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Tools To Help You Heal Your Relationship w/ Money (& Your Relationship w/ Food) with Meera Shireen

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. The parallels between money myths and nutrition myths

  2. Mindset shifts are important no matter how much money you have

  3. Ebbs and flows of life that will cause ebbs and flows in your finances


⭐️About Meera

Meera Shireen, CFP, is a registered investment advisor and president of Life.Money.Balance. She has been in the financing field for 12 years and has built expertise in budgeting and cash flow management, retirement savings, insurance, investments, estate planning, educational planning, and charitable giving. She aims to empower women to reduce debt, create wealth, and take control of their finances.

You can learn more about Meera and her work on her website and instagram.

📌Episode Highlights

Myths About Money & Nutrition:

  1. You are either good or bad with money. You are either good or bad with nutrition.

    1. How you interact with money and nutrition comes from the stories you learn about what it is and isn’t, which pushes you to identify as either good or bad with money.

    2. A financial decision you make is one that could be objectively good for you, but objectively bad for another person and vice versa. A financial decision that could be good for you in one situation or circumstance of your life, but bad for you in another circumstance or one situation of your life.

    3. The relationship with money and nutrition is not an all or nothing thing. It's more about taking it moment to moment, context to context, and when we say I'm good with money/nutrition or I'm bad with money/nutrition we introduce shame into the equation.

    4. Putting yourself on a really strict budget or diet sets you up for resentment and approaching both from a place of scarcity, which usually leads to going overboard.

    5. Assigning “good” and “bad” as labels for how we deal with money and nutrition induces shame without taking into account the context of the situation.

    6. Food has value beyond its nutrients. Good nutrition honors your mental health, your emotional health, and your personal values. And it’s the same with money!

    7. Give yourself permission to spend money, to make different types of financial decisions, and not classify any one thing as good or bad.

    8. When we release the labels it takes away the emotional charge associated with money and nutrition.

  2. The stock market and emotional eating come with challenges and nuances, but that doesn’t mean there is inherently a problem with them.

    1. It’s easy to remember the bad things, like the stock market crash in 2008, but that doesn’t mean that investing in the stock market is all bad. There is a lot of context that we are quick to forget and the focus goes to the bad.

    2. Understanding why something is the way it is and educating yourself about it can actually help us feel more comfortable engaging with it - which goes for money and nutrition.

    3. Investing is really just trusting other people. Once you have that trust it becomes so much easier to participate. Trust and understanding removes the fear.

    4. We are emotional beings, so it is natural to emotional eat as long as it’s not the only coping mechanism in the toolbox. When we trust ourselves and allow for emotional eating it builds self-trust.

    5. Once you have self-trust and do your research with the stock market and emotional eating you can be can be confident that it won‘t spiral out of control.

    6. If you’re new to the stock market start small, do your research, diversify your portfolio, and invest for the long term.

    7. If you’re new to emotional eating ask yourself if you’re dealing with your emotions. If you go overboard with emotional eating as yourself if you actually let yourself feel your emotions. Don’t try to change the foods you emotionally eat with ones that don’t feel soothing to avoid it acting as a temporary bandaid and ensure you use other tools to deal with your emotions in addition to emotional eating.

  3. If you want to be better with money you have to have weekly money dates to review your finances. If you want to be better with nutrition you have to track everything you consume.

    1. It’s okay to review your finances and nutrition frequently, but it might not work for everyone. If it feels obsessive and compulsive to track those things, it’s coming from our desire to control a situation we cannot control.

    2. Money is fluid. Sometimes unexpected expenses come up, inflation impacts spending, etc. If you tightly control money then you’ll be thrown when something unexpected arises. Preparing, having a macro perspective, and making sure money conversations don’t feel like work will make money feel less stressful.

    3. Nutrition is not just calories in and calories out. Nutrition and metabolism are complex and we can't expect to track every calorie in attempt to control something.

    4. Gentle structure is important for our nutrition, as long as the focus is on a macro level (i.e. proteins, fats, and carbs in every meal, eating every few hours, etc.). The attempt to control too tightly will only lead to frustration and defeat with food.

    5. It isn't possible to stick to that level of tracking and be successful at it. Your body is gonna fight back, biology is gonna fight back and life is gonna happen. Similarly with money. The plate by plate approach that gives you an attention to macro balance, having variety, and really attuning to your body/instincts, and gentle structure - all of which are not numerical.

    6. 3 “Plates” of your expenses:

      1. Look at your fixed recurring expenses (rent, utilities, food, etc.) to understand what those numbers are, make sure you have cash flow to support those numbers, and then just set them up to be paid automatically.

      2. Understand your non-recurring expenses that you hope don't come up, but you need to anticipate so that you’re prepared for the unexpected without thinking about it all the time.

      3. Set aside money for your day-to-day expenses.

    7. Giving yourself permission is a huge part in becoming really comfortable with your finances and with food. Permission to spend money on yourself and to fuel your body is important. Both are necessary to sustain life.

    8. When a bill comes don’t ask what the damage is. Instead ask what the investment was that you made in yourself.

    9. If you're trying to save money or pay off debt, don't start with cutting everything you love out of your life, because you're gonna be miserable. Find little things that can bring you joy on a daily basis and incorporate them into your life.

    10. Give yourself permission to spend on yourself and fuel yourself, because that act can help you cultivate a meaningful piece of self-worth.

Mindset shifts are important no matter how much money you have:

  • No matter what my situation is right now, I can still do something small.

  • if you feel like you don't have any money to save, just take $5 a month and put it into a savings account. It sounds small, but it will build over time And shows you that there is actually more abundance in your life than you think there is.

  • These tiny steps that we start making today mindset are setting ourselves up for a more successful financial future. You can‘t ignore your finances while you don’t have a lot of money and expect to know what to do when you do have more money.

  • It’s similar to using weight loss to work on your relationship with food, which will only create a disordered relationship with food and your body. Instead switch your mindset to the focus on the pursuit of health.

  • The goal isn't for you to have tons of money, the goal is for you to live an amazing life. If financial stress and anxiety around money is preventing you from doing that, you can rebuild the relationship with money so that you can work towards living the life you desire.

  • Other people’s financial situations are likely not what you think. Many of the huge companies you think of as being successful have a lot of debt in their businesses (i.e. Apple having debt in the business until 2011).

  • Debt is not something to feel shame about. It can be a tool that is available for you to be able to get something that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. Reframe by feeling grateful for the opportunity to use that debt as an available tool and use it until you no longer need it.

