The Tony Steuer Podcast

Get Ready with Laura Adams The Money Girl Philosophy

November 13, 2020 Tony Steuer
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Laura Adams The Money Girl Philosophy
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The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Laura Adams The Money Girl Philosophy
Nov 13, 2020
Tony Steuer

“Be curious. When you have questions, pursue those , ask the question, find out the answer, many people wonder , should I do this, should I do that. However, they don’t really look for solutions so I’d say just being curious is the best tip for financial literacy.” - Laura Adams

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Laura Adams, author and host of the Money Girl Podcast about Laura’s new book “Money-Smart Solopreneur” and the Money Girl Philosophy. We also discussed how people can integrate the Money Girl philosophy into their financial lives along with Laura’s views on financial literacy.

Bio:  Laura Adams is one of the nation’s leading personal finance and small business authorities. As an award-winning author, media spokesperson, and host of the top-rated Money Girl podcast since 2008, millions of readers, listeners, and loyal fans benefit from her practical advice. Her mission is to empower consumers to live healthy and rich lives by making the most of what they have, planning for the future, and making smart money decisions every day.


Show Notes Transcript

“Be curious. When you have questions, pursue those , ask the question, find out the answer, many people wonder , should I do this, should I do that. However, they don’t really look for solutions so I’d say just being curious is the best tip for financial literacy.” - Laura Adams

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Laura Adams, author and host of the Money Girl Podcast about Laura’s new book “Money-Smart Solopreneur” and the Money Girl Philosophy. We also discussed how people can integrate the Money Girl philosophy into their financial lives along with Laura’s views on financial literacy.

Bio:  Laura Adams is one of the nation’s leading personal finance and small business authorities. As an award-winning author, media spokesperson, and host of the top-rated Money Girl podcast since 2008, millions of readers, listeners, and loyal fans benefit from her practical advice. Her mission is to empower consumers to live healthy and rich lives by making the most of what they have, planning for the future, and making smart money decisions every day.


Speaker 1:

[inaudible] welcome to the get ready with Tony Stewart podcast. I'm pleased to be joined today by Laura Adams. In this episode, we'll be discussing Laura's new book, money, smart solopreneur , and her financial philosophy. Laura, welcome to get ready. Thank you for joining us today,

Speaker 2:

Tony. Thanks so much. I am really happy to connect with you and be here on the show today.

Speaker 1:

Um , I'm just so glad to have you , uh, I'm a huge fan of your work , um, before we get into it. Um, I'm going to give our listeners a little bit if your background , uh, Laura Adams is one of the nation's leading personal finance and small business authorities, as in a word winning author media spokesperson and host of the top rated money girl podcasts 2008, which is really old and podcasting years, millions of readers, listeners, and loyal fans benefit from her practical advice. So, Laura, can you please share a little bit more about yourself and , um, a little bit of your story about how you got started in personal finance? Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yes. And yeah, you, you hit it on the head 2008 . It is very old and podcasting years and that is really kind of where the journey took off for me. I came from a family that didn't talk a whole lot about personal finance , um, but I was always interested in it as a kid and I was always reading and kind of begging mom and dad for my own checking account and really wanting that Al to have my own , uh , authority when it came to money. And , um, you know, I don't know for whatever reason it was just, it's always been an interest of mine. I never, in my wildest dreams thought that it would be a career. So when I got out of school , um, I went to a small school in Tennessee, the university of the South and majored in sciences actually and natural resources. And didn't really know what I was going to do a part of me thought maybe I would go on and get a lot degree and work in environmental law. Um, but I got out of school and started working and realized I didn't want to go back. I didn't want to go back to law school. Didn't have as much interest in the law as , as I thought. And I was naturally gravitating toward financial positions. So everything from kind of low-level accounting accounts, payable, accounts receivable, kind of just getting my hands into financial departments and accounting and thought I would be interested in becoming a CPA, but, you know, realize that that really wasn't the direction that I wanted to go either. So really it was just general business and got involved in a variety of companies , um, you know, in different financial and then also worked in more in operations and human resources, dealing with benefits and that kind of thing as well. And I became really interested in , um, kind of a human part of it, the, the human side of business, and eventually decided to go back and get my MBA at Florida. And that's where I kind of really sort of put two and two together. And I was looking at my co my co-students , the cohorts in the program. They were all very successful people, but many of them were struggling with their own personal finances. And I thought, well, how can this be? There are people who are, you know, they're so smart, they've got multiple degrees, they're C-level executives and companies, and yet they're struggling with their personal finances. There was just a disconnect there that became very obvious to me in that program. And we only had one, one personal finance course and that entire MBA program. And that was also kind of a signal to me that this is an under , uh , you know, valued topic. And, you know, not only had I not had any financial education in high school college, or, you know, now this one class in graduate school, I knew, you know , I didn't know anybody that had really any formal education and personal finance. And so the literacy aspect of it kind of became obvious. It's like, well, if we're never learning about it, you know, how can we be expected to really master it and understand it? So after my program, I started blogging really about a variety of finance topics in an effort to help me just remember a lot of the finer points of the education that I had. And a lot of it was corporate finance, but I got into a little personal finance too . And so this was back in 2007 and some of the questions and comments that I got were really geared more towards the personal finance side. And so I , I was getting questions from readers and started kind of trending more toward personal finance. And then eventually is I got really into podcasts as a consumer, loved listening to a variety of them. I thought, you know, I'd like to do a podcast I'd like to kind of give back to the community and let's, let's try to do something in the, in the finance realm. So that's how the podcasting took off and, and joining the quick and dirty tips network was key. They got bought out by a company called McMillan publishing a very large publishing house. And so that led to some publishing opportunities. So it's kind of been just sort of one step after another. And I just made the commitment that I wasn't going to get licensed to sell securities or insurance. And I was really just going to focus on the educational aspect of, of it and trying to help consumers as an advocate and an educator. And that's really what I've been doing, you know, for the past 10 years or more, and also working as a spokesperson. I work with select brands who are trying to get positive messages out to the broader, you know, the , the broader audience about things like insurance, you know, things like protecting yourself with different financial products. So, you know, if there's a company that approaches me that I feel like it's a good fit and I'm, you know, a fan of that company , um, I might help them as a spokesperson to spread the word if they've got a positive message. So that's it in a nutshell.

