Survivor's Guide To Money

Making Money a Tool For Your Success

Survivor's Guide To Money

Making Money a Tool For Your Success

Did you know that money can be used as a weapon against you? It can be used to keep you dependent or fearful of living in poverty. Knowing how to use money as a tool and how to take practical financial steps are key in helping you to succeed outside of the Game or when you're considering your options for leaving.

As a survivor, you can benefit from information that helps you understand whether you've experienced financial abuse & how that might look, identify financial obstacles, set goals for yourself, and work toward a journey to financial wellness. In the Survivor's Guide To Money workbook and course, discover information such as:

  • Developing safety and self-care plans to work through high-stress financial situations
  • Learning to track spending and saving habits
  • Understanding financial abuse and its long-term impact on financial wellness issues
  • Examining the concept of self-worth
  • Grieving the loss of time and money that can occur with exploitation
  • Learning and practicing communication and boundary tools
  • Identifying common triggers around money

Survivor's Guide To Money is the first financial literacy curriculum for survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, written by a survivor.

In addition to personal examples, Megan Lundstrom, survivor leader and The Avery Center co-founder, shows published research about financial abuse and resources for stabilizing your financial situation. She provides real-life examples and hypothetical situations demonstrating and working through the following:

  • How to track and review cash flows
  • Reviewing and storing your critical identification documents
  • Understanding the difference between legal and illegal predatory financial practices
  • The true cost of predatory payday loans and rent-to-own companies
  • Understanding your post-tax take-home income and income tax brackets
  • Separating your worth as an individual from your paycheck
  • Dealing with culture shock entering the workforce after The Game
  • Methods for making Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based (SMART) goals
  • How to create your own financial and support safety net
  • Step-by-step processes for dealing with personal and financial catastrophes so that you can prevent and prepare
  • Exposing extreme financial behaviors and learning how to act with more moderation
  • Researching methods for ending poverty
  • Processing people in your life who may have too much, or too little, access to you
  • Moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset
  • Understanding The Four Forms of Capital and how you can leverage them to move yourself forward
  • Discovering that “overnight success” is a myth
  • Creating an actionable poverty exit plan

"Here is the cold, hard truth: abusers, traffickers, and exploiters that use intimate relationships and the commercial sex trade as their weapons know what they are doing. Little by little, they encourage poor money management practices, remove stability, and fuel cycles of unhealthy spending.

They know that this is a sure-fire way to keep you not only under their control, but ultimately trapped in the sex trade. And they know that anyone on the outside looking into your relationship or your life will likely see your financial instability as a choice you made on your own. This is a part of the victim-blaming cycle that further isolates people into the sex trade.

The worst part about our current financial situation is not knowing what all that situation entails, and not being able to resolve every issue within the next 24 hours. Financial abuse is an incredibly effective means of controlling and manipulating someone, or limiting their options, because it is so long-reaching in its damage.

Do not be discouraged in the road ahead – as with any type of healing, it takes time, but it is possible, and it is worth it to persevere! Fixing financial instability, like any type of healing, is made more difficult by the fact that life cannot simply be put on hold while we untangle and repair. Bills still have to be paid, financial crises still happen, we still need a roof over our head. The journey to financial stability can feel impossible sometimes, and when you find yourself discouraged, that is the time to put some self-care practices in action and reach out for help in your support network.

While I cannot account for every potential situation throughout this workbook, I hope that through it, you are able to gain a clearer picture of your current financial situation, assess any damage, and know the general next steps you need to make."

Megan Lundstrom

—Megan Lundstrom, Survivor's Guide to Money

The Workbook

The Course

The Workbook

The Course

"As a survivor of familial trafficking, I often felt alone and misunderstood in the world. I had a lot of trauma surrounding money and believed that I would be stuck in the cycle of poverty forever. The only thing I had been taught about money was that I didn’t deserve to have it and the only way I could obtain it was through using my body. It wasn’t until I came into contact with Megan Lundstrom and The Avery Center that I was able to start my healing process.

The Survivor’s Guide to Money was a huge catalyst for change regarding my personal relationship with money. Megan blends financial literacy, everything from taxes to building wealth, with her personal experience as a survivor of trafficking. Normally math would scare me away, but I always looked forward to reading more about her experience and learning what seemed like a foreign language in an accessible way. After reading her book, I was able to create a plan to build credit, buy a house, and plan a future for my son that I would never have dreamed of otherwise. I believe that all survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation deserve to have access to this book so we can all heal our traumas surrounding money and begin to thrive."

Survivor review

—Survivor of Sex Trafficking

"I'm writing to express a sincere and wholehearted THANK YOU to Megan for meeting with us. The language and heart presented offered our women real hope, and it was beautiful to sit in a space of such delicately articulated moments. I am honored to be part of the partnership of our organizations around the issue of exploitation and survivors regaining control of their lives. I look forward to working with our women through the Survivor's Guide to Money workbook, and deeply appreciate the resource. Keep doing the lovely, wonderful, empowering work you do. I hope we are able to meet again soon!"

Rethreaded Team

Jodi Coleman

Counselor, Rethreaded

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