Ebbs & flows of life mean that there will be ebbs and flows in your money:

  • We are taught a ton of rules about money and finances, but the second you enter entrepreneurship or other big life transitions all of them go out the window.

  • The ”rules” of money probably won’t serve you 100% and will make you feel like a failure. It’s okay to live outside the rules and look at how your finances can support the bigger picture of your life.

  • With money there are always going to be cycles. There will be phases in your life where things feel tight. There's going to be phases in your life when things feel super abundant. Both are completely normal. As long as you understand what your safety parameters are and you don't push yourself to feel unsafe/insecure with your money, then you're going to be fine.

  • If you're comparing yourself to impossible standards, of course you're going to feel like a failure. Mixing gentle structure with flexibility allows for life to happen.

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Meera: Throughout my experience teaching people about money, I've always made this parallel to food and nutrition and how you know it's easy to say something is black and white, but when you're experiencing it there's such a full spectrum. And with money we see these money tips and this money advice and what you should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing. And if we're not doing that immediately, our first thought is like, oh, I'm bad with money. There are some people out there that naturally, instinctively, have this thing and I don't have that thing, and that takes away so much of the nuance of just being a human right. We learn, start learning about money at such a young age. I have a four year old and a seven year old and the things that they already believe to be true about money blows my mind. And so throughout your life you have all of these different inputs. You learn all of these different stories about what money is and what money isn't, and that translates to how you interact with money today.

Caitie: Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form, aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories, and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.

Welcome back to Whole, full and Alive. This is my first repeat guest. I am so excited. First person to be on the podcast two times. My friend and my financial planner and my financial coach and low-key life coach, Meera Shireen. I am so happy to have you back.

Meera: I'm so happy to be here. I did not know it was the first repeat guest.

Caitie: I'm so excited about this. It was exactly a year ago that you were on my show for the first time. I really wanted to do an episode about money right away and I feel like this is a topic that I want to revisit one year later. I haven't talked about money on the pod for another year and I feel like you are just one of the best resources for this in my personal and professional life and just like really out there.

I love the way you talk about money. I love the way you do it with lightness and fun and with ease and also with structure and realism. It is a great thing that you've got going over at LifeMoneyBalance, and so I'm really excited today to kind of get right into it, being that on the last interview I asked you about who you were in your life and all that stuff, and please feel free to go back to that interview and listen to more about Meera. A little bit more of an in-depth intro. Today we're going to be diving into money myths and how they relate to food and nutrition myths, so I'm really excited to draw that parallel for everyone listening. But before we do that, let's just take a little time to settle in.

Meera, what have you been up to in the last year? What has changed in your personal life and your business? And, yeah, just what's going on.

Meera: Oh, man, yeah, I feel like a year has flown by. I still can't believe that that interview was a full year ago. Oh my gosh. I have been changing my business model quite significantly to where last year, I was seeing a lot of one-to-one clients, which I love. I'm a big people person. I love connecting with people and I'm starting to transition into a place where I desire to serve more people and so I started a membership, a community space for people to learn about money while being able to connect to each other, really kind of low-key and easy and just a place for you to consistently plug into your money. So, instead of like a big group course or a really high level one-to-one, it's just a community space and you get weekly Q&A calls and daily tips and monthly workshops, and so I've been really pouring my energy into that and it's finally launched. So that's really exciting and, yeah, really evolving.

I am a learner, I love reading, I love researching, like I'm the kind of person that goes down a rabbit hole. So really just evolving my perspective of money and really understanding where people come from on all parts of the spectrum. You know we all come to the table with our own money story and it's really easy to see money through our own lens and it's a lot more difficult to see money through somebody else's lens. So I've been really exploring how other people look at money, how people with a lot of money view their money, how people who came from nowhere view their money, and it's been really. It's just a really fun time for me to expand my perspective.

Caitie: Beautiful. I think it's been amazing to watch your business evolving over the past year as we've remained friends. I think our podcast interview that we did a year ago was just the start of our love story, and over the past year we have collaborated and grown together and it's been so exciting to realize that the work I do is so parallel to the work you do, so compatible with the work you do. The myths that I help people bust related to food and body image and health are so similar to the myths you help people bust with money, and so today we are just going to present some of those parallels to you, hopefully blow your mind, hopefully help you unlearn some very limiting beliefs about money and food and see how goddamn connected they are and why Meera and I have continued to not only be friends but also collaborators over the past year.

So let's dive in. So myth number one that we're going to explore in relation to both food and money is that you can't, or. The myth number one is that you are either good with money or you're bad with money, and in terms of food, that translates to you're either eating a good food or you're eating a bad food. You go first, Meera, tell me why is it that it's not true that you're either good with money or bad with money?

Meera: I'm so excited for this conversation because I feel like throughout my experience teaching people about money, I've always made this parallel to food and nutrition and how you know it's easy to say something is black and white, but when you're experiencing it it's. There's such a full spectrum, and with money we see these money tips and this money advice and what you should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing, and if we're not doing that immediately our first thought is like, oh, I'm bad with money. There are some people out there that naturally, instinctively, have this thing and I don't have that thing, and that takes away so much of the nuance of just being a human right. We start learning about money at such a young age. I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old and the things that they already believe to be true about money blows my mind, and so throughout your life you have all of these different inputs. You learn all of these different stories about what money is and what money isn't, and that translates to how you interact with money today, and so I'll give you an example.

I have some clients that come to me so anxious about money, so worried about it, and we look at their accounts and on paper it's amazing, they've got savings after savings, they've got investment accounts built up and they have so much anxiety. And so if you were to look at that person on paper you'd be like that's a person who's good with money, right. And then once you start diving in and digging in, you realize like, oh, the reason they have that money isn't because they're super smart and they know exactly what to do. It stems from this anxiety that they have around money, this fear of spending that's not actually serving them in their life. And so when we have this black and white perspective, good with money, bad with money, we're taking away so much of that nuance and not letting ourselves enter into, like, the human side of the conversation.

Caitie: Yeah, I think you could really just replace everything you just said about money with the word food, and it would still be true. I feel like, of all the parallel myths we're going to talk about today, that one is the most like direct copy paste. For the most part, our beliefs about food start developing from a very young age too, and I think there is a to add a little bit more specificity around food. You know, all food has value unless you're allergic to it. Right, foods have varying levels of macronutrients and micronutrients, but which choice is more healthy for you is always going to be contextual, and money has so much context that's so important to give it as well.

