This week, Maggie is chatting with Nicole Iacovoni, who is a Financial Therapist and Licensed Couple’s Therapist, who helps women entrepreneurs, coaches, and creatives heal their relationship with money, make more profits, and manage money in fun, flirty (and strategic) ways - without giving up all of life’s guilty pleasures. In this episode, they talk about how you can treat your relationship with money like you would treat a romantic relationship, and why it’s so important that you do so.
Nicole Iacovoni is a Financial Therapist and Licensed Psychotherapist with 17 years experience. She writes a crush worthy newsletter called Money Love Notes where she dishes on her latest financial crush and offers inspirational ideas for dating your money. Her signature program, Money Therapy, teaches you how to transform your toxic relationship with money into a steamy love affair. She’s been featured in Business Insider, CNBC Select, and Up Journey. Feel more confident & cozy with your money right away by downloading Nicole’s free “date your money” planner at NicoleIacovoni.com
To join the Money Circle Community, visit www.maggiegermano.com/moneycircle.
To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit www.maggiegermano.com.
Maggie Germano 0:08
Thanks for listening to the money circle podcast. I’m your host, Maggie Germano and I’m a financial coach for women. I’m passionate about helping women improve their relationships 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. I’m currently on maternity leave until April, but there are still ways for you to get support from me while you’re on your financial journey. 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 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 Maggiegermano.com/moneycircle to learn more and to join the community today. I can’t wait to see you there.
Hey there and thanks for listening. I am your host, Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with Nicole i cavani, who is a financial therapist and licensed couples therapist who helps women entrepreneurs, coaches and creatives heal their relationship with money, make more profits and manage money in a fun, flirty and strategic way without giving up all of life’s guilty pleasures. In this episode, we talk about how you can treat your relationship with money like you would treat a romantic relationship and why it’s so important that you do so. If you’ve always struggled with your relationship with money and you want to make it better. This episode is for you. Enjoy.
Okay, welcome, Nicole. Thanks so much for being on the money circle podcast today.
Nicole Iacovoni 2:02
Thanks so much for having me.
Maggie Germano 2:04
So why don’t we just get started by having you kind of tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Nicole Iacovoni 2:11
Sure. My name is Nicole Iacovoni. I am a licensed psychotherapist and I have about 17 years experience working in the mental health field. And I’m also a financial therapist who helps women entrepreneurs, coaches, creative business women, to heal their relationship with money to make more profits in fun, flirty ways to manage their money with more confidence, and also to deal with the sticky emotions that come up because of business drama. Because we all know that running and growing a business is certainly not easy. So those are the things that I help people do as a licensed therapist and financial therapist.
Maggie Germano 2:56
That’s wonderful. And how did you kind of narrow down your specific niche in terms of who you focus on with your clientele?
Nicole Iacovoni 3:05
Yeah, so I sort of fell into this work by accident. And it came as a result of experiencing my own financial crisis several years ago, and having to dig my way out of that and figure out what was really contributing to that financial mess. So I’ll give you a little bit of the backstory there and sort of what I learned from that experience. When I started working in, in mental health in my private practice, it was an in about 2011. And I was like a one man show at that point in my career. I did long term therapy with clients, I did all of the scheduling and the billing, I answered the phones, I did all my own marketing. I rented this really tiny office, I subleased in the same spaces, like a chiropractor and a massage therapist. And that’s how I got started in my own business in private practice. And a couple years into that work, I realized that the clients that we’re working with had some struggles that they really needed help with, it sort of fell outside of my area of expertise. Examples of that would be you know, like dietary issues, because we know the brain and body are connected. And so needing a little bit of help with nutrition coaching or movement to alleviate some of the mental health symptoms. And in some cases, some clients weren’t progressing as quickly as what we both wanted them to be experiencing. And so in those instances, sometimes mental health medication can be really advantageous and helpful. The problem was that I didn’t have other providers that I could be consulting with it could fill in those gaps. And so what I decided to do was expand my one man show private practice into a full service holistic wellness center so that I could bring in some of those additional providers and services and really treat my clients comprehensively. So in 2014, I made the decision to create this business model and I hired a bunch of providers, I moved into a very expensive office space, prime location, but super expensive. And I thought, you know, not only is this a terrific way to help my clients, and do good in the community and get people feeling better, but it’s also a great way to grow my business to make a lot of money to have the life that I want. And I thought, if I build it, they will come overnight success, right, like, that’s what you hear all the time is like overnight success. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. You know, I found that I was investing a whole ton of money into my business to try and get it off the ground through marketing, advertising, creating new services. You know, we added yoga to the service menu and had a nice yoga studio, we added massage therapy and bodywork and a number of different things. But I was spending more money in my business than what I was making at that point. And so I was really worried that I wasn’t going to be able to keep the doors open, I wasn’t bringing home a paycheck, even though I was working like 30 hours a week, I found myself at $7,000 in debt and not knowing how I was going to pay that off, if I was ever going to pay that off. And really experiencing a lot of emotional distress because of all the financial stress I was under. So it was one day I was working with a couple I do a lot of couples therapy work. And I was working with a couple of my office and they for reals like started a screaming match with each other, which was super uncomfortable, very common, but super uncomfortable. I wanted to get out of there. I think they did too. But I was listening to what they were saying to one another and what they were accusing each other of and like you’re never there for me, and I can’t count on you. And you know, you should do more for me. And I stopped and I thought about how they were treating one another. And it dawned on me that I’ve had those same thoughts about my money, right, like money’s never there. For me, there’s never enough, it’s never there when I need it. And in that moment, a light bulb came on for me. And I thought to myself, okay, my relationship with money is just as toxic and unhealthy. So the relationship between this couple that is sitting in front of me having a screaming match. And so that led me down a really interesting path. Because I thought to myself, all right, clearly, this toxic relationship with money is contributing to all the financial problems that I’m having in my life right now. What do I do about it? So I asked myself the question, well, what if I started using some of the techniques and strategies that I use with couples to help them heal their romantic relationships and apply that to my relationship with money? So I started doing it as a scientific experiment, if you will. And what I experienced as a result of that is totally astounding. I mean, my, the way that I thought about money changed the way that I felt about money changed how I behaved with money changed the, the decisions I made with it improved. I increased my income times five, and like eight months, and I paid off all $87,000 worth of debt in two years. I mean, like, the results I got were just amazing. And so I thought, well, I can’t be the only woman struggling with this particularly only entrepreneur struggling with us. I bet other people find themselves in very similar situations, I wonder if these strategies and techniques would help other people as well. And so I decided to try it and sort of accidentally found myself doing financial therapy in that way, and sharing the process that I used in my own life with other people and seeing very similar results. And so that’s how I got started doing this work, and it just sort of took off from there.
Maggie Germano 9:06
That’s really amazing. And that’s, that’s such an interesting story where, like, the business model that you started creating, like, that sounds really wonderful. And it sounds like what a lot of people would, you know, in theory be looking for, but it also sounds like it could be really overwhelming and stressful and very expensive. And so I think being able to have that light bulb moment not only for yourself, but then to pay it forward kind of and say like, Okay, this is obviously a problem that other people are probably struggling with, and I want to take what I’ve learned and help other people with that as well. I always I feel like almost every woman I speak to on this podcast has a similar story where they struggled with something or they saw a hole in some niche that really needed to be filled and they were like, I’m gonna I feel that and I just always, I’m always very impressed by that.
Nicole Iacovoni 10:03
Yeah, I completely agree with you. And, and for me, it wasn’t just the money management stuff that I struggled with, it was more so the emotions related to money, you know, like my beliefs about money, my beliefs about my own worth my beliefs around what it would say about me based on how much money I made or didn’t make. And that’s what was really holding me up. And so when I got in there, and really started working on the psychological and emotional barriers, that’s when things changed. And I thought to myself, you know, I could really use like a therapist to help me with this right now. But I didn’t find anybody you know, that dealt specifically with money and the emotions related to it, you know, like, I wish I knew about you, then Maggie, because I would have called you up and be like, hey, I need your help. You’re like the expert in this. But at that time in my life, like no one in my circle, or in my local community, like that existed. And so you’re right, I found this hole, this gap, this thing that I really needed in my own life, that wasn’t available to me. And so now I get so much joy out of being that person and doing that work with other people and filling that need in their lives and helping them work through the psychological and emotional things that are keeping them from really living their best financial life.
Maggie Germano 11:30
Right. Yeah. And I mean, that’s something that I feel really strongly about to that emotional side of money, that it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about a whole lot of other things, too. Can you talk a little bit about some of those psychological barriers, even just like that you found for yourself, but you see with other folks as well?
