The Tony Steuer Podcast

Get Ready with Tracey Bissett: Financial Fitness and Young Money

January 08, 2021 Tony Steuer/Tracey Bissett
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Tracey Bissett: Financial Fitness and Young Money
Chapters
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Tracey Bissett: Financial Fitness and Young Money
Jan 08, 2021
Tony Steuer/Tracey Bissett

“Take small forward actions and to be kind to yourself in the process, so try to learn something new every day we’ve never been in a better age to learn about money and about personal finance.” - Tracey Bissett

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Tracey Bissett, President of Bissett Financial Fitness, Inc and host of the Young Money Podcast about the concept of financial fitness. We also discussed the Young Money Podcast and the Young Money Scholarship Fund. 

Bio: Tracey Bissett is on a mission to redefine the world's economic future by increasing the financial literacy of entrepreneurs, also known as financial fitness. As the founder, President, and Chief Financial Fitness Trainer at Bissett Financial Fitness Inc., Tracey helps her clients understand and improve their level of financial fitness with a goal of increased confidence using their financial skills so they can be successful in their financial lives. In addition, Tracey is a professor at Centennial College’s School of Business and regularly leads speaking engagements to increase financial fitness awareness. 

Show Notes Transcript

“Take small forward actions and to be kind to yourself in the process, so try to learn something new every day we’ve never been in a better age to learn about money and about personal finance.” - Tracey Bissett

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Tracey Bissett, President of Bissett Financial Fitness, Inc and host of the Young Money Podcast about the concept of financial fitness. We also discussed the Young Money Podcast and the Young Money Scholarship Fund. 

Bio: Tracey Bissett is on a mission to redefine the world's economic future by increasing the financial literacy of entrepreneurs, also known as financial fitness. As the founder, President, and Chief Financial Fitness Trainer at Bissett Financial Fitness Inc., Tracey helps her clients understand and improve their level of financial fitness with a goal of increased confidence using their financial skills so they can be successful in their financial lives. In addition, Tracey is a professor at Centennial College’s School of Business and regularly leads speaking engagements to increase financial fitness awareness. 

Speaker 1:

Wow

Speaker 2:

To the get ready with Tony Stewart podcast . I'm pleased to be joined today by Tracy vessel . In this episode, we'll be discussing Tracy's podcasts, young money and the concept of financial fitness. Tracy. Welcome to get ready.

Speaker 3:

Thanks so much, Tony. It's my pleasure to be here with you today.

Speaker 2:

I'm really excited to have you on today. So before we get into our discussion, here's a little bit of information about Tracy . Tracy Bisset is the founder of beset financial fitness incorporated . Tracy is on a mission to redefine the world's economic future by increasing the financial literacy of entrepreneurs, also known as financial fitness. Tracy helps her clients understand and improve their level of financial fitness with a goal of increased confidence using their financial skills so they can be successful in their financial lives. So Tracy let's get started. Can you please share a little bit more about yourself and how you got started in personal finance?

Speaker 3:

Well, I was really fortunate. I grew up in a family where my dad was a banker, so we had money discussions ever since I was a little girl and it was something we regularly talked about and learned about , um, because it's not taught very well in Canada where I live. And so having that foundation from my family and I learned that a really young age that I particularly loved money and I wanted money. I w I liked the things money could do. And so I would go to my mom and say, can I have 25 cents to go to the corner store? And she would say, okay, today you can, but that's it for the week we have money, but not for that. So I realized pretty quickly if I wanted to go to the store and get some candies and treats and things, every day, I was going to have to find a way to make some money. So at the age of like six and seven years old, I'm outside brainstorming ways I can make money. So having a lemonade stand, I'm selling some of my belongings, my friend, and I, we would charge kids to play with us. So for the parents, it was like babysitting , uh, as well. We started a little community newspaper for our neighborhood. Um , so every day we could come up with something. And so it probably, wasn't a totally rational thought at that point, but I could see that when you have money, you can do stuff. And it wasn't that I wanted to hoard the money. I just wanted to get what money could buy me. So I learned that lesson really young. And I think that because I was fortunate to have that such a good grounding , um , to have that knowledge when I was a kid and it continued to grow with me , uh , I think when you have that, I think it's a kind of one thing you should share it with others. Uh , to me, knowledge of personal finance and , um , financial matters and money matters in general, it's a fundamental life skill to have that knowledge to me, it's akin to having driver's license, to being able to swim it's things you need to know in your life. And so, because I was so fortunate, I feel really compelled to share that with others.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's great. And I think that's so important. What you bring up is, you know, has a child, it's the, should be a fundamental life skill. Uh , that's taught through the educational system. So that's great. The traditional eliminates Stan . I love it. So , um, what is your basic financial philosophy?

