Earn Entrepreneurship

HerMoney Podcast: How To Take Your Side Hustle Or Job To The Next Level (Episode 168)

Kelly Hultgren  |  July 3, 2019

We’ve had a handful of stellar (and free!) career coaching sessions on HerMoney, and this week we’re building on those learnings with a session with entrepreneur coach Ali Brown.

Over the last 15 years, entrepreneur coach Ali Brown has advised and helped nurture the businesses of many of the women you see today online pulling in millions of dollars (sometimes 10s of millions) every year. Learn how to stand out online in 2019 and position yourself as a ‘category of one,’ understand tall poppy syndrome, avoid excellence burnout and master the 80/20 rule with your time. Then, in Mailbag, we answer your questions on how to create a budget in retirement, when young adults should get their first credit cards and how one woman can approach the guilt and embarrassment she feels around her financial success. And if you’re looking to buy a home, and just can’t swing it financially? Stick around for Thrive.

P.S. We’re giving away two floor seats to almost every stop in the Rolling Stones No Filter Tour this summer, and we want you to win! Enter at https://hermoney.com/rolling-stones/!

This podcast is proudly supported by Edelman Financial Engines. Let our modern wealth management advice raise your financial potential. Get the full story at EdelmanFinancialEngines.com. Sponsored by Edelman Financial Engines – Modern wealth planning. All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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The HerMoney podcast is supported by      Edelman
All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416


Jean Chatzky: (00:08)
HerMoney is supported by Fidelity Investments. We want you to demand more from your money. So start by knowing what you own and what you owe. We’ll help you take the next step at fidelity.com/demandmorenow. HerMoney comes to you through PRX. Hey everybody, welcome to HerMoney. It’s Jean Chatzky. We are here in our studio in Manhattan and how many of you are ready to take your side gig to the next level? How many of you are ready to just take it hardcore, turn it into a full time gig. We are here with help. Ali Brown, entrepreneurship coach who has been dubbed the entrepreneurial guru for women. She’s one of Forbes women to watch, is here with me in the studio and over the last 15 years she has helped nurture the businesses of many seven, even eight figure revenue online thought leaders that you see thriving today. She’s also an angel investor with a special interest in women led ventures and she’s here in New York. Ali, welcome.


Ali Brown: (01:29)
I can’t believe I’m sitting across from Jean Chatzky.

Jean Chatzky: (01:31)
Oh please.

Ali Brown: (01:31)
Oh my God. I’m just girl crushes.

Jean Chatzky: (01:33)
Oh, please.

Ali Brown: (01:33)
I’m girl crushing because I’ve watched you on The Today Show for years.

Jean Chatzky: (01:37)
Well thank you. Thank you. And thank you for coming in. I’m excited because I am looking for a little bit of a coaching session here.

Ali Brown: (01:44)
Oh really.

Jean Chatzky: (01:44)
No I am and I think a lot of our listeners are too. You know, we all have these, well many of us, whether we’re in a job or whether we’re running our own businesses, the thought that we could zest it up a bit, that we could supercharge it, that we’re not making the most of it. It definitely bothers me from time to time. And I’m sure it bothers some of them too.

Ali Brown: (02:09)
Yeah. You know what’s funny today we went right by my last job.

Jean Chatzky: (02:12)

Ali Brown: (02:13)
The building’s gone, so I couldn’t, it was on 36th I think, and sixth Avenue and I was with my husband Brett, and I said, I got to go down the street and just look. And the building’s not there, but some of the things are, they’re still like the same little middle Eastern coffee shop and a few little things you remember from 20 years ago. And I mean that’s where I walked out the door that last day and made that decision.

Jean Chatzky: (02:33)
Well, let’s get there by learning a little bit about what was happening in your life then before you set off to become an entrepreneur and then to coach entrepreneurs. What was going on?