Nicole Iacovoni 11:50
Sure, absolutely. I think, you know, for a lot of my clients, one in particular comes to mind, and this is something that I see pop up a lot is, like struggling with putting a number on your worth, you know, like, how much is my product or service work? Like, what are people willing to pay for this. And when you’re running your own business, you have to set your own prices, right. And so that brings up a lot of questions about, you know, what you’re capable of how you deliver quality to people how much they value it compared to how much you value it, how much expertise and experience you have in your work and those sorts of things. And I was working with a client who owns like a Fitness Studio, so she does yoga work and bar work and has a bunch of fitness classes and stuff, which is super fun. But the problem she was bumping into is that she wasn’t making money in her business. And so when she came to work with me, she said, I’m just really bad with money, I don’t feel confident in my financial decisions. And that’s when I need help with. But as we got into it and started really looking at what’s going on in her business and how she felt about money, it became clear that it really wasn’t about running the numbers, like you said, it was about how she was devaluing herself. So she was looking at the other fitness instructors in her town. And she was saying, Oh, well, this one has 20 years of experience in dance, or this one is certified, and I’m not I I’m not a dancer, I’m not 30 certified, I’m self taught. So what I have to offer to students is not of the same quality or caliber as they are offering. And so she was discounting her services and her classes and pricing herself significantly lower than the competition. And so we touched upon that. And I was like, Well, why is it that you don’t have prices comparable with other studios in your area? And she’s like, Well, I’m not as good as them. Like, really like, it sounds to me, like your unique selling point, like your niche. And what you offer that is unique and different from everybody else is that you offer classes for like the average person, not the dancer, not the fitness guru, not the most flexible people in the world. But like real people that just want to live a healthier lifestyle like that is what you bring to the table. And that is worth something. And so it was just shifting her mindset and her perspective about what she had to offer. And the quality that she was delivering in her business that gave her the confidence to increase her prices. And once she did that she doubled her revenue the next month, and tripled it the month after that. And now she’s doing great I mean, and she’s coming up with all these wonderful ideas because before and this is something I did wrong in my business too, is that I just coming up kept coming up with service after service idea after idea class after class is trying to find anything that people would want By so that I could make money, right. And I was running myself ragged because of that. And she was doing the same thing, she was just putting as much out there as she possibly could, hoping that someone would like one of those things and hand over money for it. But when she started making money and started thinking differently about the value that she was offering to her clientele, then she brings that back. And she just moved forward with her favorite ideas, or the ideas that really lit her up and made her feel excited. And then because she was excited about it, clients were excited about it. And they wanted to buy those things from her. And she wasn’t nearly as exhausted. And so I think that’s the other thing about making money and running our businesses is that it needs to be fun, it needs to be pleasurable, because without that, we don’t want to mess with it. You know, it’s like, I don’t want to touch my money with a 10 foot pole, I was like stuffing bills in the basket back at my desk drawer and avoiding them and don’t want to think about it, bury my head in the sand. And also if it if it’s not fun, then we get all serious. And we feel like money so complicated, and it’s so overwhelming. And that just puts a negative spin on everything. So I’m of the philosophy that tending to our finances needs to feel fun and pleasurable running our businesses and making money needs to feel fun and pleasurable. And so we really have to change the way that we’re looking at all of those things, and adding more fun and pleasure into the process. So that we want to show up and we want to do those things, and we can be more creative, and making money then becomes really fun.
Maggie Germano 16:41
Yeah, I love so much of that I say this to other entrepreneur, friends of mine, where it’s like, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing as a business owner, like, Why be a business owner? It’s so hard already told that, like, why are you doing it if it’s not what you want to be doing, or it doesn’t at least kind of look like what you want it to look like. Yeah, and I think the comparison piece is huge. I know that I struggle with that myself. I know, every entrepreneur, I know, every human I know struggles with the comparison people just like us that assuming that somehow someone else is just inherently better. And so they deserve to charge certain rates and that you can’t possibly do that. And it really does, it holds you back and it makes you scared and it makes you really hurts your self confidence and your self worth over time, which can make it even more impossible to be ambitious and work towards the goals that you’re really trying to reach.
Nicole Iacovoni 17:38
Absolutely. And the other piece to that. And this is something that I think you do so beautifully on your show is really recognizing the challenges that women face in particular, when it comes to, you know, finances and earning money and how that compares to to men and the disparities there. And I think that those conversations are so worthy of having because as women and as business owners, we’re also comparing ourselves to men, okay? Like, how they run the show, how they make money, how much money they’re making, you know, what they do to get that money, and, and all the rest. And, you know, I think sometimes that leads us down a path where we we can feel inferior, or we can be like, you know, I’m working my butt off over here making peanuts, while Joe Schmo is doing similar work and crushing it, you know? And then we’re like, What’s wrong with me? Or what do I need to do different or we stray from our true selves and our own nature and what feels good to us to try and emulate other people and how they do things in their business. And that just works against us, actually, you know, because if we’re not loving what we’re doing, no one else is going to love it either. Like they’re gonna feel the dread that oozes from our body. So we’re doing our work. But again, like I said, I think that the conversations that you raise related to that and offering this, you know, feminist perspective, and these hard, difficult challenges that we face and giving some strategies about how to work around those is so important. We need to hear that message over and over and over again, to drown out all the messages that we’re getting in society about how you know, we shouldn’t be successful in business. We shouldn’t want to make money that’s greedy, and selfish and materialistic. And I think that’s garbage. Oh, that’s garbage. But a lot of women believe that and I sort of believe that too. Or, really, what came up for me is that I believed I had to hustle and grind in my business to be worthy of making a lot of money. Right? So I made everything harder on myself, right because if I wasn’t working a gazillion hours, and totally strung out, then I felt like I didn’t deserve to make you know, $200,000 a year in my business and You know, I had to do a lot of inner work related to that. So I could switch that script and retrain my brain and write a new story. And, you know, those are some other things that I help other women do, too, you know, really digging in there and figuring out, like, where are they getting hung up where they get stuck, you know, what are some of the irrational thoughts that are coming to mind that are sabotaging or undermining their success, not just in business and making money, but like, in their whole life?
