Episode 227

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Building Wealth on Tipped Income. Barbara Sloan


Episode Description

Are you one of the 3 million Americans who live solely or partially on a tip-based income? Unfortunately, service industry employees are left out of the most common paths to wealth building. The majority of financial advice and products are geared and marketed toward traditional paycheck earning, 9-5, corporate employees. So how can a tipped service industry employee build real wealth and develop a healthy relationship with money?

In this episode, Author and Money Coach Barbara Sloan shares some valuable insights regarding the financial challenges that tipped employees face when it comes to building wealth. She shares some easy and actionable steps that any service employee can use to transform their finances and their financial future.


About Barbara

Barbara Sloan, a homeless teen, who danced for dollars, and did not graduate from college, is now a personal finance expert and money coach that spent two decades working in every imaginable position in the Service Industry all over the country. In addition to being an author and owning and running a badass women-owned Construction company in the heart of Manhattan, she helps Tipped workers achieve Financial Freedom. like she did.

She is passionate about all the amazing aspects of Tipped work and passionate about all the terrible aspects of Tipped work. She lives in New York City with her wife of 10 years, an esteemed corporate finance exec, and together they are a couple of adorable money nerds who point out every dog they see.

Buy Barbara’s Book

Tipped is your step-by-step guidebook to build your own path to financial freedom while working in the industry that you love (and love to hate).

Tipped explains how service employees are left out of the most common paths to wealth building and then helps you build your own path to the financial life of your dreams.

Through real stories and service industry related analogies, Tipped will teach you how to:

  • Get started investing today—and actually understand the world of investing.  Read More

Get Social with Barbara

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Episode Transcription

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[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Are you one of 3 million Americans who live solely or partially on a tip based income? Unfortunately, service industry employees are left out of most common paths to wealth building. The majority of financial advice and products are geared and marketed towards traditional paycheck earning nine to five corporate employees.

So how can a tip service industry employee build real wealth and develop a healthy relationship with? In this episode, money Coach Barbara Sloan shares some valuable insights regarding the financial challenges that tipped employees face when it comes to building wealth. She shares some easy and actionable steps that any service employee can use to transform their finances.

Do you wanna get great with money or even just feel like you have your money? Shit together? Barbara has your back with her latest book Tipped, the Life-Changing Guide to Financial Freedom for waitresses, bartenders, strippers, and all other service industry professionals. I’m Bob Wheeler, and this is Money You should Ask, where we explore why we do what we do when it comes to money.[00:01:00]

Barbara Sloan, a homeless teen who danced for dollars and did not graduate from college, is now a personal finance expert and money coach that spent two decades working in every imaginable position in the service industry all over the. In addition to being an author and owning and running a badass woman owned construction company in the heart of Manhattan, she also helps tipped workers achieve financial freedom like she did.

She’s passionate about all the amazing aspects of tipped work and passionate about all the terrible aspects of tipped work. She lives in New York City with her wife of 10 years, an esteemed corporate finance executive, and together they are a couple of adorable money nerds who point out every dog.[00:02:00]

Barbara, it’s so wonderful to have you on the show today. Bob, thank


[00:02:04] Barbara Sloan: so much for having me. I’m really excited to chat.

[00:02:06] Bob Wheeler: So in addition to being the author of the book Tipped, which we’ll go into, you’re also a money coach and you’re a construction company owner. How do you balance it all?

[00:02:16] Barbara Sloan: Oh, I like to say that I’m constantly failing forward.

[00:02:21] Bob Wheeler: I like that. But what takes up the most time? How do you decide how your day is gonna

[00:02:26] Barbara Sloan: look? Yeah. When you’re the owner of a company, you have a little bit more flexibility, but anyone who’s been in construction knows that it’s a very demanding job. I work in residential, high-end residential construction.

So the nice thing about that is that I am limited on the number of hours that I can spend inside of a high-end building. They want you there for as little amount of time as possible. So we’ll have buildings where we’re only allowed to be in the building from 10 to four or 10 to three. Wow. . Yeah.

[00:02:53] Bob Wheeler: So you gotta be ready, you gotta be up, ready, and.