Ali Brown: (02:44)
Well, probably like some of you listening, what happened for me is I kept going from job to job and thinking if there was something wrong with me. But I was really just in that kind of place of being unemployable. I always wanted to change things. And by the way, your bosses don’t always like that, especially in a small business. I was like, we could do this better, we could do that better. And they’re like, just sit down, work on the newsletter. That’s why we hired you. And what shifted for me was my awareness in seeing these freelancers. I’d never heard of freelancers. And if you’re in the ad world or you’re in any company these days, it’s so prevalent. There’s people that come and go in their own schedules and then you find out they’re making more money. And this guy pulled me aside. He said, you know, you could probably do what you’re doing but make more money for it. And you know, these agencies hire people like you. I was doing copywriting. And so, okay, I don’t recommend this, but really within two months I was so excited and I knew I was pretty good at what I did and I thought I kind of had nothing to lose because you know, it’s your twenties. I had no kids, no pets, no mortgage, you know, a little fifth floor walkup down in the village. And I said, I’m going to try this. And I literally started knocking door to door at agencies and getting little projects. That’s how my first thing got going.

Jean Chatzky: (03:50)
Was there a breaking point where you realized like, Oh my God, I cannot do this for these people?

Ali Brown: (03:56)
At the job?

Jean Chatzky: (03:57)

Ali Brown: (03:58)
Yeah, it was when I realized I was good and I think women have that moment when the client calls you and says, this has been fantastic. We’ve never gotten this kind of work from this agency before, and in fact, I share this very rarely, but it was about six months after I left, that client was a big health system in New Jersey, found my number, called me. I didn’t even have a noncompete. These guys weren’t even that smart, this company. And she said, now that you’re gone, we have no reason to stay with this little ad agency. We want to hire you freelance for this project. And I said, you know what? I’m going to be okay. I’m going to be all right. That was like a, a project that would at least pay the rent for the year and cover some expenses.

Jean Chatzky: (04:38)
You know, I had that moment too. And it didn’t become clear for me until you just said it, but when I was leaving or thinking about leaving Smart Money magazine to go to Money magazine…

Ali Brown: (04:50)
You were an editor too, right?

Jean Chatzky: (04:50)
I was a writer, but I was going for a significant raise and some more freedom, flex time. And I was nervous about my stint on The Today Show because I’d been working for The Today Show at that point for, I don’t know, three, four years. And I went in to talk to the producers and they were like, we don’t care about the magazine, we’re going with you. And that made me, it made me know my value.

Ali Brown: (05:20)
Oh come on, you thought that was your cred. I get it.

Jean Chatzky: (05:23)
Yeah. I thought the magazine was my cred and it turned out I was my cred.

Ali Brown: (05:27)
Jean Chatzky is the cred.

Jean Chatzky: (05:29)
So, that was one of the first times I realized that.

Ali Brown: (05:32)
Yeah, I think every woman has a moment they know their worth, don’t they? That was a moment. It was a turning point.

Jean Chatzky: (05:39)
So were you prepared financially when you walked out the door?

Ali Brown: (05:42)
Oh no. By the way, do not listen to me on this show for financial advice when you are starting a business. But you know what, the way I’ve always been and I have say with some women what I’ve observed, and again, I do not recommend this, talk with your financial planner, talk with Jean Chatzky, but when their back is against the wall is when they will be the most courageous. And I still see that sometimes to this day, even with women in bigger places in their business. When they have to do it, when they have no other choice is when they do it and they do it big and they do it bold. And so for me, it’s been a faith walk and money has always been kind of this magical mystery tour that I never quite felt prepared for, for so many years.

Jean Chatzky: (06:32)
You were broke when you walked out the door.

Ali Brown: (06:34)
Flat broke, flat broke. There was one night I couldn’t take a $20 bill out. And, I didn’t share that story before until so many women said, thank you for sharing that because we don’t know there are those moments. And I said, those are the moments everyone else stops. And I decided to keep going because I knew it would be okay. I just kept thinking it’s going to be okay. I’ll go to the little Asian market on the corner and get a salad or something. I’ll be okay. You know, I’m not going to die. I’m not going to be homeless. I’m going to figure this out. And we forget that that is what entrepreneurship is like. It’s everyday waking up and making the decision that I’m going to make this work.

Jean Chatzky: (07:09)
How did you get from not being able to pull a 20 out of the ATM to having that first client?

Ali Brown: (07:15)
Well, I will say, I started moonlighting at the agency. Do they still call it that even?

Jean Chatzky: (07:25)
I think I call it a side gig.

