Podcast Episode - What Is Financial Abuse

Family, Financial Independence, Financial Security, Investing, Saving

January 03, 2019

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Suze delves into a form of abuse that often goes unnoticed: financial abuse.

Podcast Transcript:

The other day I had the great good fortune to be able to sit down one on one with seven women who survived abusive relationships. And what was so fascinating to me about these interviews that went on for about 45 minutes to one hour each, was that almost every single one of these women got into an abusive relationship the exact same way. They all started identically. They started with her wanting to be loved, her wanting to have attention, and this man who showed up and was so nice to her, and lavished her with gifts and took her out to eat and did all of these things, and then as soon as she moved in with him, everything started to change. First thing that started to happen to each one of these women, is that the man she was living with started to cut her off from all of her friends as well as her family. He did not want her to have any contact with them whatsoever. So she really had nobody that she could talk to about what was going on in her life. And what was so really amazing to me, is that they were able to recognize physical abuse. Oh the they were able to recognize emotional and verbal abuse and psychological abuse, but none of them were able to recognize that they were also all in a financially abusive relationship. And I have to tell you, I was shocked at that. Now these women were listening to each of them being interviewed by me. And one by one during these sessions, they all started to realize that oh my God, I was also financially abused. And when I say financially abused, here's what I mean. They would go out and they would work. And they would make all of this money. And they would have to come home and give all this money to their spouse or to their boyfriend. They were allowed to spend any of it. They weren't allowed to ask for it. They could only get it if he gave it to them, or gave them permission to spend it. They weren't allowed to do anything. Many of these women entered these relationships owning a home, having a career, having money. All of them usually ended up supporting the man that they were living with, because little by little he either showed them that he had a gambling problem, a drug problem or whatever it may happen to be. He would steal their credit cards, ruin their credit, all kinds of things like that. During these interviews, because many of these women stayed for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years. I would ask them, why did you stay so long? What allowed you to stay in such an abusive relationship? And they all would say to me, Suze, I really thought I could change him. Suze, I thought that's what love was. Now for somebody like me, that was so hard for me to understand. I just didn't get it. But each one of them had the exact same story. What was also so sad is their denial of financial abuse, allowed them to get into a situation where they finally decided that it was time that they had to leave. They wanted to leave. Most of them left with a child in their arm, the clothes on their back, and getting into some taxi where they went to a friend's house, where their friend had to pay the taxi bill, because they left in such a hurry, they left without their license, without their passport, without anything, and none of them left with one penny to their name. But yet, none of these women thought that they were in a financially abusive relationship. What's very interesting as well is that I understand very, very well when we women are in abusive relationships, and one of the reasons that they can't leave is because they don't have the money to leave. So it's important women, that you never allow yourselves to get into a situation where you don't have the money to leave if you need to. So today's podcast is going to be different. I want to interview one of these women, and I want you to hear her story in her own words. Just in case anybody out there happens to be in a situation that's either similar to this woman, or can identify with this woman, or you know friends that are in this situation. It is important at this point in time that we all help one another, and we stand up for one another. And that we don't just close our eyes to all the abuse on every level that happens to be going on with the people that we may know. So this podcast is dedicated to one of the most courageous women I have ever met in my entire life. So Sarah, this is obviously a very, very heavy topic. Um, but I think it's such an important one, because I think so many women are in financially abusive relationships, and they don't have a clue. And even if they're not in a relationship, it's possible that they're being financially abusive to themselves. So I really think we need to deal with this issue. Has anybody written in and asked questions about this? We have a lot of questions about this. Wait, wait before you go there, tell everybody what they can do so that they can write in so that maybe their question can be selected to be on air with us. Listen, there's two ways that you can get your question on air with us. One, you can email us at asksuzepodcast@gmail.com. I checked the email box many times during the day. You can also go to at Suze Orman on Facebook and post a note to Suze. We see them every day. We're on Facebook, we're super active and we would love to answer your questions on the podcast. Now, remember when you send in an email, Sarah chooses them. So not every email obviously gets