Episode 72: Raising Financial Grownups with Bobbi Rebell
Transcript Episode 72
Stephanie Skryzowski: Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. The show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand into your purpose and grow your business in a big way. You’ll hear from entrepreneurs and leaders that have shifted their mindsets, learned life changing lessons and built profitable businesses that fuel their lives and their hearts.
And you’ll hear from me, Stephanie Skryzowski. My mission as a chief financial officer is to empower you to better understand your numbers, to grow your impact and your income. Let’s dive in.
Hello, hello. Welcome back to the show, everybody. I’m Stephanie and I’m so happy you’re here. And I’m really excited for our guest today.I know I say that a lot with every single guest, because I really love all of our guests. But I’m especially excited for you to hear this episode with Bobbi Rebell. So I was first introduced to Bobbi at the mom 2.0 summit, which is a conference I went to in LA earlier this year.
And I heard her talk about writing her book and her book just happens to be about personal finance.And I know you all because you are here for the show. You’re listening to me. You are interested in money stuff. So that’s why I had Bobbi on the show. So let me read you her bio, and then we’ll get right into the show. Bobbi Rebell, CFP is the author of launching financial grownups.
Live your richest life by helping your almost adult kids become everyday money smart. She’s a speaker, conference host, and moderator, and works as a spokesperson for brands aligned with her values. Bobbi is also the host of the critically acclaimed money tips for financial grownups podcast, which has more than 700,000 downloads. In 2021, she launched a new venture grownup gear as a fun way to promote adulting and being a financial grownup.
Early in her career, Bobbi was a global business news anchor and personal finance calmness reuters. And held various journalist positions at top news outlets including CNBC, CNN, and PBS. Bobbi is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received her certificate in financial planning from New York University. Her first book, How to be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom was released in 2016.
She lives in New York city with her family.I’m super excited for y’all to hear this episode today, because we talk about money, which is, you know, one of my favorite topics. She’s also a podcaster and I read her book actually. Both of her books when I was at the beach on vacation a few weeks ago.
So it was awesome to just be able to dive into the world of personal finance and talk about how that really intersects with a lot of our business finances, our business money, which I know you all love to talk about as well. So without further ado, enjoy this episode with Bobbi.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to 100 degrees of entrepreneurship. I’m very excited to have Bobbi Rebell as a guest on the podcast today. Welcome Bobbi.
Bobbi Rebell: Thank you for having me.
Stephanie Skryzowski: So I would love, if you could just share a little bit, we’re gonna talk about both of the books that you have written. But I would love if you could just share a little bit about your background in your journey. Because I think you’ve got a little bit of a unique background.
So tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are now.
Bobbi Rebell: Well, thank you so much. Yeah. I mean, right now I’ve really developed a passion for talking about adulting and money. And I think and this is something you allude to a lot on your podcast, is it all comes from where your perspective begins. And a lot of that came from my dad and the lessons that he taught me. So I grew up in New Jersey. My dad worked on Wall Street. My mom eventually became a lawyer, but I went to school for communications at UPenn.
And my first job was at CNBC. As a news associate. And I should say before that I worked as an intern. Various internships in TV and media, but the one that really stood out and really kind of put me on this path was at CNN business news. The summer before my senior year, my father sort of insisted that I learned about wall street and I insisted that I learned about TV news. And so we compromised and I got an internship, I should say. Without his help, I wanna clarify. Got it without his help.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Nice.
Bobbi Rebell: Which is important to what we’re gonna talk about today. Without his help. And I can tell you, I got that literally by just standing there till they gave it to me, frankly.And at CNN business news where I learned about covering business news. So anyway, my first job at CNBC, then I was hired back by CNN when they launched a financial channel.
Moved on to the nightly business report, which was a show on PBS where I got on camera. And then I got a better paying job at Thompson Reuters, where I was eventually a global business anchor and also wrote a globally syndicated personal finance column. And then I wrote the books then I became a CFP.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yes, yes, yes. Oh my gosh. I feel like we could go so deep. I’m so curious about the news anchor and all of that stuff, but we’re not gonna go there today because I’m just like very intrigued by that whole world. But what I wanna talk about is what was that transition like? Or how did you end up writing your first book, How to be a Financial Grownup? What was the sort of catalyst for going from the work that you were doing on TV to writing this first book?
Bobbi Rebell: I love that question, so thank you for asking it. It’s not a very unique story. It’s something I think so many of your listeners are gonna relate to, as I found myself with three young children at home, a wonderful husband, all the good things and not being able to enjoy it because I was in this frantic job that I’ve been in frankly at that point for more than a decade.
