Financially Surviving Divorce

In this episode, Maggie sits down with money coach Christina Luken to discuss how women, in particular, can financially survive a divorce, and how they can improve their relationship with money from there

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Christine Luken is the Financial Lifeguard & Founder of the Financial Dignity™ Movement. She is a certified financial counselor, speaker, and the author of Manage Money Like a Boss: A Financial Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs and Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet. She empowers her clients to rescue their financial dignity by creating a Prosperity Plan to decrease debt, increase savings, and direct spending to what’s really important to them.

Christine has a degree in Accounting and is an active member of the Financial Therapy Association. She has twelve years of financial counseling experience, both with couples and divorcing women. Christine teaches financial professionals and money coaches all over North America about the emotional side of money and lives in the Cincinnati area. You can find her at

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To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit

The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:07
Thanks for listening to the money circle Podcast. I am your host, Maggie Germano and I’m a financial coach for women. I’m passionate about helping women improve their relationship with money so that they can take better control of their futures. Part of that journey is making personal finance education more accessible and less judgmental, which is why this podcast exists. Each week we’ll discuss a new financial topic to help you explore how you can make a difference in your own financial life or in society as a whole. If you’re interested in diving deeper into issues like income inequality, debt or money, shame, check out my new money circle community. In this safe feminist space women gathered to talk about money without fear of being judged or shamed. We will break down shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances. Visit to learn more and to join the community today. I can’t wait to see you there.

Hey there, and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with Christine Luken, who is a money coach and the founder of the financial life guard. In this episode, we discuss how women in particular can financially survive a divorce, and how they can improve their relationship with money moving forward from there. No one ever wants to go through a situation like this, of course. But if you want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for life’s possibilities, this episode is for you.

Welcome, Christine, thanks so much for being here today.

Christine Luken 1:50
Hey, thanks for having me.

Maggie Germano 1:52
So why don’t we just start by having you tell us a little bit about who you are and the work that you do?

Christine Luken 1:58
Sure. My name is Christine Luken, I am known as the financial life guard. And I am not a financial planner, I’m a money coach. And I help people to increase their savings, decrease their debt and direct their spending to what’s really important to them. And it’s really about helping people to create a money management system that they feel competent, managing, and that’s not overwhelming for them. So it’s it’s really about just waking up every morning and feeling really good about your personal finances.

Maggie Germano 2:39
I love that. I definitely relate to that as a financial coach myself. That’s great to hear. How did you get into this line of work?

Christine Luken 2:48
Oh, so I have like the tabloid story. I crashed and burned financially in my mid 20s, despite having an accounting degree. And it wasn’t because I didn’t know what I should be doing. I was actually working for the company that my father started a multimillion dollar Machine Tool Company, I was their staff accountant. And yet, I was bouncing my own checks at home. So a good part of that reason was I was engaged to a guy who had terrible money habits. He was in and out of jobs and in and out of jail. I thought if I just loved him enough that he would change. And he did, he got worse. So by by the time that I was ready to end the relationship, I call it my almost divorce because we were together for seven years, there was a wedding dress in the closet, we had a wedding date set. And even though I wanted to leave the relationship, I didn’t have any money to leave. I owed three different payday lenders money, I was behind on my car payments, I was actually parking my car about a half a mile away from where we lived, because the bank was threatening to come and pick it up. So it was a very humbling experience. And I had a lot of shame and embarrassment, around my money messes. Even more so because I was someone who should have known better, right? I had formal training and how to manage money. And yet, you know, I found myself I don’t know, can a credit score be negative? I mean, if that’s possible, it probably was. It was that bad. And so I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. Obviously getting away from that guy breaking off that relationship. Things did start to get better. I had to move back in with my parents and of course you know, when you’ve been out on your own for a while that seems like the worst thing ever. And I’m sure anyone who’s been through a major breakup or through a divorce, they can certainly relate to a lot of those same experiences. And honestly, my journey as a financial coach, it started as just me wanting to give back. Because I had gotten through this experience, you know, a couple years after, you know, I realized that there were a lot of people who were still in the same situation that I had been several years prior. And they didn’t even realize that there was another way to do things. You know, when I was on my way to financial rock bottom, all I did was worried about money constantly. And I don’t think you realize how much of a burden it is until you’re on the other side of it. And so then I just I got involved with my church, we started, you know, teaching financial literacy course. And then I found out that I could get certified as a financial coach. And honestly, I took that nonprofit track, I didn’t think I was going to make a business out of it. Because by that time, I was part owner of the family business. And the whole plan was my brother and I were going to take over the business when my dad retired. So I wasn’t even looking at it as a career, it was just, this is my way of giving back. But the more I did the financial coaching, the more dissatisfied I became working at the family business. machine tools are not my passion, even though I love my family very much. You know, and that was a really tough decision to to leave the family business. But I just got so much joy and satisfaction out of helping people through that process, you know, coming out of that money, shame and anxiety, and helping them come to that place of financial dignity was such fulfilling work for me that, you know, it wasn’t even really about the money. It was about making a bigger impact on people.

