Alex Gilbert (00:00.882)
Welcome back to the ADHD Lounge. We are so excited to welcome Erin Schultz. Erin, I have known for basically as long as somebody could drive, that's how long I've known her. Like a child who is now driving age, that is how long I've known her. She's one of my very, very close friends, sisters. So hi, Mindy. And I have watched Erin grow in her career as an undergrad, grad school, starting her business, teaching women specifically how to manage their finances.
And when we were talking about different ways in which we were going to implement resources and experts, I wanted to bring Erin in because finances struggling with money is something people with ADHD really struggle with. And maybe not the first ones to raise their hand and say, I need help. So, Erin, I'd love for you to tell us a little bit more about your business. I know it's mostly focused on women, but everything that Erin is going to mention, I know, having followed her for years.
is going to help anyone who is struggling with their money and understanding their finances. So Erin, take it away. Let us know what you do.
Eryn Schultz (01:10.986)
Alex, thank you for those warm words of introduction and a real honor to get to be here. And my sister was really excited. So I'll also say hi, Mindy, shout out. So I started my business back in 2017. I graduated from business school and was blessed to get a fancy MBA from Harvard and realized that my friends and colleagues had a lot of questions about money. And we have learned
Alex Gilbert (01:20.769)
Eryn Schultz (01:40.88)
expensive MBA program, a lot about how to manage a corporate balance sheet, but not a lot about our personal finances. And I'm from Texas and I think that coming back to Texas after business school, I was also really struck by a lot of the women in my life feeling uncomfortable if they were single managing their money, or if they were married, still saying things like, well, my husband manages my finances.
And there's just so much research out there that the average woman will be solely in charge of their finances. And so women are a particular passion area for me because I like helping first generation wealth builders or kind of non-traditional wealth builders. But at this point, I do a ton of corporate speaking. I teach a live money bootcamp.
and I am a certified financial planner. So I just started working with people one-on-one and really enjoy helping couples, individuals figure out how to take charge of their financial future.
Alex Gilbert (02:41.11)
so great and so necessary because I think you just hit the nail on the head is people feel really uncomfortable talking about money. So I'm curious, what is like the number one thing that people come to you for? Because I can just imagine some of my clients and Katie, you probably would too, is like they drop a pile at the door and say like, I need help. Like I don't know where do I start? So where?
Where do you typically see people in this scenario that they're coming to you and saying like, help?
Eryn Schultz (03:14.766)
So it really depends. I often work with people coming out of grad school. So they've just graduated from an MBA program. I also work a lot with physicians who are maybe getting their first real doctor salary after a million years in training. And I also work with women in tech. Those are kind of my three main groups that I serve. And so in all of those instances, or maybe the first two, you're making money.
in a different way than you were before. And so you have a lot of questions about what do I do with my higher post grad school, post medical training salary. And then when I work with women in tech, a lot of it is they're blessed to be compensated partially in company equity. And that can be really overwhelming. You know, you should do something with it, but what the heck is that?
Alex Gilbert (03:44.009)
Alex Gilbert (04:08.41)
Right, so not even understanding that. I'm actually thinking, even as you were saying, graduating with a medical degree, the first thing I thought of immediately was student loans. And this is something actually brought up yesterday in the ADHD lounge that someone was talking about, not understanding their student loans. And there are so many steps in figuring that out, let alone like figuring out how to save, it's more.
how to pay those off and understanding that process. So where do you start with that? Because there's a lot of different steps and nuances and there's so many different programs and so many people to call and so much to follow. And that requires a lot of executive functioning that could be very overwhelming to someone who has ADHD. So I wanna pull it back a little bit in terms of like, now I'm collecting this money, but how do I kind of
create a cleaner slate when you have finances that are not like at ground zero.
Eryn Schultz (05:17.23)
It's a really good question and student loans is a big part of what I do and I'll say I personally paid off $185k in student loans so it's like very near and dear to my heart. Yeah, student loans suck. We have a real problem in this country with student loans.
Alex Gilbert (05:25.718)
Eryn Schultz (05:33.046)
But I think the first piece of it is really just understanding how much do you owe? What kind of loans are they? Are they federal loans? Are they private loans? What's the interest rate on their loans? And if you're doing one of the federal repayment plans called like income driven repayment, which plan are you on?
And I know that's a lot of information, but especially if you have loans from the federal government, if you go to there's a website of studentaid.gov, you can find a lot of information about your loans and you can't make a plan until you know the basics. So I would say that is where everybody should start. Honestly, if you don't have student loans, you should still start with, how much money do I make? What do I spend in a given month?
How much do I own debt? How much do I have in assets? And go from there.
