Setting Financial Boundaries with Family & Maintaining Healthy Relationships w/ Gigi Gonzalez

Episode Number: 369

Episode 369: Setting Financial Boundaries with Family & Maintaining Healthy Relationships w/ Gigi Gonzalez

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Setting Financial Boundaries with Family & Maintaining Healthy Relationships w/ Gigi Gonzalez

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Back on the podcast this week is Giovanna “Gigi” Gonzalez, financial educator, influencer, founder of The First Gen Mentor, and author of Cultura & Cash. Gigi discusses how to set financial boundaries with family as a first generation immigrant using her Quiero y Puedo framework which stands for “I want, I can” in Spanish, by first asking yourself if you truly want to provide financial support and if you actually have the financial ability to help. GiGi shares examples of how she has set financial boundaries with her family and emphasizes being comfortable saying “no” to requests, even if it means being seen as the “black sheep.” 

In this episode you will learn: 

  • How you can set financial boundaries with family but still be supportive in other ways
  • How to manage different financial priorities with a spouse such as turning to couples counseling to understand each other’s “why” around money. 
  • Why gifting money you can afford is best rather than loaning money to a family member to avoid straining relationships if money isn’t repaid
  • Tips if you’re wanting to write a book or launch a big project + much more!

Enter for your chance to win a copy of Cultura and Cash by Giovanna Gonzalez. The giveaway will be open from April 10th 2024 – April 15th 2024. Three winners will be announced on April 16th! (must be 18+ & a US resident to enter). Go to to enter.

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Hey, hey, hey, journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast, we have back on a very special guest, Gigi Gonzalez, she was actually on episode 342. But she's back again, because a lot has actually changed since she was on just a few months ago. Her new book, culture and cash is officially out into the world. I'm so excited to talk a bit about it. Lessons from the first gen mentor for managing finances and cultural expectations. That's the subtitle. And she in the original podcast episode did a deep dive on how she quit her corporate job and kind of became this accidental entrepreneur. And now she's teaching financial education literacy to young adult. But we're gonna specifically talk about in this episode, more about setting those boundaries with family and friends and navigating finances specifically as a first gen immigrant. So I'm so excited to have Gigi back on the show. Welcome, Gigi. Thanks,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 1:52

Jamila. I'm honored to be invited back and I'm so excited to dig deep into all these important topics. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 1:59

so Gigi, I do want to go back a bit just for people who maybe didn't hear that original episode. But just if you could almost like give like a spiel about kind of elevator pitch. Yeah.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 2:11

Yeah. So for anybody that did not listen to that episode, or is the first time hearing me, my name is Giovanna Gonzalez. But a lot of people know me as Gigi or by my tick tock name, the first gen mentor. I'm a former investment professional turd, tick talker, financial educator, speaker and now the author of the best selling book called Brian cash.

Jamila Souffrant 2:35

Well, I like how you say much better than me.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 2:39

Like rolls off the tongue these days? Right?

Jamila Souffrant 2:41

Well, I know the one thing that I always love about your work, I mean, you say it's in your name, you know, your Tiktok name and the book subtitle, but your focus as teaching other first gen, young adults or adults how to navigate money, right? Because a lot of times if we come here, and our parents are, you know, they're working hard, they're working hard to give us a start education is usually the focus because for them, that is the key to getting out of poverty and making it but then as like the first gen and people who maybe go to college for the first time, we are coming into money as the first in our families to do that. And so it's a lot of stress and or weight to handle. And so how do you navigate that? How do you you know, not only earn money, but keep it and grow it so future generations or the current generation you're in? Can be okay. So I'd love for you to start with what that is like kind of like calling out and like helping other people feel seen in that. And then we can talk about specific tools and help for them. Yeah,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 3:42

well you just described is a very common experience for any first generation professional, so the first in their family to have the opportunity to attain a college education. And then to go on to work, a corporate job where you have a stable salary and benefits. That's very different from what my parents had access to my mom, I mentioned in the last episode worked in retail, and my dad, he actually saw a lot of random, odd jobs like he was a cook, he was a car washer, he worked at a convenience store. He was a custodian until eventually he settled into having his own small business. He's a solopreneur, he rents, party supplies, like tables, chairs and bouncy houses. So what we're able to achieve at first generation professionals is a lot more than our parents could, right. And that was always the deal. From the beginning. They knew that they were coming to this country immigrating to this country so that their children had an opportunity to have a better life. And what I didn't realize in my early 20s Was that what I saw modeled at home wasn't going to help me thrive. So what I saw modeled at home was just calling paying your bills on time and not getting evicted a success and being able to do it began the next month, that was good enough, because that's all that they have space to do. Right? They were, we were a low income family of five. So we did not have the means to do much beyond that like to even start thinking about investing or saving or aggressively paying off debt or anything like that. But as first generation professionals that do have the ability to build wealth, we need to acknowledge that we're into this like new money, right? We're like new money, essentially, a lot of us do have debt. So that's important, too, right? That we start life in the negative with a bunch of debt. But we need to understand that we have the ability to build wealth that our family never had.

