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Money is one of those taboo topics that many cultures are hesitant to talk about. But why is that? Why do we feel uncomfortable discussing something that is such an integral part of our lives?
By understanding the cultural beliefs around money, we can learn to better manage our finances and build stronger financial futures. So, let’s explore some of the different cultural attitudes towards money and see what we can learn from them!
In this episode, I chatted with financial coach and mentor Walli Miller and we talk about the cultural beliefs in her life around money. As a woman of color with little financial knowledge, she embarked on a journey to educate herself about how to buy back her time and experience financial freedom. Along the way, she noticed that the finance industry was an echo chamber and lacked diversity. She felt compelled to change that.
Walli Miller is a financial coach who teaches women how to take control of their finances and secure financial independence through balanced spending, saving, and wealth-building without deprivation. The founder of Financially Thriving Money Coaching, Walli didn’t always understand money or building wealth. Walli is a first-generation college graduate, Latina, and the daughter of an immigrant. Born and raised in the Bronx, she’s the first millionaire in her family and now she will be work-optional by age 40.
Walli Miller lives in New York City with her husband and blue-eyed French Bulldog named Casper.
Find out how to create a spending plan, save for future goals, and learn how to feel confident on your wealth-building journey. Download Walli’s Financial Wellness Roadmap for free.
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[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Money is one of those taboo topics that many cultures are hesitant to talk about. But why is that? Why do we feel uncomfortable discussing something that is such an integral part of our lives? By understanding the cultural beliefs around money, we can learn to better manage our finances and build stronger financial futures.
[00:00:17] So let’s explore some of the different cultural attitudes towards money and see what we can learn from them. In this episode, I chatted with financial coach and mentor Walli Miller, and we talk about the cultural beliefs in her life around. As a woman of color with little financial knowledge, she embarked on a journey to educate herself about how to buy back her time and experience financial freedom.
[00:00:37] Along the way, she noticed that the finance industry was an echo chamber and lacked diversity. She felt compelled to change that When I was young and learning about money, I wasn’t. Nobody was out there giving me the information or the tools to succeed financially for some quick financial tips. Follow us on Instagram.
[00:00:55] That money you should. Honestly, if you don’t, I’m going to have to fire my social media manager [00:01:00] and he really needs this job. 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.
[00:01:08] Walli Miller is a financial coach who teaches women how to take control of their finances and secure financial independence through balanced spending, saving and wealth building without deprivation. The founder of financially thriving Money coaching Walli didn’t always understand money or building wealth.
[00:01:44] Walli is a first generation college graduate Latina and the daughter of an immigrant, born and raised in the Bronx. She’s the first millionaire in her family. And now, should we be work optional by age? Walli lives in New York City with her husband and blue-eyed French bulldog named [00:02:00] Casper. Walli, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show.
[00:02:03] I’m really excited to get this conversation going, so I’m just gonna jump right in. You are a money coach. Yes, I am. What role do you play in people’s lives as a money coach?
[00:02:13] Walli Miller: Well, first I will say that it took a while to get here because I wasn’t always good with, I stood personal finance as a, I got interested in personal finances.
[00:02:26] I was sort of transforming my own sort of economic mess that I had made , and as I was making changes and getting really inspired in learning some really great things, I really wanted. Have a voice and share my experiences and teach people through my writing. And so I became a freelance writer. Then I started this blog, and one of the interesting things that happened is that people would email me and ask if I did like consultations, and at that point I did not, and I was just like, No, I don’t, but you know, here’s some resources, here’s some [00:03:00] books and podcasts.
[00:03:01] Um, YouTube channels that I really enjoy. But, you know, during the pandemic there were a lot of people who were hurting and a lot of people who wanted that one-on-one and wanted to figure out what to do, what their options were. Then I discovered this term financial coaching, and that was when I decided to offer it, and it’s been a great couple of.
[00:03:22] Bob Wheeler: Okay. Now you describe yourself as a money nerd, like how long has that been going on? Has this been like since an early age?
[00:03:29] Walli Miller: I would say that I’ve always had sort of a list of my expenses and my income. I thought I was always good with money. You know, I would watch like Susie Orman retirement specials for.
