The Tony Steuer Podcast

Get Ready with Michelle Boss: The Money Boss

February 19, 2021 Tony Steuer
The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Michelle Boss: The Money Boss
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The Tony Steuer Podcast
Get Ready with Michelle Boss: The Money Boss
Feb 19, 2021
Tony Steuer

“First of all commit to being financially prepared. There are a great number of resources to be financially prepared. Start with a financial preparedness checklist, give yourself a deadline and do it. Be Prepared. ” - Michelle Boss

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Michelle Boss, Founder of The Money Boss about the importance of financial literacy. We also discussed specific challenges for women with financial planning along with the importance of having a money coach. 

Bio: Michelle Boss, aka The Money Boss is a Personal Finance Coach & Educator and Livermore, CA business woman currently founding The Livermore Valley Wine Country Inn. She guides her clients to financial peace and freedom via one on one coaching. With money tools and accountability, Michelle addresses such topics as money mindset, entrepreneurship, budgeting, credit and debt management, investing and establishing success habits and behaviors for a lifetime of financial wellness.

Show Notes Transcript

“First of all commit to being financially prepared. There are a great number of resources to be financially prepared. Start with a financial preparedness checklist, give yourself a deadline and do it. Be Prepared. ” - Michelle Boss

In this episode of Get Ready, I spoke with Michelle Boss, Founder of The Money Boss about the importance of financial literacy. We also discussed specific challenges for women with financial planning along with the importance of having a money coach. 

Bio: Michelle Boss, aka The Money Boss is a Personal Finance Coach & Educator and Livermore, CA business woman currently founding The Livermore Valley Wine Country Inn. She guides her clients to financial peace and freedom via one on one coaching. With money tools and accountability, Michelle addresses such topics as money mindset, entrepreneurship, budgeting, credit and debt management, investing and establishing success habits and behaviors for a lifetime of financial wellness.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the get ready. Tony Stewart podcast. I'm pleased to be joined today by Michelle boss . Shell boss is also known as the money boss. She's a personal finance coach and educator and uplift for more California business women currently founding the Livermore Valley wine country. Michelle guides, her clients to financial peace and freedom via one-on-one coaching with , uh , money tools and accountability. Michelle addresses such topics as money, mindset, entrepreneurship, budgeting, credit, and debt management, investing, and establish success habits and behaviors for a lifetime of financial wellness. Michelle. Welcome to get ready. Thank you for joining me today,

Speaker 2:

Tony. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Speaker 1:

Hello . It's great to have you on. So , um, you know, let's get started with your origin story. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in personal finance?

Speaker 2:

You could say I was born into it, both. My parents are entrepreneurs. My dad is a retired CPA. So I grew up in his practice that definitely gave me a headstart on feeling comfortable with numbers. However, I went into a career of , uh , corporate sales and management. So it wasn't until my twenties that on my own, I sought out resources to learn about personal finances and working with businesses. I realized, wow, there's really so many financial mistakes. I'm seeing smart people make street smart schools smart. And when I left corporate that's when I identified a real need in the community , um, partnered with a passion because I do again, love those numbers and personal finance and , uh , my business, my coaching business was born three years ago.

Speaker 1:

Oh great. That's a great origin story. My dad was also a CPA. So I think that gives you a perspective from a CPA standpoint, they view personal finances a little bit differently.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And I do credit a lot of the success that I've had with my personal finances and building wealth due to some of those initial lessons that he taught me growing up here in California. Um, as you know, a fellow California Bay or San Francisco Bay area , uh , person it's, there's a very high cost of living here. So I think that we face some very unique challenges to our personal financial and money lives. Definitely. I think

Speaker 1:

You , you hit on a very good point is, you know, for the Bay area and other places where it's more expensive to live, there are different challenges , uh , that you have to take on, especially with budgeting and everything else, which is I'm sure leads back to the financial coaching.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's right. There's so much to apply and it helps having someone with an outside perspective and experienced to help guide you on that path sometimes

Speaker 1:

A hundred percent. Um, so let's talk about you and what you do. Um, can you share with us what the money box financial philosophy is ?

Speaker 2:

If I had to pick a financial philosophy philosophy, it would be financial literacy for all financial literacy for all. It should be a basic educational piece that we receive in school. Yet we spend 16 or more years preparing ourselves for a career or job. And very little of that is required time to manage our money, to reach lifestyle goals. And so if there's just one slogan that I have for the money boss, it would be financial literacy for all. It should be a basic, right.

