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Fiscal Femme Fridays – The Roundup – August 21st

The New & Improved Fiscal Femme_04.11.15Happy Fiscal Femme Friday! We’re out to demystify the world of money and personal finance for YOU. Please share, pin, tweet, etc. whatever moves you so that we can inspire and support a new conversation and language around money together. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

5 MINUTE FINANCIAL BLISS TIP: Set aside a small pool of money to start investing. Many think that investing is just for millionaires and Wall Street but that could not be farther from the truth. As with many things, it’s so much more important to get started than to be perfect. We learn by doing so check out the Fiscal Femme’s investing articles or sign up for the Savvy Investor course and get your earn on! Early bird pricing for the Savvy Investor course ends Monday!

Fearless Friday_Embrace the mess_Fiscal Femme_Knowing Your Worth

FABULOUSLY FRUGAL: Join the bring your lunch to work campaign and save big 5 days a week. A $10 savings 5x a week for 52 weeks is $2,600 a year! For a fab frugal win-win, you can start a lunch club like Fiscal Femme reader Emily Robota, where one person brings lunch for the group of 4-6 people each week. It saves money and time and is fun and social! The meals are also fresh and healthy and you get to try new things. Thanks for the great idea Emily!

LESSON LEARNED: I’ve only recently learned the true value of owning a high-quality versatile wardrobe and it’s all thanks to the wonderful, beautiful and talented, Rachel Levin. One question I never have asked myself when shopping is “what will this work with that I already have?” I own and purchase way too many things that work with one thing only and I can hardly wear them! Not only does this mean I need to buy more items, it also takes me a long time to figure out what works in my closet each day when I get dressed. Rachel recommends quality staples that go with almost everything in my closet. I can now mix and match almost everything which gives me so many more options but with far fewer items. It’s just plain math! Less items in total and less items to replace because they last longer. 

MONEY INSPIRATION: You might have met Rachel of Rachel Levin Style when I interviewed her almost a year ago. She taught us the surprising way to save money on clothes. I recently experienced all of her advice firsthand when she did a closet consultation with me and then took me shopping. It was the most fun and pampering shopping experience of my life (and I don’t even like to shop.)!

First, she went through everything in my closet and we talked about maximizing what I have as well as the holes I need to fill in my wardrobe. We then went shopping to fill those holes and Rachel does all of the hard parts for you. She goes to stores in advance and pulls items for you so that they are there waiting for you to try on. All that’s left for you to do is try them on and decide. Also, Rachel is an independent stylist so she’s completely objective and there’s absolutely no pressure to buy anything. You can buy your closet staples on your own timeline.

In our interview last year Rachel talked about the 80 / 20 rule when it comes to our clothes. We typically only wear 20% of what’s in our closet. After meeting with Rachel, I found it easy to let go of that 80% I wasn’t wearing which has been hugely liberating and makes my morning choices so much simpler!

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of Rachel and her amazing business! I hope you enjoy our interview as this week’s money inspiration.

Rachel Levin Style_Money Inspiration_Fiscal Femme_Knowing Your Worth

What’s your #1 Frugal Joy?
Shopping on The Real Real designer clothing at a great price that has never been worn. You can search for your favorite designers and add “w/tags” to snag amazing deals on prior season and vintage pieces.

Do You have a ‘Money Motto?
Save some, spend some, give some.

Best money advice you ever got?
Stop using credit cards and switch to cash for weekly expenditures – like groceries, lunches, and manicures. You become more mindful of what you are spending when you physically count out the cash.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Entertaining at home- my husband cooks dinner sourced from our local Farmers Market and I make cocktails. We get to visit with friends, be creative with the menus, and save money by eating in.

What are you most excited about right now?
Completing phase one of renovations on our new property and having money to travel again!

How can people connect with you?
My clients prefer phone, text, or email – I am happy to communicate anyway that works best for them! All my contact information is listed below.

