Nichole Weaver is an inuitive financial coach who offers some great insights on managing money (and money mindsets) for those with ADHD. If you are looking for helpful tips on how you can improve your finances and money management, you won’t want to miss this interview! Nichole has a refreshing, down to earth approach and offers some practical steps to get you started.
Overview and Time Stamp Shortcuts
2:38 Nichole's Story
9:25 Give Yourself Permission to Personalize Your Money Journey
11:22 Give Yourself Permission to Change Your Money Systems
12:59 Leverage Your ADHD Strengths (Tip #1)
15:51 Embrace Self Reflection (Tip #2)
19:56 Embrace Simplicity (Tip #3)
22:48 What helped Nichole pay off her debt
25:27 The Opposite of a Scarcity Mindest is...
Welcome to ADHD Crash Course! Today, we have Nicole Weaver with us. And she is an intuitive financial coach. I can not wait to hear what that means and more from her about her business.
When I asked for some suggestions for topics, money came up more than once. And so we have Nicole here. I'm super excited. Welcome, Nicole!
Thank you for having me. I'm super excited.
Tell me what it means "intuitive financial coach"?
Yeah, it's really interesting, because when people hear intuitive or when they see people, coaches saying that they're intuitive, a lot of times what they're talking about is like being able to connect to spirit and like being a little bit psychic.
The "woo woo".
Yes, that's so not what I do. My thing is, it is about helping you tap into your own intuition and your gut, right? What do you want when it comes to your money? What do you want to feel? What do you want it to look like? What do you want to aim for?
And then helping you figure out a system that works for you, keyword hear you, right? So it's being able to understand, okay, this is how my brain works. This is how my life works. This is what I want out of things, and then making your money work that way.
So, it's going to look different between different people.
Absolutely. That's been that's always been the hard part for me as a as a coach and like learning business, right? They'll tell you, you have to do things a certain way.
You have to, who's the one person you're speaking to? And what is your system? And I'm like, it's different for everybody!
Yes, it is. And I think that's the fun part about it is because the principles remain the same, but the implementation of them and what it looks like on the other side of it is different, which is really fun for me to kind of get to see that.
I love that. And that is, that's true about coaching, hopefully, is that it is personalized. There's that common thread, but that that is highly variable between people.
Tell me a little bit about your ADHD story, because you're one of us.
I am. It's really interesting, because I grew up, I'm 35. And so when I was in middle school/high school it was kind of the height of the Adderall phase and all the boys being diagnosed.
And I remember even, one of my girlfriends being diagnosed and getting on Adderall, and losing a bunch of weight. We were all like, oh, my gosh, and it was just weird, because she was a girl.
Back then, theclassic sign of add ADHD was doing poorly in school. Yeah, that was like if you're, you can't pay attention in school. You're doing poorly in school and maybe have ADHD.
Well, I never did poorly in school, and so, fast forward to about five years ago, my husband was actually going through a whole diagnostic process to officially get a diagnosis because he's in the army.
We had to go through all the things because we knew he had been diagnosed as a kid and we just needed the RE diagnosis as an adult.
And in that process, the clinical psychologist made a comment about cognitive abilities being able to cover for the focus. I was like, "Wait, wait, wait, wait, so what you're telling me is that the fact that he's really smart, has compensated for the fact that he wasn't paying attention?"
He said, "100% Absolutely". That's what happened. And I was like, "Oh, my God, that's my life". So that was that started my journey of actually seeking out a diagnosis. I remember talking to my counselor, she was doing a questionnaire and she asked, "Do you have trouble keeping track of things that you need to accomplish?" And I was like, "Not even close. I have all the checklists. I have all the To Do lists. I'm so good at that".
She goes, "No, Nicole thats you compensating" and I was like (gasps) and that was my moment where I was like, "Oh my gosh, my whole life makes sense now".
