Achieving Financial Flexibility and Mental Peace with Jessica Meunier

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Achieving Financial Flexibility and Mental Peace with Jessica Meunier

Strap in and prepare yourself for a riveting conversation with our special guest, Jessica Meunier, who courageously shares her transformative journey of finding financial stability and mental peace amidst the chaos of her mother’s addiction. We delve into the intricate interplay between our mental health and financial habits, exploring how childhood experiences and values shape our attitudes towards money, and why nurturing a healthy relationship with money is more crucial than we think. As Jessica navigates through her life story full of adversity and resilience, we uncover the impact of economic instability, the power of overcoming the mental burden of financial comparisons, and the importance of striking a balance between content consumption and taking control of our financial journey.

The layers of this episode unfold as we dissect how money and mental health are intertwined. Jessica’s fascinating narrative sheds light on how our experiences have a profound impact on our financial behaviors and the mental health consequences they entail. We stress the value of having open discussions about finances from a young age to equip the younger generation with the skills needed to make sound financial decisions. We also delve into the mental burden of comparing finances and the detrimental effect it can have on our well-being. Join us in a deep exploration of how to cope with these anxieties and establish a process that supports our financial goals.

In the final chapters, we delve into a deeper conversation about personal finance, discussing Jessica’s approach to budgeting, the importance of financial flexibility, and the potential dangers of relying too heavily on books and social media for financial advice. We stress that everyone starts from the same place and it’s important to remember we are not alone. In conclusion, we highlight the transformative power of taking action, the importance of self-care, and the need to prioritize family and financial flexibility. We end on a high note, inviting listeners to connect with Jessica to learn more about her journey and services.

Tune in and be a part of this enlightening and empowering conversation!

