Six Traps Blocking Nurses From Their Money

money mistakes money traps Oct 04, 2022

So far in this training series you have learned that yes, you can be financially independent. Yes, you can get there on a nursing salary. Yes, you can transform your financial security into fearless advocacy in your professional role. And yes, you can make work optional and have complete freedom from nursing when that time comes too. 

Then, I showed you the exact 6 steps you can take each month that will move you toward your money goals. These are the exact steps taking me from free-school-lunch-eating-kid to financially independent nurse. Now I work because I want, not because I have to. 

Since as long as I can remember, I've loved managing my money. Maybe because my family didn't have any? I’ve read dozens of finance books, hundreds of blogs, listened to so many hours of podcasts and finance related lectures. The key here is that I set up systems along the way that let me put this theory into practice. 

Still though, I fell into one big trap. I’m going to get to that at the end, but here’s a sneak peak: it cost me a LOT of money. 

In yesterday’s teaching I handed you the golden platter showing you these exact steps. But if they were easy to follow then everyone would have their money sorted. It's time for some real talk about what doesn’t work. Let's talk what's preventing nurses from achieving their money goals.

Meet Tiera, RN x 22 Years

Tiera's a busy mom and wife and has been a nurse for 22 years. For 16 years Tiera has been working on getting her money right! She's read multiple books and spent hours listening to podcasts. She struggled to put all the information together into actionable steps.  This led her to carrying a lot of shame and guilt about money. She thought she should do better. An her community expected that as a nurse, she would be financially fit. 

These feelings kept her from seeking out meaningful help to end her revolving debt cycle. Also, debt is normal in her family and to her colleagues. In fact, one of her nursing colleagues told her how to take a loan out against her workplace retirement plan. 

Tiera's money pattern was one where she would rack up a big debt bill, then make herself suffer to pay it down. Picking up extra nursing shifts – she worked harder and longer, to get that good nursing money. She'd put it all into her debt, then repeat the cycle. 

Tiera says her feelings held her back. She found investing intimidating.  Was she analyzing and picking funds correctly? Who should she ask for help that won't make her feel embarrassed? Then Tiera had her daughter. 

Resolving to make a meaningful change to stop the debt cycle, she decided to create a new money story to pass down. She would break the cycle of previous generations.

Tiera came to work with me because she was ready to end years more of self-study and put a plan into action. She was ready to create generational wealth. Getting unstuck from her nursing work and becoming financially independent sounded appealing too. 

As a result of working together, Tiera has had some really big wins. 

  • She has her path to getting unstuck from her job
  • Her money confusion is gone
  • She's doing her own investing
  • She's saved years of more self-study and confusion
  • She sees how exactly how to create financial independence for herself
  • She understands how to create generational wealth

Bonus! She also calculated that she saved $24,000 by completing the work inside my program!


Tiera has overcome the traps that many nurses fall into with their money. 🥳

In this training, we'll focus on what you should be avoiding to make earlier progress on your money goals... and not be in the same place 16 years from now! 

Six Traps Blocking Nurses From Their Money

1. The Learn It For Free Trap

You know now that Tiera spent 16 years self-studying. Believing she could learn this information on her own is not wrong. It's just time consuming. And since time is the best way to make passive income, when 16 years are lost so is a lot of money!

The most notable part here is that even after 16 years of self-study, Tiera struggled to take actionable steps. Nurses fall into this trap all the time! Tiera helps us understand why: because we believe we just need to be better with money. But how? An unending cycle of DIY and hope! But it doesn't work for most. If it did, every nurse would be a millionaire!

Watch out for this super sneaky trap. Sixteen years could go by and you'll still be right where you are today.


2. Mindset Trap

This is all about the mental tricks our mind plays on us to keep us from doing better with our money. Remember how Tiera talked about feeling guilt and shame? 

Feeling daunted by investing? Being overwhelmed by feelings that she wasn’t going to do it right. 

Can you relate? 

Coming in hot! 🔥  Here are common thoughts holding nurses back followed by some mental tricks you can start using today to move beyond. 

  • "I’m not interested in finance?" 

Change that to: I’m interested in being unstuck from my job and working because I want to.


  • "I’m not good at math." 

Change that to: I don’t have to be good at math because there are calculators built for me to do all the work. I have to be good at critical thinking and I’ve already got that down … I mean, you do… you’re a nurse!


  • "I’ll work more to earn more to buy more things." 

Change that to: how many hours of my time is this item that I’m getting ready to buy actually worth to me? Is it worth it to go to work for this many hours to afford this item right now?