[00:03:43] although I didn’t always understand everything and I didn’t know how it related to me, I was always interested in it. I’ll say once I began on my financial wellness journey, on my investment journey, on my journey, if people are familiar with that term, which simply [00:04:00] stands for Financial Independence, retiring.
[00:04:03] Once I started there, that’s when I really sort of went down the rabbit hole, and really became a money nerd for.
[00:04:10] Bob Wheeler: And do you think the interest in money, it was because money was so easy in your family and you just were so comfortable with it. It just was something that came so naturally to you? Oh,
[00:04:20] Walli Miller: I wish that was the case, but it was definitely was not.
[00:04:24] So a little bit about my background. I am born and raised in New York City and actually raised in the poorest borough in New York City, which is the Bronx. I come from a Latino household. My mother’s Puerto Rican, my father’s Ecuadorian, and we didn’t really have conversations around money, especially.
[00:04:42] Money was something that was an adult topic, and if adults are talking, the children need to be quiet and not ask questions. So we didn’t really have conversations around money, but I did learn from an early age, I picked up some feelings around money, for example, that there [00:05:00] wasn’t a lot of it. And if I learned not to ask for things because I just knew that the answer was gonna be no, or the answer was gonna be like, we don’t have money for.
[00:05:10] Little things would happen. I definitely wouldn’t say that I grew up in poverty, but we were a low-income household. So while kids got 16 presents underneath the tree for Christmas, it was not so, And I also of five kids, okay. I was the oldest of one of five kids. The conversations around money really didn’t happen.
[00:05:33] What I observed around money, the feelings, you know, sort of the behaviors that I. Really left an impact on me and sort of shaped my relationship with money, as you well know. Mm-hmm. , like so much of what we learn isn’t about the direct knowledge that we’re given. Right. But it’s the indirect sort of feelings and experiences that really shape us, and that was kind what happened.
[00:05:56] So I grew up sort of, my whole thing [00:06:00] was if I have enough money to like always have cable , you know? Right. Rather than the cable being turned off or worrying about the lights being turned. If I could just get that and always have gas in the car, like that would really be great. Or have my metro car have enough money for the train or bus, that would mean that I made it.
[00:06:20] So that was kinda where my financial story started. Mm-hmm. . And then, you know, where changed for me is I was really lucky to get a really well paying job in my mid. One would say, Wow, okay, that’s fantastic, but what do you do with the rest that was leftover? So in my mind, I was good with money in that.
[00:06:43] Didn’t have credit card debt. I did have a, and I had student loans, but always paid bills. I had enough money to out and spend on fun things, but I didn’t know what to do with the. . So I just spent it [00:07:00] and right, and in my mind I was good with money, but really it wasn’t until later I realized, ok, there’s a piece of the puzzle that I’m missing.
[00:07:11] Bob Wheeler: So I have a question I’m really interested in. You said you got really lucky. Mm-hmm. in getting a high paying job. Mm. Was it you were really lucky because you weren’t qualified. Was it really lucky because you’re a woman of color? Was it really lucky because you actually deserved the job? Like, can you tell me a little bit about this piece of, I got really lucky.
[00:07:33] Walli Miller: Okay, so now the financial coach is getting coached here cause language and the words we use is really, really important. There were a lot of things that happened that I was really at the right place at the right time, right? I was introduced to the right people, or I met the right people at the right, you know, so right.
[00:07:55] There was a lot of things that fell into place. Now that is not to say that I [00:08:00] knew that education was gonna be the key for me to sort of make it whatever that. At that time, to me, mm-hmm. , like me making it was again, paying my bills and being able to have gas in the car and never having to worry about my cable being shut off.
[00:08:14] Like that’s what that meant for me. So I knew education was huge, was a key component of me making it. And so I focused a lot on education, but I also, again, was one of five children. Neither one of my parents graduated from high. And so there were a lot of things that I had to do on my own that I think some people don’t realize, sort of the institutional knowledge that they might have from their parents and family members experiences.
[00:08:46] Right, Right. So I was 16, 17 years old trying to figure out how to get into college. I couldn’t ask a family member. I couldn’t ask my. Or even filling out the financial aid form, like if [00:09:00] you’ve ever looked at a FASFA form, so imagine, forget it. Exactly. Imagine a 16, 17 year old child trying to figure out what is a tax return and where do I get one and.