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

0:00:00 – Speaker 1
Welcome to the Fully Expressed podcast with Karenna. I’m so excited for today because I have a very special guest that’s coming in to join us. I’d like to introduce you to Jessica Meunier. I hope I pronounced her name right. Last name right. Is that how I pronounced your last name? Pretty close, yeah, mounier Mounier, that’s how it is.
So I got a chance to meet Jessica Mounier through one of my dearest friends, hazel Chadwick. Hazel and I went to college and she reached out and has worked closely with Jessica and also are really good friends with Jessica, and so I really, once I met Jessica and got to learn a little bit about your story, I was like, ooh, I would love to have you on the podcast. I think what you’re doing when it comes to money and personal finances and how it not only impacts our day-to-day lives and how we live, but also how it impacts our mental health, I think is such an important topic, and so for today, we’re going to dive into all the things around money, your relationship with money, like how your mental health can be impacted by money, whether having a lot of money or not having a lot of money, feeling that scarcity mindset, I mean anything along those lines and I think that’s such an important topic that I wish more people talked about. So, with that being said, I’d like you all to meet Jessica Hi.
0:01:19 – Speaker 2
Jessica, hi Hi, karina, hi everybody. Thank you for listening. I’m so happy to be here and I’m really passionate about mental health as well, and so I’m really excited to be here and talk about the connections between our financial wellness and the other parts of our wellness, and also how to live our lives fully through kind of how we work with our money and how it is aligned with our values.
0:01:46 – Speaker 1
So good Everything you just said. So, Jessica, I’m so interested if you’re open to sharing to the group or to anyone that’s listening is like how did you, were you always working with money? How did you kind of get into wanting to be a personal finance coach? How did you even open the door to thinking about something like this?
0:02:04 – Speaker 2
Yeah, awesome. Thank you. It’s a great question, because the truth is no, I did not want to work with money at all. I actually grew up really having a negative relationship with money and not wanting to think about it much. I grew up in the Bay Area with a single mom who worked really hard and had a good job, but money was always tight and just always seemed like a burden to her anytime we needed anything new or that anything would maybe go a little wrong and needed to cost extra money. It led to a lot of stress in our home, and so it was something that I just wanted to kind of ignore and never thought that I could really feel free or positive with money, and I also never enjoyed spending money on myself.
I grew up very frugal and having a very like tight hand on money, and then the reason that my relationship changed though, over time is that my mother was also an addict and she ended up, unfortunately, getting laid off when I was a teenager and going down, you know, a really dark road with her addiction.
So along the same time she went through all of her savings, retirement funds from you know a 20, 30 year career, and really quickly I had to learn everything I could about money just to make sure that we kind of survived. At the time I needed to get power of attorney to sell our home so that we had enough money to get her into stable living situation, and then at the time I was about to go to college as well, so I had to learn really quickly how to survive without that safety net anymore, and so that was kind of the pivotal moment that I decided I’m going to major. I changed my major to economics and accounting and worked all through college to help pay for it and then really decided from then on that I don’t want to. I don’t want to ever feel that way again, and I also want to learn enough to help others never feel financially insecure if I can help it.
0:04:09 – Speaker 1
You talked about so many things. I can so relate to a lot of that too, like the, especially the fun family dynamics when it comes to money. You know, like not like taking a look at like, wow, I grew up with my parents feeling this way about money and now I feel this way about money, and how that was. I’m so curious, like, if you want to, if you don’t mind diving a little bit deeper into like what was that process like? Not having a good relationship with money but then having to figure things out? Like you know, like when things hit the fan or when things got really intense and you were like okay, now I have to do something with it, what was that process like for you?
0:04:45 – Speaker 2
Yeah, you know it was. It was a bumpy road, for sure, I think. For a while I was in survival mode. So not until later did I look back and say, oh yeah, I was kind of chaotic and stressed about money, like all through college. I held many, many jobs that I could put together while still going to school and just was really stressed about limiting the amount of debt and you know, loans and things and also trying to just learn as much as I could. So that was a little chaotic.
And then, after I kind of came out of that, I realized, you know, I tied so much of my worth to how much money I was making. So I went into the corporate world and kind of just tried to make as much as I could and spend as little as I could, which led to you know tough relationship things with my now husband and also just in general with you know, friends and other family members. I felt like my top priority was making and kind of hoarding money, because I was, I think, still in this survival mode of like, well, what if something happens again? And what if I need to, you know, pay for something with my car or, you know, something unexpected happened.
So for a long time I lived in fear, I think, after that, of like anything going wrong again and trying to plan for every bad scenario. And it wasn’t until, you know, many years later, but especially going through the relationship with my husband, who has a very different money history and money baggage, that I started to slowly loosen the grip and realize that, like if I wanted to really have a good relationship with money, I needed to kind of let go a little more, realize how it could be a positive thing in my life, how I could actually enjoy my money, spend it on myself a little bit, spend it on things I enjoy, and so you know. But it took a long time and a lot of therapy and a lot of realizing that I was kind of in the mode of becoming my mom then with money, that even though I had it at some points and it wasn’t, you know, as much of a stress I still was treating it like a burden and like a negative thing and having just a really negative energy around it.
0:06:54 – Speaker 1
Yeah, Wow, and it sounds like you also like started to make a lot of money. You wanted to hold on so badly to the money just in case something happened, Like when you shared. Like earlier in your life something happened and you had to figure it out. And like later on your life you’re like oh, I wanted to make a lot of money just in case there was an emergency or just in case I had to save the day, and so there was this like this is what happened to me when I was younger, to like this is how I was living now. Like does that feel true?
0:07:24 – Speaker 2
Yeah, yeah, I mean I’ve held on to it for a really long time. I mean there’s other things in my life that I’ve held on to from that period as well, not just around money, but I would say I mean it’s still something I work on often, like I still have to sit down and look at the real numbers so I can be like, no, it’s not like that anymore. You can afford to take a trip or you can, you know, enjoy eating out or something and not worry about it ruining, like your retirement, or ruining, you know, if you had a health emergency or something not having enough. So turn to the numbers. A lot because that helps me, because it’s real number on an Excel sheet where when my mental, you know, kind of visualization gets a little bit out of control or goes a little bit to the negative, I can look back and be like, okay, what’s actually happened when I’ve had an emergency, you know as an adult, and how did I cover it and what are my options if that happens again. And so that’s helped a lot to kind of counteract that with the truth and take that all the way to the end.
But it’s still a struggle. I mean I struggle with spending. I struggle with, you know, wasting anything in my family, like food money, and I still struggle with my husband, after being married 10 years, to become aligned on you know how much to save and how much to spend. But I honestly do also think, just like a lot of things, that it’s part of my, you know, it’s part of my strengths as well now, and it’s part of what has led me to be the coach I am today. It’s part of what’s led us to be able to realize some of our dreams already in terms of, you know, owning a home and things like that. So I do feel like, even though it’s can be seen as a negative relationship and it’s someone that I work on I also feel like it has allowed me a lot of, a lot of freedom and a lot of like reaching the goals I wanted to reach by this time.
0:09:21 – Speaker 1
Totally. I think that’s so important that you just talk to. I think sometimes we walk into something where, like, oh, I see how this is all negatively quote unquote impacting me. But it is a part of us, right, it is a part of us. It sounds like it has given you such a beautiful structure to support the flowiness and the letting go aspect, to really kind of bringing in that balance of like, oh, I have the realistic numbers and I have structure and I’m a little bit unattached to how I’m spending it compared to how I was, you know, and and it’s also going to be a constant practice. You know, I think that’s not just here with money, but it can be anything that we’re working through in our lives. Right, it’s like I so badly want to be, like we work on it for a month and it’s gone.
0:10:04 – Speaker 2
I was like, yeah, no, my clients and people I work with that as well.