Jamila Souffrant 5:36

And I want to go back to kind of like the mindset for our parents, and you know, family members who first embarked and like came here. Either they have a style over, like being in a new country, or they came here at a young age, and we're starting, but maybe it's not, you know, this wasn't their first language and or the, like, even the weather is different from what they used to back at home. Yeah. And what I always am amazed that it's just like how much they were able to do with so little. And like, whether it's like, not as much technology as we have. So getting information, it's much easier now than when back in their day, the way they were able to budget and be resourceful whether it's the what the sous sous like in the Caribbean culture, which I know, you know, they have it all different cultures, but you know, you putting money together almost like the community bank, and like you kind of get payouts as people put in money. Like there's so resourceful, right? Yes, like saving circles. Exactly. But then there's just like scarcity through line that I see that it was helpful back for them and in the day, and then we kind of take that and was raised with that. But then it's like, at what point is that scarcity mindset so helpful, because maybe it allows us to be more frugal, and like more just resourceful versus starts to hinder us after a while. What do you think? What do you think about that?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 6:56

Yeah, it's definitely one of the limiting beliefs I talk about in the money. And yeah, I mean, it's no surprise that we inherit this scarcity mindset, because money was scarce when we were growing up in an immigrant household. But and like you mentioned, sometimes it can be things and can be good, because it can lead to those frugal habits. But sometimes it holds us back, right, because we just think there's no opportunity to make more, why even bother trying to do better, that is as good as it's gonna get for me. Right? So it's really important. And I really encourage, I want the reader to adopt a mindset of abundance. And there's a lot of mindset work that you have to do before you get there and that you feel deserving, of being able to build wealth and, and have a softer life than your parents did. And my community, there's a lot of guilt for that, you know, I know, a lot of my Tiktok committee members always say that they feel guilty that they have a much easier like not as the labor as a job as their parents, you know, their parents are still like mechanics, or maybe they still work in agriculture. And they see how that's just like a very taxing job on their body. And they're like, I have the privilege to work this office job. And I feel so bad knowing that my parents still have to struggle, you know, but But again, the parents did that out of love, right? They wanted wanting better for their children. They were the brave changemakers, I left everything behind to give us the opportunity to do better. So in order for us to honor that sacrifice, we had to take the torch and take it to the next level. We can't keep playing small because Oh, I feel bad for my family. And I mean, obviously, there's therapy to help cope with those guilty feelings, because those feelings are valid. But we can't let us keep them keep us stuck. Right? So yeah, that's a big, big focus in the beginning of the course, just like this scarcity mindset exists, is not going to help you thrive, you need to get rid of it to be able to move forward with your money journey.

Jamila Souffrant 8:53

Right? Or it's just like this. This idea, right, like so a lot of like my, like grandmother. And like my older aunts, when they first came here, they didn't have their education. So they either clean houses, or they watched children for other, you know, middle to wealthy families. And then now that like we like my generation has gotten older, we are making more money, we have the ability to hire, right like housekeepers and or like childcare in the same like regard that like what are older women in our family used to do. And I think, you know, I don't really have like a conclusion to that statement. But I think it's just an interesting dynamic, that, you know, we are in a position to kind of hire and like, have help for and resources for our family. But when our family first came here, they they did that, you know?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 9:42

Yeah, I had a similar situation with my grandma recently where she always alluded to help poor she grew up but I never understood the severity of it. And she really opened up to me and she told me that she didn't have my great grandma so her mother didn't have the ability to buy her proper So until she was in fifth grade, and you know, she didn't live somewhere like in Chicago or Boston where it's very cold, but it still would get, you know, dip down to the 40s. And you know, you need something to kind of keep it warm. And she was that she just had like this little cardigan that she would use to try to keep her warm until she was in fifth grade. And then I just see the progress now where I'm her granddaughter, and I have this $800 Patagonia parka. I've had it for two years, and I don't plan to replace anytime soon. But it's it's just like the privilege, right? And, and some guilt came with that too, knowing that my grandma suffered for so long as a child, and that she still remembers those feelings. But because of what she did for me, because of what my mom did for me. Now I'm able to be in a position where I don't have to suffer in the cold. And not just that, but like I have a nice quality product that keeps me warm and very freezing Chicago. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 10:54

