You’re listening to Parenting in the First Three Years, the place where we explore the strategies and soul of parenting from pregnancy through the first three years of life. I’m your host, Anne McKittrick. Thank you so much for joining me.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. This is A Mom Story and I have Eileen Joy. The money coach, and she’s going to share with you how she has figured it out financially and helps other moms figure it out how to keep yourself afloat. And more than that, to actually build some wealth while you are in the process of raising babies.

So thanks Eileen for joining me. Thank you so much. And for having me today, I’m so excited to be here. I actually love talking about money. And. I could talk about money for hours, so you’re going to have to stop me. It’s a funny thing because I am probably the least money person that you could ever even imagine.

So this will be a great conversation. It will. It will. I agree. So, you know, it just seems like raising young children and financial strain go hand in hand. And so what’s your story? How did you, how did you break that cycle or how did you break that? It’s an interesting story because it all started because of my divorce.

And the long story short, very long story short was that 347 to my name after my divorce was final. I was a single mom with a five year old with three hundred and forty seven dollars. I had to get a new house, a new job, and a new car all at the same time. I had to sell my house to pay for my divorce. I had to get a new job because at the time I was working with my sister in law and The work environment became a little toxic, so it was best for me to move on.

And then my son and I got into a really terrible car accident and my car was totaled. And this was all happening during my divorce. And I mean, it sounds like a bad country song, right? It sure does. And then it’s like, and then all of this was also at the tail end of a bankruptcy. So I was really like, this was my rock bottom and now I’m figuring out what do I do?

You know, now what do I do? I could have stayed stuck. I could have stayed stuck in the fetal position, crying on the floor saying, woe is me. I’m now a single mom with a five year old with nothing, but that’s not who I am. So I said, I’m going to put one foot in front of the other and just figure it out. So to do that is just really what’s my next step.

You know, what’s my priority right now? So I got the new house, got the new job, got the new, got the new car. And I realized at the time that. I wasn’t really thinking about managing money or anything like that. It was just like, how am I going to exist? You know? And then during that process of now being single and taking care of a household on my own and figuring all of that out through that process, I was able to easily actually figure out how to make it work.

And I bounced back so fast. It was amazing. It was so amazing. I was able to fully fund my emergency fund. I repaired my credit. It’s now in the eight hundreds completely debt free. I’m now on track to retire early and I was able to teach my son along the way all about money. So I’ve empowered him with a financial education.

Now he’s 11 and he now knows more about money than most adults. And now he’s also on track to be a multimillionaire by the time he’s my age. And it’s amazing. So he will have the whole world open to him, all the opportunity and choice and everything that we all want as adults now, you know, and you know, it’s amazing.

It’s just amazing. So then all my friends started asking me, I mean, how did you do that? Show me. So then I started showing my friends, you know, how easy it was because, you know, everyone thinks money’s so hard. I thought it was hard too. I was like, you know, it’s not, it’s, it’s really not. And once you know a few basic principles of how to really put it all together for your personal situation, it becomes easy.

So then they started getting similar results as me and they’re like, you know, so then organically I became the money coach for moms. And so that’s, that’s how it happened. So I’m just wondering, I’m thinking, you know, somebody’s listening to this and they’re thinking, okay, how did you go from zero to even second gear?

I mean, what were the steps that you took? Well, you know, you have to get scrappy at first when you have nothing. Right. So I literally sold so many things like I had stuff that I didn’t need, didn’t really wasn’t using anymore. Things like that. I would just sell, sell. So I was just selling things. I had to buy a new washer and dryer.

I didn’t even have, you know, credit to do that. Nothing. So I was the bankruptcy, the whole thing. So I was like, I need cash, you know, and I would borrow money and pay people back. And just, you know, you do what you have to do when you need to, you know, but the great thing is, is that what I’ve learned through the, through all of this and through helping people and, and all the moms that come to me for help is that you don’t need to be at rock bottom to make the change.

It’s a lot easier when you’re not, but for me I was. And so I had to specifically in my particular situation, I had to sell things and just do what I could to get by and. I was renting a house. I, you know, I couldn’t buy a house. I had to sell my house. Couldn’t buy another one. You know, so I had to do, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Right. Yeah. You know, so that’s what I did. And then, you know, I had a great job. I got another great job. It was actually even better. So because of that, I was able to bounce back very fast. That’s good. So you had a good job that you could fall back to that would give you a steady income. Exactly. Along with selling things and getting some cash.

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s great. So I know that one of the things that you help people do is you help them build this financial security without sacrificing time with your children. So I think that’s really a, a key question. Like how do you, how do you do that and love your children well and give them the time that they need?

