Jen Hemphill, host of “Her Dinero Matters” shares the 3 steps she took to change her money mindset and actionable tools you can do to do the same.
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Money Mindset Matters with Jen Hemphill from Her Dinero Matters Podcast
Jen Hemphill (00:04):
Who wakes up and says yes, I am excited to look at my bank account. No one? Well, I want you to feel like that.
Intro Going Forward Podcast
Angie Carrillo (00:49):
Thank you for being here on the podcast. Jen Hemphill is the founder and the podcaster behind Her Dinero matters the bilingual podcast for women who want to be Reinas of their money. And I love your podcast. Thank you so much for being here. I want you to tell us more about how you went from extreme frugalist to turn a Reina of your money. Reina of your Dinero. So please let us know your story.
Jen Hemphill (01:14):
Sure. Well first of all, thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure talking to you and someone that’s from Peru, a country that is dear and near to my heart. So in terms of my story, I was very, very frugal. I’m from Colombia, I was born in Bogota, Colombia and was there through my childhood. And I was living in Columbia and the times, and I’m aging myself, were economically and security-wise, it was very rough.
The Story Behind Jen’s Her Dinero Matters
Jen Hemphill (01:42):
This was in the late seventies, early eighties, where it was tough. It was tough times economically. And my father, even though both of my parents are first-generation college graduates.
My father had a hard time getting a job, a stable job. So money was very tough. So I had an upbringing where money was scarce. Not that we didn’t live in poverty, but we didn’t. It was just very rough. I saw my parents struggle with money. I saw a lot of arguments with money and it was a financial strain.
My dad had the entrepreneurial spirit. He, they started some businesses, but unfortunately, they failed. So there was debt. And then they made the tough decision to instead of stay in Colombia to move to the United States. So it was starting over again for my parents.
The Latin American Money Mindset
So that theme of not having money was always there and in Colombia, and I don’t know, maybe a Latin American thing, you always hear that you should eat everything on your plate.
We can’t waste anything because there’s a lot of people that are suffering. Right. So I had that. And so there was always, I had that in my mind. “No desperdicies porque hay gente que no tiene”.
Angie Carrillo (03:00):
Oh my god, they said the same thing for me when I was growing up.
Jen Hemphill (03:03):
Yeah, so that’s a part of it. So if you’re told we don’t have the money, we can’t afford this. Don’t let anything go to waste. I think that led to some frugal tendencies.
And then on top of that, there is, in Peru, this happens too. I lived there. So we used to keep the jars for the jelly and the jam. They made the best glasses, and those are the glasses that never broke. So you would buy nice glasses at the stores and they’re the first ones to break, but you reuse those jelly and jam jars, which they’re nice are actually really nice. In the States, they’re just, yeah, just simple. I’m playing.
But in Colombia and Peru, they make them really nice and they make some beautiful glasses and they just don’t tend to break easily. Or they’re not the first ones to break.
Latin American Money Mindset: When to stop extreme tendencies
So I’ve always had that. Just kind of instilled of, well, we can use this or when we go out to eat my kids to this day, call me the napkin thief. Because if we go out to eat like to Chipotle or a fast food, I tend to grab the napkins. Whatever comes out, comes out, and they feel like I take too many. And I’m like, well, I don’t throw them away because it’s just, you’re wasting.
So I had those tendencies, but I noticed later on that it went extreme where I started making my own detergent for clothing.
Jen Hemphill (04:24):
Right. I started doing those things, but what I realized too, was that making those things and just being to the point that I didn’t want to spend money, I was miserable and yes, I might have been saving money by creating my own detergent, but was I really keen on how much money that was?
And was I using that saved money for a purpose? Or was I just celebrating? Yay. I made my own detergent, and I saved some money. Where did that money go to? I don’t know.
The Mindset Behind Trade Time For Money?
Angie Carrillo (04:54):
Yeah, and I wanted to ask you, this is a perfect in for my next question is how do we trade money for time? Right? Because we might be saving money, but are we saving time?