And I love the job, but the job never left me. It was always with me and not only was I working long hours, but when I did get home, all I wanted to do with my baby was just get him to sleep. Because I was so tired and I just wanted to be off duty. And I had been working four days a week and a new boss came in and he said, I think you’re great. I wanna give you more. I wanna put you.
Okay, great. And by the way, he said, I can’t figure out when you’re here. I know you have some weird schedule, you set up with the other boss and it was not a weird schedule, Stephanie. I didn’t work Fridays. And I had someone that filled in for me on Fridays. So there was no weirdness. The day I wasn’t there was Fridays. But he didn’t really wanna understand that.
He said, I just want you here every day cause I think you’re great. I’m like, okay, great, let’s see how this goes. And that was kind of the beginning of the end because once I didn’t have Fridays to be with my child and do activities with my child and catch up on the family stuff, right. You know, even the basic doctor’s appointments and just sanity, it was just too much.
And I knew something had to change because you can kind of muddle through, but is that the life that you want? So I actually did what I like to refer back to now, in retrospect, as a mentor tour and I called up everyone that ever had given me good advice, or that had made an impact in my life generally slightly older adults. And I asked, can I just meet with you? I’ll come to your office, we can meet for coffee.
Whatever’s convenient for you. Phone call, whatever it may be. And pretty much everyone said yes. I just asked people, what do you think I could do? And one of the ideas was to come up with a concept. They said, what is it that you can offer? For example, in a book or documentary that’s unique to you. And I said, well, I have access to all these famous business people.
And so from that, I came up with the idea for my first book, which is How to be a Financial Grownup, which is really what I had is I got all of these famous business people to answer two questions. What was your biggest, you know, what was your sort of aha, your financial grown up moment, which was sort of your aha, where you started understanding how money mattered and then what’s your advice. And from that came the book.
And I will say to people, it was three years before I left. It’s not overnight. So I really planned to leave. And a lot of that came from, you know, you have to have the idea for the book. Then I had to figure out how to execute it, sell it. And then how am I gonna monetize it? So I didn’t just take a leap. I took a very gradual exit strategy when I left my corporate job to start my own business.
And I think it’s very important because many people from the outside said to me, after my book came out, they said, wow, I can’t believe you just did that book. You know, it just comes to you. You’re so talented. And it’s like, no, it was three years. You just didn’t see me and whole, by the way, the book was written at whole foods across the street. Many Saturday nights, so sad. It was so, I was such a loser.
So sad sitting under the fluorescent lights at whole foods across the street from me on the upper side of Manhattan. Cause they had, what whole foods had for me was they had big tables, you didn’t have to buy a lot. You could buy a bottle of water. Big tables, always had space. They had lots of outlets and they had really strong wifi and every two hours the wifi would reset.
So you did have to log in every two hours but it was a good workspace because I needed a place where I could work silently without the distractions of my family and I needed to put my kids to bed. So I still had young children. I still had the littlest one. So I put him to bed. So, you know, eight o’clock I would just tell my husband, I’ll be back when they closed the lights. And that’s how I got it done. It was really brutal because I was trying to make my life less hectic. But in the meantime it was more hectic.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I feel like that happens so often is like we have, yeah, we have this sort of like breaking point and then we’re trying to make things better. It’s just we create more chaos for ourselves. Did you eventually get to the point where it wasn’t hectic? Or you did get to the point that you had dreamed of when you left your corporate job?
Bobbi Rebell: I did, I did. It’s not as hectic now, but it’s different because when you have a corporate job and this is something that’s important for people to appreciate, and I know anyone who’s already an entrepreneur can appreciate. I don’t get a paycheck every two weeks. When you’re an entrepreneur, nothing happens like we were we’re joking. So I was just sick for about five or six days.
Those five or six days were lost days where I could not do things and nothing’s getting done. And there’s yes, I have a couple people that help me now, but at the end of the day, you are the entrepreneur, you’re the one in charge, so you have to make it happen. And it’s very easy if you’re not, if you don’t set up structures and systems for yourself and accountability for yourself, for things to just become a hobby or just sort of Peter out. It’s very easy.
You can just write a book and then just let it be. But I wrote the book and then you have to figure out, okay, how do I make a book into a business, which is a very different thing. And so it’s very important for entrepreneurs to understand that it never ends. That even though I no longer come home from work exhausted after 10 hour day, wanna just get my kids to bed or whatever. Now they’re older, they put themselves to bed. Thank you very much.
But you know, it never ends. What is different is I’ll tell you, on Tuesdays, unless there’s a really important financial thing happening where there’s money involved. I play golf on Tuesday mornings. That means I might be working on Friday night. But I can choose that. I can choose in most cases how I allocate my time. That doesn’t mean I spend less time working than when I had a corporate job.