Every financial decision that you make is one that could be objectively good for you but objectively bad for another person, one that could be good for you in one situation and one circumstance of your life, but bad for you in another circumstance or one situation of your life. And it's never going to be this all or nothing mentality of like you're good with money or you're bad with money. It's more about taking it moment to moment, in context to context, and when we say I'm good with money or I'm bad with money, or we say I'm eating a good food or I'm eating a bad food. We really introduce shame into the equation. We introduce shame in a way that ends up being so destructive. The part of your brain that lights up when you experience physical pain is the same part of your brain that lights up when you experience shame. So shame doesn't support any sort of positive habit change.

It really just blocks your body cues and it blocks the feel good impact of eating healthfully and telling yourself that you can't or shouldn't eat also just leads to cravings and binging and prevents the habituation process and it sparks feelings of deprivation. And I think the same thing happens with money too. If you tell yourself you're bad with it, it creates a rollercoaster of a relationship. Yeah, you want to speak more to that?

Meera: Absolutely no, I mean, the parallels are so strong here, but it's the same thing. If you put yourself on a really strict budget and tell yourself you can't spend, you're setting yourself up to like have this resentment, feel this you know what's the word I'm looking for feel this like scarcity, and then all of a sudden you go overboard and so a lot of it comes down to like getting rid of society's labels of what good and bad is. I was talking to a client once and she felt so much shame and embarrassment that she had this credit card debt. And she's like I know it's bad, I know I shouldn't have it and like wish I didn't have it. And it was just like this negative, negative story.

And when we dug into it, she was telling me about how she was in a really toxic relationship and she needed to get out. And in order to do that, she had to put certain expenses on her credit card so that she could afford to leave this relationship. And I was like look at how this debt has served you in creating a huge positive change in your life. We've been told over and over debt is bad. Debt is bad. To the point that we can't even see the benefit that we receive from it. I think that the shame piece is huge. We take these labels that society has put out there and apply them to ourselves and say, oh, I have debt, therefore I'm bad, without bringing the context into the situation.

Caitie: Yeah, wow, that's such a beautiful example. On the first episode that you came on. My favorite quote from it is when you were like debt is just me using money before I have it. That's just the more neutral definition of it. It just reminds me of when we want to neutralize foods too. It's like this cheeseburger is just a cheeseburger. It's a collection of proteins, fats and carbs that you're going to put in your body. You're not all of a sudden bad because you're using it.

Yes. If you only eat cheeseburgers ever, is that going to fuel your body? No. Similarly, if you only ever spend via accruing debt, is that going to be sustainable? No. Also, we have to neutralize these decisions and we have to neutralize debt as a tool sometimes, and we have to neutralize a cheeseburger as food sometimes, a lot of times. Yeah, I think that's such an interesting parallel and I think the action to take when it comes to neutralizing food is really giving yourself permission to include all foods in your diet and watch the charge fall off of certain foods and your attunement to your body cues increase, remembering that food has value beyond its nutrients and that good nutrition honors your mental health and your emotional health and your personal values. It's like copy paste that onto money or give yourself permission to spend money and to make different types of financial decisions and not classify any one thing as good or bad, and watch the charge fall off money.

Meera: Exactly the first thing I tell people in my debt course is you are not bad for having debt. Debt is not moral. And the second you stop seeing it as this big monster that you have to defeat, the easier it's going to be to pay it off. You're going to be able to focus your attention on other activities, you're going to be able to earn more money, you're going to be able to be more well-rounded and then, over time, your debt isn't going to be this huge burden. It's just going to be something that you either, like you, can use when you need it. You're working toward paying it off and you're still able to live your life and get rid of that anxiety and stress that was existing because you perceived that to be bad.

Caitie: Yeah, just taking the shame off of the equation does so much for you, and I think this is going to come up as we're exploring other myths as well. But moving into our next two myths to bust, I think for you you say it's a myth that the stock market is inherently too risky and too problematic and for me I say it's not true that emotional eating is inherently problematic. Just because there are challenges with these two things and there are inherent complications when it comes to working with these two things, doesn't mean it's inherently a problem. And with the stock market it's not inherently like this is too risky, I can't do it. And with emotional eating it's not like if I'm emotional eating at all, I inherently have a problem. Just kind of just speaking to two very black and white concepts that we tend to hear about when it comes to money and it comes to that nutrition. So tell me about your take on the stock market.

Meera: Yeah, I think that, at least when I started out in the real world and I had my first job, it seemed so foreign to me. The stock market, investing, putting money into a retirement plan, all of that stuff, it seemed, first of all, I'd never actually learned it or understood it. I've heard stories, you know. I graduated I was in grad school for economics during the 2008 financial crisis, so my first experience with the stock market was like, oh, everything's falling to pieces and everyone's losing all their money, and so I think that flavors a lot of people, especially my generation, our generation their idea of what it means to invest money. You know, you see parents who there's retirement plans went basically down to zero and all of these scary things happening without realizing, you know, first of all, the context of the situation and understanding why the stock market goes up and down, why that happens, how we like our understanding of that, can actually help us feel more comfortable engaging with it, and so we could have a whole hour-long podcast about investing in the stock market easily. But it really is like one thing that I've, you know, I've believed for a while and I've been starting to feel more vocal about is that the stock market is really us as humans, having faith in our fellow humans ability to grow and our fellow humans motivation to create.

Like we put money into a company assuming our money's going to grow and the way that our money grows is that that company innovates and that company makes things more efficient and that company understands, you know, how they can offer something new to the public, and so investing is really just trusting other people. Having that trust, and once you realize that, then it becomes so much easier to participate. Hey, there's this big company here and if I put my money in them and my trust in them and my faith in them and they use that my money to grow, then we both benefit. And then from there you can pick companies. You know I want women owned companies to grow, so therefore I can allocate my investments towards those types of companies. And obviously I'm not giving specific financial advice here. You should always have a nice well-diversified portfolio, but once you understand the foundations and the fundamentals, you it becomes a lot easier to engage. You remove that fear.

Caitie: Yeah, so the same way, emotional eating tends to be presented as like boom, inherently problematic. You need to stop emotional eating. The stock market is often presented as this big, complicated machine that, like no one really knows how to work and you've got to be able to like, gamify it and you've got to fix it. You have, like. I just think that perspective of trust is kind of game changing and life changing, and it applies so much to emotional eating because we are supposed to be emotional eating. We are emotional beings.

Many of our food decisions are going to involve emotion and there will be times when we do eat for emotional reasons rather than physical reasons. And as long as that's not the only coping tool in our coping toolbox, then we can trust ourselves to eat emotionally. Sometimes we should be able to trust ourselves to, on a tough day, go get a piece of dark chocolate and let it make our day a little bit better, and trust that we're not going to snowball out of control and lose control, because we get to implement a certain sense of self-trust when we become more intuitive eaters and have a healthier relationship with food. I think it's when people aren't willing to trust themselves that problems with emotional eating come up and it's like obviously very nuanced, but what do you want to say?

