REAL LIFE ACTION: For The Love of Money

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  1. Relationships and money | ASIC's MoneySmart
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  3. Why do creative people struggle so much with money?

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You're not alone. What's even more positive is people have taken steps to escape that situation. So, a lot of what we do is try to understand that, and codify it to try to help people with the goal of reducing that stress. Getting them on a path to financial stability. Then our real vision is ultimately to drive prosperity, but it's a journey because for many people it's about just getting back on track first.

Relationships and money | ASIC's MoneySmart

And then actually once you're able to have money, for example, you can get that money to work for you. So, we do feel like this is one of those challenges that could take us a lifetime to go after, but that's what makes it worthwhile. And that's what excites me to go after it. AD : Well, Varun, thank you for joining us on Function. I appreciate you taking the time and doing the work. AD : Welcome back to Function. I'm Anil Dash. Now, you heard a little earlier about the apps you can use to manage your money. But we also talked to a personal finance coach who works with people who are trying to spend more wisely.

Tarra Jackson , who's also known as "Madam Money", is a financial coach and author. Her book, "Financial Fornication" , explores the emotional mistakes we make with our money. And at a practical level with her clients, she also recommends apps that they can use to manage their money, like Mint or You Need a Budget.

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What she told us is that it's great to have these tools, but ultimately the way we spend and feel about our money is personal and emotional. And changing that involves changing the way we feel about ourselves and the way we spend our time, not just our money. AD : I want to start right at the beginning. What got you interested in personal finance?

What brought you to even care about this issue, let alone become an expert or an authority on it? TJ : I think what made me really passionate about it, is because I made so many major money mistakes that I did not want people to have to go through that. Or, if they went through it, to know that there's life after. So I became very passionate. I was running a financial institution, and I realized there were a lot of people that just didn't know the basics.

So I wanted to help them along the way, so at least if they did make mistakes, it wasn't because they didn't know. AD : Right. It seems like there's these two universals that happen when you're a young adult, which is that you will get your heart broken and you will screw up your finances. Maybe at the same time, right? AD : You sort of draw a line between how we see our love lives, our personal lives, our relationships, and how we see our relationship to money.

TJ : Absolutely. I wrote a book called "Financial Fornication", and it really It's everything the title says it is. Even though I had a lot of celebrities and athletes that were my clients, and I kinda saw their real financial standing versus what they were blinging out on TV, I had to look at myself.

I realized I was financially promiscuous with credit cards, multiple, and I kinda end up with financial STDs — Substantially Tremendous Debt — and they hurt. I figured I probably wasn't the only one that was dealing with that, so I created cures that I'd used to get out of it And I put them in a book because most money books are very technical, in a sense of what you should do. But this is more emotional because relationships are emotionally driven. So we have relationships with money and relationships with financial institutions, and it's emotionally driven.

And sometimes they're a little bit co-dependent. Sometimes they're unhealthy. TJ : Very unhealthy. So I was having a very unhealthy relationship with my financial institution and my credit cards. It felt good at the time, but it's like waking up with your ex. AD : If you or your clients have gotten into an unhealthy place with money in their lives, what are some strategies you bring to them, or some of the context you give them to help all of us rethink what role money plays?

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TJ : Well, the first thing, if you're dealing with some financial unhealthy relationships, the first thing I do is to practice financial abstinence. Financial abstinence is when you stop using credit cards. You've got to kinda see where you are. Try to balance out how much everything is, and try to make a plan on how to reduce the debt, or take a good Because sometimes use our debit cards and we don't pay attention of everything that's coming out of the account. So stop, right? TJ : And maybe use cash for a specific period of time, and once that cash has gone, you kinda feel it.

So, when I talk about financial abstinence, we need to stop the behaviors that's getting us into the trouble, which could be credit cards. It could be the debit cards. Of course, we got to pay bills, we got to do all of that. TJ : But if we're going to do things outside of what our normal required spending is — life — then we should use cash, and try to flush out where we are. The next thing I do is tell people that they have to use financial protection, which is a budget. So, to name your dollars, to make them work for you. But you have to tell your money where it's gonna go, or your money will tell you what you can't do.

TJ : As far as spenders, we don't like the word budget. So that sounds like diet, die, deprivation. I can't.

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And we rebel against that, so we like to hear "spending plan". So, we spend on savings, spend on investing, spending on life. TJ : The pleasure principle. Absolutely, and that's what I talk about in my upcoming book, "The Four Financial Languages", because we all speak a financial language just like we speak a love language. So, spenders , there are triggers for us.

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  • Savers , there's triggers for them. Investors and givers , there's triggers for them. If they're negative triggers, that's when we retreat, and we do the opposite of what we're supposed to do. You fall into shame or bad behavior, bad patterns, that kind of thing. TJ : Yeah, exactly. Telling a spender not to spin, yeah, they're going to spend everybody's money. So we don't want to do that. AD : The instruments that people are using, whether that's debit, credit, cash, the other tools that they have, that's one way to do that reset and look at spending.

    Are there categories people tend to look at, whether it's food or entertainment or something like that?

    Why do creative people struggle so much with money?

    Are there things that people tend to look at? I mean, the classic thing is the stop spending five bucks on Starbucks, but putting that aside, are there more meaningful things people can do? TJ : We spend so much money on eating out because nobody likes to fix a freaking sandwich. Sometimes we got to look at maybe instead of eating out seven days a week, let's try doing it for four, and cook for three. Let's start being financially abstinent on eating out every single day, and it's not just one meal.

    They're doing breakfast, lunch and dinner. Entertainment — going out with your girlfriends or your guys. Everybody's balling out, and nobody wants to feel like they can't ball with them, so a lot of people spend money that they really don't have to stay in that clique. TJ : Yeah. I promise you it's cheaper. Those things, any other entertainment that I even look at my cell phone service.

    See if there was a way I can reduce some of that. I only watched two channels on cable, but I was paying like bucks. I tried to say, "Oh, it's because my Internet and phone. So what else could I do to save some money there? It just helps you to re-evaluate where the spending is going so you can make better decisions. AD : The theory that we have, in so many things in society today, is technology's supposed to make things easier. We talk about all these very fraught aspects of money in our relationship and our lives. It's so emotional. It's so stressful.

    I always hope: "can't the apps on my phone solve some of this for me? I'm curious about you as a person first, before you're this expert on personal finance. If I look at your phone, what apps have you got to manage your money?