Uncensored Money Season Four: I Didn't Plan for That! 

Melissa Browne: Ex-Accountant, Ex-Financial Advisor, Ex-Working Till I Drop, Now Serial Entrepreneur & Author, Financial Wellness Advocate, Living a Life by Design | 14/03/2023


Show Notes

In this episode, Mel and Lawsie discuss times in their life when things didn’t go to plan and share practical steps you can take when life happens. 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

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Mel: Do you remember the plan you had for yourself at age 16 or maybe 18 or 20? Certainly can I just say my plan for myself was not being an accountant? I think if I told my 18-year-old self or my 16 year old self, they would be in a corner crying. Lawsie, do you agree with that or was your 16 or 18 year old self very comfortable with being an accountant? Was that your dream?

Lawsie: I don't think it was my dream. But it was a path that I took, like I consciously made that choice. It wasn't something that I fell into. But did it light me up? Probably not. But at that point, everything was just like, well, it's gonna be a job. I may as well do that job. And it had numbers in it, so that was the driving thing.

Mel: It was a nice plan, and then you just kept ticking those boxes.

Lawsie: yes, yes.

Mel: But today I wanna have a conversation with you and with Lawsie around things you didn't plan for. So in the same way that I did not plan to be an accountant and Lawsie did but perhaps that went a bit haywire for her later on, we wanna have a chat for moments that you didn't plan for.

But like Lawsie, I am a planner, so for me it was very clear. It wasn't accounting. I was gonna study law. I was gonna get married, buy a house and have my first child at 28. Dear God, simple. To be honest, growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney, I didn't realise there were alternatives because I didn't see them around me.

Plus, I'm the first born in my family and a people pleaser. Something Lawsie, you and I have talked a lot about before, so my life plan essentially was to keep my parents, particularly my dad, happy more than anything that I wanted for myself. And probably something else you should know about me is I'm an implementer, which is kind of also something Lawsie that I think you would respond to.

So by my early twenties, I ticked three things off that list. I was married, I bought a house. I was studying law, and I was freaking miserable. The first thing to go was studying law. I hated it, but I'm a people pleaser, remember? So I moved across to accounting to keep my dad happy. He told me that there was a little bit of law in accounting, so why don't you study that kid? And I desperately wanted him to be happy. So enrolled in accounting. Now, if you had, as I said at the beginning, if you told me at age 16 I would be an accountant, I would've laughed and then cried and then cried some more. Yet here I was studying and working at something I didn't enjoy, but just happened to be good at.

I'm sure lots of people can relate to that. The second thing to go with my marriage. We don't need to go into the why, only to know that I knew when I was sitting in the marriage counsellor’s office with my husband at the time, knowing that this was over, that my incredibly conservative, strict religious parents may never speak to me again, and being a people pleaser, this was a terrifying thought. And they didn't speak to me for roughly almost six months.

But as a result of a throwaway line by my ex-husband that I wouldn't amount to anything without him, I donated the entire proceeds of the divorce settlement to Opportunity International, including every cent in my business and personal bank account. And of course, the next day I wanted to grab it all back because I had quite literally nothing in my bank account, including no money for a rental bond, no money for staff wages for my small accounting business. And no money for me. At age 33, all of those beautiful life plans I'd had for myself were completely blown up. And I've gotta be honest, I had never been happier living in that tiny little mouldy basement room in the frat house with the five others. I'd never been happier. Oh, and the decade-long eating disorder I'd carried with me quite literally disappeared over.

My suspicion is because for the very first time, I decided to take control back over my life and make decisions that were right for me. Now, I wish I could say that I waved a magic wand and within 12 months everything was perfect. Sadly, that only happens in Disney movies. However, over the next decade, I implemented a new mantra that replaced my life plan from aged 18, and that was to design the life you love.

Personally, this has meant choosing to be child-free. A decision that has alienated me from my mother for a long time because she didn't understand how, in her words, I could turn my 'mother heart' off. I still don't understand what that means. And it also meant starting multiple businesses, writing multiple books, and choosing to live part of the week in the beautiful Blue Mountains and part of the week in an apartment in the city.

But designing the life I love has also been a mantra that I've had to remind myself of continuously, because it is so easy to catch yourself doing something and not understanding why. For me, the last thing to go is accounting. I think it was because I'd built an identity around it, or maybe it's because a large share of my income at that time came from the accounting firm I'd built. Or maybe it was because I didn't really believe I could do anything else successfully.