[00:09:13] What is lying, X, Y, Z, whatever the case might be. So there were a lot of things I sort of observed what other classmates were doing. Mm-hmm. and sort of just had my ear, like paying attention to see what they were doing. Cause I didn’t know some of those things. As I went through college, again, I really wanted to make sure that I focused on my school, but I had to make money too, so I had to sacrifice some of my grades in order to work a full time job.
[00:09:45] Right, or a couple of part-time jobs in order to do that. But in then I met like a guidance counselor at the career center at my college and told him what my interests were. And when he had a job opening that came in, [00:10:00] he called me and let know. So that’s why I said there were certain things that happened.
[00:10:05] That gave me sort of a little bit of a leg up. Of course, hard work is really important, but I can’t deny that. There were definitely some things that happened , in order to get me to where I am. Yeah,
[00:10:18] Bob Wheeler: no, that’s awesome. And would you say because your parents didn’t graduate high school, I don’t know if they were cheerleading you on to like, you must go to.
[00:10:27] Because that may have been out of their budget, or it may have been out of, just out of their possibility realm. Did your siblings follow in your footsteps? Did your siblings have the same, Yes, we wanna get a leg up and we’re willing to do the hard work? Or was everybody pinning their hopes on you? You’re the oldest daughter.
[00:10:45] Mm. While he’s gotta take us all to the finish line.
[00:10:49] Walli Miller: We didn’t talk about college or my plans for after school. You know, like what’s gonna happen once you graduate? I just knew in my mind and what I had [00:11:00] seen and what had sort of been portrayed was that education was key. I will say my vision of college today is very different.
[00:11:07] I am so much more open to the idea and also wanna foster the passion for entrepreneurship and like make sure that kids know that education. Four year colleges isn’t the only way. There’s trade schools, right? There’s self education, there’s entrepreneurship, there’s so many different avenues. But at that point, I only knew education.
[00:11:28] Right? Get a college degree, and that is gonna be your path out, right? Sure. So it wasn’t that my parents discouraged me or encouraged me to go to college. I don’t think there was ever really a thought about what would happen, but it was something that I wanted for. Now the question as to what did everybody else do?
[00:11:47] Okay, so I’m again, the oldest child of. So once I graduated from high school, let’s just start there. I think I set the standard that high school, everybody’s needs to graduate from high school. We gotta [00:12:00] get there. . Right? Exactly. And then once I graduated from high school, it was like go to college. And so not all of my siblings decided to go to school post high school, or actually I should say to a four year college.
[00:12:14] Cause some of them did go to trade schools and things like. But I think it did sort of change the atmosphere and it changed the story of what our family was gonna to be doing, right? It always takes that first person, mm-hmm. to expose the people around you, and in my case, my family, to what was possible.
[00:12:34] So even just the fact that I was the first person to graduate from high school, set the standard for the rest of my siblings.
[00:12:42] Bob Wheeler: That’s pretty amazing. I mean, that’s a big milestone.
[00:12:45] Walli Miller: Yeah, and I think it’s one of those things where sometimes it can be underestimated. The value of like seeing someone before you succeed, right?
[00:12:56] Yeah. Or even seeing someone before you fail, because it can go [00:13:00] one of both ways. If you see someone before you maybe not make it, you’re either gonna say, I’m gonna be the one to make it, or you say, If they didn’t make it, neither can I. Right, Right. So it’s one of those things where it’s just like, you never know, but I think setting that example, having people around you who look like you, who sounds like you, who have similar backgrounds is really, really important.
[00:13:25] And you know, we can talk about representation, right? Yeah. Even when, when I was on my financial journey, I remember. Listening to people’s story and not necessarily connecting with the advice, because a lot of the advice was for people with debt, for example, or who were stuck in credit card debt. So in my mind I was like, ok, I don’t have credit card debt, so I’m good.
[00:13:46] And it wasn’t until I took it to the next level, and then the next level was, okay, building savings, building wealth, I couldn’t even relate to that term. For me, wealth meant those actors who had million [00:14:00] dollar contracts or singers or artists or athletes, I never thought that that was even a possibility for me because I didn’t see anyone who just a nine to wealthy.
