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The Language of Money: How Financial Therapy Speaks to Your Overall Well-Being

I'm super excited to introduce you all to Lindsey Konchar this month! Lindsey is a financial therapist that I met on Threads a while back and fell in loooveee with everything she shared and talked about. Lindsey's broken down descriptions, easy to understand language and approach to numbers connected with me in a way that other finance accounts haven't. She weaves together psychology and finances in the way that we all NEED! Read below while Lindsey explains what financial therapy is.


Financial stress is very common in the United States. According to a 2015 report by the  American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time. 5 years later, in 2020, a Thrive Global put out a report that states: “Money is the #1 stressor in the United States.” and “90% [of Americans] say finances negatively impact their daily stress levels.”


Financial stress is common, but it shouldn’t be normal.


For some unknown reason, we expect that money management should be intuitive, innate even. But it’s not. Money management is a learned behavior. Think about it this way: 


You take a vacation to Paris. Your first stop is the Eiffel Tower, and while settling into your picnic with a view, a Frenchman in the square asks, “Voudrais-tu une baguette?” [“Would you like a baguette?”].


But you don’t speak French. In that moment, you wouldn’t get angry and shame yourself for not speaking a language you were never taught.


And the same is true for money because money is a language. First, you learn how to speak the language of money. Then, you understand money management.


The question remains: “How do I learn the language of money?”


Enter, Financial Therapy.


What is Financial Therapy?


Financial Therapy merges cognitive behavioral therapy with financial coaching.


Money isn’t just a math problem; there is always so much more to the equation. 


I help you understand how you feel, think, and behave with money. Then, together we define your money values and establish short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. And finally, we create an action plan for reaching those goals.


Together, we get to the root cause of your financial overwhelm


Your therapist knows some of the most intimate details of your life; often even more than your partner or best friend. Yet, they rarely – if ever – talk about financial stress or how to manage it. 


On the other side of the spectrum, Financial Planners are great with numbers and spend a lot of time in a spreadsheet. However, they don’t understand or coach you on the emotional side of money.


A financial therapist is the best possible solution because 99% of the financial choices you make are emotional.


Like it or not, my friend: You are in a relationship with money


Truth be told, if that relationship were labeled on Facebook, it would probably be listed as ‘it’s complicated.’

And just like any other relationship, your relationship with money falls somewhere between toxic and healthy.

A linear spectrum colored red on the left labeled "toxic" slowly changing to blue on the right for "healthy"

Signs of a Toxic Relationship with Money:


  • Avoidance (AKA Ostrich effect)

  • Avoid mail with bills inside

  • Won’t check account balances

  • Talking about money makes you hot or shaky

  • Limiting beliefs

  • “Money is the root of all evil” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees


Signs of a Healthy Relationship with Money:


  • Know what your income is 

  • Live within your means

  • Clear financial goals (AKA North Stars)

  • Practice intentional, values-based spending

  • Willingness to learn about money

  • Feel calm and confident when talking about money

 

If you’re reading this and thinking, “How do I leave a toxic relationship with money and start a positive one?”


Girl, I’ve got you! The answer is simple: Financial Self-Care.


Financial Self-Care


Financial self-care is a true form of self-care. It goes far beyond a quick-fix, “treat yo-self” mentality. Financial self-care goes so much deeper than that.


In this blog post I define financial self-care as:


“Financial self-care is what you do to create a life well lived for today and tomorrow. It’s correcting past mistakes and making a plan to engage with your money in the here and now.”


And there are a ton of ways to practice financial self-care. Here are 5 awesome ways to get started:


1. Establish 2 clear savings goals


Having savings goals is one of the best ways to practice financial self-care. It’s not just about the actual act of saving money. It’s about having a clear plan and direction for your money. It’s giving your money a job.


If you don’t have any money in an emergency fund, then that’s savings goal numbero uno. 


You get to establish your second savings goal. This can be a vacation, a fabulous pair of shoes, a dollar amount to put towards holiday spending in December, anything! 