Ali Brown: (07:26)
Yeah. I mean cause I got so excited about the potential that I went to the bookstore. At least there’s a Barnes and Noble still in the city. It’s nice to see that. I thought they were all gone. Got some books. I got one or two little projects. I joined a breakfast group and went in there, not talking about my job, but talking about my business. I was there as a business owner. I got some little projects. I got a brochure from a funeral home. I did a sales letter for a little jeweler. Like $500, $1000. Just here and there and pieced it together. And I think there’s a lot to be said for that I got used to talking to people and talking about what I did. What’s interesting now to observe with a lot of the women and doing the online businesses is I think they create all this stuff online to avoid having to go out and put on pants and talk to people. It’s an interesting world. Could do a whole show on this right now, but you really need to get used to talking about what you do and the value that you bring in person. I think it’s so critical.

Jean Chatzky: (08:19)
When you’re talking about those women who are creating things on the internet, who are you talking about?

Ali Brown: (08:26)
The worlds I live in, I’ve mentored a lot of women that you may see online now that do a lot of online trainings. Maybe they’re online influencers. Like a lot of these women and there’s a lot of women going into, you’ve probably seen this, coaching and online stuff. There’s coaches everywhere now. And I apologize partly because I helped invent this industry. And so, it’s just kind of a mess right now. And what you see is a lot of women starting a business and they think they think they need all this stuff, a website and something that people can sign up for free. And then you need to be emailing every day and you need to be on every social media platform and they get so caught up in what they think they should have. They forget what the core part of their business is and how they’re going to actually make money. That is why a business, the purpose of a business is to make money. You can have impact. It can have influence. You can do amazing things with that. But don’t forget that, if the business does not make money… I see so many women’s dreams fail because they forgot that fact.

Jean Chatzky: (09:23)
If the business doesn’t make money, it’s a hobby.

Ali Brown: (09:26)
It’s true. Or charity or something. Just call it something else.

Jean Chatzky: (09:30)
Call it something.

Ali Brown: (09:30)
It ain’t a business.

Jean Chatzky: (09:31)
When you first started out and the way you transitioned into coaching is that you didn’t find any good advisors. There was no buddy giving good advice for you. So how did you shift into being a mentor, being a coach, and how do you approach advice?

Ali Brown: (09:53)
The great thing about coaching, it’s very natural for women. We love to help each other. We love giving advice and I always loved teaching. And so the shift for me happened when I was doing my business and it was growing and I had, especially women going, tap, tap, Hey, you know, how did you do that? How are you getting these clients? And what are you doing online? And they had seen that I’d actually started doing some stuff online. I wrote an ebook and was selling an ebook on how to publish newsletters. Anything I would do in the business, I would just turn around and teach it. And when people start asking you more about what you do and wanting some advice around that, think about creating something to teach them that or work with them on that. For many of us and myself included, it started with a lot of how to, and then as I became more wise, I added a lot more advice and wisdom. And now my coaching is much more advisory than how to. I run a group of women that meet four times a year. General revenues in there is a million plus. So they’re at a different level and they come in there to have these conversations with each other and talk about the things they can’t talk about outside that room.

Jean Chatzky: (10:59)
We do a mailbag segment, as I think you know, later in the show. And we’ve got a question from a listener coming up about the fact that she’s doing incredibly well. And she feels bad about that. She feels embarrassed. She feels like she kind of has to hide her wealth. Do you have experienced that with your clients?

Ali Brown: (11:21)
Yes, because they often, you know, we sometimes complain we have no one to share with when things are down. Women, when they get to a certain level, have no one to share their success with. And it’s incredibly lonely. And you know, my husband’s Australian and they have something they call tall poppy syndrome.

Jean Chatzky: (11:37)

Ali Brown: (11:37)
And I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. It’s becoming more prevalent here. But as you rise and you grow taller and you stand out more, it’s uncomfortable. And actually, sometimes it’s in our heads, but sometimes people around us will be uncomfortable with that. And it’s very important. You know, you love your friends, love your family, but you will need to find new circles. You will need to find new people. I have an incredible group of friends and people around me now that I did not have even five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. So make a consistent effort to seek out, especially women who are successful and have the kind of lives you admire too. If they have families or seem very balanced and holistic, you know, you really do have to look for them though because there are fewer of us. It’s less than 2% of all women business owners hit seven figures.