answered. So wright, good questions that relate to everybody so you can be on the air and by the way, not just with email. Maybe we choose you and then you call her and then we talk with you. So, Sarah, what do you got? Let me ask you a question for Suze on financial abuse. You know, I have a friend who would be getting promotions kind of in the take off of her career, getting promotions. She has a long-term boyfriend. And every time she got a promotion, it meant more money. And you know, the one person that wasn't happy for her was her boyfriend. And I just wonder is that a form of financial abuse? Because she was always afraid. It's not really a form of financial abuse because it didn't keep her, from what I'm gathering, getting promotions. She didn't hold herself back because of his fear. But what it had to do with is, again, he was just absolute insecure. The more money that she made, the less he felt he was worthy. I still think to this day, I don't care what anybody says, that if you're in a relationship with a man and you make more money than he does, he may pretend that it's okay, but he still feels like he is a financial failure. And he goes out to start doing certain things that he shouldn't be doing with money, and the cycle goes on. So that's not exactly financial abuse. It would be abusive if his fear and his anger kept her back and she allowed that to happen. Does that make sense Sarah? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. But let's go to our questions that I pulled from our Ask Suze Podcast Gmail account. This first one's from Julia. She says my boyfriend takes over all the money as soon as I earn it. He will not let me have any control over it or even know where it's kept. I don't even know what I can do to help myself. Can you help me? Julia, you are in an abusive financial relationship because what are you talking about that he will not even allow you to see it and takes over and everything like that? It is your money. And so what you can do to help yourself is to right here and right now stop handing over the money to him. There is nothing stopping you from when you're getting paid to even ask your HR people or whoever is giving you your paycheck to automatically deposited into your own savings account. And you do not have to let him know where that savings account is or that checking account is. You don't have to have those statements go to your house. Maybe you have them go to your mother's house or a friend's house or to a post office box or whatever it may be if your bank allows that to happen. But it is essential that you have control over your own money. And if he blows up at that, that is a key indicator that you are in a relationship that you should not be in. But at least you'll have the money to leave it. So that is the first step that I would do if I were you. That's great advice Suze, let me ask you a question for Amy. Do you think if I hide money from my spouse that I'm being deceitful and acting like I don't trust him? I just think we don't need to share everything. Don't you agree? His name is on all my accounts. Is that a mistake? If his name is on all of your accounts, then I think what Amy here is saying to us, see I wish all these people were calling us so that we could get this with them. Right but does that mean Sarah that she is hiding money like in a drawer or somewhere from him that he doesn't know she has? Do you think that's what she means? She could mean that, she could also mean you know she gets some cash and she keeps a little stockpile, and not have him know exactly how she's spending it. That's essentially what I'm thinking there. Now if that's true, do I think that it's okay? That that's what she's doing? Oh you betcha I think it's okay. Because there's obviously a reason why she is doing that, that inner voice that I talked about in previous podcasts that keep you safe and sound that says you need to do this no matter what everybody else is telling you to do? Her voice is telling her Sarah that she needs to hide money and she needs to have money in her own name, and where it is okay. Because she doesn't feel safe sharing everything because if they were to break up, she has a gut feeling possibly that he's going to take all the money out of the joint accounts, that he's going to shut down credit cards, whatever it may be. So she is listening to her own voice. So do I think that there is anything wrong with that? I do not. What I do think something is wrong with, is probably their relationship and how she feels about it. And that she probably is in a relationship that she will not be in for a long. This question could go into a whole nother episode about relationships heading for divorce and money. There's a whole lot to unpack on that topic. All right then we'll do that. Let's go to our question from Tiffany. She says this. What do I do if I want out of my relationship, we owe money on credit cards that are in both of our names, how do I make sure he does not continue to charge my credit cards when I leave? Here is the question we don't know. We don't know if she's married and I don't know if that matters. Suze, what do you say? It doesn't really matter because if his name is on the credit cards with her then she's liable for anything that he charges on it no matter what. Because every credit card has a little statement on the bottom of it, is that the person whose joint name is with you that you are jointly and severally liable for each other's charges. Here is the mistake that many people make. They owe a balance on their credit cards. And they call the credit card companies and say we're going to shut down the credit card. What they