Maggie Germano 20:29
Right. And yeah, the hustle piece, I think, is really important too. I know, for myself, I’ve never really considered myself to be a workaholic, I’ve always been like, I’ve always very much enjoyed having a very clear balance between work and life and, and having plenty of leisure time, and plenty of free time. And so but becoming an entrepreneur, starting a business and kind of seeing that house hustle culture around me, it started kind of seeping in to me to where it was like, Oh, God, if I’m not working constantly, then I’m not a good entrepreneur, I’m not a good coach, I’m not contributing this value that I say that I want to be contributing to the world. And luckily, more and more, I’m seeing people kind of push back against that. Yeah. It reminds me of folks who are in kind of any mission driven work, whether they’re running their own business, or they’re in the nonprofit field, where it’s like, I have to suffer, or I have to overwork in order for the, for the income that I’m making to be worth it or Okay, or to make myself valuable in the world in the way that I contribute. And I think that’s a huge emotional barrier for right folks flows across the board, men and women, but I think in particular women who really want to make a difference in the world.
Nicole Iacovoni 21:52
Absolutely. The other thing that I see a lot too, and you probably see as well, is, you know, if you look on social media, you see so many posts or classes or ads that give this impression that you can have like a million dollar launch, right? Or like you can make $100,000 in a week or whatever, like to give this impression that like making a lot of money is fast and easy. You know, as long as you have your own business, you can do it. And I think that’s so misleading, but I think that it is, you know, like this carrot sort of dangling in front of us, that makes us think, okay, yeah, like, I would love to do that. I would love to have that. And then we’re in pursuit of this lofty goal. And then we do a launch and it doesn’t make $100,000 or we don’t have the million dollar business that everybody on Facebook is telling us we should have and we should want, then we’re like, well, what am I doing wrong? Or what’s wrong with me? or What am I not doing in my business that I should be doing? And those sorts of things? I mean, do you see that a lot in your own experience and the work that you do with women as well, this sort of like temptation of, you know, this should be easy. And you should just make a boatload of money overnight.
Maggie Germano 23:08
Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s funny the comparison between like, you have to suffer and hustle as hard as you possibly can to get anything that you want versus like, Oh, just do this one thing that this guy told you to do, and a $200 course or $2 program, and you’re gonna be rich immediately. It’s just both of those messages are happening at the same time. And both of them are wrong.
Nicole Iacovoni 23:32
Yeah, for sure, for sure. But you know, it’s like this shiny, sparkly idea hanging out there that I think can be very alluring to people, but also incredibly dangerous, because I don’t know about you and your business. But in my business, it’s been the hardest dang thing I’ve ever done. And that’s what I tell people that I work with to is like, you just need to expect this to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. And you need to give yourself time, like slow and steady wins the race in growing your business, but also in growing your wealth to you know, because like you can’t pay off $1,000 worth of debt in a couple of months. You can’t you know, accumulate wealth and invest and have a nice nest egg overnight. You know, you can’t grow your business from $0 to a million dollars in a year, at least not typically. I mean, we do have some of those anomalies, right. But you know, pacing yourself and giving yourself time. And I think that’s the other thing, too is like that comparison itis kicks in. And we’re looking around us and we’re seeing other people surpass us. And we’re not taking into account how much time it probably took them to get where they are financially or to get where they are in their business. And we put a ton of pressure on ourselves to reach to that level.