Speaker 3:

Uh, so for me, everybody is starting on their journey wherever they are. I , I kind of coined the phrase, financial fitness. I think it brings with it a lot of positivity , um, versus financial literacy, where you're automatically starting with your illiterate about money. And so I like to come at it from the positive and I believe everyone is starting wherever they are. So wherever you are, you need to embrace it and you need to move forward on this financial fitness journey. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to step off the path and , and have some missteps, but that's okay. You need to be kind to yourself in the process. And for me, if we kind of equate it to physical fitness, you might be at a starting place. We're going to take the first step off the couch, walk around the block. That's going to be your first step in physical fitness. You could be learning about bank accounts, budgets, anything on the financial fitness side, as well as if we're more advanced, we could be training for a marathon physically and be learning more sophisticated ways to do investing on the financial side. So wherever you are is a great place to start. Everyone can learn more. There's always new stuff happening. Um, so don't be ashamed of where you're starting, embrace it and try to increase your knowledge every day. And the key is really take some imperfect actions every day. Even if you do one thing that teaches you something that you didn't know yesterday, you're on that journey and you're moving forward, which I think is key .

Speaker 2:

Wow. Wow. I really liked that. I think that's such a great point about financial literacy and the implications, because I think as you point out, it is more about financial fitness, you know, when you go to the doctor and if they tell you to start exercising, they're all, you know, it's , it's small steps, not run a marathon tomorrow. It's realistic. Uh , so that's great. Um, so why do you feel financial fitness is important?

Speaker 3:

Financial matters affect every single aspect of your life. It affects your physical health. If you're stressed about money, you're going to feel it. If you don't have enough money, you're probably not eating well. So affects your physical health, certainly affects anxiety, stress levels. It can then impact all of the relationships that you have, whether direct people in your family, outside of your family. Um, as well as if you're running a business too, it's going to , if you'd , that comes with you there, and you have that, that lack of financial knowledge or lack of confidence in yourself , um, you're not going to be able to run your business as well. And so I, if we're embracing it like a fundamental life skill, the sooner we mastered that, the easier it is to accomplish any goals that we have, it kind of teams down any concerns or any problems that might surface because of money and all those other aspects I mentioned. And so once we've got that, we can then focus on what is it we want to do in our life and not worry about the money piece.

Speaker 2:

That's great. That's, that's so important. Um, I love what you're saying. I love this outlet because it's a little bit different than most people in the financial literacy community. And I think that's great is that, you know, it's important because different people learn in different ways. So it's great that you present something a little bit different , uh , than a traditional models . So that's fantastic. So you're doing some great work with your podcast. Um , do you want to share a little bit about your podcast young money?

Speaker 3:

Sure. So young money with Tracy Bissett , it's the advice show for young millionaires in the making. And it's really geared towards ages 18 to 30 ish. Uh , there's going to be some younger people listen, some older people, I've got lots of parents and grandparents who listened to and then pass on episodes that they think are particularly relevant for the young millionaires in the making in their lives. And the goal is really to make it interesting, make it fun, take the mystery out of money. And I'm in probably 99% of the episodes. I'm not telling people what to do. I'm providing a framework, some guidance, some questions to pose to yourself. A couple of times, I'm going to say, don't do this ever. Um , because I feel really strongly about that. Um, such as taking out payday loans would be an example of something. I'd be like, if you can never take one out, that would be ideal. Um, but it's all around getting people to change their perception or their view on their ability to do things related to money. So by giving people questions and ways they can come to decisions on their own, it allows them to be confident in charge of their financial situation. So when I started the podcast, I never would imagined I would have enjoyed it so much. I absolutely love having it. And before that, I was not doing any, any video or audio speaking, where everything was recorded. So certainly a learning curve, but I'm so glad that I , they started it and it's been around since 2016. So we've got 17 story . We're hitting our three-year anniversary. So,

Speaker 2:

Wow. That's, that's almost old school for potty , I'm relatively new. Um , but I think, you know, I can , I can see that it really ties into your theme with financial fitness is that it's not really about the, you know , kicking the big steps. It's about that little step , uh, the incremental ism . And that's so important that people have the freedom to do it in their own way.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Everybody's got different, everyone's got different financial goals, something that's important to me, which I didn't obviously get to do in 2020 was go to a lot of live concerts. Um, most people would say that I'm crazy that I would spend the amount of money I do going to so many shows, but for me, that's fun. I'm living within my means. I can do whatever I want with my money. And everybody gets that freedom to decide what's important to them, what their goals are going to be and how they get there.

