• Jo Piazza

In cheapness and health, till death do we part.

I still remember the moment I knew I’d marry my husband.

“Do you really think we should pay $8 for strawberries?” he asked me during one of our early dates as we shopped for ingredients for dinner at the local organic grocery store by his house in San Francisco.

“No!” I shrieked, practically smacking the compostable basket of designer fruit from his hand before I realized I was shouting in a room filled with people who likely had strong beliefs about expensive strawberries. I lowered my voice to a whisper and hoped he wouldn’t judge me. “No, I think that’s borderline insane.”

And I knew, in that moment, that a man who would comparison shop for produce was the man for me.



(Courtesy Jo Piazza)


This is a pattern that repeated itself after we got engaged and married and moved into our first home together. Nick didn’t even flinch when I said “Hey, let’s see if we can fix our whole backyard with things we find on Craig’s List Free.”

“Coco, I like the way you think,” he replied and began searching the website for lemon tree planters (a savings of several hundred dollars, I might add).

This isn’t something I talk about a lot, but let’s be clear: I’m cheap as hell.

I’m not sure where my spending tendencies come from. My own parents weren’t particularly thrifty. They often fought about money, particularly how one of them was spending it without consulting the other.

Maybe my thriftiness isn’t an inherited trait, but rather a reaction to the behavior I learned growing up. My parents’ tumultuous marriage and arguments about money made me long for something steady and grounding and I found that safety in saving my own money and being cautious about how I used it.

For years I dated men who spent like crazy on extravagant things—cars, vodka with fancy labels and summer beach rentals. It was fun, but it wasn’t forever.  They’d choose the most expensive dinners when we’d go out with groups of friends and I’d feel a swell of anger when we all went to split the bill. The same thing often happened around the holidays when I’d gravitate towards thoughtful and meaningful presents and they’d buy something flashy that had nothing to do with me.

One of the reasons I knew I would never be compatible with these guys in the long-run is because I felt uncomfortable telling them what a tightwad I was.

We hear a lot about the importance of marrying someone who has the same values and the same goals as you do, someone who likes to do the same things, someone who has a compatible sex drive. There’s also plenty of talk about the big money things. Do you feel the same way about debt, about owning a home? But we rarely talk about the nitty gritty little things, like will that person scour the Internet with you to find the best price on a vacuum cleaner? Will they travel to the dodgy part of town to buy half-price dog food in bulk? Do they mind flying through Dallas to get to New York if the plane tickets are half the price? These little things matter a lot, sometimes more than the bigger things.



Courtesy Jo Piazza


“If being frugal is a priority to you, and your partner is not supportive, you will feel undermined, and that at the very least will create constant tension between the two of you,” Bobbi Rebell, the author of  How to Be a Financial Grownup, told me.

It also creates a situation where it becomes too easy to lie about what you spent on things. In the weeks leading up to my wedding, everyone I came into contact with offered me marriage advice. Some of it was great and some of it was disconcerting.

“Never tell him what you spend on things,” one very fancy woman at a very fancy dinner said to me. I cocked my head to the side.

“So, I should lie?”

“Yes. Of course,” she said, pursing her lips.

This woman wasn’t alone in her perfidy. According to, 19 percent of respondents had spent more than $500 without telling their spouse or partner.

But spending habits seem like something silly to lie about. Isn’t it easier if you have similar spending styles to begin with? That was what I realized when Nick held those expensive strawberries up in the air like they’d been cursed. There are so many things that make marriage difficult. The melding of two lives can be like an obstacle course. Isn’t it nice if some things do just work?

“If you do successfully marry someone who is in sync with your cheapness/frugality/thriftiness it will be a bond and a strength in your union. You will both feel good about the financial decisions you make and will amplify your family’s financial power,” Rebell said. “On a practical level, it will also better position you for the many unexpected highs and lows of a lifetime together. We think it won’t happen to us but people do lose jobs, get sick and or have some other unplanned event hit their bank accounts. But if it is big and strong enough, you have a much better shot and getting through it, and staying together.”

