What Does Chasing The Dollar Got To Do With Anything? Guest: Whitney Hansen | HMM 17

HMM 17: What Does Chasing The Dollar Got To Do With Anything- with Whitney Hansen

We are constantly chasing the dollar trying to make a living, but we let time pass us by and wake up 20 years later still not happy with our financial life, realizing we gave up some really good opportunities.

These are the words straight from the powerhouse millenial Whitney Hansen that you should put on your watch list.  She has such an amazing story that you absolute must hear!  It’s not just about getting rid of debt, but also about what her money smarts have done for her.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • What 2 things she learned from her upbringing that shaped how she manages her money
  • The story behind paying $30,000 in debt within 10 months and buying her first home at 19 years old
  • The best money advice she learned from one of her salon clients
  • A killer tip that allowed her to get her Master’s degree for a total of $472!
  • Her favorite money quote, best money spent, and so much more…

Resources From This Episode:

To learn more about Whitney:  www.whitneyhansen.com

She loves Instagram, you can find her here:  @whitney_hansen_co

I’d love to hear from you!  What was your biggest takeaway from this interview?

Oh!  I almost forgot!  Remember in Episode 15 I said I was going to announce a winner for a 15 minute session on October 1st (today’s episode)?  Well, ooops!  I got to ahead of myself with recording the podcasts that I didn’t do it.  Because of this I decided to extend this to the end of October and I’ll announce the winner on the episode that airs October 29th.

If you don’t recall the contest it was to finish the phrase Her Money Matters because_________with a hashtag.  A slight change with the hashtag because #HerMoney is way too popular so please use the hashtag #HerMoneyMatters so I can find you easier.  Be sure to use Twitter or Instagram works too!  Have fun and I can’t wait to read them!

Abrazos (**hugs**),


Click on the arrow below to access the transcript:

Read Full Transcript



[00:00:09] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Her Money Matters Podcast, the podcast to help you take control of your finances. Join your host, motivational money coach, Jen Hemphill as she shares with you practical, simple money insights into real life stories by women like you.

Let's get to it!


[00:00:27] JH: Welcome, this is Jen. I am so happy to have you here listening in. It really is crazy to me that we're only three episodes away from episode number 20. Today's episode is episode 17. So I am really grateful and I can't stress it enough to have you listening to me. Maybe it sounds passé or a little cheesy, but I really and truly mean it. Your emails, your comments on the blog, on social media, and so forth have just been so awesome, so supportive and I truly appreciate that.

Today's guest is another great guest; and that's another thing, I've got such really amazing women that I've gotten to talk to so another point why I'm so grateful. This is just so exciting for me. But this guest today, I am sure she will give you a kick in the butt! This lady, I'm at a lack of words of how amazing she is. She's a young lady, has a really phenomenal story, so I'm sure you will enjoy listening to it. But before we do that I wanna go ahead and give a shout out from a review that we got. It's a five star review that we got on iTunes and it's titled "Great Show". It's from Jen Hatzung and I've already told you, I'm not the best with pronunciations to Jen, if I mis-pronounced your name I truly apologize.

But she writes: "Jen does such a great job of talking about money in a way that is really is relatable and doesn't feel like a lecture. So glad she decided to start this podcast and have women talking about money. Great job Jen!"

[00:02:15] JH: Well Jen, thank you so much for those kind words. I appreciate this, and I wanna take this moment to just remind you the importance of reviews on iTunes. It's the iTunes currency, know that I'm happy with just receiving the messages directly from you, but in order for us to reach more women I need your help to do that. So if you haven't reviewed, I know it is a pain in the butt, I'm not gonna lie. It is not — they don't make it easy to write a review. But there is, if you go to today's show notes or actually any other show notes for this podcast, on the very bottom you will find directions and there's actually a video that I show you. You'll see me recording. It's a recording of me taking you through how to post a review on iTunes. So if you could do that I would greatly appreciate that.