I would say I probably spend more time working. Certainly when you factor in all the times, when I’m thinking about working, which people forget about, you’re always thinking, oh, could this be a new revenue stream? Oh, maybe I should, you know, tweak the grown up gear site and do a special holiday special for Easter or for something else or for graduations.
So there’s always things that you’re kind of thinking about as an entrepreneur that do take up mind space, and that can be really fun. But you don’t turn off your job the way you did when you were in a corporate job.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I know. I was actually just talking about that this morning, where I was like, I wish that there was a way for me to just shut the entrepreneur, the business brain off. I have a really hard time with that. Like last week I was on the beach, I was reading your book, I was getting ready for this. I was thinking, you know, I was thinking about my business.
And those things are great, but it would be nice to sometimes just be able to close the proverbial door, like we used to at a corporate job and just shut the brain off. It sounds like in the transitions that you have had in your life and your business, there’s been a lot of strategy that has been behind it. Like you said, there was a three year transition from corporate to your business and then writing your books.
And there’s a strategy behind that. I would imagine that there would be some degree of, or probably a great degree of financial planning as, as well, and really thinking about the money aspect of all of that to make sure cause like you said. You’re not getting a paycheck every two weeks. And so I’d imagine that you’re like pretty in tune with both your business numbers and your personal numbers. And what does your, obviously don’t share any details, but what does your sort of like money routine look like?
Bobbi Rebell: Well, I don’t know that I have a money routine so much as I’m always thinking about it, Stephanie. What I’ve been able to do, and this is not always easy to do. And I don’t know that I’ll always be able to do it, but I have been able to have what I call anchor clients. Where I have one or two clients that I have had for year long contracts and that’s been so wonderful. It’s not necessarily something that you can always control, but that’s the ideal.
Is to have these anchor clients. So I do, even though I don’t get a paycheck, I do get monthly checks from certain clients. And that helps because then I have the base income. Because one of the scariest things I did was hire an assistant. I was terrified because what if I can’t pay her? What do I do? And it’ll be not only embarrassing, but then I’ll lose her and I don’t wanna let her down and you make a commitment to them and so on.
So I think it’s really important if you can, to have some anchor clients. And that’s the thing people talk to me about before I left my corporate job is have the anchor clients, make sure you have that. And then everything else can be icing on the cake. So that’s the one thing. I also think it’s important to know if you have a spouse to understand the balance between them and really think about your family income as sort of a family financial ecosystem.
So it’s really important. One of the reasons I was able to leave, and this is something, unfortunately not available to everyone, but it was available to me at this time is my husband has a corporate job. So I knew that even though my health insurance at my corporate job was better, we knew we were gonna flip it to his. Not as good insurance, but we made that choice and he carries the insurance. He can maximize a 401k with a matching. Now I did set up an LLC.
I wanna say two years before the book came out. Really. Once I had the idea for financial grownup, I went through with a lawyer trademarking it. And also setting up an LLC. And it was interesting when I named the LLC, I thought about naming it, financial grownup. In the end I named it BRK media, which is my initials. Because I did not know what necessarily would go under the LLC.
And so I wanted to leave it a lot more open ended, and also maybe I might sell the IP for financial grownup one day. And so I didn’t want that to be my whole company. So I think it was important to do the specific structural stuff well before it was needed. And that has helped me a lot having that structure. I also have an accounting system and I have an accountant also. I’m a big believer in having humans attached to the systems that you use.
I think there’s nothing that replaces a human who can say, oh, by the way, did you think to deduct this or something like that? I think it’s really important to have that hybrid set up for you to have someone have your back and to ask. For example, I set up a solo 401k. Well, I was able to go to the accountant and say, okay, what’s the best retirement, solo retirement vehicle to set up, even though I kind of knew from being a CFP, sometimes it’s good to have someone you can check in with.
And the laws are always changing, even though I do continue education. I’m not a practicing CFP right now. And so I think that was really helpful to me as well and understanding. I mean the solo 401k, by the way, I’m sure you’ve done episodes on this is unbelievable how much you can put away. It’s really magnificent, Stephanie. What you can put away the solo 401k, right?
Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly, exactly. And I feel like entrepreneurs think that we don’t have access to different retirement vehicles, but we absolutely do as business owners. And I didn’t for like the first year or so with my business. Cause I was scared of that cash going out the door.
Bobbi Rebell: Well, that’s a whole different thing, right?
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But ever since then, I have definitely been dumping a whole bunch of money into mine as well. So I love, it just sounds like behind all of this journey has been a lot of strategy and a lot of like longer term thinking. That was one of the takeaways that I had from your first book, from How to be a Financial Grownup and thinking about really longer term planning.