[00:14:13] Bob Wheeler: And believe it or not, there are a lot of nine to fivers that are very wealthy. They’re just real quiet about it. , right?
[00:14:18] Walli Miller: Absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:14:21] Bob Wheeler: Do you think, like if you sit and think back about your accomplishments, the wealth you’ve accumulated, finishing college, Setting these benchmarks, have you taken in the magnitude of the change that you’ve made for your whole family and for your community and people that look and sound like you, that you’ve actually moved the needle?
[00:14:43] Walli Miller: It’s really interesting because I learned about financial independence. And the whole fire movement a few years ago was probably in 20 15, 20 16. And don’t get me wrong, there are some really great podcasts and blogs and books and [00:15:00] YouTube channels even back then. Now, there is many more today, but back then, the people who were the loudest voices, the people who I was introduced to and really changed my.
[00:15:11] Generally we’re male, Generally we’re white, and probably were in some sort of tech field or engineer or something like that. Right? Yeah. So I still learned from them and it again, changed my life. I learned so much, but I thought it was important, which was why I decided to start the blog and why started.
[00:15:32] Right for sites like club or girl finance, because I thought it was really important to show that it wasn’t just one segment of the population that could it. That fire didn’t just look like one type of person. That first could be a second, that person of color, third, that you didn’t have to come from. It didn’t matter if you didn’t learn how to balance a checkbook, save [00:16:00] money, or even invest from your parents, right?
[00:16:02] Mm-hmm. . But this is something that you could do. And today I will say, I could list off probably a dozen or more people who are people of color, who are women of color, who are now talking about finances. But back then there wasn’t a whole lot. And I think whether it’s a profession or a. Sometimes it can feel like that’s only set aside or available to a certain segment of the population.
[00:16:26] Mm-hmm. , and this is again, why I say like setting that example, sharing our stories, and of course your platform of just like listening to how different people achieve their financial goals and what their money stories are is super important because the more stories, the differences that we can hear, someone will relate to it.
[00:16:45] And I think that is what it’s important. Yeah.
[00:16:49] Bob Wheeler: I have a question that when you told me you decided I’m gonna be a money coach, this is it. Either your voice or people around you. Was there ever the, Who [00:17:00] are you? Hmm? Who are you to go out and be this person? Right? Who are you? You didn’t grow up with money.
[00:17:07] You’re a person of color. You’re a woman. You grew up in a poor neighborhood. Like who are you? Mm. Yeah. And I’m wondering if that came up person. And if people around you and how did you push through that? Because I would imagine a lot of that came through. I
[00:17:23] Walli Miller: think it was a combination of a couple of different things.
[00:17:26] First, I’ll say that even though I’m an introvert, I’m confident and I’m not shy, and I think as I started learning more about personal finances, particularly the investing piece, because I think it doesn’t matter where in the planet you live. Everyone knows that you’re supposed to stay for a rainy day, right?
[00:17:46] Mm-hmm. , you harvest during the tough seasons. Right? Exactly. Everybody knows that. Mm-hmm. , But I think one of the pieces that I, And that very foreign and unavailable [00:18:00] toing, so I’m a little bit about the investing side. I mentioned earlier that I didn’t really connect with the term wealth or being wealthy, and it wasn’t until I started.
[00:18:11] To really dig deep into what being wealthy meant to me, because I defined it as rich. I defined it as the fancy cars, the big houses, and there’s a difference between being a millionaire and wanting to spend a million dollars. Right? Yeah. And that was sort of like the first thing that I had to realize, like, did I wanna spend a million.
[00:18:34] or was I really searching for going beyond just like that financial survival, right? Yeah. To be financially thriving. I wanted to go beyond financially surviving to financially thrive. And so when I sort of learned that investing didn’t have to be so complicated and that there are nine to five millionaires that there are 401k millionaire, I needed to learn how did people [00:19:00] get there?
[00:19:00] What steps did they take in order to achieve that? So that was sort of like one piece, like I was just curious and was hungry, but didn’t necessarily believe that was possible for me. , but right . But I was like, Okay, I’m gonna learn because no matter what, even if I don’t reach X number, I will be better off than where I am today.
[00:19:22] So that’s like the first piece. The second thing, You asked whether or not there were people when I started with the financial coaching, who thought, Well, you didn’t always get it right, actually was a big spender. Right? mentioned I paid all bills, but I dollar that and it wasn’t, I received back a years ago, the Social Security Administration.