So let's go ahead and I'm gonna tell you about today's guest. Today's guest is named Whitney Hansen and she is a personal finance coach for millennials. She helps people who desperately want to pay off debt and secretly yearn for financial independence. She gives them the tools to have more fun with money, while sprinkling a little silliness — and you know I love that, right?

Some of her accomplishments are paying off $30,000 of debt in 10 months, buying her first home at 19 — 19! That is so amazing! And paying $472 for her Master's degree — yes you heard that right! $472 for a Master's Degree. So I can't wait for you to hear how she did that. So let's go ahead and not delay anymore, and on to the conversation with Whitney.


[00:04:15] JH: Welcome Whitney Hansen to the Her Money Matter Podcast. I'm so happy to have you here!

[00:04:21] WH: Thanks guys, I'm excited to be here.

[00:04:23] JH: Well Whitney, I have to tell you, just reading a little bit about you I know we are really gonna connect here cause I noticed you like to be silly and you're all about making things fun with money. So I love, love that about you. So I'm excited to really have you here.

[00:04:41] WH: Thank you.

[00:04:42] JH: Now are you ready to dive into these questions?

[00:04:45] WH: Yeah, let's do this.

[00:04:47] JH: Awesome. So I want to know more about you, I mean you're a professional, you're a millennial — which I am not! But tell me a little bit more on the personal side, how you grew up around money?

[00:05:03] WH: Yeah so the short story of my money's journey really started — I grew up in a really small farming city, Burley in Idaho, if you guys are familiar with that? I think it was about a population of 10,000.

[00:05:16] JH: Wow!

[00:05:17] WH: And, yeah tiny, tiny. And so I noticed from a very early age that my parents weren't really great with money. They made a decent living, they did okay, but they weren't so great at managing money. And so it got to the point where my dad was self-employed and he continually was trying to grow his business so much to the point that he chose some really bad habits on how to sustain that. And so their marriage, my parent's marriage started to unravel and I watched my mom become a single mom with six kids — there's six of us!

[00:05:51] JH: Six kids, wow!

[00:05:53] WH: Yeah. It's craziness! And so she became a single mom and she moved to Boyce, and I know for a period of time we slept on the floor of this tiny little apartment. And one day my mom and I were walking and we found a mattress in the garbage can, so I know that sounds disgusting but we were thrilled! We were stoked about that. And so for me, I was 16 years old, that was a very pivotal moment in my life. It taught me two different things, the first thing it taught me was that I would never be stuck in a situation because of money. Like I would never had that type of life because of something that's totally out of my control. And then it really taught me the true difference between a want and a need, which turned out to be very valuable throughout my life.

[00:06:36] JH: Right, right.

[00:06:37] WH: So that's where it really all started. And from there I just learned from a very early age that I had to figure this money stuff out on my own.

[00:06:45] JH: Right, and you were 16?

[00:06:47] WH: 16 yeah.

[00:06:48] JH: Okay wow. Now tell me, so your mom was a single mom with six kids. Did she have any money conversations with you as she was raising you? Or--, I mean she was busy.

[00:07:04] WH: She was busy yeah. You know, she did the best that she could. I think for being a single mom and she had to work a couple different jobs. She did not have an education, so she definitely really tried to teach me some things, but it turned out that a lot of it was more her limiting beliefs, I guess. And so it was "Money doesn't grow on trees," all the classic limiting beliefs, totally. So she did teach me a lot about saving though. She was a great saver, and so that I learned also very early to just continually save money. Even if it's only $5, keep saving.

[00:07:43] JH: Right, well that is a good skill and a good habit to have for sure.

[00:07:46] WH: It really is, yeah.

[00:07:48] JH: That's awesome. Now tell me more about your accomplishments, cause I really, really wanna know more about paying off your $30,000 debt in 10 months! Tell me about how you did that?

[00:08:00] WH: Yeah, so ironically, I think growing up in a weird situation, a dysfunctional family like that, you tend to become an overachiever in some areas. And the financial areas, that's kind of my thing, that's what I enjoy. So after graduating from college, yeah I had close to $30,000 in debt and I remember seeing that thinking, "Holy crap. That's a lot of money! What am I gonna do?" [Laughs] And so I worked, I got a job as a staff accountant — my undergrad was in accounting and I worked at a salon all through undergrad to put me through school.