well, and, and the thing is to write like, Gigi, I know you don't have any kids. But as a mom, right? It's like, Pat, like, I remember that. I know that because like I lived that experience where I saw them working in that capacity and still working in that capacity, by the way, that they still do that a lot of my older family members, and then now having kids like they're one, they're still one generation removed. So I'm thinking for me to realize that and see that that helps me kind of internalize, and I don't want to necessarily, you know, not that I feel guilty, but at least I understand the value of hard work. And so not having kids is like you don't want to lose that. You don't want to like push down into them scarcity, but you want them to understand where they came from, and hard work and why like they're, they're in such a privileged position. And I think that's kind of where a lot of like my generation who has like the more privileged than they're, the older people is teaching their kids like how to be humble, and still hard workers, but not be, you know, guilty about what they have, but still to have a work ethic and care for the community.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 11:59

You know, this comes up a lot in recent podcasts that I've done, where exactly what you said where people are like, now I because I was a first gen now I'm going to be able to set my my kid up for success, right. But I don't want them to lose that resilience, that grit that I had, as a first generation American or that my parents had as immigrants, right. And there's ways right to be able to show your children the importance of of money and how to be mindful with it, giving them an allowance and telling them part of it has to be for taxes, part of it's for savings, or you have to do these chores to get the allowance. You don't just get an allowance to get it. So there's there's strategies to do that with children and teach them the importance of money. But yeah, I don't think there's a better teacher than like, life experience, you know?

Jamila Souffrant 12:46

Right, right. Well, I know a big thing. Just because culture is so important, like in our communities, like we help each other. When you come to this country, like you're you're usually relying on help from family members, or extended family or friends to help you get on your feet. I think that just like goes through, right like in our communities, and so you feel responsible to help them. So I know a big part of your book is about creating boundaries. And so you are not only helping others, but not at the detriment to your own finances. Can you talk a bit about how you set those boundaries up? I know you have a framework for that now, like, what does that look like? Yeah,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 13:22

so I developed this needs to have a framework around building financial boundaries, because this was something that was never discussed in any of the money books that I had read. And the reason for that is because these mostly white male authors didn't have family members. And let's say Mexico, hitting them up asking them to send them money for this or pitch into somebody's Kingston yet, they just don't have that lived experience. So how could they ever write about that, but that's still something that affects my community. So I knew that I needed to give my readers some tools on how to navigate setting boundaries when necessary. So my approach is called the ghetto EBO approach is in Spanish, so a certain ghetto is I want. So first, ask yourself, do you want to provide this financial support to a family. And it's important to have the willingness to want to do this on your own terms as opposed to just doing it because it's what you're supposed to do to be the good daughter, a good family member. I learned from personal experience that when you just give, give, give because you're expected to but you don't. Your heart sank truly in it, it ends up leading to resentment, because again, it doesn't feel good when it's not something that you want to truly do. So I have I encourage my reader to first make it is something you truly want to help family with. So for example, I recently was contacted by my family to help cover the cremation costs of our family pet, rip resin power, Lola. And it wasn't much honestly I think they were asking for 100 bucks. It wasn't much I had the money. And I said had no. And the reason I said no it was because I didn't want to. And the reason I didn't want to isn't because I didn't love Lola or I didn't love my family. It was because Lola had been sick for a long time. And I had said it's inhumane to keep her alive, she needs to be put down. And nobody listened to me. I begged and pleaded them, nobody listened to me. Two weeks later, the dog suffers his tragic death. So yeah, so then now after not listening to me, or caring about my opinion, or my stance on it, oh, hey, can you help us with these expenses? Absolutely not, you guys can figure it out. And that's something that 20 year old Giovanna had a hard time doing, I was very much a people pleaser. And again, that's what you're instilled to do to just always say yes to family. So I encourage my reader to be more bold and to think about Do you truly want to do this? Or are you doing it because your arms being twisted? So again, if for my example, I didn't want to so I set the boundary, I set the boundary. But let's say that it's a situation where you do want to help family, let's say that, like a medical expense came up. And you do want to help family because it's something important. Then the next question is, boy, this, the getaway pod approach was what this means, can you. So that's great that you have a willingness that you are doing it on your own terms, but do you actually have the financial ability to do it, because those are two different things, right. Like, if you're in a hole yourself, you're living paycheck to paycheck, you have no savings, you have no plan to pay off your debt, you're not investing for retirement, like if you are barely getting by, you are not in a position to be providing financial support to other people as much as you want to. And nobody teaches us that in our community, you know, so that's why it was very important for me as a financial educator, to as a bicultural, financial educator, that's Mexican and American, to allow my reader to say, It's okay to say no, when you're barely scraping by, and communicate that to your family, tell them hey, like, I would love to help. I just do not have the money right now. Like I'm struggling with money myself. Sometimes our family assumes that because we have these nice office jobs that were killing it. But they don't realize that life in the US is expensive. Health care is expensive. You know, renting is expensive, all these things add up.