Sort of like those TV shows where they’re gonna go in and like turn everything over really [00:03:00] quick. You’ve gotta be on the go. Mm-hmm. . Now you started out in the service industry, but you were a homeless teen. Yeah. How did you view money during that time? I mean, I can only imagine. It must have been like a really hard place to be.

[00:03:13] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. I can start my story from when I was 12. When I was 12, my mom left home. There were problems in the marriage. There were problems with substance use. She was a stay-at-home mom, so she didn’t have any working skills. She didn’t have any of her own money. She also had a disability, so I think for her, she felt like it was the only choice.

Mm-hmm. was to leave and I stayed with my dad, who was my primary parent, and the substance use just increased, and so it kind of became an untenable situation, and I moved out when I was 15. At the same time, I had just come out as. So it was a challenging time with challenging conversations with my family, and yeah, I found myself not having anywhere to go.

[00:04:00] Luckily, I had always been really good about working. I had had a job from the age of 10, so I was a paper girl. I had had a couple blocks. I always kind of knew I needed to depend on myself. Mm-hmm. , and so work for me started at a really early age, and I knew that the way to get money was to work. Mm-hmm. , I would say I definitely had a scarcity mindset from all of that.

In addition to not having steady housing and a permanent place to stay, my high school ended up kicking me out because I didn’t have an address that they could attach to me. So I ended up having to scramble and find my way to an alternative high school just to finish high school. So those early years, there were a lot of tough money memories.

There was not enough to go around, certainly not

[00:04:44] Bob Wheeler: enough, and some people would just give up, right? That’s a lot to handle. Your mom leaves at 12. Here you are 15. There’s substance use going on and you don’t have a place to go. You’re dealing with your sexuality. That’s gotta be daunting. [00:05:00]

[00:05:00] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, it was really tough.

I think the thing that kept me going, , all of the parties in my life were really great people, despite their struggles and despite their circumstances. There were really great people that I, to this day, still admire. And what kept me going was that I still wanted to make them proud. I still wanted to do well.

I still wanted to expand.

[00:05:24] Bob Wheeler: So, Barbara, I gotta ask, how did the tipping industry get started? It

[00:05:28] Barbara Sloan: was popularized when Americans brought it back from Europe. They thought it was very aristocratic, and so they brought it back and they started tipping. But it didn’t get really popular until post-slavery when employers decided they found this loophole and they were like, oh, we can allow people to work essentially for free from us, and they’ll just make tips.

And so a lot of people who are being freed from slavery, Entered the workforce and got jobs at restaurants, bars, and railroads. Railroads were actually initially tipped [00:06:00] work positions. Oh, wow. Yeah, and so it’s very interesting. It’s very problematic history, but when people. Say, you know, oh, maybe we should do away with tipping.

Or Why are we responsible for the employers? They should pay their own staff. I ask people, when is the last time you had an amazing time on a train with a train worker? You know, train workers. They went on strike. They got benefits. They separated themselves from this employment type. But part of what’s great about this tipped industry is that risk versus reward aspect where you.

Part of your income is based on your performance and your level of engagement and how well you entertain or connect with your guests. And I think there’s something so beautiful about that. When Covid happened and we couldn’t go to restaurants, we couldn’t go to bars, we couldn’t go to our hairstylists, we couldn’t go to, we couldn’t take a taxi

Our lives were a lot less joyful. And I think people need to remember that these industries bring a lot of joy to our lives and our communities in a lot of [00:07:00] intangible ways.

[00:07:01] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, so tip with gratitude. tip with gratitude.

[00:07:06] Barbara Sloan: Exactly. I like to say tipping should always feel good. You are getting to participate in somebody’s livelihood.

This is part of the experience, so it should always feel good, and that might take a mental reframe, but it should always feel good.

[00:07:21] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. You danced for dollars. You’ve worked in tip industry for a long time. Is that partly why there’s a passion about tipped workers is because a lot of those folks do sometimes get marginalized or they do have to struggle, or what’s the poll?

Because tipped workers are different than other workers, right? They approach things differently.

[00:07:45] Barbara Sloan: Yeah. Most people think about two different types of employment. They think about W2 employment, and then they think about either being a business owner, gig worker, consultant, that sort of either 10 99 or self-employed side.