  • "It’s too late to start investing." 

Tell yourself that there’s no such thing as too late to start.


  • "My money mistakes of the past are holding me back today and impacting my future." 

Look, what’s happened in the past is in the past. If telling yourself that starting over from today isn’t cutting it, then you may need to see a Money Mindset coach. Please contact me for a referral.


  • "People like me don’t invest.” 

I’m right there with you. No one in my family invested and my parents still struggle with money. So start to picture yourself as the  trailblazer who’s changing the money story of your family… like we saw Tiera do! 


  • "I don’t have enough money to invest." 

That may actually be true, but it doesn’t have to be and there are simple solutions. Starting today tell yourself, “I am going to start using a strategy that I know works to find money that I have to invest. There’s no amount that’s too small to invest.”

3. Generic Investment Advice Trap

What works for one family member, colleague, or friend is not a reason to do it yourself. For example, Tiera’s colleague counseled her to take a loan against her retirement plan. That led to later regret. 

When it comes to investing there are 2 schools of thought that seem to be popular and both are traps to avoid.


2 Investing Traps To Avoid

  1. The overcomplicated investment strategy. You can’t do your own investing so you should outsource it to an expert who can make a complicated portfolio for you and the 1% fee is worth it.
  2. The oversimplified strategy. I also call this the 'do-what-I-do' strategy. You'll hear people say, "VTSAX and chill." In other words, 'just buy xyz and be done with it.' If the person telling you this isn't exactly like you, meaning: same age, same family, same amount of money in savings, same emergency fund, same bills, same... you get the point. If someone tells you this generic advice, you can bet they don't understand investing well either. Approach with caution.

By now you will know that every person will decide to invest their accounts differently. They'll be basing this on their individual goals: risk tolerance and risk capacity. Not one person I’ve worked with has chosen the same strategy! It’s individual!!

The missing piece for Tiera’s ability to do her own investing came down to exactly this. She told me, “What helped me profoundly understand investing was to determine my asset allocation and base it on my personal risk tolerance. It may seem simple in some ways, but for me, that was really a huge step in the process of me figuring out how I wanted to invest and where I was at.”

She’s right when she says it ‘seems simple’ because it does. Do you tolerate risk? Yes or no? 

But learning what that means is key. It’s a mathematical equation you use to direct your investments. It's not a guess or a feeling. It's data. 

It's also important for safety. As Tiera said, “I can sleep well at night knowing I'm not going to lose everything.” 


4. Inaccurate Savings Trap

Not knowing how much you need to have in your emergency and sinking funds leads to 1 of 2 things

  1. Saving way too much.  Which means that you’re not investing enough.  So you're losing money to inflation and not generating passive income like you should be.
  2. Saving way too little into savings or checking accounts. This is problematic because it puts you at risk of  financial catastrophe.  

Scott learned this when setting up his Spending I&O Sheet…  I told you what goes into that in the previous training. 

(Pssst... I’ll let you in on a secret. I have a plug and play I&O tool that’s already built that I use with my students to get them started within hours.) 

When Scott set up his Spending I&O sheet, he saw he had thousands of dollars sitting in his cash accounts. This was way beyond what he needed for his emergency and sinking funds. Seems like a good problem, right? Except the value of his money was going down due to inflation. And he was missing out on passive income generation by having it invested. 

He fixed it by throwing it into his debt and then purchasing stocks and bonds. Small actions like this are what get you unstuck from your job sooner!

5. Debt Trap

Thinking that investing isn’t for you until you’re debt free is not always good advice! A lot of times it’s flat out wrong! I did touch on this a bit in the last training, but I want to talk about it more here.

There’s good debt and bad debt. The magic number we look for here is if the debt interest rate, also called annual percentage rate (APR) is above or below 7%

  • Lower than 7% =  good debt 
  • Higher than 7% =bad debt

I’m of the mindset that debt is debt and that we don’t need to put labels of good or bad on it. It is what it is. Either way it must be dealt with smartly. 

Debt is personal. For me, any debt felt icky. Because as long as I had debt attached to me, I felt attached to making an income to pay for it. I wanted to tackle all my debt. That’s why I bought my home in cash rather than taking out a loan.

But you know what I also know? If I got a bank to give me a mortgage with an APR of <7%. That would mean that I could invested the rest. That could lead me to be build my wealth even more! 

This, by the way, is called debt leverage. 

