Money can be such an emotional topic. And because our emotions can really influence our thinking and our actions, it’s important to take a look at old money wounds and how you might have been impacted by money emotionally in the past.
Maybe you didn’t have the ‘right’ clothes, because they were out of reach for your family, and that left its mark on you in middle school. Or maybe someone in your family uses money to try and get you to do what they want you to do and it makes you feel rebellious. Or maybe someone withheld money from you or didn’t pay for something and it made you feel unloved. Any of these kinds of situations can color your thoughts about money and cause you to react emotionally to it.
So today I’m talking with Brittni Sennett…
…a professional financial planner who helps women take a whole-self approach to improving their financial lives. Brittni isn’t your typical buttoned up financial planner and her clients aren’t your typical already wealthy investors. She makes it a point to help women reduce their overwhelm and increase their confidence around money. And she’s here today to talk to us about how our painful experiences with money in the past might be holding us back. And how we can heal from them and grow both as people and as managers of our own finances.
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Brittni, it is so great to have you here. Thanks for being here. So something I’ve heard you talk about in your Instagram feed, are money wounds and how they can both hold us back and be a potential source of growth. Can you tell us what is a money wound?
Yeah. Thank you for the question. You know, money wounds are really just like any other shadow area that we might have. I thing in our past that might be holding us back from reaching our full potential. And money wounds are either old habits or old stories that again were created in our past and are manifesting in our modern life. And perhaps they’re showing up has anxiety. They could be showing up as impulsive behaviors. They could be showing up in a lack mindset that you might around what you feel your worth.
In general, a money wound comes from or stems from a story or experience in our past that’s still manifesting in some way in our current reality. And if we’re not paying attention to it or are aware of it, we might not really be realizing how it could really be impacting us every day and then compounding and compounding and compounding over the years.
So you had an experience with a parking ticket lately that triggered old money wounds of yours. What was that experience? And yeah, just kind of help us understand the concept through that story, which I think is such a good way to learn.
It’s funny because a manifestation practice that I use a lot in my personal life talks a lot about healing your money wounds and opening up these portals to new money that’s coming your way. And often the money wounds that we have are blocking this access to wealth or abundance. And so I’ve heard stories of other women kind of share like, “Oh, once I unblocked this wound money came my way.” So this story is a little bit about doing some personal unblocking and then I don’t want to spoil it, but some money showing up.
So I was in Chinatown, I live in Philadelphia. And I went out with some friends and I found a parking spot, just a block away from the dim sum place. We were going to eat dinner and we were pumped. We’re going out Saturday night, had dinner, came back to my parking spot and I had a $76 parking ticket on my windshield.
And instantly my stomach kind of hurts. Like I felt like a tenseness in my stomach, my breath kind of got short. And instantly the story in my mind was, “How could you be this stupid? You just wasted $76. Why didn’t you check? How could you be this dumb?” Like you know, the mind kind of just started to spiral from there. “There are so many things you could have spent $76 on. You’re being so wasteful. How could you do this?” The stories just kind of kept compiling, compiling.
And I had to pause and I was like, “Wait a second. I’m lucky to be in a position where I can afford a $76 parking ticket. It’s not how I want to spend $76 on a Saturday night, but I can make this happen and it’s not going to impact me or my family.” And I was like, “You know what, kind of funny thing–now I know where not to park in Chinatown. Thank you, Philadelphia parking authority for teaching me a lesson about where not to park.”
$76 lesson, thank you.
$76 Lesson! Mind you, if I had parked it an expired meter, that ticket’s only $36. But they got me for whatever the sign was that made it $76. Which also like, you know, kind of raised the intensity of my feelings about it. Cause it was like, ugh.
So the next day I received a letter in the mail from a health insurance company that I had health insurance through last year. And it was a health insurance rebate check for $76 and 55 cents. The most random amount of money to be sent to me. I wasn’t expecting this check. But I kind of took it as a sign from the universe. A little woo here as kind of a job well done in terms of just like me owning my money wound. And being like, whoa, like the story that I’m telling in my mind right now is not real. It’s not reality. It’s grounded in some behaviors in the past or maybe what someone used to say to me in the past. But it’s not real now. And it’s not defining who I am now in my actions now.
