Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis

Ep. 57 How to STOP the BAD Habits and WIN with your Money!

October 04, 2023 Vonne Solis/Angie Carlson Season 3 Episode 57
Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis
Ep. 57 How to STOP the BAD Habits and WIN with your Money!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Got debt and bad habits? In this episode, learn how to get rid of bad money habits, form a new mindset, understand the importance of a budget, and emergency preparedness with Angie Carlson, Finance Coach AC. Angie is the founder and owner of Carlson Financial Coaching. We talk frankly about all things money to overcome any fear, trauma, childhood beliefs and the blocks we have created with our current mindset to create the financial freedom that you want!

Angie shares her story paying off $63,000 in debt in just 109 days and the strategies and mindset that brought her and her husband the financial freedom they enjoy. While her passion is coaching couples how to become an unstoppable force on their journey to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and develop a shared ideal for their future, all of her strategies and tips are terrific to help the individual money earner too! Where any of the things we discuss can topple us in just one unsuspecting moment!

Introduction to the episode. (0:00)
Money tips for couples and individuals. (3:17)
The importance of communication. (7:13)
Dealing head on with financial problems. (13:16)
Your mindset about money (17:06)
Overcoming struggle. (22:30)
We tell our money what to do. (27:09)
Do you have enough? (31:27)
Money problems - the right question to ask . (36:50)
Money and trauma. (46:31)
Preparing for emergencies. (50:29)
Money - it's not a feeling. (56:57)
Angie's resources (58:08)
Closing (59:12)

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Angie Carlson  0:00  
Welcome to another episode of Grief Talk. Everything you want to know about grief and more. I'm your host, Vonne Solis. As an author, mentor and bereaved mom since 2005, through guest interviews and coaching, here's where you'll always get great content that is inspiring and practical to help you heal after loss. 

Vonne Solis  0:21  
Today's guest is Angie Carlson. Angie is the founder and owner of Carlson Financial Coaching, where she focuses on helping couples become an unstoppable force on their journey to break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, and develop a shared ideal for their future together. With over 20 years of experience in the financial sector, Angie's tips and techniques can be appreciated by everyone in what she shares today on this Grief Talk episode. Angie lives in Dubuque, Iowa, with her husband and two sons.

Vonne Solis  0:55  
I am so so happy that you're coming on to talk about a difficult topic today. But we're going to make it fun. So welcome to my show.

Angie Carlson  1:03  
Thank you Vonne. Thank you for having me.

Vonne Solis  1:05  
So for the audience, we're going to be talking about finances today. And Angie is a financial coach. And as I introduced her in the introduction, she does work largely with couples. Angie can tell you a little bit more about what she does do. But after getting to know Angie, I understand that a lot of what we've talked about is so applicable to anybody in any situation. Their walk of life. And I just wanted to say to you, Angie, one of the reasons I really appreciate you coming on the show is because we can get into a lot of trouble when as you obviously know, when we are struck by tragedy. When we have any kind of a loss. It can just set us into a tailspin and we can come up against unexpected financial problems that you didn't even know were hiding in the cracks. And so that's one reason I want to talk about this. And of course, the other is financial preparedness. 

Vonne Solis  2:06  
So the whole context of this episode is what we can do to think about money differently to prepare for unexpected situations. And I'm talking here beyond just you know, you need that six months for an emergency in case you lose your job or something. I'm talking about when you become incapacitated, or you lose your business or you lose your job, because of something that has happened to you such as a traumatic loss. And there aren't supports in place, government or otherwise. Employer to really help you. 

Vonne Solis  2:35  
In Canada, if you lose a child or you have a child in care, critical care, there are some supports that are getting a little bit better. But there's still not enough really to make ends meet. So we're going to talk about that. We're also going to be talking audience today about our relationship to money. We're going to be talking about you either fear or love it. We're going to be talking about trauma around money. And most importantly, we're going to be talking about what we can do to break the cycle and break the mind chatter we have, you know, about how we can think about money differently and even plan for our future when we think there isn't enough. Sound good to you, Angie?

Angie Carlson  3:17  
Sounds fantastic. We got a jam-packed time going here.

Vonne Solis  3:19  
Yeah. So this is intended just to be a little bit more surface. We're not going to dig too, too deep into things. But we want to try and you know, work with some techniques and tips and maybe tools that you have that can get people thinking a little bit more about money in an educated, literate way. Which I think you and I talked a little bit before. There's such financial illiteracy in our culture. We're just not taught about investing or anything. And we should be from really young ages. And it is very difficult to catch up when you're a lot older. Or you're, you know, you're struck by something that's forcing you to find money when you don't know where you're gonna find it. That's the bottom line.

Vonne Solis  4:01  
So Angie, I'm going to turn it over to you. I know that a large part of your work is with couples. But I love that because what you're teaching couples, you can probably use those same techniques for an individual and think about money differently. If you just want to explain to the audience what you're currently doing in your coaching. And I'm really curious about what you're doing differently as a coach. And how you're really helping people with what you're doing.

Angie Carlson  4:26  
Well, thank you. Yeah. So yeah, in terms of like the money tips and the money tools that you've addressed, they can be used pretty much with individuals and couples. The reason I like the couple's aspect is there's an added level of communication and teamwork there. 

Angie Carlson  4:40  
So when you're part of a couple, there's normally two people involved and many people see their finances as you know, maybe it's his and hers. And when I think of marriage, I think of a team. I don't think of it as an individual race. So like if you're thinking of like, you know, an individual race, you only have one winner. And when I'm in marriage, and you're in finances, and you look at them separately, there's kind of a winner and a loser. And I don't want to feel like a loser. I certainly don't want to be married to a loser. So how do we look at bringing some of those topics together, as tough as it is, because when the worst does happen, your teamwork goes now to solo. And that person that solo needs to know what the heck has been going on. Because you don't want to have something happen in your family and now all of a sudden, you're like, I didn't know I had credit card debt. I didn't know there was financial infidelity. I thought these bills were paid and now they're not. I thought we were protected with life insurance and it turns out we're not. When someone passes away is the worst possible time, in my opinion to find out about those surprises.

Vonne Solis  5:53  
I agree.

Angie Carlson  5:53  
Conversations need to occur long, long before that vecause honestly, any of us can go anytime tomorrow is not guaranteed. So today is the day to really be working on this as uncomfortable as it is and as hard as it is. And as much as I'm sure there's at least one listener out here, who really doesn't want to do it, you still need to do it.

