Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Start Treating Money Like Your Favorite Hobby

Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series. My name is Stacey Powell, and if you’re ready not just know better, but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place.

Lately in these videos, we’ve been talking about our relationship with money and so today, we’re going to talk about hobbies. In the book, I asked you, “OK, what if you’re really into fishing? What if you knew nothing about fishing but all of a sudden you got this great passion for it?”

So I scoped around. I have this friend Maya who is a bass fisher, not a fly fisher, bass fisher, and she watches bass fishing TV shows. She gets magazines. She has friends that are her peeps but then she has these bass fishing friends. She goes to tournaments, classes and bass stores.

I make fun of her because I come from a fly fishing family. But the thing is that she’s really good at fishing. And she loves it, and she enjoys it. So one of my points in the book is, “Wow, what if we approach money as if it was a hobby?” because you know how most of us are with money. And we’re like, OK, Saturday morning in between laundry and taking the kids to soccer, maybe I will get around to looking at my bank balances, filling out all my bills as fast as I can and then moving on, right?

We spend as little time as possible dealing with our money. So are we really good with it? Would we ever become great bass fishers or gardeners or cyclists or whatever it is you’re into? Think about your favorite hobby. What are the kinds of things that you would do to become really good at that hobby? What if you did that with money? What if you read a book, watched a video?

So you’re already doing something. You’re watching a video. What if you joined a group? What if you did the kinds of things one needs to do to become good at our hobby? Sit down and write a list of everything you did to become really good at your favorite hobby and then do the same thing around money.

Here’s my list in the book:
  • Who could you talk to?
  • What kind of equipment do you need?
  • Do you have the right equipment?
  • Are you using the right apps, the right software?
  • What friends would be into learning about this with you? So it would be fun.
  • Any TV shows or books? - There's my book. It’s called The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money that you could read.
  • How much free time do you think that it would take to become really good with your money?
These are some ideas about making money one of your hobbies and becoming super good at it.

So as always, you can Subscribe to these videos below. You can join us on Facebook at Team Do Better. Great place to spend some time worrying about money and you can sign up for our newsletter over at So go find yourself a new hobby.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Do You Have a Good Relationship with Money?

Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series.

My name is Stacey Powell and if you’re ready to not just know better but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place.

And I'm really excited about today's video and the next few videos that are rolling out over the next two weeks. They're all about our relationship with money.

I'm an accountant, so I'm a huge believer that you can't just magically change your money mindset, and everything's magically going to be okay, like a lot of guru's say. You've got to do the work. You've got to roll up your sleeves; you've got to actually put money in a savings account. You actually have to pay down your debt. There's all this droll, boring, technical stuff you have to do. But, where I differ from a lot of accountants is that the money mindset piece, I think it's half the equation.

Part of what's wrong with money in this society is that we don't talk about it. I call it the big scary. Oh my gosh, do not make me talk about what's wrong with my money, about my debt. Admit to other people that I'm frustrated. Admit to other people that I've had points in my life that I couldn't put $5 of gas in my tank. We also don't like to brag about our money wins because that's just not done. So we end up not talking about money at all which is a huge mistake.

Back in 2008 when everything came crashing down, it was a horrible time. I know for some of you, it was a really horrible time. You might have lost your house. You might have had some family, friend that lost their house. Everybody knew somebody that was on the brink of losing their house or lost their house.

All of a sudden, keeping up with the Jones … We could see driving down our streets that a bunch of the Jones, there was nothing to keep up with because they were not on solid ground to begin with. They might have had a shiny new car. They might have gone to Europe on vacation. But the truth is, they were underwater in their house, and, unfortunately, lost it. It was a horrible time.

The silver lining? We started talking about real money issues, together. Together with friends, family our nation, the media. And I think there was a lot of benefit from that. It gets us out of our own head and working as a community together.

So my big point of today's video is, talk about your money with your kids, your family, your parents, your friends, your mentors. Get a financial coach. We've got great financial coaches at Join a money Mastermind group, which we have at

If you really want to impact change in your money find someone to talk to. Join a group. Get a coach. Make a difference with your money. And if you're really, really struggling, and you don't have any money, I have some free stuff to help you too.

Subscribe to these videos below. Come to Facebook we have a group called Team Do Better where we talk about money on a weekly basis, join there; it's free. You can sign up for our free newsletter at And whatever you do what I will leave you with is, find somebody to talk to about your money. Don't be scared. It won't kill you, it will help you. Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When is Your Credit Score Not Important?

Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series.

My name is Stacey Powell and if you’re ready to not just know better but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place and today we’re going to be talking about your credit score.

