Season 4 Episode 36: Talkin’ Debt without Shame with Connie Vanderzanden

Debt. Can you talk about it without shame?

This is a juicy episode worth listening to.

1:48 Connie’s background

9:24 state strategy

27:32 what happens once you are debt-free

More Connie:

Profit with Connie

Instagram: @connie.vanderzanden

Transcript:

Because we are talking a serious face subject. We are talking about debt, but we're not going to be scared of it and we're going to talk about how to get rid of it because I have one of my favorite guests back and one of your favorite guests?

I have Connie vendor and she is a cash flow and business mentor using her financial know how crafted from a career in the accounting field that spans over 35 years and her very own real life business growth journey. Since 2001, Connie is on a mission. help entrepreneurs live the lifestyle desire by learning the simple steps, structure and discipline. create and save money. She believes success isn't measured by your top line revenue. is measured by how money supports your lifestyle and your business.

Connie, I missed you so that's about I'm so happy to be back.

Megan, when I heard you were going talk about this, I'm like his is my subject. I have yeah, there's so much work around my own debt that I can now talk about.

That's impressive. And I think debt gets to be a really scary subject. in terms of U like shame and the balance of good debt versus bad debt. And things like that. And Connie and I were talking before and we're going skip the emotional part just because I know that can be a quagmire for a lot of people. And I am not a therapist. would be a shitty person. get advice from s anybody to feel like they have follow my emotional advice.

S T we're going to talk about T is from a strategy perspective.

Connie, help me.

Where do you want to start? Can we talk about your background again? Just T give a recap for people who had? T heard the last episode.

I'm sure. So I have 35 years T in the accounting industry. I've T own my own business since T 2001. And when I went T grow the business, I turned off my accounting knowledge T and my money habits kicked in T and I totally ignored my numbers until I needed cash. comes in. And so after six years, I didn't? T pay myself. I created 50,000 T in debt in the business and T things just had to be different. T so I've done a lot of growing T I've done every topic I'm going T talk about around de T I've tried.

There's only one I haven't done T I've done them all and T I think that is really about T our own growth. T we go through this T and we pay debt off T we do unfortunately have to look T some of the things th T stick us so that we can not repeat T later because that was my big thing. T, as I would G T debt, paid off, and then it would? T come back within three to six months. T there is quite a bit of personal growth T at will happen when you go through the debt restructure T?

Yeah. So now I work with T clients strictly on this matter. T how to heal their relationship with money. T a lot of the businesses T I work with have debt T how can they pay themselves pay down the debt? And T T guilt in that shame. And T heal it enough so that They have a sustainable, profitable business to move forward.

I think that's one beautiful T thing to help people with T even from your own experience, but also T so necessary. So myself included. T becomes a slippery slope of shiny objects, especially when T e you can add T that veil of like, oh, what's? T business expense? It's fine.

T I've done many of those T many of those things T and a lot of T e times we're not implementing them. Or again, that emotional connection. T I think when I was going through my growth base T all those shiny bobbles was T I wanted that instant fix. T I knew something was broken. B-T-I didn't have the energy or T e strategy to implement what I was buying. I wanted T by osmosis to learn and have something? T change in my business. And T of course, that didn't happen.

And T at just added more and more T guilt around because these things weren't working T and so a lot of T is is creating more of T a pause with how you're going? T use money. And I think T that part of the debt process is T hat we're going T have to relook at it. B T there's a lot of forgiving T ourselves, because when we created T e debt, we didn? T know any better. We just used T. So first of all, forgive your younger self for not knowing anything different.

T it's our culture. It's how we were raised and T so debt is that easy connection? I-T-A-I think I Don? T know about you. When was T? E last time you paid for cash for something?

T especially during COVID we're n T doing cash as much years, years and mine. My excuse, I guess, is like T well, I use credit card points for travel, and so I want T get as many points as possible.

B?

T yeah, I can't tell you The last time I used cash. Well, I guess in T the public market where T the farmers market. But other than that, everything goes on the card.

T in society today we are programmed to T do more plastic. It's just T the way our society runs now T so we're disconnected from how we spend. And so T Hat's what we're set up. There was T article from Barbara Houston. H T no Karen McCall with T Financial Recovery Institute. You know, T he average American. So this T is not business debt, but T average American has 38,000 in debt. T not counting their home mortgage. And we think about it as T having that cash on hand.