You know they want to come to me and get some fixes, which we do do but the truth is that money is a lifelong relationship and you may not know about it that much when you’re a kid, you know, you may not realize that you’re having a relationship with money until you’re older.
But, like you said, the way that our parents are, or whoever we grew up with, you know, in our sphere of influence, the way that they are with money, does impact how we become with money. If we don’t, you know, face that and realize that, and then our friends, everybody influences us, and then it’s something that stays with you forever. I mean something that you need to kind of nurture that relationship. And then also, every you know, year or few months or whatever, you might find that your values change and you need to change how you, how you use money or how you think about money, because you might say you really want to value travel or you really want to value your freedom of time or flexibility. So I think that’s something that I’ve had to work on to. I’m a pretty like cut and dry person, like once I had felt like I had worked on my relationship with money, then I became an entrepreneur, so then that changed. Or then I had my children, and so then how I wanted to use my money changed again.
0:11:22 – Speaker 1
Totally, but something that I learned a while back when I was like learning about money and someone said this to me. I like didn’t get at the time, but now I totally understand it because it’s such a relationship. They’re like what if you treated money like you treated your partner? Or like what if you attract money the way that you attracted your partner. And when you dive into the dynamics of like romantic relationships a lot of the same dynamics that we grew up with with our parents, or what we are like with our mom or dad, or like the partner that we’re choosing, and things like that can all be influenced by who went by our parents as well. And money is the same thing.
And when I started working on our relationship, I was like why didn’t no one talk to me about this before right? Like you know, when you’re in school or when you’re in college, you’re like all I got to do is go to school, get a degree, go to work and make money. But there was never like that genuine. Like what is your relationship with money? How do you feel about money? Is money always feel stressful?
Like there’s like an actual relationship, the way that you are relating to this thing and no one really talks about that. So I just love that you brought that up in genuinely, because I wish people talked about that more, because then I think there would be way more understanding and way more ease with money. I think people can go. I mean, that’s like a pendulum right. When it comes to anything in life, there’s two extremes. There’s the like I’m going to hold on to it really tightly, to like I’m not going to care at all and just spend everything, and I think in the extremes is where we end up getting caught and it’s like in that finding that balance, like you said.
0:12:48 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I think that’s totally true, and that’s one thing I really want to change is talking about money, both as adults, you know, making it more of a normal conversation and being honest about it, but also for parents with their children and, in general, with school, and just not talking about it only in like this is how it comes and this is what you spend it on, or this is what you save and this is. You know how you invest. But also you know what money actually can do for you, how a positive relationship can look like, what it can look like and how everything you do in life mostly costs money. You’re either usually you’re either trying to do something to make money or to spend money or to invest money, and so how do you want that to look for you? Like people actually do have control over how that looks for them. You know, I want to work X amount of hours and then I want to spend this percent of my life traveling, this percent, you know, eating out and this percent giving it, giving money away or whatever it is, and people don’t really think in those terms.
You know. They think it’s something you have to do, you have to learn about, you have to do it and then whatever’s left, maybe I can do something fun with it or or give it to someone like a charity or something like that. But I’m really hoping that with conversations like this and the work that I do and I’m really hoping to write some children’s books in the future that can be much more of a conversation, kind of like it is, with your physical health. You know, thinking about your nutrition at your age, thinking about what it can do for you, how you can play sports and live longer and things like that. I feel like you know kids and teenagers think about that a little bit more, but not about the financial health aspect. So that’s something I really am excited about. Hopefully you know helping to change in the future and then you realize you don’t just have to fall into whatever patterns and you know kind of just follow a plan about money. You can actually craft your life according to how you want it to be with money.
0:14:46 – Speaker 1
Yes, can we say that a little louder? Because, like, I did the same thing. You know, I was like there goes my light, my light just fell for anyone that’s listening. But I did the same thing. I literally was like I got to save a lot of money, I got to invest it. I need to look at what my overall net worth is and if that net worth was high, I felt good about myself.
That was low, I didn’t feel good about myself and then I would want to hold back and then until I got to a place where I was like, why am I making all this money? Like, am I never going to use it in the ways that I want to make it? And also, I got really, really hard on myself if I was spending it in ways that didn’t keep me on track with my goal. So, like, eating out so much, like, oh, I could be saving $100 less if I didn’t eat out. But then if I, like, really did my other expenses and I thought about, well, eating out gives me an opportunity to connect and be in relationship and you have really joyful experiences like that is so supportive of my mental health, versus, like, if I keep myself from connection, then I’m going to feel worse about myself or feel worse in my life. So just having those like real conversations, I think is really cool, and then also just knowing that everyone has the flexibility to do whatever they want it to be in their lives.
Some people love coffee shops right, they’ll spend all their money going to different coffee shops and exploring. And then you know some people really want to prioritize traveling over having the nicest home. You know, it just really comes down to like what you want and I think you talked to that so beautifully. And then I want to dive into that. We started to dive into a little bit and you talked about it, about how money cause a lot of stress or anxiety and since mental health day was just literally yesterday and I want to check a little bit about that how is money influencing our mental health in general? Like how does that actually impact us on a day to day and can cause us serious of depression, series of disconnection, series of just stress, really high stress lives and things like that. So I just would love to hear a little bit more about your perspective on that.
0:16:49 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you, and I’m such a big advocate of talking about mental health openly and I feel like it does connect with our finances so often, but people again don’t speak about it that much, so I’m really glad we’re talking about it. One thing I think that happens with that is that it’s it’s kind of like tiny micro aggressions throughout the day or the week that people may not notice that much, but then it does build up over time. So not that often do you see people just sitting around just literally stressing about money, you know, and getting into a catastrophe in their mind about it. Sometimes that happens, especially if you have, like you know, a big problem with your car or a health crisis or something. But more often than not it’s throughout the day when people are either one.
one thing is comparing to others that you might see in real life or you might see on social media and those little comparisons of how did they afford that trip or how did they afford that car, or it must be nice for them to have that full time nanny or whatever it is for childcare or something like that. So these little things that we think are kind of just normal, and you know, they just pop in our head but they lead to a negative reaction. When we think about money, they lead to us not thinking about our goals anymore but thinking about what other people are doing and why we’re not as as good as that or why we’re not. You know, on the same page. And then the same thing when it comes to you know little thoughts around, like you might be at work and someone might talk about you know, the 401k or something at work and you might think I’m probably not saving enough for, oh, I probably should check in on my retirement or something. But it just happens in small spurts throughout the days and I think then it just leads to this heaviness that people ignore. You know it’s, it’s there.
You are comparing yourself to others, you’re worried about not saving enough or not doing enough for retirement, or you might be hearing something in the news about the latest type of investment or cryptocurrency or the stock market, and you might think I don’t even know about that and so you know it’s not what you’re thinking about or I can’t even deal with that because it’s too much information and these things just build and build and build over time to where then, when you bring up the word money or personal finance with anybody, they have this heaviness just already sitting and sometimes they don’t even know why, and then sometimes when you dig into it, you’re like actually you’re quote unquote on track.