Jamila Souffrant 17:18

That's so true. And I love breaking it down like with these questions Do you want to? And can you? Now I feel like the can you part is easier to we'll all speak for myself. So if I actually have the money, and so the point is like, I can't, then it's easy to say no. And be like, I can't I literally can't, that's easier. No, for me, the first question of do you want to I feel like that can easily be manipulated by other people. Or the perception, right? Like if other people are gonna still like you or love you, because I might not want to, but I might not want to say I don't want to because I don't want people to not like me, or and this is just me talking for anyone also listening to this. It's like, I think it's harder for people with that question. We all, you know, just want to be accepted. And so this idea of when someone says to you, Well, why don't you if you can afford it, you're just like, because I don't want to and it could be a reason, right? Like for you. It was like a boundary like, listen, I wanted this done in this way. And you guys didn't respect that or even consider it. But I just feel like that's harder for people. So how do you help walk people through that fear of not being liked by people? Because people think they're mean or selfish? Because they say no,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 18:26

I tell people to be comfortable being the black sheep and their family, I very much have been labeled as that because I have my own boundaries. And at first, it was hurtful, of course, because like you said, you know, our family is important, and we want to feel accepted and loved by them. And if we end up marching to the beat of our own drum, to protect ourselves, right to really act according to our own values. We're very much shun for that. So it's part of being a cycle breaker when you do things differently. Your family's like, Wait, that's not how we do stuff. What is this this new practice, you know that you're doing? So it's hard work, but I encourage my reader or my community to meet with like minded people that are doing the same because then you don't feel as alone? You're not the only one. So I have my black sheep friends. My name her name is Yolanda wants GAVI. Yeah, so one is a cycle breaker in the sense that she openly talks about essay that's happened in her family, where traditionally, it was a hush hush. Nobody talked about it because we don't want to disrupt the family. And she says, No, this happened to me and people are gonna know and I don't care if people hate me, right. So it's hard. It's hard work to be a cycle breaker, but it's very important if you want to break the cycle of poverty that you've seen from your immigrant family and be able to do better with your finances. And you know, it won't it won't be as hard this this boundary stuff. It's really really important when you're getting yourself on a solid financial standing. But once you are more abundant and you have paid off your debt and you do have savings, you are able to be more generous with your money, because you had those boundaries back when it was important, right?

Jamila Souffrant 20:09

Is there another example you maybe have in the book, I'm sure you have a lot about just someone sitting either yourself or someone else setting a boundary. Because sometimes I think we, we didn't even know that that was a boundary that should have been set. Like, we don't know that that interaction was a place for us to step up or stand up for ourselves. So you have any other examples?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 20:26

Yeah, one example that I cite in the book of was when I was contacted by my grandma, on my dad's side, to pay for her eye surgery, they reached out to me and they said, Hey, she's gonna need surgery is going to cause $2,000? Can you pitch in $1,000? Which that's quite a bit of money. Yeah, of course, I love my grandma. And of course, I wanted her to get this surgery, but I was in no financial position to do that. So what I offer my reader are just different levels that you can still show off her family and offer support. That don't mean saying yes to that. $1,000 ask. So, for example, Hey, you know, I'm so sorry to hear that Grandma's not doing well, and she's gonna need a surgery. Unfortunately, I don't have the financial means to be able to contribute $1,000 towards his medical expense, but I do have $250, does that help? Can I send that to you, you know, via Venmo, or whatever way, if you don't even have those $250. And if you're more comfortable with a loan, you know, saying, hey, I really don't have money myself, but I can loan you $100. But I would need the money back. And again, loaning money always knowing that you could potentially not see that money back, right? That could be the next level down. And if money really just is not there, because you're barely scraping by with your own finances. There's other ways to offer support. You know, if you live nearby, you can say I'm so sorry that Grandma's going through this, I want to help her financially, I'm in a really tight spot. But how about I spend a few days this week going to the house and maybe you know cooking up a couple meals to kind of lessen the load for the family or doing some cleaning Right? Or you can offer to do research to help them fund these expenses. Support doesn't come in one way or another. We think that we automatically have to do what we're being asked. But there's again different levels to how you can show off her family.