Speaker 1:

I like that. I tell you , I even , you know, especially as a right , is it's something everybody should do. It should be a part of our educational system. It's a basic life skill. We all have money. We all have to figure out what to do with it. It's now part of our education. That's right. So ,

Speaker 2:

Uh , you know, one of my aspirations , um, with my business is to establish a nonprofit organization, not only to provide financial education courses, but also advocate at the state level for that requirement in high schools. I firmly believe it should be a requirement of all of our graduating high school students. And the last time I looked , um, there's less than 2% of high schools in the state of California that require that course to graduate. So we have a long way to go a long way to go. And in the meantime , I love speaking to, and teaching young adults and teenagers and working with , um, other financial , um , education groups to, to promote that, that awareness and that literacy.

Speaker 1:

That's great. Yeah. It's surprising to hear it's only 2%, but not surprising on the other hand, it's just like, yeah, it should be dramatically higher. Um, especially cause it's been, as you and I were talking about pre-show is people have been talking about it for a long time and yet it doesn't seem to have moved the needle much.

Speaker 2:

That's right. It's not a priority of as far as I see, but a great place to start is next gen personal finance and F a P F sorry, N G P F. And that is where I got that statistic about the percent of high schools that require personal finance to graduate. They have a list, it's an interactive list that you can go and check by state. So if you want to check in other areas of the country where you may be at, and that's a great, great resource too, to see where that needle's that and how much further we have to go to, to move that financial education requirement .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just a little ways to go. And , uh, for all of our listeners, I'll put a link to the next gen website in the show notes. So you'll easily be able to go there yourself. Um, some Michelle, what are some of the specific challenges for women with financial planning?

Speaker 2:

I feel so blessed that I don't feel that I've, I've seen ceilings or discrimination, but in multiple conversations with clients and other financial advisors, specifically male financial advisors , that advocate for women's rights there, there's still discrimination both in the workplace with hiring and compensation and promotions, but also just a lack of opportunity because of competing needs, right, as, as a mom. Um, and so many of us can relate to that specifically right now, moms and dads, because we have this now requirement to help play a bigger role in our child's education with distance learning. And, you know, back to back to your question about women specifically and challenges with finances. And , um, it's, it's just, I want to emphasize that it's, it's both, it's not asking for permission of one or the other. It's doing both. Yes. You can be a mom and you can have your own business. Yes. You can have a career and balance the , um, family requirements. So we have lots of role models that have shown us how to do that. And that's what I enjoy helping women with is finding that balance and success in both areas.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's great. And I think that, that, that is a different part of the conversation is personal finance is traditionally been a male dominated industry. But what I've been finding is that a lot of the people have really good personal finance, blogs are women and who lead a lot of these personal finance communities that a lot of the momentum and the momentum is coming from women. So it's exciting.

Speaker 2:

There's so many smart women out there and you know, my role model in my twenties, maybe dating myself with Susie Orman. And now when you can go on and find so many other strong independent women that can be role models or teach it is very inspiring.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's great. And I think you brought up something as well, and I'm definitely going to date myself, but I remember, you know, when I was a kid and watching the shows that was not the mother who was portrayed on all the popular TV shows , uh, you know, sets , it's a whole changed perspective , uh , which is great to see including people like you with the money POS that's a very positive, strong stance. So, you know, that's great. It's a strong brand and make strong statement.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Well, I was inspired to do this because I wanted to be a more present mom. And maybe that sounds backwards that I wanted to stay home. I wanted to, to work from home, but , uh , that was my inspiration moving from corporate, from a corporate career into entrepreneurship, my kids. Right .

Speaker 1:

That's great. That's great. Well, let's talk about a little bit of what you're up to , um, for those out there. Can you , uh, share with us what a money coach is?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. So I'm going to borrow a definition from a fellow blogger, Brian Thorpe , with wealth Tinder. He wrote an article recently. I think he did a brilliant job of defining this emerging field , um, because there are more personal finance coaches out there to help. So , um, he defines a money coach as a financial professional who focuses on your day to day money habits like budgeting debt and seeding and help identify which habits need to change in order to reach your bigger goals and then supporting you as you work towards making those changes.