Here’s how you can reach Rachel:

Rachel Levin
President, Rachel Levin Style LLC
Phone: 917.588.4450
Email: appointments@rachellevinstyle.com
Website: www.rachellevinstyle.com

DON’T MISS: Don’t miss out on the early bird pricing for the Savvy Investor course which saves you $150+ on the cost of the program! That’s $150 dollars that can get you started investing. If you are ready to learn a money skill that will earn you thousands, if not millions over the course of your lifetime, sign up today! I’ll have you investing confidently and competently in just 3 months or I’ll give you all of your money back.

The Savvy Investor_Get Your Earn On!

Cooking with the Fiscal Femme – Learn how to make pickles!

Here’s a great snack recipe that’s healthy, easy and delicious. The best part is that these pickles only cost us $0.36 each! They’re perfect for adding some crunch to your lunch.

Fun fact: Cleopatra attributed her beauty to a diet full of pickles.

Another fun fact: Pickles are Alisha’s favorite food and frugal joy!

– 4 cups water: free!
– 10 garlic cloves: $.50 cents
– 4 cups organic white vinegar: $1.49
– 6 Kirby cucumbers: $4.64
– Bunch of fresh dill: $1.99 (wayy more than necessary)
– 1/2 tablespoon salt
– 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns (optional)
– 1/2 tablespoon coriander seed (optional)
– 1/2 tablespoon celery seed (optional)
– 1/2 tablespoon mustard Seed (optional)
– Carrots / cauliflower: (optional)

Spices can be expensive, especially if you are only going to use them once, so we wanted to provide some recipe alternatives just in case you don’t already have the above spices. Check out Craftsy’s pickle variations for some other great pickle options.

– Bring water to boil in medium sauce pan
– Reduce heat, add garlic and cook for 5 minutes
– Add vinegar and salt, bring to a boil and stir until salt dissolves
– Remove from heat
– In clear 2 quart jar / tub or 2 1 quart jar / tubs, place a few sprigs of dill
– Add garlic to the jar
– Pack the jar full of cucumbers, carrot and cauliflower
– Bring brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables and close the jar
– Let cool and then refrigerate
– Pickles are ready after a couple of days and last up to 3 months!


10 Money Lifestyle Sites We Love!

I believe the purpose of money is for us to live our best life in the near and long-term. We want to be saving and investing for our most important goals while also enjoying life NOW! Whether it’s food, beauty, fashion or fitness, there are tons ways to be fabulously frugal. Why not maximize our lifestyle with every dollar we spend? Along my money journey I’ve used some amazing resources that I want to share with you.

I’d love to hear where you turn for amazing fabulously frugal ideas. Comment below or send me an email and share your favorite money lifestyle resources!

10 Money Lifestyle Sites We Love

DailyWorth. You might have heard about DailyWorth as a great resource for personal finance but they also have an amazing lifestyle section with articles on health, charity, travel, beauty and fashion and more.

SkinnytasteNeed dinner inspiration? Gina has your back! Skinnytaste is my go-to website when I’m cooking or looking for meny ideas because all of the recipes are easy, delicious, healthy and simple. Simple means fewer ingredients which also reduces the cost.

TheSkimm. Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a site, but Carly and Danielle are responsible for getting millions of people the news each morning in their clever, entertaining and easy-to-digest emails. They read, we get to skimm and I’m so grateful! Oh, and it’s free!

FrugalBeautifulShannon’s entire site is dedicated to living a beautiful life on any budget. Her articles range from everything from decorating on a budget to getting out of debt. It’s a one-stop shop for all things beautiful and frugal!

Racked. A great resource for sample sales in your area. If you know you need something, why not wait until you can get it 40-80% off! There is also a section full of guides on various shopping, beauty, “best of” and other lifestyle experiences.

Corporette. Kat writes a fashion and lifestyle blog for lawyers, bankers, consultants, MBAs and other women who are balancing the professional and fashionable. I love her Frugal Friday posts where she shares beautiful, versatile wardrobe staple pieces under $150 and she also posts about sales at her favorite stores.