With W2 employment, you’re [00:08:00] working for somebody who has calculated your wages, your benefits, all of your things. They’ve done that work for you When you’re working for. You know that you have to charge a certain amount in order to allot for those benefits and your salary and the business expenses. But there is also a third type of employment, which is tipped employment.

It is the only other type of employment that has its own separate minimum wage. And with tipped employment, you have your employer who’s providing you the place that you’re gonna work, and some guidelines around what you’re going to be. There’s none of those systems in place that are set up for people who work for W two s or for themselves.

And I think I’ll just tell you like one more personal story. Yeah. That kind of brought me to this passion point because when I was working in the industry, I didn’t have a lot of pity for myself. You know, my peers. I, I’m as passionate, I liked the jobs, I had a lot of fun. I kind of mentioned I had this really tough upbringing and at some point I just wanted something.[00:09:00]

And I moved out to California when I was 19 and started. I worked for catering companies. I worked at dancing at clubs. I did every type of job possible, and I lived in six different states working in a bunch of different service industry jobs. I was a Las Vegas showgirl. I worked at Coyote in New York. I worked at Fenway Park in Boston.

I worked at Irish Pubs in Detroit. Like I have seen a lot of the industry in 2013 and moved to New York with my. We had $700 in our pocket . Yes. And I got two jobs. The first job I got was working at Coyote, and if people don’t know what Coyote ugly is, it’s a bar where you sing and dance on top of the bar and you abuse your patrons and it’s a really good time,

Um, and then the second job I got was working for an unregulated market on wall. And so if people don’t know what that is, it was half trading floor, half independent sales organization, which was selling USS loan products or loan sharking. And so that was a real education moment for me [00:10:00] on the markets on predatory lending.

I’d already been on the other side of predatory lending, but to see it from the initiation point and behind the scenes was really troubling. And I left after our third trader got shipped off to. And I was like, I have to go back to construction because this is . Financial services is awful. . So I went and got a job working for the company that I now own, and I was employee number four and I was set up in charge of doing the accounting and finance and the HR department.

I had never had hr, let alone knew what HR did. So , I started from scratch. I was like, okay, what’s a 401k? What is paid time off? I’d never had paid time. What is health insurance? What is the co-insurance? What is the deductible? What is Max Edify like? I was learning all of these benefits from the ground up because I wanted to make sure I did a good job for the other employees.

On the other side of the coin, we were working for these really high net worth clients. And I was getting to have these amazing [00:11:00] conversations with them about how they viewed their money, how they viewed their budget, how they viewed the biggest spend item in 10 years for them. And so kind of witnessing both the behavior side of money for high net worth people, and then seeing that benefit system side.

I was like, oh. This is the reason that people in the tipped industry are left out of wealth building opportunities. They don’t have the financial literacy or the behavior side, and they don’t have access to these systems. And so 2016, it was a really political time for all of us, and so I just couldn’t summit the news anymore.

Turned it off and I was like, I’m just gonna listen to the sweet soothing sounds of personal finance content, . And then I started just binging tons and tons and tons of personal finance content. And through that I never saw anyone who had made their career in the service industry. Right. I never saw anyone like myself, and at some point I had a lot of imposter syndrome and I.

I need to get this information out to [00:12:00] people. But who am I? Who am I, right? I’ve only, mm-hmm. worked in six states. So who am I to tell everyone how to do this? I’ve only set up one company with benefits. Who am I to tell these people? And I just had a ton of imposter syndrome and I have worked through that.

And I was like, well, no one is talking to these people. And they are so left behind, tipped employees age into the most economically disadvantaged population in our. There are 5.5 million people working on a tip based income in this country. Wow. Yeah. No health insurance, no 401k, $2 and 13 cents federal minimum wage.

I mean, the list goes on of the benefits that they’re excluded from. So that was sort of when I got passionate and I decided, you know what? I need to put everything I’ve learned into something. And that was how this book was kind of.

