Pausing To Reflect with Lisa Foster
Oct. 25, 2022

Teaching Our Children To Have A Healthy Relationship With Money With Meghan Dwyer CFP

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We are joined by Meghan Dwyer, a working mom with two little boys, a wife, a financial planner, and the host of the incredible podcast Money Is Scary. 

She has seen women taking a backseat when it comes to their family's finances. Meghan believes it is crucial to have the knowledge and understanding of personal finances in order to feel confident and empowered to live our best lives. 

 Meghan helps us unpack our own issues with money, how to discuss money with kids and how to model healthy habits for them.

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Hi, Meghan, Welcome to Real Life Momz. I've been looking forward to our topic today, which is raising kids to have a healthy relationship with money. And as much as I try to teach my kids about money <laugh> and healthy habits, um, I'm so grateful that you're here today because you do have the expertise, and you're super passionate about this topic.


Yeah. Thank you, Lisa, so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here. And you're right, this is one of my favorite things to talk about. So happy to be here.

Tell us a little bit about you. What's your background? What do you do? Who.

Are you? I am a mom of two young boys, a six-year-old and a four-year-old. And, uh, you might hear them in the background around tonight by day. My day job is I'm a financial planner, so I work with individuals, helping them sort through every single aspect of their finances. So this comes down to cash flow, looking at their taxes, looking at their insurance, risk analysis, and their estate planning. And all of this stuff is intertwined, and it's really cool because many people tend to look at these different aspects of their lives in a silo, and they're actually all interconnected.

And so what I get to do is how to take that step back for the client and really be able to help them see how those things are interconnected and how one financial decision in one area impacts a financial decision in another area. Mm.

All right. I might need to call you after.

<Laugh> time. Anytime. Yeah. But the thing is, as much as I love that, I also am super passionate about empowering women, and I always say, if I go back and do life all over again, I would study psychology, and I would be a therapist. And so in, um, 2020, right during the pandemic, when I think everybody was sort of having the <laugh> existential crisis and rethinking what they wanna do in life, I decided to start a podcast. And so the podcast is really my way of marrying those two passions that I have, financial planning and women's empowerment, and helping us kind of dig deeper into our relationship with money.

And one of the reasons that I did that was because I was struggling with my own relationship with money, especially during the pandemic. I was like, everybody, right? A lot of us online shopping to kind of fill this void mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>. And there was deeper stuff beneath the surface that I was putting my credit card into a computer for it because I felt like it was going to help me at the time. And while it might give you a little bit of a high, it, there's so many other feelings that kind of come after that. For me, it was guilt, oftentimes shame. And I really just kind of got into this endless cycle. I wanted to stop it, first of all, and I wanted to figure it out. I wanted to learn more about myself. And so I started this podcast really as like my journey, like my exploration mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>, because I knew that the stuff that I was going through was universal. So my goal was, you know, just to share my stories, my experiences, the silly things that I do in the way I think about money, which ultimately comes down to our beliefs, right?

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, whether they're conscious or subconscious. Cuz a lot of times they're subconscious and really starting to dissect those in a way that can be cathartic in therapeutic and healing. And that's where I am on this journey.  I'm trying to explore all of the things that just don't feel quite right in my mind when it comes to money and just share those stories with other women in hopes that they can start to recognize a little bit of their own struggles and we can just be on this kind of healing journey together.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.

And, your podcast was called Money Isn't Scary because it is awesome. I am hooked. I've been listening to it in my car ride, and I, it's like this little bit of knowledge, but yet also spiritual, like, I don't know, cheerleader, if you will, for women. Yeah. All, all rolled up in 15.

minutes. Yes. I try to keep them to bite-sized nuggets because I do know that, uh, we don't have a lot of time; we're moms, right? We're busy, we're running around. So if we can keep it to something you can put on in your car while you're on your way to go pick up your kid from school mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Perfect. That's what I wanna do. So, yeah. And I do have, those are most of the episodes. I also make some conversations with people. I talk to a lot of life coaches and a lot of, you know, like therapists, people who have experience talking about fear, talk about their own vulnerabilities and are comfortable with that because I love digging into, that's the whole psychological aspect of it.