PopSugarWhile PopSugar is a great lifestyle site with inspirational content on fashion, beauty, motherhood, weddings, smart living and much more, I particularly love the fitness section. It’s full of great healthy recipes, fun free workouts and shares the latest on health and fitness news.

The Budget Babe. The Budget Babe team writes for fashion conscious individuals who want to stretch their wardrobe dollars. Sound familiar? You can only spend each dollar once so you want to maximize the happiness and value you get from each dollar you spend. This applies to fashion too!

TheEveryGirl. TheEveryGirl is such a beautiful lifestyle site that covers topics ranging from career & finance to travel and wellness. The site is out to help you live your best life and achieve all of your life dreams. Yes please!

ToneItUp. These gals have taken the fitness world by storm. Their site is full of free workouts, recipes and fun inspiration posts all about fitness and living a healthy life.

Cooking with the Fiscal Femme – Summer Tacos!

The whole point of money is to live the best life we can. That doesn’t mean YOLO until you have nothing left but it’s about living our best life now and long-term. We want to live wonderful fulfilling lives while achieving our biggest and most coveted goals in the future. It might sound like we want to have our cake and eat it to but this all really comes down to lifestyle and how we spend our money. We want to maximize each dollar we spend so that it provide us with most happiness and fulfillment possible. Then the rest can be put to work to help us achieve our goals.

I hear this complaint all the time – “I don’t grocery shop because it ends up costing me more than going out!” While I don’t doubt that it’s true, that doesn’t have to be the case! To help out with this exact issue, we’re going straight to the kitchen. Last week, Holland taught us how to make summer chicken and chickpea tacos that were delicious, easy and healthy. Guest what? It’s also a low-cost recipe. They cost us $3.39 / per person. Even more, that price includes leftovers to be used later in the week!

To make grocery shopping work, it comes down to planning, prioritizing and sticking with fresh nutrient-filled ingredients. You don’t want to waste, you don’t need to buy top of the line everything and you don’t want to spend too much money on empty calories because they don’t fill you up!

Here’s what you need to make summer chicken tacos and check out our video to see how we did it (there are also some funny bloopers at the end). We’ll be coming out with more delicious, healthy and low-cost recipes soon!

– Bag of 10 tortillas: $1.99
– 2 ears of corn: $1.00
– 2 tomatoes: $1.56
– Avocado: $2.76
– Red onion: $0.84
– Garlic clove: $0.20
– Lime: $0.11
– Cilantro bunch: $1.99 (wayy more than necessary)
– 2 chicken breasts: $4.99
– Chickpeas (15 oz): $1.49
– Salt, pepper & olive oil

– For the guacamole: Chop avocado, red onion, garlic and cilantro. Mix together. Add lime juice.
– Cook chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper and chop into pieces.
– Bake the chickpeas at 400 degrees until crispy with olive oil, salt and pepper.
– Steam the corn and cut the corn off the cobs.
– Chop the tomatoes.
– To assemble the tacos: Spread guacamole on the tortilla and then add the chickpeas and/or chicken, corn and tomatoes.
– Enjoy!

Market, Stop or limit order? What do they mean & how to choose?

We’ve determined that investing is hugely important if you are ready to have your money start growing and working for you. While you know the basics, better understand the risks, know some of your investment options, and know that you will want to open up a brokerage account, I want to make sure you know exactly what you’ll be asked when you decide to pull the trigger and purchase something!

You might think you just hit buy, name your price and that’s it! Like it or not, you will probably have more options than that when you purchase or sell something.

Market Order: When you choose the market order option, you are electing to purchase something immediately at the current market price. This is typically the default option. If a fund is currently trading at $99.00 per share, you would buy or sell it immediately at $99.00 per share.

Limit Order: If you select the ‘limit’ option, you will be asked to select a price. The purchase or sale will not be executed unless the brokerage is able to purchase or sell the shares at that price or better. You will also be asked to select a duration or time frame. This puts a cap on the length of time your order can be outstanding before it’s cancelled. Given the time frame and price you put on it, your order may or may not be met. For example, the same fund as above is trading at $99.00 per share but you set your limit price at $98.50 with a duration of 1 day. If the fund trades at $98.50 at any time that day, your order will be executed at that price or better. If the price doesn’t get to or below $98.50 that day, your order will be cancelled.