Speaker 2:

That's great. I think that's such important advice and I wish more people would take that to heart. You hear so many people in personal finance talk about, you have to give up your daily Starbucks coffee. And, you know, my point is, if you like Starbucks, you know, w Y up, you know, figure out what else you can give up.

Speaker 3:

That's right. It's all about , um, you can have everything, but probably not at the same time. So figure out kind of the order you want to do things. Um, what's most important to you. If you're , you have a family what's important to your family. If you're running a business, what's your business going to need. Um, and, and everything is possible. And it's important that you get your mind open to that. Uh, the majority of people on the planet have a scarcity mindset. So there's going to feel like there's never enough money to do what you want. So if you can start being grateful, thinking about what you're happy about and how you can accomplish your goals, you're going to see a little bit of a switch in your mind, and things are going to seem easier and more possible, still hard work to, to get there. But , um , I don't want to diminish the , the, the actual steps you've got to take. Um, but everything is within people's reach. If they've got a plan.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think that's important is , um, you hit on it , um, that people need to have a plan and prioritize and write out their goals and think about it is, you know, that it's not necessarily one thing it's, what's important to you. Uh , so that that's great. And the other thing , um , that you hit on is that scarcity , uh , mindset is that I've seen studies done with people, have, you know, what seems to me like a tremendous amount of money and they still don't feel financially secure.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. It's however, you're programmed to think about things. And we form our views around money when we're very young, five, six, seven years of age. And so I've had a young girl five years old, tell me that money is evil. Imagine what happens in her house that makes her believe that when she's five years old and she's not going to change her gut instinct to anything that happens around money, unless she consciously decides to do that later in life. So however you start is really how you're going to go through life. Uh , unless you focus on it, if you don't like your reactions, you don't like the way you approach things. You have to actively make some change. And then just imagine you come together with a partner you're going to create a family. If you're coming from two different perspectives, you're probably going to have a lot of confrontations or unpleasantness around money. Cause your , you both have your instinct of reactions that are different. So , um, so important to think about where do we come from and do we want to behave like that? Do we want those to be our reactions or do we want to live our lives a little bit differently?

Speaker 2:

Well , that's great. That's important. You know, I can reflect on my own marriage and see that, you know , we haven't always seen, I guess it's part of marriage. Right. Um , so how do you feel that young money helps promote financial fitness and financial literacy?

Speaker 3:

I think because I try to tie it in , uh , sometimes to current events. Um, I usually have an episode around the Superbowl and around the musical talents, and I think we can learn about money from pretty much anything. Uh, any topic you would throw at me, I can probably relate it to money somehow. So I , I think it's getting away from the really kind of dry textbook stuff that we might've seen in the past and make it interesting because if people take away one thing, they can action from every episode I'm doing my job, I think, and it's such a privilege to be able to do that. And I've found since I've started, the podcast really increases my creativity , um , because I'm trying to bring in whatever I think of and , and make a show about it. Um, one show I did was about , um, kind of, are you a financial bully? And the inspiration came to me, I'm at Sephora was trying in line trying to buy something and I can hear two women behind me in line, and one's trying to pressure the other one to increase her line of credit to renovate her house. So it looks as nice as her house and the, the first woman says, well, you know, we're already kind of maxed out, we're having trouble making our payments. I don't, I don't think that sounds like a good idea. And the financial bully kind of kept after her. So there's lots of peer pressure out there. And so if we can tie it into situations that people are actually going to encounter , um , and see in their lives, then they can learn actually how to deal with it. And , and I think that's the key having , um , open dialogue around money and the issues that it can bring and the problems that sometimes surface and then all the good stuff that you can do as well. It just breaks some of that barrier stigma around it.