Alex Gilbert (06:27.934)
I love that we need to start from the basics. Oh, please put that in the chat. Yes, we can put that in the chat. We'll also make sure if you are listening to this as a podcast, we will put some of the resources that Erin is going to mention in the show notes because this is going to be incredibly helpful. But yes, starting with how much do you make? Where is it going? I think is really something that people struggle with because a lot of us tend to be impulsive spenders or we see...
money in our bank account and we're like, wow, I have so much or I have so little and then just have so much anxiety around that. So what are some of the biggest mistakes that people are making that you're seeing with their money?
Eryn Schultz (07:14.542)
couple that I'll talk about. One that you just triggered for me because it's the holiday season. It's such a spendy time of the year for everybody. There's parties and gift giving and travel. And so I think that the very first piece is just knowing not being afraid to look at your numbers because I know sometimes it's scary to look at your bank account or to look at your credit card balance because what if it says something you don't want to see?
Alex Gilbert (07:21.871)
Eryn Schultz (07:45.396)
And so I think just having the guts to say if I can't it's not going to be as bad as I think it is or maybe it is bad and that's going to be a wake-up call for me to make some changes. But first one is just not being afraid to look. And second one is especially and this is a good problem to have.
And so some of you might be like, I am not there. That's totally okay. But women in particular, and I would say people who feel uncomfortable with money, women and men, and so maybe people with ADHD fall onto this bucket, tend to be afraid to invest. And so you end up keeping a lot of your money in cash. And because of inflation, yeah, that's like really makes it difficult to build wealth.
Alex Gilbert (08:17.058)
Alex Gilbert (08:30.502)
Alex Gilbert (08:36.434)
It does. And it's also and I think Katie could probably add to this too. The reason people want to hold it in cash and not necessarily invest it is likely because it's out of sight, out of mind. So if we put it somewhere else and we don't see it literally stuffed under our bed or we don't see it in our bank account or we don't see it growing, it does not exist. And that can be.
really scary and therefore we think we have less or we think we have more or we don't understand how it works at all. Katie was there anything you were going to add? I'm like watching you like kind of nodding to this.
Katy Weber (she/her) (09:16.666)
Well, definitely the idea that like every penny counts. So, you know, any kind of investment, I think it's really difficult, at least for me to think about the long term worth of, you know, putting this money somewhere as opposed to having it right now, especially with like, you know, like I'm thinking about my kids and their 529s. And last year, we
of money in our 529. And I know that there are some ways in which we'll get it back, but I also know that we might not in time for my daughter to go to college. So like, it sometimes it feels like it would have been better off if we had it under our mattress. So there's I think that risk if you're not somebody who's really has a lot of faith in, in the market, like that's really hard to watch.
Alex Gilbert (10:11.166)
It's also the fact that people with ADHD tend to have this instant gratification that they need or want. That's kind of where that dopamine fix really comes in. So when you impulse spend, you immediately get the reward of the gift. When you're investing it, you don't necessarily immediately get the reward of look where my money is going so that I could purchase that house or buy that car or send my kid to college. It's nothing feels.
satisfying in that way, although it could be satisfying to look at your bank account and be like, things are going places. So how do we really battle that is I think is part of this conversation too, is we want to be smart with our money. We want to understand our money. We want to be able to continue to grow and manage it in a way that is going to be successful for us. But
or fighting two very different ideas.
Eryn Schultz (11:12.482)
So one thing I think can really help is setting concrete time bound goals so that you can yeah replicate a little bit of that dopamine hit. So if you're just saying, oh I want to buy a house one day, that feels kind of abstract and that money you're putting aside for the house or for college might not feel like it's getting you anywhere. But if you say, okay I want to buy a $500,000 house.
Alex Gilbert (11:19.88)
Ooh, yes, I love this.
Eryn Schultz (11:42.656)
I want to save $100,000 and I'm going to try to save $25k a year for the next four years. When you see that you've made progress on that $25k for the year, hopefully that can feel really good and can help you not get a dopamine hit from that in the same way that you would from acquiring something new.
And second, I did just want to respond to what Katie said about last year, the market sucked. It was down 20%, not a secret there. But I, and I think there's some psychology to this because the two years before that, the market was on a tear and it was up over 20%. This year, it's up about 18%. So, you know, a lot of those losses from last year are already back.
And I think it is really tough when you see a down year in the market, because there is that, oh, I wish I'd gotten out. But I would bet over the last five years, the returns on that 529 have been pretty good in aggregate. And I think having a long-term view with investing, and also making sure you're invested with the right amount of risk. I don't know how old your kids are, but if... Sorry for the dog.
Katy Weber (she/her) (13:02.951)
Eryn Schultz (13:06.199)
If they're going to college in 10 years, you have time. If they're going to college in three years, that might be a sign that you should adjust the risk in your portfolio, because you would rather not have big returns, but also not big losses. So I think a lot of it is having that long-term view and also making sure that...
asset allocation, which is fancy for what you're invested in, makes sense for the timeline you have.