Stop Order: If you select the “stop” option, you will also be asked to select a price. If the security moves past that specific price, the purchase or sale essentially becomes a market order and is filled immediately at the market rate. Because stop orders don’t guarantee a certain market rate, stop and limit orders are often used together.

Stop Limit Order: A stop limit order combines the features of the stop and limit orders. A stop limit order will only be executed at a specific price (or better) after a the stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is triggered, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy or sell the at the limit price or better. For example, that same fund is trading at $99.00 but you only want to buy it for $97.00. You set up a stop order that is triggered when the price hits $98.00 which activates the limit order for $97.00 over whatever duration or time period you have chosen. The purchase would only be made at a price of $97.00 or better.

Which one is right for you? Honestly, I’d rather have you investing than worrying about how you purchase or sell your shares. Instead of trying to time the market, check out this helpful tool called Dollar Cost Averaging.

Market, stop and limit order - what do they mean and what to choose_money coach_the fiscal femme

Fiscal Femme Fridays – August 7th Edition

The New & Improved Fiscal Femme_04.11.15

Happy Fiscal Femme Friday! We’re out to demystify the world of money and personal finance for YOU. Please share, pin, tweet, etc. whatever moves you so that we can inspire and support a new conversation and language around money together. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

5 MINUTE FINANCIAL BLISS TIP: With a swipe of a credit card or one click of a button we can purchase pretty much anything. No wonder we have no idea where our money is going! To get conscious about the flow of our money, I highly recommend keeping a money journal to record everything you spend and earn for a few weeks.  You can keep it in an actual notebook or even on notes or an app on your phone. The only rule is that you have to physically enter the information in. If it syncs automatically, that’s useful down the road, but it won’t help us get really conscious. Take 5 minutes each day to write down or type out everything you spend and earn. No item is too small! The more you don’t want to do this, the more you have to gain from doing it so get going!

FRUGAL JOY: I never realized how important it was for me to take a day to relax and regroup every week or two. I’ve found that getting out of the city and relaxing in nature with friends and family is so rejuvenating and recharging. While it’s completely possible to relax and regroup at home, there is something about getting away. There are no errands to run and no schedule to stick to, all you can do is just relax. The great part is that you can do this for VERY cheap. A train ticket, some gas, or even a bike ride to a new place is really all that you need.

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LESSON LEARNED: I hear many people say that for them, grocery shopping can be as expensive as going out. While I don’t doubt that they’re telling the truth, it doesn’t have to be that way! Our team has decided to take on lunchtime cooking classes so that we can learn delicious, healthy, easy AND wallet-friendly recipes. Last week, I taught the team how to make homemade tomato sauce which Justin and I learned to make in Sorrento on our honeymoon. We put it over some zucchini noodles (yes, I have a spiralizer and it’s changed my life) and this week, Holland taught us to make chicken and chickpea tacos which cost $3.39 per person. We’ll be sharing the full video with you later today. Hope you enjoy!

MONEY INSPIRATION: I’m so excited to introduce you to an amazing social entrepreneur, friend and fellow TRIBE member, Jessie Yoh. She started a company called b.a.r.e. soaps with the goal of bringing antiseptic resources to everyone. These soaps with a cause are handmade, all natural and have plantable paper. What is plantable paper you might ask? You can plant the packaging and grow wildflowers! 20% of proceeds are donated to their mission.

BONUS! b.a.r.e. has generously offered a discount to all Fiscal Femme readers. Use the code FEMME10 to get 10% off on purchases until 8/31.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Jessie. She’s got lots of wisdom to share!