Speaker 2:

That's great. And I think there are, for some people there , there is that desire that you have to go bigger and better. And then, you know, I think about Warren buffet who still lives , what in his four bedroom house in Omaha, Nebraska. And he could probably afford a whole state if he wanted it .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I mean, he's, he wouldn't be who you probably imagine when you think of , uh , somebody with that much money, like in your head, you're probably gonna picture some celebrity who looks flashy and does all these flashy things and you see them traveling everywhere and has 10 homes. Um, so it's getting in check your view of what somebody who's financially fit looks like with what that actually is in real life. And anybody can look wealthy, but they're probably not. And when you're on the financial education side, I do a lot of coaching with individuals and , and entrepreneurs. I know the numbers, I know that most of the people that I , I see in my life who look generally or not.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well , what's a that'll book, a wealthy millionaire next door. I think it was in fact about that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. The secret millionaire, next door, most people who are wealthy, they don't look wealthy and that's why they are, they're not trying to chase some image that they can show on social media and get people jealous of them. They're just focused on what's important to them and hitting their goals.

Speaker 2:

Yeah , definitely. I think that's important. It's, it's focusing on your own goals and what's important to you and I know that's a theme here. Um, so what else I found really fascinating about what you're doing is that you have the young money scholarship fund. Can you tell us , uh, what is the young money scholarship fund?

Speaker 3:

So I believe one of the ways that you can take control of your financial fitness is obviously getting through to me, it's obvious when you can have access to education past high school. So whether it's college, whether it's in university, whatever it is you're going to do. Um, I think that's a barrier to people becoming self-sufficient financially. And so , um, this year I was fortunate to be able to launch the young money scholarship fund proceeds come from my business. Um , primarily from the work I do with entrepreneurs and we were able to fund , um, we're just in the process of finalizing the finalizing, the numbers. It's going to be between five and seven scholarships. Um, they're not a huge amount, but they're a little bit that will help students either buy a couple of textbooks, maybe pay for a course that they need to take. And for me, the key criteria , um, because I think if you're , um , going to have a great life, you're giving back to others as well, whether it's with your time, your talent or your treasures or your money, it doesn't need to be with money. Uh, so this , the essay question I asked them was tell me in a 250 words, how you've helped someone accomplish their goal, because it was important to me that somebody be able to access that fund , um, was having similar values to me, as well as sharing a little bit of information about what they're going to do in their life. And so it wasn't for the students with the highest grades or the most volunteer hours or by financial need, but we're kind of the values aligned with, with me and my company. So really excited it's going to continue. And , um, we had a objective committee and it was really interesting when they were evaluating the applications because I split them in half. And the people who were reviewing each half actually came up with pretty much the same winners. And so it's really validating when you give people a little guidance here, read these two essay questions and pick who you think is most deserving. Uh, so really exciting for me. And I'm happy that we'll be able to continue it in the future to help post-secondary students. And it's for students who study in Canada, you don't need to be a Canadian citizen, but you do need to study in Canada.

Speaker 2:

That's great. And I love that. It's values-based, I think that's so often missed , um, you know, in relationships and society is that, you know, so much of it is numerical driven or , uh, you know, objective, like what's your GPA, how many service hours should be done. And we don't talk about values and standards and principles, and that's so much more important , um, for success and everything else. So that's , that's wonderful.

Speaker 3:

Actually, I'm some research out there that shows, and then a friend of mine has coined the term, the middle 60. So 20% of the scholarships go to the high grades, people, 20% go to the lower income who need financial assistance. And then that leaves that 60% in the middle who usually don't qualify. Uh , so I was trying to get money into the hands of people who probably they didn't qualify for financial assistance, but everyone can use some , um, and kind of bring it out, come at it from that values angle like you , you mentioned.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly. And so much of it doesn't take into account. I think other factors too, I live in the San Francisco Bay area where things are crazy expensive. And so what might be regarded as a high income and middle America is a minimum wage out here just because the cost of living is so high. So that's great that you're trying to hit that middle ground because I think it gets overlooked so often.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And so many families, they might hit the income threshold, but we don't know how many children they have. We don't know what their financial obligations are. And so there might not actually be any money for school even though on paper, just like you said, a , it should work out.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. Exactly. So you always have to go beyond the numbers. Um , and I think that's an important lesson as well, is that it's more, you have to think about the numbers and what they mean. And I think that gets into your whole philosophy , um, that it's about making changes and incremental steps rather than striving for goals, setting your own goals . So now that we've talked about this, let's, let's talk about, you know, and I think you're well on the way on this is how do you feel we can improve financial literacy?