Leveraging debt isn't for me. I share this story with you to say, maybe it is for you? And to point out that there are many ways to wealth. So don't fall into the trap believing that you cannot invest or build wealth when you have debt. Because you can. 

I have a bunch of debt resources in my free N.I.F.W Wealth Ladder download. In it I include a calculator to determine if taking mortgage debt is likely to pay you in the short or long term. If you don't already have my Wealth Ladder Workbook, put your email in at the bottom of this page, and I'll send it to you.

6. Financial Advice Trap

Working with experts makes us feel secure. Especially when they are helping us navigate a world that we don’t understand. Yes, I’m talking about financial advisors.

If you're outsourcing investing to a financial advisor because you don’t know how to invest, you're putting your money into the hands of someone who knows you don't know how to invest.

{{Read That Again.}}

Here are some common financial advice traps:

  • No fees. Lies! The advisor themself may not charge a fee, but the industry standard is to get you invested in a portfolio that will cost you about 1% on your investments... regardless of if you earn a profit or take a loss. This is how I lost $300,000


  • If a fiduciary: obligated to manage your portfolio in your best interest. Half true- but how do they know what's your best interest? 
    • How can they know your risk tolerance/capacity if you don't know it?
    • How can they help you achieve your money goals if you don't know how to achieve them yourself?
    • And if it were in your best interest, why is it still an industry standard to invest you in a portfolio with a 1% fee? 

The result is usually getting invested in high fee funds. Why is that a problem? High fees end up costing you thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. I already told you about how Tiera saved herself at least $24,000 from reducing her fees. Scott saved $17,000 in 1 year.  

At the beginning of this lesson, I told you I made an expensive mistake and this is it. I worked with a "fee-free" fiduciary financial advisor for about 10 years. He invested me in high fee funds ~1% which is an industry standard for financial advisors. I thought 1% sounded like a low amount, but what I now know is that this fee cost my investments more than $300,000. 

Another client, Sarah, found her fees = 2.56% from our work together. 😱 She has estimated saving $322,000 across just 8 years! This is no joke and why I warn you about the trap of "fee free" and fiduciary. 

There are other reasons that working with an advisor or fiduciary is problematic. 

  1. They act as gatekeepers between you and your money. When I was buying my home in cash, my financial advisor was on vacation. No one in the office could help me make a withdrawal until he was back! I nearly lost out on my house!
  2. Financial advisors speak in financial jargon. As a nurse, we don’t speak medical jargon to our patients, why then, would we tolerate it from other industries? 


Nurses deserve better. You work hard enough for your money. You need it to stay in your pocket and fund your retirement. Not some big rich banker’s. You're also extremely smart and capable. It should send up a big old red flag when someone starts talking to you about your money and you don't understand it.


The Good News For Nurses & Their Money

The good news here is that as a nurse you already make enough to become financially independent. You also have all the critical thinking skills you need to manage your money better than an expert. What you need is a plan. Don't spend years trying to figure it all out on your own. Stop losing time and money along the way.

Prepare yourself to step away from nursing. When the time comes, you'll be ready. 

You can change your money story… for yourself and for your family.

End confusion. Stop worrying if you’ll have enough. 

Imagine it. A time not far in the future when you’re taking time off because you need it and you’re able to pay yourself. You take a job because you want to work, not because you have to. You become a fearless advocate for yourself, your colleagues, and your patients.


There’s one more training coming, and it’s happening live!! 


Inside that training I’ll show you how to understand the stock market. I’ll teach you an essential skill for analyzing investments. 

I’ll show you exactly how I lost those $300,000 I told you about today. You’ll see why Tiera realizes she’ll be saving $24,000. How Scott is saving $17,000 and why Sarah will save $322,000.

It’s likely you’ll be able to replicate this. Most nurses I work with do!  Speaking of that, I’m planning to personally guide 10 nurses through Ultimate Nurse Investing very soon. In this program I will teach the exact strategy I used to get unstuck from my job, end money confusion, and create financial freedom. It’s the detailed step by step instruction that helped Tiera put the pieces together... and many others! 


For now though, come and join me at the live investing training to keep learning. You must register ➡️ here.

Can’t join live? When you register you'll get the replay! I totally understand that nursing schedules are chaotic– just make sure you’re registered to get it.

Before you leave here, I want to hear from you! Have you fallen into any of these traps? What traps have I left out? Email me or get in touch on Instagram @nursesinvestingforwealth

And last thing before I go, please share this with another nurse if you found it useful! I’m excited to see you live!

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