Bobbi Rebell wants you to be a financial grown-up. Essentially, that is the moment “you realise that if you don’t pay attention to money, you will never have the financial freedom to live your dreams”, according to her new book.
Rebell is a television anchor and personal finance columnist in the United States, in her new book How To Be A Financial Grown Up she shares her expertise on spending, saving and investing while also including some accounts from famous wealthy friends including Ivanka Trump and Drew Barrymore.
According to Rebell, she managed to recruit famous people on board as they found the topic appealing and were keen to talk about an important subject other than their careers.
“Everyone has a “ Grownup Moment” story and they were delighted to share their own personal journey,” she told The Independent.
Introduced to Ms Trump, the first daughter of the United States, long before Donald Trump had any chance of becoming President of the United States, the 35 year old apparently “could not have been more enthusiastic” about taking part in the book. “She was thrilled to be able to share her ‘Grownup Moment’ and talk about how it informed her career success,” Rebell says.
Ms Trump writes of a pinnacle moment when she turned into a ‘financial grown up’ aged 14 after realising she and her brothers, Donald Jr and Eric, had been placed in economy instead of first class with her mother Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of Mr Trump.
“With classic teenage angst, I expressed my displeasure at our seating arrangements. She told me that I was welcome to use my own money to upgrade my seat. She then reminded me that I should be grateful for the opportunity to travel at all. Obviously she was right and I flew to our destination in coach,” she writes.
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Ms Trump, a businesswoman who is thought to be in the inner circle of her father’s government having attended meetings with both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wrote of her financial philosophy: “Be judicious when deciding where and how to spend your money. I appreciate a splurge as much as anyone else, but I tend to be prudent more often than not. My financial philosophy is invest wisely and splurge selectively."
Bobbi writes how Ivanka soon learned that “her parents’ financial success was not hers… yes, she had a huge head start. But so do a lot of wealthy children. It would be hard to name many who have reached the levels of success of Ivanka Trump".
Rebell says she made a point of including expert advice from high-achieving people who started out with varying levels of wealth and financial help comparing Ms Trump with American businessman Tony Robbins a former janitor and son of an alcoholic.
“There are plenty of rich kids that blow it, and countless stories of kids with nothing that even go on to be President of the United States,” she says. “The starting lines are never equal but I truly believe we can take control of our financial futures and succeed to have the financial freedom we all want and deserve.”
Drew Barrymore also contributes to the book and writes of her financial grown-up moment coming when Steven Spielberg advised her to turn down money after her breakout role in ET at seven years old.
“I was able to learn about integrity and that working for your money is not only key and crucial, but if you haven’t spread yourself too thin you probably will have better opportunities later,” writes Barrymore.
Rebell says she felt the need to write the book as we are currently in the midst of a “global financial literary crisis”, labelling millennials the group least likely to not be savvy and clued up when it comes to their finances. Explaining she was “baffled” as a financial journalist when young people asked for advice given the plethora of information on the internet, she realised people don’t often know where to look and spotted a gap in the market for real-life examples of financial success and advice.
The biggest mistake all age groups make when it comes to their money is ignoring it, Rebell says. “For the most part any deliberate, purposeful decision is better than no decision.”
Small things which you can change that can make a difference to your personal finances include ordering smaller coffees or portions when dining out and when it comes to investments, slowly increasing the amount you put into an account year on year.
“If you are putting away six per cent this year, the investment will automatically go up to seven per cent next year. You won’t notice the difference now but especially with compound interest in play it will pay off down the road.”
Despite this advice, Rebell cautions against letting “money management dominate your life” and says by automating your money you can carry on living your life as normal.