Jean Chatzky: (12:21)
I want to get to some more tangible advice for our listeners, but before we do that, I just want to remind everybody that this conversation is being brought to you by Fidelity Investments. What if you could demand more from your money? What if you could make your savings work as hard as you do? And clearly we know from talking to Ali that we are working very hard. What if all of that helped you reach your financial goals faster? It starts with a financial checkup. It starts with a real understanding of what you own and what you owe, as well as what you want to do with it. And from there, the folks at Fidelity can work with you to help you evaluate your investment options, different ways to grow your savings. You can get started today at fidelity.com/demandmorenow.

Jean Chatzky: (13:10)
We are talking with Ali Brown, entrepreneurship coach. So, whether you’re a woman who wants to grow a business or whether you want to grow yourself from within the context of a company, how do you start to become that tall poppy?

Ali Brown: (13:30)
Can you give me more context on that?

Jean Chatzky: (13:31)
Sure. I mean I think no matter what industry we’re in these days, it feels like we’ve got a ton of competition. There are a lot of people who want to do what we do. You send out your resume. It gets ghosted time after time again. There are people who, I mean you just said the very sad statistics on the number of women who are seven figure earners. The sad statistics on the number of women who are CEOs of big companies, on the boards of big companies, you know, making it work. You have an idea. You want to become one of those people. How do you position yourself?

Ali Brown: (14:11)
Well, from the business perspective, we call it creating your own category and becoming a category of one.

Jean Chatzky: (14:18)
What’s that mean?

Ali Brown: (14:19)
So, very often, when we go into an industry, and I’ll give the business context first so maybe you can help me…

Jean Chatzky: (14:23)

Ali Brown: (14:23)
…with the company context, is that when you’re starting a business, you often, you know, we look around us to everyone else going, well, what are they doing. That’s successful? Okay, here’s how we do things. I’m going to go do this. The problem is you get into this trap of normalcy. Even if you’re successful, you’re trapped in the same model everyone else is and suddenly you can blend in. And it’s happened to me sometimes when I’ve not watched the industry too much and I’m just busy doing good stuff and doing my work. And actually that’s probably not dissimilar to being at a company. You need to keep got your nose down, you’re doing a lot of great work and you look up and you’re like, wait. I should be over there. I should be up here. I should be in the corner office. I should have this type of position. And you have to always be looking around seeing what’s going on. Not to get obsessive with it. Cause some times we do get more neurotic and watching everybody what they’re doing. But to decide that, okay, I see the landscape here and here’s something I do really well that no one else does. Or here’s something I know I can contribute that could be valuable. Here’s something I can bring that may be unique. And often it may be something that you take for granted, you know, like a talent or skill that we take for granted and don’t realize how valuable that could be.

Jean Chatzky: (15:31)
You’re talking about your superpower.

Ali Brown: (15:33)
Okay. I like that.

Jean Chatzky: (15:33)
Right? Your superpower or your personal genius. That’s what you call it I think. How do you figure out what that is if it’s something that has been so routine to you that you don’t even notice it.

Ali Brown: (15:45)
It takes a lot of awareness. It takes a shift in awareness. For my clients. What I have them do often is an exercise that they will go through, and I’m really condensing this, this is like a longer conversation, but getting it into a few statements and working toward those and realizing what are those things that I go into this zone and when I do I lose track of time. I love what I’m doing. I’m not paying attention to the people around me. Like I really do love those things and I feel extremely confident in them. If it’s good don’t overthink it. That’s a good place to start.

Jean Chatzky: (16:19)
You also talk about something called excellence burnout. Can you explain that?

Ali Brown: (16:24)
This is interesting and I want to give credit to, there’s a great book that I read years ago and it’s called “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks and it’s a very simple read and when I read it first, maybe 15 years ago, did nothing for me. I picked it up again about seven years ago and I cried. I cried when I read this book because he talks about how we get to a point that, look, those of us who are successful get to a point often that we’re doing what we’re excellent at and it’s maybe what we could do all day and we think that’s what our genius may be. But often there’s an untapped higher level that we need to get to. And there’s a few signs to look for. I recommend you read the book if you’re interested, but one of the signs is that, you know, you’re just starting to get a little bored, but you may not want to mess with things if the business is working or the job’s working. You may be feeling almost, like subconsciously you’re starting to self sabotage things because you know there’s a direction you should be moving in. It’s a broad concept, but it’s spot on for so many women I work with, especially when they’re success driven. They may be at a position in a company for example, and know deep down I’m totally making this up, but they have the best brownies in the world.