Speaker 1 22:29

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Jamila Souffrant 23:57

Do you find that when you try to offer like non monetary assistance or even just like education or resources, like do you find that that is accepted sometimes or even maybe you have examples from your readers, or people follow you? Because sometimes I get the sense that the person does want money, right? Like that's really the ultimate goal and not like necessarily like a negative they're trying to scam you but the money is just more appreciated when you try to offer something else that's actually met with like, just, you know, yeah, negative. Yeah,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 24:31

I mean, at that point, your family is not respecting your boundaries, right. And you matter as an individual too. So I would be a little bit alarmed at that. But I understand you know, it's Have you ever seen a fiancee? Yes. I don't know if you remember a suelo and Kailani that couple?

Jamila Souffrant 24:50

I don't know their faces. I never know the names. I know the faces. Oh,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 24:54

it's okay. He's he's from San Juan. He's from San Juan and his mom was like, just give me the money and there Like, we don't have money, she's like, just give me the money again, just very demanding. I mean, when I've donated my time I did a couple years ago for my mom, her husband was very sick. And she didn't ask me for money, because he is not my father. He's he, I wouldn't even call him my stepfather because I, she married him when I was an adult. So that was her husband, right? I have my father. And he was nice and pleasant and recipes, right. But yeah, at the time, he was very sick in the hospital. And she kept telling me how, you know, they're getting behind on bills and kind of kept alluding to needing money. We've danced this dance before. So I knew that that's what she was alluding to. So I said, Hey, how about I go to San Diego for for a week, I'll go there. I'll clean up, I'll do some cooking, I'll drive you to the hospital so that you don't have to pay $20 and parking fees every day. And that's how I offered support during this difficult time would have preferred the money, probably. But that's not something that I thought I was aligned with, given the situation that I'm like, This person is not my family. And you know, we just weren't close. But I wanted to support my mom, because I know she was spending the nights in the hospital. Right? Staying with her sick husband. And that's how I did that. I got groceries. I cooked them. I cleaned out her fridge, I did their laundry. So yeah, basically a free housekeeper for a week. And that helped tremendously because as you can imagine, when somebody's in the hospital for three, three months, the house has just like completely turned upside down.

Jamila Souffrant 26:31

Yeah, I can imagine like that. Even you know, valuing your time and energy that was more than probably the VAT like what you would have given could have given her monetarily. Yeah.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 26:42

Oh, yeah, my time is worth a lot. But probably Yeah, I don't. I don't think I ever heard that. Thank you now that I think about it, because yeah, I just think that they would have valued more the money, but it's okay, I feel good about how I contributed to, to her in her time of need, I feel okay with that.

Jamila Souffrant 26:58

Yeah, I think a lot of this too, is almost like, being able to say no, and have boundaries or have people you know, think the wrong thing about you, or just the opposite. Like you can literally have a reason for doing what you're doing and be standing in your truth. And there could be someone on the other end of that, who has their own truth and disagrees with what you're doing. And they could be right in their own way. And I think being okay with that, like outside of money, I just think there's this like self confidence thing. And value where forget money. It's just like that we need to develop in ourselves. Yeah, to not that we are an island, because we do need people we do you know, we are we are meant to, like love and be loved. But to be that strong and rooted in self so that you can be okay, when things don't go your way. You don't get an applause for everything you do. Yeah,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 27:50

I mean, honestly, let's call it for what it is, is people pleasing, if you're, if you're constantly acting out of misalignment with what you value and what you will your stances, because you're scared of the pushback that you're gonna get, or that you're going to be shunned. And you ignore your own values, your own needs, your own opinions, your people pleasing. And I don't think that's a good quality to have. And I think it's a very common quality for a long time I was a people pleaser, right? So I had to learn to be this quote, unquote, biatch, to be able to honor myself, right, because I would forget about myself along the way, because I was so worried about what my family thought and getting their approval. And that that led me to know where that led me to still being stuck in terrible financial situations, because I never prioritize my finances, I prioritize more being accepted by them and saying yes to anything that they needed financially.