Jessie-Baresoaps_Fiscal Femme Friday

What’s your #1 Frugal Joy?
Podcasts! I literally inhale podcasts. Since so much of my time is consumed by “doing” things or getting from point A to point B, podcasts are a great way to get up to speed on something I want to learn more about or for just random but interesting knowledge. (My favorite podcasts are RadioLab and The Tim Ferriss Show).

Do You have a ‘Money Motto?
If I’m at a decision point where I have two options – 1) Spend money for convenience or speed or 2) Take the free option at the cost of convenience or speed, I’ll ask myself, “What would I be doing with this extra time I save? If it’s going to be productive then, yes, I’ll spend money. If no, then I’ll take the free option.” Many times, I’ll ask myself this question when I’m deciding whether to walk to somewhere, take the subway or Uber.

Best money advice you ever got?
Even though you don’t want to fall into a “penny wise, pound foolish” mentality, don’t underestimate the power of saving little by little. It adds up.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Doing something soap related – either production or marketing related.

What are you most excited about right now?
Lunch (I am always excited for my next meal).

How can people connect with you?:
Email & Instagram are best: jessie@bare-soaps.com and @baresoaps.

DON’T MISS: If you’ve enjoyed our investing posts this month but want to learn more, the Savvy Investor Course launches on September 8th. If you know you should be investing but aren’t sure where to start or aren’t sure if you even have enough money to start, you are not alone and you’ve come to the right place! I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to invest competently and confidently in just 3 months. Join me for this special program and get your earn on!

The Savvy Investor_Get Your Earn On!

How to Get Rid of Unnecessary Risk When Investing

We talked about some of the risks involved in the building blocks of investing including cash, stocks and bonds. While there will always be risk involved when you invest, you can eliminate a lot of the unnecessary risk if you understand these key concepts.

Diversification: Diversification is just a fancy way of saying, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you invest in many companies in varying industries, countries and markets, your risk of all of them decreasing at the same time goes down tremendously. If you own equity in 100 companies and one of them has a fire in it’s manufacturing facility and can’t produce sales for a year, that will only negatively effect 1% of your investments. Not too shabby!

Allocation: Your allocation is your mix of asset classes or stocks, bonds and cash. Why is this mix important? It’s a way to balance risk and diversify (remember diversification above?) because each asset class has different risk and rewards and typically perform differently in different markets. This protects investors from losing their entire portfolio if one asset category significantly drops or even loses all of its value.

Practically speaking, you can do this in a few ways. You can select many different stocks and bonds in different industries, markets and countries to diversify your investments yourself. OR, you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself and invest in a fund. A fund is just pooled money that gets invested a certain way. Using funds you can invest in hundreds of companies in different asset classes, countries, industries, and markets even if you only buy one share. How handy!

There are two types of funds generally –

Passively Managed: Passively managed funds are also called index funds because they mirror a certain market index (i.e. S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Russell 3000,  etc.). This means the money going into an index fund will be automatically invested proportionally into individual stocks or bonds according to the percentage they make of that specific index. The Vanguard 500 Fund for example mirrors the S&P index. When you invest in an index fund, you are investing in the market and the work is mostly computerized.

Actively Managed: The index fund’s counterpart is the actively managed fund which is managed by an individual manager, co-manager or a team of managers who choose the investments for the fund based on their investment expertise.

Which is better? That’s for you to decide. Yes, some great managers use their expertise to beat the market (aka index funds) but only 2 out 2,862 routinely do! Actively managed funds also typically have higher fees because you are paying for the staff to run them. That’s probably why Warren Buffet recommended that Lebron James invest in index funds and also told his own trustee to invest his estate in index funds when he leaves it to his heirs. Thanks Warren!

Reducing Your Investment Risk_Money Coach_The Fiscal Femme_Investing

Investing… what are the risks?

Now that you know what the building blocks of investing are and how they work, I want to talk a little bit about the risks involved with investing. Risk is a really intimidating word. It immediately makes us think of the worst-case scenario where EVERYTHING goes wrong. That’s enough to make you want to keep all your cash in a mattress under your bed!