And this is the best use of our time with these activities. So right now, do you have any questions that you asked yourself? When do you know that, Oh, am I being too frugal with, this? Is this worth really my time and my life being spent making the detergent or do I need to go back and examine my limiting beliefs and question myself if this is the best use of my time.
Jen Hemphill (05:34):
Right I love that question, just because you’re right. Some of those things take time. One things that I didn’t do is cutting coupons because I, one, I don’t have the patience and that took a lot of time.
And so I knew I had to look for me to answer that question is if it’s going to take a lot of time into something that doesn’t give you joy, then you can look elsewhere to save money.
So cutting coupons is not the only way to save money. And I was like, thankful for that. Cause I’m like, there is no way I have to clip the coupons, find the sale, match up the sale to the coupons. That was just too much head space and work for me. Right. Other people that sparks joy.
And I respect that. So I think is just asking yourself, is one, is this, I mean, you’re right.
Jen Hemphill (06:20):
How much time is this taking? And that time that has taken, how much is that you’re taking into whatever cutting coupons or making detergent or whatever that it is that you’re doing to be frugal. How much of a saving is that in comparison to the value of your time? Right?
So compare the value of your time. Whether if you’re an entrepreneur, how much would you be making during that time versus how much you’re saving? So compare that.
And also for some people that might not matter because it may be something that gives them joy. So you have to see it. Does it spark any joy? What, why are you doing this? Yes. To save some money, but it may be, it fulfills you in some way and that’s completely okay.
Angie Carrillo (07:03):
Yeah. That’s great. I totally can relate to that. We hired, for example, a cleaning lady, but my mom, she gets so much joy from cleaning and organizing. She is like Marie Kondo from Latin-America, honestly. And she does that in several areas of her life. So that brings her joy. Right? So sometimes she would do it because just because she wants to, not because she has to.
And I think that’s a great way that if something brings you joy, if this is an activity that brings you joy and happiness, then that’s worth it for you. Right. So with that, let me pass to my next question.
How Jen Started Changing Her Money Mindset
When did you start changing your mindset about money, changing your narrative, and the story behind it; When did you want it to quit and what did you do?
Jen Hemphill (07:54):
I started changing my mindset. It was 10 years into my marriage. So my husband’s in the military. He was deployed. We had just moved to a new place. And when we moved to a new place, I always check the finances.
And at that point I was actually studying to be an accredited financial counselor. People considered me to be very savvy with money. So friends and family members, I hadn’t started my business yet, but friends and family members were asking me for advice because they saw me savvy with money.
Change your mindset, move the money needle
When I started looking at our finances, I got hit hard. Meaning I looked at our finances and I was looking at where we started. So this was 10 years down the line. And we were still in debt. We were depleting our emergency accounts, and we had them borrowing from my husband’s TSP or the 401k.
Jen Hemphill (08:44):
So we were doing those things and not that we were in a bad financial spot, but we hadn’t really moved the needle. And I started questioning myself. Why? It’s 10 years. We’ve kind of done something, but we haven’t done what I thought we would have done at that period of time.
So as I started asking myself why and feeling a lot of shame and guilt, because I supposedly have it together, I realized, you know, you start questioning and asking yourself questions, the answers come. It’s interesting how that happens.
And when I started doing that, this book called the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. I swear he should pay me big money. As much as I mentioned this book by T. Harv Eker. Somehow it appeared, it didn’t appear at my doorstep or anything like that, but I don’t know if it got to recommend it. I have no, I don’t remember.
My Money Mindset Was The Missing Piece
Jen Hemphill (09:33):
And I actually resistance to reading that book because it had millionaire. And at that point, millionaire and rich just kind of gave me this icky feeling, but I decided, you know what, let me read it anyway. So I read it and it just blew my mind because it was really the missing piece. There was what I was lacking.
The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is all about your mindset. It’s all about how you grew up with money, what you saw, what you heard that really impacts how you see and how you manage your money. And that just, it made me realize I was still having all these thoughts running through my head all the time that we can’t afford this. We don’t have the money, even though financially, we were fine.