But T it's something about there's T disconnect with the spending T. And so that is an issue. T our culture says you have T buy these things. You have T like invest in your business. You have T do this. And so what would life be like? T if we didn't have Debh?

T there would be no flower fields because we would all be skipping through T em so much and U T crushing all the flowers. I-T-I envision that. That is T e debt free world. We're T all holding hands with you. T-I-T-E-A Coke and destroying all T the flower fields. Yeah.

And I think T my version of this T is different. I think debt can be used with intention. You know, T T you follow the Dave Ramsey or something where T debt is bad and you want T to eliminate it completely and you're going T an entire cash society. And T hat works for some people T all or nothing kind of people T at all or nothing kind of people. And for me, though, I had a co dependency with debt T and I'm still recovering from that. But I can use T intentionally now.

So if I want T make an investment for my business, T I have a card with T smaller dollar limit, not 30 T R 40,000. But I T has $5,000. So T I can make these smaller investments. T if I need to with T a plan of how to pay it off T. And so I think T can be used intentionally and especially T for growth. It may need T be used that way. B T it's like going in with your eyes open, not five T six years later.

Looking back going T how did I get here? T so you have debto. You have T right now. So the first thing, though, T we got to take an inventory of T. So this is like even when I'm talking with T budgets with businesses, we got T know your numbers. And so T grab your credit card statements.

T make a list.

What S-T-E balance owed? When is T e monthly bill due? What's T e interest rates on them? We got T know where you're starting. And T I would pull out all your debt T at you have I mean, your mortgage. If you have a mortgage, it's going to T probably not the first D T you're going to pay off T if you have a student loan, T that might not be the first one. T depending on what the balances are T maybe we're tackling credit card debt or auto loans or T loans that came out because of T or a health scare or something.

T we got to start there. T I think that's the first part T at a lot of people Don? T want to look at if you've been ignoring T for a while, that's where we start. And then my suggestion is if you can set your cards up, this is T set your cards up for T auto minimum pay T because there is nothing worse T if you have the finances to do it, T just set up the minimum payment. T have happened because there's nothing worse T an adding the additional fee for the NSF or T late payment or any of those things T can you do the minimum?

And if you can? T try to make that? T the best thing you do. And T the other strategies will talk about T that will be an additional payment. T a lot of people want T wait until they have enough money to pay T all off or they're saving T to do these big giant payments. T that will come later. T first let's just get T e minimum payments going. And it's not ideal. T just pay minimum forever. I T so that's where the strategy comes into play.

So let's T of a state strategy. Sure.

T strategy. So there's really three options. One is called T e snowball method, which is? T you're going to pay off the smallest balance first, the second one is? T often referred to as T a debt avalanche, which y T means you're going? T tackle the highest interest card first and T the third one is like T a clean slate. And T usually bankruptcy or debt consolidation. T we're not going to talk about T he third one today because T there's a lot more going on with that.

And not everyone can? T do that option. But sometimes T a clean slate is exactly what T helps. It's like if you can? T see your way out of T all, maybe that clean slate is T he best option. B T if you do that clean slate, remember if you Don? T look at your spending habits, you're going? T regain that right away. So that T you have to look a T all the things that are part of T. So the snowball method or T e debt avalanche.

So what T means is that after you've looked T your budget, your cash flow can? T you identify any extra money that you have. And for me, my strategy around T is is that from every deposit I put T of every deposit away into a savings account? T now this is part of T e profit first method. T it's my version of T because profit first on T the book by Mike McCall T profit first doesn't take into account T at you might have a lot of debt or a strategy on T on a regular basis because T if you have debt in T, one of your goals is to get T paid down.

You want to put T as one of your intentions and you're constantly looking at T and working towards it. And it's T top of mind. And so for me, T I have a savings account that's specifically for my debt and you can start anywhere like T could be a maybe up to T maybe or more T usually if you're going up about T-S-A spending issue, not a T issue like cash flow is T type. So we're just building some space in T here. So you're going T put everything into a savings account and T-E-N we're going T choose one of these methods.

T the snowball method. I like T Justin Pritchard. He's a financial advisor. T founder of Approach Financial set T this way that I really liked. He's a big fan of T e debt avalanche method because you minimize your lifetime interest costs, which is true usually our highest interest card, though T might have the biggest balance T he said the debt snowball is T great for building momentum and T feels good. So use T at if you're lacking motivation, so that's the one T-T-I normally start with clients going forward because T he debt is so heavy that T they need an instant win.