don't know Sarah, is you cannot shut down a credit card that has a balance on it. You can only shut down a credit card once that balance is paid in full. So if you are contemplating leaving nd you in fact want to close down these credit cards so that you're not responsible for things that he can continue to charge after you think that you've closed them down and you have left, the only way to do that with 100% surety is to pay off those credit cards in full. So you need to make it your number one priority right here and right now to take extra money that you have, any money that you have, and pay off those balances. You pay off one credit card, shut it down. You pay off another card, shut it down. But while you have those credit cards open so you have available credit or whatever it may be to your name, you might want to apply for a credit card in your individual name. You might want to open up an account in your individual name. So that you start putting money away, just for you number one, and number two you have a credit card to use that's just in your name after you have shut down all the credit cards that are in joint name. What's interesting Sarah, is that I just heard a pause there after I finished. So did that answer on some level get to you? Yeah. I just, I think that sometimes we let love get in the way of smart decisions, and I just think we have to as women think long and hard, if we're not married, what we jointly do with our boyfriends. And even if you are joint married, even if you are married. Doesn't matter Sarah if Tiffany is married or she's not married. And it's not this thing about love. Love doesn't mean, you know they used to say well you're probably too young to remember this. But love doesn't mean saying you're sorry. I would make it updated and say love doesn't mean that you share every penny that you have and every account that you have. So therefore it is really important. And I think I think I'll address that in the Do It Moment, and I'll talk about how KT and myself share money, and when we don't share money, and do we have accounts together do we not? And I'll address that in the Do It Moment. Um, but it's you know, love isn't about that. Love is wanting you to be independent. Love is wanting you to feel secure. Love is wanting you to know that no matter what happens, you are okay. And that's what love really is, Love is not oh you gotta share every penny. You gotta have a joint account with me. You can't have anything on your own. Every single one of you enters a relationship as an autonomous woman, and you need to remain autonomous while you are sharing your life with somebody. So therefore, no, this isn't about love. This is about being intelligent. What else you got for me? All right. Our next question comes from Nikki. This is a really interesting story, Suze. When I was young, my mom gave me up for adoption. As I became an adult and was quite successful, I decided I wanted to find my mom and I did. It was great. She ended up moving in with me. To make a long story short, without me knowing she started to use all my credit cards and take my money out of my bank account because she knew my ATM passcode. One day when I went to charge something, all of my cards were maxed out. When I came home she was gone and she took many important things of mine with her. I really don't know what to do with these emotions. But is this what you call financial abuse? Should I press charges for robbing me of my money? You would call that the worst financial abuse and betrayal. When you finally feel like you found your mom who gave you up for adoption, and that mom moves in and hurts you all over again. Do I think that you should go after her and press charges and do all of those things? No, I don't. I think you should just let her go, and never ever let her back into your life again. And be grateful that she gave you up for adoption. Because any mother that could do that to her daughter, under these circumstances where they where she robbed you, she used you, she used you and she used your love and desire of wanting mom back in your life. That is a woman that you never wanted in your life ever, ever, ever. And you were blessed by giving you know by and you were blessed by being, good Suze. You were blessed by being given up for adoption, and look what you made out of your life? You grew up, you were successful. Obviously you were happy. Everything was going great until you wanted to go back to your past. You found the answers that you were looking for. So let her go. Let your anger go. Be grateful that you found the answers you were looking for, and now just live your life in a successful way that you were living it before you brought her back into your life. Because now your life is truly perfect without her. This is heavy. This has gotten to you, Sarah. I can tell. Listen, you know that I'm the mother of a young daughter. And it really just breaks my heart that this woman, who clearly had adoptive parents that were great. Because she's doing really well in life. She seems to be very happy. And I think she had a false void that she thought was there. And she went after it and she found her birth mother, and what she realized is there was no void at all. She learned the lesson the long way. So you have any more for me Sarah? Yeah, I have one last one for you. Comes from Whitney. One of my daughters is stealing money from my purse at night. She doesn't know that I know. I really have no idea how to approach this with her. I remember you saying once that you used to steal money from your dad's pockets. Can you tell me why did you do that, and what should I do about my own daughter? So very