Maggie Germano 7:07
Yeah, no, I love that. And it sounds like it was kind of a winding road for you where it initially stemmed from your own experience and wanting to show people that they could have different experiences and have a different relationship with money, and what a difference that really makes. And, and I like that, you know, you did follow that passion eventually, because it was something that you could really see. Not only that you love, but it was something that could become a career for you, too.

Christine Luken 7:38
Yeah, absolutely.

Maggie Germano 7:40
That’s great. So when we initially got in touch, you and I were talking a little bit about how you work with women who are going through divorces and kind of helping them deal with the issues that come up around money when you know, you’re going through and then after a divorce? Can you tell me a little bit more about how and why you kind of gravitated to that sort of work, like helping with women helping women as they’re going through divorce?

Christine Luken 8:09
Yeah, well, and I certainly think a lot of it was relative to my own situation. You know, even though my fiance and I were not legally married, we were living together, our finances were entangled. You know, he was an authorized user on my credit cards. His car was in my name, because he had a DUI and, you know, it was, it was a mess. And it felt like a divorce for sure. So, you know, I certainly think that was part of it. But, you know, after I became a financial coach, I really just became obsessed with the emotional side of money and with learning about behavioral finance, and why we do what we do. You know, because even with the financial literacy course that I used to help teach, I saw that there were, there were some shortcomings with it, you know, like, even though, the information was sound, and it gave people you know, this list of things that they should be doing, and it didn’t address some of the emotional issues that people were having, and the different things that I saw that were holding people back. And I didn’t see any tools out there to help with that. And so I really started studying that side of it and just became really fascinated with it. And obviously, divorce is extremely emotional. And no one wins financially in a divorce. Right? You know, no one is better off after they, after a marriage breaks up. It’s very rare that that happens. And so you know, you have both of those things going on. At the same time, and I just I really enjoy doing more of that deeper emotional work and not just, okay, you need to follow these 123 steps, but also addressing those emotional issues that that people have, especially women.

Maggie Germano 10:21
I totally agree. And that’s why I took the financial coach route as well. Because, you know, I often tell people, it’s like, I could sit down and run your numbers and tell you exactly what to do and how to live within your means. But if you have other issues going on, and other behaviors and things holding you back, it’s not going to matter. Like you can consciously know exactly how to live within your means. But then other issues that are going on at the same time are going to prevent you from being able to do that. So it’s so much deeper than just the actual numbers.

Christine Luken 10:55

Maggie Germano 10:57
So what are some of the financial issues that you see your clients going through when it comes to divorce? Either like during the process or afterwards?