[00:12:50] Bob Wheeler: Wow. Well, you touched on two things that I have to stop and address. One, you really talked about behavior and that might go unnoticed by some people.[00:13:00]

I think it’s critical and the fact that you were able to notice the behaviors of these wealthy clientele and then realizing that people weren’t getting financial literacy and behavior. Can you just say a little bit more? When you started to have that awareness of, oh wow, people behave differently. It’s not just my perspective, here’s a new one.

Hmm. Let me

[00:13:24] Barbara Sloan: listen. When we started having conversations about budgets with our clients, and I would see these people who were AEs, like I’ve worked for a number of AEs. Mm-hmm. , and they had endless resources or what seemed like endless resources to me, and see them put stops in place on their own spending to see how they were like, you know what, that’s a little bit too.

We’re not gonna get that stone. We’re gonna get this stone, or we’re not gonna ship this from here. We’re gonna try to find something local. And to see those trade-offs that they were making in relation to money when they [00:14:00] had what seemed like just endless resources was very eye-opening for me.

[00:14:04] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, that’s amazing.

And all those little choices of not having it shipped in from Italy or going with the slightly lesser stone, like it adds up. And even if you’re a multi, multi-billionaire, it’s not all disposable income. And I’ve been saying this a lot lately. A lot of people think if I’ve got a million dollars or I’ve got 10 million, that I have it available to spend every minute

But if I spend it all, then I don’t have it to spend

[00:14:30] Barbara Sloan: tomorrow. Yeah, absolutely. They saw value and I think that was the other learning moment for me is it’s not about what you can spend. It’s seeing other people spend in a way that made sense and where they still saw value. Yeah. They weren’t just like, I can have this, so I’ll have it.

To not see people of that level of wealth being wasteful. It was very eye opening. Yeah,

[00:14:53] Bob Wheeler: sounds very intentional in their spending. So the other piece that you talk about, and I think this is such an important [00:15:00] piece, you talk about imposter syndrome, and I’m sure there are a lot of people listening right now who say, well, I don’t have the right to bring my voice.

I don’t have the right to speak up. I’m just a tipped worker, just a housewife. I am just, who am I? Right? So can you say a little bit about this, because this is such a huge. And psychology. They’ve done research like this is huge and I know I have the same thing. Who am I? I can’t write this book until I realized, oh, I can actually just write my experience and I’m capable of writing my experience.

Nobody can deny my experience even if they don’t wanna hear it. Talk to me a little bit about your imposter syndrome and how you worked through it Still worked through.


[00:15:44] Barbara Sloan: I mean, I still, I never graduated from college. I don’t have any credentials and so a lot of people might say, who the hell are you to write a personal finance book?

But I am somebody who became financially independent through working this industry. I often had multiple jobs. At one [00:16:00] time, I worked primarily in construction and the service industry almost in tandem for 20 years. But there were many years that I only worked in the service industry. I listened to a lot of podcasts.

I’m not sure what interviewer or guest had said this, but they said, write the book you wish you had had. And I think when I heard that, I was like, it kind of started out with like, maybe it’s just for me. Maybe this is all the things I wish I had known early on, but maybe it’ll help somebody else. And learning that you don’t have to speak for everybody.

I can’t speak for all tipped workers, but I can be one person who does some modeling because there is no modeling in this industry and that’s unacceptable.

[00:16:40] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. What advice would you give to somebody who’s getting their first tipped job?

[00:16:45] Barbara Sloan: I would say that they need to start tracking their income.

That would be step number one. Track your income. You talk a lot about mindset, and I think that tracking your income is the most important thing for tipped workers because a lot of times when you’re getting cash [00:17:00] and it’s coming in and it’s coming out, your income doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t feel substantial, and when you add up what your income is for the year, you will realize.

Oh wow, that’s a lot of money. And did it go where I wanted it to go? Right? Was I a good steward of this money? I think the other portion of that is that you really need to claim your income. A lot of tipped workers don’t claim their income or don’t know how to claim their income. If you’re not tracking, people will often judge them.

But if you didn’t have to track your income, if your employer or your business taxes, your accountant didn’t require you to track your income and it was fluctuating, you likely wouldn’t be tracking it either, right? So tracking is very important because then you also need to know that to claim your income.