[00:19:48] What they would do, I think is after 10 years of working, they send you, Statement, Right. And show you what all your earnings are, your lifetime earnings. That was my aha moment when I received that. I was [00:20:00] like, I dunno, maybe 27 or years old, and it showed my 10 years of work history and I added up the amount of money that I had throughout my whole life.
[00:20:09] Like my job at Burger King to my job through college, through now the job that I currently had. And I added up the amount of money that I made and I realized I had nothing to show. Sure I didn’t have credit card debt , but not having credit card debt, was such a low barrier to entry, like what does that mean?
[00:20:28] And so was at that moment that I realized that I needed to do something different, but I also didn’t appreciate, or I didn’t connect with the ultra frugality. I was like, I didn’t wanna sacrifice being able to go out to eat or vacationing or whatever the case. Spending on the things that I valued and the things that I brought joy in order to sacrifice my way into being wealthy.
[00:20:55] So I wanted to find, was there a balance? Was there a way [00:21:00] to also spend money on the things that you truly enjoyed, the things that you truly value? While also saving and investing for the future and building wealth. And when I realized that there was a way to do both, that was where I fit in. Because the personal finance advice of, Okay, you’re bad with money if you have credit card debt and everybody else is good.
[00:21:24] I couldn’t relate to. I was like, ok, well I’m good with money. Like I couldn’t really absorb that information. Right, But, And then I couldn’t agree, or I didn’t connect with ok, you could be a millionaire, just quite yet. But I was like, ok. There’s like this middle portion here where it’s like, I could live a good life now.
[00:21:42] Figure out what is truly important to me, spend money on that, and then the rest I can use to build. That was what changed my life, .
[00:21:51] Bob Wheeler: And so what would you say to people that are sitting there hearing your story saying, Okay, yeah, I don’t have a lot of credit card debt. I’m not making a lot of money. [00:22:00] What are the steps I need to take to start walking me to an early retirement so that I can.
[00:22:06] Wrap it up, or I can have passive income. What are some baby steps that can move me in that direction? Because a lot of people will sit there and go, Well, no, I’m gonna wait for that big bonus. Oh, I’m gonna wait till I get this other job. Yeah. Or as soon as Christmas is over. Right. And then those things never happen.
[00:22:22] Walli Miller: Yeah, so I love this whole idea of paying yourself first. I think one of the things that also sort of helped me really get motivated to find my freedom is what I call it, being able to work towards financial independence, was realizing that if I continued to live the way that I was living, which was okay, yeah, paying my bills, but, and then spending every dollar that I.
[00:22:45] I was going to have to work forever to be able to do that. I was gonna always have to work in order to pay my bills and in order to spend the amount of money that I had. And although I had a career that I really [00:23:00] enjoyed and felt passionate about, I didn’t like certain aspects. For example, having to. For vacation time or only having a certain amount of vacation time available to me.
[00:23:11] Mm-hmm. . And so I remember we also went through sort of a change in leadership, and it didn’t dawn on me how important the leadership of the company or the organization was. I didn’t appreciate how good I had it until it was a bad one, and I realized, ok, well I could just switch jobs. I could go different organization or to a different company.
[00:23:34] But then I thought, Well, what if it happens there too? And so when I discovered financial independence, I realized that there was a way for me to fund my financial independence, my financial freedom, that I could buy back my time because even though I enjoyed my job and I felt really fulfilled in the work that I.
[00:23:53] I couldn’t imagine doing the same thing until I was 50, 60, or 70 years [00:24:00] old, and it was at that point that I could say, ok, lemme figure out what is that point that I’m missing. And so, yes, understanding truly what your income is, understanding what your expenses are, and the difference between what you have left over after you have your essential expense.
[00:24:19] Then you can start designing the life that you want and also using that money to be able to setting money aside so that you can fund those future goals. And some of those future goals could be short-term, perhaps in six months, buying a vacation, perhaps in two years, buying a home. But I also wanted to, was there a way for me to guarantee that I could retire at the age of 60?
