600 – Unpacking Money and Clutter: Exploring the Deep Connection Part 2 with Coach Stefania Mariaa

We all have a limited amount of our three greatest resources: time, energy, and money. Do you feel like you could be doing a better job making decisions about how to use those resources?

Welcome to the conversation, friend!

In Part 2 of Unpacking Money and Clutter: Exploring the Deep Connection, Kathi and Coach Stefania Mariaa continue the conversation about wanting to put every dollar, every bit of energy, and every bit of time into something that gives us a return. But what do those returns look like? Listen in as they talk about financial intimacy and other topics such as:

  • How to get out of shame cycles
  • How to change your mind set about mistakes.
  • How “spending by proxy” affects your financial health

Have you listened to 599 Unpacking Money and Clutter: Exploring the Deep Connection Part 1 with Coach Stefania Mariaa? Click here.

Find information about Coach Stefania Mariaa’s financial Master Class here.

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The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.


Learn more about Clutter Free for Life

Have you ever felt shame about past financial mistakes? How has listening to this episode helped reset your thinking on those feelings?

Share your answers in the comments.

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Meet Our Guest 


Stefania Mariaa

Stefania Mariaa is a multidisciplinary coach guiding people back to their radiant and sovereign wealth without abandoning themselves for anything less.

Connect with Stefania Mariaa on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok @stefaniamariaa or @bank.membership, her website, or for her free teaching .


Kathi (00:04.398)
 Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter-Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And guys, we are back for part two of this amazing conversation with Stefania Maria. On TikTok, you can find her at bank membership. We’re gonna have all the links.

down below so you can find out all about her. But last week, and if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, go back, listen to that, and then come back here because you are going to want to have the first part of this conversation. And when we left off last week, we were talking about financial intimacy, and we defined it in the last episode. But I wanna, so how…

Can my listener give us a one, a two sentence recap of what financial intimacy is and how can my listeners discover that for themselves?

Stefania Mariaa (01:11.587)
Absolutely. So financial intimacy is the practice of getting honest and vulnerable about how you use your resources of time, money, and energy. And what that requires is actually going to look at the reality you’re living. So something as simple as like looking at your bank account, reviewing your bank statements. But beyond that, it’s not just enough to like see them objectively. It’s to ask yourself a question deeper.

What is this showing me about how I’m showing up in my life? What is the way that my calendar is structured, reflecting back to me, whether I’m respecting myself or disrespecting myself? And that continues on into money and it continues on into your energetic, like how full of vitality you are. What is this reflecting back to me?

Kathi (02:02.465)

And you guys, if you feel like, oh, this is weird. This is just weird. These are woohoo kind of things that we’re talking about here. Can I tell you why it’s weird? It’s because as a society, we don’t value people’s time, their energy, and that goes into money. And so we don’t value it, so we don’t talk about it. And here’s what I will say, that corporations,

marketing, all that. It is to their detriment that you look at these things because you will make wiser choices. Am I in the right ballpark, Stefania?

Stefania Mariaa (02:46.019)
Absolutely. And the greatest thing about this is that it’s not necessarily that like businesses will fail in the face of financial intimacy. That’s definitely not what I’m saying. But what I am saying is that even as a business owner, if everyone around you is practicing financial intimacy, you know that your clients are spending money with you because it’s an extension of their self-respect.

Kathi (02:47.596)

Kathi (02:54.467)

Kathi (03:00.738)

Kathi (03:09.162)
right. Yes. They are.

Stefania Mariaa (03:10.583)
Right? Like, doesn’t that feel so much better?