interesting in that the reason that I used to steal money from my dad's pockets, was not to spend money on myself. Was because I felt like I was so not as good as my friends, that for them to like me, that I would have to buy them presents. So I would take money from my dad's pockets, because he would put all of his money in these brown pants that he would wear every day, hang it over the dining room chair, I would take out a dollar to $5 whatever it was, which was a lot of money back then, and go and buy gifts for my friends. So in my head they would continue to like me. If your daughter is stealing money from your pocketbook, the question is, what is she doing with that money? Does she feel like I felt, and that she needed it to be able to spend it on her friends or to show her friends that she has as much money as all of them? So when you steal money, you steal money because you feel that you don't have money, and you want money to show other people that you have money. That's usually why. Now the question becomes to you. Do you feel that you've done something to pressure her to feel like you don't have money, she can't do this, she can't do that, and that's how she's acting out. What you would do is you would sit her down and you would say honey, we need to have a talk. Without you telling her that you know that she is stealing money from you, talk with her and say do you feel less than when it comes to your friends? Do you feel like your friends are better than you? Just have a talk with her about how she feels about who she is. Next. Without saying anything to her, make it impossible that she can steal money from you anymore. Don't keep money in your wallet. Don't make it easy for her to get at it. Make her dig deep. And that she will very shortly get that you know something is going wrong. My dad started to know that I was stealing money from him. But he never said anything to me. He told my mom, and my mom told me later on in life that daddy always knew that I was stealing money from him. I cannot tell you how bad that made me feel. Oh my God, I wanted to die when I knew that. So it's important that you make it so she can't steal money from you anymore, and then as time goes on, you sit her down and you say honey, have you ever wondered why there isn't money in my purse anymore? Have you ever wondered why when you go in there to look to take money out, that I stopped putting it there? Because I know that you're a good girl and I know that you love me, but I also know that something's going wrong where you feel that you need to spend money that you don't have. So let's talk about that. But I would do it and approach it that way. Your daughter is stealing money, in my opinion, because she doesn't feel worthy. And she wants to be able to do that which her friends are doing, and probably ask you for money, you say no, so she takes it anyway. Or she doesn't have the courage to ask you. Whatever it is, sooner than later you have to talk with her about it. Shaundre. It is an honor to have you on from the Women & Money podcast girlfriend. Let me hear your voice. I missed that voice of yours. Well, hello, Miss Suze. That was some day we had, wasn't it? It was it was. I had interviewed, as I said earlier, seven women who were survivors of domestic abuse, physical abuse, all kinds of abuse. And what was fascinating is that none of them knew that they were being financially abused, which is why I wanted Shaundre to come on. But just out of curiosity, what did you take away from that day? I took a lot away from that day. Number one, awareness. That was the biggest thing that I took from that day, because literally I went into this interview thinking, I'm just gonna tell a story about, you know, the bad things that happened with my marriage. Annd then as I'm talking and I'm telling you the story and I'm listening to the definitions of financial abuse and I'm hearing the other women tell their stories and examples, I'm like, oh my God, I was a victim as well. And for the last number of years, I have been an advocate for speaking out against domestic violence and trying to be a voice and bring awareness to to victims to help them transition from victim to survivor. And here I was not even aware that outside of domestic abuse, there's so many other abuses out there that I myself was being abused in a different way, you know, and I didn't even know it. So this was the biggest thing for me. And that's why I wanted you to come on the podcast. Because I know that there are women out there that are suffering financial abuse. From their spouse, from their boyfriend, from their girlfriend, whatever it may be. And they're not even aware of it because if it's not a slap, if it's not a yell, if it's not an insult, it's like, oh, well that's not abuse. So very quickly, tell everybody your story, and I want all of you listening to just see if you can relate to this. And you may be sitting there thinking, well how could she not know that she was financially abused? And the truth is she didn't, and chances are many of you don't as well. Go for it girlfriend. So to give a little background, I am currently, I'm 37 years old. Um, I have a 16-year-old son, and I was in my um, mid to late 20's. I was a nurse, I had a very successful Avon business, I had on my own home since the age of 24, I had two cars, I was making the money I wanted to make. I was living the life I wanted to live. The one thing I was lacking was companionship. Um, and there was a gentleman that I had met when we were children, we went to church together, and he went to the military. We started dating um, and long story short, we got married. And the financial