But in 2019, my body made the decision for me. It was somewhere around then when I suffered a compressed nerve in my neck, which meant I couldn't work for 3 months. Yes, and that might not seem like much, but for a workaholic, like I was at the time, it was freaking massive.

And during that time, I met with a coach and a good friend who challenged the pace I was going at and what was driving me. And I realised that despite everything I'd done, looked at and overcome, I still had a money story that was based on not being enough. Part of this is related to where I grew up. And a trigger warning for anyone that has been assaulted. Part of this was the result of being the victim of a violent sexual assault in my teenage years. Part of this was built around my deep-rooted desire to keep everyone happy. And part of this, I believe, is an intrinsic belief so many women have, where the concept of not being enough is sold to us by marketers every single day. From skin products to beauty, to the tampons that we buy, to the clothes that we wear. So it becomes part of us and affects everything from our relationships to our finances, to our businesses and more.

I realized that if I truly believed in my mantra of designing the life I loved, that I needed to leave behind and sell my successful accounting firm, and in my forties start finally, fully embracing what I want my life to be about.

And I wanted to share that long introduction story so that you realise that what you see on Insta isn't what it has always been. It takes a lot to come back from something. For me, whether that was what happened to me when I was a teenager, whether that was that decision at age 33 and that stupid decision to give everything away, it takes a lot to come back from something.

And I want to tell you that story to also give you hope that if you are in that position or if you are in a position where you are coming back from something, to know you can come back too. But I don't just wanna share. I also want you to talk about with Lawsie today, the steps you can take, which is why we are gonna have a chat about what you can do and the practical steps you can take to come back from something for when life happens.

So Lawsie, I know when we talked at the very beginning, you said you wanted to be an accountant. What about you? Did you have an 'I didn't plan for that moment' because you are not an accountant now? So was that an 'I didn't plan for that' moment?

Lawsie: Yeah, look, to be honest, I think we've all had so many 'I didn't plan for those' moments and I don't think I haven't got those key big life-changing, altering moments like you cause I like to live quite a simple little life under a rock and the world just passes me on by.

There are certain things where I would look at it and go, sure. Like when I was studying accounting, I guess in the back of my mind I was like, oh, it'd be really nice. I'm thinking maybe I'll go overseas and I will live overseas for a period of time, be an accountant over there, thinking London and following the life of so many Aussies who go and work over in the UK.

And then that didn't happen, then Met Adam. I wasn't lucky where I was like ‘this is my plan, this is what I think I'm gonna be doing’. It was just like, oh yeah, once I finished studying, then maybe that's what I will do. And I didn't do that.

And then I decided to take a job, move to Canberra and work down there for a while as well. And again, that wasn't something that was planned. I was like, oh, that sounds like that might be nice. And then off and did that. But then the same for the accounting thing, like once you're in it, I think so many of us can get stuck in doing that career or doing that job because that's a thing that we've done and we can get attached to the money at times. Like it's well, if I was to start and go and do that other thing that I really like, now I'm going back to the bottom of the food chain and I've gotta skill myself up. So I totally get that people will stay in a role, but ultimately, I still remember having the conversation with you where I was like, how long you got? Cause I don't have much longer. My time is running out. Where I love working with the clients and doing all those things, but I'm getting to the end and I know that I'm gonna need to change cause I'm if I don't do something, then I'm going through the motions, which isn't gonna be serving the clients or serving me.

Like if you'd said your mid-thirties or you're walking away from your accounting career, I would go oh, that's very risky. But it was one of those things where I was like, no, actually that is what has to happen. I just can't keep doing that, you know?

And then obviously we've changed and morphed into what we're doing now, which also is not a 'planned for it' moment. If you said we're gonna be recording podcasts and doing stupid things on Insta, and, hosting all different meetings and stuff for the people that come through My Financial Adulting Plan and all that stuff, I'd be like, oh, no, no, no. Lawsie likes to just hide. No one shall ever see her as she retreats back into her little rock. But here we are. So I think we've all got moments like that. And it's only when you're looking back in hindsight, you can go, oh, actually there is some of those key moments where you've taken one road when you could have taken the other, and then that's ultimately led to where you are.

Mel: Yeah. I think there are also examples that we've seen inside the Financial Adulting Plan where it might be divorce, where people absofreakinglutely didn't plan for that. Where it was so unexpected where their partner has quite literally walked in one day and said, I'm done. And it might be that the wife was not working, had never handled the finances, and suddenly she's forced to address that.