Vonne Solis  6:18  
Yeah, I'm going to be really honest here so I can set the context for my interest in this because I was one of those people. So for the audience that doesn't know, I lost my daughter to suicide in 2005. She was 22. And I married when I was 34. And up until that point, I had raised my daughter as a single parent. So listen, I was in charge of everything. But I got tired. By the time she was seven, I was kind of like, oh, maybe I maybe kind of want to get a partner. So anyway, I met my husband, and we got married a year later. And we had a son together the following year. And I'm gonna admit this, and I'm not embarrassed anymore, but I was for a few years. Just to say I handed everything over, okay to him just because I didn't want to deal with anything else, you know, and we had a great life. I'm going to tell you, we had a great life.

Vonne Solis  7:13  
But I'm gonna go back to what you were saying. First of all, team versus solo. When you do that. When you when you hand your finances over to a partner, you immediately like you said, become solo. And then it becomes even worse, if you just really trust them and think that everything's happening, just all hunky dory for you and it's really not. And then you find out when tragedy strikes. Which is what happened with me. Us. We're still married, when my daughter died. 

Vonne Solis  7:43  
But I want to just point out for a quick second here for the audience. What you said about communication is key. The importance of this communication because it tears you apart when anything happens. Job loss. Anything. Any other type of adversity happens that forces you to look at the books. So I want to ask, but because I was so afraid of money after my daughter died. I was afraid of life. I was just afraid of everything. So money, and how we're going to pay the mortgage and how we're going to you know, you know, basically stay safe. I couldn't deal with it. I was just trying to survive in my own, you know, skin and body. What would you say could help people stop being so afraid of one, talking about money with their significant other? And, or even looking at it in their own books, right? And how they could adopt a mindset that would allow them to flow differently with it as an energy source.

Angie Carlson  8:55  
Yeah. So when something's unknown, it's so scary, and just terrifying. It keeps us up at night. It rules, our thoughts. And the thing about us as humans is we never get a break from our brain. Like we're with this brain 24/7. It goes with us on vacation. Highs, lows. It's with us for it all. And whenever we're ignoring a challenge, we forget that there's always something in the back of our head. Like there's an inkling of, maybe I need to change this. But what's missing is, how do we change it? And that is the beautiful thing coming in as a coach because the communication you see out there just gives you basic tools. Like I'm just gonna pick on the budget. It gives you like, you have all these budgeting apps. You have all these budgeting tools. If you only needed a budget, your budget would work. 

Angie Carlson  9:47  
I can tell you that's not true. I did a budget for a decade and it didn't work till my husband and I came together and then we paid off debt in 107 days.

Vonne Solis  9:54  

Angie Carlson  9:55  
The budget was a tool in that, but we needed to get our thoughts behind it first. And so that's why I'm so big on the thoughts and why it's missing because when my spouse and I started to have these hard conversations, and started getting things together, that's when we noticed, like, not only our finances start to change, our entire lives changed.

Vonne Solis  10:14  

Angie Carlson  10:15  
We were not expecting that at all. Like we were thrilled for the financial change. We would have been fine if it was that. But we had so much more to come and now that we're, you know, years past that we're just like, blown away at like, wow! Like, we are so glad that we took on being uncomfortable. We took on looking at ourselves, because I wouldn't want to go back to where we were. I mean, it's, it was hard. Do I ever want to do that work again? Absolutely not being completely honest. Was it worth doing it to get to where I am now? Hundreds of times over. Absolutely. If I knew then what I knew now, I would have done the work way before I did.

Vonne Solis  10:54  
I'm really, really glad that you're addressing that even you had to go through that. I'd like to have you expand on what you actually are teaching couples that individuals can grasp themselves. So what can they do to face this fear and jump in, like you and your husband decided to do years ago? Which did bring you freedom in so many different ways. Us too, in my marriage. Yeah.

Angie Carlson  11:19  
Yeah. We stopped looking at it as a money problem. So I'm just gonna give the example of you go to the store and you pick up that one thing. And you come home with so many bags, that it takes you multiple trips from the car to bring them in. So with that, the bringing home the multiple things? Most people look at their spouse and yell at their spouse for spending the money. The money is just a symptom of what's going on. It's not the problem that caused the money to be spent.

Angie Carlson  11:47  
And so that's one of the things that I do is, okay, what does this look like? And I also, my other tool that I love is I help people identify patterns to be like, Oh, well, this keeps happening. Okay, it keeps happening. Now, let's figure out why it keeps happening. So that is really powerful, too because in our own lives, and this is why I have coaches in my life, I have blind spots that I just don't see. And no, no amount of internal work me looking in would see it, but someone else can look at it and it's like, oh, I think they're right. And then it's like, no, I know they're right. I know, that's a problem. I know, that's holding me back. And especially with couples, when they aren't focused on their communication. Another tool is just the awareness of you and your spouse, more than likely we're not raised in the same household. You have vastly different experiences.

Vonne Solis  12:40  

Angie Carlson  12:40  
So if you're talking to your spouse, and be like, remember, like when we were 15? If your spouse, if you weren't with your spouse until your 20s, or 30s, they don't remember anything you did at 15.

Vonne Solis  12:49  

Angie Carlson  12:49  
And so trying to force them to remember things that they weren't present for is always a recipe for disaster.

Vonne Solis  12:55  
Yeah. I want to just, you know, focus here for a quick second on what you talked about. So I love that you stopped looking at money as a problem. But that you're saying money is just a symptom of something else going on. Completely agree with you. And then there are patterns to that. So there's deeper problems here. I always use myself as an example because hey, that's what I do. And you could read about this anyway, in my first book, Divine Healing, because I charted all these financial problems that we had. But it took me years to understand one, the problems we ran into by the person handling the money, right, was only doing it and my husband understands that this is public information. And I'm not in any way making him wrong. But he was trying to spare me. He was trying to put out so many fires, and spare me any problems to have to deal with. So that was a symptom of me not, you know, obviously not wanting to look at the problems. And in the greater context, it became a pattern for many, many years.