abuse actually started from day one literally. We were on our way to our honeymoon. And prior to the honeymoon, I am a planner. I tried to plan out everything. So I had this planned out, and we're supposed to stick to the plan, and on our way he was spending money. Way more money than we have budget for things to be spent on the way there. I'm asking him, I'm like, okay, well we're getting closer, we need to make one more stop for gas before we hit the port because we're gonna be cruising. And that's when he told me that his credit card was maxed out. And I'm like okay, but you know you have another credit card and you have cash. And he said, oh but the cash that I was using, I got out of your purse. That's how I had cash to spend and buy gifts and things on the road. Initially I didn't believe him. I couldn't believe him. I had been single and on my own for so many years, I'm like what do you mean you used my money without asking me? And I get the concept that marriage people think, everything is everybody’s. So what's mine is yours, what's yours is yours and mine, etcetera. And I wasn't adapted to that concept and that way of thinking yet. So I was very angry and upset, and at the same time I'm also thinking, okay, this is new. I'm married. You know I have to get accustomed to these things. But I still felt violated in a way. I checked my purse, and in my wallet, and sure enough he had actually spent everything but $15 of my money. So I'm thinking Lord, what am I gonna do? I called my grandma, she prayed with me over the phone, she said why don't you just come home? And I'm thinking, well the cruise has already paid for. We spent a lot more money than what he spent on the cruise. So I'm thinking ah the food's included, we'll get on the boat, maybe you know we can talk about things over one of these nice dinners they have on the cruise, and we can you know, get everything worked out. He still has a credit card, right? Well cruises are cashless. And when you get on board, you have to register a credit card. I have registered my own personal card because we weren't married at the time, and he registered his. So at the end of the cruise, we get one final notice that says if the account is not paid off before we get off the ship, we would both be facing international charges because since we're both in the same cabin, even though it was his account, he could have been buying things for me. So I ended up having to take money from my credit card to pay off his accounts in order to be able to get off the ship without facing international charges for charging up all this money on an account knowing that we didn't have the money to pay it. So that was just the beginning. And again, that's literally day one. So yes, you know that was a horrible experience, but it all means the same. That you're gonna stick it out, no matter how bad it gets. So I'm holding onto these vows. So we're military, so we move on post, I'm thinking this would be great. You know, we have housing on post, military will cover that, you know we’ll be good. I initially didn't get a job in nursing when I first moved to Kansas because you know I was trying to get acclimated to the area, and let's just be honest Kansas where we were really just wasn't paying what nurses should be making. I was making what I made when I used to work at Mcdonald's in Ohio. And I'm just like I went to school for a lot of years and spend a lot of money to get a degree. You know, I want to make more money than that. So I chose not to take a nursing job and just work my Avon business while I was in Kansas, which means I had to primarily depend on my husband for an allowance if you will spending money, gas money, grocery money. It's almost embarrassing, but nevertheless it's part of my story, you know, so I have to tell it to bring awareness and at the time, you know, we talked about these are the bills we have, and we're gonna work together to get this paid off a little bit, you know that I was making with Avon because when I was in Kansas, it's like kind of starting your business over. I didn't know anyone there, have to build up my clientele and my team etcetera. So it took a little time to for me to make any of my own money. Since I had an account through the armed forces, a soldier or an enlisted military personnel had to either be attached to the account or be making an allotment into the account. So now naturally he being my husband, I'm thinking okay you know I'll just add him to the account and all would be well, lo and behold what it did not know if he was going into the account and withdrawing money behind my back. So we would have situations where he'll say okay honey let's go to the gas station will go ahead and fill up your car and go in the grocery store we'll get groceries for the week and he goes to pay with his credit card or his debit card and the card is declined. And I'm standing there just mortified like oh my God because I wasn't accustomed to not having my own, having to depend on someone else. Just made me feel so weak and fragile. And then when you have a line full of people behind you, you're just wanting to crawl in a hole and die because it was so embarrassing. What I started to have to do was I found out that at the PX they had vendors come in and they could set up in the little market area, and we could sell products there but we had to give a percentage back to the concessions. So I decided to sell my Avon in that market area. I was making some deposits and again this is when I found out that he was taking the money that you know I was making and spending it or giving it away or I don't know what he was doing with it. Even though at the