Jean Chatzky: (17:29)

Ali Brown: (17:29)
And they knew, like the brownies are their genius and if they just made a leap, they somehow knew it would all work out. They somehow knew it’d be okay. But they stay in that job or they stay in that other business and literally things can start happening to push you that direction. The universe will start giving you signs.

Jean Chatzky: (17:45)
Fascinating. As far as your current roster of clients, and I know, you know you work with many people, it changes all the time. What are the strategies that you’re recommending most that are working right now?

Ali Brown: (18:00)
Typically. Okay. When women come to me, they’ve typically broken or they’re close to breaking seven figures or plus, but these principles I’m going to share can apply to anybody. First of all, we look at everything they’re doing in their current business and look at applying something that’s been around a long time. It’s called Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule. And it’s generally that 20% of your efforts will be generating 80% of your results. So look at the business…

Jean Chatzky: (18:28)
And you want that.

Ali Brown: (18:29)
Yes, yes. Look at the portion of your business that’s going to be doing the most and then look at what’s maybe not working for you. And they have such a hard time with this though because they may be attached to some things that aren’t working.

Jean Chatzky: (18:42)
Well I think about what you said when we first started talking about social media, which is the thing that feels like it takes up so much time. And I’m never sure, I love interacting with people. I love knowing that my community is there. But from a business perspective, I’m never sure of whether there’s added value.

Ali Brown: (19:02)
Is there a true ROI? I love it and I hate it too. I hate it. I love posting this. We’ll post this. But yeah, it’s those things and really taking like an audit of your business and I guess this could be also applied to your career, or your position, you know, what are those things you’re doing that are so valuable and so powerful that if your position or your business focused on those things, it would be like pedal to the metal. But we have such a hard time letting some other things go. And a quick example, I had a client who is a fitness coach and she came in with actually two different companies and they were both doing about a million. And we were looking at the, what was most headaches? She was paying the most team. The clients were paying the butt. I mean, it was this long list on the board. I said, well, what do you think we should do? Often it’s just me saying that right? You know, and it took a few months, but she ramped down that business. We streamlined the other business. That business has gone to what this year will be a $20 million company. That’s within less than three years. So quick example, but when it’s an extreme example, but when you get that clear on what’s working and then deciding to put all your resources toward that, it’s an incredibly hard decision though for some people. It depends what else is going on. Maybe their family’s involved in a part of the company or they have friends or you know, how deep these things can go and how we make it.

Jean Chatzky: (20:22)
Amazing advice. And you are a wealth of information. Where can we get more of it?

Ali Brown: (20:26)
Alibrown.com. I’m also active, I would say instagram’s where I hang out the most, which is alibrownofficial. Right, Erica? My assistant’s in there. I’m like, where are we hanging out these days?

Jean Chatzky: (20:37)
Where are we?

Ali Brown: (20:37)
Let me ask my millennial. And so I’d love to interact with everyone else on our show that you’ve been on just a few episodes ago. We just had you on, which was a fantastic conversation. Glambition Radio. So listen to the interview I did with Jean if you haven’t heard it. And the book is just fantastic. Thanks again for coming out with that. It’s such a wealth of advice for all the women who read it.

Jean Chatzky: (20:58)
Thank you so much for saying that and thank you for coming into our studio. I hope that you will come back again soon.

Ali Brown: (21:03)
This has been great.

Jean Chatzky: (21:04)
Thanks. And we’ll be right back with Kelly and your mailbag.

Jean Chatzky: (21:11)
And Kelly is joining me in the studio with our mailbag. Hey Kel.

Kelly Hultgren: (21:15)
Hello, how are you?

Jean Chatzky: (21:16)
I am, I’m good. I’m just having one of those days.

Kelly Hultgren: (21:20)
We don’t always have to be. Okay.

Jean Chatzky: (21:23)
Ooh, you’re getting very serious.

Kelly Hultgren: (21:31)
We’re fine. Everything’s fine. Let’s answer some questions.