I hate to say that because it’s a very personal thing, but if you tell someone that you know they’re so relieved that they actually have been doing whatever the right steps are for them or that they’ve been doing, you know better than they thought. But the mental health burden of carrying those heaviness around over the years is really really hard, and people don’t talk about it with anyone. So for the most part, until it’s maybe an emergency, and so I love being just that safe space to be like ask me all your questions, tell me all your fears or anything you’ve been stressed about around money, because there really isn’t a lot of space for that out there in other, in any other area for people.
0:19:56 – Speaker 1
Totally so if someone is, because I fully agree with you, right, it’s like the little energies that you feel negative energies or reactions that you have in your day to day end up hitting you like a wall one day. You know when you’re like holy cow. I’ve been carrying this weight of anxiety, insecurity, stress, frustration, anger, maybe even like angry that you’re not making as much money as quote unquote this person looks like on Instagram, right, because, like that’s the other thing, no one really talks about it in the sense of like you, genuinely knowing how much spends. I think people look at what the outside looks like and they assume that they have a lot of money, which can be so many different things. Like people could have all these things but really not be in a really good financial situation. I mean, you really can’t take that as truth. But what are some of the things someone can feel?
if over time. You know every single time the word money comes up, or they’re constantly suppressing their emotions when it comes to money, or their thoughts or whatever, like what ends up happening or what could potentially happen to someone that lets it build.
0:21:03 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you.
That’s a good question. They see that a lot. And one thing I’ll say first is that you’re totally right about like the comparison trap, and I liken it to when people say you know you can’t general. People say you can’t judge a book by cover, but you also can’t judge a relationship you know, a romantic type of relationship by what you see. It’s the same with money, because nobody is sharing what’s really happening in there, that there’s no way you can actually know, despite what they’re putting out there. And so I really encourage people you know it’s okay to compare if you use it as a spark for you to maybe you know, get what you want in life. But other than that, like really don’t try to like understand what their financial situation is, because you’ll never know unless you have an honest conversation with them, because you never know what kind of debt people are in, you never know where they got their help from. If they got help, you also never know what they value in life, like they might be valuing travel, like you said, and they may not own their home, and that’s totally fine. But if that’s not your goal, then you can’t compare. You know the travel if you want to buy a home. So really encourage people to kind of dig into why they’re comparing and how we can put reframe on that.
But what I see a lot is when people let these kind of you know, tiny negative thoughts build over time and over time it’s usually that they tend to become paralyzed in some way about it and just either do nothing usually do nothing. Usually people will say, well, this is too overwhelming now. Now I’m not sure where I am with retirement. I’m not sure what I should be doing for investing. I don’t really have a budget and I don’t really know what a good budget is and I don’t even really know what my values are with money. I haven’t, like sat and thought about that. So I just want to like live, you know, whatever I’m, my life is, and eat out when I want and whatever. But that’s it. Like I don’t want to dig any further into that because it’s already such a high sense of anxiety and then it feels so overwhelming at that point. So what I like to say is you know, it’s going to be a step by step process, like again, it’s a lifelong relationship. So it’s not something that’s going to be fixed with with one meeting or three meetings, like it’s something that we’re going to work on over time and then you’re going to work on forever, just like your relationship with your body or your mental health.
And so I really see a lot of people just feel like, well, I haven’t done XYZ by this point, so I doesn’t even make sense for me to do anything. So I’m just going to stop and kind of ignore this, this whole situation, until maybe an emergency or a need to, like you know, buying a home or having a family or something that really pushes them to have to do it. But I hate to see that because everyone, at some time or another, everyone was in the same spot and more people are in the same spot than than anyone knows in terms of, okay, I’m just starting my first budget Now. I don’t even know what it is, I don’t know how to make a realistic number and I don’t know how to track it. So many people are taking that first step that are in the same age group or the same types of jobs, and just nobody knows it.
Yep, yeah, yeah, I want to kind of give people that benefit. You know. Benefit, you know telling them. You know you’re not alone in this. So you might think you’re alone because you see the things on Instagram or on TV or you know out and about. You see people with a new car, or you see people that bought the house, but they, just like you, at some point probably pretty recently were at the first starting point as well because, like you said, no one taught us. No one taught us in school. No one really taught us in college. No one you know teaches adults about it. It’s like you got what you got through where you were living when you were growing up whether it was with your parents or whoever else was raising you and then you were supposed to just figure out how to make that work in the real world, and that’s really unrealistic.
0:24:52 – Speaker 1
Totally, I agree, and for anyone listening, I think I started budgeting like three years ago, four years ago, and somehow I was able to get to a place where I was without budgeting. But what I loved about budgeting personally, it gave me an opportunity to see the numbers. Because I think I was so avoidant of the numbers, because I was like I don’t even want to know, because what if it’s bad? You know, I was just, I was assuming the worst. But then when I started budgeting I was like, oh, this gives me so much more breath to know that, like I have XYZ amount associated to this and I could spend it, not like you know, and I was really good about that. So I think seeing things like that was so good.
The other thing that you’re talking about so much, I think, I think we keep nailing the nail on the head is just the comparison trap. Like it is hard on our just mental health, our nervous system, just the way that we live, like constantly looking outside of ourselves for answers and trying to say, hey, you are quote unquote better than we are not doing enough. And that’s so much to our ego, right, our ego is just there to protect us and if it has something to compare it to. It’s going to be like well, at least I can rank myself against something, because if it’s just you, then you have nothing to quote, unquote, rank yourself or compare yourself to where there’s no match or number that you can say like, yes, I’m more or less or more so.
I think that is such a huge thing, especially when it comes to money in general. What can someone do, jessica? Like just to take the first initial steps to feeling better, even just starting to feel a little bit of relief, right, like you mentioned. Just like even having a professional or someone that maybe you know, someone that does this every single day, even just validating them and giving them an opportunity, in a way, was already such a relief. Like what else could someone do to start to just peel back the layers, like slowly, right, I mean, obviously we all want this really quickly, but like what would be some of the layers that you recommend?
0:26:55 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you. That’s a good question, I guess. First I’ll start with a couple things I don’t recommend, and one is I don’t recommend too much content around money, whether it be books or Instagram content. I do recommend some podcasts that I can talk about, but books, I find, you know, can get outdated quickly on this topic, just because the industry is ever changing and there’s just a lot of different topics out there and you know you may not, there’s different ways that people think about money too. So if you pick up a book or you look on Instagram content, you may not agree with that person’s approach, but then you’re reading it and you think that’s the only approach. But it’s not.
There can be, and I think should be, a personal approach to money. There are templates you can use. You know there are ways to kind of check off the right boxes, but generally like it should be a personal journey, not one that you’re listening to someone’s cookie cutter kind of plan or recommendation for, because it should reflect your lifestyle, your goals and your values. So I would say that one of the first things I recommend people do is think about those three things, like, starting with values, what do you actually value in life Like? Is it family, is it free time? Is it retiring early? Is it flexibility or is it material things, which is fine too, like I’m never going to be one to tell a client they shouldn’t buy this or that or that they should spend less on something. As long as it ties to your values, I don’t care so, but you need to know what your values are. So I think, sitting down and you know, there’s lists online that you can look up at like thinking of your top five to 10 values, first writing that down in whatever capacity, and then starting to be like huh, like, is my life aligned with this, both when it comes to money and not, but in particular when it comes to money?