And I loved you know, you talked about a lot about like, get a career that is going to pay you money. And that has like promotion opportunities because you can use that money to then build the life that you want and do the hobbies and do the fun things. But you need to make money in this life and you need to be thinking about that longer term.
And I feel like it’s very easy to just be shortsighted and want to do what’s fun and like, whatever now, but you’re really missing out on opportunities. I was just talking about this with somebody who has basically missed out on like 10 years of contributing to a retirement account because of the choices that they’ve made. It doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re 30, but it’s gonna be a big deal when you’re 50 or 60.
And so I just, I really like this idea that you talk about this sort of long term, long term strategy. I would love to talk about your second book, launching financial grownups, and just learn a little bit about your inspiration for writing the book.
Bobbi Rebell: Well, first of all, just to comment on the great things that you just said, people, young people especially do sometimes confuse wanting to make money with being materialistic. And that is not true. Wanting to make money is often about security and creating a life for yourself and being able to do things that you wanna do. And the freedom to, for example, have a family. Kids are expensive.
So if you wanna have kids, they’re expensive. You’re gonna wanna earn money. So you don’t wanna negate that, and also by the way, and this I’ve been talking to my youngest about recently. One of the best ways to give to charity is to give to charity because if you volunteer yourself, which you absolutely should do, that’s one volunteer. But if you donate enough to support them, paying 10 people to do the work of 10 volunteers, that can also be a huge impact.
So never negate the value of earning money. Launching financial grownups really came from my own experiences with my young adult stepchildren and my frustration that no matter how much I knew on paper, I was failing, fantastically failing at getting them to pay attention to money. So I needed help. And I figured, well, if I need help, I bet a lot of people do. There’s so many amazing books out there for parents of younger children.
There’s great picture books, there’s great books. I mean, Ron Labor who’s in my book wrote the opposite of spoiled. He wrote a great book that covers up to age 16, for kids. But then you get to 16 and people kind of think, okay, now I’m gonna write for the kid themselves. They write the books for the 16 and 17 year olds, which is great also. But it leaves the parents asking, well, how do I get involved? How can I help?
Because parents really are the ultimate stakeholders. We want kids to learn about money in school. We keep pointing to the schools and of course the schools should teach about money. But also the parents should take ownership of that as well, because ultimately if our kids do not learn enough about money to be financially self-sufficient, we could find ourselves supporting them instead of ourselves when it comes to retirement.
And that’s not gonna have, you’re not gonna have happy family relationships. If you have that dependence, that’s gonna cause stress and anxiety in the family. And I wanna have people have great relationships with their adult children throughout life. And I think having them learn not only to be confident, but also confident in their ability to manage their own money is key to that.
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Stephanie Skryzowski: Do you think that for the parents that are reading your book, do you find that they’re savvy with their own money and wanna pass that on? Or do you feel like the parents are kind of learning and on this journey as well?
Bobbi Rebell: I think that it’s a mix and I think many parents, as you say, are on a journey with them and the book encourages them to be vulnerable and share some of their financial mistakes or their financial challenges with their kids, because it makes them so much more relatable. So many kids have had parents, for example, that have been unemployed, that when they were little children that they didn’t know.
And as an adult to find out, oh my goodness, you lost your job or, oh, you had credit card debt. I had no idea. It makes it so much easier for the kid to open up and then you can have real discussions.But also some of the readers are well to do adults who are very concerned that their kids are basically spoiled. That they’ve been helicopter parents and they can’t really pull away from that and they don’t wanna cut their kids off, but they know they have to start letting go.
And it’s really hard to let go. When you love your kids so much, you would do anything for them and you would give them your last penny, right. You would. So we don’t want parents to do that because that’s gonna ruin their retirement. If they give their kids their very last bit of money. So we want them to make peace with the idea that their kids will be okay on their own.
It’s often the parents that are undermining their children’s ability to separate financially because we’ve invested so much of our identity in our children and our children’s success that we don’t want to let go. We don’t want to let them fail even the tiniest of failures, but sometimes we have to let go. And sometimes they might fail hopefully in a small way when they’re young, when they can recover and that’s how they learn.
But I’ll tell you it’s really hard. As I said, I was failing at this. I still struggle with it. But I was able to go to experts and put the strategies into a book to help myself and the readers as well.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah yeah. I find in my work, when we have small business owners that come work with us, a lot of times, one of their biggest challenges is just around their own money mindset. They feel like making money is hard and they’re not good savers and they’re bad at math and all of these things that we tell ourselves around money.
So money becomes this like big, scary story, and we just don’t know how to tackle it. And I would imagine that sort of battling these money mindset challenges would be the same thing for parents and maybe they’re having to face some of their own demons in the book. Do you find that, what is your advice for parents who really have a rocky history with money, whatever that might be?