[00:24:43] And then I said, Could I do that at the age of. Could I do that at the age of 50? And as I played around with the numbers, I realized, ok, saving money is good for those short term goals, but I really need to begin investing in order to [00:25:00] build wealth and in order to shorten the number of years that I had to work.
[00:25:05] And I like the term work optional, right? Cause the goal for me isn’t to sit on a. And not do anything. Right. The goal for me is to be able to have control of my time. The goal for me is to be able to choose the projects that I wanna work on. The goal for me is to be able to choose when I work and when I don’t work.
[00:25:27] But learning that investing piece was really important because as I started to build wealth for. I then realized, wait a minute, can I now build wealth for others in my family? Mm-hmm. . And so it’s like, Hold on a second. Maybe I can start investing for the nieces and nephews in my life. Maybe I can start investing in a way so that when my parents are ready to retire, I dunno if it’ll cover their whole retirement, but I can help them because Right.
[00:25:55] They may not have enough for a retirement that would be comfortable,
[00:25:59] Bob Wheeler: for [00:26:00] example. And did you experience any guilt around like, I’ve got all this wealth, the rest, my family didn’t get the memo, they didn’t get the lucky breaks, they didn’t get the opportunity to work as hard. Maybe I need to just actually take all that extra money and hand it out to everybody else cuz it’s not really fair.
[00:26:16] Walli Miller: Yeah, it wasn’t the wealth, it was the income. Ah. And so for me, I mentioned that early on I was in my mid twenties. I was able to negotiate a salary . It really, it was because I had learned that you just negotiate for everything. You negotiate for a car. Or an invoice you negotiating for internet expenses, cell phone.
[00:26:40] And so I just negotiated my salary and was able to start off well. When I switched jobs, I doubled my salary, so I started off at already a pretty good salary, and as that. Slowly increased. I remember I was about to go from making about $94,000 a year to making a [00:27:00] hundred thousand. Now the difference between and is six is not a lot.
[00:27:07] Right. Not a, I lived in California actually when that happened. So that basically was gonna go in taxes. Yeah. But there was something about being a six figure earn. That really, it was something that I kinda wrestled with and a lot of people don’t understand, like why I would feel guilty or shouldn’t you be happy?
[00:27:28] But there was something about earning six figures that made me feel guilty. There was a part of like, But wait a minute. I enjoy my job. I’m having a good time. It’s not miserable. There was that part like, how could you enjoy your job and make that amount of. There was also a part of me that thought, my parents have never made six figures.
[00:27:50] Right? This is more money than they’ve made ever. And here I am. I was single, no children, no husband, you know, I was making that [00:28:00] amount of money, and that was where some of that guilt came from. I thought maybe people would think that I was unrelatable. Because now I was the other, this was also during the time where there was a lot of talk about the 1% and I was like, Am I aer?
[00:28:17] You know, do I that category? And of course I did not. But you know, there was just a lot of wasm about who the wealthy were. And I’ll say, I did not consider myself wealthy at that time, and I wasn’t right, even though I was earning about to earn six figures again. I spending every dollar that I had, right?
[00:28:37] So I was not by any means wealthy, but the wealth guilt came from the income. And once I was about to cross that line into the six-figure mark, that was when, rather than being excited about it, I remember feeling heavy. I remember feeling guilty. I remember feeling, it wasn’t necessarily shame, but it was.
[00:28:58] There were a lot of questions like, [00:29:00] Do I deserve this?
[00:29:01] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Well, I think maybe the answer would be yes. If we .
[00:29:07] Walli Miller: I wish it was that simple. Right? Yeah. My mindset, there was a lot of sort of thought work that I had to do to try to figure out, first of all, why did I feel the way that I did? And I think particularly if you come from a lower income family, if you come from a lower income household, of course you wanna make it.
[00:29:26] Of course you wanna. Get off the struggle bus. But you know, when I think back on it now, I think it was just sort of thinking about the amount of money that you make isn’t based on how hard you work. Because my parents were really hardworking, right? My dad worked six days a week his whole life. 12 hour days.
[00:29:47] So it wasn’t equated to how hard you work, but you know, sort of sitting with that and coming to understand that things sometimes aren’t fair. Yeah. You know, it’s not how hard you work [00:30:00] doesn’t reflect, isn’t always reflected by the amount of money that. So just kinda coming to terms with that. But I also realized, and I had to really say to myself like, You do deserve this.