But because I was having these thoughts, the mind wants to protect you and you have a goal running through your mind?
Jen Hemphill (10:26):
So I was inadvertently doing things to slow down our progress, right? So therefore I was okay with going into our emergency funds. And, and even though I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, those thoughts won over, right? Uh, so that’s when I started shifting my mindset.
That’s when I started paying more attention to those thoughts that came to my mind and really starting to create better thoughts or shifting those thoughts into those ones that serve me.
Jen Hemphill (10:57):
It also made me realize how much of an impact our past has had our past money story. And with financial education, one doesn’t really exist. It does, it’s getting better, right? It’s in the US.
But talking about our mindset or our past money story or our money history, however you want to talk, say it that’s the two and two aren’t together, maybe in the entrepreneurial space or the self, you know, personal development space the mindsets talked about, but when it comes to putting it together with financial education, it’s not, and in my opinion, and in my experience, that’s a huge component of what you need to be financially successful, right?
The other pieces, the budgeting, and the paying bills, it’s a small part, but the mindset is the biggest component.
Latin American Money Mindset: Religion
Angie Carrillo (11:54):
Yes. And so glad you mentioned this, I relate to your story so much. It took me for me, you know, like to get rid of this millionaires or billionaires they are evil. It took me quite a while even to meet people like this, the billionaires of the world, for me to change my mindset that is with money that we can do the most good. And I think our money mindset that we had was also influenced a little bit by the religious backing that some of us could have, right?
So if you want to be good, then you have to be poor, but it’s actually for us to make the most good in the world. We have to be rich and we have to be able to manage a lot of money. So we can donate a lot of money because a lot of people that are in power that they could do that with their money. They don’t.
But we, if we come from these different backgrounds, we cannot forget where we come from. We cannot forget our people. And this has to be our main driver for us to make more money. At least it was what it really helped me in terms of making money. And I’ll be talking more about the story with Jen in her podcast. Her Dinero Matters, so please check it out.
Jen Hemphill (13:05):
Yes, I can’t wait for that. Now with that, you brought up a good point, our faith, our religion. And that was, I think also a big part, especially in Latin America. You know, there’s that saying? “Si Dios Quiere, Si Dios Va a Proveer”. Those things that God will provide.
And it was this big faith in a higher power to do those money things for you, which yes, I will have my own faith. And this is not for you that have your faith.
This is not disrespecting by any means, because I am, I have my faith, but it’s having faith as a part of it. But I think the higher power God, or who you believe in also is creating responsibility on you to do your part. Right. So I think that’s a huge part.
And I think in Latin American countries, I think we have yes. Faith, which is great, but we also have to take that responsibility as well on ourselves.
Angie Carrillo (14:04):
Yeah. So being sovereign of our own money, you know, like our own money kingdom. That’s great. So a few of the steps that help you in moving forward, the needle in taking that limiting money mindset and that old story and that cultural back story mindset that we all have to where you are now and having this very successful podcasts that have been featured in many media outlets and raising your voice, right?
Because just like you going through these steps, there were many other people that needed to follow and needed to be talking about money that need to learn about money. And we don’t learn money in school right. Or in university. So tell us a little bit of the steps that you took to take yourself. Out of that frugal mindset to a more abundant one.
The First Step: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Jen Hemphill (14:56):
Sure. So number one was that book, that was the first step, but it wasn’t like an overnight shift. Let me tell you that. Just because I read the book, I was cured. No, absolutely not. It took years because this was back in 2010. And I think, and it took about till 2014, 15 somewhere around there was everything like really started to progress, like fast.
Like we paid off our debt that we hadn’t been able to pay off. And like two years, so 10 years we were kind of paying it off a little bit, but, and then two years is when we completely paid it off.
So number one was that book and having that realization how much my past had an impact on the present and shifting that story, shifting that mindset, which takes time. And to this day, I still have to do because life happens and you have to really catch yourself, re reframe what you’re thinking. So that’s number one.