And so I continued working the two different jobs and I was working 60 to 80 hours a week sometimes. I didn't have a day off for about three months at one point. But that hustle really allowed me to pay off the entire $30,000 in 10 months. And so for me that was worth it. I'm kind of one of those really "go as quickly and ask fast as you can before you lose momentum". That's definitely my life, so it worked out really well for me.

[00:09:01] JH: That's wonderful. I mean yeah, 60 to 80 hours for you said how long did you do that without taking days off?

[00:09:10] WH: Well three months before I had a day off, but most of the time it was six days a week.

[00:09:14] JH: Yeah I do that one week and I'm ready for a day off!

[00:09:16] WH: Oh right? It's brutal!

[00:09:17] JH: It is brutal, it is brutal. Working two jobs and being young, you know that age, cause you were how old when you did this? You said college age, right?

[00:09:27] WH: 21, 22.

[00:09:28] JH: Right, right. So that's — good on you. That is awesome! And how about, because I also noticed you bought your first home at 19! Tell us about that.

[00:09:38] WH: I did. So in hindsight, I don't think that's something I'd recommend for most people in their early 20's or even late 20's for the most part. But yeah for me it was that classic, I was great at saving. So continued saving, had enough for a down payment. 2008 the market crashed and I got in at a very, very good time. So for me it turned out to be a pretty good investment, but yeah would not recommend that for most 20 year old's though.[Laughs]

[00:10:05] JH: Yeah, it all depends on — because at that point, you don't know where you're gonna be, if you're gonna be moving, that type of thing. So I understand why you're saying that completely. But that's awesome. I know when I graduated undergrad, that's when I started to think, "Uh saving," and started thinking I wanna purchase a home. And then I met my husband, we moved and we didn't purchase a home till later. [Laughs] But I remember those days.

And how about you got your Master's degree and paid $472. I really need to know this!

[00:10:42] WH: [Laughs] So there's a little secret. So after I paid off my $30,000 for undergrad, I kind of did this like spit-shake with myself and said, "I will never take up debt again for anything." And so that was my moment. But I wanted to go back for m Master's in Business and I didn't quite know how to finance it. So one of the options that I found out about was if you work for a university and you work in a full time or sometimes even part time position as a non-temporary employee, most universities will give you a discount on tuition so you can pay $5 per credit. And so that was my "ah-ha" moment. And so that allowed me to do that.

[00:11:25] JH: So a non-temporary employee. So that's something — obviously maybe not all universities do that —but to definitely look into.

[00:11:35] WH: Yeah. Yeah I think most public universities would do this. Private I'm not quite so sure about, but most public do offer that.

[00:11:43] JH: That is an amazing tip right there. I love that. I absolutely love that. I did not know that. And tell me about what is the best money advice you've received?

[00:11:54] WH: The best money advice that I ever received was actually from one of my clients when I was working at the salon. She taught me a very, very valuable lesson. She told me from a very early age — I met her when I was about 18 — to always live below my means. And for me, at 18 years old, you know that sounds great but I didn't quite realize how important that advice was until pretty recently and it really had a big impact on me of, "Don't try to compete with the Jone's. Don't try to get the car that you can't really afford. Don't buy the home that's gonna make you financially struggle. Just live below your means." And that has always just really resonated with me and it's really made a big impact on how I live my life.

[00:12:40] JH: Right. That's awesome because I know we are definitely, my husband and I have been guilty of — for example, he receives a raise and we upgrade our living. So therefore we're not using that extra money that we were living on comfortably. We just upgrade the living and we've been guilty of that and we've stopped that because we were missing out on a lot of stuff of what we can do with that money. Right?

[00:13:07] WH: It's so true.

[00:13:08] JH: So a lot of people tend to do that, and I'm like, "No, if you're living comfortably already with what you were making then you put that other extra money to work for you for whatever you were reaching for. Whether it's the debt, paying the debt, whether it was saving for vacations. Whatever the case may be, do something for it instead of upgrading whether your home or whatever the case may be, definitely do that."