The great thing about money is that You can involve your kids and most people don’t. So you think you have to spend time away from your children in order to take care of your money. But if you involve your kids in the process, then it empowers them. It teaches them. And then you’re learning together and helping each other.

And then you’re also fostering a healthy mindset around money with your kids. Because kids, just everyone is humans. We are programmed. From the time that we’re from zero to seven, right? And so that’s when we’re taking in all of the messages from the world, right? And that’s how we learn, right? We learn from experience and from people teaching us and just from the environment, right?

And so your child is already learning from you in regard to money between the ages of zero and seven. And it’s your energy. around it, right? You know, if you’re single or not, right, if you’re fighting with your spouse all the time about money, or if you’re saying things like money doesn’t grow on trees, we can’t have that and saying very negative things about money, then that’s how your kid’s going to grow up with all of these messages living in their subconscious.

And that’s how they’re going to operate. And so if you already have kids, you’ve already programmed them, right? And so the great thing about that is that we can change their story, right? We can reprogram the way you think about money. And it starts with you, right? It starts with me. So that’s what I did.

Cause I, I grew up with a mom that spent and spent and spent. She would max out credit cards and just spend, spend, spend. And then she would say, Money doesn’t grow on trees and we would ask her for something, you know, she would say, no, you can’t have that. We don’t have the money and it would be like that.

So now, you know, thinking about all of these things and empowering my son with a financial education, I give him his own money. So when we go shopping, he doesn’t say, hey, mommy, can I have that? He has his own money. And so he can decide if he wants to buy something or if he wants to save for it. And so no matter how old your, your kids are, whether they’re infants or they’re in their teenage years, there’s a way to help them with their money journey.

And it’s obviously different for every age and if they’re. you know, very little between zero and three, then it would obviously be just the way that you are around it, the way you talk about it, the way you present it to them too. Like you can have children’s books around about money, right? You have these other books like good night moon and all these other things that you’re reading to them while you’re trying to get them to sleep.

while you’re trying to stay awake.

And I mean, I remember what a zombie I was. I mean, that is not I mean, I get one, one bad night of sleep now and I wake up and I feel the way I used to feel when I was, you know, after I gave birth and for years. You know, years I was a zombie. So I get it, you know, but there’s simple things that you can do.

You can have toys that are money. You can, you know, after they stop putting everything in their mouth, then you can give them real money. But like, you know, you buy, they have children’s toys that are money where the coins are huge and they can’t swallow them and all different things. And just talking about money with them while they’re playing, they will, they’ll start learning about it.

Yeah, you know, it’s really interesting in early childhood. There’s this, this need to be very concrete with children. I think a lot about kids and how they are growing up in a world where they are not seeing the exchange of dollars and cents anymore. All they are seeing is swipes and taps on a phone. I mean, for crying out loud, I use my watch.

Everybody does to pay for stuff. And so we have to teach them in these early years, the foundations, the basics of Number and exchange of goods and all of that stuff comes in, like you said, the books and the pretending and the play that we do. And then, you know, it’s probably not until they get up into elementary where they would be able to take that abstract thought and make sense of it in their head.

Yeah, but it’s getting twice like the grocery cart. You know, and the cash register and you can play store and you can teach them how to count back money as they get older, obviously, but it’s like, you know, how much is that? And then you say the dollars and you, you can feel it, like, even though it’s not real money when they’re really little, but you know, you can, it’s more tangible than.

You know, add to cart, right? But that’s the thing too with kids is, you know, with allowance, like, because I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that have older children as well. Lots of people have lots of kids, all different ages. So there’s lots of different things that you can do there as well. For example, with allowance, you can give your, like, I give my son both, I give him digital money and I give him actual cash and coins.

So I give him both so he can learn how to do both. And it’s because, you know, digital money, it’s air, it’s meaningless, there’s nothing to it. It’s just numbers on the screen, meaning anything. So back to moms and dads and their own thinking about money, what are some of the ways that you help, you know, people switch their mindset over to kind of not speaking negatively about it?

Well, first you need to have money dates with your spouse. And come together, right? And that’s one of the things that can be extremely awkward and challenging and uncomfortable when you first start talking about money with your spouse, especially if you’ve never done it in a strategic way where you’re coming together to talk about it without fighting, without trying to avoid it.

Um, or be defensive and all of these things that could happen when you talk about money. So it’s really learning how to come together and just say, this is how I feel about money. How do you feel about money? How do you feel about our situation? What are things that you want to save for, you know, and really understanding like how much is coming in and what are you spending on?