Alex Gilbert (13:37.482)
I also want to bring this back to a basic understanding of finances because I want to meet everybody where they are. There are some people who are ready to make that commitment of investing their money and doing things like their 529. I understand that I'm one of those people, my dad's a financial planner, so like I'm one of those people, the second my daughter was born, I had a 529 and started putting money away. But that's not how...
everybody thinks or has the ability to do. Let's take it all the way back, someone who's really maybe already an adult and trying to figure out what do I do? I'm not watching my money grow. I'm still struggling with my day-to-day spending. I know, Erin, I know having followed you, you don't love the words budgeting. That's not really where you go with this, but it's more...
How do you understand where your finances are going? And you had started to mention that a little bit with tracking that. Are there apps or are there systems that you find to be really helpful to really see that? Because something that people really struggle with when it comes to ADHD is not really seeing everything and not really seeing where it goes. I mentioned this out of sight out of mind. So how can we?
have a bird's eye view of our finances to really get an idea as to where that money is going and how we're spending it so that we can make adjustments where we need to.
Eryn Schultz (15:12.034)
That's a great question. And while I don't budget per se, I think everybody does need to track so that you know what you're spending in a given month. And so you can make sure that it's aligned with your values and what you want to be spending on. Sometimes it can be shocking when you actually look at the numbers to be like, wow, we spent $2,000 on eating out as a family last month or, you know, $1,000 on DoorDash. Like, that's not aligned with our values.
money to go to. So I know there's a lot of excitement right now because Mint is shutting down at the end of the year.
Alex Gilbert (15:50.65)
actually very devastated about Mint shutting down. I have been using it for decades and I'm like, how am I going to look at all of this? This is my biased question so if you don't know what mint.com is, it literally puts all of your different documentation, all of your loans, all of your credit card statements, all of your bank accounts in one space so you can look at everything and it's going away and I'm very upset. So sorry, Erin, where are you going with that?
Eryn Schultz (16:16.146)
Yes. Yeah, so I've tried all the different apps that are out there.
My personal favorite, not sponsored by them, although I've been trying to get them to sponsor me because I love it so much, is Copilot, which is a money tracking app. And for me, I had tried Mint and never could stick with it. Copilot's app interface is great and it really learned my spending quickly, so I didn't have to spend a lot of time telling it what different transactions were. It's maybe...
Alex Gilbert (16:27.691)
Alex Gilbert (16:36.364)
Eryn Schultz (16:50.006)
30 minutes a month of me retagging things. My husband always knows the look on my face when I'm like, hey, what's the $30 PWP charge? He's like, he gets a little bit of a, ah, but it keeps us.
I'm talking, I think if you're managing money with a partner, it adds a layer of complexity. There's generally one person who's the tracker and one person who's not as much, but I think if you can get into a good cadence with it, it can be helpful. YNAB is another tool that's out there.
Alex Gilbert (17:19.195)
Oh yeah, I've used that with a few clients.
Eryn Schultz (17:22.046)
Yeah, you need a budget is what that stands for. They have a great podcast as well. So there's tons of tools out there. I used to for years just use a spreadsheet. And I should also say, because you do have to pay for YNAB and CoPilot, if you spend primarily on a credit card, or even on a debit card connected to some of the bigger banks, like Chase, for example, has really good tracking tools where without connecting to
what your spending looks like. And one thing I'll recommend to people sometimes if you're spending in a lot of different places is to say, okay, for a month or two months, just use this one credit card so that it's all in one place and you don't have to look different places. That's not gonna show your Venmo and it's not gonna be as thorough as something like a Copilot or a Y knob would be.
Alex Gilbert (18:07.303)
Eryn Schultz (18:16.67)
or mint right now, but I think the Chase tools or credit card tools can be a powerful freeway to get started and Bank of America has good tools as well. So it's really just committing to say for two to three months, like, I'm really going to track all my spending and get an idea of what that looks like.
Alex Gilbert (18:35.186)
Katy Weber (she/her) (18:37.366)
Um, yeah, you know, I hate Venmo for the reason that it just shows up as Venmo on your statement and there's no like real automated way to check what you're spending and why and you have to go back and forth and it drives me crazy. Uh, cause we've been, you know, my husband and I have been very much like everything goes on the card so we can track it. And it's been a lot easier since, well, actually that was another question I had because
Alex Gilbert (18:57.174)
Plus you get points.