I was diagnosed at age 31, after already getting a master's degree and doing all of these things, not even realizing why my brain worked the way that it did, and sometimes trying to fight against it.
So, ever since then, I've really kind of embraced that, hey, this is just how my brain works and it doesn't mean that I'm destined or doomed to not be able to do things. It means that I get to choose systems and strategies that actually work with my brain, instead of against them and it's been really fun.
You had really great strategies for the academics. Did you suspect in other areas of your life that ADHD was showing up? Or was it incognito?
Absolutely. It was like procrastination, I worked much better under pressure. I worked better when I had to versus when I had plenty of time to.
Looking back. I don't think I suspected it at all until I heard that because you're so smart, you can compensate. But now I look back and like, oh, yeah, my my symptoms when I was middle/high school was that I talked all the time, I was always talking in class.
Why was like constantly talking in class? Because I wasn't paying attention. Right?
But I can look back and I can see all of those little things. I work way better under pressure. All these people would be like, here's what you're going to do; just one hour a day, you're going to clean one part of the house and I'm like "Nah, I'm good. The day that the people come over, I'll clean the whole thing".
Absolutely. That's our that's our m.o., right? It's like, okay, now my brain is engaged, that's awesome.
I can look back and see all of those things.
Yeah. So, you somehow ended up drawn into a field that a lot of us are biting our nails about; finances.A lot of people find this tough. Tell me why you ended up here.
So, separate from, you know, the ADHD stuff, my husband and I went on our own journey, we paid off $85,000 in debt. During thay process, kind of started embracing this idea of making your journey look like what you need it to look like.
We did both extremes we did all the way to, you know, beans and rice, don't go out to eat, don't do anything nice for yourself, and we made a lot of progress. But man, we like we hit one milestone, we paid off my student loans. And we were like, "Ugh, that was awful. That was really draining".
It was so bad and literally, because of that, we swung all the way to the other extreme. We spent every penny we had, we racked up another $14,000 in credit card debt. I was like, okay, there has to be a middle ground here.
So, we started creating this middle ground where we got to go on vacations and do nice things and also we were making great progress. During that time, people would always be like, "What are you doing? How are you doing that? How do you pay off your debt?".
I started, even before I started my business, coaching people and talking people through budgets, and kind of starting to look at that. So, I am a nurse by trade, and worked in education, quit a corporate nursing education job and I wanted to start my own business.
I kept telling myself that I couldn't do financial coachingbecause I'm not a CPAand I'm not an accountant. I don't have these degrees. But when COVID hit and we saw the economic impact of what was happening in our world, it broke my heart. I just realized that there were so many skills and strategies that I knew and understood that I could teach people so that they never had that kind of strain on their money ever again.
You say that "I didn't have this specific formal financial education", I find that, even though I have a background with occupational therapy and coaching training, most of what I bring that's really powerful is my personal experience. That is the thing that really makes a huge difference for the people I work with.
For sure. And for me, now that I've been doing this for a couple of years, now it's also all of the experiences I've had with clients. It's also the the formulas and frameworks that I've developed over time, but at the time, so I finally you know, my heart got pulled, and I finally jumped into it.
I've evolved and grown ever since just seeing the way my clients have have grown and evolved through the work we've done and it's been so much fun. I know I was thinking about what you said about how so many people who have ADHD really struggle with their money.
Which truth be told, it's because of two things. number one, super triggering. It is, right? Money is very triggering. Especially when you have, you know, some neuro divergence in there, the anxiety kicks in because there's so much unknowns and all of that.
Also, it can be boring. Look at numbers.
Oh my gosh, it's so boring...
It's not engaging. I try really hard to make it engaging and to make it exciting to look at again.
I cannot wait to hear how you do that. Do you have (and I know we have another topic to talk about), but do you have tips for making it less triggering and more engaging?
Yeah, so the best thing, and this is really for everybody and not just ADHD, is you have to give yourself permission to let your money journey look the way you want it to look and not the way that other people tell you it should look.
I have so many people and clients that are like, "I feel like I should be investing" like why? "Well, because they say I should be investing" like but why? "Well, because um..."
I love investing. I think you should invest as soon as possible. But it doesn't mean that it's the number one priority for everybody right now. So, when you start to shake off what everyone else tells you that you should be doing and give yourself permission to actually explore what you want to do, create, and what your priorities are in that moment, it becomes a lot easier.
When you go, "Oh, I gotta put this money into an investment" and it's not really what you want to do you, you don't care. But when you go, "Oh, my gosh, I'm saving up for this trip. I'm saving up for this car, I'm getting to pay this down. So I free this up", right?
When that's the goal and you're excited about the goal, every piece of progress you make towards it, every time you look at it... I have one client today, literally this morning, she started a brokerage account, started investing because it was a priority for her, it was exciting. She's like, "I get so excited every day, I get to look at it, and I get to see what's going on with this and I get to play".
It becomes exciting, because it's the thing you actually want to do...
Yeah, it sounds like it's giving it some meaning.
Yeah, it's that intentionality where you're actually doing the thing you want to do. The other thing that kind of feeds into my intuitive money management framework, besides really focusing on what your true desires are and what you really want, just giving yourself grace.
It's totally fine if it doesn't look great. It's totally fine, if it's a little clunky. It's totally fine, if your system changes every two months.
That's one of my favorites. The permission to change the system. I just talked about this, because we like to change the system and just fighting that is miserable.
I tell people, the best system for you is the one that you will use and that works. If you put a system in place, it works and you're using it and then it starts to not work and you start to not using it, you have my permission to do something different!
Because it's about it's about using a system and a strategy that works and that you will actually implement.So, you don't have to feel all the guilt and shame for like, "Oh, I didn't, that system didn't work for very long", or I failed, or I have to go back to that one thing. Give yourself permission to change it up a little bit. Do something different, because that's what keeps you engaged..
Finding one that fits you makes total sense.
Yep and it makes it more, you get more excited. I have, the app that I use for my budgeting and tracking allows me to use like emojis and color codes and that makes it fun, too.
That's awesome. So what's that app that you use?
Oh my gosh, I can just go on for hours and hours. The the app that I use is called You Need a Budget. It's abbreviated, YNAB. It's great because you can set goals and targets and it'll kind of color code you and like give you warnings if you're not on track for it.
The categories will be green, if you've got plenty of money to spend. You can set flags for things, you can put emojis in the category names, it'll alert you when there's transactions that you need to give a category to, it's very ADHD friendly.
It's kind of an intuitive app? It's easy to...
Very, very. I can, if you've got show notes, I've got a link that will allow people to get a free month when they subscribe and a free trial. So I'm definitely giving that to you.
I will definitely put those in the notes.
But doing things like that, you know, finding systems, finding apps, finding strategies that actually feel good, and then giving yourself permission to change if you need to.
I love that. So, that kind of leads us in... I listened to a little mini course you had, you had some really great tips for people with unique brains, people like us, a great beginning for getting some control over our financial lives.
Yeah, so these are my my neurodivergent money hacks. That's really similar to what we've already been talking about.
I think the most important thing, whatever it is that you feel like your ADHD is affecting in your life, when you start to approach this, it's really important to remember that you're not broken,it's not bad. It's just different in how you think, right?
Tip #1 Leverage Your Strengths
The first hack is find your superpower and embrace it. Embrace your neurodivergent brain, your ADHD superpower and use it to your advantage.
There's a couple things that this looks like. One is: the system that actually works for you might match your superpower. So, for me, I love spreadsheets. I get all the dopamine kicks when my spreadsheets balanced.
Okay, for me, the organization and the systems like that, it is my superpower. I use that to my advantage and I'm able to stay super organized.
For some people, one of their things that really affects them is the issue with object permanence, out of sight, out of mind situation. If they don't see it, it's not there.
You can use that to your advantage when it comes to your money. Pull money out into a completely separate bank account that you don't look at, whatever it is. Use those things to your advantage with your money, rather than just letting it be frustrating to you.
Then also, you can use those things as ways to generate income. I was so good at setting up setting up systems and spreadsheet automation and those kinds of things. I actually did it as a business there for a little while. I got paid to create spreadsheets for people.
You can actually generate income by using this thing, because that hyperfocus on organization was one of my superpowers. That's the first big hack when it comes to money is embrace your neurodivergent superpower and use it to your advantage.
Now, do you ever ever have clients that say, "I just don't see it that way. I don't have superpowers with ADHD and aren't really seeing where their strengths are? Do you have clients that have that take? How do you help them?
You know, most of the people I've worked with, they'll find something, right? They'll be like, "Oh, my superpower is the ability to really empathize with others and understand what they're going through". I'm like, "Great, you get to use that to your advantage and create a stream of income with it". Right?
What would that look like...?"
Right?.Any kind of...this one, in particular, that I had in mind. She's a coach for moms. She helps them cut out the the chaos in their minds and focus hemselves because she gets how they're feeling right?
Tip #2 Embrace Self Reflection
Even things like that, I would say that hack number two will actually help you if you're not sure what hack number one is, which is embracing self reflection,
So many times we let all of the labels overpower what we think we can accomplish. There's a lot of people with ADHD and other forms of neuro divergence, like bipolar, anxiety, that think that they're just broken and they don't have a superpower.
They just can't focus, they can't do anything right. Theyget themselves, they get really down on themselves. When you stop and you give yourself the ability to reflect on what have I succeeded at, what am I good at, what's really going on behind the things I'm struggling with? The truth is, with money, money is almost never the problem. Money is a symptom...
Oh, tell me more about that...
Money is 80+ percent behavior. It's only, like, 20% math. When you're starting to have money issues, it has to do with the things that are going on behind the scenes, both emotionally, subconsciously, or even practically.
When you get a chance to ask yourself," What's this really about?", for example, a lot of people with ADHD struggle with impulsivity, or they'll just spend a bunch of money on Amazon or they'll spend 10 times what they intended to spend when they walk into Target.
That is almost always caused by some sort of unmet emotional need. It's not because you actually were like, "Yes, I'm so excited to spend $100", it's because you were seeking a feeling that buying that thing was going to give you.
Absolutely. So, how do you help people, when they are at that place of learning how to notice that. You've noticed it, what's next,?
There's a whole process to it thatI teach inside of my monthly money mindset membership that I do. I teach the detailed process, I also have an e book that I'll tell you about, where I go through some of that process as well.
But, part of it is really just noticing the feeling first. What is the feeling that you feel when something goes wrong? Training yourself to notice when you feel it. Then starting to train yourself to recognize the pattern.
"Oh, my gosh, I always seem to feel that way when I'm at Target. I always seem to feel that way when I'm in this place. I always seem to feel this way when I'm around this person".
Recognize the feeling, first. Notice the patterns second. Then you can start shifting because you actually are recognizing what might have triggered that. "Oh my gosh, every time I'm around my mom, I spend so much money". Okay, yeah, that's what's really there.
What am I jumping off of? That this is what I want to do.
Yeah. You get to start working through that. I have a couple of other deep dive practices that I teach both in this interactive ebook, that I'll tell you about, this so exciting and in my mindset membership, because it's really a lot deeper than that.
The first thing is, notice the feeling. Second thing is recognize the patterns of when it's happening so that you can start to put some systems in place, right?
If you know you always spend money when you hang out with your mom, too much, then maybe bring less money, right? Don't bring your debit card with you.
Right. Put some friction there, so it's not going to be what you slide back into...
Yep, you have the ability once you can start self reflecting on those things. That also includes healing money trauma, right? That also includes being I have issues around money or the things that happened to you around money when you were a kid and giving yourself permission to start working on healing those things.
That self reflection, that ability to really see yourself is really going on, but also seeing your wins, celebrating those things that you're doing well and using them to your advantage.
Yeah, that's great. Embrace your ADHD superpower. Number two is self reflection, which is probably one of the biggest pieces, in general, with living with ADHD, I would say is key and a lot of what we do. What's your third tip?
Tip #3: Embrace Simplicity
The third one is the easiest and the hardest at the same time: embrace simplicity. There's a quote by Jim Collins: If you have more than three priorities you have none".
I believe when you are ADHD, if you have more than one priority, you have none. The moment you try to separate... I want to be clear, I don't mean that you're never allowed to have more than one thing you you are worried about in a season of life.
I mean, at any given moment, at any given minute, you've got to choose one thing to focus on. In this ebook that I developed, I talk you through what is the one area that you want to focus on first? Let's do these activities. Let's focus on that area first.
Then we'll come back and focus on the other ones, one at a time. When you can do that, we know that if we let our attention be too divided, we cannot actually fully do anything well.
We tend to overcomplicate things. One of my core values is simplicity. It's something I want to live by it's, it's the way I want to live. When you can embrace that idea of simplicity, where you give yourself permission to not try to fix everything all at once.
It's okay, if the only thing I worry about right now is making sure my bills get paid. It's okay if the only thing I worry about right now is saving $10 a week. It's okay, if the one thing I change is that I don't bring my debit card to target, right? One thing at a time is fine, because scattered efforts produce scattered results.
When you can start just choosing one thing at a time and make those micro changes, the simple little things when it comes to your money, it builds on top of each other, and it becomes much more easy to find the big changes later.
I think that's the other thing that we deal with with ADHD and all neurodivergence is this all or nothing. Like, if I can't do it all and get it perfect, I'm just not going to do anything.
When you start to embrace simplicity and you say, "You know what, I'm going to give myself permission to just do one thing, and it's okay, if I don't do all the bajillion things"...
Right! And give yourself credit when you do that one thing, it's huge. Your energy will snowball, if you recognize, "Hey, I didn't bring my credit card. Great for me!"
Yeah, and you get to celebrate those things. Celebrating is such a huge part of being successful in your money journey because if you don't recognize all of those little wins, then you feel like you're not winning.
Right, it can be discouraging, because it's sometimes it's a very big process.
Yeah, it is. And you know, we didn't pay $85,000 off in two weeks. Right? It was an almost four year process. It involved quite a few swings (it was longer than that) involved quite a few swings of extremes, two of us trying to find that sweet spot.
That's why I do what I do, I found the sweet spot and I know how to teach it to you. I want you to get to get to this sweet spot faster than I did.
That's good. It's good. And so how did you... talk about that four years...that's, that is an impressive amount of time that you were steady towards your goal. How did you keep encouraged during that time?
The biggest thing was we gave ourselves a lot of fun money. We gave ourselves permission to enjoy life and work towards our financial goals. Because people (say), "I just want to enjoy my life. I don't want to pay off my debt, I want to enjoy my life", but then they're paying on their debt for 15 years, because they never put any effort towards it, right? Again, that all or nothing thing,
Right. Splitting the difference, right?
Yes! Split the difference. Give yourself that ability to go out, to travel, to whatever ,you know.Of course, this totally depends on your income level and your expenses.
Like I said, it's 80% behavior and 20% math. Everyone's math is different, too. What they are bringing in compared to what they owe and what their expenses are. Even little things like giving yourself permission to go out to eat once a month can make you feel so excited.
You're like,"Oh my gosh, we get to go out to eat tonight!" You get to find that middle ground, I literally had one set of clients who are like, "We're just going to stop spending money, we're never going to spend money". And I was like, "Please don't do tha"t.
That sounds not very fun.
I was like, "Please don't do that. Don't do that". You have to love the journe, if you don't, if you're not having fun and you're not enjoying the process of enjoying your life and making progress, then you won't want to do it.
It's such a good point because I do think that, sometimes we feel like "Oh, we're adults, the fun shouldn't matter as much as it does". But for people, definitely people with ADHD, fun matters! Just dragging yourself through is not sustainable.
Well, and that's the thing with ADHD, it all neuro divergence, really, you are seeking the hits of dopamine that your executive function normally would have given you but you suck at executive function.Everything that you do is seeking that dopamine hit, which is the happy like, it's like, Whoo, that was fun.
Again, why celebrating your wins is really important because it hits you with that little hit of dopamine. You're like " Lok what I did!", right?
That's the same thing with your money. If you're not allowing yourself those little hits of dopamine with your money, if you're not allowing yourself to go get your nails done, if you're not allowing yourself to go out to eat every once in a while, it just feels like everything sucks. Even if you pay off $3,000 of debt every single month, but you hate the process, it doesn't matter.
That sounds very balanced and very sustainable, and honestly gives a lot of hope, I'm sure, for people who have never even considered that both could exist.
It's really interesting that you say that, because I did a training Tuesday in my group on the idea of rejecting scarcity.
Not just like focusing on abundance and having all this happy, positive mindset, but actually actively rejecting scarcity, what that really looks like.
Scarcity is a fear based decision, any decisions you make around money that are fear based are scarcity. Why is that? Well, it's because you're afraid you're not going to have enough, you're worried that things aren't going to work out. You don't trust yourself with the money, you don't trust yourself to make more.
When you look at that, there's a huge proposition here, which is, what if the opposite of scarcity isn't actually abundance? What if the opposite of scarcity is hope?
Oh, I like that a lot.
Because really scarcity, all the scarcity decisions and scarcity thought are based around like fear, right?
And with abundance, the amount of money does not necessarily correlate with someone's peace about money.
Yes, exactly. Desires change, as your income goes up, you have bigger dreams, right? You have bigger things you want, you're always going to want more. You're always going to feel like there's never enough. But if you can create a place where you have hope, and you have trust, and you have faith in your system, and you trust yourself with money, and you have hope for what you get to create in the future, then all of these fear based thoughts and fear based decisions get to go away, regardless of the number of dollars in your bank account.
That's why I've actually shifted, I don't talk about financial freedom anymore. I talk about financial fulfillment, because it is a feeling that you have and you can have it no matter how much money is in your bank account.
That's awesome. It reallyis.
Financial freedom is like a target, right? I'll get to financial freedom someday.When you ask people, what's financial freedom? They're like, "Well, when I finally pay off my house, or when I can finally retire, or when I'm finally debt free", it's like a target that feels like it'll never come. But when you start looking at how can I create financial fulfillment, it's a feeling that you can have in the midst of the journey.
That's definitely true. And you would have a lot more control, you could have that all along the journey versus the end goal.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You get to have it the whole time, which is what's fun about it. And that's, I think, also helps with ADHD, because again, it's a dopamine hit, right? If you're not giving yourself that feeling of being like, "This is amazing. I love this process", then you're not going to want to keep doing it.
That's so true. Because we do tend to be oriented towards "now". If now is miserable and miserable all of the moments we can envision, and floating out there is this great moment, it's not very motivating for a lot of us. Well, this is awesome. I know people are going to want to find you and want to know what you're doing. So, where can they find you?
The easiest way to find me right now is to just go to my website, which is nicoleweaver.com. and that will that will take you to my website.
That is fantastic. Well, thank you so much for joining us. And I know people would be interested in checking that out. I am too. And thank you so much, Nicole.
Thanks for having me.
You can reach Nichole on her website:www.nicholeweaver.com
You can also connect with her in her free FB group: Fearless Money Journey: Intuitive Strategies for Financial Freedom.