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This week, Chelsea sits down with Ryan and Julia of our new podcast Too Good To Be True for a special bonus episode of TFC to talk scammers, fraud, financial trickery, and their new show.

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Not to preempt myself, but I have a free thing to tell you guys about that I'm doing.

I'm extremely excited to share this. It is a completely free workshop hosted by yours truly, because we all love free stuff.

Basically, every time we do a video about budgeting, saving, building wealth, investing, et cetera, we inevitably get tons of comments that are some version of OK, but what if I don't have a regular paycheck every two weeks and my income varies? And you guys honestly have a point, so I am finally hosting a free deep dive workshop, How to Budget an Unpredictable Income, on October 13 at 6:30 PM Eastern time for people whose income is unpredictable or varies, all about how to get good with money. You can join live or watch the recording.

Plus, you get a live Q&A with me, a workbook, and tons of other goodies. RSVP at the link below, and remember, it is totally free, baby. There's a link to sign up in the description.

Click it, click it. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this very, very special episode of The Financial Confessions. You might be saying to yourself, it's Sunday night, this isn't TFC day, or I thought you guys were on a season hiatus.

You're right on both fronts, but I'm coming to you for a very, very special episode because, as you may have noticed, in place of TFC for these two months, we are running an entirely new show called Too Good To Be True, which is a deep dive podcast on all kinds of financial scams and scam artists and scandals. And you may have even seen our two-part premiere episode that debuted this past Monday. You can find it on all of your favorite podcast networks, as well as on YouTube.

It's a two-part episode deep diving into the long, sordid, and intertwined history of the evangelical church and personal finance, culminating in the cult of Dave Ramsey and his "solutions." You guys can check out that two-part episode to get started. And you can also tune in tomorrow, which is Monday, our regular TFC day, for their second episode, which is all about Rachel Hollis of Girl, Wash Your Face fame and also known now probably more for her cancellation/scandal than for her actual best-selling books, but we'll dive into that and more on this episode. Today, I am here with both of our hosts of Too Good to Be True, Julia Lorenz-Olson and Ryan Houlihan.

They're going to talk about themselves, about the show, about financial scams, and so many other things that I personally cannot wait to dive into. So without further ado, hello. Hello.

Hi. Hello. Hi.

Hi. Hi. OK.

For those who may not know, let's just round-robin this. Who are you, where you're from, what are you doing in my house, all that stuff. Julia, you want to start?

Sure. Hey. I am Julia Lorenz-Olson and I am an accredited financial counselor, and I'm also the co-host and one of the creators of Two Cents that's created by PBS Digital Studios.

I did not come into finance through any sort of way that made any kind of sense. I come from a theatrical background. That's what my degree is in, as is my husband's.

And we sort of came into this world together probably about 13 years ago, now. And I spent about five years as a mortgage loan officer, of all things, and then about seven years ago, we decided to open our own fee-only financial planning firm. So I have been in this world for a long time now, and I love it.

And you're zooming in. You're not here. You don't live in New York.

Where do you live? Negative. I am in good old Austin, Texas.

Woo. Love that. You're chilling with Joe Rogan and Elon Musk.

Oh, yeah, you know. We are, like, besties, obviously, meet them at the bars and just hang out, like you do. And Ryan.

I am Ryan Houlihan. If you've watched TFC before, I have been a guest before, very honored. I also used to be an editor.

I founded a website called, which is about tech and fashion, but my whole career has been kind of in journalism and media. And I found myself writing about conspiracies, and scams, and grifters over and over, no matter what kind of news I was involved in. So now I am here at my ultimate destiny, which is kicking the door off of these horrible people's little operations and showing everybody the slime within.

We love to see it. So in Too Good to Be True, so it's eight episodes in this first season, the first part being a two-parter. So we're covering-- as I mentioned, we got Dave Ramsey, Joel Osteen, or "Oh-steen." Jury's still out on that one.

No. We'll never know. Experts debate.

There's no way to know. There's no way to know. No way.

It's like, how many grains of sand are in the world? The answer exists, but we'll never find it. We are talking about Rachel Hollis.