Bobbi Rebell: Well, the hope is that this book will take the stress off their shoulders and will tell them that they are not alone, that this is incredibly common and that they should lower the bar on themselves and raise the bar on their kids. Sometimes we expect too little of our kids. Very often, we’re giving money to kids who aren’t even asking.
And if you just say to them, well, instead of me writing the check, maybe let’s discuss ways that you could earn the money. So a recent example, that’s not in the book cause it happened so recently was our 22 year old who literally last week graduated from NYU to school of the arts. He had his final film that he had to make. Kind of like a thesis but when you’re in film school, it’s a film.
He came to us, my husband and I had said, well, I need, you know, five to $10,000 to finish the film. And there was awkward silence. My husband and I are pretty much in sync on this at this point. And we were ready. We were just like silent. Cause we were not gonna, you know, he might have been waiting like, are they gonna write a check?
Let me try, see what happens. And we just sat there and we kind of said, okay, well, how are you gonna raise that? And in the end, he very successfully ran a campaign on Indiegogo. So he had to learn how to use this. You know, it’s kind of like a GoFundMe type site, Indiegogo, and he had to make a video with his friends, his co-producers about the movie to raise the money.
And he had to email people and post on social media and he did, he raised the money to fund his film. So we helped him and we were contributor by the way. And we encourage people that we knew to contribute. Of course, we’re there on his team with him, but we didn’t just write a check. And so I think that illustrates the fact that you can be helpful and helpful financially without just instantly solving their problem with the check.
Because also what we then sort of discussed is we were teaching him a lesson because when you wanna be a big Hollywood director, you’re gonna have to raise money for a film. Even the biggest of them have to put together financing right? So that’s an important part of being in the film business is understanding that these projects have to get funded.
So it worked out really well and I’m excited for the final product he’s filming now.
Stephanie Skryzowski: That’s amazing. I love that story because there’s so much more to it than just money. There was like a career lesson in there as well. That’s going to hopefully stick with him. And do you feel like he or other situations that you’ve had like this, do you feel like they are absorbing and taking those lessons with them? I mean, I would imagine that they probably are, maybe they don’t see it in the moment, but , I would imagine.
Bobbi Rebell: Well, so, okay. So again, so the book goes from age 16 to 26 and every child grows up differently. Every young adult evolves differently to be clear. I did get, on my mother’s day card they wrote, thank you. And thank you for the financial advice, which was kind of weird, but heartwarming in a quirky way. In a sort of nerdy way. So I think the two older kids who are now 25 and 22, do appreciate it. The 25 year olds people will read in the book did buy her first home at 24. And it was very deliberate.
I was cheering her on, but I was not in the weeds with her. I could see how her bank balance was building, but she had her own Excel spreadsheets and she loves Excel. She talks about that. In fact, she did write the epilogue to the book, which everyone says is their favorite part of the book. So I do think that they appreciate it because they’re living it, right.
So Ashley has her apartment and she’s so proud that she, it’s very rare in New York City these days to buy an apartment at age 24, but she graduated without debt. She lived at home for two years, the pandemic helped in that she had less temptation to spend. So, you know, that it’s just real, right. And she had been saving since she was 13 years old.
So if you save, I mean, that was because it was her goal and that’s another important lesson in the book is you have to listen to the kids’ goals and they’re not always in sync with your goals. Her younger brother, I can’t say whether he’ll buy an apartment one day or not. It’s not a goal the way it was with her. So he has money he’s invested. He’s learning a lot about investing cause as we record this, the stock market has not had a good month or so.
So he was doing really well and now maybe not so much, but the money that she put into savings for her home, her goal, he had put into invest investments, the stock market, mutual funds his goal. So that’s important. They learn differently and I think that they adjust, but I think Bradley was very proud that he financed the film. I think if we’d written the check, he would not take as much pride in it.
And also he had to adjust his budget. You know, when he didn’t know how much he would raise, he had to say, okay, if I raise this much, I can do this amount. If I raise this much, I can do this extra, you know, featured scene that I wanna do so he could see and be incentivized to raise more money or as is in the real world. Sometimes you do have to course correct. And that was something I interviewed somebody from one of the major banks years ago, who is a specialist in retirement.
And I was like, what do you tell people if they don’t reach their target goal number and then it’s time to retire and they have to retire. She’s like, it’s not the end of the world. You just course correct. You know, maybe you get a little bit smaller apartment. Maybe you don’t have as fancy a car. Whatever, take one less vacation. You’ll be fine. His film would’ve gotten made, even if he raised less than his target number, he’ll be fine. And that’s also an important lesson, I think for all of us, not just for young adults.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I love that. I like the point, like, okay, let’s not force our kids into whatever we think their goals should be. That’s not gonna get the result that we want for sure. And just, you know, helping them along the way.