Katy Weber (she/her) (19:01.55)
We have, this is like a holdover from when we were in our twenties and weren't paying off, you know, but we hold, we keep a balance on our credit card from month to month. Not a lot, but we have a really, really low interest rate on our credit card. And so we've always been like hemming and hawing as to whether or not we should go with a points card, which always has a much higher interest rate. But that's another question. I wanted to get back to Quicken and some of the
Katy Weber (she/her) (19:31.102)
tracking apps that you were talking about, like copilot. I feel like every year I'm like, this is the year I'm gonna keep track of everything. And I get super hyper-focused on tracking all the spending on my credit card. And then I get overwhelmed really easily because there's too much. I mean, there's just too many things to keep track of, especially since, you know, in our household, almost everything, we barely ever have cash on us anymore. It feels like everything goes on the card from, you know, your trip to the Starbucks to,
Alex Gilbert (19:45.358)
Katy Weber (she/her) (20:00.926)
gas and mortgage and everything. So is there like, I just feel like balance is not something that is easy for people with ADHD. We were all or nothing. So, and I find that those apps tend to like really overwhelm me really, really quickly. Is there a way to recommend like not tracking everything, like, you know, all Starbucks and stuff, but like...
you know how to like break it down so it doesn't get so overwhelming from month to month.
Eryn Schultz (20:32.202)
Yes, and I'm a big fan actually of habits instead of trying to really monitor everything to the penny because I think it can feel overwhelming. So I like to start by saying you got to get a baseline and figure out hey what's my income and what am I spending? And for some people that's a rough wake-up call and you probably know this if you're in this boat where if you're spending more than
Eryn Schultz (21:02.136)
situation you're in a moment to say, okay, can I trim some spending? Can I raise my income? Can I get onto an income driven repayment plan with my student loans to get my student loan payment down? Like what can I do so that I'm not in the red every month? But if you do the exercise and you're like, okay, my spending is pretty much and if you're single, this is gonna be different than if you're a family, but I'm gonna use a round number. We spend as a family 10k a month.
And we make a, you know, 15K and some of that is going to taxes and some of that is going to 401K savings for the future. Maybe some of it's going into a 529, a college savings account. So if you're in a situation where you're spending less than what you earn and it's just really about kind of making sure that spending doesn't get off the rails, that in November when you're doing all your holiday shopping that you're not, you know, accidentally blowing the budget.
bad b word. For me, at that point, it's just about having good habits. And so I'll give an example. For us as a family, we aim to eat out three to four times a week, that includes lunch, that includes like any meal out at places where the entrees are 15 to $20 or less. So we aren't doing a lot of fancy meals. That's not something we value at this point. I have a toddler.
expecting baby two, we are not going to lots of fancy restaurants. Um, and so for us, I know if we do that and we primarily shop at and, you know, we tend to shop at in Texas, the, it's like a great grocery store chain that is, it's not whole foods. I know that we're going to about hit our food budget for the month. And so I don't have to track it so closely. I still like to look at the number and have a sense of where we're at, but
That is one of our big rules. Your housing is locked in. So as long as you've kind of kept your housing, a good rule of thumb, 28% of your income on housing is a good rule of thumb. I find, especially if you have kids, 20% of your income on housing is where people are most comfortable. That might not be possible. But I think if you set your big rocks, if you will, and you get those right, and you get your fixed payments right.
Eryn Schultz (23:22.622)
You can then have some spending habits that help make sure you're on track without having to like really amily track everything.
Alex Gilbert (23:32.382)
I want to also go back because we had someone ask in the comments, which was the B word that you were saying is bad? And I know having followed you that budget is not your favorite word or term. I'd love for people to hear why because they think that that's also very important for people with ADHD because we strive to have something that's quote unquote perfect. And we want to follow a system that is.
Um, exact, maybe someone else has laid it out for you and everything that you're mentioning is very individualized, whether it's for you as a person or you as a family, this is based on what you are bringing in and how you're managing it. So I'd love for you to explain why the term budgeting doesn't feel like the right use anymore.
Eryn Schultz (24:21.874)
it goes back to what Katie said about like people have a really tough time sticking to budgets it often is you spend three months really carefully following it and then you fall off and so I just think when you say budget you lose a lot of people because a lot of people are like yeah I'm not I'm not gonna do that I've tried it doesn't work for me and so
Alex Gilbert (24:28.883)
Alex Gilbert (24:38.573)
Alex Gilbert (24:43.134)
You just explained ADHD in a nutshell, just so you know.
Katy Weber (she/her) (24:46.076)
Eryn Schultz (24:49.639)
Yeah, I think just the broader point is it's about a system that works for you And I think budget people have a lot of baggage with
Alex Gilbert (24:57.706)
Agreed, agreed. Katie, I feel like there was a bunch of questions that came in through the chat. Do you wanna scroll up and see?
Katy Weber (she/her) (25:05.914)
That was actually, it was the question from Coralie about getting overwhelmed really quickly with all the details. So, but I did want to ask about the Money Bootcamp course on your website, because that looks amazing and I know there's one starting in January. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Alex Gilbert (25:13.019)
Eryn Schultz (25:26.39)
Yeah, it's my goal is to really help people kind of start from what is my spending picture. And maybe to your point that this process can be really overwhelming and maybe people have tried to come up with systems in the past and not been able to stick with them. So what I what I try to do is give people that accountability, that class experience where you start with spending and what's my net worth? I find people say to me like, Oh, Aaron, like Warren Buffett has net worth.