And then the same with lifestyle. Do you like to eat out? Do you like to cook? Do you like to travel? How many times a year would you ideally travel? How many times? How many gifts would you ideally like to give without worrying? All of these things are part of your lifestyle. It’s just that people don’t usually plan ahead for them and they don’t usually think about budgeting for them, because they just they’re just used to doing it and that’s fine. But I think if you think about kind of you know, what I really enjoy is, you know, going home for Christmas and not worrying about that flight. Or I really enjoy, you know, having enough money to buy myself, you know, a new bag every, every quarter or every season or something, whatever. It is like just knowing how you like to live your life a little more and thinking about that and then getting to the numbers part, and then the last thing, like I said, is actually looking at your net worth and your budget. Like you said, you know does there’s no wrong time.
You start now, you start a few years ago or you start even in a few years when you’re ready. But just starting to look at everything in one place is really helpful, because we all have accounts all over the place at this point, from different companies, different apps, different investments, different everything. So some people have just unruly amount of accounts. So even just getting that in one place is super helpful. And then just literally looking at a month of your spending and putting it in categories, not to say it’s right or wrong, it’s too high or it’s too low or whatever, but just to look at it and see what feelings come up for you how much did you spend on groceries last month? Are you happy with that? Are you not happy? Why? And just kind of thinking about those before you start to really think okay, how do I even make a whole annual budget or anything. But just starting to sit with those feelings and the numbers is a really helpful start.
0:30:39 – Speaker 1
Yeah, totally. Those were all so good and I love just all the aspects and I really love the fact that you talked about books and social media.
0:30:48 – Speaker 2
Yeah, yeah, it’s a lot. What should I read about it? And I mean honestly, I say you shouldn’t. You know you shouldn’t, because that’s one person’s view of money and also it will likely change in a year or six months. It’s great to like take in some content, just so you know the basics for sure, but just realize like this is your personal journey and you need to kind of take a little control of it, Because if you let someone else tell you how it should all be like, it may not even lead to the life you want or the goals you want. It might lead to theirs.
0:31:21 – Speaker 1
Exactly, totally. And, like you know, the biggest thing that I’ve done with anything in life outside of money and this is money like, yes, learning about people’s perspective and ways of doing things. Because, like you can always just pick from things, from people, and then still, at the end of the day, like I have the choice of how I want to do things. I have the power. Like there is so much of this is like this is how it’s supposed to look like or this is the only way to look like, and a lot of the times, that’s living in little echo chambers across the world and different communities and different little pockets of places where people are all underneath one beliefs. But at the end of the day, you get to truly define what you want it to look like, and I just love that you’re talking so much to taking your power back. And then the other thing, too, that I think is so important in this is just like you have to.
What I’ve learned is like I had to go through the experience of wanting to play around with money and wanting to budget with money Because, like then I realized I was like oh, I didn’t realize how nice it was that I have my vacation plan for the end of the year. You know like that was such a relief and then, until I experienced that genuinely, I couldn’t really be grateful for that. And so I think, just being open enough to experiencing it and taking giving it a shot and trying it and knowing that, like you said, you can make changes, you can shift things around, you can let it adapt to your life, depending on what season you’re at, like you said at the beginning of of us just talking here. You said you know whether you’re married or having kids or you’re single and you’re doing all these things like your values and standards might change a little bit and like it could. It’s flexible in that way right, like there is opportunity for it to flow Totally.
0:32:58 – Speaker 2
That’s like a great mindset to go into it with. Because I will say too that even if you set, you know, a budget, let’s say, or you planned out big things for the year or whatever, every year it’s going to change. Every month it honestly changes. So I feel like people again often want to think of a budget or something as something you kind of set, even your retirement, you know, country contribution or something, things that you set and forget, which I, you know, I would love for it to be a little more that way, but it’s it’s not, because your life will change. Something will come up that you didn’t expect.
Or you know you may be excited about some new trip or some new clothes or something, and so that will change things, and you have to be able to be a little bit flexible with how that’s going to pan out and realize there’s no right way.
The just doing it is the right thing, but there’s no like right way and it will never always be the same. And it’s the same with, like, when you put something down and people will tell me, well, I think I spend too much on on eating out, and I’ll say, why do you think that? And they’ll say I don’t know, it just looks like a lot. And I say, well, what are you comparing it to? You know? Do you have a number? And where did that number come from? Like, let’s make sure that you have a realistic view of your life and what it would cost to live your regular life, so that you’re not feeding yourself up all the time about some high you know number on DoorDash when actually, when we plan out your life, that’s exactly how much you should be spending on DoorDash.
0:34:23 – Speaker 1
Totally, totally, or maybe that’s like how your way your life is set up. You know, some people spend a lot of money on meal prep, like they have the ability, but they prioritize their nutrition and that’s important, you know to them. Like I just love that you’re speaking to all this, I think it’s. It’s so, so true. Yeah, when it comes to money and like you know, traditionally, where do you, where do you find most people are blocked.
0:34:50 – Speaker 2
I think that’s the first thing actually is that people have a thought in their mind.
People often have a thought in their mind that they’re just spending too much they, and then they get frustrated or mad and then they just don’t want to think about it anymore. So I often will have people tell me they think they spend too much on eating out. You know shopping, or you know travel, whatever it is. But then when we step back and talk about their life, how their life works, the things that they want to attend you know the weddings or whatever it is and we build a budget from the ground up, it often turns out that they’re spending exactly what one would expect based on their lifestyle. Now, if they want to start saving or there’s some reason to cut things back or whatever, then we can work through that together. But I often find that people are just comparing to an unrealistic kind of fake number in their mind, or they’re really not usually comparing to anything. They just think it’s high for no reason, and that’s because we hear that all the time. Right, oh, did you get it on sale? Oh, is there going to be a cheaper option? Oh, that’s too expensive, that’s so expensive. But I really encourage people to say, well, what did you think that was going to cost? Because it wasn’t zero, you know. And so if you, if you thought that your airline ticket was going to be 600 and then it was 600, that’s actually a totally fine thing. But if you didn’t think about a number and then you just got mad when you saw the ticket being 600, that’s what’s going to make you continue to have this negative relationship. So I think one thing is, you know, really thinking, well, actually, how much does my life cost, so that I don’t just keep beating myself up for spending any money at all?
And then the second way that people, I think get caught up is that they think they need to know everything before starting. So when that that’s mostly when it comes to investing or real estate and things like that is, I hear a lot of people say that they didn’t start because they thought they needed to educate themselves more first. And, yes, I think you should be educated to some extent, of course, before you start investing or doing something with your money like that. But there are so many ways to educate yourself and you will never know everything. So I think just getting some sort of trusted start whether that be with a coach or podcast or whatever understanding what investing is and why we do it.
And then starting small, but just starting is really helpful and realizing you’re going to learn along the way.
And then also that things are going to change along the way, like cryptocurrency came, and now everyone’s having to learn about that, and AI is coming, and now we’ll have to learn about that, and so it’s always going to be something you can never say and think that you’re going to be 100% educated on something in the finance space before you start.
And then the last thing is I think people think they need to have more money in order to manage it. Most people think that I talk to so I don’t charge as a percentage of assets like a traditional advisor. I don’t want to steer clear of that type of pricing arrangement because I want everyone to feel like I don’t care if you have $100 or $1000 in the bank to start. You can have more transparency and control of your relationship with money and where your money grows and goes for you and I think that’s just a big one is people think they need to be a millionaire or have a certain amount to even make it worth thinking about it or trying to have a plan that last one is so true, I was always.
0:38:19 – Speaker 1