Or it might be a death or an illness. And I certainly experienced that with my husband last year where one moment, he was fine. And the next day he was so incredibly unwell with something that we just didn't know, oh my gosh, I can feel myself getting emotional. We just didn't know what was wrong. And we thought this is either early advanced dementia, or he's having strokes every day, and our life is gonna look wildly different from this point. And I remember thinking of that going, wow, like a) we haven't done enough, but also what does that mean for now? What does that mean for our life now? Or I've seen people have those, ah, screw it moments, I just wanna chuck it all in and be done with it. Which I think a lot of people with a great resignation of Covid, I think a lot of people did a version of that, you know what? Screw that. Life is too short and I'm going to create that 'I didn't plan for that moment' because of lockdown that I've experienced, or the fact that I now realise that life doesn't just hum along merrily. I've experienced this and I've been forever changed from it, and therefore I want to do something different.

So it's not just the things that happen to you, it's also the things you choose that can be an 'I didn't plan for that'.

And what I wanted to talk to you about Lawsie is some practical things we can do for when life happens either when we choose that or when we are the unwitting recipient of the 'I didn't plan for that' moment because it's one thing to talk about it and be aware of it and be inspired that you can change or that you can make that decision. But it's another thing to know what to do when that moment happens. And you and I have seen a lot of that. So I thought it would be good to share some really practical things we could do.

And so I'll kick off. The things that I found really supportive. And I called it to get a financial support animal and an emotional support animal. So I don't mean going and getting a dog and calling that your emotional support animal

Lawsie: That could work

Mel: Although it could work exactly. But I wished during my divorce that I had someone to run my financial decisions past because I would not have made the decision that I made, and been in the position that I had, if I had that person. Cause they would've said, oh, Mel. Like if I'd known you at the time, you would've gone, maybe you should just sit on that for a month. And I bet you would've even said, park that money. I reckon you would've gone park that money in a bank. And then decide in six months time if you still wanna do that.

Lawsie: Yep.

Mel: And I wished I'd had that person that I could run decisions past. So have a financial support person that you run decisions. If you don't have a really savvy person, do it past a professional. Or a financial counsellor; that's a free professional that you could choose to use.

But also that emotional person that you could, and that they might be two different people that you run that you get that emotional support so that you are not making emotional decisions that are wrong for you, but also get your crew. You know, I've got a crew of incredible business owners that I meet with every month that are absolutely the people that I run those things past. That they will either challenge my thinking positively or challenge my thinking negatively either say, Mel, you're saying that you wanna do that, but actually are you? Or is that actually the smartest thing that you should be doing?

So finding those people that actually will challenge those 'I didn't plan for that' moments when you're going to do it or know you so well that they're able to speak into you when you're kind of doing something dumb.

Lawsie: Yeah.

Mel: And maybe suggest that it might be a midlife crisis versus something sensible or encourage you to do it earlier even, or have that wisdom to go, you're gonna be okay from this.

Lawsie: Yeah, definitely. And even if it's just for that sounding board and that second opinion, cause you might have thought you've planned out everything and gone yep. Ticking all of your boxes before you choose to have these life-changing moments. But sometimes just running it by someone that hasn't been wrapped up and absorbed in the same things that have been running through your head for so long and giving you that second, a third, fourth, fifth opinion can just give you that sort of different perspective that might all just lead to supporting exactly what you're doing. But like you said, could also challenge and make that thing that you think about doing better or ensure that the decisions you're making as a result of something that's occurred to you and that's actually right for you.

Mel: We all have those blinders. If you think of the Johari Window, those things that are seen and unseen or known or unknown. And hopefully if you've got a good crew, they can actually hold up the unknown to you that they see so clearly. Oh my gosh. It's like Bronte and Harrison on MAFS. We see it so clearly. But it took a crew of women to call her naïve, for her to sleep on it and realise that that was the case. Oh my God, I can't believe I'm about MAFS. I'm so invested in it!

Lawsie: It's terrible. Don’t know if I can do another season?

Mel: No, same. We said this many seasons ago. We're saying it again.

Lawsie: Then we got back and I'm like right after this one and out, that's gonna be a 'I didn't plan for that moment', to be watching this season of MAFS again. That is for sure. Takes too much time out of my life.

Mel: Agreed. All right, what's the second one Lawsie? After you've got your crew or your financial support person, and an emotional support person?