We're talking about Real Housewives. We're talking about MLMs-- Yes. --cryptocurrency, payday lenders, Cars For Kids. We're going through it all.

I would love to hear from both of you, what were your favorite episodes to work on? And just, maybe kind of something that you learned doing that episode that surprised you that-- Well, I have to say, I don't want to speak for anybody, but our next episode about Rachel Hollis Julia really went in on, and it was really personal. And I did not a ton about that woman, and now I know way too much about her and her ideas.

But it was really illustrative and really, I found it really personal. And it was vulnerable for you to explain, but it was a great way for everyone to get a look in on how these people worm their way into even really smart, savvy people's lives. So I have to say that was one of my favorites.

Also, I love the Real Housewives one, but that's just like me being-- Same. --a gossip. Hot goss, you know. I think, I also really loved both the evangelical church and the Rachel Hollis episodes just for me, from a working perspective.

Because so often, I'm trying to look at money through other people's eyes. Like, I'm trying to understand where they're coming from with their own money and helping them understand themselves better, and this was a chance for me to sort of sit in that and focus on some things that I've been through, some shame that I still felt from interacting with kind of both of these worlds, which are very intertwined when you delve into them. So I loved creating those two.

And then, I also loved the Real Housewives episodes because I just had no idea. Like, that is so far outside of my world, and I loved how much you knew and all the interesting nuances picked out. So those are some of my faves.

In some ways, that Real Housewives episode was like, decades in the making because I have been watching the show for that long. You know what I mean? And it has really become, someone said it, it's become a true crime show because of how many scams.

I will say, the Rachel Hollis episode, which again is coming out tomorrow, that really stuck out to me because I actually also was not really very familiar with her stuff. And it's funny because when we were selling the TFD book, for example, Rachel Hollis was the biggest thing in that particular space. It was like, her and the Sophia Amoruso girl boss thing, which we'll probably be doing a season two episode on.

But those were like the two dominant forces in the women's platform-based nonfiction, which was the space that we were kind of occupying. And it's interesting, A, that both of them are now no more really in light of tons of scandals. But also, with the Rachel Hollis thing in particular, what really stuck out to me that we talked about was I did not realize the extent to which her viral best-selling brand was in a lot of ways kickstarted by that bikini photo of herself.

And it's really funny because I feel like now we have sort of been so inundated with the thin, white, conventionally attractive woman who shows a picture of herself where she maybe has a tiny, slightly visible stretch mark, and the caption is like, this is me, I'm imperfect, whatever, I'm being real, #vulnerable, whatever. I feel like now there's a very reduced appetite for that, but it really did remind me how much at the time in like, 2015, 2016, people were like, queen, you finally said it. And that, to me, is just unbelievable that someone was able to build such a brand off of that.

I think this stuff has progressed. This stuff being social media and parasocial relationships and our standards for how we talk about our bodies and other people's has progressed so quickly that people are not-- we really don't have a reference for the mind space we were in six personal crises ago as a nation or whatever. I think we-- there was an error on the internet where everyone was sharing highly curated stuff.

And it's still highly curated. Obviously, the internet, we still choose what we post. But there is a sense of preciousness that we had about posts where everything had to sort of represent our brand.

And so you have these feeds that will millennials were making, that we're all filtered. They were all the highlights of your life. You have to think the early days of Caroline Calloway.

So for someone to show any vulnerability, let alone like somebody whose audience was probably being fed the most lifestyle fakery of anybody in the world to show that kind of vulnerability, it was an important moment. And I don't want to take away the good things a lot of the people that were end up-- we end up covering are doing. There is a kernel of truth that you have to build a scam around.

A cult usually starts with one good idea about how to better live your life. And then it's all the like-- let's videotape each other and give each other all my money or-- that's where things go sideways. And I think it's the same thing with self-help gurus or with some of these financial scams we've looked at.

Even cryptocurrency, it's like-- there are good goals there. Nobody's saying that there aren't good ideas in the mix. It's just that they're in the mix of some really horrible stuff.

And it's not worth fishing around for like a little good idea in a pile of like garbage. And I think Rachel Hollis proved over time to only really have garbage to offer. But she threw random chance, had this awesome breakthrough moment.