Alex Gilbert (25:32.822)
Eryn Schultz (25:56.524)
I'm like, yeah, you do. And that's the most important.
Alex Gilbert (25:58.486)
Why does Warren Buffett keep coming up? This is like the second episode Warren Buffett keeps coming up. Okay, this is so funny, keep going. I'll explain in a second.
Eryn Schultz (26:06.474)
I think people think about him as sort of the paragon of like what to do with your money and like I could never be like him. But point being we start with spending, figure out your net worth, help you figure out what is the system that works for you to track.
We talk about retirement. Are you on track? We talk about how much cash to keep. We talk about investing and 401Ks, what to do with old 401Ks. So it's a 10-week curriculum. Seven of the classes are live. It includes a one-on-one with me. There's a great community aspect. And I'm just really proud of the things people achieve in class. I just got an email this morning from someone who figured out a lower payment for her student loans, is working on public service loan forgiveness.
shave you know over a year off that time so I think there's just so many things that people can achieve if they actually put time into looking at their money and try to be that kind of accountability partner and coach who's cheering for you and not kind of making you feel bad about money because everybody feels bad enough about money we all have money shame
Alex Gilbert (27:14.762)
This is why I wanted to bring you on because that's exactly how a lot of I know our community feels in terms of money, but they're afraid to ask the questions. They're afraid to admit that they don't know all the details, but this is really complicated. This is really hard. You have multiple degrees to explain to other people how this works. And so I want people to understand that you don't have to know all the things right now. The point is that there's people.
like Erin, who are here as professionals to help explain this information to you. And what's key about what you mentioned Erin, is that you have a community and accountability to be able to learn this together and feel safe asking these questions and get to know what makes sense for you. And that is incredibly important to this process is not doing this alone, to not feel like you're the only one who doesn't understand.
I mean, you have a business because there's so many people who don't understand this. So I know there's questions coming in. Katie.
Katy Weber (she/her) (28:19.774)
Yeah, we have a question from Paris about auto payment and auto transfers because honestly, I think auto payment is the greatest thing that's ever happened to online banking. It really, I think a lot of us rely so heavily on it. Is there, but there are some different schools of thought on auto payments. Is there a downside that we're not seeing?
Alex Gilbert (28:23.534)
Eryn Schultz (28:41.862)
I'm a big fan of auto pay. When I hear people say they don't like it, it's because they wanna make sure that they're reviewing their finances and the credit card bill before they actually hit pay. And I think to me, because especially the way credit scores work, payment history is the number one part of your credit score.
Alex Gilbert (29:02.574)
Eryn Schultz (29:04.142)
And I have a story right when I graduated from business school. I opened up a new credit card, forgot to set it on auto pay, had two late payments. That decision, like seven years ago, only just came off my credit score.
Alex Gilbert (29:17.279)
Oh my God.
Eryn Schultz (29:17.566)
So to me, auto pay is just such a godsend as you said, because it makes sure that you are paying your bills on time, which is what the banks care about in terms of assessing you as a credit risk and what's the interest rate they're going to give you on your mortgage, on your student loan refi, whatever, your car. And so I'm a big fan of auto pay, but I think you then have to have the discipline to go in. And I do think checking your credit card statement once a month is a really good best practice to just.
You don't have to check the really small charges, but I put them in order from biggest to smallest and I'm like, is anything on here look off? I don't actually do this anymore because Copilot pulls in all my transactions and I see them real time. And I can be like, oh, does that look right? Oh yes, I know what that is. Oh, I need to call because that's wrong or I want to cancel that subscription. But yes, auto pay is how you pay for...
Alex Gilbert (29:59.913)
Eryn Schultz (30:13.558)
I don't know, that dating app that you signed up for four years ago and now you're married and you're still paying for the dating app.
Alex Gilbert (30:20.678)
This is what we call the ADHD tax, which is where we completely forgot that we had those payments. Anytime things like that come up, if it's like a free trial, I always set my calendar for like the day or two before it goes for renewal. So I'm like, do I need this still or not? It's like 30 seconds after I purchased it for that trial, I always put in my calendar like, do you need this? But yes, that's how we end up paying.
Eryn Schultz (30:23.566)
Alex Gilbert (30:49.118)
all the subscriptions, which I think also comes up, all the subscriptions for all the different TV that we're taking in or magazines or whatever else. How do we go through those? Because sometimes we, again, we forget that they exist. So are there systems that kind of check that besides like manually going through all of those credit card statements? Because sometimes they come up as something you can, that like don't sound the same. I think you were saying, Erin,
was like, what's this charge? It's like, oh, that's actually came from this group. So do you know of a service that helps you like unsubscribe to some of those?