Maggie Germano 24:54
Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I tell my clients that every single day like your finances are not going to change overnight, they’re not going to change in the first month or three months of us working together. And related to that your relationship with your money is not just going to change immediately. It’s it’s taking you 30 years or however long to feel a certain way. So how do you expect, like, that’s just undue pressure, unrealistic pressure, it’s going to make you feel worse, it’s going to make you want to give up. So reminding yourself that Oh, it took me like 25 or 30 years to get to this place that I am now is not going to take two weeks to get over it. It’s going to be a process over time. And there’s no lag. There’s no clear finish line, either, most of the time,
Nicole Iacovoni 25:40
oh, yeah, for sure. Like, there’s not a destination there is no there like this is something that you are always in forever going to be working on and tending to just like your romantic relationships, like the relationship with your life partner. And, and this is, you know, the direction that I come at money from is comparing your relationship with money to a romantic relationship. And I take it as far as even personifying money, like, give money, a personality, okay? Give it thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams, just like you, okay? Because when you do that, like, there’s science behind this, it’s for relatable, right? Like, we typically all have experience with relationships, especially women, because you know, we have this nurturing feminine quality, we care a lot about connection and, and relationships. And so it’s more familiar to us, we understand it because of that experience. So if you can take something relatable like that, and apply it to something that feels confusing, overwhelming, complicated, and elusive, like money, then it just simplifies it, you know, the simpler, the better, the easier it is to shift your attitude about it, you know, and so I encourage people to treat their money, like a lover, okay, like, date your money, we’ll talk about what that means in a second. But respect it, appreciate it, love up on it, make it a priority, take time for it, check in on it, see what it’s been up to all week, you know, like, is it hanging out at Target on a shopping spree and like buying stuff you don’t need? Or is it like doing its job by earning interest in your investment account and growing wealth for you? Right, you know, and, and I talk a lot about giving your money a job to like, you know, you wouldn’t want your spouse to just like loafer around all day, while you are busting your butt, unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, that sort of thing. Like, you divide and conquer, you break up the chores, at least in an ideal world, we do that. You know, and you each take jobs, well, your money needs a job to like it needs something to work on, you know, whether that be paying your rent, or whether it be paying for daycare, or whether it be earning interest in a investment or savings account, whether it be buying you the HA vanilla latte that you get to enjoy first thing in the morning, or whatever that looks like for you. You know, you want to, like have communication. And I say that in air quotes, you know, because you can’t really talk with money. It’s not a thing I get it, but by personifying and pretending that you’re engaging in a conversation. It just makes it more real, more understandable, more fun to tend to your finances when you see it in that way in that light.
Maggie Germano 28:27
Yeah, no, that does sound really fun. I really like that twist to it. I mean, I because I often talk about like, you know, making your money work for you. Or, like you said, giving your money a job assigning your money, certain goals, but adding that extra layer of that personification of trying to understand it better in a way that it works in our brains, because like you said, money is this abstract thing it is made up, we’ve all like created the system. In our society. It’s not just something we’re inherently born understanding, we have to learn and many of us do not learn how to how to deal with it. So shifting the way you think about it in a way that is much more inherently understood that sounds like it would be really helpful for a lot of people. And also, like you said, more fun.
Nicole Iacovoni 29:18
Yeah, for sure. And I mean, when you really think about it, money is sort of like a lifelong partner that you are in a relationship with. I mean, we make decisions about money every single day. We handle money every single day, and you will from now until the day that you die, right. And so we want that relationship to be as healthy as possible. And the best way to make a relationship healthy is to be respectful, to have appreciation for that relationship, to care for that person or in this case, that thing, money being the thing and to make it a priority to set aside time in our life for it to nurture that relationship and, and that’s something that I see fall by the wayside with a lot of couples that I work with, that’s what gets them to couples therapy is that they no longer appreciate each other, they take one another for granted, they don’t have respect for each other, they neglect one another, they sometimes verbally abused one another. And, you know, they don’t make the relationship a priority anymore. And that’s when problems really start and and the same thing happens with money. You know, if we’re not setting aside time, to tend to our finances to look and see what’s going on to make decisions about it to gain financial literacy and learn about how to manage money. Well, if we’re not it taking time to explore our first money, memories, or our beliefs about money or do some of that inner work, then we’re not going to have a healthy relationship with it, you know, like your money is going to go co there’s going to be a messy breakup, you’re going to be without it. So it’s a matter of regularly setting aside the time to spend it with your money to nurture that relationship and to care for it in meaningful ways like you would your partner.
Maggie Germano 31:15
Yeah, I love that. And I love the comparison with the relationships and taking each other for granted. And just kind of like getting used to just being there with each other and saying, with your money, it’s just there. And if you don’t prioritize it, things aren’t going to go very well. It’s not just going to automatically do the things that you want it to do. Right? Um, so you mentioned that, and I saw on your website, too, that you talked about dating your money. So can you expand a little bit more on what you mean, and you say that and what it might look like for an individual?