And I’m already thinking like, okay, my kids are five and two, so I have a little ways until they reach this like 16 to 26 age range, but I’m already thinking like, okay, how can I keep this going through the, you know, through the little kid years until they get into high school.
How did you find the pandemic that we’re kind of still in now two years later impact relationships between parents and their older kids and they’re you know, kids independence and, or maybe dependence. What was the impact of that? Have you found?
Bobbi Rebell: I love that question because first of all, it’s still evolving, as you said, we’re still sort of in it. But I think when young adults, many young adults moved home early in the pandemic. And it was an interesting phenomenon because previously in many cases, when young adults moved home, it was because they were sort of feeling lost.
Maybe they needed economic help. And there was a stigma to it. The stigma was already getting less, but there was still some stigma to it. Here we had a situation where kids were moving home. There wasn’t any stigma at all. And in many cases it wasn’t necessarily because they personally failed economically or they personally were having an economic hardship.
It was systemic. It was everybody. So they had truly done. They hadn’t made any mistake. It just was, right. So they first moved home. The relationship was very similar. They were treated as children in many cases where mom was still maybe doing their laundry and figuring out the meal plans and this and that. And that was when it was, let’s say, 15 days to stop the spread. Remember that? 15 days.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah.
Bobbi Rebell: Anyway, as time went on. It evolved that relationships had to change. And so we did see a lot of young adults stepping up and changing their role with their parents and vice versa. So for example, parents might see if a child was still employed. They were suddenly in their, yeah, they’re in their childhood bedroom, but they’re like making major deals or they’re up at all hours doing the grunt work of their entry level job.
And parents had a whole new level of respect for what their kids were doing. And they could see their children as adults. I think that was really healthy for parents to better appreciate that their children were grown up because sometimes it’s really hard. You know, I have a 14 year old and it’s really weird cause he is taller than me. And it’s really weird cause he’s still a kid and he sometimes looks older than he really is, maturity wise.
But in this case, it was good that parents could see their children as the adults that they were and could see the relationships that they had as adult relationships. It was also good for the kids because they could better appreciate the parents as adults. And have that relationship grow and see them differently and see that they actually had lives.
You know, it’s kind of like when you see the teacher outside the classroom, it’s really weird, right. You don’t know how to act sometimes cause you know, they’re out of their environment and you don’t know how you’re supposed to act. So parents were able to, so it changed for both of them and the best thing from it in terms of how it, the relationships changed was that there was so much time and there was time without distractions.
So it used to be, you might visit your parents for the weekend, but you’ve got all these other things going on. Suddenly they had nowhere to go. They were home for dinner every night. And they weren’t rushing off anywhere and there weren’t distractions and sure there was still social media and all that stuff, but there was so much time together and so much less to do that relationships could really blossom and you had much more time to listen to each other and understand what was going on with the other generation.
I think it was in that sense very interesting. And it was a time of opportunity to talk to kids about money in a way that never happened before.
Stephanie Skryzowski: It’s so fascinating because it’s just like a different world than I lived in. I was over here and making crafts all day long with my three year old at the time.
Bobbi Rebell: A newborn.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Who was like, and a newborn exactly. So I was juggling all of that good stuff. My world looked very different. So it’s very interesting to hear-
Bobbi Rebell: We had never had a family dinner, so we went out, we left New York city and went to a family home in the suburbs. And we sat down for dinner. And my youngest who was, I guess, 11 at the time said, we’ve never all had dinner together because everyone was on different schedules. He’d be done at seven and different kids were done at nine and different.
It was all, we literally couldn’t, we had tried, but we couldn’t, unless someone dropped an activity. And we weren’t gonna do that. So we except for, you know, on the weekends or if it was a planned like Thanksgiving or something like that. On a weekday night, we were never having dinner together. And suddenly we had dinner together every night and they really liked it. Even if someone wasn’t hungry, they would come and sit at the table.
And so the family relationships really changed because there were suddenly quiet and there was time. And because of that, also the kids could sort of overhear the parents talking about money stuff. Just the everyday money stuff, because you’re just there and you are not being locked in your child, not locked, but you know what I mean, put away in your childhood bedroom for bed, you know, and the grownups are talking after bedtime.
You know, now the doors were open and it was a very interesting time. And I think a lot of relationships really changed because of the pandemic between parents and children.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah, absolutely. I can totally see that. Do you feel like any money habits changed either, you know, either in your family or with your kids or just like society in general, obviously, you know, do you think that there was an impact on the way that we handled our personal finances because the pandemic?