Speaker 3:

I think it should be taught at every single grade in school. I think that from before you even go, if you're in kindergarten, you're even in preschool, there's things that you can learn , um, kids know so much. Um, and we want them to learn the right things . So I think having a dedicated effort to having some curriculum at every single level , um, I mentioned in Canada, we do a relatively poor job of educating our students while they're in elementary or high school or junior high. Um, the province that I live in I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and they've launched a new program in grade 10. A lot of stuff happens already in your life before you're in grade 10. So I think that we want to have those age appropriate lessons. Um, I think it's unfair often when the education system points back at parents and says that, okay, parents, that's your job because nobody taught the parents and it's unfair, expect them to have the knowledge, to be able to teach their children if they do. That's wonderful, but we should have a formal system in place. Um, there's such great programs out there too . I'm a huge fan of the junior achievement program, which brings programs into schools at younger grades, kind of one-off . But when you're in high school, a company program where you can actually come together with other students at your school and make a company. And for me, I was involved with that and that was pretty eyeopening . It fueled kind of my interest in entrepreneurship. It taught me how to do sales. We had some really stupid products that we sold. I have to say back in the day, but I went around and I tried to sell them and people would buy them. And I don't think they bought them because they were the greatest products. I , I persuaded them. So all those kinds of skills that will help you , um , have a productive life. It all comes when you have that, that exposure to and confidence in and around money. So start with education system , uh , is where I'd like to see reform. And then if , um , there's other organizations like junior achievement , um , get involved with them for anybody who's listening. If you have kids, get them involved, as soon as they can, so they can get exposed. And , and they're going to come back to you with questions and it's okay to say, you don't know, and you guys can learn together

Speaker 2:

Well , that's great. That that's wonderful is that financial literacy should be woven through curriculum. And we have the same problem in the United States. It's not part of the educational system. It's, it's sort of hodgepodge . Maybe it's taught in a math class here or there, but, you know, for such a core skill, it really should be part of the training. But I think we have a ways to go on that one, unfortunately.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. But we'll keep that, keep the dialogue going and get people interested in it and try to make change as we go forward.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . I guess just like your plan, it's all incremental

Speaker 3:

With that . We could have a wholesale change. That would be welcome. But , uh , I don't think one individual has got the power to do that necessarily.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely. Unfortunately not. Um, so what's your number one tip on being financially prepared?

Speaker 3:

Uh, it is , um, to take those small forward actions and to be kind to yourself in the process. So try to learn something new every day. We've never been in a better age to learn about money, about personal finance, about business finance. There are so many different podcasts out there, just like this one. Uh, there are blogs, there are YouTube videos, like go and find somebody that you connect with and that you understand them. Um, if people tune into my podcast and maybe I'm not the right fit for them, I'm okay with that. They're going to go and find somebody who does speak in a way that they get. And so find that person for you. Um, it's always helpful to make use of outside professionals, as well as you get going with a financial plan and in your you're working or you have your own business. So don't feel like you need to do it all alone and make sure you vet them get referrals from friends and family. Um , it's almost like dating. You've got to check out a couple to find the one that speaks to you in a way that you're comfortable, that, you know, you can ask questions and so be kind to yourself through the whole process and keep moving forward.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Well education is always at its core, but what I really like about what you said, and what I'm trying to do with this podcast now is by talking to so many financial literacy thought leaders is so people can listen to thought leaders and get a sense of who fits our style because, you know, somebody might say, Hey, you know, financial fitness really motivates me. I love the concept. And so hopefully they'll tune into the young money podcast. So, yeah , it's wonderful. So , um, I'm going to post , uh , links in our show notes. Uh, but can you tell us a little bit more about where people can learn more about you?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And so, because I've talked about all this forward action, I do have a gift for your audience. Uh , so if you want to head over to cash coach.biz, you can download a money meeting agenda that will help you put a routine in place , um , in your personal finances or your business finances, so that you can know where to start because often people will tell me they don't know where to start. So cash coach.biz. Uh , you can get that money meeting agenda. That's going to bring you to my website and then the best place I would love it. If anybody has questions or comments would be to reach out to me on LinkedIn. So Tracy has an E and BCIT has two SS tutees . So I'd love to hear from anybody listening.

Speaker 2:

Fantastic. And of course for our listeners , um, those will be in our show notes. And , um, Tracy , thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it. Oh ,

Speaker 3:

It's been wonderful. Thanks so much, Tony.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. And thank you everybody for listening. Please be sure to subscribe to the, get ready with Tony store podcast until next time

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] .