Nicole Iacovoni 31:49
Sure. So part of the process of like making a relationship a priority is like date night, right? Like the couples that I see who are coming in with these struggles and taking each other for granted. They’re not having date night, right? Like, they’re not making sure their priority, they’re not spending quality time together, they’re not laughing and having fun and, you know, having pleasurable experiences with each other. And that’s a bit of advice that I give just about every couple that I work with is have date night, a time to connect and have fun and experience pleasure. And so I suggest doing the same thing with your money, have money dates, and that is simply just time set aside in your calendar, you know, like an hour a week, it’s not a massive amount of time, but time reserved for your money, but to approach that money date in a very fun, flirtatious sexy sort of way. So I’ll give you a couple examples about how you might go about doing this. So instead of being like, Oh, I gotta like 10 to my budget or like pull up spreadsheets, you’re like, God, that’s so boring. It’s so tedious. I hate this, I don’t want to do it, you would say okay, I’m gonna have a coffee date with my money. And I’m gonna scoop up my laptop, I’m going to go to Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts, or that cute little coffee shop down the street. And I’m going to find a booth in the corner and I’m going to pull everything up, I’m going to order a sentimental tray latte, I’m going to savor every drop of it. And I’m going to catch up with my money and just see what’s been doing all week. You know, like, how are things going? Where’s my money been hanging out? What’s it been doing for me? You know, and then maybe after do that, I’ll just check in with it and see like what it wants to do together next week. You know, it’s like a totally different dialogue, a totally different approach to your finances. Yeah, maybe you actually will pull up your budget or a spreadsheet. But you’re not thinking oh, my gosh, this stinks. It’s so boring and dull. I don’t want to do it. You’re like, I’m curious. Like, I want to see what my money has been up to. And I want to make plans for the future that are fun and exciting. And you know, keep a log of that so that I can move into next week with good intentions and a game plan for my cash, right? Or another example might be like scheduling a Netflix and chill money date, you know, so you put on your coziest PJs, you pop some popcorn, you snuggle on the sofa, you turn on Netflix, and you binge watch money documentaries, okay, so you can gain some financial literacy, you can get some good advice from the most successful wealthy people in the world. And, you know, you can expand your financial repertoire, so to speak, so that you’d have some important takeaways that can benefit your financial life. Super fun, right? It’s not like, Oh, I have to read a really dry book about like, budgeting and investing and like 401 K’s and you know, nobody wants to do that. And if it’s not fun, we’re not going to do it. But it’s important to do those things and to tend to our finances and take a more active role in our financial life. And so planning these fun money dates is a way to be nurturing that money relationship be doing good work on improving it, and to be tending to our finances in ways that feel really fun and pleasurable.
Maggie Germano 35:14
I like that I really, I think it’s important building in the pleasure piece of it. And a lot of what I’m hearing also is that there’s going to be a much bigger sense of control over your money too, because it’s not just like, you’re frantically looking at your bank statement at the end of the month, when you’re you see what the balances and you’re like, Oh, my God, I can’t believe this, like, how am I going to pay my rent? What and pay this off? versus like, all right, where’s my money hanging out? Okay, how would I rather spend time next week? How can it work for me and again, like, reallocating, so that it’s aligning with your goals and, and working for you in the right way? It really does put more of that control back in your hands. And I think the lack of the feeling of lack of control is what a lot of people struggle with, with money as well.
Nicole Iacovoni 36:03
Absolutely. I completely agree with that. Yeah. And it’s just like, you know, if you talk to your girlfriend every week on the phone, those conversations are much more manageable, because it’s like, Yeah, I heard what was going on last week. So we don’t have as much to get caught up on because I’m already clued in a little bit, you know, but if you don’t talk to your BFF, for like, four months, then your conversations gonna be like six hours, right? Because you have all this stuff to get caught up on. And the same goes for your money. Like, if you are sitting down and tending to your finances every week, you don’t have as much to do, right, you’ll spend maybe an hour max looking at that stuff. And it’s super simple and easy. It’s bite sized, it’s manageable, it’s not overwhelming. But if you don’t tend to or for four months, and then you sit down and try to do it, you’re like, Oh, my God, like this is I don’t even know where to start. Where do I begin? I’m so overwhelmed, I’m anxious, I don’t want to do this, you’re gonna try to put it off, your financial problems are gonna get bigger, you know, it’s a big mess. It’s like six hour mess. So that’s why scheduling his money to use regularly is so important. Just like, you know, like, you wouldn’t say you’re your spouse, um, yeah, I’m just not gonna hang out with you for like six months? And then what did you hang out with you, I expect you to be all lovey dovey with me, and swoon over me and have have a makeout session. You know, like, that’s unrealistic. And like, your money’s not going to suit over you and will like, want to make out with you like, figuratively speaking. If you neglect it for a long period of time, you know, you you want to have that connection with your financial life on an ongoing basis.