Kathi (03:14.514)
It’s an investment instead of an oops. And that’s what we want. We want you to be putting every dollar, every minute, every ounce of energy into the thing that’s going to give you the best return. And I’ve talked about this in our coaching this morning, and not a lot of people know this, that I went through a couple of bouts of situational depression. And you know,

Stefania Mariaa (03:31.213)

Kathi (03:43.034)
I have no problem with people watching TV. I have no problem with people being on TikTok. But I was doing that to avoid some other things in my life. And if I had understood this financial intimacy, I would have said, you know what? This is, you know, I have no problem with people watching TV, but instead of watching a Friends rerun for the 700 time, maybe I watch a movie that I always say I don’t have time for.

but I think would be really enriching to me or a documentary. And it’s okay to waste some time, some time, but when you’re doing it consistently, when you’re wasting your energy consistently, when you are wasting your money consistently, that’s something to look at. There’s something that’s not aligned in your life and you need to get to the bottom of that.

Stefania Mariaa (04:33.315)
Absolutely. And you know, I’m often like telling people, so I lead people through a process called the bank money audit. And it’s really, it’s quite an extensive process because it readjusts how people look at reviewing their bank statements, reviewing their credit card statements, because it does ask what version of you is showing up to waste your resources.

Kathi (04:40.248)

Kathi (04:43.502)

Kathi (04:57.142)

Stefania Mariaa (04:57.659)
Is it your younger child who’s looking to be held, like your inner young one? Is it your inner teen who’s rebelling or conforming against the world? Is it your, like whatever part is operating at that place? Because if it is, it means that you’re actually not present. Like you’re not taking care of all of those parts of yourself to ensure that they’re nourished. So now they have to go rogue with your life.

Kathi (05:01.238)

Stefania Mariaa (05:22.707)
spend the entire weekend binging Netflix, even though you really wanted to go to the gym or really wanted to bake or really wanted to spend the morning with friends. It doesn’t really matter. You weren’t an active participant in your life. So these other parts came in to get their needs met in a really rogue way. It’s the best way to explain it.

Kathi (05:22.935)
Ha ha ha!

Kathi (05:42.13)
Yeah, and they’re not going to go away. By ignoring them, you need to address them. And so this is a great way of doing it. Okay, you talk about being wounded by your past financial mistakes. A lot of time clutter is also a result of being wounded. How do you talk people through this so that they can be free from that past that keeps rearing its ugly head?

Stefania Mariaa (06:10.935)
So part of, this is a little bit weird and woo to some, but what I will say is that shame is an addiction.

Kathi (06:20.182)
Yes, yeah, we talk about shame all the time in here. Yes

Stefania Mariaa (06:23.559)
Yeah, so when we have, let’s say, this embarrassing financial decision that we made, we spent too much money on XYZ, or even time wise, I spent too much time on TikTok, or I.

Kathi (06:28.894)

Yeah. You guys, she said Zed because she’s Canadian. So I just to all my Canadian listeners, I just want the shout out. You noticed that other people may not have, but I know you love it when we have our Canadian friends on here. Please go ahead.

Stefania Mariaa (06:36.861)

Stefania Mariaa (06:49.428)
I haven’t said a yet, so that’s great. But whenever we spend in excess of our resources, there’s usually this moment of embarrassment, like how could I do that? Oh my gosh, I’m bad. And it’s like this gasping for air. And the problem being is that if that becomes our familiar, if that is the thing that is the most frequent experience.

Kathi (06:51.736)

Stefania Mariaa (07:15.191)
there’s a neuro groove that gets reinforced there. And even though it’s a negative experience, that neuro groove being reinforced means that we know what to expect from it. So we can feel the shame, we know how to move through the shame, we know how to bask in the shame, but we don’t know how to be unashamed for the past decisions we’ve made. And so if you find yourself in these cycles of like, I’m so humiliated.

Kathi (07:28.48)

Kathi (07:36.238)


Stefania Mariaa (07:43.415)
that I made that past decision, and I don’t wanna make another mistake like that. The first step is to one, and this is gonna sound a little callous, but like, get over yourself. That shame doesn’t pay. If anything, it actually locks up your energy so that you never move beyond it and that you sit in these looming mental kind of self-harming cycles, instead of being like, oh, I made that mistake. This is why I think it’s a mistake, not what others think is a mistake.

Kathi (07:52.687)
Mmm, right.