And there’s so many different levels to the money date, you know, and it’s not just something you do once and then you never do it again. It’s, it’s a regular thing. Right. And just constantly talking about it together. And then also understanding that it’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids about money because they’re not learning about it in school.

They don’t teach money in school, you know, until you get older and you can take a money class of finance class or an economics class or a business class, you know, when they’re in high school, maybe. You know, or even college, but simple money, everyday money, you know, having more months than money, you know, and all these things.

And that’s what makes couples avoid talking about money because it’s so uncomfortable. We don’t learn about it. So it’s really learning how to do that, to come together and then saying, how are we going to teach our kids? Yeah, that’s really good. So, you know, right now in our economy, things are pretty tight.

You know, everyone is talking about how much groceries cost, how much more than they did even a year ago. So how do you advise people to manage that, you know, and not worry when it just feels like there’s a lot of months left at the end of the money. Yeah. And it’s happening for everyone. It’s happened to me too, with all of the increases with inflation and just getting used to spending differently.

And I teach the four buckets. So the four buckets are important. It’s not just about spending. We all think just about spending and because we live in a spending society, right? It’s all the marketing messages, keeping up with the Joneses, all of these things is I have to have the latest and greatest, whatever, you know, enter thing there, like new iPhone or whatever, you know, and I need to upgrade my house just because everyone else is, and I need to have a bigger car because everyone else does.

And that’s how people in this country think. And it’s really dialing into how much does it cost to be you? Not how much does it cost to be your neighbor? And, you know, and it’s really coming back to yourself and just being aware of like, how much is coming in and how much is going out and where is it going?

And how can I move things around so that I can do the four buckets, which are saving, investing, giving, and spending. Right. And it’s doing all four of these things and teaching your kids to do the same. Right. So once you’ve got it down, it’s easy to teach your kids, but so we learned first how to save. So when you get paid, when money comes in, however it comes in, you pay yourself first and you save first and then, you know, you’ve got you.

And then we figure out, okay, next bucket invest. How much are we investing for our own future? And what we need to understand is that it’s our responsibility to save for our own future. And then we teach our kids that so our kids now will have the right mindset of Oh, I have to save for myself. Mommy and Daddy aren’t going to pay for everything for me forever.

It’s my responsibility. So I can save for my own car. I can pay for college. I can buy my own first house. I can do all of these things because I know how to do that. Right. You know, one of my friends when I was a freshman in college, we had gone, you know, to high school together and well, we went to different schools, but we’re in the same town.

And when we got to college the summer before we left, she bought herself a brand new car. She was the only one of anyone who drove a brand new car and she paid for every penny of it all by herself because she had done that. She had saved for her car. Her whole, her whole childhood. And, um, she was able to do that.

And I remember she was always riding around with her windows down and the AC on because it was her car and she was , she her parents didn’t let her do that. Right. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, I, we had dinner with some friends last weekend and we were talking over the over dinner about, This other woman’s mother who is, you know, older and they’re working out things with, you know, her will and everything.

But her story was that she had been widowed at a very early age, like, you know, 41 I think. And it was very sudden it was a work accident and boom, all of a sudden she’s in charge and she. Was, you know, kind of like you, she had to just learn on her feet and she got with some other ladies and they learned about investing and they bought just a few shares of these companies that were kind of new at the time, like Amazon and Apple, like she’s worth millions now.

Lo and behold. So I love that story, but, but it’s exactly what you’re saying, you know. Yeah. And the great thing about that too is just to rewind about kids is that you can set them up now, even if they were just born or they’re two years old or whatever. Now is the best time because just a little story.

When I was born, my grandparents were really into the stock market and they bought some mutual funds for me, which actually ended up paying for my college. Wow. I never had to get a student loan. I ended up with 30, 000 of credit card debt though, because thanks mom for teaching me how to do that. It’s so easy.

Look, you just slide the card. New clothes. Guilty. But I don’t have student loans. But what I teach my clients is because a lot of a lot of moms come to me and they say, I don’t want my kids to have my money story. I don’t want my kids to. Think about money the way I do, because I’m so afraid of spending it, or I’m afraid of saving, or I’m afraid of investing, or I’m just afraid, or I’m embarrassed, you know, there’s all these shameful feelings around money.

And so what we do is we set them up. I said, help the mom set themselves up. And if they’re married, then we work with, you know, her and her husband and we figure it out. Then we set up the kids, right? And so then I, what I do is I teach the moms how to teach the kids. Right. So that’s the really most important part is just breaking those generational patterns of not talking about money in the house and keeping it a taboo subject where there’s so many taboo subjects like money and sex and politics and religion and all of these subjects that are whispered about, or, you know, we don’t talk about money.

