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In this week’s episode of Money Confidential, podcast host Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez helps a mom struggling with debt ditch her money shame.

By Real Simple Editors
March 01, 2021
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Each week on Money Confidential, Real Simple's new podcast, host Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez has a real, honest conversation about money, all in pursuit of banishing some of the guilt and shame people so often associate with their finances. On this week's episode, O'Connell Rodriguez talks to Maria, a 39-year-old mother of two who feels a lot of self-blame for her current financial situation. (Maria is an alias, to protect our caller's identity.)

Maria is in what she calls a feast or famine cycle: Every time she gets paid or receives a check, that money goes toward unpaid bills—and then she's left waiting anxiously for the next paycheck. At the same time, she wants to be able to give her kids everything they want, and feels a lot of guilt when she can't afford it. Though Maria has tried to talk to her family members about her challenging situation, she still feels a lot of shame and believes she's not smart with money—and is struggling to find emotional support to help her get out of her bad money cycle.

To help Maria both get her finances under control and find some support—and eventually erase her money guilt—Rodriguez calls on Tiffany Aliche, a money expert known as The Budgetnista. Now the author of several books about handling your money—including Get Good With Money, out March 30, 2021—Aliche has had her own money shame spiral in the past. Since she got her finances under control, Aliche has been on a mission to help others do the same.

Listen to this week's Money Confidential—"I'm tired of being 'bad with money.' Where do I even start to get my finances on track?"—to hear Aliche and Rodriguez's tips for fighting money shame, getting your paycheck-to-paycheck finances under control, and finding the emotional support you need to move forward on your money journey.