Today on The After Show I talk to financial expert Bobbi Rebell. Bobbi is the author of the best-selling self-help /personal finance book, "How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom." With her background as an award-winning TV anchor, most recently at Thomson Reuters, Bobbi made a major career pivot by leaving her television career and focusing on helping thousands of women discover their financial mojo. We talk about her strategy in making this big change and a few of her great pieces of advice in the book. Enjoy! Xo, JenRead More
Talking about money can be completely cringe-worthy. So we asked 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” what we need to start talking about. Here are the top five financial topics that nobody likes to discuss, but really should.
1. How much do you want to spend going out?
Notice how the question is not how much you can afford to spend going out on a given night. Just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean you should spend the money that way. Think about the other things you could do with that cash, including just stashing it in the bank and saving it. Very often we want to pick the coolest place to go, and once there we don’t want to feel “cheap” so we order without really thinking about how it is all going to add up. Odds are your friends also don’t want to go home feeling like they spent more than they intended, too.
2. How much debt your significant other has.
There is never an easy time to ask someone you are dating about their money, but there has to come a time. High debt doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but it is part of the deal and needs to be “out.” Not all debt is created equal. Finding out your special someone has a ton of student debt because they came from a low-income background is very different from finding out they racked up credit card debt living beyond their means. Get the info so you can factor that into how you feel about getting more serious.
3. How much you make vs. your co-workers
A classic that still rings true. You can’t find out if you are underpaid (or lucky you, if you are paid more than your colleagues) if you don’t have the data. Companies discourage employees from talking about what they make, and it works. If you see an opening to start a discussion, try to take it. Maybe even try something anonymous where you and you colleagues write down what you make on pieces of paper and toss it into a jar an then read the numbers, so you know if you are all close together. But beware, the information could create a lot of tension.
4. The real cost of your company’s retirement plan.
That 401(k) you are participating in is not free. Someone is paying the costs of the plan and that is often you. If there is a company match, it still may be the best game in town, but be aware of the plan fees that are being passed on to you, and if they are high, talk to HR about renegotiating them.
5. Parental subsidies. Not everyone is starting from scratch when it comes to money.
While many of us start our “grownup” lives with piles of student debt and other massive financial hurdles, the reality is that quite a few of us also start with zero debt and maybe even a monthly financial boost from our parents. Both sides can feel badly about this, but it is a reality. If you are in the fortunate position to get that extra support, be discreet. Be sensitive to your friend’s budgets. And if you are in the opposite situation and bootstrapping it on your own, invite your friends to hang out at your place instead of feeling the pressure to go out for an expensive night out.
Dear John: After 43 years of marriage, I have decided to leave my husband.
My question is, where do I begin the process of starting a life of my own? There is a trust in place. The portfolio is $2.5 million and there’s $300,000 in equity in our present home.
I would like to be able to secure financial support for my future, but because of the trust — that was detailed and signed by me a few years ago — I am confused as to where I should start and who I need to consult for proper advice and direction. K.J.
Dear K.J.: First off, I’m sorry you are going through this. But 43 years was a pretty good run, and obviously it was you who decided to end the marathon. So now all you need is direction for the rest of the race.
I have no experience with divorce, so I called upon Bobbi Rebell, author of the book “How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom.”
Maybe even more important is that Rebell was divorced at 30 and is now happily remarried. “I’m sorry to hear that you have decided to leave your marriage after 43 years,” says Rebell. “You don’t get into the reasons, but your tone is one of frustration. Before you move forward, consider taking some time apart from your husband to consider the consequences.
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“No matter who gets what, a divorce will be financially devastating. Make sure it is the marriage that is making you unhappy, not something else in your life,” says Rebell.
OK, let’s move on to the financial advice and leave the lovelorn stuff for someone else.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you know all the assets in your family. “You should strongly consider hiring a forensic accountant who can look into what your soon-to-be ex owns, and where it is,” says Rebell.
The trust could be particularly troublesome. What was the purpose of the trust? Who are the beneficiaries? Is it an irrevocable trust, which is difficult and expensive to undo?
“Your tone implies you regret signing it. If it was signed under duress, that also needs to be investigated and addressed,” says Rebell.
You also need a lawyer. Maybe friends who’ve been divorced can recommend someone. Consult with at least a couple of lawyers before you hire one.