Christine Luken 11:07
Yeah, yeah. So there’s a couple different things that I see during during the divorce process. And it’s important for us to understand that that most people take action for one of two reasons. It’s either to increase pleasure, or to avoid or decrease pain. And so because divorce is so painful, there’s a lot of knee jerk reactions that happen, because people are wanting to avoid pain. So some of the most common ones that I see women make, you know, anytime we’re in danger, or turmoil, there are your standard reactions, right? There’s the fight response, the flight response and the freeze response. So when it comes to divorce, the fight response shows up as using money as a weapon. And so this happens a lot of the times when maybe a woman has been cheated on, or, you know, her husband has done something that’s very deceitful. And she feels like she feels the need to lash out and to punish. And just to give an example, I, you know, was talking to a financial planner a couple of years ago, and this is, you know, this client, this woman that he was trying to help, you know, she was going to get half of her husband’s 401k account. And she wanted to take $50,000 out of there to buy a red convertible because she wanted to, you know, parade it up and down the street in front of him every time she dropped the kids off to remind him like, yeah, you might have cheated on me. But, you know, I spent your money on this car. And the problem with that is that she was really punishing herself, because not only did she have to pay taxes on that $50,000. Right, then she also had to pay penalties on top of that. So essentially, she was paying probably closer to $75,000 for that car. And she now had significantly less money working and saving for her retirement, you know, so when you looked at that 50,000, and in the full picture of how that actually affected her 10 or 20 years down the road, that $50,000 car probably cost her more like a quarter of a million dollars, right? Because you’ve got that loss growth. So, you know, with my clients, what I really tell them is, you know, I know that it may feel good right now, to give your ex a financial Sucker Punch, that might feel really good. But what we have to understand is the implications of this decision five years down the road, 10 years down the road. And so, you know, I’m not saying that she shouldn’t have taken some money and splurge on something, right? I mean, she could have taken 20 $500 and bought a designer purse, you know, that would have had the same implications without her you know, having a big tax bill and you know, shorting her investments and, and all that other stuff. You know, take a kickboxing class right you know, let’s find a productive way to to burn off that that fighting energy. Now we’ve got the the other side of the spectrum, which is the flight response. And this is I just want to get away, like, I don’t care, let them have whatever he wants, I just want this to be over. And that was the response that I had, when I left my X, you know, all of the debt was in my name, because he didn’t have any credit. And, you know, I didn’t enforce him, paying me back any of that. I turned over, I signed over the car back to him. Even though I could have sold it, to help pay off the debt, I left most of the furniture in our apartment. And, you know, looking back, I think, you know, gosh, that was so stupid. You know, like, I didn’t fight for myself at all, I just let him have pretty much everything. Because I was so tired of fighting, I was so tired of fighting, and I just wanted it to be done, and I couldn’t wait to get away.

But if you’re legally married, and especially if you have kids, the important thing to remember is that, you know, things like child support and spousal support agreements, those things are hard to change. Once, you know, once they’re executed, you know, if you have to go back to court, you got to hire a lawyer, you know, when you look at, you know, if you don’t fight for what is legally yours, you know, you could be missing out on on a lot of money just because you’re tired of fighting. Now, obviously, hopefully, you’ve got a good attorney, that is going to help you in that regard. But sometimes I find myself reminding my clients that they have to stand up for themselves. And sometimes it helps to remind them, that they’re not just advocating for themselves, they’re also advocating for their children. Right. So that woman might not care, like, oh, he can just have that. But, you know, how would you feel if someone stole something from your children? Right? You know, I, most women, you know, we can get fired up on behalf of someone else. Sometimes it’s harder for us to fight for ourselves. And then I think the worst response is the freeze response, where we just refuse to take action. And, you know, I use the squirrel analogy, like the squirrel that runs across the road and stops in the middle, and is going to get hit, right? Let’s it’s, it’s Li, the less dangerous to like run to one side or the other side, don’t just stand there in the middle of the road. But I think you know, having having a financial coach, or having a financial advisor or an attorney, that can help you through these situations. That is certainly the best case scenario, because emotions are running high. And it does help to have that wise counsel and to have a sounding board.

