The Difference Between Financial Wholeness and Financial Freedom - Jenna Kutcher

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The Difference Between Financial Wholeness and Financial Freedom

Jenna Kutcher 

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Tiffany Alice — She’s the Budgetnista, America’s favorite financial educator and she’s back on the show. So much has happened in the world since May of 2019 when Tiffany last joined us for a conversation about getting out of debt and actually saving money. With 2020s unique financial challenges, Tiffany has a unique approach to pursuing financial wholeness. 

What is financial wholeness? Where do you even begin your action plan for achieving it? We’ve got the expert here to speak into our financial lives for what is sure to be a conversation that is as helpful as it is fun. Let’s dive in and talk dollars with the one and only Tiffany Aliche.

What is the Budgetnista?

Tiffany is no stranger to the Goal Digger Podcast, but if you’ve never met her on the show (or elsewhere) before, here’s the rundown in her own words. 

“The Budgetnista is a financial education firm. I serve women and my mission is to democratize access to financial education to instill confidence in women that they are capable of managing their money,” Tiffany explained. 

With her early career as a school teacher, Tiffany leads with education. Books, an online school, her programs, they’re all designed to educate and empower.

Get Good with Money

When Tiffany was approached by a book agent to write a “financial almanac”, her first response was, “Nope!” But when she started to look at the landscape and the women she serves, she realized something monumental. 

Many of her students were getting very savvy and confident in certain areas of finances, but they weren’t necessarily developing a holistic knowledge of financial well-being. “I felt sick to my stomach because I realized I’d been teaching towards financial freedom, because I thought that was the answer,” but she continued, “After I achieved financial freedom, I was still a financial mess.”

On a personal level, Tiffany remembers reaching a point in her own life where she was technically financially free, as in not needing to work anymore, but she still felt unstable and unsure. “I realized that financial freedom is kind of a lie. We really need to be looking at money holistically,” Tiffany explained. 

“When I know a thing, I must teach a thing,” Tiffany laughed. And that’s the short version of how her newest book, Get Good with Money, was born.

10 Components of Financial Wholeness

You can take the quiz at to determine your own Financial Wholeness score. The primary metrics of financial wholeness are: 

  1. Budget
  2. Savings Plan
  3. Debt Plan
  4. Credit
  5. Learning How to Earn
  6. Investing for Retirement and Wealth
  7. Insurance
  8. Net Worth
  9. Financial Professionals
  10. Estate Planning

So for example, let’s talk about estate planning. In your 20s, that might look like having your parents or a close family member on your bank accounts and a life insurance policy that would allow your loved ones to manage your financial obligations should anything happen to you. “It’s not about all of us reaching the same place at the same time,” Tiffany explained. Financial wholeness is about your own individual phase of life and finances.

“Not everyone will reach financial freedom, and that’s okay, but every single person can reach financial wholeness,” Tiffany shared.

Shame and Finances

When it comes to pursuing financial wholeness, you might be inclined to feel embarrassment or shame that you haven’t thought about certain things or taken action to get them under control. Tiffany herself didn’t start working on financial wholeness until she was 35.

“Here’s the thing, starting is starting is starting. What I’ve found is that, no matter when you start you might actually complete it sooner than you think. So many people never get to where they’re going because they just never get up,” Tiffany encouraged.

It’s like never jumping in your car for a road trip because your headlights only shine 60 feet in front of you. Tiffany explained, “As soon as you drive the first 60 feet, the next 60 feet are revealed!”

“When I messed up financially, I felt so much shame. I never realized how detrimental that emotion is. It’s one of the most dangerous emotions because shame isolates you. It grows in isolation. Shame silences you, because it grows in silence. Shame keeps you in darkness. Shame will tell you something’s wrong with you. Shame is a liar, and it’s a terrible place to live,” Tiffany continued, “But the only antidote to shame is voice. You have to give voice to the thing you’re feeling ashamed about, but you need to do so in a safe space.”

More from this Episode

What is a “health and safety budget” and why is it important to assess during times of financial hardship? What does it mean to “learn to earn” and why is it key to financial wholeness? Tiffany brings so much personal finance advice to the show each time she appears, and it’s always paired with her humor and light. We dig into so much — hit play right now.

Follow Tiffany Aliche AKA The Budgetnista on Instagram @thebudgetnista and don’t forget to pick up her new book, Get Good with Money, out March 30, 2021.

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