time I felt like I was deceiving by lying to my husband where we lived in Kansas it was about a 45-minute drive to Kansas City Missouri which is the next state. So then I'm in the post office one day and I was just like they have P. O. Boxes in here. So I decided to open a P. O. Box. I also stopped at that bank, and I opened up an account and the address that I used was the address to the P. O. Box that I opened. So what I would do is I would work the concessions for two weeks. Every evening I would go to the bank and I would cash in my money for larger bills. I then would go home and I had made a makeshift pocket out of old pillowcases, and I would put those large bills in that makeshift pocket. And I would wait for my son who was probably about seven years old at the time, I would wait for him to go to sleep at night. I would then sneak into his room and I would pin the money to the inner lining of his pajama pants. And I would sneak back in his room before it was time for him to wake up, and take it off of his person in the morning. So he never knew it was there. And I would make deposits every two weeks into a savings account that I had opened in Missouri. In the end, our marriage was going down the tube. But at the same time taking and holding onto those vows, you know better or worse, it was time for us to change duty stations. He was going to be stationed at Fort Bliss, which is in Texas. But he also told me that he was going to be reattached to a unit that was gonna be deploying overseas, and that there was no on pulse housing for us to live in. So he had the military moved me and my son to North Carolina and he went to Texas. The problem with this part of the story is he never was getting rear attached to a unit deploying. It was a way that to get me away from him, still be married to him, but only geographically separated. So he was still able to get paid from the military, all of his B. H. which is based housing allowance from them, and it showed that he was married with the dependent. Meanwhile, I received none of this money for housing, food, support, nothing. So I went through many months, you know, trying to get him to help financially support my son and I, and it was a no. Uh, went back and forth with military, legal. And unfortunately, I had a hard time going through JAG, which is military legal, to try to get the money. That was mine in essence, even though it's ours, he wasn't with me. So now I'm looking at this, you're keeping my part of the money too. Over time I got a small sum of money, but I still didn't get everything I was entitled to. The good thing about when I came to North Carolina, the money that I had saved in that bank account in Missouri was enough for my son and I to be able to pre-pay 3.5 months of rent, utilities, car payment and food because when I came here I did not have a job, but I was able to survive due to quick thinking and sneakiness at the same time. Um, but I was grateful for the, the lessons that my mother and grandmother bestowed upon me about always making sure you can provide for you and your child no matter what. And Shaundre, how long was the period from the time you got ripped off on your cruise, to where you were finally living by yourself in North Carolina? It was actually less than a year. Oh, it was, it was fast. Yeah. Because a lot of the women that we spoke to that day, weren't you amazed that they were like 20 years, 15 years, 12 years in a seriously abusive relationship. I moved to North Carolina then, but we were still married for a total of eight years. Because he would do stuff like tell me, I'm gonna send you divorce papers in the mail. Certified divorce papers in the mail. And they would never come. So he continued to collect the money from the military for all of those years, because we were still married. And I had a son that he was able to claim as a dependent, that was not his child. So Shaundre, if you were going to now as an advocate, give the women who are listening to this, and even the men that are listening to this, because men can suffer financial abuse as well from their counterpart. What advice would you give them? Well, one thing that I want people to understand, and that this is any form of abuse. You are not alone. You're not the first and unfortunately you're not the last. So for me, it was very embarrassing. Because even after I did the interview and I'm sitting there and I just, I just felt like, how could I be so stupid? How could I have been so blind? Like I'm an educated woman, I'm a mother who was supposed to be able to protect my son, and I felt like I let my son down. I didn't protect him financially. I didn't look out for his best interests. Nor did I look out from my own. Um, one thing I learned is, even though most older generations would say, you know, when you're married, everything is one. What I want people to understand is it's okay to still have your own. You need to keep your identity. A lot of times what happens is we become mothers, we become wives, we become all these different things. The career woman, etcetera. We lose the person who we actually are behind these other titles that we carry. We have to learn to number one protect ourselves and our family and our wellbeing. Number two, have our own little stash somewhere. It doesn't have to be millions of dollars. But something, so let's say if your husband is the primary breadwinner and you're not being abused. At least you will have something to fall back on. Wow. Just listening to my own advice, I'm just like, why didn't I think of this so many years ago. It’s, it's amazing. They say you learn stuff every day. And I'm just impressing myself just