In reality, risk is something that we deal with all day everyday all day. There is risk associated with taking a new job, walking down the street and even ordering food at a restaurant. Merriam-Webster defines risk as the possibility of loss or injury. Luckily, when it comes to investing, we only have to worry about loss.

There are risks involved with everything that we do and many times we get to decide if it’s worth it for us to take on a certain risk or not. In the same way, we want to gather the information we need to assess the risk of putting our money in certain investments. If we don’t even understand what the risks are, we can’t make a decision that fits with our goals and lifestyle and it probably will feel pretty scary!

Before you read about some of the risks associated with the building blocks of investing, there is some very good news! There are ways to mitigate and even eliminate a bunch of these risks . I’ll talk about these later so stayed tuned!

Cash: Physical cash or cash in a savings or checking account doesn’t carry much risk. Your cash will grow at whatever interest rate your account promises and it won’t decrease in amount. One of the biggest risks with holding cash is inflation. Inflation means an increase in prices of goods and services over a certain period of time. If prices go up faster than your cash is growing, each dollar you have will have less buying power. The actual amount of cash you have won’t decrease but what you will be able to purchase with that cash will.

Stocks: When it comes to stock or equity investments, the risk of loss comes in a different form. The actual value of your investment can decrease. The decrease in your stock investments can be as little as a couple of cents for only a couple of minutes or you can lose the entire value permanently if the company goes out of business. While the latter is much more rare, the value of your investment will fluctuate based on the economy, how the company is doing, the general market and many other factors.

Bonds: Bonds typically fall somewhere between cash and stocks on the risk scale. A bond is an I.O.U. so when you lend someone your money, you expect to receive the full amount back plus interest payments. Just because bonds are considered fixed income doesn’t mean that they are risk-free. If the company, government or whoever you lent your money to is unable to pay you back, you can lose some to all of your principal. Depending on when they realize that they are unable to pay, you may not receive your interest payments either.

So those are the risks. Stay tuned for tips on how to reduce and even eliminate some of these risks!

Investing... what are the risks? Money Coach_the Fiscal Femme

Fiscal Femme Fridays – July 31st Edition

The New & Improved Fiscal Femme_04.11.15

Happy Fiscal Femme Friday! We’re out to demystify the world of money and personal finance for YOU. Please share, pin, tweet, etc. whatever moves you so that we can inspire and support a new conversation and language around money together. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

5 MINUTE FINANCIAL BLISS TIP: When we first start saving it’s important to build up a rainy day or emergency fund. This is money that you put aside in case of an emergency or unexpected expense and protects you from having to take out expensive credit card debt. The first step to building up a rainy day fund is to figure out how much you want to put aside. Think through a couple of situations where you would use your emergency fund. How many months of expenses would make your feel comfortable? Don’t forget, your spending will most likely look pretty different in the case of an emergency. You’ll just want to make sure you have your fixed expenses, bills and food covered. Take 5 minutes today and figure out how much you would like to have in your rainy day fund. While you might not have that much stowed away yet, you can now make a plan to get there.

Fiscal Femme Friday_Confucius

FABULOUSLY FRUGAL: I recently started running to my gym classes and realized that this is an amazing fabulously frugal win-win situation because 1) I save $5 by not taking the subway both ways each day, 2) I get my cardio in, 3) I am warmed up and actually have a better workout once I’m in class, 4) it saves time and 5) it’s so fun to run through the city! How fabulous and frugal?! $5 a day might not sound like much, but if I work out 5x a week and run to the gym 2/3 of the year (when the weather is nice) that’s $25 per week x 35 weeks. That’s a total of $875 that I can use for something much more meaningful.

LESSON LEARNED: So you know a couple of weeks ago when I talked about conquering fear and our ever-expanding comfort zones? The lesson continues! Last week I spent three days creating videos, had so much fun and was so excited to see the finished product. When we went to edit the video we realized that the audio echoed and the footage looked pretty dark. Sounds pretty obvious but just because I did it, doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect the first try. While I felt pretty bummed at first, we researched equipment and redid the shoot on Monday with new lighting and a professional mic. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see our video, check it out! It came out great (if I do say so myself!). If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! New lesson? Plan, do and repeat until you’re happy with the result.