Vonne Solis  14:07  
And I know that there's going to be somebody watching or listening to this that can identify. So if you bury your head in the sand, and you don't want to see what's going on, symptoms of the problems are going to keep occurring. It took me about 11 to 12 years to pick up doing the budget. And I happened to be really, really good at it. And I also over the years, went to work. Earned my own money. And I was always very good managing my own money. Learned to have my own bank balance, and know I was safe. I was taking care of me. So I kind of gained some independence. And that independence gave me the courage to feel more and more and more empowered to finally just say, I'm managing it all.

Angie Carlson  14:07  
And that's it. I mean, so typically, like if you're looking at your finances, it's okay if one person prepares them. You need to discuss them and give the second person, I always say they have to change something, I don't care if it's $10 from gas to groceries. They get to change something. They need, they need to feel like they're involved in a vote. Because if the person is handling the responsibility is one, something happens to them that you're not expecting, you have no idea what's going on. That's terrifying. And the second thing is, to me that doesn't feel like a marriage. That feels more like a parent child relationship. And going to ask my spouse for like an allowance. I think that's awkward.

Vonne Solis  15:25  

Angie Carlson  15:26  
And, but and even with the good intentions, and with everything you went through, and so sorry about your daughter, and everything you went through, your husband's intentions were, you know, fantastic. He's trying to help, you know, try to help out his wife who's grieving and all those intentions are good. 

Vonne Solis  15:42  

Angie Carlson  15:42  
But like you said, sometimes things start with great intentions, and the intention can be good, and it still cannot work.

Vonne Solis  15:51  
Right. So for anybody out there, we're talking about right at the moment, couples, who you know, and this communication, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm going to keep this on a positive note, because I'm all about, talk about the troubles but let's talk about the stuff that we learn from it. And just like you, although you probably got there a few years earlier than me in your life, we were able to also get financial freedom and move across the country and, you know, basically create the life that we wanted. And today, the communication is key. Making the decisions together. We're not really misaligned in our finances anymore. 

Vonne Solis  16:33  
So like you said, you wouldn't want to go back to where this all started for you. And you had to get your head out of the sand and you know, and then there's stuff you got to deal with. Because people, anytime I don't care what it is, today, it happens to be we're talking about money. But anytime you decide to get your head out of the sand and make a change. A huge change. And let's face it, finances are a major part of our living. If we don't have money, listen, we can't enjoy our life, right? So Angie, what would you say to the individual who's basically nervous. Afraid of their money. Doesn't think they have enough. How could they approach changing their mindset about their negative beliefs about money?

Angie Carlson  17:20  
Well, you just touched on something. You mentioned that they don't think they have enough. And my question would always be, so what is enough? So right there, that would be, that would be a shift. And then also just realizing that you can do it. It's deciding that you want to do it is the majority of the challenge. Because once you've made a decision, it's done. We're going to get there. The question is just how are we going to get there? And that's where, you know, I mean, I do take on individuals in my practice. As well, I do focus on couples, but I will take on the right individuals. And that's where having a coach can be really handy. Is sometimes you just need that sounding board. Maybe your family isn't that great with money. Maybe they're not supportive.

Angie Carlson  18:02  
Those are not excuses for you to not win. You are not required to accept that as your reality. You define your reality. If this is where you're going, and you know that you have a life where you don't want your debt. You want to be able to retire with dignity. You get to decide that you want to do that. But it is part of your responsibility to get yourself resourced to get there. Whatever that looks like for you.

Vonne Solis  18:27  
Would you say that with everybody that you've worked with? And just in general knowledge, would you say that thoughts are really the most powerful thing to change your money circumstances?

Angie Carlson  18:41  
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the thoughts are there too. Now, sometimes we have to do some things in tandem. Sometimes we do have to get some, you know, minor financial wins before we can really get, before it's like, oh, yeah, I can do this and then we shift to the thoughts. But yeah, once the thoughts change, and they start and things, they really start seeing things shift and happen, it's just, it's just incredible to watch. I mean, I have clients that my jaw just drops at what they do and like

Vonne Solis  19:06  

Angie Carlson  19:07  
it's just amazing. It's just amazing to see and watch. But, and it really depends on the clients that come in, too. So if you know, if a client comes in, and they're telling me Well, I've been doing a budget for all these years, and it hasn't worked. That's my key is, we're not going to start with a budget. Because why would I start you with the thing that's frustrated you the most? You're not going to go to doctor  and say, I've been taking this medicine, I've been taking this med and it doesn't work and the doctor's like, oh, just keep taking it. No. We're gonna  change it up.

Vonne Solis  19:30  

Angie Carlson  19:30  
So that's, so that's what I'm going do. Or if they come in, and they have mentioned, Hey, I've never done budgeting. Well, now we might try that. So it really just depends on what they come in with. And after I talk to them. Assess where they're at. And then be like, okay, what do we need? And isometimes it's experimenting, because if you try to Google financial advice, one of the things that Google doesn't tell you is different things work better for different people. Some people you can start with A. Some people you can start with B. Some you might have to start with C. That's great. All are here and welcome. But then, you know, as an individual, that's great. But then you have a couple. If one's wired one way. And one's wired the other? Okay, now we need to bring those together. 

Angie Carlson  20:07  
And that's, that's a really delicate dance that you do with that as well. Because, you know, you're raised a certain way. And you're always like, I know that this works or  it doesn't work. And normally, there's not really a lot of in between. It's really one extreme or the other. And if something works, it's terrifying to combine it with something that you have no knowledge of. And if it didn't work, you don't think, sometimes you don't think anything's going to work. So why do you want to keep trying? So that's kind of where the delicate dance comes into play. But, you know, everyone I've worked with as long as they're open to the coaching and they're willing to do the work, they are getting the results.

Vonne Solis  20:41  
You mentioned a couple times here about how we were raised in our households. So would you say that we develop a belief system around money that can stay with us until we're aware of this belief system from our, basically childhood? How we were raised and what our parents taught us about money?

Angie Carlson  21:02  
Oh, my goodness, absolutely. I kind of refer to the analogy of like, if you look at childhood stories, and one of you was raised in a house with like a giving tree and very generous parents. Didn't really think about money. And your spouse was raised in a house like Pinocchio, where there was always money lies. Packages being hidden. If you two get married, with your money mindsets, and you're trying to merge them, you will have conflict. 

Vonne Solis  21:25  
Mm hmm.

Angie Carlson  21:26  
And it's not that either spouse is right or wrong. The mindsets are so different that, you know, when you talk about money, you're communicating in two different languages.

