April [00:00:07] I think of it as part of my almost part of my mindfulness practice. It really is about that whenever I’m spending some time checking in. How does this feel? Is this aligned and also exciting after having to overcome some of those limiting fears of spending or not spending like, oh, it gets exciting to save more, to see my retirement or investments grow and to get those statements. Like, oh, look, this money turned into this money and I feel more in control. It’s been pretty phenomenal, right, to overcome those limitations and to create a positive relationship with money. It’s pretty amazing.
Linzy [00:01:00] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question. How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello, and welcome back to season two of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. I am so excited to be starting off the second season of the podcast. It has been so much fun, so much fun putting this podcast out into the world. We had a break over the holidays and my team and I actually had a break. We took two full weeks off. We just shut everything down, shut down the company for two weeks and let students in the course have a break too, which I’m hoping they really used. I think when we’re working on things like money, it’s easy to feel like you’d need to work on it all the time and to almost try to make up for all that lost time and it’s so valuable to also sometimes just take a break and rest and integrate and let yourself enjoy life, and that lets us actually be fresher when we come back to build skills and do new things in the new year. So I’m definitely feeling a little bit of that New Year’s energy coming into season two. And today’s episode is brought to you by Setting Enough Aside for Taxes workshop. So this is an in-depth workshop that I have. I’ll put the link in the show notes. It’s a 45 minute workshop getting into the mindset and very practical how-to of actually setting aside enough for taxes so that it’s not hanging over your head. We are coming into a new financial year, which is a chance for you to do things differently this year around money and getting clear on your tax amount and setting up a system to put aside your tax money as you go, is doing your future self a huge favor. It’s an amazing gift to give yourself. So the Setting Enough Aside for Taxes in Five Simple Steps workshop is linked in the show notes. So today’s episode is with April Snow. April is one of my, I would say, therapist consultant buddies. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago when we were both just kind of starting off into our side hustles at the time, now really much more our full hustles. And she is a licensed psychotherapist, author and consultant in California who supports highly sensitive therapists from around the world to have more sustainable practices by embracing their sensitive strengths and thinking outside the box. She has a huge amount of resources that she has created. She has a Facebook group. We’re going to put all the links into the show notes and talk about them at the end of the episode. But April is just a treasure trove of information and resources for highly sensitive people and specifically highly sensitive therapists. In fact, before her, I didn’t have the language to describe who I am. I used to call myself a sensitive plant, which was a little bit of like a gentle, derogatory term for myself about my sensitivity. And it wasn’t until I met April that I actually learned about high sensitivity and highly sensitive people and those traits. And it’s certainly been a gift to me to learn about those traits and how they work in my own life and give myself permission to build a practice and a business that suit who I am. So if you have any curiosity about high sensitivity, definitely check out April. In this episode, she shares about her own journey of going from growing up with very little money to being able to embrace money and be with money. She talks about the road through avoidance, which I think is a place that so many of us are familiar with. And in this episode, more than any of the episodes so far, we really dig into budgeting. So if the thought of budgeting makes you feel sick to your stomach, if you’re already thinking about turning off this episode because you’re like, no, not budgeting, I really encourage you to settle in for this episode. We get to budgeting in a very natural way, and April just has such beautiful framing around it, and we really dig in to much more positive ways to relate to budgeting, but have nothing to do with scarcity and shutting out possibility in your life. Actually, quite the opposite. And we also dig into the importance of who you surround yourself with, which I think especially as highly sensitive people is really important. She gives lots of great tips on how to shift your relationship to money, which are going to be especially relevant to the sensitive among us, but certainly to everybody else too. April is so compassionate and gentle and thoughtful, and brings so much of that to this conversation about money. Enjoy.
Linzy [00:05:56] So, welcome, April, thank you so much for being here today.
April [00:06:00] Thank you, Linzy. I’m so excited to be on your podcast.
Linzy [00:06:03] So April, as a starting point, I know that you’ve done a lot of your own work around money and we’ve done workshops together around money. So I’m curious for you. How did you know that your relationship with money needed to change?