So I think that is some great advice that you got early on and I love that you're living it.

[00:13:43] WH: Yeah, it's definitely — I mean it's frustrating at times. I drive a 2001 Toyota Celica, I've had it for eight years.

[00:13:49] JH: But it works, it gets you to and from, right?

[00:13:52] WH: Yeah I mean it's still pretty cute too. It's kind of zippy, but [Laughs] it does the job.

[00:13:59] JH: That's what it's all about. And I know for us, personally, like we just live — we've been able to make it work where we just live on my husband's income. So whatever I make is just gravy, but we are not relying on my income to pay bills or do anything else. It's all based on my husband's income. And if you can, granted that everybody can do this, especially if you didn't start off this way. We didn't start off this way, we were a two-income family as far as the 9 to 5 job. I quit my job, we had kids, all that good stuff. But we've been able to build that where we live just off his income and what I make is just icing on the cake.

[00:14:42] WH: That's so incredible. I wish more people would do that. That is so incredible.

[00:14:46] JH: So yeah, because it helps. You know, once — you think you're missing out on things, but you're really not. Somehow we make it work, we still do fun stuff, we're still, you know we're happy. We're living life, what I think, life to the fullest.

[00:15:01] WH: Oh I love that. That's how it should be.

[00:15:03] JH: Definitely, definitely. So tell me about, what is one of your most favorite money quotes?

[00:15:10] WH: My favorite money quote; so it's kind of a funny one but it's, "Don't get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life."

[00:15:19] JH: I like that.

[00:15:21] WH: Oh and I love it because it's so, it really, it resonates with me so much because that's so often what we do. We're constantly just chasing the dollar and we're trying to just make a living, but we let time just pass us by and we wake up 20 years later still not happy with our financial life, but realizing that we gave up some really good opportunities to go explore and travel or just spend time with family. And that one always has impacted me.

[00:15:49] JH: No you're absolutely right and I've heard that one and it's a powerful one because I know one thing that I stress with clients, or when I do my webinars and whatnot, is just making sure that you don't get stuck in the rut of going to work or making money just to save to be saving. Or making sure that you pay off that. But to have a purpose and a really specific purpose behind why you're doing that. So if you pay off that debt, what does that mean? Yes the money's gonna be freed up, but where is it gonna go? So make it count so that way you can live the life that you wanna live. So I really, really love that quote.

[00:16:27] WH: It's beautiful. It's so true though! [Laughs]

[00:16:29] JH: Yes, yes. So what would you say, obviously you've accomplished so much already, you're a millennial and I think millennials rock, even though I am not one! But hey, the mirror tells me I still look young, so I'm gonna say I am young.

[00:16:45] WH: I'd say so. I'd say you still count! [Laughs]

[00:16:47] JH: And I feel young, so therefore I am young! [Laughs]

[00:16:50] WH: That's all that matter, really. [Laughs]

[00:16:51] JH: So what would you say you do well with money?

[00:16:55] WH: The thing that I do well with money is I honestly am really good at saving and delaying pleasure. That is not something that is inherent for me. I'm actually naturally a spender, and I love spending money, I do. So it's very difficult for me to put that discipline and that practice into place where saving, I have to make it automatic. I have to automatically do it so it's out of sight, out of mind. Delayed pleasure — I do the 24 hour rule.

[00:17:26] JH: Okay. I was just gonna ask you, how do you work around that?

[00:17:29] WH: Yeah, it's tough! So if I got to J.Crew and I go shopping, which is kind of — I love clothes! That is the thing. If I see a cute shirt I have to wait 24 hours before I spend a certain amount of money on any clothing item or pretty much anything. I try to sleep on all my somewhat big financial decisions as well.

[00:17:48] JH: Right, right.

[00:17:49] WH: And that makes a difference.

[00:17:51] JH: I'm sure, yes. Because sometimes that dies down, and plus, marketing is marketing and they do a heck of a job playing with your emotions. You know, they get to the nitty gritty of your emotion in helping you make a financial decision, or that decision right away. Because you feel like you're gonna miss out or whatever emotion they hit with whatever they said or whatever you're seeing. So they're really, really great at that.