Meera: No, I was saying it's like so true, in investing too, right, you put your money in but you don't know what you're doing, and so then it's scary and you think that you're going to lose it all and you build up the snowball. So I feel like that parallel is so strong there. Once you have that self-trust and that self-confidence and you understand, like, hey, I'm feeling this emotion and I know this food's going to feel good and I know this isn't going to snowball out of control, go ahead and do it and let it help you feel better. And with investing, it's like, hey, this person told me about this stock tip and I'm going to do my research and I'm going to see if I understand how the company works and then I can make an informed decision and I'm not just throwing my money at something and hoping for the best.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah. So what would be an action set that you would recommend for someone who has historically had that perspective on the stock market of like it's too scary and I can't invest and I don't know what I'm doing? Like, where could they concretely start to simplify it? And I can also share some action tools for exploring your relationship with emotional eating as well.

Meera: Yeah, I mean, I think, as far as investing goes, I always would recommend starting small. You don't want to like take all of your money and like throw it into crypto and be like let's see what happens. But starting small, it's that you can build up that self-trust Doing research. Like you know, my three tenants of investing are diversify, so like make sure you're invested in a lot of different things. You're not just buying like Tesla stock and that's it.

Invest for the long term so that you give yourself time for your money to grow, because the stock market does this on a daily basis, but over a 10-year period, it consistently increases, and so if you put your money in, you're not gonna want to be checking it every day. You're gonna want to be waiting for, you know, time to pass so that you give your money that room to grow, and make sure the funds that you're investing in are not expensive. So that's looking at something called the expense ratio and those are like the three starting points. Well-diversified, which means investing in a fund. These are called ETFs, exchange traded funds, the low cost ones and they give you a lot of access to the market in a long period of time and then keeping your costs low. So those are the starting points and there's so much information out there on investing and in my community you know we have investing workshops and things like that, so there's a lot of opportunities to learn more about investing there.

Caitie: I love the action steps that you just gave because they just it's like it's just the blend so well with the action steps related to taking the intimidation off of the concept of emotional eating. Right? Cause you said step one was to diversify. Right, and if you want to start exploring your relationship with emotional eating and de-villainize it, it's important to diversify your coping toolbox and make sure that emotional eating is not the only way that you're coping with emotions. It is one way that you occasionally cope with emotions, and it is not the only way that you cope with emotions. And then what you're kind of saying about looking at the big picture in the long term, this also applies right, looking at the bigger picture of your life and asking yourself am I not dealing with my emotions? Is that why I'm always emotional eating? Right, it's important as a human being to experience a full range of emotions, and that obviously includes the negative ones, and so we're gonna be there sometimes.

And also, if you're constantly running up against an overwhelming emotional wall, then we've got to look at the bigger picture of our life and kind of just say, okay, well, what am I actually doing to cope with the emotions?

And then resisting the urge to replace the foods that you normally use for emotional eating with just like vegetables, because then you're just putting a bandaid on the problem and you're not really actually doing anything and it's like, okay, I'm gonna just emotionally eat peppers instead of emotionally eating chocolate and that really isn't doing anything for you. The same way, you don't wanna just willy-nilly throw your money into something kind of blindly when you're starting to invest and just kind of put a bandaid on your intimidation with the stock market by just being like, eh, let's just do this, everyone else is doing it and that's what everyone else is doing with nutrition. Right, they are dieting, they are replacing foods with diet foods, and there are nuances to all of this and similar to the way you're saying with investing, how there's nuances and context to all of this that are important to talk to someone one-on-one about. But yeah, for the most part, you don't wanna just throw that willy-nilly bandaid on there.

Meera: Oh my gosh, I love these parallels. I'm so happy right now.

Caitie: So the third money myth that we're breaking down today is if I wanna be better with money, I need to track everything and have weekly money dates with my spouse, and I'm sure we can anticipate exactly how this is gonna relate to food. But pop off, Meera, you go first.

Meera: Yes, I actually. For a long time I believed this before I started working with a more diverse group of people around money. It was like, yeah, we have to track and meet weekly money dates and that works great for some people. So if you're doing that, I'm not saying that that's wrong, of course not. That works great for some people, but that isn't the way you have to do things.

A lot of the time when we become compulsive and obsessive about tracking, it actually is our desire to control a situation we can't really control. And so with money it's going to be fluid. There are gonna be times when an unexpected expense comes up and you can't control that. There are gonna be times when gas prices go up, or your grocery store, you know, changes their prices, or the place you used to buy something closes down and you have to go somewhere else, and all of these things are gonna happen. And if you're that tightly controlling around your money, that's gonna really throw you for a loop. And so what I recommend for people is to have kind of a larger stepped back viewpoint of things, more macro perspective. Right, like this area of my life, I have this much money allocated and I know that sometimes you know gas is gonna cost more and sometimes groceries are gonna cost more, but in general, this is where I wanna keep this around. Giving yourself that fluidity and that perspective really allows you to do more with your money.

I've had clients where they wanna know where every single penny has gone and where every single penny is gonna go, and the amount of time and energy it takes to do that is draining and exhausting and it really just sets you up for failure and you don't end up making any progress. And then, as far as, like the weekly money dates go, a lot of people really like sitting down and having that relationship with their money and that's really good, but it can turn into something that feels like work and I really think we have this relationship with our money that continues on for the rest of our lives. We will always be interacting with money. We'll always be using money, spending money, earning money, saving money, and so, instead of setting aside a specific amount of time to do it, it's like how can we be more conscious throughout our experience with money? How can we just be aware when we're earning, when we're spending, pay attention, just have a little bit of awareness on so that we don't have to compartmentalize so much.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah, and that idea of it being an attempt to control something that you cannot control, so relevant to food, right, Because nutrition is not just calories in and calories out. Nutrition is complex, metabolism is complex and we can't attempt to attract all of our calories in every gram of every macro and expect that that's gonna help us to actually control something that we really don't have a whole lot of control over. There is gentle structure that we get to make around nutrition. Nutrition is a science and we get to look at our plate and say do I have protein, fats, carbs and fiber here? Am I eating every couple of hours? Am I getting a diverse array of food? There is a gentle structure that we can create and there's even gentle tracking that we can do around nutrition just to get to know ourselves and our bodies a little bit better.