The Second Step: Pretend Money
Jen Hemphill (15:53):
Number two, the other thing that I think had a huge impact was I’m married. So it’s bringing in the partner, you know, bringing my husband into the picture.
And he’s always been very supportive and whatever I say goes in terms of, you know, with the finances, but something that we did together there, we did an exercise so that he was deployed and I was here state side.
And there is a, I don’t remember the exact name of the game, but it’s basically, it’s by Abraham Hicks. Who’s a really woo-woo person in the space. And the idea of this game is you have quote on quote, pretend money. So this is not real money.
The Exercise That Helped Jen’s Money Mindset
Jen Hemphill (16:31):
This is an exercise for 30 days and we did it together. And so DAY 1 You decide, this is how much money we’re going to spend. And we decided to split it 50 50, and we would log, we would write down and email each other. We were across the sea, like what we would spend that on. So I think we started with a hundred dollars. So he got to spend 50, I got to spend 50, again, this is pretend money, day two.
We increased that amount of money. Again, we split it 50 50, and we decided what we wanted to spend on. And we continuously increase it for the 30 days. Again, this is imaginary money. And you would think when you have an infinite amount of resource of money that is easy to spend, it was challenging to spend because what I realized I had stopped dreaming, I stopped, had stopped thinking big.
I was really focused on pay off the debt, now what, okay, we’ll put to savings. And it was still those frugal tendencies. Well, why can’t I do something else?
Jen Hemphill (17:26):
It allowed me one to think bigger to allow myself to enjoy life. And at the same time, I got to know my husband on another level, which was powerful because even though this was 10 years that we were married, there were stuff that I still didn’t know that he wanted, because maybe I can’t say he was afraid to voice it, but maybe he thought it wasn’t our reality. So it got us to dream and it was just a beautiful, impactful exercise that I encourage anyone to do.
Whether you do it by yourself, or you do it with your partner, again, it’s 30 days, you start off with a certain dollar amount in your currency, wherever you’re at, this is pretend money. And you add on every single day and you decide what you’re going to spend on. So it allows you to learn about yourself, your partner, and to really start dreaming.
The Third Step: Listen to yourself
Jen Hemphill (18:16):
And then the third part was just, which is not really mindset related, but really well, it is because what I noticed too, is that I was following the personal finance experts advice to a T, but I wasn’t listening to myself. So this goes to confidence.
And what I realized was that one, they were experts in finance, but the only expert in me and our situation was me and our family. Right. We knew what was best for us. So it was listening to that, your intuition and trusting yourself and being confident in yourself that you know what, you don’t have to follow all their guidance, pick what works best at this moment in time, and use that you don’t have to do all the things, do the things that serve you best at this moment in time.
Take control over your finances
Jen Hemphill (19:10):
So it was also really allowing myself to be more confident and taking control because really following the advice is not taking control. It’s doing some things, but taking control is when you’re fully confident. And you say, this is, I know this is what’s the best for me.
So I think those three things really allowed me to shift into being more confident to be becoming the Reina of my money and just really taking control, because it allowed me to see the money in a different light.
It allowed me to make better decisions because I saw things differently. It’s like when you’re writing a paper or doing something and you look at it and you see no errors, and then all of a sudden you take a break, you clear your mind and you look at it and you’re like, this doesn’t sound good. Or, Oh, this is an even better idea.
So it allows you to just doing those things, allows you to think more clearly and have more clarity of your money, which makes, allows you to really make a better plan for yourself because you don’t have to be an expert on all things finance. It’s just really allowing yourself to be confident in you and what you’re doing. And that opens to everything else.
Angie Carrillo (20:23):
I love that. I believe that “We Are Our Best Guide” and before listening to someone else, because sometimes this money advice is contradictory, right? And, and especially with investment advice, it could be contradictory.
There could be people that are pro-Bitcoin, there could be people that are against Bitcoin. So it really depends on you. And what do you believe that in this moment of time, you can do.