[00:18:21] WH: You're so right. They're entirely too good at that. [Laughs]

[00:18:25] JH: Yes! They are, but that's how it works. And yes, as business owners, we know that's how it works. [Laughs]

[00:18:32] WH: You're exactly right.

[00:18:34] JH: So tell me a little bit about your systems. Like do you use — to manage your money — do you use a spreadsheet? Do you use a software? Or are you more traditional with some pencil, paper? What do you do?

[00:18:46] WH: I am so traditional, it's not even funny. I'm definitely, "pull out my notebook, use s pencil, paper, calculator", old-school style.

[00:18:56] JH: Okay.

[00:18:57] WH: I function really well with that. I've tried the spreadsheet stuff, and it's okay. I mean it's good, it's not bad. I like the auto-calculations but other than that, no. I just like to physically write everything down and do kind of an evolving budget for my own personal life. So I am constantly looking at my budget and adjusting as I go.

[00:19:19] JH: And how often when you say you take a look and check in with your finances?

[00:19:23] WH: Oh goodness, see that's the beauty of the paper-pencil part for me is I can keep it directly in my planner. So I look at my budget pretty much every day. Every single day I remind myself.

[00:19:35] JH: Awesome. That's awesome. Yeah cause you don't see, out of all the people I talk to, the most common is either spreadsheet or the software. Not so much the pencil and just paper. So that's awesome; I like that.

Now what would you say is your proudest money moment? I know you've had various of them with the paying off the debt, but tell us more? Do you have one in particular you haven't shared?

[00:20:00] WH: My proud — yeah! It's kind of a cheesy one, but for me it was a big deal. My proudest money moment was when I took my first vacation and it wasn't a large one, I think I spent $700 to go to Seattle for a weekend. And to me that was such a proud moment because I didn't finance it, I didn't have it on a credit card, I just saved up and paid cash. And that was also the first time I was ever on a plane. So it was an extremely exciting moment for me.

[00:20:31] JH: It's not cheesy! Cause you did it on your own, it meant something for you. So that's great! That's great. And you were able to — cause a lot of people nowadays, they just think, "Let's just charge it on the credit card and we'll deal with it later." And you saved up for it and you made it happen.

[00:20:49] WH: Yeah, it was a good trip too. I was really young, but that's always been one of my favorite vacations out everything, which sounds weird.

[00:20:58] JH: No it doesn't.

[00:21:00] WH: I was my Seattle trip!

[00:21:01] JH: You said Seattle, so what was your favorite part? I've never been to Seattle.

[00:21:04] WH: Oh my gosh, you have to go. It's amazing!

[00:21:06] JH: I mean Starbucks, but you know.

[00:21:09] WH: You've gotta love Starbucks, right?

[00:21:09] JH: I'm a coffee person.

[00:21:12] WH: Oh same, it's dangerous! But my favorite thing in Seattle? Probably the market — Pike Place Market. It's just so much fun.

[00:21:18] JH: I've heard so much about it.

[00:21:20] WH: Yeah! If you like people watching, you'd love it!

[00:21:23] JH: Yeah, that's one place I've been wanting to go, but I just haven't made it out there yet.

[00:21:28] WH: Yeah, it's pretty far away from you right now. I can see that!

[00:21:32] JH: [Both laugh] So tell me, I know at times we make purchases and we regret it. What would you say is your worst purchase? Or worst money spent?

[00:21:41] WH: Oh, this is a bad one. So of course I've made a lot of really silly purchases, of course. But my worst one ever was when I was in high school, I bought my first ever car. This was before I was into all the money stuff, so I didn't really quite know what I was doing. But I bought this car, it was a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire convertible and so I thought it was gonna be the coolest thing ever! Bought the car and totally disregarded the fact that it had a weird noise; it was knocking a little bit, but I didn't really think much about it. So I had financed the car too, and within one month the motor blew!