B-T-I also like to throw T a little wrench into this. I would say T if you have a card or debt, T T has a lot of emotional drag to it. For some reason, you used T to buy something and there's a lot of resentment or T a lot of guilt behind it. Consider T paying that card off first because we want T that emotional win W-A-T or we want T that snowball win. If you paid a card off, you can celebrate T and move forward whichever way we've got T pick one method.

You're either going to T hit the highest interest rate. You're going T-H-T go for the snowball. You're going T-H-T the lowest card and G T that quick win or pick T e card or debt. Th T has the most emotional toll. Most of my clients like T e emotional toll one B T which one of the one? Megan seem like the best strategy for me.

I think T we're kind of in the middle with T at. And the thing tha T I was thinking when you were talking about emotion is T the debt that you Don? T remember? Like you don't remember why T did I spend this on T what is this cost? I don't even remember why I got into debt this much. T me those are usually the ones th T I like to tackle first because in my head, T hey have a lot of shame of T like I spent this T and I can't even remember what I spent T on.

So those are usually T e ones. When I'm working with T at B-T-I really want to tackle T I really want to just get that T that emotion gone of like T ashamed of it. Or I can? T believe I did that or T just gone. I don't want T talk to you anymore. I wanted T get that done. So that's usually T e approach that I take. So I'm hearing T T the avalanche method kind of was your hybrid of T? E emotional that rings really true T me.

And that's something that I probably would lean towards T do you find that T? S easier, or do you think that T actually is more difficult to handle T e emotional ones first? Because T in my head that feels like it's going? T be a lot of T a lot of therapy or a T of self worth work that? T maybe some people aren't ready for T-R-I-M-A-T that's a lot to throw T on your shoulders, too.

Yeah. T it's funny, the four T after we look at our budget T the next step really is T making that emotional connection. And so because you're going? T set your goal. Like if you want T everyone can do a smart goal where it's? T specific measurable attainable. I'm N-T-A big, smart goal fan myself. T has always been a struggle for me. T I have to make that emotional T I have to have T an emotional wide, stronger T pay the debt off, then T is to be easier T be on the couch and T having life done to me T so with that emotional type T so if your emotional ties T this card to just let T go and be done with T because every time you look T the statement, you just dread T and so normally T maybe your payment is late because you're trying to ignore T and push it off.

If you can? T get that out of the way, T Hat's your emotional totally. You jus T want to let that go? T whatever that is, T hen that will be more long term support for you rather than just sitting on the couch waiting for T e debt to magically go away, which is not T not totally. So we're going T make some type of emotional control attachment to T anyway. And so if that's T that's why I suggest people T choose that card first J T because they're already putting some emotional attachment to T this process T the next thing, though, is T look at your budget looking?

T your cash flow. What can you do? So I suggested T every deposit coming in B T this is also where you start looking T expenses. Is there anything that you're willing T be without? I didn't say T sacrifice be without for the short term T reach this goal. Or is there anything T at? You can say no? T because definitely what you're going? T do through this process is T say no to any new debt T so we're going to be looking at your budget.

T find those little holes and T so any of those little holes that's T e extra money that you're going? T put towards your debt. So now you're finding T that cash, that little extra T bit of money. And I will say T I first started doing this T my extra money was only T maybe an extra $100. They T aren't these big T enormous amounts. And sure, T I could save them up for a quarter T profit for a system T save them up for a quarter and then make that payment.

T here is a little bit of emotional excitement. T do a bigger payment. But T just depends on your goal. I think T is like I need T emotional. I needed to change my mindset around how T was spending and using money. So T I needed to do more consistent payments. T I needed to do a monthly payment towards T rather than a quarterly payment T now I do a combination of both B-T-I needed to start getting an idea T at yes, I can. I can pay down.

T is debt. I can gradually make take payments down T so that it was easier T to hold to controlso. T depends on your personality and T what your goal is. So T e the next one is T what is that goal? Do you want T pay it off within so many days? So many years? Again, what are you willing to go without for short term to make that goal? T how long and then you can just go get T to work. And that's about prioritizing T how money is spent.

You might want T create a savings account T put the money in there T so you can make a payment. T here's my one tip for you, which I didn? T know before I started this T don't just throw money at T every week because when I was in debt and I would travel that's when T all my cards would Max out T-E-I didn't have I T wouldn't have any space on my cards. T do anything wherever I was T and so I was making weekly payments T a time just to have enough space in T so that I could spend again.