Yes, I feel that, and I think something that I learned I heard once was like the way that you manage $10 is the same way you’re going to manage a million, yeah. Or like your habits or the way that you view money, it doesn’t really change. You can have a huge dollar amount, but your relationship to money could say the same.
0:38:37 – Speaker 2
Right, and I’ve seen that. I’ve seen people making more money than they ever thought, but they’re still with doing the same habits with it, and the opposite Some people who don’t feel like they make enough or have enough, but they manage it so well that it actually does more for them than other people. So I really agree with that. It’s just like any little habit you’re trying to do. You need to just start and build the muscles and then, as your life changes, it’s already there and you can roll with that. But I hate to see people wait and wait because they think it’s not worth their time or they’re not, you know, they’re not wealthy enough to go down that road.
0:39:17 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and I also think about it. I’m like it’s kind of like riding a bike, like do you want to get on a mountain bike and run down the big mountain bike With all that pressure? I mean, millions of dollars is a lot of money. Like I’m just we’re talking about lots of money. It’s a lot more to manage. Like imagine if you just started with the training wheels and you’re like, okay, I have 50, I have 100, I have a thousand, I have a couple hundred, like a couple thousand, you know, like that’s so much more, not that the pressure is different, but it’s a smaller amount. And it’s like starting with the training wheels, like get started, you know. And I think that is a lot more easy to walk into versus like, okay, now I have a million dollars and my life is really important because I got a lot of expenses. Like what do I do?
0:39:59 – Speaker 2
You know, I agree, it’s like it’s not actually better later, because presumably you will have more accounts, more responsibilities and more money at that time, and you know it’s a little harder to wrangle in, even really. So I do love to hear that, you know. Yeah, it’s step by step, and there’s so many tools now, a days as well for retail investors, as they say, or, you know, just regular people to take control of their money, manage it, have a budget, invest it, diversify it. There are tools that weren’t available before, and you often don’t need to have much more than $25 to start.
0:40:37 – Speaker 1
Totally so, if someone does this work right, like they decide to be, like you know what this is going to be the year, but I’m going to finally start looking at my budget. I’m finally going to start just starting to get to know myself when it comes to my relationship with money. I’m going to dive deeper into my emotional attachments to money and you know where my insecurities are. I’m going to learn about myself Like one what’s available to someone on the other side of that? Like I think, like how could someone start living, start feeling emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, like what’s available to them on the other side of just wanting to go down that path?
0:41:19 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I think honestly, like this is sounds, you know, a little cliche, but the sky is the limit Once you start going down the path I mean again, I liken it to taking care of your mental health or your physical health you know, you start small, with whatever it is starting to go on a walk or starting to eat more vegetables, whatever it is and you start to get more interested, you start to read and take in more content. You maybe start to have more honest conversations with your partner or your friends or your children about how much they spend on a certain thing or about how they plan their trips. And then it just slowly starts to become part of your life. And I know it seems at first like that won’t happen or that that’s too hard. Like you know, I’m never going to get there, but as you slowly, you know, start down the journey and think of it as a journey, think of it as the whole.
First year might be a little bit uncomfortable.
It might be, you know, not really knowing how to stick to your budget or how to have a money date with yourself or your partner.
It’s going to be a lot of exploration, but then over time we’ll just become part of your life, hopefully with some kind of systems that like to have people put in place. But once you put some systems in, you know a lot of it’s automated, a lot of it is something you just do monthly now or annually, and it’s just conversations you start to just have and you stop being embarrassed or worried or anxious about them and then it just changes your whole, I think, your energy and relationship with the whole outside world, because not only are you just like less anxious and less kind of stressed or depressed about money, but the way that you hopefully are approaching your life now is much more of like manifesting the goals you want to see and living alongside the values that you set out and being aligned with that, and then hopefully you feel so much more at peace with just like what you’re putting out in the world and what you think your future holds.
0:43:22 – Speaker 1
Yes, ooh, so good. You know, at the beginning, like we talked so much of more of that like stuck energy, like that avoided energy of like repeating the same patterns, energy, kind of living the past kind of energy. And then what’s really on the other side is the opportunity to move forward, right, the opportunity to like take a step and just be like, all right, I’m moving, I’m taking action. And you know, taking action always feels so much better, in my opinion, like you’re actually moving in some direction, versus like when we’re stuck and not really wanting to dive into anything. You’re just kind of at a halt and no energy, no flow.
And then, like, what you talked to is just this beautiful opportunity for you to get the energy moving, for you to start moving forward to building a life, to being more integrated, and then like living way more openly and like almost like that, more like abundant mindsets manifesting, like really being open to opportunities, like really unattached to the idea that money is going to leave or that you don’t have money enough, but you feel more confident when it comes to money, and I love that you brought in the fact that it totally 120% impacts our entire lives.
Okay, like I’ve seen it, like you’ve talked about it so much how it impacts your romantic relationships, like how it impacts your friendships, how it impacts your family, like money is such a core relationship that is not only with you but it truly, truly has an influence on how you show up to everything else and the opportunity to go down this feels it sounds so much more yummier to be like. Oh, I’m confident in money and I get to be so present in my relationships in my life, because this no longer feels like something I don’t know, but something that’s a part of me.
0:45:09 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I think that’s that’s a really good point. It’s like the unknown is definitely worse than knowing. Having a plan. Like, even if your plan doesn’t look how you want it to like, even if it’s like oh, it’s going to take me five years to finish paying off that student loan or it’s going to take me whatever amount of years until I reach whatever retirement, looks good for me.
Even knowing, even if it’s not as great as you want it to be, knowing it will definitely reduce stress and help you because every day you can live like knowing you’re actually working towards something that you are, you know, going to be excited about and that you’re going to be feeling really good about that when you accomplished it. And if you don’t have that plan, you know you’re kind of aimless and you’re just trying to hope for the best all the time. And something you said also about taking action is just, I think, also really it’s a really hard hump to get over. But once you get over just the initial conversation, initial meeting with yourself or with a coach or whatever, I find people just have such a sigh of relief after just one step. And I felt that way recently.
I’ve been dealing with some health issues over the last year and had to change my diet pretty significantly and I just did not want to. You know it felt overwhelming. I didn’t want to. I wanted to just continue the status quo, continue how I was living, and it felt so scary to like take that first step.
But I started small. I had a plan, you know, and I just slowly, slowly integrated different things. It didn’t mean I had to cut everything out. I think people often think in kind of a extreme mindset like oh, if I start looking at things or if I start budgeting, I’m going to have to be restrictive and I’m going to have to track every dollar I spend and I’m going to have to change my ways so much. And that’s really really very rarely true, like I often just have people who it’s like oh, I just have to be a little more mindful of this or that to reach my goals, or maybe I don’t have to change anything at all, but I just know where I’m going to be in three years now or five years, like that’s really helpful.
0:47:18 – Speaker 1
Totally, and it’s like sometimes we think like big mountain is going to get us less, but there’s like so much more on the other side. Yeah, you know, I think the other thing too that you talk to is just like that hump that you come across. I think it’s important to know that, like you know, our bodies and our mind just wants to protect us, and doing something unknown is much scarier than us staying in the same place, right, like even our most painful spaces, like the life that we’re living, whatever is quote unquote more comfortable because it’s pain that’s familiar to us. Or, like you know, we’re comfortable in that pain, comfortable in living that, in comfortability. But the minute that we want to step over into the unknown, it’s like, well, our mind and our ego is going to be like, well, I don’t step over there, I don’t know what to do, and even if it’s quote unquote better for us, but because it’s so out of normal for us, it is so much scarier to our system because our system is going to be like, well, I don’t know what that is.