First try…

Lesson Learned_TRY #1_Money Coach_Fiscal Femme Fridays

Second try…

MONEY INSPIRATION: I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Bozhanka, the Co-Founder of Yunus&Youth, where she helps exceptional young people build impactful social businesses, anywhere in the world. The program currently has 31 fellows from 22 different countries! I have had the honor to work with them and it’s truly a spectacular group of entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy getting to know Bozhanka!

Bozhanka_Yunus Youth_Money Coach_Money Inspiration_Fiscal Femme Fridays

What’s your #1 Frugal Joy?
Summer Yoga Series in the park.

Do You have a ‘Money Motto?
Don’t spend money you don’t have.

Best money advice you ever got?
Budget and keep track of your expenses. It’s so easy to get carried away and I have my impulse buying moments, so this helps me stay on course.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Hmm it really varies. I like going away for the weekend whenever possible, so sipping a drink at a bar near the beach is my optimal scenario :) Other than that, I’d usually be just spending some time with friends. I have some work-Saturday nights, it can be a pretty productive period as there are no distractions around.

What are you most excited about right now?
We have just started two new programs at Yunus&Youth and I get to work with some brilliant young people. I am really excited to see how they continue developing and creating impact in the upcoming months. Also, my best friend is getting married in August and I am her maid of honor. I am flying back to Europe soon and can’t wait to see her and my family back home.

How can people connect with you?
Email is the best: bozhanka@yunusandyouth.com.

DON’T MISS: The video launch of the 30 Day Money Cleanse is this Monday! Sign up to reserve your seat. It’s going to be incredible! You will save much more than the cost of the program in the 30 days and your savings over the long-term will be tremendous!

I’m offering Fiscal Femme readers two ways to save big up front on either program or both programs – which is what I call the financial wellness double whammy!

1. Sign up with friends. For each friend that signs up for either program, both you and your friend will receive $20 back after signing up. Everything is better with friends and if you have enough friends sign up, the program will be completely FREE. More friends = more $$$.

2. Sign up for the Savvy Investor Course. If you sign up for the Savvy Investor course you will receive the 30 Day Money Cleanse for FREE.

The one thing you need before you can start investing

If I have you excited and ready to start investing but you aren’t sure exactly where or how to buy these so called investments, you have come to the right place.

The one thing you need before you can start to actually invest is a brokerage account. At its simplest, a brokerage account is a site that lets you buy and sell investments as you please. You open an account with the company of your choosing, you transfer over the money you’d like to invest and voila! You are ready to start investing.

There are a bunch of brokerage companies out there. Here are some important factors to consider before you choose one:

Fees / Commissions: While these types of sites make our investing lives a breeze, they aren’t only doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. There are various fees associated with investing. Different sites have different fee structures. Some might charge a monthly fee for maintaining the account and in addition, others charge a percentage or dollar amount per trade (each time you buy or sell an investment) depending on the investment type. For example, Fidelity charges $7 per trade. If you are investing a large amount of money, $7 might be no big deal, but if you are investing $100 a month, that’s 7% of your investment going toward fees right off the bat. Vanguard offers fee-free trading for index funds (we’ll get to what these are later) but if you decide to invest primarily in index funds like I do, that’s a great deal!

Account Minimums: Some accounts will have a minimum requirement amount and anytime you go below that, you will be charged a fee. If you are just getting started and aren’t ready to put that much money in the market, there are plenty of options that have no minimum requirement.

Account Features: If you are going to be spending time on the site, you’ll want it to be straight forward and easy to use. You can also look into additional features that are offered. Are there helpful resources, can you utilize online banking, and how is the customer service?

Brokerage Account_Money Coach_The Fiscal Femme

Side note: While a brokerage account is needed to buy and sell investments as you choose, you technically can also go directly to a specific company or mutual fund to buy their shares or bonds.