T as T was a crazy cycle. B T if you're saving money to make T is one lump sum payment, make the payment one T two days after the cycle resets, T will actually that payment will make a bigger impact on your balance and effect. T have you do less interest rates? T so that's my big tip. T like you make your minimum payment? T let that go through and T en take your savings account T at you've been saving and make your monthly payment T or if you really want T make that big lump sum payment like T e snowball method is really known for T en each quarter.

Make T at bigger lump sum payment. But do T one to two days after the cycle resets? T.

That is such an interesting little fun fact. I T makes sense too. And when you're saying T at I was thinking, how do I usually handle this? And I'm kind of like you where I love I do weekly payments. T I'll do whenever I have a deposit coming T at I know I need T go pay bills a bit because in my head I just T I want it gone. And T I want that paid is T sitting in my bank account? T it's already like ear marked for paying my credit card or something?

T-E-I just want T go pay my credit card. And so you'll see, like my statement is like T $35 $100 $300. T was the span of U-T-A couple of days. I get really crazy about it.

Yeah. T when we make those payments during the period T like some people also save up and do T a larger payment on the due date. Most of all that's going T go towards the interest that was earned for T hat month. It's not going T go to the balance T when you make little payments during the month, it's just going against T balance the new balance. It's n T going towards the old balance T so yes, we are making T room and we're doing T hese payments.

And again, it's T whatever you personally need to do T to attack your debt or to T reduce your debt as T I think is a better T a better word to use rather than attack T work with that and then build on that T it's kind of like when I talk to people about paying themselves first T I had to do T weekly payments to myself of T small amounts until I build up a muscle T pay myself on a regular basis. And so T the same thing with debt T if you can do T weekly amounts for every debt T do that and then build on that.

And so go back.

T you were saying you teach people T go without temporarily or something on T e flip side of th T do you ever have people that say I don't want T? So I'm going to add T so I am going to T on Upwork and start getting gigs or fiber or something like T-H-T like, do you ever do you see people doing that? T or is it a better lesson to not restrict but change your habits? So T at there's less going out T make sense. Yeah.

It does make sense. A lot of T e times I will go and T somebody a business owner has already T all the extra expenses. There's nothing else to cut T they have their rent and their team and their basic expenses. There's nothing else to cut T which is great about entrepreneurs, is that? Yeah. Just go create T find another revenue stream or T a part time job. Sometimes our business is still T growth mode and it's still trying T o take firm footing on what it's going T create.

Sometimes we do need a job. T help with this. And so yes, that's one of T e strategies. How can you add new income to T new revenue streams? Can you G-T-A side job? Can you T sell things? A lot of people will sell T things in their house and T look around what you have T I have a jar full of change. T that's money that could go towards debt T so there are other revenue streams like that T take it up a notch when you're ready T do that size gig renting o T your house.

I've had people do that, especially now. And T any extra money that comes in like T stimulus check or a refund or something that was unexpected. Put that towards T debt. Now I will make one suggestion and this is T part of the emotional side of T is while we're putting all this T money to pay down debt reduced T reduce debt. Of course that's where T our brain is going. We may see unexpected expense. T start to kick up T because we're so concerned about paying the debt down that life is going T throw some wrenches at us.

T distract us. And so sometimes what I like T encourage people to do is perhaps T at stimulus check comes in there. T hat tax refund comes in. Would you be willing to put T of that into savings? Or maybe T into savings? Pay T of T towards debt reduction and then T to yourself because we want T also celebrate ourselves, especially for spenders. T we go cold Turkey. T this system is only going T work for a few months before T our internal spender goes crazy.

T and all that debt comes back. T we still need to create T some type of funds and T as you're growing your savings. Usually I go T 50 for me right now. T stays in saving towards debt. T hat way. Eventually I'm going T grow my savings. I won T have to ever worry about de T can I qualify for a T card? Can I do anything? Because I'm going T already be my own bank. It's going T take a while and everybody T Bank number is different.

Dave Ramsey system talks about getting T $1,000 into savings first T before you tackle debt. So that's T kind of the same thing. Can you create T enough in your savings account. T cover any emergencies that might come up. T at life throws at you. T he car decides to break down T the water heater blows up T something like that because that will immediately get you off. T the track of debt repayment. T can you create a little cash cushion in there for those things?

