Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How to Decide the Right Level of Insurance For You & Your Family

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 do better with your money, then you've come to the right place. 

Today we're going to talk about insurance, like oh my gosh, and all of the stuff around insurance. I'm going to show you a little visual that I have in the book of the cogs around you and all the kinds of insurance and related types of things there are. Everything from health insurance which is kind of one of those things that we should all have to auto insurance to the smaller things like flood insurance, renters insurance, dental, disability, long-term care. Oh my gosh! The list can go on and on and on. The chapter of the book that that graphic is in is called the grown-up stuff. Dealing with it sometimes is like uhhh.. it feels a little like drudgery. A few videos back, I talk about adulting. When we finish a task like making a decision about insurance it's like good job Stacey, you did it. You sat down, you read, you talked to a professional and you made a decision. You know some of those are easy, like auto insurance it's kind of illegal to not have auto insurance right. Health insurance, it's kind of illegal to not have health insurance or at least it's very costly. But how do you make decisions about all the other kinds of insurances that yea it would be great to have it when you're trying to get your budget right sized with your income and your spending and if you buy all those insurances, are you going to have enough money left over to you know put food on the table or take a vacation? Where do you draw the line? Where do you draw the line? And that's the cruz of what I want you to walk away from this video. I can't tell you where to draw the line. You have to do a lot of reading, a lot of studying, you have to talk to professionals and you have to follow your own intuition about where you draw that line. But here's the thing is in the book I have you respond to each one of those. Do I want it? Do I need it? If I had enough money, would I just go buy it? And at what point does it become important? Life insurance, like here's my truth about life insurance - you've all hear me talk about how much I used to struggle when my daughter was little. But the truth is like life insurance isn't even a choice because if something happened to me it WOULD NOT be okay that I didn't leave something to help her become an adult. It's not okay. And the truth is I didn't need a one million dollar policy. I brought what was for years a $25/mo policy that would have left her with enough money to at least get her through college and help her get on her feet after that. And you know I was really looking forward to being done paying for life insurance at some point I thought you know when she turned eihgteen maybe. But now I realize no no no no, it's still for me that line is still no. I need to have life insurance. I'm older so I don't get to pay $25/mo anymore but no matter how challenging our financial situation was in those years, that is a payment that I never missed. And so that's what I want YOU to think about in this conversation about insurance is what is it that you know that there's a line that you should have. Go do your homework, go see how much it costs, if you think you can't afford it an you have kids like just go find out how much it is because you can at least maybe get half way there. And half way is better than nothing. So that's what I have to say about insurance. There's a lot more in the book and the truth is theres a never ending amount of information about this. I encourage you to learn, read and seek the advice of a professional who's going to teach you and not just sell you a product. 

If you have anymore questions or what to chat about this, come over to our Facebook Page group we have called Team Do Better, sign up for our weekly newsletter at or sign up for our video series below. And have a great day going and making decisions about insurance!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Finance Gym Weekly Workout - Should You Do Your Own Taxes or Hire an Accountant?

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 do better with your money then you've come to the right place. 