Maggie Germano 18:04
Oh, I totally agree. Because like you were saying, there’s so much emotion involved. There’s also a lot of money involved, usually even just the process of divorce, let alone divvying up assets and everything. And I’ve definitely seen family friends, kind of, like you said, the do the flight, like, I just don’t want to deal with this anymore, he can just have everything. And then they get left pretty much with nothing, especially in a lot of circumstances where maybe the woman was the one who was staying home for a little while to take care of the kids. So they don’t have as much of their own financial resources or job prospects to return to. And so you, it’s I’m very passionate about making sure women have those kinds of resources and that they don’t kind of get left in that situation. Because you never know what might happen. Your relationship might be amazing for a really long time. And then it ends for whatever reason. And so making sure that you understand what is out there it like or within the family unit, you know what those resources are, and then getting someone to help take care of you through that process. If a divorce does happen, like you said, whether it’s a coach, definitely an attorney, a financial advisor, because yeah, you have to be able to still take care of yourself.

Christine Luken 19:24
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it’s, there’s just there’s so many emotional factors going on. You know, I, I coached a woman several years ago, where, you know, it wasn’t just her marriage falling apart, but she and her husband owned a business together. And he basically said, I’m gonna buy you out of the business. I don’t want you to come into work anymore. And oh, by the way, I also want to keep the house so you can find somewhere else to live. So if we think about what are stressful life events, you know, she was dealing with three of them at the same time, right? she’s losing her marriage. She’s moving away from her home that she had been in for, like 20 years, and losing her job all at the same time. Like, yeah, yeah. So the good news is she got a, she did get a good settlement at the end. But you know, there was a lot of emotional turmoil in the middle, in the midst of all of that, for sure.

Maggie Germano 20:28
I can only imagine. And so how do you help your clients work through those issues, whether they are feeling tempted towards the fight, flight or freeze or just getting through all the difficult issues and feelings while you’re going through the process at all? Kind of how do you help them through that?

Christine Luken 20:48
Yeah, well, the first thing that I tell them that I tell every woman is that, you know, money is like, the third person in your relationship. And even though you and your ex are splitting up, you and money are together forever. Now, you are always going to need money, you’re going to be interacting with money, pretty much until the day you die. And so it is important to examine your relationship with money. And it’s important to examine the things that happened in your marriage around money, and decide which of those things you want to change. You know, because you don’t come out of that situation, unaffected. And, as we know, I think 80% of divorces, they say money is the top two, you know, was either the reason or the second reason that they’re getting divorced. So it is important to examine and say, you know, what was happening in our finances before this blew up? You know, how was I interacting with money was I completely uninvolved, you know, that can be that can be very hard to not only be going through the divorce, but you know, never really having to handle the finances on your own. I mean, that was my mom’s situation, when her and my dad got divorced when I was a teenager. I don’t think she had ever even like written out checks for bills before that happened. So, you know, that’s, that’s a lot of overwhelmed to be to be dealing with. So one of the things that we do, first of all is, you know, is to figure out an interim budget, because a lot of times when you’re in the middle, you don’t know what the exact settlements gonna be. You don’t know, you know, how much child support you don’t know how much spousal support if that’s a factor. And so we can only deal with what we know right now. And so let’s create a spending plan, based off of your income, we know that’s going to be coming in, let’s start looking at the expenses. And, you know, we’re gonna have to make some changes, you know, it, like I said, it’s very rare that we don’t have to make tweaks to our lifestyle, especially if we were in a situation before this happened, where we were pretty much spending everything that was coming in, right, you know, if you weren’t proactively managing the finances before this happened. You know, it’s even more important to start doing that right now. And, you know, there are times when I may give my clients very little homework in between the sessions. I had one woman where I called her for a check in and I was like, how are you? And she just started crying. She’s like, I’m just having a terrible week. And so I told her, I said, Okay, here’s what I want you to do this week, I want you to go to yoga, at least three times. And that’s it. That’s all I want you to do. You don’t have to do anything else. And she called me like two days later, she’s like, I feel so much better. And so you know, it is important to make sure that we are earmarking some financial resources, and certainly some time to take care of ourselves as we’re going through this process and be kind to ourselves. That’s very important during the divorce process.