But that really really micro level, numbers-based calculations, number-based recording and obsessive mentality is just an attempt to control something that you can't control and will only result in frustration and defeat in terms of what it's gonna do for your relationship with food, because you've become food and body preoccupied, and just in terms of what it's gonna do for your health, because you end up limiting yourself so much that way and I know the ways in which this affects us when it comes to money because when you're trying to track money and again you're like zeroing in on it, it's making you feel obsessed with money and hyper fixated on money and shameful about money and really upset when those unexpected expenses come up and, most importantly, prevents you from spending in a way that's in alignment with your values, because you become so obsessed that you were saying that story with your client that was in debt earlier.

She spent money in a way that was in alignment with her values and in alignment with her growth, but if she was tracking the minutia and try and prevent herself from getting into any little bit of debt, she would have felt like a total failure for doing what she did, despite it being in alignment with her values.

Meera: Absolutely. I mean, I have an example from very recently a client I was working with who had this goal of only using this amount of money per month and when we went through and looked at all our expenses it wasn't possible. And I was like every month you set yourself up for failure when you look at this goal and say this is what I want to achieve, and then it's impossible to achieve, and then that just like makes you feel even less motivated to keep trying, makes you feel even worse and more shameful about yourself when it wasn't even possible to get there in the first place.

Caitie: I mean, how many times does that come up with calories, right? With my fitness pal putting people on 1500 calorie diets. Like this is literally that's the amount of food a toddler is supposed to eat. It isn't possible to stick to that regimen. It isn't possible to stick to that level of tracking and be successful at it. Your body is gonna fight back, biology is gonna fight back and life is gonna happen. Similarly with money. And so, yeah, I do think that it is important to find gentle structure with money and gentle structure with nutrition. That's why I have a financial planner, that's why I'm a nutritionist. I wouldn't do this if I didn't think that there shouldn't be some structure around this. And it's the rigidity and the tracking and the really focusing on the micro level versus the wider scope of like what does my diet look like as a whole? That really ends up messing with people and their relationship with food and their physical health overall.

Meera: Right, absolutely. And the same thing is true for financial health. Like the people who try really hard to reach these goals and are unable to just end up feeling I'm bad with money, I'm bad with money that goes in their head over and over again and told that you just kind of give up.

Caitie: And so I always say for people like, take a plate by plate approach, right, like move your focus away from like tracking calories and measuring things and other numbers. To like this plate by plate approach that gives you an attention to like macro balance, having variety and really attuning to your body, instincts and gentle structure, and these things are not numerical. What is the alternative that you recommend for someone who notices that they are rigidly tracking and budgeting and they're doing the money date with their partner and it's not working and it's creating actually a lot more anxiety? Like how do you suggest that they start to break away from that?

Meera: Yeah, I mean, it's a very similar plate by plate approach. So, breaking down your expenses to like these are my fixed recurring expenses, I have to pay rent, I have to pay my utilities, all of those things happen. First of all, let's understand what those numbers are, make sure that our cash flow is enough to support those numbers and then just set them up to be paid automatically. That's one category, that's one part. And the second is understanding these non-recurring expenses that are gonna come up, that you hope don't come up, but you need to anticipate, because if you don't, you're gonna set yourself up for failure again. And so it's like, oh you might. Your car eventually is gonna need new tires, and if you want a home, you're gonna have to eventually replace your furnace. So what are these things? How often can we anticipate them happening and can we start just setting money aside to cover those things?

And then the third plate is really your day-to-day expenses, and so when you look at your money in these three categories, it becomes a lot easier to manage, and it doesn't require you to constantly be looking back and seeing how much you spent.

It's just like okay, I know that I have $1,000 a month to cover my groceries and my eating out and my guest budget. Those are my day-to-day expenses and so I'll just put those in a separate account and I'll spend that money. And if it starts to get low, I'll be aware of it because I'm looking at it and I'm conscious about it, and if that needs to be adjusted or fine-tuned, I can make those along the way. But it doesn't have to be this obsessive thing where, like I, need to be spending less. Giving yourself permission is such a huge part in becoming really comfortable with your finances. Giving yourself permission, instead of saying I'm only allowed to spend $1,000, say, of the money that I'm bringing in, $1,000 feels supportive to cover this area of my life. So that's what I'm gonna allocate there and I feel comfortable being in that range. So I think it's like thinking about it less in terms of restriction and more just like looking at these three different areas of your finances and making sure that you're supporting them as best you can.

Caitie: I mean, first of all, the three different areas remind me of, like, your three meals in a day. Like it's cool to come up with three ideas of things you wanna eat for breakfast that are balanced and nourishing and keep you full. Three ideas of things you wanna eat for lunch and how are you gonna incorporate protein, fats cards there and three things you're gonna eat for dinner. And like, using that gentle structure and looking at those three areas and saying, okay, I need to get this much energy in a day. How will I allocate that between my three meals?

And that concept of permission is also so important with food, like unconditional permission to eat, permission to eat food and let food be fuel is so important because so many people are putting bars around the idea of eating in general as if it's like a treat and something that like doesn't give us literal life force, energy to keep our heart feeding and our lungs breathing. And when you've taken away permission to eat, you've taken away permission to get energy and to keep your body flowing and going. And when you've taken away permission to spend money, you've taken away permission to spend money and that's gonna sustain your life as well. Like it's not. Like spending is inherently a bad thing. I love your perspective on this. You always say, like don't say what's the damage when the bill comes. It's like what was the investment that you made? Because it's not like this is inherently a damaging thing that you've spent money. It's not an inherently damaging thing that you've eaten food, like you need food and you need to spend money.

Meera: Yup, spending is not bad and I feel like that's such a thing that's been, like you know, hammered into us. Spending is bad, it's not bad. We earn money so we can spend it right and we're exchanging it for somebody else's effort and energy that they've put into something, and like, can we appreciate that and can we accept? Like, yes, I just spent however much money on this meal and I appreciate the heck, every dollar that was spent, the cook that you know made the food and the waiter that brought it to me, and the restaurant owner that built the restaurant and the farmer and all of these things came together so I could have this beautiful meal. Of course it's gonna cost money. Like, why not?

Caitie: Yeah, I just. I was so raised to think that like food is inherently bad and like I've done damage by eating food and money's inherently bad, I've, or spending money is inherently bad, I've done damage by spending money, and undoing both of those things has been the one of the most liberating processes of my entire life, like recognizing that just because I'm consuming food doesn't mean that I'm inherently doing something wrong. I don't need to limit how much I eat. I need to eat enough. I don't need to eat as little as possible and I need to spend enough. I don't need to spend as little as possible. I have to spend enough to sustain my life and support the values that I wanna support and the things that bring meaning into my life. I think that's important too.