Vonne Solis  21:34  
Mm hmm. So using that as an example, though, Angie, can you explain for, well me and the audience, what would the belief system be around those two examples?

Angie Carlson  21:43  
So the belief system, the one belief system, especially if it comes to The Giving Tree is money is very generous. We always had it. We never, like they may not have a belief system, because they never worried about it. So why would they develop a belief? It was just always there. Where now you have the second one who was raised like Pinocchio. That's like, I will always hide money from my spouse, because my parents hid money from each other. I will make the decisions I want to make without consulting them, because that's what I watched and I assume everybody does it. So when you bring those beliefs that come in, and totally logical how both persons developed their beliefs, like you follow the logic, they clearly got there, and it makes sense.

Vonne Solis  22:21  
Mm hmm.

Angie Carlson  22:22  
Yeah, but it is going to be a conflict in the marriage, because they're just the systems are just so different. You can overcome it. Absolutely.

Vonne Solis  22:30  
Oh, yes, you can overcome anything, as long as you know what it is you need to overcome. And pretty much, and you want to. But I want to just stick with this point for just a moment here. Because in that system of money, like The Giving Tree, say. You know, you could be raised that way and your parents didn't even really have a lot of money, or your single parent didn't really have a lot of money. But it was just never expressed that way. And maybe they worried like heck about money, but never showed that to the children. I unfortunately, was raised with a not enough mentality. Sorry, dad. And really there was enough you know? Like, we had a house. A big backyard. He had a steady job. He was a manager in the government. You know, my mom, once she got well. She wasn't really well till I was 10 but then she had her own business as a music teacher. You know, but those beliefs stuck with me. And would you say that we grow into adults, and a good majority of people aren't even aware of what they believe about their relationship to money?

Angie Carlson  23:50  
Absolutely. Because it's something that you feel you've never, we're not brought up to really ever put it in words. So like, if you're from the house of The Giving Tree, and you see your spouse hiding packages, you're, you know, that person could have some very different beliefs on well, maybe this person doesn't love me. Why won't this person come to me? And then if they tried to do the conversation, the other person probably has never seen a money conversation in real life. And they're going to, you know, it's like, fight, flight or freeze. So all your natural defenses are coming up as well to be like, I don't know if I really want to do this. And so what do some people do? They just decide to accept it and they go on. But that's a long, miserable life. Where other couples are like, let's figure it out. We love each other. We met and married for a reason. We love each other deeply. We need to get through this. Also thinking about if they have children, like what do you want your children to see? What memories do you want them to have? And even in a marriage, you can have three or four kids who observed the same situation and they take completely different things away from it.

Vonne Solis  24:51  
There's many many things you can form beliefs from, by experiencing or watching your parents and how they interacted together about money. Listen, I wasn't raised really wealthy. So I can't speak for the wealthy. But I'm going to wager that they even have their own set of problems. I just think money is not understood. And you know, and so while on the one end you may have from greed to completely selfless giving, you know, the two extremes, in the end money is energy Angie. Do you want to speak about that? Because what I'm really trying to get to here is the blocks that we do form, based on in childhood, essentially. Talk about it. Don't talk about money. We're forming beliefs. We're forming opinions. We're forming thoughts. Largely, in my view, on whether or not we have enough to be happy as kids. Would you comment on that? 

Angie Carlson  25:48  
Yeah. So I mean, and it's kind of back to the one question I asked. You know, what is enough? And every person is going to answer that question differently. In terms of that, and the conversations, it's just, like, even couples have to answer that question. Because you guys could have different definitions. It could be a monetary amount. It could be a lifestyle thing. It could be certain experiences you want to have. No answer there is right or wrong. It's really what you want, and having the confidence to go for it. And the money is just really a reflection of all of that. You make a decision with your money and you do it. Now that may be conscious or unconscious That could be a whole nother show. But you make a decision and then you do it. And so the money is doing what you're telling it to do. Money is just a form of exchange. It's not a problem.

Vonne Solis  26:37  

Angie Carlson  26:37  
But you're the one telling it what to do. So that's why if there's challenges with it, we gotta really look within to say, okay, what are we doing with it? How is it reflecting what we want to live out? You know, is it supporting our beliefs and values. Are we aligning all that?

Vonne Solis  26:54  
One thing, I just want to say, I'm going to be moving on to this relationship we have with money. But one thing I did want to jump on here. So first of all, as children when we're forming these beliefs we're not thinking about what is enough. Up to a certain age, we just know, do we have what the other kids are having? You know, I really want that pair of pants. And, you know, I still remember I'm just gonna throw this in here, having I think I was about 12. And I was born in the in the later 50s. And so this would have been in the 60s. And anyway, I got this cool, cool pair of red bell bottoms, we called them back then. And I was devastated when I got them caught in my bike chain. And grease and a hole. And my mom repaired them ror me. I think they were birthday present. But you know, I still remember the colour of the red because it was sort of this pastel cherry red. I still remember the incident and I was devastated. Why? Because I knew there wasn't enough money, or I believed there wasn't enough money to get another pair. 

Vonne Solis  28:01  
And so I'm just pointing this out, because it's so key when you talk about Angie, what is enough, and I wanna get into that. As adults, we can formulate that for ourselves. But we're still having to counter these beliefs from childhood and to switch your mind to what you're saying. This is so key about, we're telling money, what to do. And I love that. And that helps us sort of understand money is just a tool. But what would you say to those people that have come through struggles like us? I don't want to speak for you but certainly me. Needing really, really, really to change over decades, my belief system that there wasn't enough money. So how can we start thinking about it in terms of, I'm telling my money what to do. Which is basically trusting there's going to be money there to tell it what to do.

Angie Carlson  29:00  
Yeah, and that trust part is hard. And I, like that's, the trust part has by far been the hardest part for me. Because I am, I am not a trust person. Give me my checklist. And let me go and make sure I've got all my t's dotted and i's crossed. And with trusting yourself that's like one of the like, most essential steps on the journey is, when you are committed to the change, it's not only the trust that the money is going to be there. It's also the trust of, can I really do this? Can I really be capable of this? Can I really give this another go when I've tried before and stuff hasn't worked? 

Vonne Solis  29:32  
Mm hmm.

Angie Carlson  29:33  
Do I really see how this is different? Do I really see how this is going to benefit me? And that's a lot to work through. That, once again that could be a whole show in itself.