Eryn Schultz (31:28.178)
There's a company I'm sure you've seen ads for, Rocket Money. That is exactly what they do. It um, I haven't personally used it because I try to stay close to those things, but I'll say I was really annoyed because my husband and I were both paying for Amazon Prime for like an extra year and a half because it looked like it was just a Amazon charge for a package and I didn't realize that it was actually me paying for Prime and him paying for Prime for the same household.
Alex Gilbert (31:31.633)
Alex Gilbert (31:51.008)
Eryn Schultz (31:58.412)
So, you know, I think it is possible to miss things. I do think if you're doing a good review of your credit card transactions, you know, if you have a budgeting app, even for a month, again, this is, you don't have to do it the whole year, but if you do it one or two months of the year, you're going to catch those recurring subscriptions that you don't need anymore.
Alex Gilbert (32:20.01)
Oh, someone mentioned they used Rocket Money and it helped them get rid of a lot of unknown payments. That's great. I love anything to like simplify this process. I'd love to know if anyone else in the audience has specific questions for Erin when it comes to money or anything that we've already touched on because I'm actually looking at my questions Erin. We've actually touched on a lot of what we were gonna say.
Katy Weber (she/her) (32:43.186)
Well, one of my so I have a I have a daughter who's she's still in high school. She's 16. But we're sort of, you know, in that panic mode of like, have we taught her how to adult before she goes away to college? And my mother was an accountant. And I think she just assumed I would understand money. I don't know, through osmosis or something. But one of the advice she gave me when I turned 18 was get a lot of credit cards because you want to start building up your.
Alex Gilbert (32:53.422)
Alex Gilbert (33:02.975)
Katy Weber (she/her) (33:10.066)
credit, right? And so I would go every time I'd go to the mall and you know, a department store back in the day, like Sears and Macy's would say, Do you want a credit card? I'd be like, Yes, please. And I had so many department cards. And because you know, they offer you discounts immediately. If you get these cards, you don't get 20% off your purchases and stuff. And so I fell for that I had all these credit cards when I was younger and got into really, really big trouble with them all.
And so one of the reasons, one of the things we've been doing with my kids is we use the green light feature where like they have gotten used to having an allowance and spending and kind of tracking their spending, but is there anything I can be doing? What advice do you usually give to college students or recent college graduates when it comes to responsible use of credit?
Eryn Schultz (34:05.65)
Yeah, I think that that's a really good story and it is interesting because I often find that if your parents were really good with money, they maybe didn't talk to you about it in a way that you can learn those money lessons that you really need. And so I'll say and maybe the best, the best piece of advice is just to be really explicit about how credit cards work.
like, oh, this is free money. I'm charging and like, oh, you because there's this delayed gratification. They've never had to pay off a credit card bill. And I think just even if you were explicit with your daughter about what happened to you and your experience with it, I think that will resonate with her and really impress that message that I can't just spend on a credit card for the things I want.
Alex Gilbert (34:37.953)
Eryn Schultz (35:03.066)
I think the fact that you've already given her experience with managing a debit card, Greenlight is a kind of kid-friendly debit card, you know, and so if she has a certain amount of money, I also think getting a job in college can help.
Because I know for me, the value of money was different when I realized, especially when you're a college student, your hourly rate is not generally very high. So, you know, maybe 15, 20 an hour. I feel like now 20, but it didn't used to be that. So buying something that costs $50, I had to work like over two hours for that and can really help you understand the value of the dollar.
Alex Gilbert (35:25.064)
Alex Gilbert (35:40.946)
I remember actually with.
Katy Weber (she/her) (35:41.166)
Yeah, I think it also helps. I was just gonna say it also helps to make those choices like do I need groceries or alcohol? Like start to prioritize in a way that you didn't have to before.
Alex Gilbert (35:55.286)
I actually remember talking to Mindy about this exact conversation when we were freshmen and I put a debit card down and she was like, oh, why'd you put a debit card down? And I said, because I don't want to spend what I don't have. And she's like, oh, that's a really good idea. That's Aaron's sister. So Mindy, see, I taught you something in college too. Okay. So we have a few.
Katy Weber (she/her) (36:09.604)
Eryn Schultz (36:09.678)
Katy Weber (she/her) (36:15.871)
Paris has another great question too. She says, do you have any recommendations for dealing with impulsive spending? Maybe some tried and true way to stop yourself before you do kind of think about that, you know, spend now, deal with it later, buy now, deal with it later. She says, specifically with magical thinking, when I buy this thing, it will fix this other thing and I can't do X till I have the perfect one.
Alex Gilbert (36:22.618)
Alex Gilbert (36:33.941)
Katy Weber (she/her) (36:42.763)
This is so relatable. Right, yeah, this idea that I absolutely, this is gonna fix everything. But I think it all comes back to that idea of.
Alex Gilbert (36:44.252)
Katy Weber (she/her) (36:56.498)
Just impulsive spending. Is there something that works for you to stop and say, just keep yourself in check?