Jamila Souffrant 28:43

Right. And This especially happens if you're an over thinker like myself, or you know, you're thinking my friend told me to stop thinking for other people. I don't know if we had talked about that the last time. But essentially, like the person even say that they were upset, like, you know, maybe they are, but they didn't tell you or that's not your business, because that wasn't a conversation that you've had with them. So until that is brought to you, there is no issue. And I know again, there's a fine line, because I know we need to we should be empathetic. But I do think that other side also is helpful in terms of navigating this,

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 29:14

you know what I think helped me the further I moved away from family, the easier it got, you know, when I saw family regularly, I was very enmeshed to them. So yeah, it was harder to say no, or to break tradition or be a cycle breaker. So I slowly started moving away. First I was in San Diego, that was a two hour drive away saw them pretty regularly, probably once a month, then it moved to Phoenix that then I would only see them it's a four hour drive to home. At that point, I would see them every two months. Now I'm in Chicago. They're really far away now in Mexico. And you know, I communicate with them regularly over the internet. But yeah, the distance, the physical distance has helped and sometimes that's important. You know, I meet so many Latinas that there From LA and they spent their whole life in LA, and they never spread their wings, because that's where they're from, that's where their family is still is and, and as a thinos, it's a very important value for us to value our family time building memories with family. And there was a time like 21 year old Giovanna could have never imagined living this far away from my family, because I was so close to them. But I really I have found that I have had the space to grow and thrive with that distance. And I still love my family. And I'm going to actually visit them next week. I haven't seen them since July, but I will see them next week. I'll be there for a week. But I value this distance, because like I said, it's allowed me to be my own person. I'm

Jamila Souffrant 30:39

wondering, I know that you're a bit a little bit distance wise removed, but like when you go on now you're about to see them? Is it on your mind? Or do they know what you do for work? And that kind of the boundary setting and talking about how you are with them? Does that impact the relationship or how they feel about things they think that up to you?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 31:00

Know, they don't know, they don't know, they know, I'm a financial educator, they know that. But I don't think they understand that I do a lot of storytelling. And this is my journey. So I'm allowed to speak on it. But it'll be interesting, you know, because my grandma told me that my great aunt, her sister, bought a copy of the book, which I wasn't expecting any of my family to buy this book, because it's not for them, right? They're not that target reader. So I wondered, ooh, this is gonna be interesting as because I included a lot of personal anecdotes, this is not like a typical money book, where it's just like all practical and actionable. I would say it's 30% memoir and 70% practical tips. So I did a lot of storytelling to demonstrate the importance of having a budget and a spending plan for your money, the importance of having a debt payoff plan and all these pillars that I that I demonstrate in the book. So yeah, there's there's some family members that I mentioned, some that I don't mention by name, but people in my family will be able to figure out who it is. So that'll be interesting. Especially one of those people that I mentioned, read

Jamila Souffrant 32:04

the book, right? Right, oh, girl, you're brave.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 32:09

You know, it's fine. And my publisher was like, have you gotten a release from all these people? And I said, No, I haven't. And then I consulted with a lawyer. And I learned that they'd have to get a $10,000 retainer for most, like defamatory lawyers, or whatever they're called, sound like they're not they can't afford that they're not going to sue me. So I'm taking a chance. But I watered it down as much as I could to make it less litigious. Let's just say that.

Jamila Souffrant 32:37

Yeah, someone probably needs to read that to see also like how it applies to their life, and it is inspiring for someone. Now, I want to talk a bit about your journey to writing this book and like getting it out in the world, because I think that's interesting for people who also wanting to get their words out into the world. But first, I do want to touch upon some questions that I got just a couple in terms of family boundaries, and money. So these are questions that were submitted. This person asks, what do you do when you and your husband have changed? And you are now on the savings train? And he is still happy with debt and overspending? How do you handle those changes within a marriage? And what to do if a spouse is not willing to come along the debt journey with you?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 33:21

Yeah, this question is so relatable to me, because I went through this with my husband. So I have lived experience in this in this area, unfortunately. I mean, it's very important to grow the same direction, right? You're married to Jamila, it's important to you know, let's say somebody adopts a new religion, right? And if one person is really about this religion, but the other person is an atheist, how is that going to work? Right? So it is important as a couple to grow together and grow the same direction. And money is one of them, you know, so if somebody finally has their financial awakening, and they're like, Wait, we have to do better with money, and your spouse or your partner is not on the same page that can definitely cause a lot of conflict I lived in, I lived at where I'm just like, hey, I've taken the time to educate myself on money to create a financial plan, and you're still not coming on board. What's wrong? What's why can we move together and make these moves? For example, you know, we have very different spending habits. I was very frugal. I had a 10 year old Corolla he valued driving like a more expensive car because it was like a status thing for him. He liked his Amazon halls were like I really try not to order from Amazon because I don't like Amazon. So there were just different spending habits and our relationship did suffer because of that. I love my my partner. So I said, Hey, we got to do some work here because otherwise this is not going to work long term if we cannot get on the same page. So we started small. We started first by reading this book by David Bach. I highly recommend it. It's called Smart couples finish She's rich, have you heard of it? I have I have, yes. Yeah. And it's really practical. It has, like, you know, like a workbook in it where you can do it with your partner. And basically, it's about goal setting, you know, because that's, that's where the differences, you're not sharing the same goals at that time. And that's why your partner isn't as motivated as you are to tackle their finances. So that's how we first address this, this issue in our relationship, it still wasn't getting us on the same page, it helped a little bit. So I said, Hey, we got to go to couples counseling, there's something here and you know, if we are going to stay in this marriage, we to figure this out. And through therapy, actually, we ended up finding out that my, my spouse had had financial trauma, because his parents constantly argued about money as a child. So to him money just meant like, bad times money was evil, it's just better to avoid it altogether. So even though he knew that it was important for me, to move forward with our money goals, this little broken child inside him that was unhealed was keeping him from taking action. Right, and thank goodness, he was able to heal those many wounds. So that's something that might be a play to, you know, it's important to, to kind of try counseling, if that's available to you, or at least check out that book, smart couples Finish Rich, what do you think Jamila? I