Maggie Germano 37:39
I totally agree. Yeah, I think the more often, you’re checking in, and the more you’re paying attention, the easier it will get. And I, I think people forget that, because they avoid it. And it’s just like, I don’t like it. So I’m just gonna avoid it, because that’s easier, but then it makes everything harder. So yeah, yeah, I totally agree with that. And so when, when you’re working with clients to kind of implement some of these changes, whether it’s setting up those money dates, or figuring out ways to make those money, dates fun, and just gradually starting to improve their relationship with money? What kind of what kinds of improvements, do you kind of see show up for them? Like, what changes are they seeing in their lives as their relationship with their money is improving?
Nicole Iacovoni 38:24
Yeah, so so many, and this is what I love, love, love about my work, and why I show up for every day is to see the transformation that happens in women’s lives as a result of doing this work. And I do not take credit for that. Okay, like the transformation that happens is 100% the result of my clients doing the work? Would you agree? Is that what you see, in your experience?
Maggie Germano 38:50
I always have to remind them of that, like, I’m just helping push you in the right direction, or facilitate and come up with help you come up with ideas, but you’re the one that’s actually putting in the work every day? I can’t do that for you.
Nicole Iacovoni 39:03
Totally, totally. What I see come from doing this work and thinking about money in a different way and really focusing on the money relationship is that women are paying off enormous amounts of debt in very little time. Because they’re able to come up with a plan on their own on their own terms, that they feel comfortable and confident in that they are more intentional about how they consume, right like how much money they spend, what they spend their money on, about saving about putting money toward debt that they don’t just blindly walk through their financial life anymore. They are thoughtful and deliberate and intentional about it. I see women saving far more money and investing it than they ever have before. When it comes to investing money, it gets a little tricky for women, like women get hung up there, because they want to play it safe. And they often don’t trust their own decisions around money. And they’re like, oh, like stock market, scary, risky, can’t lose money, I don’t want to invest it, I’m just going to save it in a sock drawer, right. And because of that women lose out on a ton of compounding interest over the course of their income producing lives, and have far less to retire on and women live longer. So that’s a big problem, right. So you know, as a result of becoming more knowledgeable about how this works, and about being intentional with their money, and about dealing with the fears that they have related to risk and investing, my clients are investing a lot more money, and then they’re seeing that money grow significantly. So they’re retiring with more money, and they have more assets that they can do amazing things like traveled to Thailand and volunteered and Elephant Sanctuary or start the nonprofit that they wanted to do and never felt like they’d have the money for or start a scholarship fund or, you know, a million other incredible things that make the world a better place and make their own personal lives much better. I find that they feel more confident that they take a more active role in their financial life instead of outsourcing that. And by what I mean, related to outsourcing is a lot of women fall into this sort of patriarchal frame of mind when it comes to money that men know better, or men are better with numbers, or men have more experience with money. So they know best. And so they turn over the financial decision making or the financial power, or management or whatever, to the men in their lives. Like maybe it’s a dad, maybe it’s brother, maybe it’s a husband, you know, but they relinquish their own involvement in their financial lives by passing it on some us, maybe it’s a financial advisor. But when women start to look at their money different and heal their relationship with it, they gain more confidence in their ability, and they reclaim that power. They take over the decision making, they get more involved in their financial life, they earn more money, so they can do more things, they can make more decisions, like what are you going to do with money if you don’t have money, right, so they make more money. And that gives them more power in that sense to you know, and all those things not only benefit that client, right, that particular woman, but it benefits all women. Because when one woman gains power, we all gain power, right? And it benefits the world. Because not only does it make us happier, and give us the ability to do the things that we want to do in our life and fulfill our dreams by having the financial resources to make that happen. But then we can help other people and make their lives better too. And we can do really awesome things to make the world a better place. And so, you know, that’s one of the things that I stress the most, with women who get hung up on this idea of like, wanting to make a lot of money and being greedy or selfish or materialistic. It is not about the money, really, it’s about what you can do with the money, how you can help and serve and bless other people with that resource. And you know, this is very stereotypical, but women just we are naturally more nurturing and caring and giving in many ways compared to men. And so we need women to have a lot of money, so that we can give and nurture, and share and help other people with that.