So I try to throw in just some actionable tips and tools that you can use on a daily basis to help you kind of be more intentional with money because mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>, I think a lot of us, especially women, tend to, um, avoid it, and Yeah. So what I'm trying to do here is, it, you can't avoid money, right? Like you, it's part of our lives every single day. So if you, even if you try to avoid it, you just can't, It's gonna keep coming back. It's part of, it's part of our everyday lives. So it really, you have to start to develop this relationship with it and might as well have that relationship be healthy. So that's where we start to talk a lot about, you know, spending with intention and just, you know, our own worth and things like that, that we, that are deeper than surface level mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>. And, you know, I really believe too that the work that I do for my clients during the day, the financial planning, like all of that stuff, the tax work, you know, you being able to help find opportunities and maybe save people money and all of that is awesome. I really think that, that you, you can't quite be able to fully appreciate that kind of work until you were your own relationship with money. That is the foundation.

And that's exactly what I, I'm thinking like, you know, in thinking of even this topic of teaching our kids healthy relationships, like my first thought is like, Wow, do I have a healthy relationship mm-hmm. <affirmative> with money, right? So yeah, let's dig deeper into this healthy relationship, even just for ourselves before, like trying to help our kids <laugh>, right?

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so the example that I was talking about earlier, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I would, um, a lot, I talk a lot about Target and my show <laugh>. It is, I love a hate relationship with Target. I love it. I it is. And I think a lot of moms do too. And I have whole episodes specifically dedicated on why we love Target. It is like a mini vacation when we go there, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, it's clean, the aisles are wide, It's, um, it's organized, it, you've got Starbucks right there.

It, it's,.

I love that. Yeah.

It feels like everything that you don't have at home, right? So when you go there, you wanna browse, you wanna be there for a long time, you want that break, right? So that really is that that kind of drew me in. So, yeah, I mean, I would find myself buying things that I did not need whatsoever as a way to cope with the big feelings that I was having. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think one of the big reasons for that is the fact that our society has deemed shopping as a culturally accepted behavior versus, like, dealing with our emotions, right?

Versus going to a bar or something like that. Like, I could go, I could go on a Saturday afternoon and say, say to my family, Oh, I'm gonna target and be gone for two hours. But if I said, Oh, I'm going to a bar, people would be like, what?

Or society would say, You're not a good mom. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but you're a good mom if you're going shopping and you wanna pick up diapers. So there's, there's a lot of culture in society that has also, that impacts the way that we think and feel about ourselves and our habits around our, our money. It's nuanced, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> women especially, I feel like in our culture, were, we were not brought up, I think to have a healthy relationship with money. And that's not our fault. Because think about this, it wasn't until the 1970s that women were allowed to have a bank account in their own name.

So that isn't, I mean, I was born in 1983, so this is just like the generation above us. So no wonder Yeah. My mom was not allowed to have a bank account at one point in her life unless she had a male cosigner on it.

Um, the women also, until right around that time, weren't allowed to own property by themselves either without a male cosigner. Of course, that doesn't just go away, <laugh>, right? This stuff is ingrained in us, and if our parents, our grandparents, and our parent's generation grew up like that, of course, they're gonna teach that to us. So it's our job to recognize that, that that's inherent in our culture and try to think differently of it it. And I do think that we are that generation that's starting to, and that's kind of, in general, my mission to do that.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it's our responsibility not to pass that on, or which, however, you wanna look at it, to our mm-hmm. <affirmative> kids to that next generation. So that's where we really, it all comes down to intention.

I, I mean, there's so much that goes on through my head cuz I, I, I definitely have my own issues with money.

We all do.