Claiming your income is very important for tipped workers because majority of retire. Tipped workers today live solely on social security. Average social security [00:18:00] payout in 2020 was $18,000, and that is where people who claimed their income in full. Wow. So if you can’t imagine living on $18,000, especially less than $18,000, if you’re not claiming your tips in full, you know you’re missing out on that benefit and you have to claim your income in order to get access to that benefit.

Social Security was designed to be a catchall, a safety net for people who fell between the cracks of pensions and 401ks, and the only people that still fall through that crack today are teethed workers. So the other things that you can miss out on are unemployment. We saw a lot of people lose their jobs and maybe they had access to the booster and that helped them, but they likely didn’t get anything else from unemployment during that time.

So tracking your income, claiming your tips, would be my number one starting point. Yeah, I think

[00:18:50] Bob Wheeler: that’s such an important piece. I’m aware of a lot of people in la, people that I know that didn’t claim tips, and then when Covid came [00:19:00] out and getting unemployment benefits, they weren’t getting the same amounts and they’re like, wait a minute, this isn’t fair.

Well, there’s nothing being reported, so we can’t just pay you on what you thought. You should have gotten proofed in the pudding. And so a lot of people did lose. And it becomes a little bit shortsighted to just say, well, I’m not gonna claim it today and I don’t care about tomorrow, because tomorrow is maybe when you

[00:19:22] Barbara Sloan: need.

It goes back to that scarcity mindset of, oh gosh, I don’t wanna pay all of this in taxes. Right? Most people who are in this industry have a little bit of a scarcity mindset where you, you spend because you’re worried somebody’s going to take it from you. You spend everything you have because you don’t know what the next shift is going to be.

Right? Yeah. So that scarcity mindset is there. Tip workers are very interesting because they also can have an abundance mindset very easily because they do have consistent access to cash coming. So they have to balance both the scarcity and an abundance mindset in these

[00:19:53] Bob Wheeler: roles. And are there any tangible ways that they can combat that scarcity mindset?

And I can see [00:20:00] where, oh, today I got $500 in tips. I’m rich. But that mindset, how can you combat that?

[00:20:06] Barbara Sloan: I list four ways that you can combat scarcity, mindset, mantras, identity, charity, and g. I tackled my scarcity mindset with mantras. I used to always say, money comes easily and frequently. You need to find something that feels true and also possible.

And so money comes easily and frequently worked for me because money did come easily and frequently, and that really helps me with creating an abundance mindset, which is something that you have to continue to work at identity. You can also use to work on your scarcity mindset. Did you save money? Then you are a safer.

Adopt that mindset of I’m a saver. Did you invest once you are an investor, so you can work on those identity pieces to tackle your scarcity mindset, gratitude, appreciating the things you have, carves pathways in your brain. If you’re constantly appreciating what you have, then you’re not looking for something [00:21:00] else.

You’re not looking for more when you train your brain to appreciate what you. Then you’re appreciating enough. You’re experiencing enough. And then charity works wonders. Because if you’re able to give away something, whether it’s time, whether it’s money, whether it’s clothes, whatever it is, it tricks your brain.

I have enough to give away so I have enough. And so those are four ways that I really like to work with clients to combat that scarcity mindset.

[00:21:27] Bob Wheeler: I love that. I think those four are amazing. I love mantras and I will say my personal experience, you sort of have to take on the energy and the passion of the mantra.

It can’t be like, I will be rich and money comes to me so easily. . You , right? You gotta give it a little bit of love. Mm-hmm. , you gotta really connect with it so that you can shift that mindset, the behavior to start to really, oh yeah, these things are. Instead of just doing an autopilot. Yep. But I think [00:22:00] that’s such an amazing perspective, and I can’t say enough about gratitude service, and I love the identity because even if you’ve done it once, okay, I’m a budding investor.

Yeah. I’m not Warren Buffet yet, but. I’m getting there. I’m getting there, right? Yeah.

[00:22:14] Barbara Sloan: I’m not bad with money. I’m improving with money. Yeah. I am trying to get better with money. So your language is so important. So important. So important. So when people say I’m broke, I mean that’s just keeping you in that scarcity mindset.

You’re not broke. You have a lot of priorities for your money right now, and that’s.