Maggie Germano 24:36
Oh, yeah, I can only imagine. I mean, I’m sure that’s something that doesn’t always come up. Generally, when we’re having conversations about divorce and the finances related to divorce. But yeah, the self care issue because I’m sure not only the emotional turmoil that can be involved with the divorce, but also just like dealing with lawyers and negotiating and arguing and trying to figure out who’s going to get what, and just all of it just must be so stressful.

Christine Luken 25:07
Yeah, well, and I think that is the value of having a money coach help you through this period. Because you know, we can help baby step people through this stuff and just say, you know what, just do these one or two things. And I know I needed that when I hit financial rock bottom. So, you know, my dad was essentially my financial life guard, when I was bouncing back from financial rock bottom. And, you know, when I looked at my bills, I just got completely overwhelmed. Because every single bill had a story behind it, right? Like, when I looked at the department store credit card bill, I didn’t just see that the balance was $900, I saw the charge on there that my ex had put on for my Valentine’s Day present. And now I was going to have to pay for it. Got a little emotional about that, right. But, you know, to my dad, it was just okay, this is one bill in the stack, right? Here’s your dillards bill, you owe $900, your payments $50. And for him to just say, Alright, here’s everything in black and white, here’s what we’re dealing with. Here’s the two things I want you to do in between now and next week, and just do those two things. That was just gold for me. Because when I looked at everything, I was just so overwhelmed. I was just paralyzed because I didn’t even know what to do first. And having someone who’s not emotionally attached to your financial mess. I mean, that is just so super valuable.

Maggie Germano 26:43
I agree. Because Yeah, like you said, when someone is disconnected on the emotional level, like, obviously, as a financial coach, I’m sure you care about your clients. And so you you have that connection, but you’re not emotionally invested in a way, it’s not going to affect you what’s happening in their lives, right, as opposed to a friend, or a family member who might get frustrated if they’re not able to take action a certain way, or who gets angry and kind of Rouse them up because of something that happened. So having a third party who’s not involved on the emotional personal level, I think can be really helpful. And like you said, just being able to kind of put it in black and white action steps so that it’s less about the whole picture and all the crazy stuff that’s going on. And it’s more about right, what can I actually do? What is the power that I have right now to actually move forward? Right?

Christine Luken 27:37

Maggie Germano 27:39
And something else that you said that really resonated with me was, you know, looking at the relationship that women already had with money before, and how it may be influenced how the relationship kind of was, when it existed, how it may be deteriorated, as well as looking at like, what was working and what wasn’t working. Because I think, you know, there are a lot of people out there women sometimes, in particular, sometimes who they’re just kind of putting blinders on with the finances, somebody else is the one who manages it, they don’t know how to pay the bills, they don’t know how much money there is, they don’t know what they need to live off of. And you really don’t want to repeat that cycle, especially if that relationship that marriage ends, and then, you know, you kind of have to learn how to take care of yourself, you wouldn’t want to get in another relationship in the future and have it kind of be the same thing. And then worry about it kind of repeating in that way. So I like that you like to focus on that.

Christine Luken 28:41
Right? Absolutely. And so so that’s something that that we work on, pretty heavily. And it’s interesting, because one of the exercises I’ll do with people, is have them write a letter to money as if money is a person and write how they feel about money in their interactions with money. And so then we can talk about it and say, you know, well, I feel like money is never there for me, or I feel like money was used to control me. And then we can talk through some of those some of those issues. And, you know, kind of dig down a little bit deeper and say, Okay, now that we know what needs to be fixed, let’s rewrite this letter to money as if you and money had an awesome relationship. And that’s just such such a cool exercise for women to be able to do and usually I’ll have them do that a couple weeks apart. And so then we talk about Okay, so what are the things that we need to do now, to make this new story true? Right, what are those those different things in your finances that we need to work on? And a lot of times with women, it’s their confidence, about money, their confidence about trusting themselves to handle it wisely. And certainly some of that is just, you know, financial literacy and knowledge. But other times, you know, I encounter women who they actually are pretty competent. But they might have been in a relationship with someone who was controlling, or who was emotionally manipulative, who gave them the story, that you’re not good with money, or that you can’t be trusted with money, even though it wasn’t true. But if somebody tells you that enough times, you accept that as the truth.