[00:30:11] You worked hard for this money, right? And you can do good with it. And I think you sort of repeating that to myself that just because I was making X amount of money, Did not mean that I was going to become greedy or that I was going to be selfish. I could do good with money. And of course it took me a couple years later cause unfortunately I can’t say that that changed the way I spend money, but it really helped me saying that line, which was, I could do good with money, I could make a difference with.
[00:30:46] Really helped me come to an acceptance. And then once I did get my financial things in order, once I finally, I was like, Wow, now I’m in a place where I could really accept [00:31:00] the money that’s coming to me, because I know that this is not only gonna change my life, but it’s going to change the whole family lineage.
[00:31:07] Right. Yeah. Imagine the next generation not having to take out student loans. Or not as many student loans or being able to help a sibling or a niece or nephew start their own business. That was when that shift really happened for me.
[00:31:22] Bob Wheeler: That’s so awesome. That is so awesome. Well, Walli, we are at our Fast five.
[00:31:29] The fast five is brought to you by Acorns, where you can invest bear change bank, smarters, save for retirement, and so much more. For more information, you can check on the links in the show note. All right, well, so we’re just gonna go down and dirty. What do you think your husband would say you spend too much money on?
[00:31:45] Walli Miller: Ooh, my husband see, probably. He would say, I spend too much money on handbags, , probably handbags. And it’s not, Cause now I buy a lot of handbags, but the [00:32:00] type of handbags that I buy tend to be a little bit more expensive. So he doesn’t get it.
[00:32:05] Bob Wheeler: Now would he be right or is he wrong?
[00:32:07] Walli Miller: No, for 100% I don’t think it’s too much money.
[00:32:11] Cause I think when. Know what your goals are and mm-hmm. , you can spend freely on the things that bring you joy and the things that you enjoy as long as you’re reaching your financial goals. And that’s kinda what I say to him and even to my clients. No one can decide what you spend, what’s important to you.
[00:32:29] Only you can decide that as long as it’s not gonna derail you from your plan.
[00:32:34] Bob Wheeler: I love that. I love that. Do you and your husband talk about money regularly? And do you share the same values?
[00:32:40] Walli Miller: I think this is really important. The answer is yes. I think that when you have a spouse where your goals are aligned, I will say I’m definitely more of the spender.
[00:32:52] My husband is a little bit more frugal for sure, But we have the same goals and we know the goals for our [00:33:00] lives and our financial goals and things that we accomplish. It just makes it much easier.
[00:33:05] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. In three words, describe how financial independence feels
[00:33:11] Walli Miller: Liberating, Secure. And it feels good.
[00:33:17] Bob Wheeler: nice. Feels good. What was the first time that you felt like you were truly financially thriving? Like when did you say, Oh my, I’m on the path.
[00:33:26] Walli Miller: So we have reached some great financial milestones in the last couple of years. Mm-hmm. . But I remember when our investments hit the first 500,000, it really made me feel good.
[00:33:40] Like it made me feel better than when we hit 600 or 700 or 800, like first 500,000 because I knew that there was no stopping. Right. Yeah. Maybe there might be some delays because of the market, or maybe we decided to invest a little bit less, but I knew that there was [00:34:00] no stopping us, and the feeling of knowing that I could design the life that I wanted.
[00:34:06] Spend money, Yes. On those things that we have to spend money on, like a roof over our head and keeping the lights on, but also spending money on the things that bring us joy, like traveling and seeing our families and eating out and experiencing the city, but also knowing that we were preparing for the future.
[00:34:25] I think when we hit that $500,000, I was like, Wow, we’re. We’re good.
[00:34:31] Bob Wheeler: We’re good. What is one easy way to save money that people miss?
[00:34:36] Walli Miller: Negotiating. Hmm. , I love that. Negotiate everything. Just recently, I think it was actually, it was in July. My car insurance was about to, or it’s gonna be for renewal in September.
[00:34:50] So I them a call and do this every year. I always ask if there’s any discounts that I’m missing out on. If there’s anything that I could take advantage of, [00:35:00] and just a simple call that took me maybe 10 or 15 minutes saved me calling your cell company and trying to figure out, you know, are any promotions that exist that you’re not taking advantage of?