Kathi (08:01.632)

Kathi (08:06.976)

Mm-hmm. This is why I think this is. Yeah. Whatever makes sense. Right. What I think makes sense. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (08:13.239)
This is why I think it’s a mistake. And this is what I’ve learned from it. And this is how I’m gonna shift moving forward. I often say to people like, you know, student loan debt is like a huge thing that people feel ashamed by.

Kathi (08:21.781)

Stefania Mariaa (08:29.271)

Kathi (08:29.828)
Guys, there is a huge industry out there to get you to have student loans. They have spent decades perfecting how to entice you into this. This is not something you should be ashamed of.

Stefania Mariaa (08:37.012)
Oh yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (08:45.155)
Absolutely not. And one of the things that I often teach people is like, well, one, you were a teenager when you made that decision. And even though that sucks, teenage you thought that adult you would be able to handle it.

Kathi (08:51.626)
Yes. I think we know that sucks. Mm-hmm.

Kathi (08:59.962)
Right, right, absolutely.

Stefania Mariaa (09:01.923)
Okay, so when you made that decision, you did the best you possibly could given the circumstances you were in. And I understand that as an adult, you have a lot of judgment for the teenage decision, but that’s where you need to get over yourself because they did the best they could.

Kathi (09:07.818)
Right. Yes.

Kathi (09:14.928)

Kathi (09:18.874)
Right, they were trying to take care of you. Yes.

Stefania Mariaa (09:21.675)
Yeah. And this extends beyond, like, you know, some people they’ll feel regret for a marriage that they entered into. Well, past you wasn’t from the same frame of reference. So all that shame and humiliation is really a self judgment rather than self honoring.

Kathi (09:28.278)
Yeah. Well, passed you. Right.


Kathi (09:38.06)

Stefania, I will tell you, I have come to the conclusion just within the past few months, that 25% of my decisions are mistakes. Now, it’s everything from the kind of canned sardines I bought, to my first marriage, to so many things I’ve done are mistakes. And I think that is entirely human.

So even though 25% of my decisions are mistakes, I’m learning from 100% of them. And I, and you know, like I would say probably in my late teens, early twenties, 75% of my decisions were mistakes. So my average is getting better. It’s just when we live our lives on such a razor thin margin that we can’t make mistakes without absolute disaster that we get into trouble.

Stefania Mariaa (10:16.579)

Stefania Mariaa (10:38.071)

Kathi (10:39.338)
And so that’s why we have to understand that there are going to be mistakes.

Stefania Mariaa (10:43.523)
Absolutely, and I love that you bring this into the conversation around like, oh no, if I make a mistake, my life’s going to combust.

Kathi (10:50.653)

Stefania Mariaa (10:52.175)
So the way that I teach financial intimacy, there is like this deeply spiritual aspect of it. And I think most money teachers, if they have any sense, will also include the spiritual aspect of it. And so there’s this concept of, we’ll always reach points in our life where we’ll have to like totally surrender to reality. I’m of the mind that if money is this like do or die experience,

Kathi (10:58.422)

Kathi (11:03.669)

Stefania Mariaa (11:19.399)
It actually means that there were several instances prior to that moment that got ignored.

Kathi (11:25.782)
Mmm, yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (11:28.299)
It’s like, I need to leave my job and find a better job, but yet you stayed at that job for another eight months. And now you’re in a do or die. It’s, I need to take a look at my spending, but then you avoided your credit card statement for a year, and now you’re in this tremendous debt. It’s the magic people want around their money is actually in the work they’re avoiding.

Kathi (11:34.263)


Kathi (11:45.579)

Kathi (11:52.054)

Stefania Mariaa (11:53.579)
Right? And so when we’re looking at this, like, I can’t afford to make a mistake. It’s like, actually now is when you need to make the mistake because you didn’t make them when you could afford it.

Kathi (12:00.896)

Right, and guys, it is painful to look at your current situation, but it is absolutely necessary because what it does is it says, oh, this is why I made this decision, this is why I did this. You know what, I’m gonna forgive myself for that, but I’m also not going to repeat that mistake by ignoring it, and that is a beautiful thing. Stefania.

