264 | Recognizing Scarcity and Uncertainty | Leisa Peterson

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By Jonathan Mendonsa & Brad Barrett | Choose FI Media and The Unstuck Network. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
  • Your money story informs so much of your life even if you're not aware of it. For 30 years, Leisa Peterson has been researching and studying how trauma in early life contributes to the money challenges faced later in life.
  • Growing up with a scarcity mindset, money became an escape that gave her motivation. Leisa decided in her mid-twenties that she was going to have money in her life and not have any stresses about it as her parents did. Earning money became an all-consuming response to the trauma she had experienced.
  • There's a very broad spectrum of trauma from mild to quite serious and not everyone reacts to it in the same way. Some people like Leisa may end up wanting a lot of money, while others are lead to feeling like they have no control over money.
  • An adverse childhood study from Kaiser was intended to understand how childhood trauma affected health. In Leisa's reading of the study, she found one of the findings included financial problems and realized this was something not a lot of people were talking about.
  • These childhood experiences become very disruptive, brings an uncertainty to how life is viewed and crushed the sense of self.
  • The concept of scarcity and uncertainty go together. This leads to struggling with either an extreme need to control or feeling out of control with money.
  • Because kids are absorbing everything we say, it's important to change the language we use around money.
  • When people become more familiar with their trauma backstory, they are better able to talk with their partner about their money challenges.
  • Disconnects in communication can occur when each other's backstories are quite different. We can only know what we know from our own perspective. The job in relationships is not just to understand ourselves, but to see the other person and how they are approaching money differently because of their backstory.
  • When people think of something as being scare in supply, they are going to buy more of it. Toilet paper is a relevant example of this for 2020. Someone coming from a home without enough money may have strange buying behaviors. Their idea of scarcity or uncertainty may be showing up in their daily behaviors with money.
  • For spouses or partners who have different money stories, Leisa encourages them to just start somewhere. Think about how money was treated at home growing up and have a conversation about it.
  • Questions to consider asking are: Did mom and dad talk about money? Did mom and dad fight about money? What is your first memory of money? When did you make your first money? How did that make you feel? Were you afraid?
  • It can be difficult to have these conversations for the first time with another person. Journaling is a way to privately have them with yourself first. The first person you share these feelings with should be someone you trust and it may be someone other than your partner.
  • Throughout her career, Leisa has found that people react to money very differently. The majority either hold it tightly or avoid control of it altogether, with a minority viewing it as a tool and are at peace with it.
  • Having one strong fire in your life influences the way you think about money in life. The earlier the influence in life, the better.
  • Parents sometimes joke or convey the wrong message about money. Leisa says it's important to go back and close the loop with children.
  • In the FI community, we want our children to have the skills to take care of themselves and be financially independent, but is it possible for them to have too much abundance? Leisa says she wants to be very open about what goes on in their home, discuss their failures, and teach them the value of money and hard work.
  • After reaching her goal of becoming a millionaire, Leisa made a massive change in her life. She and her husband sold it all and took a year off to travel with their son. The trip changed their entire approach to life.
  • Previously, Leisa's family had been consumers of their money. After the trip, they took their nest egg, created investments where their money began working for them.
  • A result of Leisa's drive to become a millionaire was that once achieved, people began to treat her differently. The outward display of wealth began to affect her friendships. It was then that Leisa realized the money was not all that important to her.
  • Leisa's book, The Mindful Millionaire, tells these stories about our money experiences, our relationships with money, and how we can transform them into thinking about money as a tool.
  • The key takeaway from this conversation is that words matter. It's important to think about the unintended consequences of the conversations we are having with our spouses, partners, and kids. Have humility in these conversations and be honest.
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