<Laugh>, but just listening to your, you know, you explaining that it, you know, it's interesting because I always worked after having kids. Um, I went back to work, and I went for initially part-time. Um, and then I grew back to full-time. But it's really weird because even like when I was part-time, I would be doing both, right? I'm parenting; I'm going to work. Mm-hmm. I'm doing both. And as I grow into this full-time phase, which I am in now, and I, my, I'm still parenting, and I'm still now full-time at work, but somehow, like my mental thought is that my husband's still the breadwinner.

We need his income. Yeah. You know, to, you know, pay all the bills. Meanwhile, I've been working the whole time, and then I'm fine, you know, But somehow even in my head, that hasn't even shifted.

And I think that's because of how the modeling that we had growing up, Right. So in my situation, I really struggled with being the breadwinner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So my husband lost his job during the pandemic actually twice. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, <laugh>. And during that time, I had the opportunity to take on a new job myself. And I was approached by somebody that I used to work with, and this was a pretty big bump in salary for me.

So it, it I realized, okay, I should probably do this because, you know, had just lost this job. So I need to be able to do my part to support the family mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I didn't realize when I got to that place how deeply emotional and how confusing and conflicting mm-hmm. <affirmative> that was. And that can be, and it is because it runs deep some of these stories and, I was brought up when I was a kid. I was a child of the eighties, and uh, my favorite movie was The Little Mermaid.

Mine too. Mine too. Yes.

And so I always dreamed, like, I went through a stage where I literally thought I was Ariel from the Littler mood <laugh>. And so, like, I'm sure a lot of little girls do, Right? I always dreamed that I would grow up and I would have some princes come and sweep me off my feet and take me for the rest of my life. And all the other Disney movies at the time were very similar to that. Right. We don't have the Moana like they do now. And I'm so glad that, and so thankful and happy that, that there are movies out there like that now because they show the reality of, of life more and the strong female role and all of that.

But that didn't exist back then. And so I had this again, culture, this, this influence from how I grew up with my parents on, My mom always worked.

My mom was a nurse, but she worked part-time, and my dad, you know, made the majority of the income. So I think that was probably pretty typical in households at mm-hmm. <affirmative> then. But I also had that influence of culture telling me that if I just do the right things, I behave, I am, I'm quote-unquote good that I'm going to just be taken care of. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that was kind of a harsh reality for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I realized, oh my God, here I am, I have two kids.

My husband lost his job twice <laugh>, and I'm supporting the family. And, like, pretty much, that was a lot for me to process.

And I've been there as well. I've been there as well because my job as a healthcare provider, I mean, we're pretty steady workers, you know, it's like there's always a job for us. Um, but my husband is in business, he changes quite a lot, and there are definitely times when he is not working. And so, but even in those times, for some reason, I still don't feel like even though I'm the one making money and paying the bills, it's, it's just interesting. I still don't feel that way. So that's something have to continue to work on. But I also think there's a lot of, you know, other things that like play into this.

Like I know my relationship with money, the reason I said I have so many issues, right? <laugh>, I think when I grew up, you know, we got what we needed. My, family, my mom, and dad both worked.

They're really supportive, and they always gave us what we needed. But to have extra, we just didn't have; I had to just overcome like, it's okay to have more, It's okay to make money cuz I think money to me felt showy. I was showing off. Yeah. I was, I, I didn't, I didn't wanna become the person that I thought money was equal to. And that took a lot for me. I had to really, like, kind of dig deep, do a lot of self-help books, and then there was something, Yes, it was really, really, really helpful.

Um, you know, I'm a big universe person. I love The Secret, um mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I did a lot of things like You Were Born Rich, which is, you know, Bob Proctor, or Think and Grow Rich, which is Napoleon Hill. And, well, there was one thing that was so eye-opening, um, because they said like, cause I wasn't sure I even had a problem with money. I just kind of knew that I couldn't take money for business, and I felt like I always had to be like, Oh no, that was on sale. Like if I got something, Oh no, no, I got that, but it's used, don't worry. I gotta use, you know, like there's always an excuse with it, right?

Yeah. Like you have to justify, You can't just go buy something new that's not on sale. Right.