[00:22:33] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And one of the things when you talk about that, because I see this with so many of my clients, and I’ve sort of come to this conclusion, right, that we all have a story and the story has a cost, and then the question is, am I gonna get conscious about my story?

Because I have clients that are making a half a million dollars net. And they’re telling me how broke they are, and it’s the worst year ever. And then I’ll reflect back the facts and they’re like, oh yeah, actually that’s true. Yeah. I have a lot of money in the bank. Yeah. This was my [00:23:00] best year ever. Oh yeah.

We did try. Right. But the story is so good and comfortable. I’m so broke. I don’t have anything. Instead of that gratitude mindset of, wow, life is so amazing. Look at all the riches and goodness and experiences and relationships that I have. It’s missed.

[00:23:18] Barbara Sloan: Yeah, and it’s enough. It’s enough. Right? It’s enough.

Enough is very powerful. It’s very, very powerful.

[00:23:24] Bob Wheeler: It’s enough. How can tipped workers create retirement plan? Put money away for the future, build wealth because they are excluded. So what are some things that a waitress, that a dancer, anybody in the tipped industry, what can they do? The first

[00:23:41] Barbara Sloan: recommendation would be to read my book because I think it’s a lot of fun.

I have an investing chapter and a retirement chapter. My investing chapter is really fun because it breaks down investing in terms that everyone can understand. It uses analogies in a bar. If you’ve been at a bar and you understand what it’s like to be in a bar, you’re gonna understand investing by the time you read this chapter.[00:24:00]

For people who work for an employer where they do get a w2, they’re gonna start with a Roth I rra. And then for people who are 10 99, maybe they’re working at a club, maybe they’re an independent contractor, maybe their employer has them getting paid at the table, whatever. They’re gonna start with a brokerage account, or they’re gonna start with a solo 401k.

If they can get a 10 99, they can start a solo 401k. They’re getting cash, they’re gonna wanna start with a brokerage account, and they have to claim some income. They cannot invest more into a retirement account than what they claim in earned income, and that’s very important for this group of individuals because they tend not to claim

[00:24:32] Bob Wheeler: their income So, It’s

It’s so refreshing to hear you say that because people don’t understand this piece, and that’s actually a critical piece. If you don’t show $6,000 and the limit for the year is 6,000, you can’t put 6,000 in you . You have to have earned income, whether it’s 10 99, whether it’s from a K one on a 10 65, or whether it’s a w2.

You’ve got to show some earned income to put [00:25:00] money. . Yep. What would you say for you today, like looking back the journey, is there anything that you would’ve liked to have changed or how do you view this journey so far?

[00:25:13] Barbara Sloan: I think one of the reasons that I make a good financial coach is that I have been there.

and so I wouldn’t really change anything. I struggled so hard. I have truly tested the limits of the credit system. I have had libraries, report to my credit report. I have had a couch and a TV repossessed. I’ve had to count change. I mean, I can’t tell you, I’ve taken so many gigs that I didn’t wanna take.

And I learned so many lessons from those experiences that make me better as a coach, better as a business owner, just better in general. So I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve gone through, but I hope that people don’t have to learn the hard lessons that I learned and they can avoid the same mistakes.

[00:25:56] Bob Wheeler: No, absolutely. And I think you’re so right that having experienced all [00:26:00] this gives you a lot more compassion and empathy to be able to show other people, like it doesn’t have to be this. Yeah,

[00:26:08] Barbara Sloan: and my journey is so long and I feel like I’ve lived 20 lives, but I’m screwed up so much, and if I can come back from all of these screw ups, I just feel like there’s a lot of opportunity in this industry and that people, I like to say this building wealth doesn’t take money.

Building wealth takes time and dedication. Yeah. And so for a lot of people who wake up and they’re still in the industry, they’re 30, they’ve spent 10 years in this industry, they don’t have a lot to show for it. It’s not too late for you. You’re just getting started, right? You can put $125 in an investment account every week, and by the time you’re 60, you’re gonna have over a million dollars.

It’s not too late, and I think these people have been excluded for so, so long, and so my goal is to reach all of them and to share all of my mistakes. .

[00:26:53] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I just wanna reiterate, there are so many people that have made minimum wage [00:27:00] and have retired and accumulated a large amount of money, and it’s doable.