Speaker 1:

Wow. Well, yeah, I mean, there's so much there, but I think the key takeaway is that , uh, where there's a lot of key takeaways, but the key takeaway for me is the absence of financial education , uh, in the education system. I think that's missing. Um, I know from my own background as a consultant is it's amazing what people don't know about personal finance and that gap is still staggering. Um, you know, so I think , uh , you hit on something that's well needed.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think that, you know, the response has been, has been great and it's, it's really been an audience of very, you know, a wide range of people, people who have very little experience, even up to folks who are even approaching retirement and are feeling unprepared or feeling uncertain. Um, so the audience has been broad. It's been kind of 50, 50 male and female. A lot of people think because it's money girl that it's, you know , uh , uh, audience mainly of women, it's really about 50 50. Um, and you know, I largely get ideas from the questions that come in from readers and listeners and also things like what's going on trending topics, you know, trying to help people navigate complex issues. So whether it's a question or , or, you know, some kind of news story and event, that's really what has guided the content that I've created. So hopefully, you know, it is addressing the questions that people have on their mind.

Speaker 1:

Okay , fantastic. Um, so can you tell us a little bit about , um, what the money girl philosophy is?

Speaker 2:

You know, I would say that for me, the philosophy really is giving people the education they need will empower them to make decisions. I'm, I'm never a fan of sort of gurus who like to tell people do this, don't do that. You know, everybody's situation is so different. And I think if you can give people education, they can make decisions for themselves. Um, so that's really what I'm all about. Certainly there guidelines and principles that, you know, most financial experts would agree on, but you know, the answer to most financial questions is it's a frustrating one, it's it depends. And it depends because everyone's situation is so different. So kind of going back to some fundamental principles, but yet tailoring that to your situation and your goals, you know, everyone's goals are different. Um, what is really de you know, surprising to one person, you know, might be very , um, unexpected to another. So let's say if , um, you know, you've got one person that just really wants to be able to buy a large home, you know, if that's their goal in life and that's what they want to do, fantastic. Make a plan to make it happen for other people, buying a large home might seem frivolous or something that they would would never consider. So everybody's objectives are different. And I think planning , uh, looking ahead, having a long-term view , um, really not going for , um, individual stocks, trying to gamble in the market, you know, really taking kind of a middle of the road approach where you're being pretty conservative , um, overall, but yet planning and making sure that the choices that you're making are centered around your values and what's important to you. So it all starts with a plan , um, and hopefully people who are listening to the podcast, we'll get some ideas, cause we're covering a , a real broad range of topics. One week, it might be retirement and other week it might be insurance. You know, it could be careers negotiating another week. It's a, it's a pretty wide range. Um, so, you know, I think having a broader education can help more people. Um, so educating yourself, I mean, that's really the philosophy, get the education to make decisions. As you said earlier, you don't know what you don't know. And so, you know, it was surprising the assumptions that people make also asking for help. I'm all about getting help. You know, I have an , an advisor, I use financial professionals, I don't do my own taxes. You know, I get help with a lot of areas of my personal finances because I value the opinion of others and experts. And if you think that, you know, it all, you think that you can do it yourself. Well, you know, maybe you can, but for a lot of people, they really do need guidance. Uh, so I think it's always wise to ask for help, whether you take the advice or not is up to you. Um, but getting that input from professionals usually is pretty enlightening.