Speaker 1:

So, as we're talking about that is, it does sound like it's different than a financial planner. How do you, would you describe it to somebody as being different than a financial planner?

Speaker 2:

Such a great question, because there is some overlap out there and thank you for the opportunity to clear up any confusion. There there's certainly financial planners and financial advisors that also financial coaching, but the big differentiator for me is that it's very behavior focused. In fact, that was my major in college, was a behavior ecology with a minor in business. And so what, so again, corporate, I came from a 16 year career and I was selling financial products and I was done selling financial products. So the big differentiator for me is that as a money coach, I'm not selling any financial products such as life insurance or investments, nor do I give advice. I don't give financial advice. Rather. I help walk through the decision making process, bringing perspectives, getting a prompting questions, getting you to think about options that you might not otherwise know are there. And , uh , that also helps me feel really good about having no conflicts of interest regarding, you know, selling anything versus the coaching process.

Speaker 1:

Why not? I think that's really important , um, is removing that bias. And I think the other thing that you mentioned that I think is hopefully going to start to move the financial literacy conversation along is recognizing that a lot of it is psychological and philosophical. That it's not just the numbers, because I think if we're just numbers, people would already be doing it. Um, I think that there's so many taboos and everything else about money that, you know, that we have to break through. Uh, I mean, do you see that , that sometimes it's the money coach and people are like, I don't really want to talk about money.

Speaker 2:

That is so right on Tony . So much of it is overcoming fears. Overcoming programming are habits that have been instilled over a lifetime, starting with the environment that we grew up with and the conversation or the interaction that our own parents or our own guardians had around us and how they influenced us growing up all the way to our mindset now and how we think and feel about money and, you know, the , the positive or negative ways to interact with it. So yes, so much of it is not just numbers on a spreadsheet or, you know, figuring out a budget it's it's mindset and behaviors and unraveling those stories.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. And I've interviewed a lot of , uh, women , uh, female financial planners and female personal finance bloggers . And I think that's one of the things that does come up also in talking about one of earlier questions about specific challenges for women with financial planning is that there's a different psychological mindset , uh, that women often have, I think, especially mothers , uh, that there's that perspective that you have. And I think that is different than the traditional, you know, guy managing their finances and playing the stock market. That , that there's a more holistic view , um , that you have

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Well, I want to throw in age there as well because a young woman just graduating from high school is going to have a completely different perspective from even know , maybe a newly married , um , young woman in her late twenties or thirties, you know, into motherhood and career and beyond. So there's, to your point, there's no blanket situation or blanket advice, which is the nice thing about financial planning and advice and coaching that it's really unique guidance for your specific situation.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's great. That's so exciting. So, you know, as we're talking about it, who , um, will benefit from having a money coaches or a specific life stage, or is money coaching for everyone?

Speaker 2:

So this is crazy because you're supposed to have a niche, but I have had clients from graduate post-graduate , uh , college all the way through their eighties. So I would say that there's any sort of , um , ideal age or stage, but there's certain certainly characteristics. So someone who is going to benefit the most from financial coaching is someone who was not happy with their financial life or their money life right now. And perhaps they've already tried some things, but haven't had a lot of traction and someone who is coachable and someone who is very committed to the coaching process can see transformation and results very quickly in some cases. So I'd say those are the two, two indicating factors, someone who's, who's not happy with where they're at today and who's very committed to the coaching process.

Speaker 1:

Well , that's great. And I think , uh , I , I love that, that you said the word coachable because, you know, I, I'm a basketball player. I played on a lot of teams and, you know, there's certain players who will listen to a coach and there's just others who will do their own thing and not take advantage of a coach. Amy, if I said a coach has, and I think that, and I had imagined you would agree with this, is that for somebody who would be successful with you, they have to want to be successful. Right?

Speaker 2:

Well, absolutely. And that's one of my favorite analogies is actually a sports coach or a business coach, the most elite athletic performers that we know don't wing it. They don't wait for weeks or months or years before getting coaching. Right. It's a, it's an actionable, consistent process where you continue to stretch and grow and it's, it's a process that's just not possible on your own. So if you want fast and elite results, that's, that's really where the role of a coach comes in.