April [00:06:18] Yeah, it wasn’t actually that long ago where I realized that I was avoiding looking at my finances, so I have a monthly date on my calendar. I have for several years now. Before it was more informal, but when I started owning two businesses now, it needed to be more structured. But there was a point where I noticed that I was avoiding that meeting. I would put it off for a week or two weeks. Sometimes I might try to skip it. And as you can imagine, when you’re not looking at your finances, things start to feel out of control. So money was, spending was starting to balloon, and I started to realize maybe I’m spending more than I’m earning, and it was showing up in my personal and professional life. So that was a big moment of awareness for like, OK, I need to get back on track here. Let’s really look at what money’s coming in and what money is going out and being more intentional with that
Linzy [00:07:13] Right and I’m curious for you like that realization that more was going out than coming in? Like, what did you start to notice first? Because I think sometimes we’re in that situation, we don’t even necessarily realize that that’s the problem. So what did that look like in your finances?
April [00:07:29] Yeah. So I would say two fold, so professionally it was, OK the amount of money that I have to pay myself- because I have a set number that I want to pay myself every month, right, after taxes and and I have other expenses I set aside for. So that number was starting to dwindle quite a bit, and I was like, oh, I’m not able to meet my minimum income threshold here, OK, something is going wrong. And then personally realizing, OK, I’m pulling from savings, or there’s not as much buffer in checking as I would feel comfortable with. So those are two very tangible signs. OK. Money management is not happening. Right?
Linzy [00:08:12] Yes. Well, and something that I want to give you, I don’t know if it’s that I want to give you props, but recognize like because you had that paycheck amount you set for yourself that helped the alarm bells goes off. Because I think a lot of therapists don’t have that?
April [00:08:25] It’s true. You’re just seeing what’s left for me. Right, but I know I am a very organized person, so I want to be on top of things. But the emotional piece is in the way. So even though I had set that number, I was realizing I’m not sticking to those goals that I had set for myself because of mindset or money story or emotions or, you know, just whatever is coming up.
Linzy [00:08:47] Yeah. And with that, like with mindset and money stories, what’s been your biggest struggles with money? Has it been an area or something else?
April [00:08:56] I think it’s related. So growing up, I had this weird situation where I grew up in a very working class family, so there was never a lot of extra money. So you paid the bills, you bought food. That’s it. There’s nothing to play with. So I never really got to experiment with managing money. It was very specific. This is what it’s for, and that’s it. And then I also had a grandmother who was of a different financial bracket, and she was an accountant. So she just took over all of our tax management at the end of the year. Never even knew. She just did her magic and got us the biggest refund that we could get. And it was like, oh, thanks, grandma. Thank you so much we’ll take this refund. But we didn’t know what was happening. So I found myself as an adult feeling like I didn’t have any money skills. I don’t know how to manage taxes. I don’t know what to do with that. And then as a business owner, you know, being in charge of setting aside and making sure you have enough for all these different expenses. And now I have people that I pay, right? And so it quickly became very overwhelming. So I felt like I had this big deficit of money skills, even though I love like looking at my bank statements and being organized. But those, you know, I often have this resistance, too, of I want to budget, but then I feel limited budgeting because it reminds me of my past. Right. So it’s this constant push, pull. I’m learning, but I feel embarrassed for what I don’t know. And then I want to be responsible, but I also, you know, there’s old stuff that comes up. So getting in relationship for my own money has been looking at all of that. Right? Being really honest with myself, even recently, I was talking to my wife and said, You know what? I think I’m afraid to have too much money. It was like, there’s this interesting story of because I don’t know what to do with it. Right? So if money does come into my life, what do I do with it? So that’s drawing a lot of actions up to my end. But it was interesting to look at those deeper layers of money.
Linzy [00:10:59] For sure. And I’m curious with that April, like that belief that you don’t know what to do with it. Can you tell me more about that? Like, is that like, you don’t know how to manage it or you don’t know what you would spend it on? What is that?
April [00:11:09] Yeah, what do I spend it on or what if I spend it on something frivolous and I’m not saving it properly? You know, I’ve since started working with quite a few financial professionals in taxes and retirement investments, but before that, I don’t know what to do with this money to make it work for me. So what if I wasted away or it just sits there and it doesn’t earn any interest? There’s just a lot of barriers for me around earning more and more. So I noticed that was a very limiting mindset for me.