Don’t ever ask anyone how much money they make. And it’s like, you know, it’s all these things that in my house, we talk about money. Like it’s the weather. It’s just another conversation, right? And so my son and I, we talk about money so freely that he thinks it’s weird that people don’t talk about money, you know?

So I help the moms that come to me learn how to do that and how to become more comfortable. First of all, with their own money and themselves and their own mindset so that they feel more confident to say, Hey, you know what? I can teach my kids how to do this. You know, and then we set them up, we get them invested because the earlier you’re invested, the better, the more time you have for your money to compound.

And then, yeah, your kids can pay for college, they can buy their own house, they can do these things, they can learn how to save, they can learn how to invest, they can learn that it’s important to give money. Because the more money you have, the more good you can do with it. So when someone comes to ask you for a donation for something, you can say, yes, I will be happy to help you with that.

And then you can choose a charity that you care so much about that you can help them, right? And then we spend, so it’s not about how much you’re making is how much you keep, right? You keep for you. And then you can go ahead and give freely, and then you can spend your money on the things that you actually really care about.

And with, yeah, I mean, it’s really that simple. So. As we wrap up this conversation, I want to include two things. One is I would love for you just to give one word of encouragement for everyone, anyone listening on one step that they can take right now. And then I want to make sure that we have all of your connections and links.

All of that will be in the show notes, of course, but I want to make sure that we have all that. So what would be a word of encouragement, something that somebody could do right now? The easiest thing to do. Is go look at your money because this is something that most people don’t do because we’re so busy swiping and adding to cart.

So it’s just really simple awareness. Go to your money, wherever it is on your phone, because you know that you have all these apps, right? So you can go to your banking app. You can look at your savings account. If you have one, a lot of women don’t. They come to me with no savings account at all. Look at your checking.

See, what’s coming in? What’s going out? What are you spending mostly on? And what are things that you’re buying that you really don’t need? Do you have subscriptionitis? Right. You belong to like all these subscriptions that you’re not using, maybe like 10 a month. Exactly. Times 20. So what are you not using right now?

And you know, maybe you can cancel it or pause it, all these things. And then obviously credit cards. This is where they get you. Right. Your credit cards. If you’re not paying your bill in full every month, you’re paying a ridiculous amount of interest, at least 20%. I just got an offer in the mail the other day for a credit card for 0% to start.

But once that’s over, it’s 30%. Like, are you joking? It’s like, where’s my shredder? So look at your credit cards. How much interest are you paying? Are you paying more interest than you’re paying per month? You know, like look at all of that. What are you spending on? Are there things in there too that you’re needlessly spending on that you don’t know about?

You know, that that’s happened to me where I, I’ve been double charged for things. And then, you know, when you, when you’re actually looking at it, you can see that. You know, and it’s just really awareness. And then the next step to go further from that is to thank your money. And this is a great way to change your mindset about money.

It’s a great first step. So I call it the morning money minute. I have all my clients do it. My, my clients, Sharon says it’s her favorite. She does it with her kids. And it’s so cool because you just, every morning you take a minute and you just look at what you spent your money on yesterday and you thank it.

Thanks money for paying for my electric so that we can have power in the house. Thank you money for paying for my water so we can have clean water to drink and wash our clothes. You know, thank you money for taking us out for dinner last night because we had the best time, you know, and once you can look at your money that way and being grateful for it instead of saying, Oh no, I don’t have enough.

You know, it really changes the way that you think about your money and the way you approach your money. And then you’ll want to look at it more and then you’ll really pay attention to what’s actually happening. That’s great. I love that. Thank you. Money. Try it. I’m going I’m going to have a money minute.

Awesome. Yeah. So how can people find you? The easiest way to find me is on my website. It’s moms who money. com. You can get to me everywhere from there. Yeah. And you’ve got a freebie that you’re offering for folks. Tell us about that. I do. I do. I actually have a freebie called five. Steps to save a thousand dollars this month.

It is so helpful and so easy, especially when you’ve got little ones, it’s very easy, little tangible things that you can do. And you can find that on moms, who money. com slash save. Great. I’m going to look at that. I’d like to save a thousand dollars this month instead of spending extra thousands. Exactly.

All right. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I know that this is going to be really, really helpful for people. I really appreciate your insight. Thank you so much. This was fun. If you loved today’s episode, take a minute and subscribe to our podcast. And one last thing, I’d love to pray for you and your baby.

If you’d like for me to, you can email me at ask at nurtured noggins. com. Your request can be as simple as just one word, or it can include an explanation. Either way, you can trust that I will pray for you. It’s a quiet, simple way that I can connect with you and your family and support you in your parenting journey.