Tawnya Schultz is a financial life coach based in Tahoe. She shares how her experience with paying off her own debt inspired her to give back to others and, and the advice she would give to 20-somethings on their financial planning journey.
Connect with Tawnya, aka the Money Life Coach, here:
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ILV: [00:00:00] Well, good evening, Tawnya. Welcome to money memories. How are you doing?
[00:00:04] Tawnya: [00:00:04] I’m good. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:06]ILV: [00:00:06] Let’s get started! Can you tell the listeners a little bit about how you grew up.
[00:00:11] Tawnya: [00:00:11] Yeah. So I grew up in Southern California. My sister and I always had pretty much everything we needed. It was just like, we always knew that we lived a little bit more like low income, I will say but it was good. Like I had such a fun childhood growing up and I have really fun memories overall is like being a kid.
[00:00:32]ILV: [00:00:32] Were there any specific financial lessons, or habits that you picked up from your parents?
[00:00:37]Tawnya: [00:00:37] Definitely as a kid, I noticed my parents thought about money a lot. So money was always something I knew was like a sticking point for was always a touchy subject for me because of how much I grew up around money. You know, I noticed my family, my mom and dad didn’t communicate a lot or have a budget together on money. They were always like, why did you spend this? And, my dad would come home with a new car. That’s actually one of my first memories I have is my dad coming home with a new car. Didn’t ask my mom about it.
[00:01:14] And it was just like this huge deal, like about him bringing home a new car. So yeah, it was, it was kind of traumatizing and that way, but as I grew older, you know, I had that scarcity mindset around money because of it, I felt like there was never enough money. Money was hard to make, and it was always going to be like a struggle in some way.
[00:01:35] And that’s really kind of what led me on this journey to be a coach in the end right now.
[00:01:40] ILV: [00:01:40] Wow. Scarcity mindset is definitely something we’ve touched on this show before. So was the car, was that your earliest or most impactful money memory?
[00:01:49] Tawnya: [00:01:49] I will definitely say, like, that’s one of my first memories or the thing that I can think of.
[00:01:53] That’s like, one of the most traumatic, I guess, and yeah, I would, I mean, I can picture just like where I was at my house I was outside and my dad’s like all excited that he comes home with this new van or whatever it was. And he thought my mom was going to be happy too. And we’re like a new car and she’s like, “What did you do?”
[00:02:14] Like we didn’t, what do you mean? You bought a new car? We didn’t discuss this. And it was like this fight in front of our house and all the neighbors are like, okay. My sister and I are just like, “Someone’s in trouble!” you know, like, and it was often that that would happen that my dad would come home with something, or my mom would kind of hide stuff from him when she would spend money.
[00:02:38] And they were definitely not on the same page a lot when it came to money. I do have positive memories. I do always remember wanting to make money as a kid. So my sister and I were like the door to door, like anything we made at our house. We were like door to door salesman. Like from the time we could go ring the doorbell, we were in our neighborhood selling stuff and that was like really fun just in our neighborhood being little entrepreneurs.
[00:03:04] ILV: [00:03:04] Nice. So I see that thread now with entrepreneurship, I’m just wondering, observing that dynamic, you know, in your household, how did that influence you, when you started making your own finances? Did you take any like lessons from what you saw growing up?
[00:03:19] Tawnya: [00:03:19] Yeah, I think I was very much like. I need to be organized with money and have my finances in order personally, I, I had a boyfriend at a young age and, you know, it’s like, well, don’t merge your finances until you’re actually like married or whatever.
[00:03:36] And I knew like that was a thing, but it’s still like once you start living with somebody and it’s also somebody you’re in a relationship with. It’s hard not to have like financial kind of struggles in that way. And even my fiancé who I’m with now, we’ve been together for almost seven years. But, you know, in the beginning he made really good money when him and I were first together.
[00:03:59] And that’s what sent me on this journey. The last several years was because I instantly felt like if I don’t have my own finances in order, if I don’t make my own money, Then I’m relying on him and if anything goes wrong, like, you know, so it is coming from that place of like scarcity and lack, but it just, it actually field need to want to get my stuff really in order and organized.