Linzy [00:11:42] Yeah, for sure. And is that a mindset that’s still around for you or is it something you shifted?
April [00:11:47] It’s shifted quite a bit.
Linzy [00:11:50] Yeah. So it’s interesting. Like, I’m hearing kind of there’s two distinct parts to your story. One is like this grandmother who was very skilled, but like just kind of took it and didn’t share the knowledge or the skills, right? Which like as an accountant, like, I kind of get it because like she would be so deep in that world, but there wasn’t an effort to teach. Right. There was just a like, you know, I’ll take that.
April [00:12:13] I’m going to help you. But didn’t pass it on.
Linzy [00:12:15] Right. Yeah. So I’m hearing that part of not being given skills. But then I’m also hearing this part of just like there just not being that much money.
April [00:12:21] Right? So then when more money comes in, I feel a little overwhelmed, right? So there’s been some growing pains in having more money as an adult.
Linzy [00:12:31] For sure. So I’m wondering, like with that history, how do you maintain a positive relationship with money now?
April [00:12:39] I think of it as just how you maintain any relationship, really, which is spending time with it.
Linzy [00:12:45] I like that.
April [00:12:46] So showing up to my- I think you use this phrase- money dates, which I really like, you know, showing up to your money date every month or every week, if that feels more manageable. But for me, it’s every month I like I’m a batcher, so once a month is plenty. But yeah, spending quality time and OK, here’s what I have. Let’s get real. Here’s what I have, here is what’s coming in, what’s going out. This is the budget I need to stick to because when I do that, I start to see what money can do for me. Right. Give me that sense of peace of mind, ease, control, safety because I know where my money is going. I know why I’m spending when I am spending, whether it’s- even if it’s just take out like, I know what my budget for take-out is, so I can- I’m going to get this take-out, I’m going to love it. I’m going to fully embrace and enjoy it, right. Or I’m going on this vacation. I know exactly how much money I can spend, and I’m going to be completely freed up to enjoy it. I’m not stressing about it. Oh, is that coming out of my rent money or my car payment money? Or whatever it is, whatever monthly expenses you have. And so, yeah, there’s just been more ease with my spending time and being open and honest with, here’s what I have, here’s how I want to use it.
Linzy [00:14:01] And what I’m hearing there, April is like having freedom within boundaries.
April [00:14:05] Yes.
Linzy [00:14:06] Like it sounds like by setting and knowing your boundaries, like this is how much I have for take out. There is this like real richness that comes and this real enjoyment when you have that take out.
April [00:14:16] Exactly.
Linzy [00:14:17] Because you’re probably not having take-out every day, would be part of it, like it makes it intentional and special.
April [00:14:23] That’s exactly it. Yeah, it is more intent. I think of it as part of my- almost part of my mindfulness practice, right? It really is about that. Like, whenever I’m spending some, I’m checking in like, how does this feel? Is this aligned? And also exciting after having to overcome some of those limiting fears of you know spending or not spending? It’s like, oh, it gets exciting to start to save more, to see my retirement or investments grow and to get those statements that are like, oh, look, this money turned into this money and I feel more in control. It’s been pretty phenomenal to overcome those limitations and to create a positive relationship with money. It’s pretty amazing.
Linzy [00:15:09] Yeah, truly. And I am curious if you could tell me more about your positive relationship to budgeting. Budgeting is a word that I rarely even use, you know, kind of like outside of my course because it is such an activating word for people, right? Like usually people think about budget, they think about restrictions, self-denial. I’m not going to be able to like, do anything or go anywhere. And what I’m hearing from you is a lot of kind of, again, this richness and pleasure. And you know, you’re talking about having this more mindful relationship to money. So I’m curious if you can tell me more about either how you got there or how you keep yourself in that space and out of scarcity, especially coming from the background that you did come from where there was like kind of just enough, it sounds like.
April [00:15:51] Exactly.
Linzy [00:15:52] Which for a lot of people, you know, it gives us like scarcity stories.