Unless it was from Target <laugh>. Exactly. Right. Oh,.

Yep, yep. I say that all the time. Like you're looking for like validation essentially.

Yeah. So I had to do that. And in this, in one of those books, it, they basically said, you know, you have an issue when you get money, and you have to spend it right away. Like you won't keep your money. And I was like, Huh. And it wasn't so much I, I had to go out and buy stuff cuz I, you know, I didn't wanna buy stuff, but I would give it away. I'd be like, Oh, donation, yes, I need to donate. Oh, there's somebody on the corner. Oh yeah, they need my 20 bucks that I just got. Like I, and then I was like, I realized I was giving money away, and just because I just didn't have the relationship with the money where I felt that I was worthy and that I felt comfortable being that person, I thought it meant to have money.

I was just like, hit the nail on the head right there. There there's, um, it's a worthiness thing. That's why so many women, we don't feel like we are ex we are, are good enough to accept money. That's one of the reasons why, um, there's, I feel like there's so much coaching around money when it comes to women entrepreneurs because we struggle with, as I, we collectively struggle with people giving us money. And it's funny, I actually was just, here's an example.

Um, their neighbors last year, uh, he had said, Hey, I just have a couple of questions. Do you mind, um, taking a look at this? So he came over, we sat on the back, you know, out in the backyard, and I just like helps him kind of like think about things and look at the big picture and everything. And he called me up the other day and was like, Hey, I know last year you wouldn't accept any money or any compensation or anything, but I'd like you to do this again, and I really wanna pay you for this. And I was like, Oh my God. Oh my God. Like, no. Like, and I'm in my head, I'm like, I can't be paid for this.

Like, you know what I mean?

Oh yeah. I totally know what you mean. Cause I did the same thing. Yeah.

I said, Why would somebody pay us, pay me to do something that I, that he can't do? I'm offering a service that he is looking for that he can't do on his own. So, so <laugh>, it's just crazy. Like, why are we doing this for mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So this is what I mean when, you know, like when I say, you know, my, what I'm trying to do through the podcast is kind of work through these, these mental blocks that we have as women so that we can stop staying small. Because when we have these kind of issues like about our own worthiness and us not feeling like we're good enough to accept it mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>, then we're just keeping ourselves small. We're missing out on opportunities. If he gives me money, then that's awesome. Maybe I can take that money and then go out to dinner with my kids and have a really great experience or whatever it is, or save it or whatever I wanna do with it. But again, and that gets down, that gets down to intention, which is something that I'll, we can talk about. Yeah. I mean, I think it's, what I try to encourage people to do is really like, keep going the neat, the surface of the surface. Because what you're feeling is just that tip of the iceberg. It's just what you see, but there's always so much more underneath the surface.

So it's a process, and it's a journey.

The first step is we need to work on ourselves. <laugh>, this is what I'm hearing, right?

Yeah, yeah.

Before even having maybe a conversation with your kid about money <laugh>. Yeah. Cause um, we don't wanna maybe pass down some of the thoughts that we have, some of our own issues as we teach our kids. Yeah.

Well, think about this. What are some of the things that you hear all the time, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> money doesn't grow. That's a scarcity place of scarcity. So you gotta have to start digging into why you feel that way, where that's coming from, and then like start to question it. What I want, what I mean by all of this is that I think we need to question all of those stories, those, those beliefs, those um, just things that have been passed down to us from our, from our prior generations, our parents, our grandparents, all these things around money.

Let's rethink those because those things are very black and white, and life isn't black and white. Life is a thousand shades of gray. And it's messy, and it's confusing. And that's what I try to do with clients on a daily basis just help them sort through all that messiness to figure out what's right for them. But there is no black and white. I guess what I think that I'm trying to get at here is an important question for parents to start to think about those things that pop into their heads. Right. Start to be aware of the beliefs and those deeply embedded thoughts that come up that give you anxiety when it comes to money.