Lawsie: Yeah, so you touched on this as well, that if you don't have those people then to consider using professionals in that space as well. Which again, like if it's gonna be numbers and things like that, or you're worried about tax implications or packing your life up and moving overseas and whatever, you need to understand the implications of that. So I think making sure that you've got an accountant and or a financial advisor is actually specialized in that. There's one thing from using your accountant down the road that's been great at doing your tax returns for the last 10 years but they may or may not be skilled up in what's the tax rules if you move to Thailand or if you decide to move to I don't know, the Maldives or wherever it is that you're going for your life-changing moment. So it is just about making sure that you understand the full picture with any of those things that you choose to do or that can happen to you because the dollars and in real terms can be huge.

So you wanna make sure that you've got help and support there. We're talking here about the financial side of it. We're talking accountants and financial advisors, but also to talk to counsellors or psychologists and things as well.

Particularly when you've had those things that have happened to you that yes, you might have chosen to initiate those if you're looking at divorce, but there are also plenty of other things that can happen to you for no reason other than that's just the cards that you've been dealt, and if you're not able to deal with that, then I think it's also super important to seek out those professional people as well.

Mel: Yeah, absolutely. And I throw in there a family lawyer as well, particularly if that's one of those, I didn't plan for that moment or even if it is a plan for that moment. Doing that early is super important. For me that those professionals that support me financially has been a therapist. Definitely. And that has helped me realise the things that drive us, we're not always aware they drive us. And certainly for me, some of the decisions I've made in my life are absofreakinglutely related to trauma from when I was younger. I didn't know it. In the same way that I would have physical manifestations from that trauma that I just thought was normal. And now realize that, oh, that's actually not normal. People don’t things in that way. That's fight or flight or just freezing. And I can freeze with finances as well if I'm in that position of dread or I might suffer paralysis by analysis. And it's having a plan then for what to do and to move you forward. So important.

Three is figuring out what financial support is available and understanding the best course of action. People are often unaware just how much support is available. So for example, if your 'I didn't plan for that' is either a separation or an illness or losing your job or some other life event, where you're really feeling that you were financially drowning or you just don't understand your financial situation. There are free financial counsellors that you can talk to that may be able to do things like find you zero interest loans through Good Shepherd microfinance. They might be able to help renegotiate bills and debts that you've got. They might be able to help you see a course of action and even help you get vouchers and figure out what you are owed with Human Services or like this, whatever the Centerlink version is in the country that you are.

So it's just really important to understand that. They might also talk to you about, if you've got a mortgage and you've got an extreme illness, you can press pause on that, particularly if you are ahead. And a lot of people don't realise that your bank isn’t just a big faceless entity. There are people inside. So having conversations with them to say, this is what's going on for me. What is available to support me during this time? And they can then run you through your options. So the most important thing we can do is not put our head in the sand, but realise there are actually a lot of options and support. It's just knowing what they are and who to access. So financial counsellors. Talking to your bank and even if you've got a financial advisor and accountant that you use already, it might be a call to them to say, Hey, this has happened. What's available? So depending on your level of income is who you would speak to, but if you kind of think of it as very little income or no income and really drowning, that's your financial counsellor. For someone that's got income but just doesn't know what to do, it might be someone like us or a financial advisor or an accountant. But lean on that financial support cause it is available for you. And even if you are fleeing domestic violence, there are women's shelters for you and inside the shelter would be people with access to financial counsellors and more, who can start to create that support for you while you are there. So sometimes when you're in the middle of these things, it's really hard to see the wood for the trees, but we really wanna stress that it is available.

Lawsie: Yep. Definitely. And I think it's a valid point too, that you raise around being proactive when you can with these things and to talk to your bank and your credit card providers and all of those things because yeah, I think so many people view the bank as the bad guy. I've always gotta repay my mortgage. And, oh, look at all the profits that they make. But at the end of the day, it's actually still in their interest. If we wanna get technical from a profit line, to work with you and to put that mortgage on hold and do all those things, rather than having to be chasing you because you're missing repayments or let's go to the absolute extreme of, forcing you to sell your home and things like that. That costs them so much money, so it is still in their best interest to work with you, to help you get through that situation and some of the options that may become available to you, you may not like it. Like you're gonna have that friend that goes, oh no, don't put your mortgage on hold. It's gonna cost you more in the long term. Or if you switch it to interest only, it's gonna cost you more in the long term, but it's still actually gonna be better for you from doing that. Then it is to suddenly go, oh, okay. I've gotta sell house or I've gotta do these things that are even worse off for you potentially.