April [00:15:56] Absolutely. But I would say I could see how budget could, because I used to have the association with that word that, oh, this is a limitation. This is a constriction. But I like when you said the word boundary, it feels like this safe, cozy containment, right? Like, here’s where I want my money to be. What are the buckets essentially? Part of my budgeting is, OK, let’s say I have, just for a round number, ten thousand dollars in my savings account, right? And I have that money broken up into different categories and some of them are fun! Travel, retreats, right? I think about, budgeting can open up a world of self-care and things that are meaningful. Now most people know that I’m highly sensitive. If listeners, that know me, and we’ve talked about this a lot Linzy where it’s important to make money meaningful, right, to use it in an intentional way that makes life more cozy, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing. So I think budgeting can open up a whole world of that like, oh, and what do you want your buckets to be? Sure, there’s typical buckets like auto repair, home repair, travel, emergency savings, things like that. But then there can be, you know, I think about like, oh, I loved going to certain retreat places. I’m going to set aside money for that. Or I know folks love to buy plants, art supplies, like you can create a budget for that, right? So like, what do you want to work towards? Budgeting can be part of that, too. And then when you do, I personally love to buy books, so if I had a book budget every month, which I haven’t done, but that’s actually a good idea.
Linzy [00:17:35] You will now.
April [00:17:35] I will now, actually. So like if I want to spend a few hundred dollars a month or a quarter on books and I know I’ve earmarked money for that, I can just have fun with that experience. I don’t have to feel guilty. I don’t have to worry what that money is getting pulled from, whether it be, like, some type of practical expense or savings for something else. I know I’ve set aside money for this. It’s the same thing if you have a private practice and you’re setting aside money for time off, right, or taxes or whatever it is. Budgeting can be exciting.
Linzy [00:18:09] Yeah, absolutely it can. And I’m sure there’d be some people listening who are like, no way, no how. Like, there is a journey to get there.
April [00:18:18] Absolutely. I want to acknowledge that this, my journey to this place has taken many years. However, recently, you know, meeting you, our work together has sped that up quite a lot and getting certain support people in my circle has really excelled that process and also spending time with people that are open to talking about money.
Linzy [00:18:41] Yes.
April [00:18:42] Right. Whether it be friends, other therapists or practitioners, that really has excelled like, oh, we can actually talk about this. OK. Right?
Linzy [00:18:53] Yeah. I mean, it strikes me that you’ve really put your team in place, both in terms of like professional formal supports, but also those informal supports like, you know, people who you can talk to openly because without that, it is very difficult to make changes and stick with it and do the hard things. If the people around you aren’t doing those things or aren’t open to talking about those things. It can be very isolating.
April [00:19:15] It’s so true whether you’re struggling, whether you’re trying to move your money situation, your financial relationship, either one of those can be difficult in isolation. Now, community is so important to this process.
Linzy [00:19:29] Yeah. What other advice would you give someone who’s at the beginning, if they’re listening now and they know they’re not where they want to be in their relationship to money? What advice would you give them on how to get started on building a better relationship with money?
April [00:19:42] Yeah, I would say definitely starting out with lots of self-compassion for wherever you are, right, for whatever your money story is telling you, you’re not the only one that’s struggling with money. It’s hard, right? We’re not taught how to manage money. We’re not encouraged to talk about it, especially if you’re a therapist or a practitioner in private practice, there’s no support system around. And, you know, a lot of times we’re discouraged to talk about fees and things like that. So it can be difficult to bridge that environment into a place of acceptance and openness. Yeah, lots of self-compassion and patience. So don’t expect to immediately sit down every month and love looking over your bank statements and setting aside your budget or whatever it is. You know, that’s a process. So slowly dipping a toe in. Maybe you just open your bank statements, right? Or maybe you start saving five dollars a month or whatever it is. Start really slow in all the different layers of the process, and it will get easier over time. It’s just like with anything, you’re building that familiarity in that relationship. I think that’s super important to remember to flow and not compare your process to anyone else’s. You do have a unique narrative, story, history with money, depending on your family and your community and whatever environment you’re in and your particular work situation. So there’s a lot of different layers to it, just remembering that- it’s emotional. It’s not just practical, even if your accountant makes it so black and white.