Meera: Exactly. Yeah, I mean, I always tell people to allocate money somewhere in your life, even if it's just like five or $10, whatever to something that you just really enjoy, and it doesn't have to be practical and it doesn't have to be logical. I remember when I was in grad school and working full-time and I lived in my studio apartment and I would go to the store and buy this little chunk of Gouda cheese and it felt like such a luxury, but I knew in my head that this is something that's gonna really help me appreciate this life that I'm living right now, help me enjoy it. It feels good, it's not like something crazy expensive, but it's just a nice thing. And so if you're trying to save money, if you're trying to pay off debt, don't start with cutting everything you love out of your life, because you're gonna be miserable. Just find those little things that can bring you joy on a daily basis and incorporate them in.

Caitie: Right. Sometimes it's not about if you think the Gouda cheese was worth $20. It's if you think you're worth the $20 and if you're struggling with self-worth. Even something to explore is are you giving yourself permission to spend on yourself, because that act can also cultivate a really meaningful piece of self-worth. Letting go of restrictions and limitations around that even if it's just mental restriction, right. Even if you are actually going and spending the money on yourself but you're telling yourself that you shouldn't be doing it, that also counts as restriction and that also really reinforces this negative hamster wheel with money mindset.

Meera: And I'm sure the same is true for food too, right?

Caitie: 100%. If I'm sitting here eating cookies the entire time telling myself I shouldn't be eating the cookies, then I'm not actually going to enjoy the cookies, I'm not going to taste the cookies, I'm going to want more cookies after that and reinforce this binge eating cycle, and I'm also never going to be able to cultivate a positive relationship with food because I'm just reinforcing that mindset every time I eat it and creating physiological stress in my body that also prevents me from feeling the way I want to feel. So, yes, mental restriction really comes into play with food. Even if you are giving yourself permission to incorporate multiple foods, what are you telling yourself while you incorporate those foods?

So, as we're getting towards the end of our conversation, we did, we busted the myths we want to bust for today. But, Meera, I also want to ask you because I know my listeners and my clients and the people who tune into this show. I feel like something that comes up is like yeah, these are cute little mindset shifts, but this doesn't apply to me. Like I'm so bad with money or I don't make enough money or I don't. I'm in a place where I'm at my first job and like this stuff doesn't apply to me. This is going to apply to me maybe in the future, if I ever actually get enough money, but for now, I do just need to deprive myself because the same shit comes up with food all the time, like they'll be like I get intuitive eating Caitie, I understand the framework, I understand why dieting doesn't work, but me, you see, I do not need to follow that because I am bad with food and I need rules and I need restrictions and I have bad habits that I need to break, and so I just would love for you to speak to that person with compassion for a moment, because I can see myself in that too. I used to listen to money mindset stuff all the time, and I'll be like I can't wait to implement this when I actually have money. Meanwhile, like I had money. I was. I was very financially deprived during graduate school, but it's like I had money and I could have implemented this stuff. So, yeah, I'm curious. I'm curious what you want to say to those people.

Meera: Yeah, no, and I like I totally get that mindset too I lived there for a long time as well where it's like I don't need to worry about money because I don't actually have money to worry about. But what we don't realize is that these small shifts give us the money that we can then manage in a different way. You know, you hear about the people who are librarians and then when they pass away, they have, you know, multimillion dollar portfolios, or who are janitors. You know all of these people who were able to create something when you didn't see anything there. And so just reminding yourself that like, hey, no matter what my situation is right now, I can still do something small.

You know, I ran a money mindset group earlier this year and one of the things we did was like, okay, if you feel like you don't have any money to save, just take $5 a month and put it into a savings account. Take, you know, $5 a week and set it aside somewhere, and just like remind yourself, hey, even though it feels like there's nothing, there is still something that is still going to add up to something over time, and, first of all, that gets your brain used to setting aside money for savings and it also, you know, helps. You see that there is actually more abundance in your life than you think there is. But really, it's these tiny steps that we start making today, these tiny shifts in mindset, mindset, these tiny decisions that are setting ourselves up for a more successful financial future. And so you can't ignore your money, ignore your money and then, once you have it, expect to suddenly be good with it.

It's creating these habits, it's creating these strong foundations. It's really just about okay, I know I'm not making much, but can I still set something aside into a retirement account, even if it's a little bit? I know that I don't have money to pay off my debt, but can I just add $2 to it every month and just see how that feels and get in that mindset of there is actually more and I know that in the future, when I have more money, I'll be able to increase this and really, like I said, building that foundation.

Caitie: Yeah, waiting until you have a certain amount of money to build a foundation and to work on your money mindset reminds me of waiting until you lose weight to work on your relationship with food and it's, I think, the reframe there is like you're aiming for the wrong goal. If that's what you're doing, if you've got your eyes on like losing a certain amount of weight and having a certain body, let's shift your perspective and pursue health. And if your body naturally loses weight as a result of the pursuit of health, sure, but we're going to reframe our compass, point it towards health. And if we did that with money to you know, instead of being like I need to have this amount of money before I start like saving and like actually thinking about it, then you've got your eyes on the wrong thing. It's not about accumulating a certain amount of money. It's about accumulating financial health and a positive relationship with money, which is far more important than your salary. I really believe that 100%.

Meera: And then the other thing that we haven't even really talked about is, like the idea of this concept that compound growth, right. So it's like, yeah, you can wait until you have a bunch of money, but also you could be accumulating that money while you're waiting. Right, you can wait until your salaries are in place, but even if you just put $10 a month into a high yield savings account, like that's going to grow into something eventually. And so, starting with these baby steps and like I love the idea of like that's the wrong goal.

Caitie: Yeah, thank you for all of that. I really just want to send so much compassion to anyone who's really struggling with their relationship with money right now, because I feel like similar to our relationship with our body and our relationship with food. It's just such a freaking hard thing to talk about, such a taboo, so to speak, and it's something that people just carry around with them like this big dark secret. I used to have a ton of credit card debt and I felt like I was carrying it as like my deep dark secret and I'm like, oh, these people think my business is successful, but it's not because I have credit card debt. My business was still very successful, but I had credit card debt, but I saw that as like this is my scarlet letter. It's just like my badge that I've done something wrong and I'm a bad person.

I think so many people feel that way about their relationship with money. It's like, oh, if only this person knew about my money situation and we're all carrying stuff like this. You do you want to speak to that at all?