Stefania Mariaa (12:11.427)

Kathi (12:29.822)
The reason I wanted this whole conversation is because you did a TikTok about spending by proxy. And I have never heard this before, but I have done this. I have done this a bunch of times. And I want you to explain what spending by proxy is, what it looks like in our lives, and how we can correct it. Go.

Stefania Mariaa (12:54.147)
Absolutely. So spending by proxy, said simply, is that when you spend like the people you are near to. So what this looks like, it starts again, it’s something that is very rooted in our teenage years because we’re surrounded by other friends. Now if those friends were also in financially turmoil experiences, we will mimic their spending for connection. If we had friends who are more financially better off than we were, we would have been

Kathi (13:09.55)

Kathi (13:16.63)
Right. Yes.

Stefania Mariaa (13:22.859)
we will still mimic their spending for connection. So spending by proxy is actually a way of using money to induce a sense of connection, even though it’s not the connection we really desire, but to mimic it so that we don’t feel so isolated in our personal experience. And so what this can look like is, when I was in startup world,

Kathi (13:26.201)
Uh-huh. Yes.

Kathi (13:38.359)

Kathi (13:44.779)

Stefania Mariaa (13:51.059)
So to give you some background, I used to be a financial controller for an international startup. That meant I was going back and forth from San Francisco, from LA. I was rubbing elbows with some really upper echelon startup culture people. And there was this sense of, oh, I can just buy flights. Going back to last week’s episode where I was talking about this over-reliance on abundance. I’ll just buy flights. I’ll always get more money. I’ll always get another paycheck. I’ll just buy flights.

Kathi (13:55.356)

Kathi (14:08.056)

Kathi (14:14.479)
Right. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (14:20.427)
What this meant was that I was incurring quite a lot of spending around flying because the people I was surrounded by were able to freely do that. Meanwhile, I was actually not in a position to not question the price of these flights, right? And so kind of unconsciously, blindly would be paying for these things. And then as I started to deepen in my financial intimacy practice, I was like, oh, I was not actually like,

Kathi (14:24.898)

Kathi (14:30.259)

Kathi (14:36.566)
Right! Yes.

Stefania Mariaa (14:50.111)
Some of those flights were not true for me. It actually wasn’t respectful for me to be spending money on those flights. I could have bought something that was a little bit more aligned. But on the flip side, spending by proxy also showed up in my life when I moved back to rural BC during the pandemic. Cause I was like, I have property there. I can live there, renovate the cottage, even though there was no running water. You know, it was a real like real roughen it life.

Kathi (14:53.25)
Meh. Mm-hmm.

Kathi (15:00.672)

Kathi (15:10.09)

Kathi (15:17.562)
Wow. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (15:20.483)
But what I started to recognize was, oh, I’m starting to take on my parents’ financial belief systems again. I’m taking on my friends from high school, their financial perspectives, but they don’t live the same life I do. And to give you kind of a simple example of how I started to unwind this was, I was renovating my property, and the one thing I was really clear on that I deeply wanted was a cloth-foot bathtub.

Kathi (15:37.366)

Kathi (15:50.966)
Oh, I understand that deeply, yes.

Stefania Mariaa (15:51.959)
I was like, yep. I was like, that’s all I want. And given that I didn’t have running water, it was like the epitome goal, right? Like, I can’t wait to have bath in my claw foot bathtub. And I remember having a conversation with a friend and their response was, do you know how expensive that is? Which I’m going to tell you, if you have that sentence in your vocabulary, I want you to get rid of it. Because…

Kathi (15:59.079)
Of course!


Kathi (16:18.91)
Yeah, yeah, it’s a judgment that doesn’t need to be there.

Stefania Mariaa (16:22.995)
Exactly. Now, in that moment when it came up, because it actually showed up several times. It came, like the guy at Home Depot said that to me. And like, all of these people were just, oh yeah, all of these people were just projecting onto me this expense. And I was like, wow, I have one of two options here. I can either A, cower and agree, which would then take on their belief system that there is some number that I’m supposed to obey when it comes to renovations on my home.

and what I’m going to be using my resources towards. Or I can actually have some backing for myself.