Linzy [00:21:22] Yes.
April [00:21:23] It’s really complex and layered, right? Just like anything else.
Linzy [00:21:26] Absolutely. Yeah. And your numbers aren’t emotional to them, but I will tell you, accountants have their own money shit. It’s just not about your money,.
April [00:21:35] Right? Exactly.
Linzy [00:21:36] And I have seen that even like accountants who won’t let me pay them for things that they should be getting paid for or who take things on and don’t charge clients. You know, it’s like everybody has their own money stuff, even financial professionals.
April [00:21:49] Absolutely. Right. So even the people that work in the money fields, like accounting or retirement, they also have their own stories around it. It’s such an important reminder. And to make sure you lean on them, just like a therapist is doing their own work, right? Our accountant is going to be doing their work as well. So no one’s going to have it completely together, but they can still help you. And I think one of the key pieces to transcending a lot of my own roadblocks to being more in contact with money was definitely getting help. For so long, I felt behind, I was embarrassed about the state of my money like, oh, I should have started being more proactive about retirement much earlier, or oh, I should know how much to set aside for taxes. And so there’s all these fears that come up right when when the thought of opening up my money to someone else. But I’ve had a really great experience, actually. You know, I found that people actually just want to help, you know, they know a lot about what you don’t know. So they’re happy to step in and say, oh, here’s what you can do. And I found that it was actually more accessible to get help. It was cheaper to get help than I imagined. I always thought like, oh, that’s going to be so expensive. I won’t be able to afford it. But I was like, oh, this actually makes a lot of sense. And paying my accountant, I actually get a lot more money back in taxes because she is working her magic.
Linzy [00:23:13] Yes.
April [00:23:14] She knows exactly what to do, what to deduct. You know, getting help has really helped take away some of that helplessness and hopelessness. So I’m going to meet my retirement goals. Actually, I am, and it’s going to take less money a month than I thought, right? And I know exactly how much to set aside for taxes. So that frees up some money, too. I’m not setting aside a much higher percentage. I’m being more specific. And then if I have a question pop up, I just send a quick email and I get an answer, right? I don’t feel like I’m holding it alone. There’s been a lot of value in pushing into some of those fears and welcoming a few people into my world. And now I feel like I have the sense of confidence and calm. So before there is always that worry in the background. Now it’s quiet.
Linzy [00:24:03] Right. And something I’m wondering April, as you’re talking, is if also if you had any shame about money before, if working with people has actually helped to reduce that shame rather than make it worse.
April [00:24:15] Absolutely. The fear was that I would feel more shame.
Linzy [00:24:19] Yeah.
April [00:24:19] But I feel a lot less actually, because the people that, you know, myself and my wife have worked with, you know, they were, oh, this is where you’re at, this is where you want to go, let me just fill in the gaps for you. It was very practical, right? They weren’t worrying about how I got here or why I didn’t save more earlier. They were just like, OK. It was like, we’re just going to help you meet your goals. That’s it. There was no judgment or shaming. It was a big relief. I was like, oh, I don’t have to hold this anymore, all by myself. And I know what I need to do now.
Linzy [00:24:55] Yeah. And I think that’s always the lie that shame tells us, right? Which is that it’s only us and that people are going to judge us. And I think financial professionals, mind you, finding the right one for you, because they’re not all going to be for you.
April [00:25:06] That’s exactly right.
Linzy [00:25:08] They’re not all going to talk in a way that you can understand, so you know, that’s part of it, right, is finding the right fit.
April [00:25:13] Yes. It’s just like therapy.
Linzy [00:25:16] It totally is. I was going to say.
April [00:25:16] Find the right fit. Do your interviewing and yeah.
Linzy [00:25:20] And even for myself, I found like sometimes I work with an accountant for a while and then I’m like, you’re not really meeting our needs anymore, and then you have to find somebody else. And just like finding therapists, sometimes it doesn’t happen, you know, the first or second try.
April [00:25:32] Exactly.