Vonne Solis  29:42  
Of course.

Angie Carlson  29:43  
But yeah, but starting to work through some of those questions to just start building your trust and think of what can you do today? So like for example, you might have several thousand in the savings account and have way more than that in debt. Your first step may not be to drain your savings account down to $1,000 and pay that off. Your first step might be, okay, I have a debt of $500. Let me pay that off with my savings. And just taking the smaller steps because one of the things I see that's a huge misconception in the financial world is, you know. You got to go deep. Like you have to go like cut to the bone and go deep, really quick. And for some people that works. For other people, that is the most terrifying thing I could ever ask them to do. 

Angie Carlson  30:24  
So like, what are the smaller steps that we can take within our means? If there's nothing in savings, and we've been, you know, making extra payments on our debt, maybe we need to change that and put a little bit more in savings for a season. To get some of that secure so we stop this habit of creating debt. You know, start stopping the small things from becoming debt as we dig out of this journey so that we can start seeing the benefits of our habit change. Because when we're trying to change our habits, we want to see that it's working. And if it's not working, why would you stick with it? Makes total sense. 

Angie Carlson  30:54  
So how do we start doing a few things that we can start seeing some of those quicker wins that are maybe, I don't want to say small. Because these really, they might be perceived as small, but they're really not. So how do we do these things where we can start seeing some quick things happening that are showing results and we're starting to feel like, oh, I have some hope. Because once we start bringing in that hope, and we start bringing in that desire to win, that's when things start happening. Because a lot of it is just the belief, can we really do it? Like that has to be established before anything is really effective in my opinion.

Vonne Solis  31:26  
Yeah. My mm used to say to me, she passed in 2010. But my mom used to say to me, you know, through the scariest times, do you have enough for today? It's sort of like, you know, what you're saying. What is enough? But it would be do you have enough for today? Yes. And what that would do is immediately just bring me okay, I can breathe. I've got 24 hours. I can breathe. And when we feel like we can breathe, you know, through some relief, that's when we can start to sort of turn to solution thinking, rather than being eaten up by the problem or the crisis. And listen, anybody out there that might be in crisis right now. That certainly might be in financial troubles right now and can't see any way, any way out of the trouble, I've been there. Angie, have you been there? Has it ever been like that for you?

Angie Carlson  32:30  
Never been quite that bad for me. Like I've had times where I'm just like, might be questioning of, oh, well, this stinks, and I really freak out about it. But I've either had the means to pay it, or I took out a loan or I did something. It was never like to the point of I felt like I had no options.

Vonne Solis  32:43  
But just what you said. You took out a loan. Okay, so meant you didn't have enough to pay something at some point in your life. So that's what I'm talking about. And so if you take the concept of what is enough, and then actually go through all of the solutions, and I'm, like this is, a lot of us don't work with financial coaches Angie. And maybe people are, you know, more inclined to start working with them today. And maybe there's more financial coaches to work with. Twenty, thirty years ago? Listen, the illiteracy is so bad that I don't even think there was a financial coach. But anyway. So if you can just on your own, and you're struggling with something, and it really helps to have someone to talk to doesn't it Angie?

Angie Carlson  33:29  
Oh, my goodness, yeah.

Vonne Solis  33:30  
You know, share. Share. And you don't have to shout from the rooftop, but one trusted friend, and if you're with a partner, to just decide, okay, we're facing this. We're facing this. And then you have to be prepared, don't you, Angie to do what is necessary. Which comes from the willingness and the desire, to take that first step to solve the problem. Especially if it's a really big problem. And that can mean letting go of things, can't it?

Angie Carlson  33:58  
It can mean letting go with things. And the minute that you commit to do something is the minute even more challenges are going to start showing up. Because if you commit to, I'm getting out of debt? That's probably going to be when your car now has a major expense, and how are you handling it? That, you know, there's going to be other things that show up that kind of test you know. I kind of consider it a test of like, Are you really serious about this? Do you really think you can do this? 

Angie Carlson  34:22  
And, and we experienced that our own journey. We paid off our debt right away, but we were trying to build up our emergency fund. We had 11 major financial expenses. Our son was getting medical care, well in the hospital for four days. I nearly died was in the hospital. Surgery saved my life. My son and I are okay, now. All that added up financially. So between doing that and saving our emergency fund, we cashflowed just shy of 63,000 in 26 months. And at the time my husband was working hourly in mass retail salvage, which doesn't pay a lot.

Vonne Solis  34:52  

Angie Carlson  34:53  
I was attending college. So like when you looked at our income from what we went through, I mean, it was just, like it was miraculous how we did it. Because I'm a budget person. I could not go back and make that budget work but yet, I know every bill was paid. And I attributed that to the trust factor, which makes I'm a logical person. I, trust factors like, seems really out there to me. But yet I can't deny it because I saw all that happen. And, and that's just part of the journey is also being like, we're going to like back to the whole, we're going to figure this out. We're going to find a solution. And sometimes it was something random came in the mail that was just what we needed that we had no idea was coming.

Angie Carlson  35:29  
It just felt at the time my husband aborigines look at each other, like, this is weird. We felt like no more deserving than anybody else. We are very appreciative. Don't get me wrong. Super appreciate.

Vonne Solis  35:39  
Okay. Hey.

Angie Carlson  35:40  
Absolutely. And very thankful. But at the same time, you know, we were kind of felt like, well, why are we so special? But that wasn't the right question. It was because we were committed to our result, and we just decided to keep going. And did we want to throw in the towel after our eighth or ninth attempt? Yeah, we did start to think, maybe this isn't for people like us. We're so glad now and today that we didn't give up. Because now you know, we've changed careers. We're able to do the jobs we want to do. We're able to be there with our kids. Like, I mean, if, like, if we knew then what we know now we absolutely would go back and do it again. But going through it, I mean, we like had times we questioned. We had times we looked at each other. We had times that were like, we might need to sleep on this for a couple of days before we know what to do. 

Angie Carlson  36:17  
And unless it was like a car repair or something, like the medical bills, we knew they were coming. So we had you know, so we knew we had a few weeks to plan for those. 

Vonne Solis  36:23  

Angie Carlson  36:24  
Car repair is a different story. So it was always kind of like, okay, if it's a medical bill, we know, we probably have four to six weeks to get it through insurance and paid. Okay, what can we do in the next four to six weeks to bring in what we think this bill is going to be.