“If you are lacking financial resources, or are not able to get recommendations, a good place to start given that you live in New York, is the New York State Bar Association (nysba.org),” says Rebell.
“One final warning,” says Rebell. “Whatever the financial outcome, make sure a system is in place that ensures you get paid. An agreement to be given a percentage of marital assets or income is not the same as actually receiving it.”
Lump sum payment? Have everything in writing.
And, by the way, look at this as the beginning of something new and not the end of something old.
- 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 creditcards.com, 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 Moment I Became a Money Grown-UpRead More
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.
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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 siriusxm.com.
6 Important Lessons on How to Be a 'Financial Grownup'
Here are some pointers from a useful new book on personal finance.Read More
But financial firsts, like setting up a retirement fund and coming up with a plan for tackling student loan debt, aren’t quite so exciting. In fact, they can be downright scary—and the stress of dealing with them (or not) could actually be detrimental to your health. (For instance, one in four Americans have PTSD-like symptoms linked to money stress.)
To help turn this widespread fear into empowerment, Reuters personal finance columnist and TV anchor Bobbi Rebell penned How to Be a Financial Grownup—a new compilation of advice and personal stories from celebrities, business leaders, and money pros, all sharing the a-ha moments that led them to take charge of their cash flow.
Monetary maturity has nothing to do with age, says Rebell. “A financial grownup is making deliberate decisions about their financial health,” she explains. “They may have debt, and they may not be making as much money as they want, but they are fully tuned in to what is going on with their finances and are taking the best steps they can to create a path to financial wellness.”
Although the book’s contributors come from all sorts of upbringings and industries, from Drew Barrymore to Tony Robbins, one common thread runs through their stories: Financial security’s not a given, even if you make serious bank.
“[Everyone] shared unexpected events that changed their perceptions of—and their attitudes towards—money,” says Rebell. “Many were caught in situations they never thought they would be in—things that happen ‘to other people’—or were forced to be honest with themselves about their financial situation. We all want a ‘grownup’ to take care of us for as long as possible—it’s so much easier! But life doesn’t work that way.”
“We all want a ‘grownup’ to take care of us for as long as possible—it’s so much easier! But life doesn’t work that way.”
Rebell hopes your bank account won’t be the only thing that’s healthier after reading these honest, unedited stories, a few of which are excerpted below. “The stress caused by financial anxiety can cause tremendous physical issues,” she points out. “There’s a reason I talk about things like organization, relationships, healthy eating, and even meditation. It is all connected. Financial wellness is an essential part of being happy and healthy.”
Keep reading for real talk from famous financial grownups, including Barrymore, Cynthia Rowley, Well+Good’s co-founder Alexia Brue, and more.
Photo: Facebook/Cynthia Rowley
Cynthia Rowley, fashion designer
When I was 21 and a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman stopped me on the L train and asked me whose jacket I was wearing. “It’s mine,” I said, “I’m a designer.”
It turned out she was a buyer for a department store, and she asked me to come to her office first thing Monday with my collection.
So I sewed like a maniac all weekend and made five pieces and brought it to her office.
The buyer looked at the first piece and said, “What’s the style number on this?”
Deer in the headlights moment. “Uh, one?!”
“Okay, what’s the style number on that one?”
She looked skeptical and said, “Where else do you sell?”
There’s no “right” way to be an entrepreneur. You have to have a vision of where you want to go, follow your gut, and take risks every day.
“Some of the more upscale mostly European…mumble mumble…boutiques…on Oak Street…” Throat clear. “Okay, I confess, I’ve never done this before but if you give me the order I promise I’ll deliver a beautiful collection and you won’t be disappointed.” (AKA fake it till you make it.)
I didn’t realize I was supposed to ship to the warehouse and showed up at her office six weeks later—with the garments in a competitor’s shopping bag. D’oh! But the collection sold out.
That was how I became a designer. I moved to New York, rented a loft, and a few months later held a show. The business went from that first department store sale of women’s wear to an international brand with 60 stores worldwide, and lines of shoes, handbags, surf and swimwear, fitness, eyewear, legwear, cosmetics, fragrance, and home furnishings.
Lots of people encouraged me along the way. But I never looked for somebody to take me under their wing. There’s no “right” way to be an entrepreneur. You have to have a vision of where you want to go, short-term and long-term, follow your gut, and take risks every day. It helps to be a pathological optimist and say yes to everything.