Speaker 1:

Uh , I love that. I think we'll have to put that in somewhere in the show notes is really just, yeah, I think everybody should have a money coach. Um, you know, to some degree, I mean, you may not be able to afford a money coach when you first graduated from college. But I think the concept of a money coach is valuable for everybody you're coming off. I think as you and I talked about, pre-show also about the high school students and them needing a money coach going into college.

Speaker 2:

That's what blows me away. There's so many huge financial decisions that our youth are faced with or young adults that can have lasting consequences, you know , establishing and building credit, as well as some of the decisions they're making with financing higher education, that those consequences can last into their forties or fifties in some cases.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is. Uh , you know, we could definitely go down a side road with this, but it's interesting some of the rights and responsibilities we give a 17 year old versus others that we don't. And it, that that would be a subject of a whole other show where we trust a 17 year old with. Um, but as you said, is there's something so they're being asked to do at 17. And oftentimes I don't know if you've found, but in my experience, sometimes the parents aren't much better equipped to help them make these financial decisions if you've seen that as well,

Speaker 2:

100% true. Absolutely. And so that's when it's especially ideal too , to get even one session with a financial mentor or guide to, you know , help navigate a situation , um , and just help provide the basics, even resources to study on your own , um, can make a huge difference. Huge difference.

Speaker 1:

That's great. Um, so what are the things I would to ask you about is because you've got two things going on. Um, you're also the proprietor of deliver more Valley wine country. In what lessons have you learned from the hospitality business that can be applied to personal finance?

Speaker 2:

That's such a thoughtful question and I'm a lifelong learner. So, so much of this project is outside of my wheelhouse, but it's been an awesome opportunity to learn and to, to have mentors and guides to help me through the process. And I'd have to say one of the biggest learnings and it's almost in hindsight as well. If I had only known when I was younger, but , um, you're going to achieve whatever you focus on over an extended length of time. So even if , if it's something new, something scary, something different , um , maybe you don't succeed at first. You may have to fail several times to learn. And , but as long as you're persistent and, you know, dedicated to that vision , um, you're going to see success and the same parallel can be drawn, you know, with investing and saving for retirement. If you start young and you have a vision, even if you don't know exactly what your retirement is going to look like, but you know, the steps that you need to do on a consistent basis to get there and just, just do it. Um, you know , you're, you're going to see success and the, the last , um, or the other , um, big learning regarding hospitality and personal finance is attention to detail, right? It's the devil is the devil is in the details or , um, you know, everything comes down to details. Um, if you think about a really special stay that you've had somewhere, and I enjoyed learning so much about hospitality , um, during the process so far, and the N's not open yet. Um, but if you think about, you know, your most memorable stays, it's just a little detail of like the, the warm cookie at check-in at a reception, or , um, maybe the staff remembering your name and they see you on the property a couple of days later. So same thing with personal finance. If you ignore the details, you're, you're, you're going to run into trouble. You have to pay attention to the details as painful as that may be for some people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And I think you make the great point is that those little details can come back to haunt you with your financial life. If you're not paying attention to the expense ratios on your mutual fund or the riders that you're picking up on an insurance policy, that

Speaker 2:

The rate on your credit card,

Speaker 1:

Exactly like, okay, you have five credit cards and you know, why is your highest balance on the one that has the highest interest rate? Um, you know, that , that it says little things and I love it because if you do get something like a cookie at check-in like one of the places we like to stay in Monterey is, you know, that's one of the things they always have fresh cookies out. And it's just that little touch that , uh, I think connects. And I think that if we apply those things to our financial life, it's, it's a little thing so that you make a huge difference and , uh,

Speaker 2:

People starting to save when you, for retirement, when you get your first job versus waiting until you're in your mid twenties or later.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. That whole compounding interesting .

Speaker 2:

Yup .

Speaker 1:

Exactly. You can't start saving too early. And I think the other thing that you said that the big lesson that can be applied to personal finance is that it's all about goals and then getting the measurable steps to meet those goals and putting in a strategic plan to get there. So those are great lessons.

Speaker 2:

One of the great human behaviors rate is procrastination or not. And just think about it for years. Oh, I should do this. I want to get my estate plan together. I really know I should have insurance for this, this, this, and right. Without a plan and holding ourselves or someone else to hold us accountable. It often doesn't happen.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Yeah. A hundred percent agreed is that that's so often the case is, you know, people know that they need to do certain things and it's not only with personal finances, so easy to put everything off because there's always something that's more interesting or timer chant that it's harder to make room for the things that can be postponed. It's that balancing out . So one of the questions I always like to ask people is, you know, how do you feel that we can improve financial literacy?