Jean Chatzky: (21:36)

Kelly Hultgren: (21:36)
First one from KL. I’m without work, over 11 years. I have a home that is paid off so my bills are minimal. I have around $6,000 left before I have to start to dip into my long-term savings. I’m in the process of selling my home and I will have a good amount for living expenses. Can you tell me what a reasonable budget should look like for me. I am paying for storage units at the moment, which I won’t have once I move into this larger property and I’m 64 and a half years of age, but my social security is quite low. I want to wait until I reach 65.

Jean Chatzky: (22:05)
I can’t give you numbers because I don’t have your numbers. And even if I had your numbers, the best way to budget is to do it backwards. And when I say that, what I mean is, if you track for a month, where all of your money is going, then you can make sure that you’re living within your means and that you’re not overspending on one category versus another. What I don’t want you to do is to fall into debt. What I don’t want you to do is have to dip into retirement savings that you are counting on to last you for 30 years, because that’s how you break a budget. So that’s what I think I’d like to ask you to do. For the next month, go ahead and track all of your spending. Go ahead and write everything down. Even better. Put it into a computer and then send it to us and then we can go through it because we’ll be able to tell based on how much money you’ll have coming in from social security, how much you’ve got from your long-term savings and what you expect to need to live on over time for things like healthcare and things like housing and things like transportation and food. We’ll be able to tell what’s manageable. But absent the numbers it’s really impossible for me to answer that question so you do a little homework. You get back to us and we’ll go through it with you.

Kelly Hultgren: (23:49)
Sounds good. Now one from Robin. At what age should a young adult get their first credit card. Our 23 year old son will be graduating from college soon and he secured a job working at a restaurant. He has use of our credit card and has not needed to use it often because he’s always at least had a part time job and his living expenses have been taken care of. Now that he will be leaving college, he will be on his own with regards to food, housing, utilities, et cetera. I don’t think he should rush into getting a credit card until he’s lived on his own for a while and has had a chance to settle into his new job. My husband disagrees. Please help us sort this out.

Jean Chatzky: (24:21)
I’m with your husband. I think he needs a credit card because having a credit card is the way to build credit. And I even worry that he won’t be able to rent an apartment on his own without a co-signer if he doesn’t have any credit built. You didn’t say whether he was on your credit card as an authorized user? If he is and if the credit card is reporting to the credit bureaus on his behalf, he may already have a decent enough credit score to qualify for a credit card on his own. But if not, I would encourage him to first try to apply for a credit card. He may or may not get accepted. If you go to a website like cardhub.com, they will tell you which credit cards are best for people who have not a lot of credit history and that can give you some sense of where to apply. If he gets turned down, he should apply for a secured credit card. And that’s a card where you make a deposit with the issuing bank. That deposit becomes your credit limit. You use the credit card, you pay your bills every single month, and as you do that you build credit and generally over 18 to 24 months, as long as you’ve kept your account in good standing, it will convert to a regular credit card. And again, websites like cardhub and lowcards and nerdwallet, they all have lists of the best cards and they’re often the very same card, so pick one of those and just go to it, but I believe he needs a card now.

Kelly Hultgren: (25:59)
Thank you for writing in Robin. And we’ll do one more from someone who would like to remain anonymous. You frequently discuss how talking about money has become a taboo topic and we should all talk about money more with each other, with family, with coworkers, with friends, et cetera. My husband and I both grew up in middle income homes and many of our family and friends have remained in that income bracket. We however have done very well and I would dare say we are one percenters. This is hard for me to type due to my almost embarrassment of this fact. The point being, I don’t really feel comfortable discussing money with any of my family or friends. We regularly qualify trips we take by saying, oh, we use miles and got a great deal on an Airbnb, which is sometimes true, but I say it even when it isn’t true. Maybe there are two issues. One, my guilt over our financial largess and two, how can I talk to people about money when our situations are so different?

