How Do You Feel About Money with Wendy Wright

How do you feel about money? How would you like to feel? Wendy Wright shares her perspective on answering these questions!

Feb 14, 2024 | Podcast

About the Episode

We focused on asking and answering “how do you feel about money,” what financial metrics and numbers should you be tracking, understanding your net worth, the role of shame and resentment to financial success, and the reality that money is not the problem, with Wendy Wright, Financial Therapist and CEO of Financial Therapy Solutions.       

Listen to hear a difference-making tip on how to shift your thinking to what really matters!

You can learn more about Wendy at FinancialTherapySolutions.com, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Host

Wendy Wright

Wendy Wright

Guest

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:01
Wendy to get us started. Give me two truths and a lie, please.

Wendy Wright 0:06
Ooh, already jumping right into the fun. Okay. All right. Let’s see. I love snow even when people make fun of me for it. I grew up behind Elvis his house, I could ride my bike to his house. And, and I have been in a helicopter.

george grombacher 0:36
Okay, excellent. Those are, those are solid. Well, I know that you live in Colorado. So I hope that you love snow. You just told me a minute ago that you grew up in Memphis so I could see that one. So I’m gonna guess that the lie is that the helicopter?

Wendy Wright 0:49
Yes, that is a little too easy. But yes, it is. But the truth is, I really want to helicopter because traffic to the ski resorts. It’s a problem. And I just think if I have my own helicopter, I can get there when I want to. Right. I think this is a good plan.

george grombacher 1:07
I think it’s I think it’s well, it’s a great idea how how has has the plan been thought about and are you executing on it? Um,

Wendy Wright 1:14
I’ve journaled about it. So there we go. Okay. Yes, yes,

george grombacher 1:18
absolutely. We’re gonna bring that into reality. I love it. Okay. So you grew up I had Elvis this house. What was that? Like? Do you ride your bike over there? Like, oh, look, it’s it’s Graceland. It’s awesome.

Wendy Wright 1:30
Yeah, I lived in the neighborhood right behind it. And you know, back then we rode our bike all the way to the library and we rode our bike around the 711 and everywhere and it you know, Graceland is not really that big. So it’s, it had a bit has a big yard. And one time a friend of mine, we were riding our bike around and we decided we wanted to see his horses. And so we we knocked on the person’s door whose backyard shared a fence with him. And for some reason, they were nice enough, they pulled a ladder out and we climbed up and looked over the fence and got to see Elvis’s horses. And that was a pretty big deal. For I was probably like 10 years old at the time.

george grombacher 2:09
I think that that’s awesome. It just kind of made me sad, though, because that was my experience growing up was riding my bike all over the place, you know, is freedom. And I was just thinking I was probably not going to let my kids ride their bike everywhere. So we’ll well it goes out of town. And then I’ll just say go go go right.

Wendy Wright 2:29
Oh, yeah, that’s the plan. Okay. Record yourself saying that. So yeah, you’re vested. Totally.

george grombacher 2:37
Anyway, anyway, anyway. All right, awesome. So Elvis and horses and snow and a plan for a helicopter dick to get to the ski slopes faster. Okay. Aside from that, what have you been thinking about? What’s top of mind for you? Hmm.

Wendy Wright 2:53
Well, top of mind for me usually has something to do with money. I, as a financial therapist, I think about money a lot. But also as a, we can say quote, unquote, money nerd. I also think about money a lot. I enjoy. Like, right now I’m messing around with different platforms. Because my clients, I still haven’t found like the perfect secret sauce of the platform that helps track in a financially therapeutic way and forecast. So this is very, very important for people with money. And so I think about it a lot. I, I like to look at new things and run numbers in different ways and see what helps people and in session, one of the things that I like to do the most is get to know the person and their learning style, and help them create a system that matches their learning style. So that means sometimes we like colors, and sometimes we don’t.

george grombacher 3:51
All right, well, I think that that’s cool. So a system that matches their learning style. So how do you know what their learning style is?