Here’s the catch: I want your savings goals to be crystal clear. The clearer your goals are, the more likely they are to actually be accomplished. 


I’m talkin’ visualizing the exact moment you’re laying on that white sand beach in Mexico, piña colada in hand. 


You can use this SMARTer financial goals template to make your goals, well, SMARTer. 


Financial therapist Lindsey Konchar with her family standing on Devils Bridge in Sedona, AZ

A savings goal we had in 2023 was a family trip to Sedona


2. Open a HYSA and automate monthly contributions to it


Up next, opening and funding a High-Yield Savings Account (HYSA). 


A HYSA is the best way to earn – you guessed it – high yields on your money. Meaning, you put money in and instead of earning like .1% on your money, you could be earning upwards of 4.5%. 


My family will make about $1,500 in 2024 for simply having our emergency fund in a HYSA. This is what we mean when we say money should be working for you. 


You should do your due diligence on where you want to open your HYSA, but I always like to give my favorite recommendations. I love the online bank option Ally because they make saving actually fun (gasp!). 


What I like most about Ally is they have savings buckets. So we can clearly and easily label all the things we’re saving for (i.e. vacation to Portugal, AJ’s hunt, holiday spending, my LLC’s taxes, etc.). Click this link to open your HYSA and get started on your financial self-care plan.


3. Tell others about your financial self-care journey


A great way to support yourself in your financial self-care journey is to tell others about wanting to get a grip on your money. 


This could be your therapist, spouse, partner, BFF, co-workers, or anyone who you feel would be supportive of your new endeavor. 


We’re not meant to do life alone. Be open and vulnerable and share that you’re trying to learn the language of money. You’d be surprised how people in your life will want to join you!


4. Stop comparing yourself to others (financial edition)


You know how sometimes you get in the doom scroll on social media? (No judgment – we’ve all been there). Hours into the scroll, you find yourself fixating on your best friend’s little brother’s girlfriend's roommate, Jessica. 


You don’t personally know Jessica, but her life looks really, really cool. Pictures of fancy restaurants in New York and glamorous beaches in Positano. You start to wonder “How is she always traveling?” and “How can she afford this?”


Soon the doom scroll through Jessica’s life turns into a rabbit hole of Comparisonitis


Here’s the kicker: You have no idea how Jessica is affording her lifestyle. Jessica may be putting all those fabulous travels on a high-interest credit card. She might have inherited a bunch of money. Or maybe she really is just crushin’ life. 


No matter what the answer is, it doesn’t help you.


See, Jessica can live her life however she wants. Comparing yourself to her isn’t going to help your wallet or your well-being. 


You know who you should be comparing yourself to? Yourself. The version of you from last year. How’s she doing?


  • Is the 2024 version of you better off financially then the 2023 version? 

  • Are you making time and effort to understand how money works? 

  • Are you practicing financial self-care?


Keeping up with Joneses, the Kardashians, or anyone else is a thing of the past. It’s time to compete against yourself and win


5. Work with a financial therapist (like me!) 


Financial therapy might be exactly what you need to get out of your own way and start making real changes to your financial habits. 


You will benefit working with a financial therapist if:

  • You feel like you’re drowning in debt

  • You haven’t yet learned the language of money

  • Your parents made bad financial decisions

  • You avoid your bills or statements as much as possible

  • You tell yourself things like, “I’m bad with money.”

  • You want to get over your fear of investing

  • You want to feel in control of your money

  • You want a plan and peace with your money


Working with a financial therapist – especially if you already feel like you spend too much – can feel counterproductive. I get it. 


But you deserve to be empowered with your money. You should feel at ease. You can be in a healthy relationship with money.


Financial therapist Lindsey Konchar (Caucasian woman with brown hair in a side ponytail sitting on concrete steps)

If you’re interested in learning more about your favorite Financial Therapist, Lindsey Konchar, you can visit her website here. She’s currently accepting new clients for both individual and couples financial therapy. She's also on Instagram and Threads!



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