Meera: I mean 100%. I think so many people would be so surprised if they could see into others financial situation and realize how similar we all are, and even huge companies like especially when we think of something like that even these huge companies like Apple, I think, didn't. They had debt in their business until 2011. They were operating at a loss for like the first 15-20 years of existing. And so, especially as business owners, we put so much pressure on ourselves to have this successful business and to be debt free without realizing that you know, owning a business is not just about having these resources, and sometimes that's going to mean that you have debt on occasion. That's going to mean that you're spending more than you're earning sometimes, and that's all normal. And if you're feeling shame or guilt about credit card debt, just know that you don't have to feel shame or guilt about that, because you talked about in the beginning use a tool that was available for you to be able to get something you otherwise couldn't have gotten. And now you can just be grateful that you had that opportunity, that you had that tool available for you, and continue to service that until you no longer need it.

Caitie: Beautiful. So I have two more quick questions for you, if you have time beyond the hour a little bit, and one thing I want to share, which is that I have these intention bracelets that I wear every single day, and when I buy them I set an intention and when the the bracelet breaks, it's like a symbol that I've sort of met that and I've gotten near that intention, and these bracelets have never not been crazy accurate for me. It's a very interesting spiritual thing I have and I bought a bracelet one time. The intention was financial abundance. I was like I really am ready for financial abundance, I need this, I want this, I desire this.

And the bracelet broke when I was out to breakfast with my friend one day and what I was saying to my friend was you know what I've accepted? Entrepreneurship is just being willing to let your money ebb and flow, a little bit Like there's gonna be some months where you make not as much money and then you could make three times as much money the next month, and then there's going to be one month month where you need to like make a big investment in your business and you go into temporary credit card debt and then you're going to have a few weeks later because of that investment you made in your business, and you have to be willing to not let things be perfect and seamless and as straightforward as they are when you have the salary job. Entrepreneurship is like an ebb and flow and I think life is kind of like that in general for most people anyways, as we have been doing this for a long time, and the bracelet exploded when I said that. It was like the weirdest, like all over the restaurant, this one specific bracelet related to financial abundance.

As soon as I finished my sentence and so that's a place where I've landed is that I'm just accepting of the ebb and flow and I try to make a little bit less one month, because that is what I've signed up for as an entrepreneur with a variable income, as a business owner, as someone who's trusting and investing in myself and trusting and investing in just my business and what I'm doing. So, yeah, that's something that's been really helpful for me. And my bracelet exploded. I said that, so I know that the universe is agreeing with me.

Meera: I love that. I love that because we, from such a young age, are put in like these very rigid environments and taught these rules, and the second you enter entrepreneurship, all of them go out the window. You know like this is what you should do, this is how much you should earn, this is what it should look like, and you have to be comfortable pushing those boundaries. You have to be comfortable living outside of what you thought the rules were, and so many people feel like it's easy to feel like your failure when you're living outside of those rules and you have to remember the bigger picture. Like I said, nothing was created from nothing. There's always something, some investment that you have to put into it. Entrepreneurship is always going to be variable because humans are variable and as entrepreneurs, we're trying to figure out humans.

I studied economics in college and I went to grad school for economics and it always blew my mind how we would have these very like tight math formulas, like these equations, all of these things, and at the end of the day, none of it mattered because it's based on human behavior, which is irrational. And I was always like, why am I sitting here doing all this math when I know that this isn't actually how it's going to work, because humans are just going to do the opposite of what you think they're going to do and that, just that concept, you know, applies to entrepreneurship. You're working with humans, you're working with variable cycles, cyclical. You know business, markets, all of these things, and you have to expect that that's how your business is also going to operate and that's OK. And with your money too, you know like there are going to be cycles. There's going to be phases in your life where things feel tight. There's going to be phases in your life when things feel super abundant, and that's all so normal. And as long as you understand what your safety parameters are and you don't push yourself to be, you know, feeling unsafe and insecure with your money, then you're going to be fine.

Caitie: What you're saying about, like doing all those equations and like none of it really matters, reminds me so much of the equations that I learned to try to calculate someone's calorie needs in nutrition grad school, right. Like we have these equations that will theoretically predict your calorie needs, but at the end of the day, you are a human and not a computer, and like you're a human and not a machine, and so your calorie needs are going to fluctuate based on environment and genetics and your metabolism and whether or not you're in recovery from an eating disorder or dieting or have a chronic illness, and like there are so many things that we need to account for beyond these equations. And the equations are complicated as fuck. They're like algebra, like, and I'm like I can't believe I'm sitting here learning this when, in theory, this is an estimate and we use them for estimation sometimes, but we really can't like do much more than estimate, because we've got to take the individual into account and learn from how their body's responding to things in a myriad of ways looking at their labs, looking at their energy levels, looking at how hungry they feel after the meal you serve them.

Like so many different things come into account there, and also what you're saying about how, if you're following rules, you're always going to feel like a failure. Like, yeah, if you're trying to follow Gwyneth Paltrow's diet rules, of course you're going to feel like a failure, because you can't afford an IV bag of vitamins and you cannot have green juice every morning and call it breakfast, so you're going to be freaking hungry. And so, yeah, if you're comparing yourself to this impossible, ridiculous standard, of course you're going to feel like a failure. And we have so many impossible and ridiculous standards when it comes to money.

Meera: Right. And it's also like I don't want to discount the fact that it's human instinct to want these rules, right? It's like we have this human instinct to want to quantify things, to want it just like here's the list and if I do the list, then everything will work and my money will be perfect. And so, if you feel like that, if you're listening to this and you feel like that I just want to validate yeah, it would be so nice if we could just do that. I remember, even when I was in college, being like this is what I mean for breakfast and this is what I mean for lunch and having these very rigid standards because we like following rules, we like having that structure. I see it with my kids all the time. We benefit from structure, but when it comes to food and when it comes to money, there's so much variability and there's also so much emotion. There's so many stories behind these things that we need to give ourselves that flexibility. We need to understand that the human side of it matters so much.

Caitie: Yes, an absence of structure increases anxiety. I say that to clients all of the time. An absence of structure is a recipe for feeling like I'm just going to let the dog moment in the background, whatever, keeping it real people. And so I try to tell clients I'm not taking your structure away. I am not taking that foundation and that groundedness that you get from structure, that sense of certainty that structure might give you away. It's just more that we need to add more flexibility and more humanness to it and more of you into it and more of your personal values, more of the things that make you unique and make your life unique and help you just have a better, more flexible relationship with food.