Lately we've been talking about the grown up stuff around our money. Today's grown up stuff? Taxes... Sorry, we all have to like what's that saying? Death and taxes. We all have to do it! So today I'm going to teach you a little bit about how to choose how to get your taxes done. I get asked that question all the time.. Should I do it myself? Who should I hire? Where should I go? And for me, it's about how complicated are your finances? How complicated is your world? If you're not married, you don't have kids, you don't have a house yet, you don't have anything unusual going on then you absolutely should do your own taxes. And here's why.. Simply by doing them, by buying Turbo Tax or whatever tax software product it is out there, letting it walk you through the questions, seeing where it puts the answer and really kind of paying attention, hitting the little help button, the little question, googling things you don't understand, you're gonna learn, you're gonna get a little tiny tax class and have a more comprehensive understanding and that's good for you and then as you add complications on, have a kid, well you've learned then you're gonna be able to learn what that means. Get married, you're gonna be able to learn that. Buy a house? Maybe you're gonna be able to learn it. Then it starts to get a little complicated. Did you get stock options at work? Did you have to like sell back some stock options? Then it starts to get super complicated. Did you become a business owner? Then it really starts to get super complicated and that's the point. The point at which you kind of start going, maybe I should really seek the advice of someone who is experienced. You'll know when it's time I think. And then who do you hire when it's time? Do you go to one of the big box tax places? Maybe. Um.. Well.. Maybe but I'm often hesitant to send people there because, not always but often the people there they're well trained, they're well supervised they are often not very experienced. So I'm always hesitate to send people to a big box place. That's not to say there aren't some good ones, there are. Shockingly enough, they aren't that less expensive than a good tax accountant. I have for years sent a number of my clients to just a few people, I like to talk about Mike. I send people to Mike because when I send people to mike, theres a couple of things I know, one I trust the man personally, two I know he's going to teach people about their money. Not simply hand them a 50 page questionnaire, have one his staff people enter it into their tax software and spit a tax return back out without actually talking to you about it. I think that's what it really comes down to, is that when you're hiring somebody, you want to hire somebody who's going teach you a little bit. Somebody who has been doing this for a while and is trustworthy and is going to get your stuff done. You don't want to hire the person who just has the best tax strategies in the world. Unless you're in a unique situation there are very few best tax loopholes in the world. If you have the kind of money that can afford you that, you're not watching this video and there are very few tax strategies for you. It's simple, we earn money, we pay taxes, that's the truth of the matter and any reasonable tax account will tell you the same thing. 

Hopefully I've taught you a little bit about how to get your taxes done. If you would like to ask me some more questions, come on over to our FB group Team Do Better and you're welcome to ask questions in that forum. You can sign up for our newsletter at and subscribe to our video series below. Now go have fun doing your taxes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Finance Gym Weekly Workout - Questions to Ask When Hiring a Financial Advisor

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.

This little series that I'm doing right now is on Chapter 7 in the book, the grown-up stuff. I call it the grown up stuff because when you're done doing the stuff in this chapter, you're going to feel like an adult. If you want to hear more about that go listen to the first video in this little series. Today the adulating that we're going to talk about is hiring a financial planner. I get asked this question all the time and frankly this was one of the hardest parts of the book for me to write. I wanted to concisely explain to people how to make the decision of what kind of financial advisor to hire. If you've paid any attention then you know that the field is this wide. It's crazy, there's everything from somebody that works for your local bank to somebody who works at a big huge brokerage and really is just an investment advisor to brand new people who are just starting out and are calling themselves financial advisors and they're certified but they don't really have any experience yet to people who have put the time and effort in to become a certified financial planner or an equal certification. 

When people ask me, when my friends ask me who to hire, one of the first things that I always say is you want to hire somebody who is a certified financial planner. There are some other certifications that are equal but that's kind of my favorite go to. If someone has put the time and effort in to go to that level of knowledge, then they're somebody who's really committed to giving you the best financial advice possible. And i'm not saying that somebody just as a simple license or two sell you you financial products don't care I'm sure lots of them do care but if you're really kind of looking at 
what is being offered out there you want somebody who has been through life cycles with their clients, emergencies and how that played out. Somebody who's walked through retirement, who have seen what financial decisions on this side of your life, how they impact that side of your life, and so you don't necessarily want somebody new out of the gate. The truth is some of you watching this video can't necessarily afford somebody who has ten years of experience. So then you're just gonna have to go with a little but of intuition. If you look int the book I have a list of eleven questions that I recommend you ask whenever you're interviewing a financial advisor. One of the base pieces of advise I give to people is interview three before you make a decision so that you kind of get a good feel for what's out there. I think my last piece of advise is you want to hire somebody who you feel like is going to be a teacher for you. You don't necessarily want to hire the person who was you know the math wiz and has a degree in business. Frankly, my go to advisor, the one that I sent my mother too and my closest friends - she was a i think anthropology major and museum studies like minor something like that. She's smart, she wasn't necessarily a numbers person, but what she really is is a teacher. She has learned everything she had to learn to become an excellent financial planner but more than anything she is patient and takes the time to teach people that i send to her what they need to learn. And so I hope for you when you go out looking to see who it is you want to hire that you find somebody like that.