[00:04:20] ILV: [00:04:20] Nice. That’s awesome. Yeah. can you talk more about, what motivated you or what pushed you to start your, own personal finance journey?
[00:04:28] Tawnya: [00:04:28] Yeah. Like I said, I was always like interested in making my own money and really being, you know, successful in that way. I was inspired by a lot of people.
[00:04:37] I was around. So when my boyfriend at the time now fiancé started dating, I was, I moved down, from Tahoe to Marin, which, as we all know, Marin in San Francisco, which is one of the most, most expensive places to live in the United States. So. The cost of living is super high and all that. And I was just like, I was inspired by all these people were like living in these like multimillion dollar houses and making like over multiple six figures.
[00:05:07] And I was like, okay, I need to figure this out. I’m doing something wrong. what am I doing wrong here? I always just, you know, that hourly about money. Like what do I need to make an hour? And I didn’t think the bigger picture and long-term. So it really got me thinking , what do I want long-term for money and how can I get out of debt?
[00:05:27] Cause I really felt like debt was holding me back. I had this feeling for many years that until I get out of debt, then I wouldn’t be able to get ahead to where I wanted to be, which proved to be true.
[00:05:41] ILV: [00:05:41] Yeah. and can you talk a little bit more about your journey to get out of debt and kind of when, when the “aha” moment was for you
[00:05:48] Tawnya: [00:05:48] Yeah, I guess I just hit a point, when I was in this relationship that I was like, You know, if anything goes wrong, I don’t have a savings. I don’t have anything like. To move out on my own. I, I was just like, you know, I’m in my early thirties, it’s kind of embarrassing. Like basically, like I’m embarrassed by this.
[00:06:13] Like, what am I doing? So I just started educating myself, anything I could get my hands on. I was like, I need to educate me. Well, cause it’s things that we should have learned in school. And I feel like that’s where the embarrassment was coming from.
[00:06:26]And through that, I found a lot of podcasts, including Dave Ramsey’s, who I got really inspired by to do his baby steps plan and really focus on just paying off my debt.
[00:06:37] Because before that, I feel like this is what a lot of people do is they try to like, pay off debt, save for retirement, save for a trip. They’re trying to do too many things at once. And I’m like, you know what? I’m just going to focus on this one thing for a year and pay it off. And that’s really what set in emotion to be able to pay off my debt. It really helped me pay it off quickly and now got inspired to coach others and help others do the same. Cause it’s just like this amazing feeling once it’s gone.
[00:07:08] ILV: [00:07:08] Yeah. No, that’s, that’s amazing. And speaking of your financial coaching practice, we had a number of listener letters that people submitted on Instagram. So thank you guys for submitting those. And one of the questions that came up was, what inspired you? What prompted you to become a financial coach?
[00:07:25] Tawnya: [00:07:25] Yeah, the main thing was, you know, I’m a, I have a writing background, so my career was in copywriting, journalism and all that. And when I got out of debt is what inspired me to become a coach, because I was like, you know, this is information that we should be learning in school that people don’t know, or they they’re feeling like.
[00:07:48] They should know this, and I want to help them. So that’s what really my journey through paying off debt is what really got me inspired to become a coach.
[00:07:57] ILV: [00:07:57] That’s awesome. And another question that came in was what is a favorite part of your job?
[00:08:01] Tawnya: [00:08:01] So there’s a lot. When something sticks for somebody. So when they’ve been, you know, struggling with something, so I’ve had people take my courses live or work with me for a while and you know, sometimes it takes a little bit.
[00:08:15] And then once it kind of clicks for somebody. Yeah. And they start sharing things with me, like, you know, I just paid it off my last debt or my budget’s like perfect this month. Like, I didn’t have one thing that like messed me up. And just the feeling that a sense of empowerment and excitement that I felt.
[00:08:34] That’s like when it’s, when I feel like super happy about what I’m doing and that I’m making a small difference in the world.
[00:08:42] ILV: [00:08:42] Yeah, absolutely. I’m wondering what’s the, what’s the been the most unexpected part of being a financial coach?