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Well, you know, it's funny, I was just talking to my teammate's son this morning about a slightly related topic. And I go, you can tell , uh , the best leaders, because they're the ones who surround themselves with other smart people and they rely on other people's opinions , uh, to reinforce their opinions. They're not scared of another expert , uh, being on board with them and talking to them about that. And that's so great to hear that philosophy in practice , uh , you know, of course, and knowledge is power. That's, that's exactly where I'm coming from as well is that I feel people need , um, the education and then if they're educated, they can make their own decisions. Uh, you know, we can talk to them and guide them, but at the end of the day, people make up their own minds and go their own way. So I love it. So , um, let's talk about your new book a little bit. Um, what is your new book? Uh, money smart , solopreneur about,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've got a copyright here. Um, it's been near and dear to my heart now for the past year as I've been writing it. And it came out on September 22nd and it is all about how to start or maintain or grow a small business. And , and when we say solo preneur, a lot of people have heard of that term, but they're surprised that there are so many solo preneur businesses in the United States. There are about 30 million small businesses, 85% of them have no employees. So 85% of the small businesses that exist are solo preneurs, one person owning it. Now that doesn't mean they don't use help. They may use freelancers, independent contractors. They may lean on other small business owners for help getting the work done, but they don't have W2 employees. Uh , so when I found out that statistic, it was pretty shocking to me. I had no idea there were that many solo preneurs, and I get a lot of questions from people who want to begin business, either a side hustle in addition to the day job, or they want to do something , uh , part-time maybe even incorporate their children into a business idea. Um , there are a lot of reasons why people are looking for that extra income right now and the experience of , of being a business owner. So I get a lot of questions related to that, and I thought, you know, I just need to kind of compile a lot of this information into one book and , um, use it to, you know, really help people who are just getting started. And I think it's also a good I've had people say, yeah, I've already got a small business where I'm already a solo preneur, but your book reminded me that I need to be looking at, you know, this or that or insurance, or, you know, I'm, I'm kind of weak in this area or maybe my productivity could be a little bit stronger, you know, in this area. So it's , uh , tackles not only the things like what , uh, what type of entity might be best for you. Um, but things like, how do you save for retirement as a small business owner? What are your options? A lot of people think, well, okay, I left the corporate world now, you know, I have no benefits. I'm just, you know, I'm just on my own. And the reality is it's pretty easy to create a benefits package for yourself as a business owner. You just have to kind of think it through and understand what are the different components that are going to work for you. And yes, health insurance is definitely a challenge , um, for small business owners. Um, but we kind of walked through that. Step-by-step in the book to give individuals and families options on how to deal with health insurance, if they did leave a corporate job. So it covers a lot, you know, the tax obligations that you have , um, you know, tools for running a small business effectively. Um, it's pretty much an aid to a , to Z guide.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. What I got to tell you as a solopreneur , um, I think it's an amazing book and it's something, as I've mentioned to you, I wish I'd had when I was starting out, but it's still, you know, it's reminded me of things like, yeah, that's probably something I need to take care of. Um, so it's a wonderful book and , uh, for our listeners , uh, that there'll be a link to the book , uh, in the show notes. So, and carrot you to go check it out , um, at least take a look inside at it and , uh , see if it's right for you. Um, so how do you feel that money smart solopreneur helps promote financial literacy?

Speaker 2:

No , I do think that a lot of people who begin businesses don't really think through all the aspects, you know, they think, okay, well, I'm going to start this business. I'm going to make a lot of money. And one day I'll I'll have enough to save for retirement. One day when the business is really going well, I'll do this or I'll do that. It kind of, they have a forward-thinking attitude, which is wonderful for starting a business, but the reality is if you're not taking care of your needs today, you're not starting small and starting today, you're really leaving yourself vulnerable. So I think that's a running theme throughout the book that no matter what age or stage of your business, if you're not starting to take care of your personal finances right away, you really are going to come up with a gap. So starting small, getting your retirement account open , even if you can only contribute a very small amount on a weekly or monthly basis, it's something. Uh , so I think the literacy component there, I hope the message that's coming through is, you know, just because you're a business owner that doesn't give you a pass on, on providing for your future financial security and hopefully the business will do great and you know, it will provide lots of income. Um , but we don't always know that. And so we've got to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves , uh , no matter what's happening with the business and if you can catch up and contribute more to the future later on. Fantastic. Uh , but don't count on it. Don't bank on it, make sure that you are still , um , doing what you can. And for a lot of people that may mean keeping the day job while you start a business on the side, you know, having that revenue coming in from the day job, having those benefits from the day job is security, so that you can test ideas. You can get the business running and up to speed on the side, and that will make a much smoother transition and make sure that you've, you're protecting your personal finances and keeping you and anybody who's depending on you safe as well.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Well, I just loved that point. Um, I think that's so important to start out that you always have to take care of yourself. Um, I spent some time doing wellness , uh, first response and , uh, whitewater rescue. And that's always the first lesson that's drilled into you as a first responder is you gotta make sure that you're safe and that you're taking care of yourself. That you're no good to anybody else in an emergency situation, if you're not okay, and your stuff isn't squared away , uh, that that's the only time where you can go out and start helping other people is when you've taken care of your own self in your own gear. And I'm just so glad to hear you applying that , uh, in the financial context, because it's such an important lesson. I mean, you're on an airplane and they say, put on your air mask first before you do anything else, because you're not going to help anybody else if you're not breathing. So it's such an important point. Um, so as someone who's been in the financial literacy community for awhile , um, how do you feel we can improve , uh , financial literacy?

Speaker 2:

Well, of course I would certainly love to see more States requiring financial courses in high school. Um, if we can get it into the curriculum the earlier the better too , um, and making that standard in all States, that would be fantastic. Um, you know, certainly I think having it offered at the college level too , and more cases, I mean, I came from a liberal, liberal arts background in undergrad. It was never, you know, never an option, even if you took a business , uh , direction, a business degree, there, there really was not an option there. So I think making it an option, more students are going to choose it. Uh, I think as they get older and realize the importance versus it having to be kind of forced on them , um, in a high school curriculum, but, you know, making it fun, making it interesting for young students and older students , um, is really to keep put it , making it applicable to real life versus, you know, kind of high, you know, theories and , and ideals that they can't really apply to their own situation. Um , the more concrete, the ideas and lessons the better. So I think we have a long way to go with financial literacy , um, and hopefully, you know, the lessons that people are learning from recessions and all of the downturns that we've had and the problems that we've seen, I hope that's going to help keep financial literacy top of mind and encourage more schools to adopt the curriculum. And even if it's on a voluntary basis, you know, that's, that's a start.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I agree with you. I was a finance major in college and we didn't learn anything about managing our own small, personal finances, you know, how to interpret a mortgage. I mean, I remember we spent time learning how to run a bank , uh, but nothing about our own personal financial lives. Uh, so yeah, that's such an important point is that it should be woven into , uh , the curriculum and , uh , real life skills are so important. Uh , so what's your number one tip on being financially prepared?

Speaker 2:

I think the number one tip I could give is being curious. Um, when you have questions, pursue those, ask the question, find out the answer. Many people wonder, well, gosh, you know, should I do this or should I do that? But they never really look for solutions. So I'd say just being curious is probably the best tip for literacy. Nobody knows all the answers , um, and everybody you talk to, you may have a slightly different answer. So it really is being curious about getting the right answer for your situation. So following, following up with questions, finding the experts who can give answers, whether it's a podcast like yours, Tony, whether it's a book, whether it's, you know, having a conversation with somebody on the phone as an advisor , um, get the answers that you need. And so you can turn that curiosity into knowledge.

Speaker 1:

That's great. I love that. Just be curious. Um, I think that's such valuable advice for consumers is that people are oftentimes intimidated and steamrolled by financial advice. And they're intimidated about asking questions. So I think that's such a fantastic point. Um, so to close out , um, where can people learn more about you?

Speaker 2:

Well, my website is Lara D adams.com. That's a great place to learn about books that I've written then also the podcast link is there. Um, so yeah, I would encourage folks to connect with me , uh, check out the money girl podcast. If they're looking for some weekly inspiration, it's typically about 20 or 30 minutes, so pretty short, but it's pretty jam packed with information. And I love hearing from folks. So if you want to send me an email or a tweet , um, I'd love to connect

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. And , uh, for all of our listeners and viewers is , um , all the links to Loris books, website and social media accounts will be on , uh , the website. Um, so Laura , uh , thanks again for joining us today. I really appreciate it,

Speaker 2:

Tony. Thank you so much. It's been really nice to chat. Talk about money. That's always fun.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Um, and for everybody out there, please remember to subscribe to the, get ready with Tony Stewart podcast until next time.