[Ep. 152] How to Get Money (in More Ways than One) with Kristin Wong

Planswell LogoThis episode of the Mo’ Money Podcast is brought to you by Planswell. Planswell is currently offering listeners not only a free financial plan, but also up to $20,000 worth of investments managed for free for the first year. Visit planswell.com/momoney to get started. To learn more about how Planswell works, watch my full video review.

Kristin Wong headshot2018 is the year of the woman personal finance author, and I’m all about it! Just to recap, for season 6 of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’ve interviewed the following fabulous female authors who’ve published books this year: Shannon Lee Simmons (author of Worry-Free Money), Elizabeth Willard Thames (author of Meet the Frugalwoods), and Cait Flanders (author of The Year of Less).

And for my latest episode, I’m interviewing first-time author Kristin Wong of Get Money. You may already be familiar with her YouTube channel or maybe you’ve see some of her articles in the New York Times, LifeHacker, or New York Magazine’s The Cut. She has been talking and writing about money for a while now, so it was only natural for her to write a book about how to live the life you want, not just the life you can afford.

Honestly, in addition to Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry, I think Kristin Wong’s book is the perfect book for anyone just starting out in their personal finance journey and is looking for some actionable steps to take. And I really do mean actionable, because Kristin wrote her book in a way that will get you thinking and then doing!

What I also love is that she breaks up her book into 3 stages. Just like life has stages, money also has stages. Here they are broken down (though in the book, she also includes a number of steps within each stage).

  1. Power Up
  2. Optimize
  3. Grow

The “Power Up” stage really focuses on saving and spending, two things most of us need some major help with and are crucial for setting yourself up with a solid financial foundation. The “Optimize” stage focuses on paying down debt and building a healthy credit rating. And as you might expect, the “Grow” stage is all about investing so you can actually afford some of your big life goals like retirement.

We also chat about a few other things in this episode, such as why people don’t take action. A lot of us know what we’re supposed to do, but it’s hard to change how we’ve always done things. One of Kristin’s hopes is that her book will be that trigger to help you get moving.

We also talk about goals. I never really knew financial goals were a thing when I was in my 20s, but I was always working towards something when I was starting to save and invest my money. If only I had made some of those goals more specific, I wonder where I’d be now in my financial life.

Then, we talk about something we’ve all dealt with in one way or another: money and relationships. I know first-hand everyone has an opinion about how you and your partner should manage your money, but honestly, those people need to stay in their lane in my opinion. There is no right or wrong way to manage your money, no matter if you’re single or in a partnership. It’s all about what makes the most sense for you and who you’re managing your money with.

Last but not least, we talk about investing. Something that way too many people believe is harder than it actually is. The thing is, you don’t need some fancy investment advisor in an expensive suit to tell you how to grow your money. You can actually do it yourself, or use a robo-advisor to make sure you’re investments are on track, as long as you get more comfortable with the lingo and some of the best practices out there.

I sincerely loved chatting with Kristin, and 100% recommend her book. I know as soon as my younger sister moves out on her own, it’s gonna be one of the first books I hand her.

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