Today’s video, it’s actually really just meant for the people who are so strangled by the debt in their life that it’s time to take some drastic measures.

Credit scores are important. They’re absolutely important. You not only need them to get good interest rates when you buy a home. Sometimes you need them when you’re going to be renting an apartment or taking a lease out for a commercial building space or for some people, when you’re trying to get a job or government clearance or something. Credit scores are important. What I’m going to talk about today is when credit scores aren’t important, when you become more important than your credit score.

So I’m going to do a little play today about a conversation that I had with a client once and I’ve had many similar conversations but here is the way it went.

She came in. She was like under water. She was drowning in credit card debt. She couldn’t pay them and she didn’t know what to do.

Her solution up to the point of coming to see me was take more credit card debt out to pay the credit cards because she could. She had this great credit score. It was like how – it was close to 800. It was really a good credit score and she was not going to give that thing up. So here’s the way this went.

“Well, what would it look like if you stopped paying your credit cards?”

“Oh my gosh. I couldn’t do that.”

“Why couldn’t you do that?”

“Well, because if I stopped paying my credit cards, then I couldn’t get more credit to pay my credit cards.”

“Well, what would happen if you stopped paying your credit cards?”

“My credit score.”

“What do you need your credit score for?”

“To get more credit.”

Back and forth and back and forth. I kid you not and it took some time to – for me to teach her, for her to step back and really realize that she was in a loop that there was no solution to.

In the end, her solution was to stop paying her credit cards for a while and like I said in the beginning, this is really for those of you that are really just in the most dire circumstances. I don’t take this lightly but for some people, this is the right solution. When you’re so strangled and worried about your credit score, that you’re making crazy decisions and digging yourself a bigger hole because you’re trying to keep that credit score alive, well, then it’s time to give your credit score up for a while. It will rebuild. I promise it will rebuild. It rebuilds after bankruptcy. It rebuilds after short sales. It rebuilds after periods of not paying your credit cards.

With integrity, you want to circle back and get all that stuff done and you want to rebuild it. But if you’re really to the point where you’re struggling to that level, I suggest you get my book and read it and I talk a lot more in detail about this. It’s another one of those things that you probably don’t want to do alone. I would love it if you would come join us over at Team Do Better. There’s a group of us that will support you on your mission. You can also sign up for our newsletter at or subscribe to our videos right here on YouTube. Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The One-Third Money Rule

Hi! Welcome to The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money video series. My name is Stacey Powell and if you’re ready to not just know better but also do better with your money, you’ve come to the right place.

The last few weeks, we’ve been showing videos on the four letter word “debt” and as I’ve looked at them, I realized, oh my god, they’re really serious. Like, I’m really serious when I’m talking about and telling you to stop using debt in this very serious tone.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so serious. But you know what? It’s a serious issue. But today we’re going to talk about something a little bit more fun around debt and that’s how you can accelerate your debt payments in kind of a fun way.

So one of my very favorite money tips that I ever got and now it’s the favorite money tip that I give, I like to call the one-third rule. Whenever you get extra money, no matter what kind, you divvy it up in thirds. One-third goes toward your debt. One-third goes into savings because we do that equally and then one third goes towards something fun, something that you’ve really wanted, something that you haven’t let yourself buy because you’ve been so busy paying down debt over here.

So whether it’s a tax return, a bonus at work, birthday money, yeah, even birthday money, like if you’re serious about getting out of debt, even birthday money, an inheritance. Now if you get some huge inheritance, I’m not suggesting that you use the one-third, one-third, one-third rule. I’m suggesting that you go talk to a certified financial planner.

But if you get a $5000 inheritance, $10,000, $20,000, even something small, still sit down and think about this one-third, one-third, one-third concept because I think like with everything in life, if we do things in a more balanced approach, it benefits us. It benefits the mission we’re on. I see so many people get their tax refunds every year and use it to pay down debt and then they use their credit cards all year long and then they get another tax refund and they use it. It’s just this ongoing cycle.

What would it look like if you had a tax refund and you had no debt to put it down towards? You can do a one-half rule. Half of it goes towards savings and half of it goes towards fun.

So this is a tip that I’ve seen really accelerate people’s mission to pay off their debt. I’ve seen it accelerate their mission to build their savings and the other great thing about it is that you also kind of remember that when these little pockets of money come up, instead of just immediately shoveling all of that money off here towards paying down debt, it in a way motivates us. So that’s my favorite tip to get yourself out of the four-letter word “debt”.

So, as always, I would love it if you would come join us over at Team Do Better on Facebook. You can sign up for our newsletter over at Subscribe to our videos right here and the next time you get some extra unexpected money, sit down and think about where you would like to spread that out to.