So I’m rather staying in my pain here, and so I think it’s important for us to recognize that is like there is, just because it’s unknown and unscary. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be quote unquote worse than what you’re feeling now. If anything, it actually gives you a lot of breath, a lot of relief, a lot of like what you’re talking to, like. There’s so much more on the other side of that, and I think that’s important for anyone that is going to embark on a journey like this, because it’s so, so freaking worth it, as Jessica has just talked to so beautifully today.
0:48:42 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you. Yeah, you’re right. It’s like facing our own kind of ability to be stuck. Even you know you can’t really see past it sometimes because of how you’ve grown up or how you may be living and thinking is best for you. But I love to see the transformation in my clients, my friends and family, even just by me doing this work. That talk more openly about money and how to see the positive changes it can have even a very short amount of time is so inspiring to me.
0:49:12 – Speaker 1
Totally agree. As we start to like kind of wrap up this episode, I just want to ask you like what, now that you’ve done this work, how has it given you an opportunity to live a life more expressed, you know, really more fulfilled, like being able to fully show up in, like your life, relationships and business. Like how has it created more for you in your life?
0:49:38 – Speaker 2
Yeah, that’s the best question. I would say a couple things. You know one, how I am with my children, my family, extended family, my husband. I’m very open talking about money. I’m really committed to having my children understand money earlier on and understand the energy it can bring, the limitations it can bring, the stress it can bring, but also the wonderful things it can bring. We love to travel and now that COVID, you know, is a little more behind us, we’ve taken some wonderful trips the last year or two and I just love seeing my kids experience that. I love experiencing that new places and restaurants and things. So I’m really happy that I’m able to live that out with my family and be honest about what it costs but also how that’s like. That’s exactly what we want to do with our money.
But that’s one thing and then another is starting my own business and having more flexibility in my life to take care of myself, take care of my mental health and also take care of my family. It’s really really been a trying time in a lot of ways because I did tie so much worth to making a steady corporate type of paycheck and being in that mindset. But slowly over time I’ve realized you know right now, in this season of life, like I want to be doing this work. I think it’s so important, I get so much value from it and I get to live my life the way I want, with the flexibility and balance that I want. And I may not be making you know the X amount of figures I was at a corporate job but my life actually reflects what I wanted to right now, which is really important to me because I have been dealing with the health issues and because I’m trying to raise my family in a certain way and all of that.
And then, lastly, I’ll say I have been able to make room and money to spend a lot more on self-care, on mental health and physical self-care as well. I have started, you know, really prioritizing bodywork, massages, you know, trips with friends, different things that I consider self-care that I would have probably considered frivolous before or luxury that I have really started to build into my budget at the beginning of the year and that can include things around nutrition and vitamins as well, and it’s really nice to be able to think of it as just kind of a non-negotiable now rather than, you know, always something to feel guilty about or not really, or not even take the time to plan. So I’ve been. You know it’s still a little bit of a struggle sometimes to prioritize it and not feel bad about it, but whenever I do it I always feel so much better and I could show up better in my in my life. So I know it’s worth the money and the time.
0:52:26 – Speaker 1
So beautiful. It sounds like it’s not only being a gift, such an incredible gift for you and your soul and your health and your I think honestly health as well. Yeah, you know, in so many ways, and it’s such a beautiful gift that you’re also just giving to your kids, like everything that you’re learning, all the things that you’re implementing it, how you’re integrating it into your kids, like that is such a beautiful gift that they get to grow up with, as well as, like you, also being such a beautiful representation of prioritizing your health and your mental health. You know, I truly think that and I think I mentioned this when we first connected like I think the true pandemic is burnout and how it impacts us so much and it’s so beautiful that I give all this space to prioritize those things that are so soul-filling and connected and, you know, really bringing back into you, which thank you so much for sharing. That that’s absolutely beautiful.
0:53:17 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you.
0:53:19 – Speaker 1
All right, ladies, if you are listening in, this is for you. If you have a friend or family member that is female, that is looking for community, that is looking at this path of growth and wanting to evolve as a human being, please listen in. So I want to share with you the fully expressed community. If you haven’t heard about it, you need to hear about it, and you’re hearing about it today and I’d love for you to check it out. The fully expressed community is for women, supporting women. We have created a community where you can connect with other women that are also on this path of growth, that are interested and curious about what else is available to them. They want to see themselves living a life fully expressed in their lives and their relationships and their business. They want to bring their fully authentic self into all areas of their lives so they can actually attract a life and relationships and careers and business that is so aligned to them because they are living a life fully expressed In the fully expressed community. We meet online every single second Wednesday of every single month at 5.30pm PST and also have access to a Slack channel where I drop resources, where we share information, we talk about the community. We create community. You also get access to not only the guest coaches that have been on this podcast, but also guest coaches that I have kept waiting to show you what they have to share with you when it comes to their teachings and their practitioners. They’re only going to listen from me, but you’re also going to learn from these amazing human beings that are available to you out there and here to share their gifts with you so you can live a life fully expressed. The fully expressed community is only $27 a month. If you leave a review on this podcast, I will actually give to you one month to come. Join us for free in the fully expressed community to actually experience what it means to be in this community and these women. If you go leave a review from me, I’ll go do that. You can also find more information in the show notes about the fully expressed community and I hope to see you there next month, the next second Wednesday that is available to you, to be surrounded by other women that just freaking get it, that just get what you’re going through. I’ll see you there.
Yeah Well, it’s been such a pleasure to have you, jessica. Truly, I love everything that you’re bringing this world. I think all of the things that you’re talking about is so, so important and honestly, I’m so excited for your children’s book. I hope that you do do those, because all this kind of work right, like these kinds of conversations, especially when it comes to money or just mental health or anything like that, like, I think, the younger that we start to absorb information around those areas like we would be so much prepared for later on in life. And but, that being said, it doesn’t matter what age you start. You can get started anytime. But I’m so stoked for these children books. I’m like I’m hoping that they’re around by the time I have kids.
0:56:15 – Speaker 2
I don’t know what I’m going to have kids.
0:56:20 – Speaker 1
But yeah, that would be so epic. So yeah, thank you so much for coming on.
0:56:25 – Speaker 2
Awesome. No, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity and thank you listeners for listening and, hopefully, you know, taking a small step in some way towards your financial wellness goals after this. So, yeah, I really appreciate the time and your insightful questions.
0:56:41 – Speaker 1
Amazing. And lastly, how could someone connect with you? What would be the best way to connect with you at this time?
0:56:50 – Speaker 2
Yeah, thank you. I would love to just hear from anybody who wants to talk more about their financial journey or what I do. Just, you can email me at jessica at empowered personal finance that’s the best way. I answer every email and you can also follow us on Instagram, which is a great way to get some quotes that we love to share money mantras and quotes around money to help with. You know, just kind of those reminders throughout the day around these topics. So it’s a great place to kind of follow us for any quotes, giveaways and little kind of news updates and things around money. So you can feel free to follow us or DM me from there as well. But I do offer a free discovery call. So if you want to either click that from my website or email me to get a link, I would love to just connect with anyone who’s interested in learning more.
0:57:41 – Speaker 1
Amazing. I love that. Yeah, so go reach out to Jessica. If you know me personally or follow me and you want to get connected there, but can’t find her, feel free to reach out to me too. I can connect you guys as well. All this will be in the show notes and again, thank you so much for listening and wait to keep a lookout for the next episode. Thank, you. Thank you.