Speaker 2:

Number one is education, you know, touching on our conversation earlier. Sometimes parents don't even know where to start because they didn't receive that education growing up, or perhaps it was through the hard knocks of life and making money part of the conversation, right? Why is it taboo? Well, what kind of conversations are you having in your own home with your own children or your own families? And , um, there's so many resources, blogs and podcasts and , um , books, you know, with, with great information on, on the topic. Um, and then outside of our individual influence and households , um, you know, really, and I've touched on this early in the conversation as well, advocating, advocating for more education, the requirements for our youth to have financial education courses, to graduate high school as part of our basic education. So maybe that's, that's, doesn't look like advocating on a state level, like I'm aspiring to do, but maybe it's partnering with your local elementary schools and teachers and to , to help incorporate those, those lessons and that priority into the education.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. And I think you point out something that's really important. It's, you know, you don't have to change the whole world. You can start out in your community and make the change in your community. And if enough people are doing things in our community, then, then you have a national movement and things change.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Great. Um, so what's your number one tip on being financially prepared?

Speaker 2:

There's so many , um, well, first of all, to do it, I noticed that there are a great number of resources to be financially prepared. And funny enough, I have a financial preparedness checklist on my website and it's, it's difficult to do sometimes or to, to actually get it done because it's not the funnest thing in the world, but , um, just start with a checklist, give yourself a deadline and do it because you'll thank yourself down the road may not be tomorrow, but , um, yeah, very, very, very important to , to take a look at those things and be prepared.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And I think you hit it. I mean, Nike was onto something a few years ago is just do it is, you know, get started. It doesn't matter. I think I , I , I don't know if you would agree with this or not, but to me it doesn't matter if he gets started with creating your budget or if he gets started reviewing your investments or your insurance policies as lunch, you're doing something, something is always better than nothing.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And that's, that's why I say go to a checklist because there's so many different things that you could do. Um, you know, for me, it would be living below your means and that starts with a budget. And, you know, I have very, I've had clients that are very smart for former bankers, for example, with very high incomes still living at or above their means and filling financially stretched. So it doesn't have to be some restriction thing or, you know, a poverty level conversation. Um, but really being aware of what's coming in and what's going out and then affecting , you know, pieces of the puzzle there that can, can really help improve your situation. But you look at people who are thriving during this time, or, you know, people who have had some insulation and are not as affected by COVID and everything that's been going on with our pandemic. And, you know, that would be probably the number one thing is to live below your means. So when emergencies or rainy days come up, you have some insulation and you're more prepared

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Well, and that that's it it's getting started having a plan. Uh, and as you mentioned, emergency funds is I think emergency funds really showed up in COVID-19 the importance of an emergency fund. And I've seen that written over and over. I know a friend about it myself. I'm sure you probably have this well , uh , this is why you have an emergency day fine

Speaker 2:

And not to discourage, you know, those people who didn't have an emergency fund or maybe went through their emergency fund already. It's never too late. It's never too late to start over. You know, it just, it just takes committed action every day, little step by little step by little step.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. Well, and I think, you know, to really emphasize something, you said, if you're out there and you're listening to this and you've gone through your emergency fund, that's okay. That's what an emergency fund is for, is to use it. Um, can you start from wherever you are? There's, there's no good place or bad place to start out with your finances. So that's, that's a great tip. So , um , Michelle, I'm going to post in the show notes, a link to your website and to your social media handles. Do you want to tell people a little bit more about how they can stay in touch with you and learn more about you and your work?

Speaker 2:

Thank you, Tony. Yes. So all those social media handles are going to be on the link tree, a link in the show notes. My website is Michelle, sorry, but I'm giving you my, the money boss.org. The money bus.org has a signup for my newsletter. If you'd like to be informed of events and blog posts and things that go out as well as tips , um , giving out money management tips and free resources are , is one of my favorite ways to give back to my community.

Speaker 1:

Well, that fantastic. Um, well, Michelle, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much, Tony that's went by very quickly. It was a blast.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. And thank you everybody out there for listening. Please remember to subscribe to the, get ready with Tony stirrer podcast until next time.