Author, “How to Be a Financial Grownup. Proven advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom.”
BCM: If you could describe motherhood in one word, what would it be?
BCM: What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
BR: I have always felt very guilty working in an intense job. I thought my son resented me not being home more. But the first time I took him to work, he marched around the newsroom proudly introducing himself to my coworkers as my son. He hung out in the control room with the crew and had fun trying to read the teleprompter in the studio. He loved it! I knew it was ok. And I like that now when I say I’m at work, he has a clear idea of where I am and what I’m doing.
BCM: What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
BR: Always look for things you can do for other people. First, it feels good to know you helped someone. But also, down the road you may need their help, and most people will be more than happy to return the favor if asked.
BCM: Congratulations on your first book, “How to be a Financial Grownup. Proven advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom.” What was your inspiration in writing the book?
BR: Young people come up to me all the time asking for financial advice. I am always surprised because, in theory, everything is available on the internet. But they don’t know what they don’t know. It is information overload out there. It’s also boring. By telling real-world stories of successful celebrities and business people, in a relatable way, I hope to inspire and motivate them to take charge of their financial lives. The stories are jaw dropping. Readers won’t know what hit them. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the drama and candor when I heard some of the stories. The Role Models really opened up. I added a lot of easy to digest specific tips to get readers started on their own paths to financial freedom. On my website bobbirebell.com I have a bookshelf with other books from the role models and experts in the book that I recommend they read afterwards that go even deeper.
BCM: What’s your number one tip you give adults trying to get ahold of their finances?
BR: Get good at math and do the number crunching. Money is a lot like diets. If you actually look at the numbers you will know what to do. When restaurants started posting calories, there was no more denial that if a scone was 600 calories, it was more than I could “afford” if I wanted to fit into my clothes! Money is the same, if you actually know your numbers, things like income, expenses, net worth, financial goals etc, a pathway will become clear.
BCM: What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
BR: Teach your kids about money as early as possible. My book “How to Be a Financial Grownup” is great for teens and adults, but for kids I highly recommend “The Opposite of Spoiled” by Ron Lieber. My son has the three jars and it really works! Also I am teaching my son how fortunate we are with my donorschoose.org/financialgrownup campaign. I partnered with one of my Role Models, Elliot Weissbluth, who heads HighTower, to raise money for classroom projects about money, by giving away free gift cards when readers pre-order the book. You can learn more on my website bobbirebell.com. Showing kids first hand that some teachers don’t have the tools they need to teach can be very powerful.
BCM: How do you tackle work/life balance?
BR: Sometimes not very well to be honest. Things at work just have to get done. I’m hoping things calm down a bit soon. My husband has taken on a lot of kid duties, and I often have to have a babysitter stay late just so I can work. My new goal is to try to focus on kid stuff when my son is awake, and then work when he is asleep.
BCM: If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
BR: I would love to get rid of what I would call the “back office” duties. That includes all the forms, logistics planning, playdate planning, babysitter coordination etc. I want to spend my off-work time with my family not doing bills, forms and endlessly emailing.
BCM: WHAT is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
BR: I love our evening story time, reading with my 9-year old son. I hope he never grows out of it, though I fear he will. I talk about it in the intro to “ How to be a Financial Grownup” for a reason. It’s the time that connects us.
BCM: WHAT IS THE BEST WHITE LIE THAT YOU’VE TOLD YOUR CHILD?
BR: The tooth fairy legend still lives on in our home..
BCM: What is your best parenting hack?
BR: Audiobooks & Podcasts. I love to read but with my full time job, along with writing and now getting the word out about “How to Be A Financial Grownup”, I don’t have time. I do have time when I take Harry to activities, but I don’t want him to look over and see me staring at my phone or head down in a book. I have my headphones in listening to a book or podcast while watching him, so I’m “reading” but he knows I’m also watching him. My favorite podcast these days is a relatively new one called “HerMoney” with Jean Chatzky. It has lots of practical money tips for women.
BCM: What was the last book you read?
BR: I just finished Samantha Ettus’ The Pie Life. I had a great takeaway. This school year, I have promised Harry that every day he gets 30 minutes of my undivided attention. No media allowed for either of us. So far we’ve been talking more about his school day, his activities and the different books he is reading. He even asks about my day! He is growing up and changing so fast, but I feel this way I can at least be more tuned in to the person he is, and the person he is becoming.
***MORE FUN FACTS***
FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCT:
Mac Makeup Primer. If you want your makeup to stay on all day, you need primer. Trust me on this.
FAVORITE FORM OF EXCERCISE:
AKT inMotion Happy Hour classes.
FAVORITE KIDS STORE:
Fantastic Kids Toys because they have the best customer service and free gift wrap. I get in and out asap with birthday presents.
What is on your DVR?
Right now I’m really into “Odd Mom Out” starring one of my Financial Grownup role models Jill Kargman.