Jamila Souffrant 36:23

agree with that, I think it's not easy like to come together as first of all, just in general, to live with someone, you know, to combine lives together and finances, you know, even if you're not completely combining it. And so I think it's one of those things where it depends on your spouses or partners personality. And, you know, like, I noticed, like my husband, his personality, and a lot of things he does transfers to other areas of his life, he's very laid back, you know, he likes things easy. So he's not as on top of or cares about, like, finances, like, he cares, obviously, he wants money, and he wants to have nice things. But he's not he's not as much of a planner, as I am. And so like, I that translates to how he handles money. So we do look at and think about money differently. But what helped us is, you know, getting on the same page with our goals. So I would say it is that sitting down and thinking through and talking about what each other goals are. And it isn't actually okay to me to have individual goals. But I do think as a family, whether you have kids or not just as a unit, like what there should be like a common goal. And so like that common goal to me should be very important and what you work towards, but then you don't forget about the individual one. So for the person who wrote in, what is it that your husband like likes or values, even just materialistically? And how can that be fit into the budget? Maybe it's not something you do, currently, but it's like, okay, we're going to work up towards that, or we're going to save towards doing that thing. And I think, Gigi, I love this therapy and really getting to the root of maybe why it is that that person is kind of avoiding and or self sabotaging things that you should be doing. And also a self check. So this is one thing that's important. Is that just because you're excited, because you listen to all the podcasts, read all the blogs, read the books, and you're ready to go all in. Does it mean the other person has to like also? Yeah. And so it is that okay, am I going too hard? Like, is there a balance between me wanting to be super frugal or not doing a lot versus they want to spend? And is there a middle ground so we both can enjoy this life that we built together?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 38:29

Absolutely. I think that can easily happen to a lot of people that have again, their financial awakening, and they've done the work. But yeah, somebody else is on a different journey, because they haven't done the work yet. Right. So that's that's such a good point.

Jamila Souffrant 38:42

Yes. Okay. So the second question that came in, is this when my family members asked me to borrow money? Is it okay if I charged interest and impose deadline dates for full repayment?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 38:58

This question makes me laugh because I've done it myself, and it did not work out. Well. I'm gonna say that it's up to the individual and your family dynamic. I tried this approach with my family, when I was asked to charge $7,000 on a credit card to pay for an emergency surgery for one of my family members. And I didn't feel comfortable just doing it willy nilly. Right. So I came up with the idea of, hey, let's draft up a contract that says you're going to pay this back in full. I didn't charge interest, like the the person that's asking the question actually did not charge interest. But I did say if you fail to make timely payments, or if you completely default, I'm owed the title to your car because it would have been equal value to the $7,000. And putting those conditions on me lending out my credit line. It was like detonating a bomb within my family and I was very much disowned. And told I don't need your money with strings attached. And sure enough, she was able to get money very quickly from another family member who actually did charge her interest. So it's funny, she came to me because I have nobody else, I have nobody else. And then the next day somebody else helped her. So yeah, so I would say it just kind of depends on you know, your family best and how they would react to that. But if your family is anything like mine, it would not be a good idea. Think about when loaning out money, honestly, the best practice is just gifting it. And gift as much as you can gift without setting yourself back. Don't give more than you can afford. Because if you really expect to get the money back, and you don't, it's only going to cause a strain in your relationship. And this is with somebody that you love, you know, so you don't want to jeopardize your relationship with that person. So and that's common advice in the financial industry to just give the money instead to the ability that you can.