So I think it is just being aware that yes, they are organisations and corporations, but you can still absolutely approach them and they will work with you to get you through whatever it is. And then once you're on top of things again, then you can make that action plan to increase your repayments, change with the arrangement that you had with them, when you're back in a position of control.

Mel: And you wanna do it early. If you receive that diagnosis, if you receive that bad news, and I know the first thing you're not thinking is the bank, but often you do because you go, oh crap, what does that mean for me? Oh my gosh, how am I going to pay my bills, pay my mortgage?

Even if you feel like, oh, you know, I could probably get through a few months, by talking to your bank really early, they could say to you, look, this is what we have available for you. And that way you don't have to trigger that straight away, but at least great, I've got that if I need it. And you've already started the conversation. So exactly like you said, the banks are a business, they want to make a profit from you. They want you to continue as a customer. So having that conversation and realising what's available is really important.

Lawsie: Yeah, and I think to add into that, under that banner of the financial support as well, is just to think about if you have got insurance policies, to activate them or to at least find out what needs to happen before you're eligible to make a claim on those. Cause I think so many people have set policies up, who knows when, or they've got them ticking away in their super and they haven't even thought about them. So if you do have income protection insurance and can potentially qualify and you can use that. Or if you've had that terrible medical diagnosis and you've got trauma insurance, it's about going, oh yeah, that has happened. And then triggering that policy to pay the dollars as well. So just not forgetting about that. Cause I think so often it's that direct debit that comes outta your bank account or it's wrapped up in your super or your retirement funds and you don't think about it. But that's actually what it is for in these moments. So making sure that you take advantage of the things that are in there.

Mel: When I had that compressed nerve in my neck, I didn't work for about three months, but then I was able to do a few hours here and there cause you had to keep going. And then I came back part-time and I remember looking at it going, ugh, it's probably not worth it. And also I have been working a little bit and I remember when I talked to the income protection insurance, they're like, yes, but you weren't able to do your job. And we'll support you gradually coming back. So that I received a lump sum and then I received that supportive payment as well. That also helps cause if you are not in the business someone else is stepping up or you are having to employ someone to step up. So it means that you can then pay for that. So I completely agree. I didn't think at the time to trigger it. Cause I didn't need it, but that's the frigging point of it. So use it.

What's the next one, LawDog?

Lawsie: And the next one is just once the dust has settled or cleared on whatever the ‘I didn't plan for this moment’ in your life to actually face it. I think sometimes we can get caught up in that cloud for so long and let things drag on. So I think once you're in a position, I go, all right, now is a time then to absolutely face it.

So then you can take stock of where you are now. What's your income? What are your expenses? What can stay? What can go? And be ruthless with that. Because you know, if we go back to the example we're talking about before, where you might put your mortgage on hold for a year or two years or something. When whatever it is that you're going through has passed, it's going all right. That was the short-term solution and it has enabled me to get through whatever I was going through, but now, let's face it. You know, go back to the drawing board, pull out all the numbers, and come back to those financial basics. You've gotta know what income is definitely coming in, what your expenses are, what you can do to now try and put yourself in a better financial position than where you've been treading water for the last couple of years, or whatever the case may be. And then just to work out that action plan and to stick to it.

Mel: Yeah. So let's talk about divorce. We've seen so many women who lived a certain lifestyle when they were married and when they separated, they thought to themselves, this is a lifestyle I was in. A), I don't wanna lose face and also I deserve that lifestyle. So they just kept going and getting themselves quite deeply in debt because they didn't face what their life was costing them. What their expenses were, what their income was. And then they ended up in quite a precarious financial position, which was so much worse than if they'd actually decided to do something earlier. And I get that with a lot of this, it's not stuff we wanna face. There might be shame involved with ugh, but now people will know. They're going to know eventually when it all crumbles, there's only so long you can hold up that facade and it is about being kind to your future self and actually facing it as soon as you can.

So exactly what Lawsie said. Where are you now? What's your income? What are your expenses? What can stay? What can go? And then what does your future self want? As the fog starts to clear, to have a plan for what's next? So if this is my new normal, what's next?  And then the next one is, what can you do about it?