Episode Timestamps:

(0:00:00) – Money and Mental Health Relationship
Jessica’s relationship with money changed drastically due to her mother’s addiction, impacting her mental health, but she learned to manage her finances and prioritize her mental health.

(0:10:04) – Money and Mental Health
We explore childhood experiences, financial decisions, values, and open conversations to nurture a healthy relationship with money.

(0:17:03) – The Mental Burden of Comparing Finances
Comparing ourselves to others, feeling overwhelmed discussing investments, and carrying worries long-term can affect mental health.

(0:20:27) – Overcoming Money Comparison and Financial Well-Being
We reframe comparison and anxiety into a process to reach financial goals, emphasizing everyone starts from the same place.

(0:27:01) – Approach to Personal Finance and Money
Striking a balance between consuming content and taking control of our financial journey is essential; reflecting values, lifestyle, and current financial situation; avoiding reliance on books and social media; and taking a personal approach to budgeting.

(0:31:23) – Manage Money, Financial Flexibility
Take control of our financial journey, be mindful of content consumption, adapt to life seasons, have realistic expectations, and have a flexible mindset.

(0:41:44) – The Transformative Power of Taking Action
Balance content consumption set up systems, have honest conversations, take action, and build confidence for a healthy relationship with money.

(0:49:40) – Prioritizing Family, Flexibility, and Self-Care
We emphasize self-care, teaching children about money, creating experiences, and taking control of our financial journey.

(0:57:31) – Connecting With Jessica Through Discovery Call
Seek help, practice self-care, teach children, and connect with Jessica Mounier to build a healthy relationship with money.

About Jessica

Jessica is passionate about all things finance. She has always loved working with people to reach their goals in life, career and with money. Now she does it full-time! She has 15+ years of experience in financial analysis and strategic planning. She has worked in tech, higher education and with non-profits. She is disrupting the financial advising industry by providing price transparency and focusing on financial wellness.

Connect with Jessica

Instagram: @empoweredpersonalfinance


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I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

Can you relate?

It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

This podcast is my invitation to all people struggling to be fully expressed in life, relationships, and business. It’s for those who are wanting to feel A L I V E, connected, and in love with their life, relationships, and business.

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