If you put in the dedication, you put in the. I just recently had an older client pass and he was living in a modest apartment and his niece was handling everything and we discovered he had about $750,000 in a brokerage account. And everybody was shocked because they were like planning to pay for the fu.

Like everybody was figuring we are gonna have to take care of uncle. And he had it all mapped out and he was just very careful and cautious. He wasn’t running around telling everybody he had the money, right? Mm-hmm. , he was just focused on building and so he was able to leave a legacy behind for his niece.

That nobody knew.

[00:27:39] Barbara Sloan: That’s so great. Yeah, we all have that. I like the $40,000 janitor. Yeah, right. He makes $40,000 and he retired a millionaire. And it just shows you that it’s possible. Yeah, it’s possible for low income earners and a lot of people in the service industry feel like they are low income earners.

Whether or not that’s true, which I don’t believe it necessarily is. I [00:28:00] made a ton of money during my time in the industry, and so I was not a low income earner while I was in the. And so I think people need to realize how much power they have in these jobs and in these roles, and they need to start setting up systems for themselves because it’s scary when those systems aren’t in place.

Most Americans. Build their wealth off of a 401k or their primary residence. Those are two options that are very hard for tipped workers to achieve. One, they don’t. A access to a 401k. Two homeownership, again, is daunting for people in the tipped industry because they’re either not claiming their income or they’re not claiming enough of their income, so they’re not able to qualify for traditional lending, which means either they have to access more predatory lending, or they just believe that home ownership is not a possibility for.

and so they’re excluded from the two biggest ways, and then they also are excluded from automation. Majority of millionaires in this country got to millionaire status because Sharon and HR asked them to check a box on a form, and they didn’t have to continue to make that [00:29:00] decision over and over again.

Right? Automation is the most powerful tool that people have, and people in the tipped industry living on a fluctuating income do not have that system in.

[00:29:09] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely automation. Love it, love it, love it.

Well, Barbara, we are at the Fast Five and the Fast Five is brought to you by Survey Junkie. Take surveys and get paid. Become an influential voice and share your opinion to help brands deliver better products and services. In a few short steps, you can build on your profile and Survey Junkie will match you to surveys.

You can help shape products and services that are meaningful to you and get rewarded for your particip. Become a member Ofer junkie and make a difference as a consumer. Click on the link in the show notes to learn more. All right, so Barbara, we are gonna just jump in. We’re gonna have some fun. Great.

What’s the wildest job you

[00:29:50] Barbara Sloan: ever had? I was a fetish worker, so I used to hit people for money.

[00:29:58] Bob Wheeler: That’s funny. Okay. [00:30:00] I love it. . I love it. Describe your relationship with money in one word.

Love it. Do you check your bank balances every day? Every day. Every day, yeah. Can you share one tip for tipped workers that isn’t financial?

[00:30:18] Barbara Sloan: Boundaries. Boundaries and in your environment, right? So your environment is a big part of your world, and you have to put boundaries in place to protect yourself from some of the elements in your work.

A lot of other industries, like I’m in construction as well, we have an organization called OSHA that puts systems and protections in place or people in their environments. Service industry. People also have a lot of hazards in their environments, including clients, guests. So I recommend boundaries.

[00:30:46] Bob Wheeler: I love it.

Boundaries to me are such an important part of finances. . Mm-hmm. on so many levels. Yeah. I can spend days on boundaries, so I love that. What’s your next financial goal?

[00:30:58] Barbara Sloan: Ooh, that’s a good one. My wife and [00:31:00] I are planning a trip around the world, so I think that’s gonna be the next big spend.

[00:31:04] Bob Wheeler: And will you feel nervous about making that spend or are you gonna be solidly here?


[00:31:09] Barbara Sloan: No, I am such a big fan of savings and having really padded out emergency funds. I’ve got some rentals. I’ve got an emergency fund for my business, so it’s all bucketed. ,

[00:31:20] Bob Wheeler: have it bucketed. That’s the best way to do it. Mm-hmm. . Well, we are at our m and m moment, our sweet spot, money and Motivation. I’m wondering, Barbara, do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners?