[00:08:49] Tawnya: [00:08:49] well, I guess some people say they want help, but then they really, they really want you to do it for them. Like as a coach, they think a coach is really there to support you, but they’re not there to do the work for you. So it’s, and sometimes I want to do the work for people. Cause I’m like, this is what you do.
[00:09:05] And like, this is how you do it, but you have to realize like you give people the tools as a coach and then you let them kind of figure it out on their own. And everybody has a different journey. Everybody has a different background with money. And so it’s like, you give them the information and do what you can, and then you have to let them be able to like put it in place for them. I know people have very different ideas about managing their money. Some are very, like, “I want to figure it out myself.” Some are like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. I’m just going to pay someone else to do it,” you know.
[00:09:32] ILV: [00:09:32] What types of people do you see succeed with the, with like financial coaching?
[00:09:37] Tawnya: [00:09:37] The people that succeed who are really open to trying something different what they’ve been doing, isn’t working. And they know that, and they really want somebody who’s been there. Who’s been through it and understands. And which is what I offer people, because almost everybody I’ve worked with is I’ve been in that position before.
[00:09:56] And so you can really speak to somebody like. This is what you do in this situation. And you just really support people in that way. So I feel like working anyone who’s been like, I need somebody who’s been able to. Pay off debt or save or whatever your goal is, work with somebody who’s been there and gone through it and who can help guide you.
[00:10:14] ILV: [00:10:14] Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a great insider tip guys that you’re getting on Money Memories, nowhere else. And the last question that someone submitted was what types of financial, things should you set in motion in your twenties or early twenties in order to have success, later in life financially?
[00:10:32]Tawnya: [00:10:32] Well, I think my biggest money mistake that I didn’t do, my twenties was not investing early enough, like not getting my retirement started just because of what I know now with compound interest and even putting a few hundred dollars away in a four in a 401k, if it’s available to you or your own personal IRA or Roth. Not getting that started can literally lose you hundreds of, if not a million dollars or more over the lifetime of over your lifetime. So, that is probably the best, the biggest thing. And also like student loans in your twenties are so out of hand, really thinking through what do I need to take and can I really just like work as much as I can in my twenties when I don’t have a family yet, or don’t have kids when I can like, just really get some money stuff organized for myself and set into motion early on.
[00:11:25] ILV: [00:11:25] Yeah, absolutely. I think those are two great tips. and I think especially the one about retirement, you know, so many people are like, why would I put that money away now? I don’t need it for later, I need it now. I might not even make it that far.
[00:11:39] Tawnya: [00:11:39] Just put it away. Like future, you will. Thank you. The government takes taxes, get taken out first. Like, why don’t we pair ourselves first? Even if it’s a couple of hundred bucks, like I said, it doesn’t have to be like, thousands of dollars a month, but you just get in that habit of saving just even a little bit.
[00:11:56] It can really just help you immensely when you’re retiring.
[00:12:00] ILV: [00:12:00] Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s great advice, for people who are interested in learning more about your course, can you tell listeners more about, you know, what you offer, where they can connect with you and just give us an overview?
[00:12:11]Tawnya: [00:12:11] Yeah, I am at themoneylifecoach.com, pretty easy URL.
[00:12:15] And you can find anything about me there. I’m also at Tawnya Schultz on Instagram and I have, a course, so I have a digital course you can taken any time. That’s launching early November and you’ll be able to have access for that for life. There’s a discount online right now. If you go to themoneylifecoach.com, you’ll find it under my courses.
[00:12:37] And I do also have one on one coaching sessions, group coaching sessions, and all that. If you want to work one on one with me.
[00:12:44]ILV: [00:12:44] Well, Tawnya, thank you so much for sharing your story and, and your inspiration for the listeners. I love what you’re doing. I think, especially as people approach money management. They should be aware that there’s many options available to them, and that they don’t necessarily have to do it on their own and that it is okay to ask for help. So, really appreciate you sharing your story today.
[00:13:05] Tawnya: [00:13:05] Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to share this with the world, for sure.
[00:13:10] Coaching is the best.
[00:13:13] ILV: [00:13:13] Have a good evening.
[00:13:14] Tawnya: [00:13:14] Thank you, you too.