A quick search about Whitney Hansen will reveal that she is a millennial money coach, an adjunct professor and a content creator. But today spoke with her about her upbringing, her experiences with money growing up, and how she turned those experiences into a thriving business and a flexible lifestyle.
Three things we discussed in today’s interview:
How Whitney managed to pay off $30,000 of debt in 10 months – that’s 3,000 in payments a month!
What steps she took to buy her first home at 19 years old – but also, how she found the inner drive to do that!
And we are hoping to learn something we can replicate from the fact that she only paid $472 for her master’s degree.
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From Trauma to Winning
In her own words, Whitney openly describes the trauma she experienced while growing up. The trauma related to her mother’s dependence on financial support was something Whitney witnessed first hand. This dependence allowed for verbal and physical abuse to thrive within their family. In the end, Whitney vowed to pursue her own independence by using the money she earned to access the life she knew she deserved.
What were some of the ways that she took back control?
- Whitney refused to accept her environment, and she adopted a money mindset where she took control of her financial future
- She bought her first home in her teens – at 19 she took a leap and she participated in a first time home buyer program that allowed her to reach her home ownership dreams
- Whitney actively pursued money knowledge – Whitney listened to financial and personal development gurus on CDs in her car while traveling to and from her job as a nail tech.
Developing a Positive Mindset
Carol Dweck, is often cited for her work on the importance of developing a growth mindset. Whitney’s story is a prime example of how developing a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, allows us to push past our inhibitions and achieve our goals.
Statistically speaking, Whitney should have continued down a path of financial dependence instead of financial freedom. Her environment and her lack of a personal financial mentor would normally lead to a cycle of financial ruin.
But due to her growth mindset – something we can all learn to develop – Whitney was able to make incremental changes and stay focused on her goals until they were achieved. Instead of accepting preconceived limitations, she moved passed limiting beliefs to reach beyond the obvious path.
Whitney on the final questions:
Money Lesson: Never finance a car! From first hand experience Whitney learned that cars can break down soon after you buy them. The worst part is that you still have to pay for something that doesn’t work if this happens!
Life Hacks: Whitney swears by using the Pomodoro technique to increase her productivity. To use this technique, you begin by setting a timer for a preset period of time – and working with focus during that period. She does this process 4 times a day, and reports that if you use it, you will be overly productive. Start with 25 minutes, and take a 5 minute break in between. Try to increase from there until you find your sweet spot.
Get Aquanotes – They are waterproof and they allow you to take notes in the shower!
Current and Past Books:
Current read is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Mindset by Carol Dweck
Where Can You Find Whitney?
WhitneyHansen.com or The Money Nerds Podcast
Listen to our Year End Wrap Up here!