So, this stuff isn't easy to do, if you want a partner in all of this, please come over to Facebook and join our private group called Team Do Better also sign up for our weekly newsletter at or subscribe to this video series. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Adulting: Achieving Financial Security For Yourself & Your Family

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 now just know better but do better with your money, you've come to the right place. I'm getting ready today to film Chapter 7 which is call the "grown up stuff". When I was picking out chapter names everybody said, "you can't name it that". I actually wish that I would have used a word that my daughter uses. She's 21 and she uses the word "adulting", and I wish I would have just named the chapter adulting. Let me tell you a little secret if you're like under the age of 40, the truth is you learn this when you get to be 50 and then 60, I think that we all think that when we grow up, somehow it's going to be easier to go see a financial planner or easier to make decisions about insurance or easier to do estate planning. Maybe I just don't hang out with the right people but let me tell you, it doesn't get easier. And almost everybody that I know when they do one of those kinds of tasks that we all kind of dread and don't really want to get done, we all feel this like wow good job Stacey you got that done! And I don't care who it is that I've worked with, whether it's been somebody struggling on a $40k salary or one of my multimillionaire clients, they've all still felt the same way, the uncertainty, the dealing with professionals and you know not really feeling like ah man I don't know as much as this person and I have to trust this person, am I trusting the right person and just the general drudgery and then the complication you know. I'm a finance person but sometimes some of these conversations about insurance is complicated and somebody who's an insurance agent knows a ton more than me even though I know a lot! So I like the word adulting and in my next series I'm going to be talking about the stuff of adulting. My take away for today is, I don't care about how old you are it's alright to smile at yourself it's alright to laugh at yourself a little bit. Just roll up your sleeves and get it done be a little easy with yourself and you can give yourself a little prize at the end in whatever adulting thing you're putting off doing. As always, if you want some support come over to our Facebook and join our team Do Better Group, you can sign up for our newsletter at and subscribe to our Youtube series below. Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Today's Second BIG Announcement!

We told you today would be BIG and we meant it! We're thrilled to be hitting the road for a 36-city Piggybanks in the Park tour, a grassroots campaign where we'll talk about the REAL stuff of money, teach how to have a better life with money, and leave you with some serious "ah-ha's about the next thing you can do right to be better with your money.

Visit for tour dates and information.
Today's First BIG Announcement!

I'm excited to announce what so many of you have been asking for --- today A Better Life with Money officially launched on Amazon! If you loved the book, let your friends know, or get a second copy!

Laugh with me a little and go watch the Better Life with Money commercial below.

Purchase The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money on Amazon by clicking on the image below.

Video Transcription:

Do you ever feel like you aren't on top of your money like you should be? Like you just don't know what to do next? Do you ever get sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck and all the struggles that come along with it? If any of that rings true for you, then The Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life With Money is the book for you. 
My name is Stacey Powell and I'm going to tell you a little bit about why I wrote this book for you. Be assured, if any of those statements ring true, you are not the only one, there are millions of other people just like you who struggle with their money walking around every day with this nagging little voice "hey! you can be better with your money" or that really not so nice voice saying "are you ever going to get your money shit together?"
For me, those voices came like the peaks and valleys of a roller coaster and they would never ever stop. If you're ready for your little voice to whisper "hey, you're good with your money" and "hey you handled that like a champ!" then I want you to start working on this book. You can make that happen, I did! In this book I walk you through every step that I took. 
Why should you learn from me? Other people have degrees and credentials too, so what makes me different from other experts? I've been where you are. I've struggled to stop living paycheck to paycheck. I know what it feels like to have debt payments that you can't make. I've sworn off credit cards only to have a huge car repair bill that I didn't have any way to pay for! I let year after year go by saying "next year I'm going to start a savings account or a 401k" but next year never came. 
The cycle became routine for me until the day that I got sick and tired of living the way I was living. On that day I chose to stop relying on my financial know how and start using a holistic approach to tackling my money issues and you know what happened? I began to breathe easier and I stopped feeling broke even though sometimes I still was. I started to feel like I was making good money decisions. My money got stronger and working on my money started to actually become fun. 
To this book, I bring my life experiences of changing something that felt like it was completely unchangeable. I also bring the lessons of countless people that I've financially coached through highs and lows. For many people, money carries this huge emotional punch, it impacts our lives our hopes and our dreams. If you're ready to find yourself at peace in feeling strong about your money then take this journey with me. Get your copy of the Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life With Money. Start here, start now. Don't just know better but do better.