The difference between Belief vs. Fact
Jen Hemphill (20:52):
Right? And another thing to note, cause you said belief, right. And belief, and yes, you have to believe in yourself. But another thing to know is that when experts are out there saying, this is the best for you, whether I’m financed or anything, it’s their belief. But is it a fact?
So you have to also distinguish between belief and a fact, because sometimes we, we believe in things like we can’t believe in the fears, but it’s that fear really a fact, right? So you have to think about that.
Latin American Money Mindset: Beware of experts own agenda
And as well as the experts, they have their own beliefs, is that your belief? And sometimes it’s just, they’re just pushing their own agenda. Let’s just, let’s just be real. But you have to distinguish between all that to say, distinguish between a belief and a fact.
Angie Carrillo (21:42):
That’s beautiful. And I think sometimes we take those beliefs of, we think that people know best than us. So especially with money mindset, if you’re not used to managing your own money, but then you see the reality and the reality is the experts had that belief especially with financial investment, I don’t think it’s anything quite black or white.
So for my last question, is there are two moments in your life, right? The moment that you are born, and the moment that you discover, why what’s your current, why? What’s your current purpose? And what motivates you to wake up every day?
Jen’s Why Behind Changing Her Money Mindset
Jen Hemphill (22:24):
My current why are my two boys, I’ve got teens and my husband. I mean, I include him on that just because that definitely seeing my husband served in the military. Seeing my husband, all the sacrifices that he has made, uh, definitely really pushes me to be a better person to really step up.
And then knowing that I have two boys that are looking to me and my husband, for examples, I strive to be the best human being that I can be. Uh, so that’s, that really pushes me to get up in the morning and keep going.
Jen Hemphill (22:58):
But also the people I serve, that’s another portion of my why, because I know my podcast and my work is more catered to the Latin X community or the Latinas. And I know there’s such a huge need and knowing that, especially hearing the feedback that I get from them, and the impact that it’s making, it keeps me going, right.
If that would pay the bills that I wouldn’t not charge for anything, but the feedback and testimonials alone, uh, don’t do it unfortunately. But that really drives me as well, just because sometimes with a podcast or with work, what I do, especially the podcast, because I’m talking to the microphone, no one’s talking back necessarily to me, unless I get the emails and messages, but you just don’t know isn’t an impact.
So when you hear the impact, it has made that and then saying, where were you five years ago or whatever that pushes me to keep doing what I’m doing, just because someone is needing this.
A quick note for podcasters
Angie Carrillo (23:59):
That’s amazing. And thank you so much for being an inspiration also for other podcasters now that you mentioned about the impact that your work is having. It reminded me that you believe that, you know, like podcasts shouldn’t be measured only by downloads.
And that was another great message that I wanted to share with our fellow podcasters that are listening because I believe that this is so true. It’s like if you’re measuring that impact of your podcast, just by downloads, you’re missing out on the one person that you might be changing their lives.
Jen Hemphill (24:33):
Absolutely. I can’t agree more. I just, because I have, at one time, Her Money Matters, which was more, the audience was broader. And then on niche down to Her Dinero Matters and naturally the downloads were going to go down. But it opened up so many opportunities.
So you just don’t know, you don’t know who’s listening. Just the podcast, even when it was Her Money Matters, has opened up so many opportunities. And I don’t have a million downloads per episode per month, but yet I’m still fortunately and gratefully thriving in my business and it’s not a million downloads a month.
So I think it’s more of your message and staying true to yourself and creating really good content that you know is going to resonate for people.
Angie Carrillo (25:22):
That’s beautiful. Thank you so much, Jen, for being here.
Jen Hemphill (25:26):
Thank you so much, Angie, for having me and I’m looking forward to sharing your story on Her Dinero Matters.
Angie Carrillo (25:33):
Thank you so much for listening to another episode of the Going Forward Podcast. I hope that you applied these bits of information, wisdom, pep talks, and actionable tools for you to move your business forward until next time.
To read Jen’s book: Jen Hemphill
To connect with Jen, please go: www.jenhemphill.com
And check out Her Dinero Matters episode with Angie: www.jenhemphill.com/237