We’ll also never run out of cheap dog food.

 Jo Piazza is the author of the new book How to Be Married.


The Independent (UK)

Bobbi Rebell wants you to be a financial grown-up. Essentially, that is the moment “you realise that if you don’t pay attention to money,  you will never have the financial freedom to live your dreams”, according to her new book.

Rebell is a television anchor and personal finance columnist in the United States, in her new book How To Be A Financial Grown Up she shares her expertise on spending, saving and investing while also including some accounts from famous wealthy friends including Ivanka Trump and Drew Barrymore.

According to Rebell, she managed to recruit famous people on board as they found the topic appealing and were keen to talk about an important subject other than their careers.

“Everyone has a “ Grownup Moment” story and they were delighted to share their own personal journey,” she told The Independent.


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Jill on Money

our guest, Bobbi Rebell, recently debuted her new book, How to Be a Financial Grownup.

Working in the financial journalism world for a quite a while now, Bobbi thought it would be a good idea to tap into various business leaders and tell their stories to help all of you out there better manage your finances and pay more attention to your financial well-being.

Feb 4 JOM Hour Two

Audio Player





Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

Some of those who shared stories for the book include:

  • Ivanka Trump (how about that for timing?)
  • Tony Robbins
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Jim Cramer

There are plenty of others but you get the point.  Bobbi chatted with some really high level business leaders.  The stories are intended to walk you through some of the biggest money decisions you’ll make regarding real estate, investing, planning for retirement, debt, careers, health and wellness and more.

Check it out, you may hear some information that allows you to make choices that are right for you.

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Best Money Expert 2017

Those who succeed don't give up and let their mistakes define their future. As part of GOBankingRates Best Money Expert 2017 competition, the top personalities and leaders in personal finance shared their advice for turning a failure into success.

The world's best money experts weren't necessarily born into a lavish lifestyle. Some worked their way up from humble beginnings. And many studied the lives and advice of successful entrepreneurs to figure out how to make it to the top.

Still, there's one thing they all have in common: They've all made mistakes along the way.

Financial mistakes can be painful, but knowing that others have tried, failed and eventually succeeded can help you overcome your financial hurdle. Keep reading for some of the best money advice so you can quickly bounce back from a financial failure.

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Wharton Business Radio

Episode: 2/14/2017 @11:30 AM


Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School is an exclusive 24/7 channel featuring easily accessible information on a wide range of business topics. Business Radio airs via satellite on SiriusXM channel 111, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at



6 Important Lessons on How to Be a 'Financial Grownup'

Here are some pointers from a useful new book on personal finance.

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Segment: Shopping Discounts: Link to video segment

Who wants to wait for a sale? By then the stores often don’t have your size or it’s late in the season. Bobbi Rebell, author of “How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom,” shares with some strategies to get your own personal discount on full priced merchandise.

Tactic 1- Bond with the salesperson- works best in smaller stores where they have more discretion

  • When you enter the store- find a salesperson and be friendly. The reason is that you want them to invest as much time in you, and making the sale.
  • Tell them what you are specifically looking for- it’s important that they know you are a “real” buyer and not just browsing
  • When you find what you like, talk about how much you like it, but make a discreet comment about the price- that’s it’s more than you want to spend, if only it were on sale.. etc..
  • Then say you want to think about it and go silent. Maybe make a call. But stay, and be cool. Often after a time they will get anxious and want to close the sale and will say something like "if you get it today I can give you 20 percent off."
  • If they don’t offer a discount, discreetly pull them aside, ask them quietly and nicely if they can do anything for you on the price. They will almost always say either yes- or “let me go ask my manager."
  • Don’t be greedy – if you get 20 percent buy the item and thank them profusely (but still discreetly- don’t let other customers know!) . Signup for their mailing list and be enthusiastic. You’ll want the discount next time.
  • DEPT STORE STRATEGY: Ask when the friends and family sale is happening, and if you can get the discount on pre-sale. Usually worth 20-25% on in season merchandise. Also if you see a slight imperfection- that’s usually worth 10 percent off.


Tactic 2- the local discount

  • When you are paying simply ask- do you offer a locals discount- ? This can be local resident- or someone who works locally. Or Do you offer a tourist discount?
  • Not a local? I’ve been asked if I’m a local- and said no- but can I get the local discount for being honest about not being a local, got a big smile- and a discount. If they have the discretion to give a local a discount- they can give one to you too.

Tactic 3 - online

  • Honey browser extension - It will automatically search for coupons for you. You install it in advance. Click on the button, it searches and then will apply the discount so you get the best price.

Tactic 4 – better late than never

  • If you do buy full-price and it goes on sale- there is not an app to get your discount.
  • PARIBUS. If you buy something online, link your mailbox to the app. Send the receipt to the mailbox (Which most stores will do for you) Not only does it let you know if the price drops – it gets you the difference back from the merchant. THE CATCH: They take 25% of what you get back.


 Segment: Broadway discounts:

Link to video segment

Bad money habits can be a hard to break.  In this PIX Financial Fix, we are teaching you how to spend money the right way.
Bobbi Rebell, financial columnist and author of the book "How To Be A Financial Grownup,"  shares her tips


Broadway deals:
Be a seat filler

**Generally a $99 annual fee but that is less than one full price Broadway ticket. Then usually less than $5 per ticket.

Broadway Rush tickets and lotteries.

Can get tickets to some shows via a lottery for as little as $10! Even Hamilton!
Other discount websites to check out:

TKTS: If you go to Brooklyn or South Street Seaport you can get next-day matinee tickets at a discount. Avoid the tourists!

Sit solo: You can get great deals and better seats if you only need one seat $34 annual membership, tickets never cost more than $47. Here’s the catch: you have to be a student, union member, teacher, civil servant, recent graduate or retiree.

Secret weapon: School auction websites like often have tickets for shows and events at below market price!

Use a plug-in app called Honey.  It will search for the codes for you, install it and it will come up and apply it. is another good one. Install it once and it will pop up and give you a rebate. Also consider and

When you shop online, if you put something in your cart, leave it and come back a bit later, you will often get a discount code sent to you! Retailers will already know you are interested in the product so they want to seal the deal. It’s easier to get a sale from you then to start over with someone else.

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Real Simple Adulthood Made Easy

Adulthood Made Easy: Becoming a "Financial Grownup"

ReleasedDec 26, 2016

Sam talks with financial expert Bobbi Rebell about her new book How to Be a Financial Grownup and a few easy things you can do in January to become a money master in 2017.



When You Want To Be #Boss (And Beyond) Reach For These 10 Books

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So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

 Are you a financial grownup? I hope you are. Welcome to So Money, I’m your host Farnoosh Torabi. If you would say so, what was your grownup money moment then? Mine was probably when I stopped being on my parent’s family cellphone plan right after college. I’m actually surprised to learn some of my friends are still on their family plans and not paying their parents their fair share. I know that it’s not that much money at the end of the day, maybe if your parents can afford it. But if you’re not paying your own mobile minutes and you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, come on. It’s the principle, right? Let’s get with the program. My guest today actually spent years capturing financial lessons from some of the world’s most well-known business leaders and she’s documented the whole thing in her book, How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven advice form high achievers on how to live your dreams and have financial freedom. Bobbi Rebell is here. She is an award winning journalist, she leads the US business video unit for Reuters where she’s in charge of anchoring business reports, interviewing top news makers and reporting on breaking news. I don’t know how she found time to do this book, but it’s excellent and she actually does talk about how she managed her time. It’s really interesting. Her book, by the way, features stories from previous So Money guests with really insights I had never heard before from Tony Robbins and Jim Kramer. She also talks to big entrepreneurs and CEO’s like Macey’s CEO, Terry Lundgren. Also the entrepreneur and first daughter to be, Ivanka Trump. Listen to hear about her financial grownup moment and how it happened while traveling with her mother, not so much her dad.