The smartest thing I ever did was focus on the thing that most inspires and energizes me, and makes me excited to come to work every day. And no matter what the reviews are, never lose sight of the bottom line.
Photo: Alexia Brue
Alexia Brue, co-founder and publisher of Well+Good
I was diagnosed with cancer in college. Hodgkin’s disease. I had chemotherapy. Usually you deal with your mortality later in life, so it was a real wake-up call that I couldn’t take good health for granted. Staying on top of my health has always been front and center in my life for the last 20 years and Well+Good, in many ways, is an extension of that.
I once read a quote from a very popular female celebrity. She said working out every day was self-indulgent—I think she had that wrong. You can do all the right financial planning in life, but if you don’t take care of yourself, it can cost you everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Just think—a $1,500 bag translates into 30 boutique fitness classes and 40 green juices.
It is about trade-offs. With personal finances, there is no way to have it all. You constantly have to prioritize and plan for what’s important to you. You can’t splurge without saving somewhere else. Actually the Well+Good community employs this principle all the time.
Luxury wellness experiences, such as $35 fitness classes and $10 green juices, are expensive, to be sure. We’ve seen a lot of our readers reallocate the way they spend their money. For example, people used to care more about the season’s it-bag or a pair of incredible shoes. Now, we see a lot of millennial women saying to hell with the bag of the season; they’d rather do the workouts they love and splurge on smoothies and green juices.
They’ve made a conscious trade-off in deciding that these daily experiences mean more to them than a bag. Just think—a $1,500 bag translates into 30 boutique fitness classes and 40 green juices. I can’t remember the last time I bought a pricey bag. Instead I’ve turned my yearly bag splurge into my fitness fund.
Photo: Facebook/Flower Beauty
Drew Barrymore, actress and entrepreneur
My financial grownup moment was being told by Steven Spielberg to turn down money. This was after E.T., and I was getting all kinds of endorsement offers. And for many years afterwards it was very difficult, because I would have liked to have that money and maybe even needed that money very much.
When you have the intention of wanting to strike it rich, something might possibly go awry.
But in the end it paid off because I was able to learn about integrity and that working for your money is not only key and crucial, but if you haven’t spread yourself too thin, you probably will have better opportunities later. Even if they are the ones only created from yourself, you won’t have confused everyone along the way.
I think that when you have the intention of wanting to strike it rich, something might possibly go awry. [But] if you pour your heart into something and you know that one day you might have enough to support yourself, that is literally the energy that has to go into building whatever it is you are trying to build.
Photo: Facebook/Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins, author and entrepreneur
[When I was a child] we had no money for food at Thanksgiving. That will kind of wake you up. But what it woke me up to was not only that I wanted to do well financially so my future family would not suffer the way we did. Somebody fed my family. So it also, at the same time, made me incredibly grateful, and it made me believe that strangers care.
It wasn’t about the food, it was about the fact that somebody cared.
And I swore that I would do that for somebody else, so when I was 17 I fed 2 families. The next year, 4. And as years went by, I did hundreds of thousands. And in the last 7 years, it’s been 2 million people through my foundation. And then I fed 2 million, so that is 4 million total. And then with this book I just did, Money: Master the Game, we are feeding 100 million people. I am feeding 50 million people myself through Feeding America and then I’m doing matching funds to reach 100 million people.
So you can be imprinted by some of the earliest things in your life.
I would say the most important thing is stop being a consumer. Become an owner.
I would say the most important thing is stop being a consumer. Become an owner. You know you have to. You might say: I don’t have time to invest, I don’t know what investing is. It seems so complex. But if you don’t study just a couple of basic things and really learn to own the companies, not just buy from these companies, then you are always going to struggle financially.
You can move from being the chess piece to the chess player, and there are a few distinctions you really need to know. And that is what I have really worked on sharing with people.
If you want to clean up your finances, one expert recommends going on a money detox—here’s how it works. Or you could simply start by decluttering your home, which for one Well+Good writer freed up $10,000.
Segment: Shopping Discounts: Link to video segment http://pix11.com/2017/03/13/heres-how-to-save-some-money-in-stores/
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:
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
**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.
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
TDF.org: $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 biddingforgood.com 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.
Ebates.com is another good one. Install it once and it will pop up and give you a rebate. Also consider
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.
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 BooksRead More
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.