So you know, once you've looked at that, once you've faced it, what can you do about it? If you find that your income does not cover your cost of living, what can go? What can you cut back? What can you trim? And I remember doing this with a client of ours way back in the day, Lawsie, and they were still together, but they'd never face their finances. And they looked at it and they realised. They had three boys. They realised they couldn't afford all three to be in the private school that they were in, and they actually had to sit down and make some tough decisions around, oh my gosh, we've never faced the cost of our life, and we are gonna have to tell two of the boys that they can't finish up in their private school they're in. These can be tough moments and tough decisions, but it's gonna be so much worse if you don't face them. And if you find that you're in deeper and deeper and deeper holes. So yes, trimming expenses, but also looking at how could I find more income? Is that a second job for a period of time? I've got a free webinar that's 50 ways to find 10 K in 12 months, which we'll put a link in and that might be a way somewhere that you can dive into. We've know someone who had that unexpected, didn't see it coming moment. So she's house-sat for the last 15 months and saved a ridiculous amount of money from simply not having that expense. So there's so much that you can do about it. You are just probably unaware of everything that is possible for you. So it's knowing that and then making a plan.

Lawsie: Definitely, yeah, it's taking the blinkers off. Cause I think we can all get stuck in this is the lane that we've been in for so long and this is what has to happen. But if we can step back from that and then look at the other opportunities and be creative with things. And that applies or all of us,  whether or not we are going through a life-changing moment or not. I know so many people with the increase cost of living and inflation and interest rates going up, stuff is starting to really feel the pinch with that. And they're looking, going, I can't cut any more of my expenses out. But then there is just that thing around, well, how can you be a little bit more creative? Or if you still wanna go on holidays, can you house swap? There are just so many options that I think it's a perfect reminder for all of us, with everyday living.

Mel: I've got a good friend that has got a business and was having an, I didn't plan for that moment in her business. And she's got a young daughter and she really wants her daughter to continue with ballet lessons and they just can't afford it. So she's actually jumped on to Mad Paws and over Christmas and, I didn't really even realise you could do this, she minded a dog for two weeks.

Lawsie: Oh, Mad Paws.

Mel: Mad Paws. It meant that her kids were super happy because they had a dog for a couple weeks. They got paid two freaking thousand dollars to mind the dog for two weeks, $2,000, which then meant that she could pay for ballet lessons. And I think it was quite a precious dog.

Lawsie: It's a lot of money

Mel: It was the inner city. And this dog was precious, so there was a lot they had to do. And I think it was quite an expensive dog, but still $2,000. And now she's looking at walking dogs once a day with the kids, which again gives the kids access to a dog cause she doesn't want the expense of it and means more pocket money for ballet lessons and for the kids' stuff when her business really can't afford.

And that's that creativity that you were talking about, where it's my, ‘I didn't plan for my business to have a slump’. So if I want my kids to still have ballet, how could I do that? Like it's being creative around it rather than putting on the credit card.

Lawsie: Definitely. And then our next one is increasing your financial literacy and getting back into the driver's seat, which I think some of that kind of goes back to what we've been talking about already, but it's just becoming aware of it. We see so many women come through the course that I almost preparing themselves for, not so much that they didn't plan for, but maybe their partner is not planning for. Or before they decide to step away from their marriage…

Mel: Or they're planning to have kids…

Lawsie: But they're looking at, they're going I need to actually be aware of what my finances are instead of just being so hands-off.

So I think again, yes, it’s super important in the context of what we're talking about, but also, for everyone cause you don't have to be an accountant, you don't have to know all the nitty gritty and how to prepare financial statements in a tax return.

But you do need to be financially literate so you can be in control because the last thing you want is to feel like money's controlling you and this burden that's hanging over your head all the time. If you can get back in control, you've got an action plan for taking you to the next step and that will see you through whatever the unplanned or planned moments are and those things super, super important and so valuable.

Mel: And that's exactly what we teach inside the My Financial Adulting Plan. And again, there's a link so you can jump on the waitlist and be the first to know and receive bonuses when the doors open in May.

But the final thing is just to start to build your financial independence and confidence. And really this is a combination of everything that we've talked about today. So by getting that financial support person, by finding professionals, by figuring out the financial support, by facing where you are now, looking what you can do about it, increasing your financial literacy, you can start to build your financial independence and confidence because your taking agency back, instead of you feeling like, I didn't plan for that, I'm being buffeted, you can feel like you are taking control back and you are having agency. And they can be tiny, tiny steps, but all of those steps add up so that you have increased confidence, increase independence, and have that increased financial independence so that we are the ones finally in control of our finances and not being buffeted by the storms of life.

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