Linzy [00:25:33] Sometimes you do have to try somebody for a little bit and realize, no, we’re not really a fit. But, you know, thinking about those financial professionals experiences of us, I think they probably experience us very much in the way that we experience our counseling clients, which is like when somebody comes to us, we’re drawing on our skills, we’re not like judging or worrying about how they got here. You know, we’re just like listening to where they are and we’re trying to help them get to where they want to go.
April [00:25:57] That’s it. Exactly.
Linzy [00:25:59] There’s nothing more there.
April [00:26:00] That’s right. We’re we’re just joining, right? We’re creating a safe space where we’re guiding. And that’s exactly what they’re doing too.
Linzy [00:26:09] So April, if people want to hear more from you, where would be the best social media place for them to come, join you and get into your world?
April [00:26:18] Sure. So join me on Instagram @sensitivetherapist. I also have a Facebook group for highly sensitive therapists, which I think you’ll include in the show notes.
Linzy [00:26:26] Yes all these links will be in the show notes.
April [00:26:28] Perfect.
Linzy [00:26:29] And then is there any offer that you have, any kind of like freebie or anything that people could get from you?
April [00:26:35] Sure. Yeah. If you go to my website aprilsnowconsulting.com, you can sign up for my sustainable practice checklist that offers some tips for sensitive therapists to find more balance. Also, I am offering 20 percent off my sustainable schedule course, Burnout to Balanced. So you can use the code MONEY to get 20 percent off that.
Linzy [00:26:55] Nice. April, you had mentioned how having me in your world has helped you with money stuff, and I will say having you in my world has helped me immensely with, you know, sensitivity stuff. And like both identifying that I do have highly sensitive traits, which I didn’t know existed before I met you a few years ago, but also with taking that seriously in how I run my businesses.
April [00:27:14] Exactly.
Linzy [00:27:16] And set my schedule and accepting, you know, things about myself that maybe I didn’t want to accept before, you know, comparing myself to the wrong people before.
April [00:27:24] Exactly. That’s it.
Linzy [00:27:24] And so, people listening, if the term highly sensitive, if you don’t know what it means, if you have any curiosity, check out April because she has so many great resources for those of us who can’t see 30 clients a week, and can’t just go, go, go all the time. There’s lots of great ways to run your business as a sensitive person.
April [00:27:43] Absolutely, and make the money that you need to make.
Linzy [00:27:46] Absolutely, yes. Well, thank you so much, April for joining me today. It’s been so nice talking to you.
April [00:27:51] Thank you, Linzy. It’s been a pleasure.
Linzy [00:28:08] And that was my conversation with April Snow. I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope that her gentle, compassionate approach and her willingness to share her own experiences and journey, which is ongoing. I hope that that landed well and gave you some inspiration and ideas on how to start to work with your own relationship with money. I especially appreciated the piece of our conversation about shame and how, you know, so often we think that we’re the only one with this problem. But even when you start to work with financial professionals, you know they’ve seen these things 100 times. This is what they do, and they are there to support us in the same way we’re there to support our clients as health practitioners and therapists and coaches with openness and respect and curiosity and using all the tools they have available to us. And just, what a gift that is to give yourself that support by bringing the right people onto your team, both professionals and also having people in your world that you can just talk to about money to break down that silence that really feeds into shame. If you are interested in more money content from me, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We are posting free money mindset and practical content on there all the time. And if you would like more, check out my free workshop Setting Enough Aside for Taxes in Five Simple Steps. This is a very practical, step by step workshop. It comes with a tool, of course, because I’m all about making beautiful, accessible tools to give you the information that you need. Where I walk through the mindset and the practical pieces to getting taxes working for you. So if taxes are a stress point for you, if they’re a headache, if you’re coming into 2022 feeling like, oh God, I did it again, I’ve not saved enough for taxes for last year. This is an opportunity to sit down and set a new intention and build a new little system for yourself around taxes this year. So by the end of 2022, you can just thank yourself for this work that you’ve done at the beginning of the year, and it’s not as painful as you think. So check out that workshop. The Setting Aside Enough for Taxes. The link is in the show notes, and thank you so much for listening today to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast.