Dr. Robi Ludwig learns that magical thinking won't pay her bills

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Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig was living a jet-set life, hosting her own reality tv television show and appearing regularly on The Today Show. But one day she got a phone call from a bill collector- that was literally a wake-up call and it changed her life. 

In Dr. Robi’s money story you will learn:

-The wake up call she literally got while traveling to film her television show “One Week to Save your Marriage” 

-Why money was a taboo topic in her house growing up - and how that impacted her adult life

-The solution she found to take control of the finances

-Why she is still struggling to avoid falling back on old habits

In Dr. Robi Ludwig’s lesson you will learn

-How to avoid well meaning but often unrealistic advice 

-When to get professional money help

In Dr. Robi Ludwig’s money tip you will learn:

--The limitations of positive thinking when dealing with financial realities

-How she educates herself learns to better manage her money

-Her bill payment system

In my take you will learn:

-The importance of getting professional money help when you need it

-Specific resources to help you negotiate lower bills

Episode Links:

The Bachelor on ABC

The Today Show

The Secret

Star Studio talking live on Facebook

Bill negotiation resources: 

Trim

TrueBill

 

Review of Trim from the Money Peach

Review of Trim from Money under 30

Review of TrueBill on Money

CNN Money - How to shave hundreds off your credit card bill

 

Follow Dr. Robi Ludwig 

http://drrobiludwig.com/

Twitter @drrobiludwig

Instagram @drrobiludwig

Facebook

Dr. Robi’s book Your Best Age is Now!

 
 
Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig was living a jet-set life, hosting her own reality tv television show and appearing regularly on The Today Show. But one day she got a phone call from a bill collector- that was literally a wake-up call and it changed her life. In this Financial Grownup podcast episode you'll learn how to know when you should seek out professional help with your money. #FinanceTips #MoneyTips

Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig was living a jet-set life, hosting her own reality tv television show and appearing regularly on The Today Show. But one day she got a phone call from a bill collector- that was literally a wake-up call and it changed her life. In this Financial Grownup podcast episode you'll learn how to know when you should seek out professional help with your money. #FinanceTips #MoneyTips

 

Transcription

Dr. R. Ludwig:
I was very much in to magical thinking. You know, if I said affirmations, if I thought from a wealthy mindset, that everything would be okay. And finally along the way I realized, you have to take your head out of the sand and look at reality.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grown Up. With me, certified financial planner, Bobby Rabbel. Author of How to Be a Financial Grown Up. And you know what, being a grown up is really hard, especially when it comes to money. But it's okay, we're going to get there together. I'm going to bring you one money story from a financial grown up, one lesson and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey friends, today's episode is truly about becoming a financial grown up, even if it doesn't happen until you're in your 40's. My guest is nationally known psychotherapist, Dr. Robi Ledwig. She is also the author of Your Best Age is Now and the host of Talking Live with Dr. Robi Ledwig. You also probably know her from the Today Show and countless media appearances. She is often the calming and reassuring presence after tragedies, both in the real world and on reality TV. I say that because we do talk a little bit about the Bachelor at the top of the interview. She has seen it all. But she also admits, she doesn't like to live in her own reality when it comes to her finances. Here is Dr. Robi Ludwig. Dr. Robi Ludwig. You are a financial grown up now, I should say. Welcome to the podcast.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Thank you so much for having me, I'm trilled, truly.

Bobbi Rebell:
And I'm so excited to have you. You are a psychotherapist. You are the author of Your Best Age is Now. And you are everywhere by the way. I have to thank you on behalf of America for calming us down about the Bachelor. I watched you on Nightline last night, you're amazing.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Oh thank you. Yeah, you know, I think a lot of people had strong feelings about Ori and going back and forth and what's so interesting about the Bachelor is, I think everybody can relate to those nightmare dating stories or losing the guy you think is perfect. Or winning the guy you think is perfect. So it certainly stirs up a lot of different feeling.

Bobbi Rebell:
And you made us all feel so much better, so thank you. We're also going to feel better about our own shortcomings when it comes to money, when we hear your money story. And I was kind of shocked when you told me what you were going to share today, because Robi, I expected better of you. You had a come to Jesus moment in the bathroom. You were thinking, tell us what happened.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
You should have very low expectations of me Bobby, and then we'll be all good. No, this is really true. And this was a story I've never shared with anyone by the way. So you are first to-

Bobbi Rebell:
Exclusive here.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
I was experiencing a lot of professional success. I put a lot of time and energy and had a lot therapy and I was writing books that were getting published. I was on national TV, I'd be on Opera and Larry King and I was the host of my own show. I was on the Today show regularly giving advice. I was traveling around a lot of as the host of One Week to Save your Marriage and I was in somebody's home that I was trying to help save their marriage. And I was in the bathroom, where I have a lot of interesting insightful moments, but I had this kind of Jesus moment. I had my phone, and I got this phone call from a bill collector saying, "When you are going to pay your statement?" It was stressful to me and I was like, why am I this successful person professionally, and financially I'm just like this mess. And I don't want to be that person anymore.

Bobbi Rebell:
How old were you by the way?

Dr. R. Ludwig:
I was in my 40's.

Bobbi Rebell:
Wow.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Yeah. And finances had always been an issue for me because I was raised with very poor role models in this way. My mother still sticks her head in the sand when it comes to money. She didn't want to know anything about it, my father handled everything. We never spoke about money in the home. So it was just kind of like, well just do well for yourself and everything will be okay. Or you're deserving of the best, and reality and money, they never went together. And so while I don't want to blame my background, because I certainly understand parents had their own philosophy and when discussing money with kids, I realize the way I grew up was really unhealthy in that area. And I had not done a thing to make it better, because it was just a taboo topic that felt too dangerous and uncomfortable for me.

Bobbi Rebell:
So what did you do?

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Well in this come to Jesus moment I said, "I got to fix this." I hired experts to help me take care of my money in a way that was on time and regular. And I wanted to develop self confidence in knowing that I could trust myself to figure out how to pay everything on time. To trust myself to know that I could bring enough in and spend that appropriately, without spending too much. It's a constant struggle for me quite honestly, because money is something that is still challenging for me.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
So, it's the one area in my life that I'm always really trying to a professional grown up and it's something I have to put a lot of effort in to, because I could fall back on old habits. But I wanted to trust myself and I wanted to know Robi, you are a person, you're going to pay all of your bills on time.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
You are never going to be late. You are going to know about money. You're going to familiarize yourself with how to ask for what you're worth and know that your time is worth financial dollars. So these are ways I didn't think. I just thought in this kind of naive way, just do what you like and the money will come in. Or if you think well of yourself, then your life will look pretty.

Bobbi Rebell:
Right. But the money was coming in. You were doing great. You just weren't paying your bills.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
I wasn't being a responsible adult. It didn't click. And I finally confronted myself and said, "This is not who you want to be. This is not okay. There is too big a disconnect between who you are professionally and how the world sees you." Now grated Bobby, I'm not you, I'm not giving financial advice. This is a true story. I was once asked to talk about, how to handle things financially for the Today Show. It was kind of a couples piece. And I'm like, hey I said to the producer, "How do you think I did?" He's like, "Robi, you didn't give any explanations on what to do." I was like, "Yeah, I don't have any explanations on what to do." I was like-

Bobbi Rebell:
So, let's talk about the lesson for our listeners. It seems to me, it's knowing when to ask for outside help right? Something like that.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Yeah. You're not a one man band. So, if you have people who know how to handle money, ask them questions, read articles. There are companies out there that can also help you pay past bills or negotiate for you if you need to have someone help you with that. One of my favorite things on the planet is that I can pay my bills online now. It makes it so simple. I just figure out what date does something need to be paid, and I set it up so it happens and I don't even have to think about it. So I know that I can trust myself to pay my bills on time and it will get done.

Bobbi Rebell:
Because you're held accountable.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Because I want to be that person. I wanted to trust myself. I did not want there to be such a grand disconnect in the various areas of my life, and I felt it was time, that it was not okay to be irresponsible in this way anymore. It just wasn't okay.

Bobbi Rebell:
So let's get to your money tip. I love this. You say, "Stop the magical thinking."