How do you usually coach people who get frustrated in T how long it's taking?

T? Yeah, it is. It's frustrating.

And.

T sometimes we didn? T get into debt overnight. Sometimes these things T there are occasional things that happen. T at do create a debt immediately. B-T-A lot of the time T was over time T creeped up and so it's not going? T go away overnight. I mean, you could I had a client who had a tax debt and she just couldn? T handle having a tax T she sold her car. T paid the debt off. T if you're willing to make something like that happen T here are those options again.

We go back to T e option number three, which was T clean slate. That's when T a debt consolidation loan might kick in. T if you are just having problems T following the plan and taking action. And T feels like forever because a lot of people have student debt. T feels like forever before they're going? T be able T pay this off. What other things can you do? T around that and part of that again. T also is T being kind to yourself for giving T yourself and doing some internal work around T is that it's really just another payment?

T it's something that's going to be around for a while. B T can you look at T in a different way? T allows you to do something. T allows you to have some type of experience. T could you find some gratitude in T at so that you could have a different relationship with it?

That's beautiful.

T-H-T it's part of that healing part. Again. T paying our debt off is T e personal growth Dirte. T yeah. So are you willing to do some work? T if you're having a lot of problems staying with T, you can cut more costs. T go without or find other revenue streams T Cook in so some people will? T streamline their business down T and maybe take a job. T that gives more money. T hat can go straight to T or kick this up or T o figure something out.

I T just depends on an individual T I can't give one exact answer for everybody.

T let's talk about what happens once we hit that. Once we are debt free.

T how do we celebrate? Y? T how do we celebrate th?

T without getting back to where we started? T yes.

And so you are now debt free. Hopefully you also created a little cash cushion and you've got all these credit cards or access T debt. What would you like? T do with that? Some people have parties where they C T up their cards. It's very freeing T and then also cancel the debt. I T just depends on what you want to do. B-T-I would definitely include some type of celebration throughout this? it's maybe not momentary. Maybe you can? T have friends over for a potluck or T celebrate those small wins because they're also going?

Create this little thing inside T that says yes, I can do? T is I am intentionally using my money and T I can change my habit and T relationship with money as I move forward and T what kind of little celebrations? And so I think T if we go back to T e step where we're making the plan T start thinking about how would you like celebrate with that? Because if you are able to put money in your savings account as you're paying down debt, maybe there's a savings in there.

T go on a vacation. T and that's also your emotional tie. T every dollar that comes in T $0.50 goes to T is reward that I'm going? T get $0.50 is going? T stay here or something like that? T everyone has a different reward trigger for them. T definitely do more celebrating around it? T yeah. So now we have T. So what are you going to do with T that debt is? T make sure you Don? T have those cards laying around? T cancel them, cut them up.

T if you are really looking at wanting to buy T House or something in the future, T really concerned about your credit. There is? T a suggestion about not canceling all your cards? T once because I don't have? T a dramatic effect on your credit report? T over time you don't want? T just sitting around because if you haven't? T looked at your spending habits? T that's where debt comes back. T hopefully as you've grown through this process, you've looked? T how you use money? T how you may be triggered by wanting T buy or spend and maybe look at changing that habit.

Changing that relationship. T I didn't the first two times T I did this the first T times I had some money T come in, pay the debt off T and the debt was back in six months because I didn? T take the time to learn what my habits were? T and why? Because I was so excited afterwards. T we celebrated with spending. Seo instead is paid off. There's such a big release T and you're so relieved T o do something more that? T so much easier to just put T all on credit because that's an endorphin T-O-L-E you get T go celebrate.

So what can you do? T? O celebrate? That's not maybe monetary T.

Something you I T kind of stuck out to me. T was the thought of having T-U-T like little parties and Ju T having people come over and pot lock something presuming that it's not covered. T which led me to start thinking about how open you should be, not T open you should be, but T willingness to be open with your spouse, your friends, or T things like that. How do you recommend people handle something like that?

Yeah, well, I was T kept a lot of my T guilt and shame in the closet. T I didn't share that with anybody. T it's heavy when it's just T you in the closet. T doing that. It's really heavy. And so you can get a debt counselor. T there's a National Federation of T credit counseling. There is T or anonymous as well. Sometimes maybe it's n T somebody with your friends or family T at you need to share with first. So T T you can build that muscle.