Wendy Wright 4:00
Well, fortunately, at this point, it’s easy enough to ask a lot of people because it’s been in the sort of the ether for years now. And so there and I have, even just my two kids have a very different learning style. And so I was able to see that and visualize that for them. And, and so when it comes to one of the common things that comes up with money is a belief that being good with money equals being good with spreadsheets, and that is not a truth. And that, you know, when we look at mindset, I define mindset as a belief that may or may not be a truth. And so when people come in and they’re like, oh, or I’ve tried all the budgeting apps, you know, that doesn’t, you’re not you’re not good or bad with money if you’re can’t quite, you know, figure out the budgeting app, things like that. Sometimes they need sometimes I bring them down to four categories and that’s it. Sometimes they need 50 categories depending on what their so I get them to ask what did they want to know from their number? Instead of most people, and tell me if this connects for you, and your your audience, most people will go to login to their numbers expecting like, they’re going to the principal’s office like, oh, how bad am I? What is this going to tell me? How stupid am I, you know, then the negative self talk starts. So we want to put in financial in my financial therapy approach, we begin to change that. And we start with the question of what do you want to know from your numbers today? It’s a big shift.

george grombacher 5:30
That is a big shift. What do you want? What do you want your numbers to do for you? And maybe, how do you want to feel about them? Can you talk about that?

Wendy Wright 5:41
For sure? Yes, and there’s feelings with every number. So in the financial therapy approach, we don’t go fast. So it can be frustrating. But I try to normalize that for people it takes time. Because we might work through a net worth statement, for instance, and net worth, I’ll even further define that is essentially what you own minus what you owe. So we’re just looking at that. And sometimes when people get confused about, what do I include on this, then I’ll say, but let’s pretend you’re moving to the moon. And you can’t take anything but you and maybe your journal, because I would want to take my journal. So that gives them a better idea of what their assets are, and what they have. Because sometimes they just don’t think like, it depends on person. But sometimes they just don’t think that their stuff is worth anything, or they’re so ashamed of their debt, that they feel like they can’t even sort of own what they own. So we start with that. But then, as we’re doing their net worth, maybe we start out with what is their retirement account balance? What is their actual income, and those two numbers right, then in there, we can spend a whole session, or maybe a couple of sessions talking about the thoughts and feelings, because the thought is maybe I thought I would have more, the feeling might be shame, or anger, or sadness, and each one of those gets paid attention to and therapy session. So we want to see those feelings, we want to look back for context. So maybe they’re resentful that their parents didn’t teach them to start a retirement fund when they were 11. Okay. And then maybe we work through the grief of that and help them move past because sometimes they get stuck on the blame of like, my parents should have told me more and okay, maybe it would have been great if they did. And also how do we move forward? So we money has that past, present and future all the time element? So we want to, we want to honor and look at the past, present and future at the same time?

george grombacher 7:50
Well, I certainly appreciate all of that. And there’s so much there. Is my debt, something that I own?

Wendy Wright 8:01
Is my debt something that I own? So

george grombacher 8:04
part of my part of my my balance sheet, but we talk about talking about going to the moon, he could bring my journal, this microphone is mine stuffs mine, is the debt mine? Or is that just something that I need to get rid of?

Wendy Wright 8:19
Well, it’s a question to ask, that might be answered in different ways. For instance, if if there’s a lot of shame about the debt, or maybe the source of the debt, maybe it feels like it happened to them. So coming into, you know, kind of quote unquote, owning it may be getting actually into the acceptance phase of the grief process, but maybe they haven’t grieved it, and they’ve just sat down with being mad and so and so shouldn’t have let me borrow that money or, or Visa shouldn’t have sent me a credit limit or whatever it is. So we want to look at that so that you can come into ownership of it in the sense that then you have agency to decide what you want to do with it. And also, then you can maybe release some of the maybe you’ve got a lot of intrusive repetitive thoughts around it. Good question.

george grombacher 9:14
Visa shouldn’t have sent that to me. Oh, my goodness. I know. Right. That that that’s like nails on a chalkboard for me. Yeah, just because that’s just the way that I’m wired. But I recognize that I am. I’m that we’re all different and that some people do currently not have agency.

Wendy Wright 9:42
They feel like they don’t yeah, they

george grombacher 9:45
feel like they don’t but they do. They just haven’t come around to that. They don’t realize it. They’re not owning their agency.

Unknown Speaker 9:53
Probably maybe. Yeah.

george grombacher 9:54
So it all depends. That’s why we asked the questions. Hmm,

Wendy Wright 10:00
exactly. With that, you know, the first principle of financial therapy, according to my 10 principles is abundant, compassionate curiosity and zero judgment. So yes, we want to look at it, whatever it is, and then sort of neutralize it so that we can decide the relationship you want it to have in the future.

george grombacher 10:23
No judgment, no judgment by you to them, and also no judgment for them on themselves.