Maggie Germano 30:46
Oh, that’s so true. And I like that you have those two exercises be a little bit separate, too, because I, I know, in my own experience, and I know, with my clients as well, but seeing what your current belief system is, and then trying to immediately come up with a more positive belief system can feel really impossible. So I like that you kind of put a little distance between the two, and then help them figure out like, what are the actual actions you need to take to get to this place rather than being like, okay, now feel this way, like, change your mindset overnight?

Christine Luken 31:20
Right, because you do have to put the mindset together with the action, right. And that’s something I’m really, really big on. And I wrote a lot about that, in my book, money is emotional, prevent your heart from hijacking your wallet, because, you know, I saw that there were a lot of, you know, there’s a lot of books and a lot of information out there about, hey, these are the steps you need to take to get financially healthy. And then there was also stuff out there about positive money, affirmations, and your relationship with money and some of these softer type skills. But I didn’t really see anybody putting those two things together to say, Okay, why do these things work? Right? You know, it’s not just oh, we just say these happy things to make ourselves feel better. You know, there’s actually science behind why that works. And so once people understand that, then they’re like, oh, okay, this is why I can’t keep saying, I’m broke, or I never have any money.

Maggie Germano 32:26
Yeah, yeah, that’s one of the things I work on with my clients as well, where it’s even just as simple as changing the language they’re using when they talk to friends. Like if someone invites them to do something that maybe they can’t afford at the moment, instead of being like, I can’t, I’m broke. It’s more like, actually, I’m trying to make sure I’m focusing my money on this goal this month. So I’m, I’m limiting my like dining out budget, do you want to just like come over for dinner instead? And just trying to reframe it, as well as communicating your goals with their friends. So they don’t just have no idea what’s going on with you. And you might find out that they’re kind of going through the same sorts of things as well.

Christine Luken 33:03
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s smart.

Maggie Germano 33:06
Thanks. Yeah. So is there one thing, and this might be hard to narrow down to one? But is there one thing you wish women knew about the financial and emotional connection and kind of how that plays out through life, but also in, in big changes, like going through a divorce or something like that?

Christine Luken 33:29
Yeah, absolutely. Um, well, the one thing, the one question that women asked me that that’s actually the wrong question, and here’s the right question. So I will have women say, you know, I have tried to do XY and Z with my money. You know, I’ve tried to budget I’ve tried to tried to do this, and you know, it, I can’t stick with it. What’s wrong with me? And I say, that is the wrong question to ask the right question to ask is What happened to me? What happened to me that is causing me to interact, and respond to my money in this way? Because, you know, all of this comes from somewhere. And, you know, we don’t talk a lot about our subconscious mind and what goes on there. But, you know, especially as little kids, we take in everything as the truth. And it’s interesting because when you’re about six or seven years old and younger, your brainwaves as a child are very different from adult brainwaves. And it’s called theta. So adults do experience theta brainwaves, but we experience them under hypnosis and that space in between awake and asleep. And so you’ve probably if you’ve had, you know, if you’ve been around kids at all, especially if you have kids of your own, you notice like little kids, especially when they’re like around three, four and five. They’re like sponges, like they just suck everything in. And that’s actually what happens in the theta brainwave stage there is, there’s essentially no filter. And there’s no judgment of, do I want to accept this. In or not, we don’t, we don’t get those kinds of brainwaves until we’re about seven years old, where we can say, That’s not true. I don’t accept that. And so with theta brainwaves, we’re just basically downloading all this information into our subconscious mind is the truth. And the reason it works that way is if you think about it, little kids have to learn a lot in a very short period of time, right, they have to learn language, they have to learn the rules of society, they have to learn how families function and how they fit into the family. And so you know that that’s part of our evolution of our brain where it sucks in all this information. So kids can learn how to survive and thrive in the real world. But the problem is, if something happens to you, around money, when you’re a little kid, it gets imprinted into your subconscious as the truth. And as an adult, you can still be acting out of that information and not even know that it’s there. So for example, I was talking to a client recently. And she, we we talked about, like, what is your earliest memory of money when you were a kid. And she remembers that her older brother stole money from her when she was about six years old. And she said, You know, I, she said, It wasn’t until I started thinking about that, that it was like that I’m always scared, I’m going to lose money. Right? That there, I still am carrying around this fear of, it’s almost like unsafe to have extra money because somebody might steal it. And she’s like, I didn’t even realize that that was still affecting me, until you asked me to go back and think about this stuff. And so, you know, once we bring those things to the surface, then we can say, Well, is it really unsafe? To have extra money? You know, can we rewrite the story in a more positive way? Can we create some money affirmations to to counteract that, so we can rewrite that faulty programming that’s in our subconscious? So I think that’s really important, especially for women to understand that there’s nothing wrong with them. You know, we just have to figure out what happened to them. So that we can help identify, you know, what are those faulty money stories? What are those negative things that are continuing to replay under the surface, so that we can help rewrite those as positive, so they don’t have to continue that pattern.