Vonne Solis  36:36  

Angie Carlson  36:36  
We always had to kind of think of what does this look like. And if we had a quiet month, we still just kept going to our goals. Just be like, You know what? We're either going to hit our goals, or we're going to be prepared. So then be one of the two. We figured out how to kind of triage as we went and then now it's to the point we don't have to triage anymore. Which is wonderful.

Vonne Solis  36:50  
Yeah, I just want to quickly ask you, what was the right question, Angie?

Angie Carlson  36:55  
I mean, we knew we were doing everything we could. So it wasn't a question necessarily of what we thought was our effort. It was just when something came up, it was always like, Okay, we have something else. Not happy about it. Definitely not ideal.

Vonne Solis  37:09  

Angie Carlson  37:10  
But what else can we do? What have we not thought of? What can we look for? And that's where working with a coach can be very helpful is that they can think of things that maybe you haven't thought of yet. They can look at different ways of doing things, or, you know, they might have worked with someone who's been through it. Maybe they've been through it themselves. And when you're emotionally in a situation, it's very hard to look outside the emotions of it, because you're just so focused on is my loved one gonna be okay? Are we still going to have food? And it's really hard to look outside your emotions when you feel like you're in survival mode. Something we kind of kept the focus on is like, we have to look beyond where we are because our plan is to not stay in survival mode forever.

Vonne Solis  37:50  

Angie Carlson  37:50  
That's a long miserable life. So how do we start showing up, as you know, not being in survival mode? What do we need to be doing? And, and it took us a lot of work. A lot of trial and error to get through some of that. But it was always just trying to ask ourselves the questions and just be really open and super curious. And, but it was hard. I mean, I'm not gonna sit here and say that was easy. This was one of the hardest things we've ever done in our life. It was not easy.

Vonne Solis  38:15  
No, and I think one of the most damaging things to people is, you know, for the past, definitely 15 to 20 years, you know? The the idea of life coaching and mentoring, and you can have it all and this focus on win win, win, win win. And people who are in leading positions. I'm not mentioning names, but people in leading positions like this, and they, they lose the authenticity, in my opinion, when they don't talk about their own experiences, and share that journey with others. Because even if we've gotten ourselves to a point of great wealth, or freedom to live the way we want to. And I will admit right now. I completely have the freedom to live the way I want to within certain means. So I didn't create at this point, huge wealth in my life, because I understand there's a responsibility with that. And also, I learned many, many years ago, you gotta know what you want the money for, you know?

Vonne Solis  39:23  
And, I was about 26 years old, and I did this one little retreat and ou know, new age thing, at the time. And this would have been in the early 80s. And the question was, you know, what would you do? No, the question was, Do you want a million dollars? And of course, there were 10 or so of us in the course. And I said no, not really. And then, you know, because I knew that it was kind of a catch question. And it was and by the way, 40 years ago, a million bucks sounded like a lot of money. Today it doesn't. But anyway, when everyone was asked, What would you do with that million dollars, not one person knew. So I think I formulated, I think that was a very freeing experience. A liberating experience for me. Because at that moment, I understood that whatever I create in my life, if, I have to know what I and this is not just money, this is everything. I have to know why I'm doing it. Why I'm doing it? What is my intention? And can I handle it?

Vonne Solis  40:24  
So I'll be honest. Today, I don't need a ton more money. I'm quite comfortable, because I'm focused on other things. But and we'll talk only briefly about this Angie, and a nod to it, because it goes along with trust. So intention and manifestation is huge. And when you start to trust yourself that you can create and have more of what it is you want, because you know why you really want it and what you want to do with it, the opportunities will be there. The money tree will shake and the stuff will fall. And it may only fall to the extent that you need what you need for that moment, right? But in every case, and what I'm hearing you say Angie, is all the things you needed to find the hardcore money for, you found. You and your husband found it.

Angie Carlson  41:16  
Yeah, we found it. And we just, you know, we, you know, we're my husband are Christians. We consider it a part of our faith. We consider it, you know, God's provision that, you know, we are just here and we're, and we just felt we were called to do it, and we were obedient to the call. And so that's, and that's how we did it, too. And I'm just gonna go back and touch on the thing where you said, you know, the win win win mentality. Yeah, it's hard to work with the person only shares their wins because if you win all the time, that's like being a robot. And we're humans. We're not meant to be robots. And so of course, I open up on the journey and how hard it is because I don't want to set false expectations for anybody. To sit here, oh, well, Angie's going to be the person to solve my problems. No, I'm here to, I'll help guide you. I will provide what you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear it. You know, I'm not the one going into your bank account and making all this happen. And so there's that responsibility there for you. And that's also part of the trust factor is, yeah, you're having the guidance. But you're you still have to do the work. Like just I mean, even though we have guidance, doesn't give you a pass on the work. And with and with that, and the growing and then the trusting is part of the process, and then just seeing what happens and, you know, like, things like it's just crazy.

Vonne Solis  42:26  
Yeah, I agree. And so that's what you know, and I'm glad you were saying that. So, neither Angie or I are here I can, I hope I can speak for you. We're not knocking any life coach. But what I'm saying is that it becomes very difficult, especially when you're in a vulnerable position, to think that you can get yourself out of a situation when you're only learning from someone who's already at the top. And you really don't know how they got there, or how they're staying there. And I can, I would 100% wager every single one of them has had problems and continues to have their own life challenges. But a lot of us, we've been so conditioned to not share those challenges, because it'll knock us out of the competitive world if we do. There's a huge risk to being vulnerable and truthful with our stories. And we need to change that. And you know, there are some business, business people I won't go so far as to say they're leaders, but certainly tapped into some high profile businesses out there that are starting to talk about authenticity in business. And we also need authenticity in terms of our relationship to money. Because it is such a complicated, complicated relationship.

Angie Carlson  43:43  
There's grace. And grace is what's missing from society, like, especially in the United States. There's a culture to sue and all these things. So it's really hard to be authentic when you have thoughts in your mind of, is someone going to sue me for this? Especially now in the social media world. Am I going to get crucified online for something? And so when someone's like, stepping into what they believe and showing up authentically, it's one, really refreshing to see and two, it's just like a form of character development cuz it's like, oh, well, this person I know, like and trust can go out and show up boldly and say the things that need to be said online. And, you know, they're probably still getting comments that have different opinions, all that stuff. You don't control that. But still, it's like that they're so grounded in what they believe. And they're okay with it. 