But more than likely everyone in your circle is having some type of debt issue. Just know that n T everyone in your circle is willing to be debt free. T hey may find a lot of benefit from being in debt, and that's sad to say B T it helps keep them safe. T they grew up with that. And so T hey may not be willing to release that all the time. B T if it's something that you've done yourself and you're feeling really successful about it, share T find friends that are having the same issue.

T you can create a little accountability group. One of the things I like T do was color in mapyour. A T your progress. I'll have T get the link to Megan. She'll share T in the show notes. B T it's just coloring in T where you've made progress like you could have? T so many circles or things. T represent your debt and you can? T color in one for every $5,000 T R $1,000 th T you make towards your debt T and you can hang that up and T be very subtle about it.

And T don't share it with anybody. B T it's for you to visually see your actions and how far you've come. T you need to have that reminder. T keep going forward. So you might be surprised T at your friends have a similar story and they'd like T o work on it as well. And if you have friends that Don? T want to talk about T or are really dismissiven T you know, they probably aren? T going to share your big wins in your life. T at you may need T find other friends to share that with.

That's very true. I guess I want to point T out for and I Don? T even know why I'm saying T is because we all know T-I-T-O there are friends tha T have strengths and friends that have weaknesses. T and some people will be your debt friends and some people T T people you don't talk about. T is dead. So that's just how it goes.

T yeah. One of my friends T was great when I was going T hrough infertility because we never talked about T and that's what I needed. T the time and know that T we grow through phases and T sometimes our friends or WH T we talk about with family will change over time. And T you may be going through a phase where you're going? T grow and now you're going? T be debt free and you may need to in circle your T crowd that is around you.

T T is also debt free. That's also very intentionally using their money. T do something. And because otherwise you're going? T easily fall into old habits. T you were raised with or T T you got from your family or T at the culture has T really identified for us. And so sometimes we just need to find a new relationship with money. And with T he people that we spend time with.

T smart. And I like that. It's so T of just pivoting your lens more than I T raining people off or something.

Yeah. So.

Connie, Yeah, I want T start handling my debt. I think I want T start handling my debt. Maybe I want T handle my debt. I don't know. B T you're making a lot of sense. What should I do? T work with you and what kind of work do you want? People? T do ahead of time?

T yeah, well, as an educator, I definitely T is triggered. Any questions or concerns? T that's why I have money Action tips. T. Com there's a link to schedule T 30 minutes free consultation. T no selling. I just want T make sure you have your next steps forward T and start exploring. I would do T at least the first step of going through T and knowing where you're starting T because that's always the first part. T I would walk through somebody anyway. Is T get your credit card statements, o T or at least look at them online.

T and start making a list of what you owe, who you owe T when the minimum due date is and T the percentage rate, the Apr and WHA T the balance is. So th T you're aware of what credit you have available and what you owe. And T I will also share a link. T a debt repayment schedule. It's a free calculator online. Megan, I'll put T in the show notes and you can play around with T hat for a little bit. And then again, T it's not me if I Don?

T resonate with you. That's all right. T-H-T-R that's why there is T credit counseling and debt or T anonymous. You can reach out T to those organizations as well. And T get somebody who can help? T support you through that. B T yeah, a lot of the time. T we need to reach out. T I had to work with T a couple of money coaches. T get to the level where I'm T today. I had T have a third party person T help me work through the subconscious beliefs.

T I had around debt and money. And also T help me hold my hand. T while I made these changes because it's changing a lot of T how we were raised. It's changing our T habits. And so sometimes you need a coach that's going T like, help you out with T hat a little bit a T I'm going to say right now, T you are going to stamble T and be okay with that, because that was T learning spot for you. And so T pick yourself back up, go back to T the basics and start again.

T because you can be debt free if you're willing to really make that shift.

And T that point. Also, I think T at it's important that people realize that T in a way, or I guess, definitively T s an addiction. And so T of course you're going? T stumble. It's fine. Everybody does.

Yeah. T really is addiction. T one story I'll share. Megan, is that T money coach at the time? T I'd like you to take your credit card and freeze it T in the freezer, which is? T is one of the tips. And I had this immediate panic attack because I was so addicted. T you mean I can't have T in my card? I can't have T as in case of emergencies. T I can't do anything. T felt like she was asking me. T cut off my right arm.