Maggie Germano 38:18
I love that that’s, that’s huge, too, because it takes the blame off of you as an individual, because shame and blame makes it really difficult to actually make things different and take actions. So really, yeah. So to looking back on, like, what was, what was that experience, what’s influencing what, you know, causes your behavior now, and then go from there, so that it’s not just like, I’m good or bad at this thing. And because that makes it look like or feel like you can’t do anything about it, versus going back and identifying something, which you can then start taking some actions to change.

Christine Luken 38:57
Right? Absolutely.

Maggie Germano 38:59
Great. Well, is there anything else you want to make sure listeners take away from this conversation?

Christine Luken 39:05
Ah, well, just to remember that money is emotional, and you literally cannot separate your emotions from your money decision making. Science has actually proven this, that the moment of decision happens in the same part of our brain that processes emotion. So this doesn’t mean that we shut our emotions off. This doesn’t mean that we fight against them. It means that we start understanding those emotions that are driving our financial behaviors, you know, and we can learn how to harness the power of our positive emotion so that we can actually achieve our money goals. And, you know, there are some tricks that we can use to short circuit some of those negative behaviors. And, you know, to honor our emotions because, you know, certainly we don’t want To be a slave to our emotions, but usually when we have some of those negative emotions, it’s typically because someone has violated our boundaries in some way. You know, when we feel angry, or we feel scared, but we never really explore kind of the deeper level of why am I feeling this way? And what are some constructive things that I can do, you know, to help that.

Maggie Germano 40:27
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. So, is there anything you’d like to promote to listeners, anything you’ve got going on right now? Sure.

Christine Luken 40:36
Well, I would love for everybody to download the first three chapters of money as emotional, and they can actually go right to the money as emotional calm, and download a sample of the book, if they’re interested in the emotional side of money. There’s also a free workbook that they can download as well and start working through some of these exercises that you and I’ve actually talked about today.

Maggie Germano 41:01
That’s great. And I will link all of that to the show notes as well. And how can folks get in touch with you?

Christine Luken 41:08
Sure, they can hop over to my website, And they can contact me directly on the website. I am on social media so they can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn are my two big platforms that I’m active on.

Maggie Germano 41:24
Great, I’ll link to those as well so that people can find you easily. Well, thanks for seeing so much for being here. This was a really good conversation. Everything you say is like music to my ears, because it’s all the same things that I believe in and work on with my clients as well. So I am glad you’re out there doing what you’re doing.

Christine Luken 41:44
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed it, of course.

Maggie Germano 41:51
Thank you so much for listening to the money circle podcast this week. If you like the conversations we’re having here and you’d like to go even deeper. Join the new money circle community. In this safe intersectional feminist space. We will break down money shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances.

Visit to learn more. And to join. If you’d like to get more connected with me, subscribe to my weekly newsletter at To learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye bye.