And let's, I write it out. Just write it out. I do it all the time. Like, just think like, okay, where did this thought come from? And then start to challenge it.

And let's have a good relationship with it. Yeah. Money's great. I love money. Yeah.

And so I, I think I, I don't know, there's just so much there. So I think when it comes to being parents, the most important thing is to start to work on our own relationship. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like our own stories, our own beliefs. And let's unpack where those come from, and let's start to flip it on its head and challenge those beliefs ourselves. But also for our kids, because we are models for our kids. So for our kids to start to see us think a little bit differently around it, you know? Oh. Like we can't have like a lot, One of the things I always heard when I was growing up is, you know, I'd go to the store with my mom and I'd say, Oh, can I have this toy?

And my mom was like, Nope, nope, nope, nope. <laugh>, we have to, we don't have it. We don't have this much money until your dad gets paid again next week or whatever it is. It was just like, okay, well, it doesn't Right. It has to be black and white. It doesn't have to be maybe,

Maybe flipping it right. And saying, instead of saying, Nope, you can't have that toy. Be like, you know what, let's save a little bit each week. Yes. And you can come back and get it right or something like that. Yeah. Right. Is that what, and.

Yeah, absolutely. Or even just like rethink how from like a, from from the parent's perspective about money. Like maybe we purposely set aside money from each paycheck to have like a fun account mm-hmm. <affirmative> so that you can go with, go to the store with your kid, and you don't feel guilty or bad, like buying them a Lego set or something. Because, like, I just did this week actually, my kids, um, are both back in school, and they both are doing really good, and I know they were nervous, and I was just really, really proud of them.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so I took my older son to the Lego store, and I just let him pick something out because I had kind of planned for that. I had, I had put some money aside that I had just said, Okay. Like, it makes me feel good. Like that's what I mean, like my intention, like.

I love that.

Thinking about you getting paid right. About how like allocating and bucketing your money. Yes. You have bills to pay. Yes. You've got a mortgage, or you've got like whatever, whatever it is. But, like actually allocating, even if it's like $20 a week or whatever it is towards like something that makes you happy for everybody, it's gonna look a lot different, right. Like if you don't have kids or if you have older kids or whatever, you're not gonna be doing that kind of stuff. But it makes me so happy to see the smile on my six-year-old's face when he gets a new Ninjago Lego set, and we sit down and do it together.

Cuz that's the thing too, like, he wants me, he looks forward to sitting down at the table doing it together. So it's an experience that, like, makes us all happy, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's the stuff I'm happy to spend my money on.

The ways to do that too. I mean, even if you don't have any money, cuz there were times when my kids were very little that we were definitely tight, and yeah, I would wanna do stuff like that, and I would take them to the dollar store. Yes. You know, they didn't know any different. They were like, you know, five or whatever it was, you know, And they were like, I can like you, whatever you, you know, everything's a dollar. Right.

Going back to Target, the um, the like dollar spot that's in the front of the store, that's everything's like $5 and under <laugh> presumably $5 and under. Like my kids love it in there. Like I, sometimes I just, you know, we'll go there and I just like, you can each pick out something like do you, you know, whatever it is. If it's everything is, it's always, there's always different things, and there's always something new and exciting for them, and they don't know the difference.

Yeah. Don't know the difference. No, it's great. Yeah. It's kinda like the library for me. I'm like when they were little, I used to be like, go to the library. Like you can have as many books as you want. You know, these are all free, but it was a place that was free that they could take anything they wanted. So it was really kinda cool.

Free for all. Yeah. Free.

For all. What do you think? What do you think we should be actually also teaching our kids about money?

So a friend of mine had, um, told me that she did this with her kids, and I absolutely love it. So they have a little jar in their kitchen, and there's three jars, and they are spend safe and give. And so time the kid gets an allowance or gets a birth, you know, $10 birthday check or whatever, they put a little bit into each jar.