Something that’s worked for.

[00:31:36] Barbara Sloan: Don’t go at it alone. You need to find someone, even if it’s not a person in your community, somebody friend on the internet, friend in the Facebook chat group, or you know somebody that gets what your goals are and you can talk to them about that. In our industry, you find a lot of people who will talk about how much they made on a shift, but the conversations end there and [00:32:00] so we often, in this self-help and personal finance, we always talk about you’re an average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

You have to get out of your circle to find people who wanna talk about building wealth and setting these systems up. So find a community that will help support you in those goals.

[00:32:16] Bob Wheeler: That is an awesome tip. And when you say that, I think about when you move the circle and shift the five people. I know for myself, I had this belief that I had to bring everybody with me.

And sometimes setting boundaries or setting advocacy boundaries for ourselves might involve a little bit of grief and a little bit of leaving some people behind. Because we’re all on our own journey, and if we wanna move towards the things that we want or the life we’ve envisioned, we have to advocate for ourselves and we have to push through the discomfort to get to the other side.

And so I love that piece because we are influenced by the people

[00:32:54] Barbara Sloan: around us. Yeah. And I like to say people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. [00:33:00] And it’s okay if it’s just for a reason or a season. .

[00:33:03] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Thank ’em. Bless ’em. And send them on their way, . Yeah, absolutely. Well, Barbara, this has just been such a wonderful conversation.

You know, I think the piece that I really appreciate is even at 15, finding some joy because it sounded like I was having a lot of fun. There was some rough stuff, but still finding joy in life and really in a way maybe finding gratitude from an early on. Recognizing that the people around you were still good, great people, even though they had their challenges, their human challenges, as we all do, and still wanting to make them proud and still not blaming.

I didn’t hear a lot of blaming here. I heard a lot of self responsibility. I heard a lot of how do I keep moving this forward for myself and not getting stuck in. I’m sure there are those moments of like, oh my God, oh my God, what’s tomorrow gonna bring? But just that willingness to get up and just keep moving it [00:34:00] forward and then keeping your ears open.

Right. And listening. You heard that write the book you would want to have had, and you said, oh, that’s me. I’m gonna write this book. Yeah. Even though you had imposter syndrome, even though there were all these other things that could have said, no, you don’t. Who are you? You push through it anyway because.

All of us have the right to bring our voice, to shine a light on it, and we don’t have to take ourselves out. Our story is unique and it’s special, and we all deserve to have it, and so I love that you brought it. I love that you have this passion to help other people and that you do have that compassion and empathy.

Because you’ve been there and I think that experience is the best teacher and it gives us the ability to have that compassion for other people. So I so appreciate it. Where can we learn more about you? Where can we find your book? And can we see your book? You know, I know you got this great, beautiful book.

Yeah. There it is. Yeah. Love it, love

[00:34:54] Barbara Sloan: it, love it. So right now it’s available on Amazon. I have not yet done. Ingram Sparks [00:35:00] Launch to make it available at the indie stores. Yet that’s coming, but right now it’s available on Amazon. If you do buy it, please leave a review. I need a review. Reviews are like tips for authors.

I like to say that . Um, I’m also available at WWT Tipped Finance. You can reach out to me to schedule one-on-one coaching. You can reach out to me if you have a restaurant, bar or club. If transportation service, beauty or body service company, I will come and do a money talk for your staff and your employees.

When you have employees who are more financially literate, they tend to stay around longer, which reduces your turnover costs. So I love doing those corporate events, corporate speaking gigs. And follow me on Instagram, I make funny memes. So at Tipped finance on Instagram, and I also just started doing some TikTok videos, but Instagram is really where I.

[00:35:49] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. We’ll put all that in the show notes, Barbara. It’s just been so much fun. I so appreciate it and I hope I see you at FinCon again cuz we actually met at FinCon in [00:36:00] Orlando and uh, love FinCon. So shout out to all the FinCon people. Yeah. And look forward to connecting. Again. Thank you so much.

Thank you so

[00:36:07] Barbara Sloan: much for having me. I appreciate the chat.

[00:36:15] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the roller coaster Ride of Financial Fears and journey towards financial.

To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.[00:37:00]