[00:22:22] JH: Oh no!

[00:22:22] WH: It was such a pain! And so I was in high school at that time, and that was such a valuable lesson to me of, cars sometimes break down and if you finance them you might be paying on broken car, and that sucks! [Laughs]

[00:22:36] JH: Right! Oh no! Oh no.

[00:22:39] WH: Yeah, that was a bummer.

[00:22:40] JH: That's a tough one, that's a tough one. And who would you say influenced you the most in the area of money?

[00:22:48] WH: Yeah definitely my mom just because of background, just seeing her figure it all out and pretty much start over in life and actually start to become very successful herself. And just seeing that transition was incredible.

[00:23:04] JH: That's beautiful, that's beautiful. So I hope your mom is listening! [Chuckles]

[00:23:08] WH: I should hope! I'll send her the link. [Laughs]

[00:23:10] JH: Sure she'll become teary-eyed hearing that.

[00:23:13] WH: Oh!

[00:23:14] JH: If she doesn't know already that that's how you feel, but yeah she'll definitely become teary-eyed hearing that. So I know Whitney that you know this podcast is all about making money simple and taking control of it. So how would you sentence?

"Her money matters because _____."

[00:23:29] WH: Because it's the only thing that you have full control over.

[00:23:35] JH: Okay! Beautiful, beautiful. Thank you for that. So I really, really appreciate you being here Whitney. And tell us just where is the best place for people to find you and learn more about you?

[00:23:47] WH: Yeah, the best place to connect with me is probably on WhitneyHansen.com — and it's "s-e-n". [Laughs]. And then Instagram is kind of my party! I like to hang out on Instagram and meet people.

[00:24:00] JH: Yes! I love Instagram.

[00:24:02] WH: Oh it's the best!

[00:24:03] JH: And I'll be sure to link those things in the links — link the links — [Laughs] in the show notes so you can click. Go to the show notes and check Whitney out. So thank you so much, again, Whitney. This has been fun and getting to learn more about you!

[00:24:21] WH: Thanks Jen.

[00:24:22] JH: I appreciate you joining us.

[00:24:23] WH: Yeah it's been fun getting to know you as well. You have an awesome podcast, so I hope people really listen to all of the episodes, because they are incredible.

[00:24:31] JH: Oh thank you so much! That means a lot! So we'll talk soon!

[00:24:35] WH: Alright, sounds great! Enjoy your day.

[00:24:37] JH: You too.

[00:24:38] WH: Thanks. Bye!


[00:24:41] JH: Wasn't Whitney just something else? I love talking to millennials, and yes they're younger than me, but I gotta have to say, not much younger! We gotta get that straight. At least to make me feel good for the moment. But just love talking to millennials and just seeing the powerhouses that they are. So that is just such a great treat to see that they're in charge, especially she's definitely in charge of her finances. She's on a mission to help other millennials and I completely love that.

So I hope that you enjoyed that as much as I did when I chatted with her. Now if you have not gotten your "Jump Start Your Money" mini-guide, be sure to text the word "miniguide", just one word without the dash, to 33444. So that's two 3's, and three 4's. Again, you just text the word "miniguide" to 33444. And if you are driving, of course I don't need to tell you just to wait because we know the dangers of texting and driving, so please don't do that then. Or if you'd rather later on just simple go to today's show notes at JenHemphill.com/17, you can do that as well.

So that is a wrap for today, again thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to tune in. And as I mentioned, you can check out the show notes at JenHemphill.com/17 as in episode 17 where you can just see a really brief summary, the links that we mention for you to check out, and so forth.

So thanks for listening, and we'll talk again next Thursday!


[00:26:31] JH: Thank you so much for tuning in to this podcast all about making your money management simple and practical. For being a VIP listener I have a special free gift for you. It arises from a question I get most often, which comes down to feeling lost and having no idea where to start. That's why I created this Jump Start Your Money mini-guide to help busy women like you finally start with a clean slate and take the action you need with your budget without the overwhelm. You can find it at end of each episode at JenHemphill.com/podcast.


P.S. THANK YOU for listening!

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