Wendy Wright 10:29
Exactly. And that’s the hard one.

george grombacher 10:34
Is it I think I would be, I would have a hard time not judging somebody. If they told me it’s Visa’s fault for sending me a credit card. I’d want to strangle probably, well, I’m not a financial therapist, when? Well,

Wendy Wright 10:44
that’s it. Yeah, exactly. Like, by nature, whether it be you know, temperament or training or whatever, it’s very, very easy and natural for me to abandon judgment and look at it with compassionate curiosity. Now, sometimes that that gets me in trouble, like, if I’m watching a movie, and the something’s happening, and I’m like, Oh, that’s so and then my kids are like, Mom, you can’t have compassion for everybody. This is a movie.

george grombacher 11:11
So that’s clearly a bad person.

Wendy Wright 11:13
Exactly. They’re like, No, that’s the bad guy. I’m like, oh, but so but yes, when it comes to cost, if you wanted to name like, what is one major thing that financial therapy does to change your relationship to money is it introduces a whole holding space, sorry, I didn’t say hold space, I said, a holding space, a holding space for non judgement. And that is usually a big game changer.

george grombacher 11:44
And a very, very healthy thing. I’m certainly just sort of tongue in cheek in saying that I’m a judgmental person. But and this is something I imagine will be really valuable thing to help people to be able to have a non judgmental conversation and relationship with loved ones regarding financial difficulties and working through stuff together.

Wendy Wright 12:13
Yes, it really helps to approach those conversations without judgment. And it is also one of the hardest things to do, right.

george grombacher 12:26
We’ve certainly both arrived at this point. And if we’re talking about spouses, or even parents, and the children could be adult children, aging parents, or vice versa, whatever. Everybody’s got their own experiences and their own baggage and feelings, be they good or bad?

Wendy Wright 12:46
Yeah, yeah, they really do. And, and yet, they also have often a, like, a deep desire to have a money conversation without conflict. I have, you know, a lot of my clients just, that’s one of the main reasons they might start some therapy sessions is I want to be able to communicate about this. And by conflict, I mean, external and internal, because sometimes the avoidance of conflict is an internal conflict, like, you know, the internal dialogue is, don’t say that don’t say that, they’ll, they’ll, they’ll get their feelings hurt, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you know, whatever that is. So we want to decrease that and we want to decrease external conflict, which often comes from, gosh, you knew at some point, I was gonna say, take a breath, it often comes from not taking a breath, you know, really looking at active listening in a money conversation, I think, is one of the hardest skills to learn. Because we have a lot of fear around money, we often have a lot of catastrophic thinking of, oh, no, this is it. This is the thing that’s going to destroy me financially. Things like that. And it’s really hard to stay still take a breath, listen to what your partner’s saying, or your aging parent, your child or, you know, even your conversation with yourself.

george grombacher 14:07
Yeah, it’s so it’s it’s everything you described. So it’s emotionally charged. There’s there’s fear, resentment, anger, all all. All the big feelings are right there. And we desire to move. We desire to be able to have these kinds of conversations, and probably because we hope and wants a better tomorrow, or a better future with money. Yes,

Wendy Wright 14:35
yeah. Yeah. Yeah, we really do and we want it to feel good. You know, not to oversimplify it, but I think most people would say, yeah, they they would like their money to feel good and stress free, right. And as long as you think money is the problem, it’s hard to get to a place where you can get relief from that stress. and feel good about it. Because the way I frame it up is I look at it as a decision making issue, then we can come into what is impacting your decisions? What is impacting your thoughts and feelings, things like that. And it’s just showing up in the money arena.

george grombacher 15:17
Money is not the problem. You’re giving money way too much credit and control.

Wendy Wright 15:24
Yeah, often that is the case. Yes. Yeah.

george grombacher 15:28
It’s just, it’s just money. It’s not good or bad. It’s just just sitting there.

Wendy Wright 15:32
Mm hmm. But even for you to say that, I want to check in with the listeners and just see because some of them really had some feelings when you said that some of them either got weepy or got mad, or wanted to change the channel, because they’re just like, no money is the problem. Money has to be the problem, right? So it’s really helpful to notice, like when when you hear some phrases, and then check in with your body, take that deep breath. I know, it’s so annoying for me to say that, but it really does make a difference. Especially, you know, thinking about this word alignment that you’re working with so much here. Like it’s taking that deep breath that helps you move out of chaos into okay, what is important here? What is the outcome I want from this conversation? Or this moment, any moment or whatever, like? That is where you settle into that grounded alignment?

george grombacher 16:22
Yeah. I love you’re talking about, we’re talking about blame, and grief, and resentment, and agency? And in all these things.

Is it is success with money that’s defined by everybody you have you get to choose what that what that looks like.