[00:35:14] Could you do that? Negotiating your salary, negotiate everything. Love it. I think it’s like the easiest thing that’s.
[00:35:24] Bob Wheeler: So we are at our m and m moment, our sweet spot, Money and Motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you can share with our listeners something that’s worked for you?
[00:35:33] Walli Miller: I will say automating, When I first started on my financial journey, I did things with pen and paper and an Excel spreadsheet.
[00:35:41] As I became more comfortable and build some muscle, I was able to just automate my savings so I don’t have to think about it, automate my investing so I don’t have to think. Automate my bill pay so I don’t have to think about it, and then I know that everything that needs to be taken care of is taken care of, so then I can [00:36:00] enjoy the rest.
[00:36:01] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. That’s great advice. I love automated savings. I talk about that a lot for my own personal, getting outta my own way. Mm-hmm. having to trick myself by just saving money. So I think that’s so important. While I, you know, I just have really been inspired by this conversation. I love that you didn’t let your history and your generational past define you.
[00:36:23] And I think that’s so important for people to not look and say, Well, I’m in a box because this is what life dealt. Just because my parents did this or didn’t do that means I’m gonna have more of the same. And so you’ve really made a decision to have a different outcome, and that’s just a really cool thing to see and hear and witness.
[00:36:43] I love that you actually talked about being aware of. Your financial story and being aware of, Okay. Well I think I’m doing pretty good cuz I’m not in debt. But wait a minute, is that the true measure? Mm. And still being curious. You mentioned curious and I think it’s so important [00:37:00] that we stay curious and continue to say, Wait, what else can I be doing?
[00:37:04] How is this serving me? Not just in the moment. And the thing that I appreciate, and I think it’s so important to make this distinction, you talked about being wealthy or being able to spend a million dollars. And it’s funny because I have family members that will sometimes say to me, Oh, well you’re a millionaire.
[00:37:22] You’re gonna afford everything. And I’ll say, Well, , I might have a million dollars. That doesn’t mean I have a million dollars liquid cash that I wanna blow on a regular basis, right? Because then I would not have a million dollars. And I think it’s so important for people to understand between being rich and having wealth, wealth of time, having that work option.
[00:37:41] Not that we wanna sit around and do nothing, but we have the ability to say, That doesn’t work for me, or I don’t wanna work. It’s such an important component and it’s an inspiring story for me that you’ve decided to go out and pay it forward, help other people, and not be limited to saying, Well, wait, I didn’t get everything perfectly handed down [00:38:00] to me, therefore I can’t pay it forward.
[00:38:02] But you said, Hey, , this is who I am and I have some great information and I’m gonna share it, and I’m gonna empower other people, other women, women of color, and I’m gonna represent. Even though I’m an introvert, even though these things may not come easy, I’m gonna show up and pay it forward. So I just feel really appreciative that you took the time today and shared your story because it is an inspiring story and one that a lot of people would’ve said, That’s too much work.
[00:38:30] I think I’m just gonna go buy a hand. And you actually said , I’m gonna do all that and then I’m gonna get the handbag cuz I’ve taken care of all the things I need to take care of. So thank you so much. Where can people find you online in social media?
[00:38:44] Walli Miller: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. You can find firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:38:49] There is a free gift that I wanna give to your listeners if you just go to financially thriving.com/free gift. There’s a roadmap to financial. [00:39:00] One of the pieces that we talked about is sort of like that relationship with money, our money mindset, and there’s some really interesting questions in there because I think so many times we just think that it’s all about the math and it’s really mindset over the, It was just about It would be right.
[00:39:17] It would be. It’s so than that. So if anybody wants to check that out, I think it can really sort of help you discover your relationship with money. For sure. That
[00:39:26] Bob Wheeler: is so awesome. Well, Walli, again, it’s been so amazing. I’m sorry we won’t see you at FinCon. Fincons coming up, and I love going to FinCon every year, but hopefully we’ll catch you at the next one.
[00:39:35] Just thank you so much and love to stay in touch.
[00:39:38] Walli Miller: All right. Thank you for having me, Bob. Have a good one.
[00:39:47] 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 [00:40:00] rollercoaster Ride of Financial Fears and journey towards financial.
[00:40:04] 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.