like, wow, you know, this really happened, you know, and just, I'm learning so much from the women's stories I listened to, and some of them were physically and financially abused, you know at the same time. And, and thank God I didn't have to experience so much of that. Um, but I just want people to understand and to know that they're not alone. And even the most educated and educated, the most religious of religions can be abused. But protect yourself, protect your loved ones. And if women are listening to this, and they needed help, who would you advise them to call? To be 100% honest, who helped me from the beginning has been Avon. Um and Avon does have a foundation, and we are partnering with the domestic violence hotline, um to bring awareness. And people need to understand the domestic violence hotline is not just for women who have been beaten. Abuse comes in so many different ways. Financial, emotional, physical, mental etcetera. It goes on, they are there to support you in every way possible. If they if they can't tell you right at that moment, they can direct you to local establishments and companies, and people who can help you with whatever situation you're in. And how would they find them? How would they call them? How would they contact them? They have a toll-free number, 1-800-799-SAFE. They have live chats 24-7, 365 days. You can just go on the website and you can click on live chat services. They have them in both English and Spanish and they have as well they have 200 plus languages that you can choose from. Um so there's there's a couple different ways there. For additional information of the hotline, you can email them at hotline.requests@NDBH.org. So Shaundre, I'm thrilled that you're through it and that you're okay. You obviously will still have things come up for you, but I love that you are still willing to share it again, for the women who are listening to this that need it, which is probably every single woman out there. This was an interesting women and money podcast, and I'm so proud of Shaundre and everything that she's doing now to make sure that she's living a powerful life emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and now, financially, so this is your Do It Moment for this week's podcast. This do it moment is one where you need to go within and be honest with yourselves about the relationships that you happen to be in. Maybe they're good in every possible way. But are you on any level being financially abused? Do you have control over the money that you are earning? Do you have control and know where everything is? So here is what I want you to do. If you are in a relationship, I want you to sit down with your spouse, your boyfriend, I don’t care whoever you're in a relationship with if you are sharing money. I want you to make sure that you know where every single penny is. That you have your own individual credit card that nobody knows about. That you have your own individual savings count that nobody can get access to. That you don't share passcodes. That you make sure that your life, financially speaking, if anything were to go wrong, if anything were to change that, you would still have some financial foundation. Every single one of you should have your own individual Roth IRA or your 401k plan. Money that is yours and yours alone. Listen everybody, I've been in relationships for a long period of time now. And I have never, ever, ever had a joint account with anybody. Now I love KT more than life itself. And I trust her more than life itself as well. But KT has her accounts, I have my accounts, and that's just how it is. So what's KT’s is KT’s, what's mine is mine, and everything is done that way. Now, KT and I are also business partners, but I get the revenue that goes to me, and KT gets the revenue that goes to her. Now, what do I mean by that? We have a contract with a company and that company pays KT directly, they don't pay me. And then I pay KT. And if I go crazy and I don't want to be with KT anymore, and I'd have to be crazy not to want to be with KT anymore. It doesn't matter. KT still gets the income that she worked for. I want you to start setting up your relationships like that, where you get paid directly. If you happen to be in partnership with your spouse or your mate, I want you to be independent financial women. That doesn't mean that you don't trust the person you're with. It just means that you trust yourself more than you trust anybody else. You've heard the stories you've heard what can go wrong. So you have to get ahead of it. So again, your Do It Moment is for you to have individual accounts, individual credit cards where you know where every single penny is, how it's been invested. Everything. You look at your joint tax returns before you sign it because you do know that if you sign a joint tax return and your spouse is committing fraud on any level, oh they're going to come after you. So this podcast is all about you not letting yourself get in a situation where you are financially abused, and if you're not in a relationship you aren't to financially abuse yourselves, meaning you are to get involved with your money. Just don't ignore it. Really. Look at your balances, open your account, look at how much money you owe in credit cards. Look, do you have any savings and decide that you really want to change and get involved with your money. Because the bottom line is this, I've said it over and over again and I'm gonna say it one more time. You are never powerful in life until you are powerful over your own money. How you think about it, how you feel about it, and how you invest it.

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