing and very impactful. Again, it’s called Trauma of Money and it’s just, you can Google the website and you can take it as a participant or you can take it as somebody who is aspiring to become a practitioner. And it, I really learned the, it’s some of the most impactful lessons that I’ve.

Learned in any kind of educational environment. [00:43:00]

Tanya: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Sherrette, and thank you for having Yeah. We’ve appreciated it. And, listeners, if you find, Sherrette where, where, where can they find you? Sherrette

Sherrette: actually. So you can find us on our podcast or you can, I can drop a link of to our website and your

Tanya: Awesome.

We can put it in the show notes. Well, thanks so much for being on the show, sheret. All right, thank you. Take care. If you like this episode and want more, make sure to give us five stars on the podcast player of your choice, and after that check out our Facebook page. From there, you can learn about our other episodes. Connect with our guests and of course, share your own ideas for success. We’