Bobbi Rebell: This is such a great question because there’s the logical answer and then there’s the reality answer. So the logical answer is of course, people learn that you wanna have a bigger emergency fund because look what happened. People learned the value of saving and how good it feels to have more savings, because we simply spent less because we didn’t have anything to spend it on really.
So all those things happened. But the unfortunate reality is that people are human and I see already people going back to bad habits. So it remains to be seen how that will evolve. It’s hard. Money is hard and it’s very human to want instant gratification. It’s very human to want to do things with your friends and be out and have the latest stuff. So I think it’s important that we not be judgemental, but I do think that many of us have returned to old habits that are bad habits.
And it’s something that we should be thinking about and talking about. It’s also hard though, cause now we have inflation. So things are getting really expensive. So it’s hard. And it’s important when I say not to judge, a lot of things that happen with money are not in our control. And it’s really important not to feel that you have done something wrong.
If you’re not where you think you want to be financially. Sometimes you’re just not lucky. Sometimes there are systemic things that are happening, where you’re doing your best. You’re getting raises, but inflation is just costing you more. . And so I think it’s really important to send the message to people, not to be hard on themselves if they are struggling financially, that doesn’t mean that you, it’s not your problem to solve, sure.
You still have to figure it out. But it’s really important not to blame yourself or feel like you’ve done something wrong. You just have to figure out what you can do to make your situation better.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Yeah. And to thinking about spending, I just thought, you know, one of the messages in your first book around spending was just to be again, like not necessarily judgment around it, but just be strategic and smart of how you’re spending your money. What is the ROI, the return on investment in what you’re spending money on and not necessarily like a financial ROI.
But really just being intentional and being thoughtful. And there’s nothing wrong with spending money. We tell business owners this all the time, there’s nothing wrong with spending money in your business. I’m not gonna tell you to like pinch pennies or cut your lattes or whatever it is. I’m not gonna tell you that. Just be strategic about the way that you’re spending money.
And so I love that you had that message in your book as well. And I imagine that you tell your teenagers the same thing, the question is, do they listen or do they still spend their money on silly stuff?
Bobbi Rebell: No, they do not spend their money on silly stuff. They have taught me a lot of lessons. I highly recommend, as I said, the epilogue to the book because Ashley fully justifies things that I came after her for as being frivolous, like she got a- during a pandemic, we live in New York, Disney World is in Florida and she insisted that she was going to get a season pass for Disney World.
And I thought that was not a good, it was very clear that it was not a good way to spend money. And you know what. She made her case, it’s her money. And I applaud her for that. She recently got a puppy, also expensive. She did listen and she waited. I told her, wait a little bit. She took my advice. She waited. And she also took her credit. She fully investigated all of the cost down to how much more expensive, a puppy is much more expensive.
The first year of life is much more expensive than the other years in general. So she really researched all of the costs before she got it. So I think I’m at the point where I am taking tips from them. They’re pretty savvy and Bradley look, he got an expensive education in New York City. On the other hand, having had to live in New York City and figure out how little your money buys in New York City.
He also can teach people quite a bit about how to stretch your dollar and understanding how to spend money. So I think they’re both pretty savvy. The younger one definitely needs some work. We had an incident the other day, so people can hear I’m a little bit hoarse cause I have not been feeling well. So I send out the 14 year old, this is never before told story just happened two days ago, send him out for apple juice.
I wanted apple juice and I send him out with a $20 bill. And he comes back with $3 and I’m like, what happened? And he’s like, I got you apple juice. He was like, I went to three stores mom. But he got apple juice. Okay. So look at what he got. He got me this gallon of fresh, like literally the most gourmet apple cider, like straight for the farm, I guess. And I’m like, what is going on?
He’s like, well, they were sold out everywhere and I’m like, really really? And he’s like, yeah, I went to three stores. Well, my husband and I have been, my husband was livid and we’ve been probing this and I went to target yesterday, but I started to feel a little bit better. And I was like, I see apple juice on the shelf here for 3.99 and there’s plenty of it. I don’t think they’re outta stock.
And finally he confessed. He’s like, well, I was too embarrassed to ask people where all the juices were. So I was just kinda looking in the refrigerator section and, you know, I didn’t really look at the prices cause I just wanted to get you apple juice. And so there’s discussion. So this is an opportunity for learning. I wish he was younger. I’m sad to say he’s 14, but, and I said, after this, I’m like, we gotta send him out more.
We gotta do more teaching him about what things should cost. So I can’t imagine what this apple cider is so expensive. So there were a lot of talks. We’ve had a couple talks already about like, you know, ask for help, look at all the options on the store shelf, compare prices, look at the size. You know, he got me this giant gallon of this purify. It was very fancy, but we didn’t need a $17 well, maybe it was like 15 and change, but like, it was ridiculous.