Jamila Souffrant 40:57

I agree with that, Gigi, and it's so interesting that even just the presenting it as an option will piss the person off because it potential Yeah, it's not even like it's in motion, they putting it back in there late. And so now there's a dispute like, Hey, you didn't pay me back at this date that you said it's like even me just bring up the boundary and or the expectation that this is what's going to happen. Which is why I think so many people avoid. Like they say yes, and they do things because they avoid that uncomfortable conversation upfront. Like they don't want to they rather like kick the bomb down the street, like the can down. It's a rabbit kick the bomb data sheet. And like, I'll deal with the explosion, like if things go wrong later, because I don't actually want to bring it up now. Because there's gonna potentially be a big explosion.

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 41:42

That's people pleasing. Yes. That's people pleasing. Yeah. Let's call it from what it is. Yeah. So no, you have to be able to stand your ground, right? And to be able to, again, be unliked. And be misunderstood. But know that you're doing what's best for your finances. Because your finances matter, too. It's not just about family all the time, you as an individual matter to

Jamila Souffrant 42:05

Yes. Okay, Gigi, I want you to talk just a little bit about the book coming into the world. I know, that was a lot of work. From the last episode, I knew that you were a planner, just because you were on it, with all the steps it took to bring a book into the world, but talk about culture and cash. And the process. I know, it's gonna be a lot more than what you can say in like five minutes. But talk about that process and how it feels to finally have the book into the world. Yeah, so

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 42:30

I think this advice would be helpful for anybody that wants to write a book or launch any sort of big project, like a podcast or a blog or an Instagram account about their passion. You know, what was really helpful for me was hiring supports hiring accountability. So what that looked like for me, was hiring a book coach, that kept me motivated, helped me come up with the writing plan helped me flesh out my outline, so that I knew what I was going to write each day that I sat down to write, I know 100%, that if had I not had my book coaches support, I would have given up because writing is a very isolating and a very emotional journey. There's a lot of self doubt along the way. And a book coach is that cheerleader that's like, you can do this and they've shepherded other people through it, right? So they're very familiar with the limiting mindsets and all that hiring a book coach is pricey. And the only able I the only reason I was able to afford it was because I won a $50,000 grant from tick tock to write this book. So I use a portion of that grant to pay my book coach. But there's other ways to get support. You can also work with a book coach in a group coaching program, which is usually much cheaper than working with them one on one. Sometimes they offer self paced courses, which are even cheaper. You can read books, I read books about writing books are funny, right? Yeah. Or you can even get an accountability buddy, somebody that's on the same journey as you and is committed to move making progress with their project. And that way you can keep each other motivated.

Jamila Souffrant 44:08

I love that. That's actually great tips. Now I want to let you tell everyone where they can find the book. So culture and cash, where can they pick it up? And then I'm going to share how Gigi is going to be giving away a few copies. So stay tuned. Yes, thank

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 44:24

you so much. Yes. So the book is called called to rank cash. It was released on January 23. So it's available now. i All major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble Although I do recommend that you request it from your local book shop to support small business owners, you can actually access the full introduction to the book by visiting my website will do And you can get the full introduction chapter via PDF or an audio file to check out the book to see if it's kind Have your jam before deciding to make that purchase decision. But yeah, I'm really proud of this work. Eva Longoria endorsed the book, which means a lot to me because I really look up to her. And it's my baby. And after a year and a half, it's finally out in the world. And I'm so happy to be able to share it with the journeyers. Today,

Jamila Souffrant 45:15

yes, and we are also giving out or did you just give me out three copies. So go to journey to launch three signed copies, signed copies, okay, so go to journey to You'll see all the ways that you can when you enter your information, so it'd be a timely or you know, it's gonna be a week from this episode, air date, so when you can enter, but just go to journey to to see all the chances you can win. And then also make sure you're on my email list. Because you get a chance to win a copy there to journey to I'll put all the links so you know where you can get to choose book her website, her Instagram, can you say Instagram and Tiktok? One more time for people?

Giovanna "Gigi" Gonzaléz 45:58

Yeah, my Instagram is Gigi, the first gen mentor and Tik Tok is the first gen mentor. I also came up with a podcast I forgot to I keep forgetting to mention, this is called Kaltura. And cash. It's a continuation for that. It's a continuation of the book. So yeah, it's the same name called Grand cash there seven episodes app. So check them out. Okay,

Speaker 1 46:16

you could find that probably wherever you listen to this podcast. So I again, will link all that in the show notes. Sounds good. Thank you, Jamila. Thank you so much, Gigi, for coming on. Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to Or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to If you want to support me and the podcasts and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you're not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys, they're three supporting check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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