Eryn Schultz (37:04.614)
Yeah, I think first of all, it's really good to identify what the spending triggers are. And it sounds like in this instance, it's to solve a problem. But sometimes it might be, oh, every time I walk by the coffee shop on the corner, I go in and I spend $12 on a coffee and a pastry. And I don't really need that. So I'm just going to start my walk with my
dog or my baby or whatever and I'm gonna go left instead of right. So sometimes it's identifying that spending trigger unsubscribing from the email list that always makes you feel like, oh I need the perfect X to be able to do Y.
Alex Gilbert (37:43.611)
Eryn Schultz (37:45.09)
One thing that a lot of people do is they'll have a rule where they have to wait 24 to 48 hours before they spend more than $100. And that number could be different for you. But just to implement that and say, okay, I'm not going to buy this thing if I don't, unless at the end of 48 hours, I still feel like I need it. Because sometimes that makes that go away.
And the last one I'll say, and this is one that I heard from another personal finance content creator, but I really loved it, which is the idea that I can't buy something to fix my problem.
until I'm already doing the free version of it, or the version of it I already have. So I can't buy the really expensive skincare product for anti-aging until I'm actually putting sunscreen on every day. Because if I'm not putting the product I already have on, then why am I gonna use that sunscreen? Or I'm not gonna spend on, I'm not gonna buy that.
Alex Gilbert (38:28.269)
Eryn Schultz (38:47.19)
new piece of clothes until I, you know, I have two things that with tags on in my closet, I have to wear those first. So I think that you can also have some mindset shifts with yourself to really push yourself before you try to spin to solve the problem to figure out, can I, am I doing the behavior where that thing is actually going to help me?
Alex Gilbert (39:09.198)
I think that's great advice. I was actually going to add even to the whole shopping, impulsive spending part. I always put things in my Amazon cart and I wait a week. And if I'm still thinking about that item in a week, I then start to look to see if this was actually the best price because I'm like, did I actually need that? Or did that look fun? And again, it's one of those things if I keep looking at it, like there might be a reason, but if it lost its value.
second I put it on the cart I'm like that was enough for me but I think that what you mentioned in terms of if you're not already doing the act that you're talking about the problem you're trying to solve then the expensive version is not going to do it for you so I think that that's really great there are a whole bunch of other questions I'm just trying to scroll up Katie I don't know which ones you already read um that was
Okay, Coralie said, I told my daughter to assume she's paying for everything unless she asks us. She knows we almost always let her get what she needs, but by having her frame the expense through her own bank account, it tends to eliminate the frivolous stuff. I think that is great advice. Was there any other question? That was coming up for Aaron.
Katy Weber (she/her) (40:34.401)
No, no, I think it was mostly just chatter. The, what about the, again, talking about recent graduates, it feels like the economy is so dismal right now, especially when it comes to home ownership. And.
Alex Gilbert (40:37.994)
Alex Gilbert (40:50.272)
Alex Gilbert (40:54.302)
It was actually a really good podcast the other day. I love listening to The Daily from the New York Times, and it was about renting versus buying. Actually, Erin, I think you posted in your stories too. It was so fascinating, because it just changed the whole dynamic of the conversation. So I'm curious. I cut off Katie's question, but Katie, you go with your question. I'm sorry I impulsively cut you off.
Katy Weber (she/her) (41:21.079)
So I guess my question is, you know, what advice do you give to college students when it comes to investing their money when there's not a lot to invest?
Eryn Schultz (41:33.106)
Yeah, and I will say there's also another daily about how it's really fascinating because the economy is actually pretty good right now. Yes, homes are unaffordable, but inflation is coming down, even though our expectations of what things should cost and what they cost are so higher. So I think that my big thing is that when you're a college student, you're investing in yourself.
Alex Gilbert (41:40.49)
Eryn Schultz (41:56.15)
And I think it's a time of exploration and trying to learn what you want to do. Um, and, and I guess my best advice is the earlier you start investing, even in college, if you, I'll say that I was helping pay for some of the costs of college, um, went to expensive private school and so helped cover some of my living expenses. So I wasn't investing in college, but when I got a job at 22, I made sure that I was taking advantage of the 401k.
Alex Gilbert (42:24.601)
Eryn Schultz (42:25.262)
Um, and I think investing in yourself in college so that you can get a job doing something you enjoy or you're building skills. And there's actually evidence that millennials are in a better spot for retirement than Gen X and boomers were because so many jobs default to enter retirement savings and they match your contributions. So if at 22, you're, you start saving for retirement, even you're putting in
Alex Gilbert (42:44.51)
Eryn Schultz (42:54.896)
3-4 percent, you're gonna probably be in a pretty good place in the future. And I think just building wealth is gonna look different for our generation, younger generations than it did for our parents and boomers where owning a home was one of the number one places that people built wealth. I think a lot of it is gonna be in things like 401k retirement accounts. And so, yeah.