Meera: So, yeah, and I tell that to my clients all the time too. It's like, yeah, we have this foundation, but you still get to do the things that you want to do and you still are allowed to decide on a whim, that you want to go out to dinner instead of sticking to your plan of cooking at home or whatever it is that gets to be built in so that you can still follow the structure without feeling like it's limiting you.

Caitie: Yes, yes, so we can go forever. We can go forever. So my two final questions for you. Here they are. So the first one I've started asking all my podcast guests this towards the end of the show. Might feel out of left field, but, Meera, what is on your heart right now? I am really curious what you've been passionate about lately, and it might be related to money, it might be related to helping people with their financial health. It is beautiful, and if it's not, I'm just curious, like what's been on your heart lately, what are you feeling passionate about?

Meera: I love those questions so much. So what's been on my heart lately is the idea of giving ourselves permission to just want. I think that working in finance and working with money it's always been like what's the right thing to do, what makes sense, strategy and even my background. I always anticipated working in nonprofit and so I always had this idea that I shouldn't have these fancy things because other people don't have them, and I know that there's so many politics and things that fall into privilege, and I recently have been like you know what? I'm just going to lean into this idea of I can just want something and that can be OK. I can just want to fly first class, and that can be OK, and that doesn't take something away from somebody else or negatively impact somebody else. I can just want to spend $200 on a pair of pants, and that's OK.

And so I've really been. This has been on my heart because I feel like for so long I felt that that was wrong and I think that in society a lot of times we all get taught that that's wrong. People who wear expensive clothes and drive expensive cars, like there's something wrong with that, doing that thing. And so I've been really excited to explore. Like, hey, can we just give ourselves permission to want more, to want more out of this life, to want nicer things and know that we're not taking away from somebody else when we want?

Caitie: Thanks for sharing that. It's something. I've been thinking about it a lot. As I travel and I experience a lifestyle that I think a lot of people would love to be living, I'm like, well, am I allowed to keep doing this? Like who am I? And it's not like I'm traveling in my bougie hotels, I'm like dog sitting right now, sitting on the floor of the twin bed. But I've been traveling a lot and I think a lot about how, oh my god, how do I justify this? How do I deserve this? How do I earn this? How do I make myself suffer in order to justify having this lifestyle that is of my dreams, and I don't have to suffer to do this? And if I implement that belief that I have to suffer in order to deserve the lifestyle I've dreamed of, what am I doing for my clients? I'm telling them that they have to suffer, telling them that they don't deserve exactly what the fuck they want, and so I've been thinking about that a lot lately too.

Meera: Yeah, it's a tough thing to grapple with and I think, especially as women, we go through this world being told that we need to earn things and we should always be looking out for other people and not ourselves. And it's really hard to kind of center back onto ourselves and be like, hey, I'm allowed to want this and I'm allowed to just have it and that's OK. So it's taken me a while to get here. For sure, I have so many voice notes to myself, like rationalizing things and trying to justify things, and finally I was like you know what? No, there's so much in this world that we can put our money towards. There's so much that we can spend on that can help other people. But we're also allowed to spend money on ourselves and make our lives beautiful too, and that's not a bad thing.

Caitie: And just think about the energy that you're able to pour into other people when you feel fully nourished yourself and when you feel fully fulfilled and happy yourself.

Yeah, just saying that to a friend the other day. He was like, I feel like it's so much easier for me to spend money on other people. I just feel so much better about it and I'm like, well, that sucks. What if you want to have a nice meal, you want to go to a workout class? That's a really limiting way to live your life. But I'm like, wait, I kind of do that too, but it just hearing you come from another person, I was like, well, I would never say that to another person.

Meera: So yeah, yeah. No, it takes a lot of self-awareness to even to say that, but I love it.

Caitie: But yeah, so OK. Last question One of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown is one day you will tell the story of what you went through and it will become someone else's survival guide. And I'm curious, if you were going to create a survival kit, a survival tool kit, based on the lessons you've learned in your life and what you've learned makes a fulfilling and meaningful and energized life what would you put in there? What books, maybe music, maybe movies, maybe software? But what would you put in your survival kit?

Meera: This is a tough one for me because I feel like there's been so many things that have kind of helped me create the life that I have now, and I don't, I mean I think first of all writing and journaling has been a huge part of my own survival guide. I wasn't really much of a journal. My husband he's been keeping journals since college and it's so fun to look back and read him and see all the things he's gone through and the things he wanted out of life and then seeing that he actually has those things now and creating those parallels. So I think really writing what you're feeling in the moment is so helpful to look back on and remind yourself how far you've come. And so now I keep journals everywhere and I'm always writing things down. Or, like I said, I keep voice notes on my phone and I'm driving and I just have thoughts and I'm just going to say this out loud. Bring it into this world and see where it takes me.

I read a lot of ridiculous, crazy books. I read books. I don't know if you're familiar with Michael Lewis. He writes a lot of books about investing in the stock market and so I love Michael Lewis books. I feel like those have really helped round out my financial education. A Random Walk Down Wall Street, all these finance books that have really helped me feel more comfortable. I don't know that they've given me more knowledge, but really have given me the confidence to talk about money when before I felt like maybe I didn't know enough.

I love Amanda Francis' book Rich As Fuck. I feel like that book really rounded out my perspective of money and how different people think about money and money mindset. I feel yeah, that's a tough question for me, but I really love it. I would put tea in there like a nice warm cup of tea at the end of the day. I would put time outside like a prescription for being outside every day, walking around, being in nature, taking time away from your phone. I went rafting this past weekend for four days with like zero phone at all and I felt like it was just a full body reset to coming back into life. Yeah and just. I think those are the things that really are part of my survival kit right now that really helped me feel grounded and feel excited and motivated.

Caitie: I want to put you in my survival kit. Between your ray of sunshine energy and your practical and tactical finance tips and the way you've just helped me heal my relationship with money and make budgeting so much easier for me, I just I think you are in my survival kit. I really mean that, not blowing smoke. I don't say that to all my guests, although I could put my podcast in my survival guide and then all my guests would be in there. But Meera, thank you so much for your time today. I people are going to get so much out of this episode and so much from your perspective.

I'm so grateful for you. I'm so grateful you're in my life personally and professionally. I'm so grateful that we were roommates on a retreat last year. How special, how fucking special. I feel so lucky. Let me know when you're coming to Europe. I'll be here, yes, and we will talk again soon.

If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a five star review on Spotify or on Apple and maybe share it with someone else. Share the episode with someone else or share one insight that was really meaningful to you from this episode with someone else. That is the impact that I hope this podcast can have that you can share with someone else something that can change their life, that you learned today here. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'll be back in two weeks with a solo episode.


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