Angie Carlson  44:31  
And to get to that point where you're okay having a conversation with someone that has a different point of view, but you can do it calmly, comfortably. You both are trying to learn and stretch the other person. It's a beautiful thing is. And it's a beautiful sign of growth on both parties that are involved in the conversation. It's also really hard to do because now you're, you know, you're or at least I know, in my head, I'm always admitting, oh, you know, like if someone has a belief totally different than mine, I wonder how they got there. And then there is also like, Okay, but why am I so grounded in what I believe? And why am I so grounded in this being the way for me? And, and neither of those questions or in my opinion are bad. Like, if you believe something, I want the person to know why they believe it. Especially if I'm going to work with them.

Vonne Solis  45:18  
Yes, yeah, no kidding. Yeah, like, yeah, you're right. You're right. I wanted to just quickly ask you. I'm going to, we're moving, you know, sort of to the top of the hour. So I'm getting in my last couple of questions. But I did just want to ask your view on why it is in the US that you're, that that culture is such a culture of suing? And I'm in Canada. I don't have that. But it it struck me when I insured my son to take my car just across the border last summer. And I had to buy extra insurance because of this "sue" culture. Why? Where do you think that has come from?

Angie Carlson  45:58  
Oh, man, if I had the answer, I would love to share it. I honestly, I honestly don't know.

Vonne Solis  46:03  
Money. But it's it's rooted in money, money and winning.

Angie Carlson  46:07  
Yeah. And thankfully in the United States, you have insurance policies for all that. But then you just think of the negative press or, you know, some companies might voice an opinion. People don't agree with it. Now, it's all over the media. So it may not necessarily be sued. It may be media so and and that raise on your thoughts. And of course it does naturally. But you have to push past some of that too, and just realize that you're going to be okay. Like, you have what you need within you to be okay.

Vonne Solis  46:31  
Anyway, we're not talking about that so much today. But I did want to just briefly, as we go into talking a little bit here about money and trauma. You also talked about this just earlier about when we're in that vulnerable, we're in that crisis, and we're just trying to survive. And you know, and not really solution oriented, I just want to say one thing about that before we move on and and ask you Angie, if you want to add any any more to the money and trauma piece. But when you are in trauma, and I was in trauma after losing my child, I was diagnosed with PTSD. My bereavement is 18 years. And there's some grief for sure, related to it. And when I look back to the 10 years before I was diagnosed at the kinds of thoughts I had, and the kind of action I was taking, okay? Reaction. I was a very reactionary person. Watch yourself for that, because these are not logical thoughts. And if I could go back, and I love what you said, If I could go back and redo it all, I would never want to. But if I had to the one thing I would absolutely try to do. Even in my worst moments, curled up in a fetal position terrified of the world, is try and understand that and believe and trust that there's a solution for everything. And look at what is the worst that could happen? What is the most that, you know, this situation will demand from me? And how willing am I and how capable am I of doing it? Well this all ties into trust, the hope, the desire, the willingness, the courage, all of these things.

Vonne Solis  48:19  
And I'm telling you just a $10,000 balance on your credit card when you're maybe making 10 bucks an hour? Listen, that's pretty huge. That's pretty huge for anybody out there that is faced with that. And I'll bet you there's there's a lot of people faced with just credit card debt, and don't have a budget, maybe. They're just sort of living day by day by, lots of people live paycheck to paycheck. And this is where, you know, perhaps you do need to start with a financial coach. But if you can't work with one, then to really sit down and strategize. I think strategizing is so important with at least one other person about what you can do, and how much you really have. Do you think that some of us have more money than we think just simply by our spending habits?

Angie Carlson  49:12  
Oh, my gosh, absolutely. I mean, I have clients that were finding $500 a month up to $3000 a month that was just going out the door. Like what could you do with an extra $6000 to $36,000 a year? How much of your financial challenges that would solve. I mean, that's, yeah, I love a good mystery and finding that it's just like part of the fun and that's one of the steps that can give you some hope. And sometimes when you look at it, you may not think of it as something, but that's where a coach can work with you and be like, Oh, maybe that is something that I can think of. That's just all part of the growth and the journey.

Vonne Solis  49:43  
We're now moving into just you know, this financial planning. Is a budget just part of financial planning or are they two different things?

Angie Carlson  49:51  
My opinion they're two different things. So I do have to preface this by saying I am not licensed with anything in the United States. So

Vonne Solis  49:57  

Angie Carlson  49:57  
You can't take advice as such. Um, but what it is, is the budget is more of your day to day management and spending. What's your long term spending like? Like, do you have a strategy for your will? Your estate? Your taxes? Especially in the United States. Your life insurance? Like those are all important pieces of your strategy, because like, if you don't have life insurance and someone passes away, and they were your main income earner, you don't have anything saved, you just became the main income earner.

Vonne Solis  50:28  

Angie Carlson  50:29  
The worst time you want to find that out, at least if there was life insurance in place, now you've got some time to strategize and plan. So there's definitely tools in my opinion, you want to get in place sooner rather than later, if you're eligible for them to help kind of bridge the gap in case something happens. And you might be thinking in the back of your head, well I don't want to pay for something I never use. It's true, you may never use it, but you're also paying for peace of mind so you can sleep at night.

Vonne Solis  50:53  
So when you're talking and again, you're not giving advice. Just saying we're talking concepts here. They've had articles in Canada, and they've done statistics numerous times about how many people plan for their retirement or, or, or understand at the age of, quote, 65, whether you know, they will have enough money. And there's a huge percentage that have no real concept of it, and just, we'll deal with it when they turn 65. And so this idea of planning. Estates, financial insurance, all of that. How can people think about it in terms of being scared, you know, to do it, so it's not so scary?

Angie Carlson  51:35  
Well, and I think of it as an order of operation. So you hear a lot, at least in society in the United States of save for retirement. Save for retirement. Save for retirement. That's all fine and good.

Vonne Solis  51:44  

Angie Carlson  51:45  
The problem with that is, is if you don't, if you're not prepared for a rainy day, your retirement fund just became your emergency fund. And now you've got higher taxes and all that. So when I think of retirement, I think of like, if you think of finances like building a house? Saving for retirement is like installing the windows in your house as a first step. So if you know nothing about building a house, that should still sound really odd to you. Like who would do that?

