Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Develop Good Money Habits BEFORE You Win the Lottery

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 to know better but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve been talking about our relationship with money and today’s topic is going to be about winning the lottery or getting a large inheritance.

Have you ever heard that 70% of the people who win large lotteries, 5 years after they win, are in a significantly worse financial position than before they won the lottery?

It’s crazy! Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, 50 Cent, MC Hammer all have bankruptcies. Wynonna Judd, and I love how she talks about it rather famously, had a ton of bad money habits!

So when she became popular and was making just a ton of money, it didn’t matter. Her problems got worse because she had exponentially more money to make problems with.

What really, really matters in our financial life is our habits. I had clients tell me before we started, “Oh when I make it, I’m really going to take what you’re teaching me and implement.” No! What you really need to do is implement now when you have nothing. The person that puts $5 in a savings account when they have nothing is the person who will then put $50 in his savings, $100, $500, $1000.

When you practice how to do something and create healthy habits, even when you feel like you have nothing, it has a huge impact and exponential growth on your financial life. You don’t need to wait to win the lottery. You don’t need to wait to get an inheritance, to start creating good habits.

I’ve had a number of clients over the years come to me, really disappointed in themselves and what they called frittering away an inheritance. I have this – one client, in particular, had a really sizable inheritance, and she specifically came to work with me because she wanted to honor the money that her mother left her.

She worried whether she was going to be able to honor the money her mom left her and that was the subject of our financial coaching. She looks back on the decisions she made and even though – I’m not saying that she didn’t fritter here and there. She did, but she did it mindfully and by using really good habits around her money.

So that’s what I’m going to leave you with today. A little more serious than the typical “I won the lottery” conversations might be but it’s true. Work on your habits and then when you get that next pocket of money, do something great with it.

If you want to talk about this anymore, come join us over on Facebook. We have a private group called Team Do Better. Ask to join. We'll let you in. Subscribe to these videos below right here on YouTube or sign up for our newsletter at Thanks and have a great day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Financial Literacy for Kids: Teaching Teens About 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 not just to know better but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place.

So lately we’ve been creating videos about our relationship with money. Today, we’re talking about teenagers and their relationship with money and how we can have an impact on it.

I have long been a proponent of “money date night”. It’s what I did to help myself pull myself out of the horrid financial mess I was in years ago. My last video talked about couples having money “date night”. So today we’re going to talk about this thing that I started doing with my daughter when she was a teenager called “teenage money date night”.

When she was young – I was in the midst of my financial nightmare – and because of that, I think I probably gave her a lot of mixed messages and wasn’t a great teacher about money.

By the time she became a teenager, I had come quite a long way in my own learning and doing. I felt like I had a lot of time, which I needed to make up for.

So we started doing teenage money date night. Part of it was to make up, and part of it was because I was writing a book and I wanted to test things out on her to see how they would work.

So we would get gelato, go to a coffee shop, and have teenage money date nights. I was honest. The dates weren’t all sunshine and roses. There were tears at some of them. But we did it. We created this conversation. I did my best to be non-judgmental about her financial decisions. I did my best to teach, but not lecture her. I did my best to listen to her fears and say, “Yeah, I have those fears,” and I did my best not to sound like a know-it-all even though I know a lot about money.

Here’s how I did it. I was honest with her about the mistakes that I’ve made. It became more of a joint effort than me saying, “This is how you should take care of your money, and you aren’t doing this.”

Can you think about a time when you were teaching your kid to ride their bike and took the training wheels off their bike? They probably fell once, twice, maybe more. Did we yell at our little kids when they fell off their bike? Did we look disappointed? Did we try to act like we weren’t disappointed, but they could see through the fact that we were?

When it comes to money, we want so badly for our kids not to suffer the same things we suffered. So our judgment sometimes comes through, even if we’re trying not to show them. I think that’s one of the really important things about teaching your teenager about money.

Teenage date night changed a lot for my daughter and her money. I like to look at things still with training wheels. I have this deal with my daughter. She’s 21 right now, and I have what I call “training wheel savings” for her. I require her to give me a certain amount of money every month, and I put it in a separate savings account. It’s her money, but she doesn’t have control over it. I'll tell you what. Every time something goes wrong with her car, she’s so grateful for having those training wheels.

So when you think about your kids, no matter what age they are – she lets me call it “teenage money date night” even though she’s no longer a teenager. Think about what kind of things you could do to help your kids have a smoother path than maybe you had with money.

If you would like to talk about this more, come on over to our Facebook group Team Do Better. You’re welcome to ask me questions there, and I will answer, and everybody else will appreciate watching as well. Sign up for our newsletter at or subscribe to these videos right here. Now, have a talk with your teenager.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#1 Money Rule for Couples: You Must Play Together to Stay Together

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 to know better, but do better with your money, then you’ve come to the right place.

Lately, we’ve been talking about our relationship with money and how it impacts our financial life. Today, we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite pieces of advice for couples, and that is to have monthly money date night.

I don’t care if you’ve been married for 50 years, if you’re a newlywed or if you’re thinking about getting married. Having a money date night every month can make a huge impact on your financial life.

Here are a couple of reasons why:

1. The only time you talk about it is when you’re trying to solve a problem, a big enough problem that requires the both of you to talk about it. It’s usually frustrating, stressful, ugly. So that’s your framework for how you show up to any conversation about money because most of your conversations are kind of icky, and frustrating without any simple solutions.

If you consistently talk to your significant other about money, your goals, and your dreams, you’re laying a framework in your head that that’s your money conversations are good. Not just icky stuff.

Then when the icky stuff happens, you’re much better equipped with a shared language and know how to work together. So that’s reason number one.

2.  It’s a stereotype, but I think it’s a true stereotype. In most couples, you’ve got the person that loves spreadsheets, loves accounting software, loves all that stuff and figuring out. Then you’ve got this person over here who wants absolutely nothing to do with any of it and is so happy that the other person is going to do it all. So there is one person making the vast majority of the decisions and actions around your money. While that might be convenient, it isn’t best. Here’s why.

I tell my clients all the time. Imagine I’m your accountant. I’m going to give you a ton of advice. I hope you’re going to take most of it. But I also hope you’re not going to take all of it because my framework – I’m conservative. I’m not always going to take risks. I’m not always going to go for the quick path. I’m going to spend 6 hours on a spreadsheet when I should have only spent 1 hour on a spreadsheet trying to make a decision. I should have followed my intuition more, right? That’s my framework.

Another person’s framework brings great value to your financial decisions and so bringing your two heads together is actually important and better. You might think you’re not good at money, but that’s not true. That’s the story you tell yourself. You have great value to balancing out your partner.

It’s not the end-all-be-all to fixing your money situation. It’s only part of the equation. So those are my top 2 reasons why it’s really important to have money date night with your honey. Keep your marriage together, going strong, and being fun.

So if you would like to join me and more of these conversations, you can Subscribe to these videos. You can join us over at Team Do Better on Facebook whenever you can come in and talk about money, and you can also sign up for our newsletter at So I want you to sign off and schedule your first money date night.