And I kind of did my little part to heal that wound. Then bam, I made the 55 cents on those money wounds with this rebate check that I was completely not expecting that came literally in the mail the next day. You know, maybe next time it will be like a $7,000 check or something. It might mean I have to do a $7,000 money wounds check or something, where I have to lose the money to get it. I’m not sure how it’s all gonna play out.
But even just the littlest ways that these stories kind of creep up in our minds, it can kind of take ownership over who we are in the moment and how we see ourselves in the world can I think really impact our worth and how we might be attracting this good energy. And money is a form of energy, right? So it flows and we might be blocking or opening up our access to the energy based on our past wounds and stories that we’re still carrying with us.
You have an emotional story of what inspired you to become a financial planner. Would you share that with us?
Sure. Goodness. So, 10 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. A very, very aggressive form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. The prognosis is not a super favorable one. And actually within 18 months of that diagnosis, less than 18 months, actually in July of 2011, she passed away. And my mom received her cancer diagnosis two months after losing her job. So she lost her job in January 2010, got diagnosed with cancer in March of 2010, and then passed away in July of 2011.
I was 25 at the time she passed away, my sister was 23. And my mom didn’t have any personal life insurance on herself. She only had benefits through work. So when she lost her job, she lost those benefits. And then she became instantly uninsurable with the diagnosis of cancer. So we knew she was going to die. She had nothing in place, to carry on what she was hoping to be a part of for me and my sister.
And on top of that, she really just hadn’t really done a lot of financial planning for herself. She was 46, I think at the time of her diagnosis, 48 when she passed away. And she was a single mom who I think was just doing what she needed to do to take care of me and my sister, and just kind of always thought that she would get to it later. And then later kind of caught up to her.
You know, when mom passed away in July of 2011, literally I bought my first house in July, July 1st. My 25th birthday was July 18th and she passed away, I believe it was July 30th. And I split the funeral bill with my grandmother and my uncles. I literally paid for the food at the wake. And I remember how much it was and I was like, everyone’s eating a piece of chicken at this wake ’cause I paid for it.
From that point on, I personally sought out a personal financial planner to start working with
Even though I was only 25 at that time. Because I wanted to make sure that I was creating a different future for myself and my family. And not that I didn’t have a great childhood with my mother, but I just wanted to make sure that I was putting the right pieces in place to protect my family and take care of everyone. And just do that next step that I know my mom had intentions to do, but just didn’t. Maybe she just didn’t find the right partner to help her with that, or really get connected to the right advisor that she trusted.
And so that’s how my financial planning journey started. I actually started working with a financial planner in my late twenties. Actually five years ago, I started talking to that financial planner about a career in financial planning because I just have always kind of been drawn to personal finance and I’ve always been the geek with like the spreadsheet that’s like managing my cashflow and stuff. Then actually last year during the pandemic, I quit my job ” of on a whim, but it had been a plan of mine for many, many years because my job just wasn’t serving me anymore. I literally put in my two weeks notice Kate on March 2nd, I think March 13th was my last day. And that was many people’s last day in the office in 2020.
My financial planner called me in about April or May and he was just wanting to check in
And I was like, “Hey, I think now it’s time to revisit the conversation of me becoming a planner.” If not now, when am I going to do this? And I took a lot of that time off of work to do a lot of reflection on my own money wounds and my own stories.
‘Cause I had a lot of hesitation around, what does it mean for me to become a financial planner? Like are my friends going to hate me? Are people going to think I’m a bad person because I’m like talking about money? Can I be in a job that both serves people and takes care of me and my family financially? You know, I was working through a lot of those stories in my head where there was a lot of incongruences or just shadows that were kind of holding me back.