Wendy Wright 16:58
Yeah. But not a lot of people know that they can get to choose it, right? Yeah. And so when you look at, often that leads to sort of comparison, disease comparison itis or whatever you want to call it, like, where you’re just looking. But often I’ll have people say, well, so and so went on vacation or whatever, I’ll never get to go on vacation. How do they get to go on vacation? What is their secret, you know, all this, you know, we’ll look at other people. And we’ll try to decide and, and but maybe going on vacation, or that, you know, is not really what someone wants. So when I bring him to Well, let’s think about what you want, then we can slow that process down and connect to how do you want to define success, which even you know, it shows up in your internal dialogue, how you want to define how you want to talk to yourself about it. When I do these money, talk makeover workshops. I’m about to do one that’s going to be more like on your internal dialogue. But then we might talk about aging parents, we might talk about couples talking to each other partner, business partners, that’s another big one. But I think spoiler alert, I’m going to tell you to start with how you talk to yourself. Because that is so key. So instead of saying to yourself, Oh, I wish I could go see the movie, but I can’t afford it. Try saying to yourself, I wish I could go the movie. But there’s other things I want to put my resources into right now. And just you know, we just practice saying it differently to yourself, then see how that feels. See, if you feel a little more empowered. That’s usually what people will say, I feel more empowered. When I say it that way, I feel more like, okay, I get to make the decision instead of like, the can’t go to the movies is happening to me or whatever they might be working with. So that internal dialogue is really powerful.

george grombacher 18:52
That is a super powerful shift that that is available. It’s a great reframe. And it’s I can certainly see how one would feel. And I’m sure that I felt these I’m sure that I felt this way. In the past that things are happening to me. And you know, what does this mean? Why does this stuff keep happening to me? And making that shift to I do have agency, I do have control and I get to choose how to allocate my most valuable resources. And money is certainly one of those things. And so instead of saying, you know, geez, I wish I could do that because everybody else seems to be able to do that. Well, you have no idea what’s going on with those people. And it’s more prudent to be focused on the things that you have agency and control over and that shift will help you to feel probably better.

Wendy Wright 19:51
Yeah, yeah, it often does. Yeah, and often helps you feel like you have some traction momentum those kind In other words in your money life,

george grombacher 20:03
and these things are best probably, I was just what flashed into my head was kind of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. But I can’t all of a sudden go from in debt to debt free and super happy it’s going to take doing and a lot of that is internal conversations with myself. But then also it’s external, breaking the bad habits and the creation of good ones and understanding that I get to choose how to allocate my resources and make decisions.

Wendy Wright 20:32
Yeah, I frame it as shifting from perfection to learning. You know, like, oh, that didn’t go like I wanted it to go, how could it go differently? And that’s both asking yourself, or who could I ask, you know, what, what resource can I find to help me with that, and then when you begin to identify what you are ready to change, what you feel like is okay to change, then you can look at that and try it. And then again, maybe it doesn’t go well. And then you try it a different way, you know, sort of that learning process and taking away from the situation what you can learn.

george grombacher 21:12
Yeah, yeah, I love it. Like, that’s a great shift. Well, Wendy, we are ready for your difference making tip, what do you have for us?

Wendy Wright 21:22
You know, I’m gonna say, let’s look for places to flip the script. So if you know if you’re finding yourself saying some things, and it can be anything, so let’s just listen to what you’re saying to yourself about money, such as I can’t afford to go that movie, feel it. And if that doesn’t feel really good in your body, take a breath and then flip it. Oh, well, I could go to the movie if I wanted to, you know, kind of like, just open that up just that that one flip, and then begin to see how that feels, can begin to make a real difference.

george grombacher 21:53
Well, I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets Come on. Thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Wendy Wright 22:03
Yeah, well, financial therapy. solutions.com is the website, social media, financial Therapy Solutions. And all of those places. One of the best places is to sign up for my email list because that’s where I announce workshops and what podcasts I’ve been on what blogs, things like that, because on podcasts, I do try to give some action actionable tips, like I’m hoping people, you know, can take away some things from what we talked about today, that makes a real difference in how they feel energetically around money. And so those are some of the resources.

george grombacher 22:37
Love it. If you enjoyed this as much as I did, show into your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to financial therapy solutions.com and check out all the great resources. Check out one of her upcoming workshops that she talked about a little earlier and then get on her email list and get notified of all things Wendy and financial Therapy Solutions. Thanksgiving, Wendy. Thank you, George. And finally, a friendly reminder, never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So act accordingly.

 

 

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