T I had to really look T that addiction piece of T and I had to figure out a new way. T I knew then I had T find a new way to T enjoy money and really look at my connection. T how I was using debt and why T was so important in my life. And now that I have now that I understand T now that I can use T differently. But I had T really look at those underlying reasons. T and a lot of it was T-T-I grew up in a family where T was paycheck to paycheck.

You couldn? T afford anything. And so part of T being an adult hood was T I can afford things now. And T allowed me to do that. B-T-I really have this weird codependency, like when my home equity line credit got what's? T he right. We're closed when we refinance T our house and we were upside down in value. T I freaked out like, we Don? T have access to that. I T wasn't our money anyway. Why are you freaking o T about not having access to it?

These are things that I T shows that you have? T co dependency with debt, and T would you like to change that? Yeah.

You saying that? T reminded me of six years ago. Seven years ago. T before we moved into our house, T had about, like, 15,000 in debt. T needed to go credit cards, T and things. And I talked with my husband about T and he said, Look, I'm not going? T tell you you can? T do this again, but I really prefer T you don't do this again, T if possible. And I had a panic attack. I T was sitting on the couch. T just like talking to him.

And T I couldn't stop talking because I felt like T here was something big happening in T. I was compelled and I felt like, oh, my God, T there's something wrong here with the way T at I am handling this situation.

T and we are often drawn T partners that have an opposite feeling about T. My husband doesn't like that at all. And as T e finance manager of the household, I have? T balance that between his dislike for all things debt, T and my entrepreneurship of risk. And I have T o figure out how to manage both T and so a lot of times. That's why we often hide the debt. T we have somebody so strong T in our lives that is anti debt. And so finding that happy ground for me, I had T put enough into my savings.

So T T if debt did creep up, T I would have that T pay it down. And so that's? T a big rule. I can use debt now, but T has to be paid off every month. Somehow, somehow I have T figure out how to pay it off every month. So T often if I have to go without or if I have to adjust my savings, T that's what happens.

That's the role so interesting. T at you and I both have married T people that are just like there is no debt. T hat does does not happen.

T yeah, it's interesting, but yeah, T it's something you usually Don? T talk about before you get into a serious relationship. And T s something we need T have more conversations around money. T how we use it? T what our ideas around T are how we want to use T to influence the world around us. And T as long as we keep T in the closet. And it's only something T we talk about with our own ego or T in our brains. We won? T ever heal our relationship with T we have to have T talk about it with more people.

T so true. And just another thing for those T there that might be thinking about how is T is relating to me? If you are in the closet about T think about the ways that it is manifesting itself in T your life like I know when I was in debt with that 15,000 that I couldn? T sleep. I could not sleep without noise because my brain would Ju? T keep going because I was just like this problem. T hat has to get solved. T and I was suffering in silence by myself, you know?

And so T make sure that my recommendation is to T make sure that T you're taking care of yourself while you're doing this? T because you're keeping quiet about T it doesn't mean that there are T murmurs under the surface, you know, WH T I mean.

Yeah, there is T and when we're so concerned about T and we're constantly thinking about T, that's how come we draw more debt towards T us because we're thinking of all T e lack in our life T and we're so struggling with T that we'll see will be more in tune. T seeing more lack in our lives. And so that's why this is? T a healing process of like T getting to know our debt, getting T be forgiving ourselves and looking T okay, no new debt. T we're going to stop this behavior and T en figure out a plan T at we're going to heal T and pay it off as we go.

Because if we can see T e more abundance around us, then we're able? T to have that more o T is debt can be paid off over time where we can find a way to reduce this debt. But T it's our constant thinking of the lack that will keep us stuck.

Or T least about learning action tips. T. Com but what are the other ways T T people can get a hold of you?

Sure. I'm T playing over on Instagram Connie T VanderZanden or my website profit with Connie T. Com.

And is there anything else that you want? T make sure people know about before we go?

T no pressure, no pressure. T when I first started with debt, T was really T shame and guilt and A-L-T of heaviness and I didn? T get here overnight. This is T like a five year progress. T be able to stand here or T here and talk to you? T very openly about my journey. And I know T this is my purpose. And so this can happen if you're willing to? T really choose a different relationship T and everyone can and everyone T-T-E some people might need a little help.

T some people might just need T a little bit of tool, but T can be possible. So I believe T at you can do it.

Perfect. Perfect way to end T thank you so much, Connie.

Thanks, Megan.

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