Jean Chatzky: (26:47)
This is an amazing question because I think often people don’t understand that it comes from both sides. The guilt, the shame, the embarrassment, can come from having more than people as much as it can come from having less. Here’s the thing. When we talk about money, we don’t necessarily have to talk about bank account balances. We can talk about feelings about money. We can talk about goals, we can talk about whether we have tension in our relationships with our spouses about money. If you are uncomfortable talking to specific people about money, I would say find other people to talk to and start with your husband, right? If you and your husband have a robust ongoing dialogue about what you want from your financial lives, that’s amazing and that’s so much more than many people ever do. Talk to colleagues, you know you’ve got colleagues likely who are in similar financial situations. Share as much as you’re comfortable. The point is to actively stop not talking about it and bring, if you’ve got children, bring your kids along in this conversation as well, so that they can grow up feeling that it’s okay to talk about.

Kelly Hultgren: (28:20)
And not just not talking about money, but also downplaying all the wonderful things that you’re able to do and enjoy with your husband and life. Like, it broke my heart to hear you downplay your vacations because you didn’t want to sound like you’re bragging. The fact that you wrote in with these concerns or you feel this way, I can’t imagine a world in which you ever would be bragging or sound like you’re bragging. And I think if that’s a fear, you will know who your friends are when they don’t make you feel bad about the life that you have. You’re already such a considerate person that I think it’s really telling, if you feel like you can’t express yourself in a way that is honest and true and fully representative of who you are to your family and your friends. It breaks my heart to think so, it’s just another perspective on this too, like, I wonder if you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.

Jean Chatzky: (29:15)
Yeah. And the fact is they know.

Kelly Hultgren: (29:19)
Probably. Yeah.

Jean Chatzky: (29:20)
I think they know, like your friends, your friends and your family members, they know that you’re doing well. And they probably also know that you’re being disingenuous when you downplay how well you’re doing. And it’s okay to enjoy what you’ve got. You know? It’s okay to enjoy the fact that not only does it allow you to live well, but it allows you to provide the life that you want to provide for your kids. It allows you to use your money to do good things in the world. That is all good. I do have to say that when I was researching Women with Money, I heard this.

Kelly Hultgren: (29:59)

Jean Chatzky: (29:59)
I heard it. I heard it a good amount. I wrote a lot about it. If you haven’t read the book yet, I would encourage you to pick up a copy because there are a lot of financial therapists interviewed in the book and we talked about this.

Kelly Hultgren: (30:14)
Thank you so much for writing in and I respect your modesty but I would love for you to own it. Own it. Yes. Okay, well thank you very much and thank you to everyone. You can email us questions at mailbag@hermoney.com.

Jean Chatzky: (30:27)
And while you’re at the computer, take a second sign up for our newsletter. We publish two newsletters a week that take a look not just at what we’re publishing on HerMoney.com and we’re publishing great stuff there, but at what is happening in the world with your money that you need to know about on a regular basis. Because often the news affects what happens in our wallets and we should be aware. Today in Thrive you’re 30 and you want to buy a home and yet you just can’t swing it. Why is that? The fed is pointing the finger at student loan debt – saying it’s to blame for about 20% of the decline in home ownership among millennials. In 2005, 45% of heads of households age 24 to 32, owned homes by 2014 only 36% did. At the same time, the average student loan debt doubled. So is it possible to do both. To pay the loans and buy the house. Maybe. For that student loan debt, consider compartmentalizing. Try to refinance your debt or look into a federal payment plan that adjusts your monthly payment in line with your income, so that you’re able to prioritize making payments toward the home. As for that home, if you’re shopping now or at least window shopping, here are a few things it takes to get a mortgage today, 10 years after the housing crash. #1 an attractive credit score, preferably 720 or above so that you know you’re going to get a good rate on a mortgage. #2 you need to prove your income in multiple ways. During the housing bubble, it was possible to get a loan just by stating your income with no documentation. These days, both you and your lender must prove your income, assets and debt. #3 you won’t necessarily need a 20% down payment. There are many loan programs available that will let you put down as little as 3% as long as you’re willing to pay the additional costs of private mortgage insurance, and you can find more on this at hermoney.com. Thanks so much for joining me today on HerMoney. Thank you to Ali Brown for the great conversation. If you like what you hear, I hope you’ll subscribe to our show at Apple Podcasts. Leave us a review. We like knowing what you’re thinking. We also want to thank our sponsor Fidelity. We record this podcast out of CDM Sound Studios. Our music is provided by Track Tribe, and our show comes to you through PRX. Join us next week. We’ll be back with another great guest and we’ll talk soon.

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