And I don't think anyone should take that away from her. She did do a brave thing at a certain time on the internet. It's just in the context of now, is it really that brave?

It was brave at the time. But now, part of me is like yes. It's a brave thing to show your body on the internet.

But it was also very manipulative presented. Totally. Did you-- what did you think of that when you saw it at first?

Well, I didn't. So I came to her much later on. But when I was doing the research for this and when I went sort of like on my Rachel Hollis deep dive back when I felt like the scales were like ripped from my eyes, I then was introduced to that post.

And it was completely and perfectly in brand with all the rest of her stuff. So I was not surprised at all that that's how she-- like that's how she quote unquote started. Or really, it's the thing that just lit the fire.

She was building the structure around which to create something like she ended up creating. But that was just like that little match that just boom, blew her up. And I think what I find so fascinating about her not personally but the type of entity that she represents is this idea of a parasocial relationship.

I really hope that what people take a-- a big thing that people can take away from this whole series is a tool kit with which to arm themselves around how-- how much these weird new styles of relationships that are basically only digital, built around people at their center, flawed human people that are able through lots of money to create an image of themselves that you then quote unquote relate to. And you change things that you do in your daily life because of what they're feeding you. I think that's fascinating and scary.

And I just hope that people-- we can look at these relationships in a new way, in a slightly more critical way. It's really fascinating to me how much the era of girl bosses and of-- I guess, to an extent MLMs. MLMs are still quite popular in prevalent and they're morphing.

But I do think there's a much more robust anti-MLM sort of wave and response on the internet than there was even five years ago. It's interesting how much that cult of personality, the parasocial relationships you're talking about, how much that has seemed to ebb for women in the past five years to an extent in terms of, you're going to-- for example, with the girl boss thing, you're going to need to demonstrate more than the fact that you're just a woman in order to demonstrate that a guru or a good boss or what have you. But to take it to the cryptocurrency thing, which is going to come in a week or so that episode, I do think we're still at a place where not enough-- because these cryptocurrencies in the way that MLMs and the girl boss stuff was clearly heavily geared toward and led by women, cryptocurrency is still have heavily men and geared toward them.

And in a lot of ways, creating a lot of those same figureheads in parasocial relationships and gurus and for example-- and I don't think there's quite yet enough prominent men willing to call this out, take it on, talk about how it was such a mistake. They lost this money. And I've been bingeing the show on Bravo, Southern Charm, from the beginning.

This weekend, I watched a lot of it. So I was like on all of their Instagrams. It's one of the rare Bravo shows that just shows men acting like complete [BLEEP]-holes-holes instead of women, which is a refreshing change.

But I went on the several of the men's Instagram pages, and two of the three I looked at in the past couple of weeks have been pimping crypto stuff, which is not shocking if you've seen that show and seen the men. But it is interesting to me that I still feel that we're in a place with some of these scams targeting men of being way too credulous, and gullible, and accepting this nonsense into our feed based on these parasocial relationships. Well, to be wrong requires vulnerability.

And I do think that masculinity-- I don't want to-- I don't want to blow anyone's mind. But I do think masculinity and vulnerability don't generally mix easily at first blush. Do they go together like wine and cheese when you get them to work?

Yeah. But for right now, It's hard because I think men don't want to be clowned on. Nobody wants to be Matt Damon.

But they also-- some of them-- and some of them, just have a dream. And I think there's a huge socioeconomic part of this. It's like scams do better when people are doing worse because people are desperate.

And nobody wants to admit that. It's vulnerable to say I was wrong. I didn't do the math correctly or I was tricked.

That's vulnerable. But it's also vulnerable to say like I'm desperate. I have a dream.

I don't think there's any other way I'm ever going to have all the things I thought I was going to have and I'm running out of time. And that's how everyone feels right now at any age. But men especially feel pressure at different points of their life.

Not that other genders don't but men in particular don't talk about it. And so you have this building of pressure. And if say you're like a young man who has nothing so far to show that you're like look, I've achieved this or look this was given to me.

If you have an identity vacuum and someone sweeps in, it's really hard to-- even if you realize you were taken in, it's hard to turn around and say like I had an identity vacuum. That's hard. And I think what compounds the crypto problem and compounds this issue, is that if there are even just a few women in some of these organizations it's some of the ways that men-- some men only know how to interact with women.

And then you get the new girl boss thing which nobody's talking about for some reason. But girl boss is not dead. It has fully evolved into crypto is a boy's club.

Let's get as many girls in here as possible. It's actually feminism if you join crypto because there's a few women in this space. And you're really judgmental.

And you don't want to be progressive. And that is the new lingo. And I think it's a completely new problem that we need to start telling the story of if we're going to get new solutions to it because it's not the same problem as MLMs like you were saying.

They're similar but it's a different culture. Yeah. And I think both sort of quote unquote, the-- be groups and people that are sort of preying on the masculine side of things and the ones that are preying on the feminine side of things.

I think ultimately they are trying to consciously or not, take advantage of people's loneliness. So many of these groups, because we're living in this sort of fractured lifestyle. And I think especially, during the pandemic, when we were ultra, ultra isolated.

A lot of these things really took root because people want to feel a part of something. There is a vacuum for many groups of people where we as people who identify as women, we're shut out from a lot of things that have never been really available to us. And so we're trying to find our own places to have that community.

And I think men are very similar. There's no more war. There's no more battlefields to go improve yourself on.

And now, it's kind of the financial sector is the place you can prove yourself. It is the place you can do better than someone else. It's the proving ground kind of the way I see it.

I think there's a lot of shades of that. And that's much easier to convince people of when they're out of a real person to person community. That stuff doesn't spread as much when you have a diverse set of friends that you see.

I think it thrives on loneliness. I will also say something that I think is really interesting about a lot of these scams again that are more geared toward women that we've talked about is how much of them are specifically geared toward mothers, which obviously you are one of and you speak a lot to that in the show. But it is-- I was talking with my friend-- with a friend at a wedding recently who I went to high school with and I see intermittently over the years who is a mom only as of like a year or so ago.

And something that she said to me really stuck out. And she's in a community, in a situation where she is patient zero for a lot of these types of scams. She had to move for her husband's job, very socially isolated like you're saying.

Finding new work but it's a slow go of it and all of these things. And she was saying, I don't know how it was before but it feels like now you are not allowed to just be a mom anymore. You have to also have this very specific often very professionally and financially driven identity on top of that.

And you have to be doing them both amazingly. And on top of that, you have to constantly be perfectly balancing your identity is kids come first. Kids the-- mom's the first thing in your bio.

But yet, if you're devoting too much time to that and not enough to your hustle, or your business, or your job, then you're pathetic in a different way. And she was saying to me, a lot of these companies that will reach out, these MLMs, these scams, these groups, that is exactly what they're preying on now is the fact that it's not just about making a little extra income by selling Tupperware in your house. It's about making sure that you get to have both of these identities and present them in the right balance essentially.

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's interesting talking about that phase of life when you're especially a newer mother.

I-- my kid was 18 months old when the pandemic started and everything shut down. And I was like oh, this is almost exactly how I've been living the last year to 18 months anyway. You are just isolated because you are attached to your child.

They rely on almost everything from, especially if you're breastfeeding, things like that. And yeah, it is a vulnerable place to be. And for goodness sakes, we just can't win.

We have to be all the things at all times. It's true. And there's an underrated part of this, which is like yes, we're trying to give people a toolkit so that they can see how these scams, cults, grifters, all have very similar themes.

They all have very similar patterns. One of those key things is to make themselves indispensable to you. So something like a Tupperware club, it's like this is your social life now.

Without this, you won't know anybody. And these people will turn their back on you immediately if you financially betray them by not buying more product or whatever it is. And I kind of think, you see that even all the way down to payday lenders.

We talk in one episode about payday loans and some of those kind of ways of exploiting the poor. And the thing that they do is they make themselves look like utilities. Right.

Like, oh, I'm the bank. I'll never go away. And you have to accept me.

And it-- we don't need a world that has them at all. Like they don't need to be baked into the premise. You know what I mean?

And some of these companies want you to bake them into your premise of the life. A lot-- we didn't cover a ton of it in this season. I think it's ripe for another season.

But a lot of MLMs are food based because if you've got someone social life, their food, and their finances, you kind of got them. And they're-- I mean, also the concept-- and this is something that we do touch on, is how it's also morphed into this very, very amorphous concept of wellness. Wellness has become one-- A moving target.

It's a moving target. It's everything. It's like there-- and you can even define wellness as, for example, with some of these predatory like payday lenders and these more-- or these life insurance schemes and all of that, it's giving you the illusion of having more financial health and more financial security and control than you actually have because these sort of dual paradigms of everyone's a boss, which basically boils down to everyone's a 1099 exploited gig worker essentially.

There's that. And then there's wellness, which is your body. It's your skin care.

It's the mommy groups that you're in if you're a mother. It's the social groups that you're in if you're a 20 something. Everything can feed into this paradigm of wellness and boss attitude, because neither of them actually mean anything.

They're just usually more ways to get money out of you. And what's ironic is that in an age where we have the internet ubiquitous-- like I leave my phone on the other side of the room, I can still get answers from Google. Is that by having media around us constantly, we're kind of self programming in this way.

Where like, say you buy into a crypto thing and it becomes your social group and your finances are now based on it and it is your identity, it's-- your little Discord about your crypto thing is with you all the time. And any time you have information that might be conflicting or someone argues with you, you've got like a little resource to help you continue telling this story. And the thing at the heart of every one of these scams and every one of these gifts is a lie.

That's what ultimately makes me mad. The difference between a bad business deal and a scam is a lie. Whether it's implied or it's legal or whatever, you lied to somebody.

They worked on bad information. And what makes me really frustrated is that people are now working overtime to create personal bubbles or echo chambers that they live in that they do not need to accept. Like you-- for example, Rachel Hollis was doing a morning show.

So you don't need to watch Good Morning America and hear about how some of my wellness ideas have been debunked over the last six months or chocolate doesn't make you thinner or whatever [BLEEP] she is saying to people. You don't have to do that. You can just wake up and be programmed to remember all of the mantras they told you to repeat to yourself all day, which is-- 100%. --all encompassing.

And it is seen as like a failure if you don't keep up on the podcast that your guru is doing and the new book that they released. And if you're not in the Discord chat for your scam. And you're not participating as a group member.

It's insidious when it's a corporation and it's your job. But those people owe you retirement. And they made-- you made a deal with legal terms and it at least seems honest as much as it's an unfair arrangement.

But something that doesn't even owe you those protections is a scam. It's not just a bad deal. It's a scam.

And there is a huge difference. And a lot of these people want to say that they've been labeled a scam as some media narrative. And it's like-- weren't you controlling a little media empire?

How could there be a media narrative that you didn't think of? Yeah. You like it when it's working for your benefit, but-- They love-- those people love the media when the media is just their message.

Yeah. And I think one thing I'd add to the boss girl and the wellness that is so insidious that I really didn't notice until I was actually talking to a good friend of mine about this. He's got a PhD in literature.

And he's very philosophical. But this idea of optimization is this new thing. And there's no end to optimization.

Is there any end? Is there any perfect boss? Is have you ever reached wellness?

No. And so both of these things allow you to be put on a treadmill to be sold to. There's no conclusion to either of these things.

Optimization for what? For who?

What's the end benefit?

This is not a community benefit that you're trying to do your best part to put in. It's a hyper individualized world. And I think that's where we can get hooked on something long term.

Because there's always one more step in the process. Oh, you've mastered this part? Well, guess what.

Now that you've gotten this level done. Now that you've lost 20 pounds, guess what? You should probably lose another 10.

And there's one little thing that you're not doing. And the next thing. Oh OK.

Now, that you're at your goal weight, you probably need your skin better. It's on and on and on and there's just-- there's no end to it. And if each of those things brought you a level of fulfillment and made you happier and more well, like if your life is improving and you're working on different areas, that's great.

That's life. If it's sustainable, that's totally great. The idea gets really toxic and it runs away with itself when you can't keep up and it makes you feel bad.

And it's not-- you're not getting better. And there's more money is required from you at every level of things that you're controlling or changing. And it's so hard.

Because it's you should have ideal-- an ideal that you work toward. We should all have-- I do believe like all political ideas or personal ideas-- there should be like a utopian ideal that you're like striving towards. But have you heard of looks maxing?

Yes, I have unfortunately. What is this? So looks maxing is this thing that's going on Reddit and on Discords where people are obsessively optimizing, quote, unquote, "every area of their life to be the most attractive possible." So if you have an extra 10 minutes, what's another thing you can do for your appearance to just be an alpha or whatever people call their chads or whatever the incel language.

There's a lot of women doing it too by the way. Yeah, there's a lot of women really into it. I'm not going to name specific subreddits because it's very toxic.

But just so you know it exists. And it is different than, say, a bunch of friends doing a makeover together, or doing each other's makeup, or stuff where it's a community based thing or-- it's hyper individual. It's selfishness.

At its core, like what can I do? What can I think about myself? Nobody in the world, I promise you, will notice that you did your [INAUDIBLE] facial massage an extra fifth time today because you had another 10 minutes.

That is ultimately toxic for both you and the people around you. Totally. And it's-- for the next season, we recorded an episode of TFC last week with dietitian and YouTuber Abbey Sharp who-- a lot of her work is just debunking a lot of these diet and wellness things that are ultimately-- they sort of mask themselves in all kinds of nonweight-related goals.

But usually, they boil down to crash diets that help you lose weight. And in some ways, when we think about what the paradigms used to be in that regard and we talked about this on the episode, it's like back in the '60s, you could open up a magazine. It would be like you got a dinner party this week.

Here's how to chain smoke cigarettes, pop some stimulants, eat cabbage soup for a week, and you will lose 15 pounds by the end of the week and you will fit into that dress. And if you do that, you have succeeded. It's a video game where there's a very-- I win.

Ending. Exactly. And you're saying like-- or if it's for men, it's like the goal is to get to that corner office by this age by working this hard and staying this late at the office every day.

And if you did that, you succeeded and you get the golf clubs and you get the respect of the other men. And obviously, that was horrible. I don't think people were super happy in that paradigm.

But at least they had an idea of what success actually looked. Whereas like you're saying-- if you're sort of practicing this amorphous concept of wellness, where you're not allowed to actually speak in terms of weight loss or what have you or if you're thinking about the professional aspect and you're not allowed to think in terms of, OK, well, what is the position that I'm looking to reach? Or what is the salary that I'm specifically looking to earn or the amount of money I want to save?

Then you're just constantly like you said, on this hamster wheel where not only are you easy to sell to, but I would argue beyond that, it intentionally keeps you out of an identity so that you are like you said more vulnerable to these scams. Because if you're-- I think we have gotten to this weird place where we're really, really down on the idea of labels and communities and these sort of more defined social groups. But ultimately, that's a pretty natural and human thing to want.

And to just constantly be on this hyper individualized pursuit of-- like you said, optimization. At the end of the day, like who are your people? Well, it's isolating.

And that is-- a lot of these things, even if they weren't purposefully designed they have evolved to feed into their own bad behavior and bad habits. A lot of the things that we're talking about, some of The Real Housewives stuff, it's about reprogramming yourself to be more susceptible to reprogramming over and over. And it looks like a Facebook Live from an influencer or it looks like a new Bitcoin alternative then you're going to use it to play a game or whatever.

It takes parts of culture and it camouflages itself. But ultimately, it's the same negative sort of feedback cycles and the same collection of negative attributes that it is chasing and pursuing and pushing down people's throats. And it's really scary.

But I do think that the number one-- people always ask, I know someone in an MLM, what's the silver bullet? They want me to send them a graph. I've gotten a lot of Twitter DMs.

People want me to have a YouTube video that will explain perfectly to their family member all the facts and figures. And I have the heartbreaking job of telling them that their family does not want the facts. They are fully available at all times.

These people are-- they need to know that you're there for them, and that you love them, and you're ready for them when they are done with it. But these are really hard things to break out of. And if they weren't, nobody would be in them.

If there was one YouTube video that could debunk something like All In By Teddi, which is Teddi Mellencamp's-- let's say, she misleads people about what they're getting from her coaching service which is set up like a pyramid. It's an MLM where the product is an eating disorder. Pretty much.

Yeah. Yeah. It's really hard to break out of because it's built specifically so that you can't.

Well, exactly. And one of the lines that I see sort of over and over in these different groups is this branding of criticism as negativity. Yeah.

And there is a huge push for people who are in these places where they're trying to wrap a big part of their identity around how they're making their money-- that this is being encouraged. And the only way you can sustain that is by cutting people out of your life that are quote unquote haters. That they're bringing the negative energy.

And so what does that do? It just feeds into this loop of like your identity is this. You're making your money this way.

This is not what you do. This is who you are. And anybody who isn't on board with that, you need to cut them out.

Well, it's also that everyone is becoming any guru about any specific issue is sort of by necessity now also becoming a lifestyle influencer. Like you're saying, it's who you are. And you start out with a very specific product or service or diet or professional sort of pathway.

And then not only does it by necessity, with the identity stuff then become who you are like you say, but also if a person has bought your like 30 day gut health reboot packet, pamphlet, whatever and your little supplements, well they've got to have something else to buy. And I was on Twitter this morning-- and by the way, I would just like to say that everyone's always talking about how toxic Twitter is. Just mute 500 words and accounts, and then your Twitter is just like a fun sandbox where it's only people [BLEEP] posting all the time.

And it rules. It's my favorite. Someone said it's the smoking section of social media, which I totally agree.

But I saw this-- so there's a subgenre of the Keto Diet, which is a really low carb diet. And the subgenre is the carnivore diet where you just eat-- just like-- steaks and butter and eggs and whatever. And I mean, I'm not-- listen, we talked about that with Abbey Sharp.

We don't need to get into that. But there is a guy on Twitter, Carnivore Aurelius who's like-- his profile picture is like a bust of Aristotle or whatever. And it's all about how seed oils are making men less masculine and the frogs are turning gay and all of that stuff.

But-- my favorite thing was someone was quote tweeting this morning. He had this post that was like a picture of some kids in overalls like shooting bows and arrows or something. And he's like imagine like raising your children to not know what technology is, like off the grid, and giving-- like changing the maps to not show them the world and stuff.

This was serious this man was writing this as if this were a paradigm of like producing good children. And aside from the fact that that's like the, A, plot of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, B, obviously, child abuse and-- Also, we tried this and everyone became imperialists?

Yeah. It's not working. But aside from the fact that that's obviously unhinged and terrible, aren't you just the guy who tells people to eat beef and not eat canola oil?

How did we get here? Yeah. I will say we go into this a lot.

And we keep talking about the Rachel Hollis episode. But we really do go into this in the Rachel Hollis episode quite a bit, so stay tuned for that. The really worry when the goal is me.

You know what I mean? Like the goal is a person. Or how that person thinks.

And they're just going to tell you how they think. And then you have to internalize it. And then you think that way.

And you'll be like them. And that's good. Present people with facts.

Sometimes it's cool to tell people stories. There are different ways to communicate with people. Self-help books are literally-- when you think this, think this instead.

That is a lot of power to give anybody. And people have spent centuries fighting over who should and shouldn't have that power. They fought wars over it.

Don't open yourself up because someone looks like you and the marketing is really slick and they have a lot of fans and they're really nice and everything sounds good. If the paradigm is like this is what you should think, or you should just emulate me, it's toxic. It doesn't matter who it is unless it's Dolly Parton.

Yeah. Then we need to-- Do everything she does and think everything she thinks and it's all going to be good. And then that's fine.

Yeah. Yeah. That's fine.

So as a last little round robin before we sign off, we're going to just quickly go around the table and-- the table. The virtual table. The invisible table talk.

We're going to just quickly share any scam big or small that we've been taken in by whether covered in our first season of Too Good to Be True or not. Ryan. Several major world religions.

But-- but also, in all transparency, a ton of dieting culture. A ton of what would the word be, commodifying of my own wellness is I am still susceptible to that. But also, I put-- not a ton, I think $2,500 into crypto when I first heard about it as a way to find out what it was.

Don't do that. Find out what things are before you put money into it. You can read Wikipedia for free.

Yeah. Well, some lessons you learn in the hard knock streets. There you go.

Well, so-- I feel you on the dieting culture thing. I have definitely bought the Beachbody powder. [GASPS] Oh. Stop.

Oh, yes I did. The green one, specifically. I thought all the others were disgusting.

And I think I used all of it. And I was like, this is $90 for a bag. I should probably just eat food.

My mom had me buy Juice Plus, which was a significant amount of money for like dried up leaves that are dead and a capsule in a-- sold by a pyramid scheme. It's very shady. My mom had me buy Juice Plus when I was a college student.

I remember looking at it and being like, I don't have food. But I was really getting that cellulose or whatever. Pills and powders.

That's the way. I was-- definitely all-- a lot of the diet culture stuff. I mean, one of the biggest financial scams of all time, gyms.

I've paid so much money in gym memberships I didn't use over the years. That's their business model by the way, is they make money on people who don't use the gyms. Yeah, Planet Fitness can't charge you $10 a month if everyone uses it all the time.

No. So that. But I would say of the ones we did cover, I used to check cashing services to get access to my money.

Yeah, all the time. And because I was over drafted and because I was in collections on a lot of debt and I had a lot of unpaid tickets, so like-- I was afraid of things being garnished as well. So, basically, yeah, I used ACE check cashing services all the time.

And I was paying like between 20% and 30% of my money to access my own money in certain cases. Yeah. It was not a good time.

And I always hesitate to really deep dive on any of those things. I mean, I'll probably do a video about some of that stuff in the future. But because it was avoidable in my case, I could have made better decisions and used it.

And I didn't need to be-- I was often spending it on things that were not necessary. So it wasn't like-- I wasn't a single mother trying to be able to afford food for her children and having no other choice. But yeah, I did use those.

And actually, I did do an interview about my experience with check cashing services in our episode on the Financial Scam. So feel free to tune in and listen to that. Yeah, so bad news.

Yeah. Oh, and how could I forget? I have also been on the whole life insurance policy train, for sure.

Yeah, this was back when my husband got recruited into the financial services industry after being like a theater teacher. And we came in thinking, oh my gosh you're going to help people establish a budget and pay off debt. How fun?

This is going to be great. No. Being in financial services-- 90% of it included selling whole life insurance, because it is wacky profitable.

And so we were yeah, sure. And so we bought some for ourselves. Thank goodness we-- it's been a long time since we've had bills.

But we totally were on-- we were drinking the Kool-Aid hard back in the day, for sure. You see? Even these brilliant and accomplished people.

I didn't know about whole-- the difference between whole and term life insurance until we did this episode and it was pitched as an idea. And I went, oh, I actually don't know about that, so I googled it. Anyone could be at any time.

It is really-- it's tough out there. So stay subscribed so you can be ready for these instances. We will link you in the description to our two part premiere episode, which came out this past Monday.

And tune in tomorrow that's September 19, Monday. And we will be airing the second episode of Too Good to be True season one, which is the Rachel Hollis deep dive. Ryan and Julia, thank you so much for being here.

Where can people go and find more of what you do? Well, thank you for having me. You can find me @RyanHoulihan.

Love it. All right. So you can find my PBS show over at Two Cents.

We are on YouTube and I think also Facebook if anyone else is on there these days. And then on Instagram, I am @YayItsJulia. And then I have another financial podcast called Your Money Mamas with my best friend.

There you get. So much going on, plus you have a child. Yeah, got one of those too.

She does it all. She does it all. She's girl bossing.

No, stop. She's experiencing wellness at previously unheard of levels. Do what she does.

Copy it. Give her money. Guys, I have everything.

I have got my syllabus for you. Just follow me. We're all going to the-- we're all moving toward a paradigm where we just single white female Julia's life and then we'll have it all figured out.

Thank you for tuning in, everyone. We will see you back here, well, tomorrow. We're usually saying this on Monday, but it's Sunday.

So see you tomorrow guys. Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]