Maggie Germano 43:54
I totally agree. And there’s lots of research out there that backs up your point around the fact that women are just typically more philanthropic, they are thinking about the future, whether it’s the future of their own families, or the future of the world, or specific causes that they care about. Women are much more likely to be donating their time or donating their money. And so the more money you have, the more you can potentially contribute, while at the same time being able to take care of yourself and your needs so that you have more emotionally and physically that you can contribute and that you can show up every day in a way that really will help you and others and so I think keeping that in mind, like again, tying back to the you know, not having to suffer in order to contribute and do good work. It’s twofold.
Nicole Iacovoni 44:47
Yeah, it really is a joy to make a lot of money. It really is. And it’s a joy to spend money and it’s a joy to invest money and see it grow and it’s a joy to tend to your money. If If You look at it in a certain way, you know, perspective is everything. attitude is everything. And so, you know, that’s really the nature of the work that I do is helping to shift perspective and helping people to look at their finances in a totally new way, and have a different attitude towards their finances, their finances, so that they can approach their financial life in a new and better way.
Maggie Germano 45:29
I love that. And so what is the first step someone can take? If they’re listening to this? And they’re like, Okay, I’m ready to improve my relationship with money. I’m ready to date my money. Yeah, what is the first step they can take to go in that direction?
Nicole Iacovoni 45:43
Yeah, so I have a free date, your money planner, that you can download on my website. And it’s a little guide to how to get started dating your money, it gives you seven ideas to have a sexy fun, money date, and shows you how to do that. And it gives you a little bit about my story and how I got started dating my money. So that, you know, you can get the ball rolling on connecting and setting aside quality time for your money and really working on improving that relationship. So I would say that that’s the best place to start. It’s a really useful guy to kind of take the first steps and get your feet wet with having that first money date.
Maggie Germano 46:27
Great. And I will link to that in the show notes. So everyone has easy access. Is there anything else we haven’t touched on yet related to the work that you do? Or just this topic about treating your money, like a romantic relationship? Anything, we haven’t covered that you want to make sure folks take away?
Nicole Iacovoni 46:44
I don’t think so this conversation was so juicy and good. And we covered so much in this conversation. You know, again, just like stressing the point of, you know, like, women deserve to be rich, and that’s okay to want that. But rich means different things to every person, you know, what feels rich to me might not feel rich, rich to somebody else. So I think that each woman deserves giving herself permission to want as much money as she wants, and not feel like she has to compare that amount to somebody else, or that she has to reach someone else’s benchmark. And that she can earn that money in whatever way feels good to her to that, you know, like we talked about in this conversation, she doesn’t have to hustle and grind. She doesn’t have to resort to like sleazy marketing tactics. She doesn’t have to create this amazing earth shattering online course. You know, like, if those things don’t feel good to her. Like, those are certainly options, but they’re not the only options to make a living. And so, you know, I think that the most important part is just enjoying the process of making money and not fixating on a destination, and doing what feels good, and then enjoying the financial resources that you have.
Maggie Germano 48:11
That’s great. I think that’s a fantastic way to kind of end. You know, having letting letting the rich mean something different to you. If for whatever your values are, and whatever it really looks like for you. I love that. Yeah. And so is there anything else you mentioned the date your money planners, or anything else you want to promote to listeners that you have going on?
Nicole Iacovoni 48:34
I just invite anyone who’s interested in my work or wants to learn more about having a healthy relationship with money or changing their money mindset, or get tips on making more profit or even dealing with the emotional turmoil that comes up with running a business to visit my website, maybe subscribe to my newsletter, I write a weekly newsletter that sent out that offers a lot of you know, personal stories, inspiration. I’m a huge nerd when it comes to music and playlists. And so I’ll often include like links to my favorite playlists or movie recommendations, and you know, just different ways to add those doses of pleasure to your day and, and make running your business really fun. So if that’s something that interests listeners out there, I would love to welcome you into my community, at my website or on my newsletter. I’m not on social media. I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t do that. So website, email newsletter are the best ways to connect with me.
Maggie Germano 49:38
Okay, great. And I will link all that in the show notes as well so everyone can find you really easily. Well, thank you again for being here today. I thought this was a really great conversation. I love how we kind of touched on the hustle culture. We touched on everything being kind of painful and hard but how you can share Shift what that actually looks and feels like in your life to improve your relationship with money and really transform how you kind of see your own future.
Nicole Iacovoni 50:10
Yeah, thanks so much. This was a super fun chat and I really appreciate being invited on the show. So thanks again for that.
Maggie Germano 50:16
of course. 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 Maggiegermano.com/moneycircle to learn more and to join. If you’d like to get more connected with me, subscribe to my weekly newsletter at MaggieGermano.com/subscribe to learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit Maggiegermano.com You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye bye
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