Kathi (16:51.701)

Kathi (16:55.15)

Kathi (17:02.701)

Stefania Mariaa (17:03.167)
It’s not expensive because it’s exactly what I want to spend my money on. Now I’ll be, I’ll give you some full disclosure here. The more you align yourself with reverent spending, right? Where your money is an extension of your self-respect. It will be deeply confronting to those who still use their money in disrespectful ways, because sometimes not spending money is the disrespectful thing.

Kathi (17:25.066)
Right. It’s-

Kathi (17:29.866)
Yes. Ugh, yes! It’s so true.

Stefania Mariaa (17:32.767)
Right. And so in spending by proxy, I could have totally cowered and been like, Oh, I have to save all my money. Even though self-employed, I make good money. I live very like, again, I didn’t have running water. I don’t have any vices. Like I live a very sober, clear life. I was like, wow, here are these people who are spending their money on like dirt bikes, like brand new dirt bikes. And those are a couple of grand that they only use in rural Northern BC, you know, a couple months out of the year.

Kathi (17:39.01)

Kathi (17:49.687)

Kathi (17:55.134)
Yeah. No.

Stefania Mariaa (18:01.799)
on the weekends. So let’s say 12 weekends. They’re spending a couple grand on 12 weekends. And I’m like, oh, but my bathtub that is only $1,600 that I will use every single day is too expensive.

Kathi (18:02.406)
Right. Yeah.

Stefania Mariaa (18:17.203)
I started to realize that this concept of like, that’s expensive was a way of trying to control other people’s experience of resources. So the practice, right? And it was like, the practice was like, wait a minute, I’m sovereign. I’m reverent. How I’m going to use my resources is up to no one else other than me because how I earn my resources is also generated by no one else other than me.

Kathi (18:26.841)
It is so true. Yeah.

Kathi (18:33.708)


Kathi (18:41.343)

Kathi (18:47.662)
Stefania, it’s not about respecting money, it’s about respecting yourself and knowing what’s important to you, what is going to bring you joy, what is going to save you the time that you need or the energy you need. We all have to constantly balance all of these resources and nobody else can make those decisions for us. If you have a spouse or a partner, yes, you get to have those discussions.

Stefania Mariaa (18:54.147)

Kathi (19:17.11)
But you have to know what’s important to you because there are things that are incredibly important to my husband that are not important at all to me. But because I respect him and I care deeply for him, that’s where our money goes. And it’s vice versa. But if we never have the discussion, then we’re always choosing the lesser thing and fighting over the bigger thing.

Stefania Mariaa (19:33.955)

Kathi (19:45.662)
And that’s not how I want to live my life. Okay, we have like exactly one minute. Guys, in the last episode, we talked about the Entertein Money Masterclass. I’m going to put a link for that in here. Guys, just trust me, go do it. It’s a half hour of your time. It’s going to reveal some of the beliefs you have around money, some of the thought patterns, what other people have told you about money.

that you don’t need to believe anymore and how to get over that. And Stefania, I want them to follow you on TikTok because you give little tiny master classes every single time you get on there. People need to, we need to realign our neuro pathways about how we think about money. Stefania, thank you so much for being here today.

Stefania Mariaa (20:28.62)
I really do.

Stefania Mariaa (20:38.391)
Thank you so much for inviting me. I love having these conversations and as long as they land with the people that lands with, that’s all I’m here to do.

Kathi (20:45.518)
Yeah, exactly. And you guys, as you start to unpack your money, see how it’s connected to your clutter, because I guarantee you, I guarantee you, how you’re thinking about your money is how you’re thinking about your stuff. It comes out every single time that way. And guys, just remember, Jesus spoke more about our money and our stuff than anything else in the Bible. It is how we respect ourselves. It’s how we respect God. It’s how we respect each other.

Hey friends, thank you for joining us today. You’ve been listening to ClutterFree Academy. I’m Cathy Lib. And now go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.


Clutter Free Academy Team

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