Dr. R. Ludwig:
I was very much in to magical thinking. You know, if I said affirmations, if I thought from a wealthy mindset, that everything would be okay. And finally along the way I realized, you have to take your head out of the sand and look at reality. And I'm not always a big fan of reality because it can be painful, but it is the best way to handle money issues. Look at the reality. Figure out what you need to do. It may not always be pleasant but if you put your head in the sand, what you resist persists. So it's not a good strategy when dealing with financial realities and how to protect yourself financially.

Bobbi Rebell:
Didn't Opera have a book called The Secret, that she recommended? And it would solve all your problems.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Yeah.

Bobbi Rebell:
And I admit I never read it, so I don't know but that kind of seems like promising people that this one thing will solve everything.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Exactly. And I loved The Secret, and while I think there's value in thinking positively and having high expectations of yourself and wanting the best, I think that's great. But when it comes to money, there's a different language I think everybody needs to subscribe to. Which is thinking more pragmatically. And that's what I constantly struggle in my adulthood with, figuring out what to do because it's hard for me. It's not always pleasant but I'm proud of myself that I have moved along those lines because it's the way one needs to be in order to be a financially responsible adult.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Well you are a financially responsible adult now, especially thanks to all those automated tools, which are actually great. I use a lot of automated bill paying myself. Let's talk more about you. Besides holding our hand when we get upset about the Bachelor, where else can people find you? What else are you up to these days?

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Oh my goodness. Well you find me on television again, contributing about various psychological things going on. But one of the most exciting projects I've worked on over the past year is producing and hosting my own Facebook Live show out of Starshop Studios. It's talked Talking Live. You can find it on Talking Live on Facebook. You can find me, Dr. Robi Ludwig on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and I get to interview people who are making the world a better place, based on their talents and skills. And so it's been tremendously rewarding having people on the show who I respect, who have something important to say and can share that with the world. And so that's the type of person I want to be. It's like being a therapist but translating it as a producer and host.

Bobbi Rebell:
And where can people find you on social media?

Dr. R. Ludwig:
They can find me under Dr. Robi Ludwig, which is R-O-B-I-L-U-D-W-I-G, and it's D-R, on Talking Live on Facebook and you can find me just ... If you google Dr. Robi Ludwig you can find me all over the place on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook. I don't do SnapChat, but I'm everywhere else.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right. Sounds good. Thank you so much Dr. Robi Ludwig.

Dr. R. Ludwig:
Thank you for having me. I adore you and I adore your show.

Bobbi Rebell:
Well Robi was pretty humble but as her friend, I'm pretty happy that she's in a better place now. So that brings us to financial grown up tip number one, which is it's okay to get professional help, just like she's a therapist and helps you with your mind. People are there to help you with your money. And once Robi came to terms with the fact that she couldn't manage her finances herself, she reached out for professional help and that was really the key for her. She also educates herself and takes ownership of paying her bills. By involving professional people, she was externally accountable. As she says, "You are not a one man band."

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial grown up tip number two, Robi mentions that there are places that you can go to help negotiate your bills. Here are a couple of resources to check out and see maybe one will work for you. Trim and Trubill are personal finance assistants, virtual ones. They will analyze your credit card bills, identify recurring charges and then you can either cancel them or they actually have features where they will go in and try to negotiate lower bills for you. They do get paid. They often take a cut of what they negotiate, so nothing is free in life as I always say. But you can check them out.

Bobbi Rebell:
I'm going to put some links in the show notes and also some reviews from some of my favorite websites so you can see what other people have to say about those services. And just a reminder, I have no financial affiliation with these companies and if I ever do, I will let you guys know.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thank you all for your support. If you have not subscribed, please hit that button, so you don't miss any episodes. And be in touch. Follow me on social media at Bobbi Rabbel on Twitter and at BobbiRabbelone on Instagram. I love hearing all of your comments and thank you for the reviews. Please keep them coming. I hope this episode delivered value for you, that you're going to go out right now and do something to better your life financially. We're in this together. I hope you enjoyed Dr. Robi Ludwig's interview and it helped all of us to get one step closer to being financial grown ups.