Investing early, not getting used to living bougie. If you can live like a college student, well into your 20s, you're gonna be in a much better position. If you do get a really good job out of college, don't go buy a Tesla and pay for the most expensive dormant building in the city you wanna live in. Enjoy those early 20 years when you can eat ramen and live cheap and safe.
Alex Gilbert (43:47.19)
You're also making me think it's not just the 401ks or 403b if you're a nonprofit, but there's also different ways to use pre-tax money for your health care costs and your travel expenses in terms of like commuting costs and things like that. So a lot of companies offer putting money into an HSA or an FSA.
That's really important, especially if you're going to be paying for your own health insurance. Medicine is expensive. Healthcare is expensive. So I think that that's also a really good place to possibly put money. This is also not that instant gratification, but in the end it does help you and a lot of companies also match some of that too.
Eryn Schultz (44:38.21)
For sure. I love health savings accounts. Unlike flexible savings accounts, the money doesn't expire at the end of the year. And so if you can afford it, you can actually use it like an extra retirement account. But, you know, I think that to a college student might feel really abstract. But I think the big things are build good spending habits and make saving for the future a priority, investing for the future a priority when you can.
Alex Gilbert (44:43.831)
Katy Weber (she/her) (45:03.718)
Now, a lot of us, speaking of investing, a lot of us are, a lot of people with ADHD tend to be entrepreneurs, tend to be self-employed. So is an IRA the best way to go? Or is there a better, a better way to invest in our retirements when we are not dealing with, when we don't have a 401k?
Alex Gilbert (45:10.624)
Eryn Schultz (45:25.566)
Yeah, IRAs are great. You can contribute up to 7k into an IRA next year. So I think the big challenge with IRAs is that if you just have an individual IRA, the limit is not going to be that high. Like in 2024 you can contribute $23,000 to a 401k which doesn't include any employer match. So I'd say the other things to just look at are setting up a retirement.
a retirement account for your small business that is something like a SEP IRA, so type of IRA, but it has a higher contribution limit. Actually, if you are a single employee business, you can have what's called a solo 401k. It's just a little bit more work to set up. And so it's probably just the big thing is taking some time to.
work with an accountant, set up a retirement plan for yourself, and then make sure you're contributing because I think that's the toughest part about being an entrepreneur. You got to make sure you're budgeting for taxes. I see people get into trouble where they have a lot of money and back taxes that they owe. And then you got to make sure you're making space to contribute to retirement in the future.
Alex Gilbert (46:29.196)
Katy Weber (she/her) (46:42.802)
I did not know about the Solo 401k, that's cool.
Katy Weber (she/her) (46:47.994)
Uh, interesting. And now I apologize. Did you already mention this? How much of our monthly income we should be investing? Is there a percentage?
Eryn Schultz (46:55.898)
Yeah, so it's a good question specifically for retirement. The benchmark if you're starting in your 20s and early 30s is 12 to 15 percent of your pre-tax income.
If you're starting when you're later, no judgment there. It just means you have to save more of your income to be able to retire comfortably. And I know that for some people retirement, it feels really abstract, really far away, but for almost everybody, that's gonna be your biggest investing goal. Cause if you frame retirement differently, it's really being financially free and not having to work anymore. And I like to joke like, make your golden girl year shimmer.
Alex Gilbert (47:37.207)
Eryn Schultz (47:37.468)
helping you get to a point where you can be work optional.
Katy Weber (she/her) (47:43.662)
Someday. I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Erin. This has been a really, really wonderful session. I feel like I've learned a lot. So your website is Her Personal Finance. And I know your Instagram is Her.Personal.Finance. Correct. Is there anywhere else we should, where people can find you?
Alex Gilbert (47:44.734)
I was just gonna say someday.
Eryn Schultz (48:06.036)
Eryn Schultz (48:10.922)
I'm on LinkedIn as well. That's just my first name, Erin, E-R-Y-N, Schultz. And would love to connect with some of y'all there as well.
Alex Gilbert (48:18.814)
I definitely think there are a lot of people in our audience who are going to want to go check out your course in January. So good timing on that one. Because this episode will come out probably around the same time that you're launching that course. I'm hoping that people will not be afraid to look into their bank account, look into their spending and really get a better understanding of where they are spending their money and how they can really use it wisely and have that support system and accountability.
with some of the programs that Erin has set up. And if you don't follow her, you absolutely should. I think that her advice on her Instagram is so relatable and funny, and also just so on point every time. I just, I feel like every post she makes, I learn something. So we hope that everyone has enjoyed this conversation, has gained something, and feels a little less icky about their money.
Eryn Schultz (49:19.342)
Well, thank you all so much for having me and enjoyed the conversation a lot. So excited to talk more in the future.
Alex Gilbert (49:25.598)
Yes, for sure.