So anyway, I’m sorry, fast forward to where I am today. I’m now, you know, building my financial planning practice, serving women, minorities, and LGBTQ populations in the space of financial planning. Because my mom didn’t have the support she needed to take care of herself and me and my sister to the extent that I know she would’ve liked. And I wanna make sure that I create a safe and trusting space for people to build their financial plan and be on the road to living the life that they know is possible for them and their families.
So yeah, that’s my story where I’m at. And timing has a really crazy way of working itself out. I wouldn’t be here without going through what I went through with my mother. And while I miss her dearly, I’m also very grateful for the gift that she left me because I’m now helping a lot of people with my work every day.
Yeah. Oh man. Well, first of all, thank you for sharing your story with us. I really appreciate it. And I know that money is an emotional topic and I think it’s helpful to hear these real instances of how even a tough, tough, emotional time can have all kinds of impacts on our money lives. Including ones that are powerfully positive.
So when we notice that we are getting triggered by something in our past, some kind of money wound. That nasty voice is popping up. Whether we got the parking ticket or something else happened. For listeners who are listening, the next time this happens and they notice that they’re having an intense, emotional reaction to something related to money, what do we do? How can we start to heal that wound?
Really good question. And I think it might be similar to anytime we’re having an emotional reaction that just seems out of place for what’s going on in our reality. For me, I can tell you that I have to stop and I have to breathe. Breath for me is always a very grounding experience, right? It helps ground me and my present moment.
And for me in the experience, kind of tracing back through the ticket experience, my mind was looping. And so I had to take a breath. I had to notice the loops in my mind and I literally have to tell them to stop. I’m like stop the loop, breathe. Is how I’m feeling an actual reflection of the present moment, or is this emotional reaction somehow tied to something in the past? Is it not related to what’s really going on right now is the first question I asked myself.
And it might be really hard to distinguish between the two, right? Especially if this is a new practice
But for me, those loops of “I could have been spending my money more wisely” or “how dare you like waste money in that way.” It was really tied. Those are stories that are tied to how I grew up with my mom and how my mom grew up in her family. She grew up, very poor with many brothers. She was the only girl. And you know, her stories carried over into my stories as a child, even if we didn’t live the same exact experience. And so that’s kind of the process I went to.
So you’re starting to feel triggered. You’re maybe feeling anxious or for me, my stomach hurts and my breathing becomes cutoff. And then the mind starts looping. So for me, it’s about regaining control of my breath. Telling my mind to stop the loop and then reflect, is this feeling grounded in the present or the past? And then for me, from that point, I was like, it’s clearly grounded in the past. So what’s really true in the present moment? The truth in the present moment was that I can afford this ticket. I’m fine. You know, like I’m not hurt by this ticket. And now I know where I shouldn’t be parking in Chinatown if I don’t want to get a ticket.
And so for me that I think the last thing, even though it was a little silly, like finding gratitude in the pain of that moment, I think is also an important part to kind of like heal the wound. Because we need to replace the negative mental loop with a positive one to begin to create a new groove in our brain to heal the wound and create a new story for ourselves to then become our lived in real reality. If that makes sense.
Totally makes sense. For folks who are loving what you’re saying, where can they connect with you?
Yes, love it. So I’m actively inactive on Instagram. But you can find me @hellobritto on Instagram. I have resources to get in contact with me either through email or you can schedule an intro money session with me. A 30 minute session, there’s no obligation. It’s totally free just to learn a little bit more about the work that I do. Hear about your stories, what’s going on in your life, and share about how we might be able to work together. So that would be my recommendation. Follow me on Instagram and schedule time with me through my link so we can meet, get to know each other and see how I might be able to help you.
Daily Tiny Assignment
I loved what Brittni said about how she pulled herself back from that emotional brink after the parking ticket. And that was asking herself this question, is this related to my past or does it reflect my current reality?
Trying to figure out if you’re really being triggered about something that you’re scared about in this present moment, or if you’re reacting to something as if you were still living in the past. And perhaps a different financial reality will help you kind of see if you’re dealing with money wounds or if you’ve really got a pressing issue on your hand that you just need to take care of. Again, that compound question is, is this related to my present moment or is it more pertinent to my past?