And so that way they have, they know, okay, I get to spend this, I get to take like I, whatever, whatever amount it is like this is my money, I get to go do whatever I want with it. Right? I can; I can spend that save means I'm gonna save that for another day, another time. Maybe I'll save that for a bigger Lego set that I wanna get somewhere down the line. Right? Saving is huge <laugh>, obviously.

Um, and then give, and I love this so much because it shows kids empathy, and it a lot to be able to have autonomy and to be able to choose what they wanna do with it. So to understand that there is a world outside of themselves, first of all, not everybody is necessarily in the same kind, the same situation as you are. Not everybody is as lucky. And I try to tell that to reinforce that with my kids all the time, but it also allows them the opportunity to be independent and to choose, you know, a charity of their choice or an organization or something that's meaningful to them mm-hmm.

<Affirmative> and can, you know, collect those dollars and then whether, whatever it is, whether it's like, you know, giving like somebody off the street, you know, $2 or something because it makes them feel good or whatever it is. Making a donation on, you know, at our Dog's vet's office or something like that. Like whatever it is.

Mm. I love that. And we do a lot of, um, as a family, not the kids, we didn't do the save, um, give, I think that's beautiful. But we do a lot of what we call pay it forwards. And as a family, we choose something. So usually, I have to say. Usually, it's a lot of Starbucks drive-throughs, FYI, <laugh>. But, um,

I love it. I love it.

I spent a lot of time there. And what we do as we drive through, um, we don't care who's behind us. It doesn't matter; we don't even look; what we say is whatever they just ordered, we'd like to pay for it, and please tell them to pay it forward. And so, um, so Starbucks will charge us both, and then we'll, um, and then we just drive off, and we don't look cuz we don't wanna, it's not about getting a response, it's just about doing something out there for somebody else. And so yes, we do that a lot. So the kids will go up sometimes and be like, can it be a pay it forward day?

You know, or something like that. And so that's fun.

I love it because it shows that there's like I just said, there's a world outside of them and that there's, it's, it's just modeling kindness. That's it. And mm-hmm. <affirmative> to me, when it comes to anything in life, it doesn't matter as long as you're kind, And, and what it also does for the kids is it allows them to feel, um, gratitude and appreciation. And that I think is ultimately at the core foundation, building a healthy relationship with money is feeling gratitude and appreciation for what you, what you have, everything that you have.

And yeah, I mean, I wish I was taught this stuff when I was a kid. <laugh>. Yeah. I mean, or.

Just talks. Uh, I don't remember actual conversations. So I guess this is another question for you. Yeah. What are, what are conversations we should be having about, So the, you know, they're seeing a lot of this modeling, and we're, you know, maybe doing the jars to help them with the savings plan and spending and giving, but like what are conversations? Cause I don't remember any conversations about money except for like, oh, like don't have that we don't have enough money or, you know, save your money or whatever it is. But like there was no conversation.

Yeah. So I think it's gonna be hard with little ones, right? Cause they're not gonna, they still don't; I mean, my kids, my oldest even at six, just doesn't, still doesn't have like an understanding of how it all works. So I think the conversation doesn't really need to be started until, like the kid will tell you, Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's probably somewhere, I'd say, I don't know, like around age like 10, 11, 12, something like that.

Five teens. Yeah. I've got a 13 and a 16-year-old. So who are very into money. Yeah.

So that is the age when they start to compare themselves to their, to their friends, to other people, Right? And so they'll, that's when they start to say, Oh my gosh, well, my friend has this iPhone 13, and I only have an iPhone 11 or whatever. Like, I'm making it up. Yeah. Or this person has a bigger house than I do, or whatever it is. Like I, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I remember doing the exact same thing. Just always feeling that like competition, that comparison. Right. So one of the things that I think is really important to like, or a good way to kind of initiate this conversation, is to say like, if your child comes to you and says like, mom, how come I can't have this, and this person has, you know, this friend has this, how come she got it?

And I can't, One way I think to initiate that conversation or to start it would be to ask them what it is about that thing that they want.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, right? So like, as another example, like whatever, say their friend goes on this fancy European vacation over the summer, and you guy went to, you went camping, right? You just went somewhere local, maybe an hour away, whatever, and you went camping. I would say start by saying, what is it about that fancy vacation that you want that your friend has? Is it the connection with their family?

Is it the, um, the, the croissants? Like is it the actual food? Is it the fame of it? Not, I dunno that's not the right word. <laugh>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, that like this person, is it the excitement? Like, what is it? Have them like really see if they can drill down, and they may not be able to do this. It might be like, they might start to get there, but see if you can find a way that they can recreate that feeling in their own way mm-hmm.

<Affirmative> right through that. So if it's really that they, that this person, like, they want that like, connection with their family, um, and they like that, they like the excitement of traveling and seeing new things. Cool. Okay. But what we're doing here is like getting down to the ultimate feeling mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it's not the things like when we're buying something, it's not the thing itself, it's the feeling that we want that we're buying. Right? So if we're buying, you know, like a pair of ugg boots, like I'm just making this up versus, like, I don't know of similar boots that you could get at Old Navy or just some whatever cheap pair that you could get for 25 bucks.

What is it about that? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> pair of boots that.

It's the pressure, it's the pressure of a kid's having exactly.


Deep feeling embarrassed that you don't,

It's wanting to fit in.

Right. Wanting fit in.

Yeah. Yeah. So it's like trying to fig, and you may not have the answers to this, but I think if you could at least help them start to like be more aware of their own feelings, that's a really good place to start. And for teenagers, that's not an easy task, but I think if you can at least try to have them be in tune with them and what their big feelings are saying, like, you can't fix it for them necessarily. Right. But, um, but you can help them start to have the self, and that's what this is all about self-awareness,.

Right? Cause eventually that fitting in starts to fade a little bit as you become an adult and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, especially in my fifties, I don't really care to fit in anymore. Exactly.


Know, so I mean it, it is good to start learning where that thought process is coming from. Yeah. I love that. Now are there specific, like, I know I have teens, so my teens have like cards for their bank account. Um, I thought that was so helpful because they can actually, one of the things is, you know, when you do start giving allowance or whether you decide, decide to do that or not, it's like then they're like, Oh wait, how much money do I have? How much, you know, or when am I getting this? And if you just have like this card, it like kind of calculates it for them.

They can go into their bank account, they can Yes. Look and see like, oh, okay, I have this, so I can buy that. Um, and they're not constantly asking you, you know, like, well, if you have the money, there it is.

You know You know. Right, right. And they start to learn. I didn't realize how much they didn't know how to use a card, you know, like, or because we use cards and not so much cash anymore. You know, I think when I was little, it's like, you know, someone gave me five bucks, and I can go up to the counter, even if I'm young, and give them $5 work on the change. But because we're using cards, it's like I was constantly paying for my kids' stuff. Like I don't even think they knew how to talk to some to buy something because they just didn't have that experience. And then these cards were great because they can go, they can buy stuff online, they can buy stuff in person, and they really are starting to learn how to use the currency, if you will.

Yep. Um, are there specific cards that you like? I know there's like a green light card or something like that out there. Yeah,.

That was the one that I was gonna suggest, actually. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don't know a whole lot. I'm not there yet. <laugh> with my kids. So you.

Can contact me when you are <laugh>. Yeah, <laugh>.

Greenlight is the one that I have heard of that is really good. Um, I can always follow up. I, I know that there's, um, there are a few other options that are out there. You want only want ones that I would say are gonna be, um, protected right in that like, you know, there is make sure that there's, it's a card, right. And not a credit card because the kids don't seem to understand credit limits, and this is how could they, Right? Like this stuff isn't taught in schools, and it's like, again, something that's whole, like keeps us small because we weren't taught this stuff.

And in fact, we're always sheltered in particular, women were always sheltered from financial stuff when, especially like, uh, when we were growing up. Of course. Like it makes sense. I think it's important to start to teach our kids some of the basic stuff around finances.

There's actually a really great podcast, um, out there. It's called um, Million Bajillion or Millions Bajillions, something like that. That is um, is like, each episode is very simple educational for design for kids that teaches them different concepts. And one of them is on credit cards. So it's certainly kids check it out. Um, but I love what they're doing because it's so important for kids to have. I knew nothing. Like, I got my first credit card at a concert because I got a free t-shirt, like mm-hmm.

<Affirmative>, I knew literally nothing. And I remember feeling like I'm not responsible enough to have this. I was 18 years old, like, somebody's gonna give me this credit card, I don't know what I'm doing. Right. <laugh>. And so I, it's intimidating, and I feel like if we, if we armed kids with knowledge and education around it, it wouldn't be intimidating.

Yeah. And I love what you said about getting them a debit card versus a credit card because, um, like ours is a debit card, and it's really great because it, um, you know, one time my daughter went out with her friends and she tried to pay, and she didn't have enough on her card. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, so life lesson, Right. She's like, Exactly, why, why didn't it get, you know, And I was like, well you have to check your balance. You have to know. And so it just kind of got her thinking like, I don't wanna be embarrassed again in front of my friends or like I had to borrow the money, whatever, or, Yep.

But I think it's really great, um, it's a great experience without it being cuz it'll just shut off. It's not like they can go over. Yeah. So it is really a great idea for our teens just to get to use and know it. Yeah. Um, before, like going off to college, what would you like our listeners just to know honestly, um, what I, the big thing that I would really wanna take away, I think is, um, intention and like living with Inspe intention and, and using your, spending your dollars, using your dollars with intention. Um, one of the things that I really believe is that all spending is emotional. We have this like, again, cuz of culture, we have this like mindset that, oh my god, emotional spending retail therapy, What's that movie?

Oh, Confessions of a Shopaholic, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> <laugh> where she, um, puts her credit card in the freezer in the block of ice, and she ends up like breaking through it and stuff. Um, but it just like, we have this image that we're not responsible around money or that women can't handle it, Right? Which is why the like men or the male in a stereotypical like heterosexual relationship is the one that, you know, is, the quote-unquote like one handling the finances.

But I think that all spending is emotional. And I think as long as we align our spending with our values and, who we are and how, how we want to live our lives, then that's where it feels good money just for the sake of spending money. Just because, you know, like we're already at Target and we're like, Oh hey, I might as well like home decor thing that I don't need. And then I get home, and I'm like, Oh, why did I buy that? Or this sweater that I definitely don't need, and then I just, it just sits in my closet cause I'm not using it like that.

That's impulsive. And so if we're really like thinking about what matters to us, that's the thing that is the start of a healthy relationship with money.

Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, Those are all good. You have brought so much insight into this. Um, you know, what I'm really hearing is, gosh, it all starts with us, right? Yeah. Work on ourselves, <laugh>, make sure we understand you, you know, the why behind how we feel about money. And then also, you know, the same conversations with our kids. Right. You know, why are they, you know, if they can't get something, why do they really want that? Right.

You know, or Yeah. I love that. I love that. So I think that's a really good insight to just money, you know, that people just think about money as money, but there's so much more. So I am gonna tell all my listeners go check out Money Is In Scary Podcast because it has all these great little tidbits for you and insights if you wanna learn more. And thank you so much for coming in and just talking to me about this today.

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.


Meghan DwyerProfile Photo

Meghan Dwyer

Financial Planner/Podcaster/Mom

Meghan Dwyer is a working mom, with 2 little boys, a wife, runner and forever learner. As a financial planner, she has seen way too often women taking a backseat when it comes to their family's finances. Meghan believes it is crucial to have the knowledge and understanding of personal finances in order to feel confident and empowered to live our best lives.
Meghan started the Money Isn't Scary podcast last year to help women unpack the deeply embedded stories we have been telling ourselves and reframe our mindset so that we can begin to spend, save and act in alignment with our intentions. Only when we are truly in tune with our relationship with money ,can we begin to be our best selves.