And it was just, he was embarrassed. So part of it wasn’t that it’s, you have to kind of get to the root of it. He was embarrassed to ask and too shy to ask for help with these stores. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about the prices, It wasn’t that he wanted to spend frivolously. It was that he was embarrassed and didn’t know where to look for apple juice. So there’s a ways to go. So I wrote the book cause we parents need help. Everything’s an opportunity for learning.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I love that story and you’re right, there’s usually always something else behind whatever our money issues are. And I love that you found that moment to be able to have the conversation with your son. I hope that apple juice, the cider was delicious.
Bobbi Rebell: It is delicious. It’s so delicious. And it’s a giant gallon I will say. But you know, it also shows like, to me, I just assumed that he would know that apple juice should cost 4 or $5 and come from like moths or whatever, you know? I presume that he would know that, but I’m glad I stumbled on this, even though I think 14, he should know by now, he didn’t. And that’s one of the big lessons I learned is that we assume our kids know more than they sometimes do.
We sometimes assume things that seem obvious are obvious to them, but they’re not. You know, why wouldn’t you ask where all the apple juice choices are? Well, he just looked in the front, like the refrigerators for apple juice. He, wasn’t looking around the whole store. And I just assumed that he would know to do that. So at least, like I said, small mistakes, big lessons, better now than later.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Exactly better it’s $17 than $17,000. Well, Bobbi, it was so wonderful to talk to you today and I wanna tell our listeners where can they find you? Where can they find launching financial grownups, your book?
Bobbi Rebell: So everything can be found on my website, bobbirebell.com, B O B B I R E B E L L .com. And please also check out grownupgear.com. That is my merch site, which has fun stuff for all your adulting, milestones. They make great gifts, especially for graduation, mother’s day, father’s day, getting married, having babies, all the things. They say cute things. Like I have onesies that say I can’t believe you’re a grownup either.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I’m on the site right now.
Bobbi Rebell: It’s funny.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Seriously. So cute. What was that-
Bobbi Rebell: Super cute.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Before we hop off, it’s yeah, for everybody listening, it’s grownupgear.com. What was the inspiration for this merch site? Cause it’s so fun.
Bobbi Rebell: I just liked it. I just wanted to do it. I’ll tell you. It’s a side hustle, It’s not a huge revenue stream for me, It’s really just for fun and I love it. It’s just for fun and that’s okay too. I think that’s important. As long as, you know that a little side hustle is a hobby business, not a revenue business. That’s fine. I tried to keep the prices as low as I could cause I just want it to be affordable and I want people to enjoy it.
This is not, I mean, I break even on it, but it doesn’t, it’s not a big revenue stream, but I just love it. I think it makes people smile and that makes me happy. So I love doing that. And yeah, the other thing I recently started doing was TikTok. So please follow me on TikTok. I’m just under my name and it’s really goofy stuff. Fun parenting and money advice and among all the other socials under my name, the only difference is on Instagram.
There’s a number one, bobbirebell1
Stephanie Skryzowski: Oh, my gosh, TikTok. Good for you. I have not broken into the TikTok world. So have your kids helped you with that or are you like on your own?
Bobbi Rebell: No, I’m on my own and I will tell you the only thing that’s not good about TikTok is it is so addicting. So I’ll go on there. I end up just like doing the swipe thing. I am as vulnerable as anyone else to that. It is so entertaining, but you know what? I found it to be a really happy place too. So I think it’s TikTok is nice. There’s a lot of good parenting stuff on TikTok, so, and a lot of stuff for entrepreneurs on TikTok.
So I don’t know. It’s been fun.
Stephanie Skryzowski: All right.
Bobbi Rebell: But please check me out on TikTok, cause I need all the help I can get with my little struggling handle on TikTok. Is that what you call it? Handle? I don’t know.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I literally have no idea.
Bobbi Rebell: Just like and comment on TikTok so that, you know, it helps me somehow. I don’t really understand it. I’m still figuring it out. Help me figure it out.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I love it. Okay. Well, I’m definitely gonna go follow on TikTok. If that’s the word.
Bobbi Rebell: Or Instagram, whatever works for you.
Stephanie Skryzowski: I will definitely go over there. Well, Bobbi, thank you so much again, I personally really, really enjoyed both of your books and of course our conversation today and yeah. Thank you so much.
Bobbi Rebell: You are so lovely. Thank you for all that you do for all the entrepreneurs. I know that your listeners truly appreciate what you do. I think it is so needed and we’re so lucky to have you.
Stephanie Skryzowski: Thank you.
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