Angie Carlson  52:10  
So that's why I'm so big on Okay, let's look at how you make decisions around money? Let's get the money freed up. Because if you've got an emergency fund to help cover bills that come up, you're not raiding your retirement, to pay for a new roof. Why? Because you have the money saved for a new roof. Your retirement is still there growing and growing and growing. So it's there for you for the goal to retire. And two, if you keep pulling the money from your emergency fund today. Keep getting the hit on the taxes and all that, why would you keep saving for retirement? It would seem nuts. And so that's why I, I'm a firm believer that there's an order in the way things should be done.

Vonne Solis  52:45  

Angie Carlson  52:46  
In order for the processes to be smoother in that regard. And so the day to day is part of your estate planning for the future. But getting the day to day under control, allows that future to be so much brighter.

Vonne Solis  52:57  
Unless something forces you into thinking about death, oh, somebody could die? Do I have a will? Like what's going to happen having to clean things up when you don't even know what to do. There is a generation and I understand it. The generation following us, you know, and maybe even the younger people, they're not thinking about wills. In your opinion and to sort of bring this to the top of the hour, Angie, what would you want to leave the audience with in terms of if they don't have financial literacy to start becoming more literate about finances? And what's at least one or two things they could do for themselves if they're just completely haven't even thought about the future and protecting themselves?

Angie Carlson  53:48  
Well the first thing is, if you're realizing that you need to get financially organized? That's step one is even realizing you need to do it, because that's the recognition. And then step two is, I mean, if you want to look at kind of why does my money feel off? There's several budgeting apps out there. I personally like Every Dollar. You can go download that when on your app stores. Try to put a budget together and kind of see where your money is going and with your budget, it's income and all expenses or i.e., everything you spend is an expense. So at least kind of have a general idea of where you're going.

Angie Carlson  54:22  
And then if you're like sitting here going, I don't like where I am. Now great. Now you're ready to kind of start going on to your to your next part. So the first one is if you're, we just kind of realize where we're at. And I've had clients that have, that have overestimated their debt by like 10 to 30%. They were actually relieved when they put it together and realized, oh, I don't have as much debt as I thought I did. So it can also be a very freeing exercise because sometimes if we don't know we overestimate. So let's let's get some facts. Let's get some facts about our situation and give ourselves peace of mind. Because now instead of going I think, I feel. Now it's like okay, no. Now I know. And that alone, just, just frees up so much headspace because now we're not constantly wondering, it's like, okay, I figure and it's whatever it is.

Vonne Solis  55:05  
Being afraid of money? And I was. I lived like that for years. It was rooted in how I was raised. There wasn't enough. And I spent years stocking a pantry. So when my daughter passed, it's like none of that mattered to me anymore. So that was a transformation. It wasn't a great way to have to transform. But it was my transformation that took several years to feel, I won't go so far as to say empowered, but I will say not afraid of money anymore. Because all of these things we talked about? You know, the trust, the willingness, the desire, the even the hope to some degree. But it was really more just the trust I can get out of this. And the more I understood and saw myself doing that, and opportunities coming to me that people were like, Oh, you must be lucky. No. It's just that when you open yourself up and really intend and need something? I am such a big believer that we can create that with our thoughts. I mean, but that is another episode for sure or several episodes.

Vonne Solis  56:15  
But what I'm saying is, the more that you become brave enough to as Angie, you're saying, look at where you are. Really look at where you are, and then decide what you need and want to change about that, take the first step. And it I'm a huge believer in the first step always leads to the next step and the next step and the next step. Because once you become financially literate, really there's no turning back is there? And I do you tend to think that most situations aren't nearly as bad as we think.

Angie Carlson  56:52  
I would agree with that. It can be overwhelming at the time. And then once you get through it, you're like, Oh, that wasn't so bad.

Vonne Solis  56:57  
Yes. And you just go whewf! Money is factual. You know? It doesn't lie. It's not a feeling. It's not anything. It is an actual fact. This is how much there's going to be. So many people are so afraid to get honest and have these difficult conversations. And that is tied into not wanting to maybe purchase insurance for children. To financially plan. To do estate planning, because I think still a lot of people don't want to think about the tough things that could happen.

Angie Carlson  57:26  
Well, no one likes to think of their own death. That's depressing. But yeah, you know, we know it's clearly happening. And so just by facing it doesn't change the fact it's going to happen. So I did want to touch on that and just acknowledge that there's kind of that duality there.

Vonne Solis  57:44  
Yeah. So Angie, this has just been wonderful and eye-opening in a lot of ways. And it's been very refreshing to hear you talk about the whole mindset. The thoughts and some of the other things that we've talked about today. Is there any key message you want to leave the audience and then I'd like to just have you share who you're working with, and how people can reach you.

Angie Carlson  58:08  
Yeah. So in terms of like, leaving you with something, the biggest thing is I just want to leave people with is, you absolutely can do it. You can win with your money. And don't let it take a tragedy for you to realize that it needs to happen. Today is a great day to get started. Tomorrow is a great day to get started. Don't wait five years, 10 years, 20 years, and let this compound and get something bigger and bigger and bigger. Because now you have to go cut deeper and go deeper to clean it up. That's just so much more work if you keep putting it off. So if getting your finances under control is something you're looking for, I definitely would encourage you to reach out to me, the day that you listen to this podcast. 

Angie Carlson  58:50  
And then in terms of where you can find me I am on Facebook and Instagram, that handle is at financecoachAC. And then the website is And I do want to let your listeners know that the first conversation with me is always a no cost conversation to see if you know, I'm a great partner for you on the way to your financial goals.

Vonne Solis  59:12  
That's fantastic. And audience, I will have links in the description to Angie's website and socials. And so again, thank you so much Angie for coming on my show and having this enlightening conversation with me because we all want to feel safe and money helps us do that. Right? So thank you again for coming on my show Angie.

Angie Carlson  59:39  
Oh, my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Introduction to episode
Money tips for couples and individuals
The importance of communication
Dealing head on with financial problems
Your mindset about money
Overcoming struggle
We tell our money what to do
Do you have enough?
Money problems - the right question to ask
Money and trauma
Preparing for emergencies
Money - it's not a feeling
Angie's resources