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Stacey Shieh Lee is passionate about finance and her purpose is to empower people to achieve their financial dreams.
As a financial executive in the start-up tech space, she has helped founders and CEOs build sound financial processes and systems to get to the next level.
She has translated her experiences into her company, Solve Your Books, where they bring a next level service to accounting in e-commerce, creative and PR agencies and women-owned businesses. Stacey is also a personal finance coach and provides advisory and CFO level services.
But above all she is a mom of 2, a 6 and 8 year old, who were the motivation and wake-up call for her to leave her corporate dream career to pursue entrepreneurship.
Her personal journey leaving her dream corporate career to launch her own business and how she financially made it happen
How to start an emergency savings fund
How to allocate your paycheck into different buckets
Money mindset and what important questions you need to ask yourself when saving (and spending) money
A step-by-step plan to get out of personal debt
How to have an intentional conversation about money and structuring your finances with your partner (without fighting)
How she personally structures her family’s finances (hint: this is how you save for a mom’s weekend to Miami and still put money toward retirement even if you’re a stay-at-home mom)
This episode is JAM PACKED with helpful information on personal finance whether you’re a career mom, entrepreneur mom or stay-at-home mom!!!
Subscribe, review and tune in weekly because you know you’ve yelled “Mommy’s on a Call” at least once in the last week!!!
[00:00:00] Stephanie: Welcome back to mommy’s on a call today. I’m excited to bring to you Stacy Shieh Lee. She is very passionate about finance and her purpose is to empower people to achieve their financial dreams. As a financial executive in the startup tech space, she has helped founders and CEOs build sound financial processes and systems to get to the next level.
Stacey has translated her experiences into her company, Solve Your Books, where they bring next level service to accounting in e-commerce creative and PR agencies and women owned businesses. Stacy is also a personal financial coach and provides advisory and CFO level services. But on top of it all, she’s also a mom of two. So welcome Stacey.
[00:01:38] Stacey: Thank you.
[00:01:39] Stephanie: I wanted to start by asking, what is your biggest mom win of the week?
[00:01:44] Stacey: My biggest mom win of the week is currently registering for all the summer camps.
[00:01:51] Stephanie: Ooh, that’s a big one. And have you done
[00:01:54] Stacey: it? Yes, I have. I woke up at 6:00 AM this morning and register my son for baseball camp.
So he can be with his friends.
[00:02:03] Stephanie: I find that like, so we’re just getting into that whole period. Like I have a one, two and five-year-old and so summer camps are like just emerging for me now. Figuring out what to do with them over the summer. I’m like, oh, like this is a whole new world. So I might need some pointers on that.
I’m like how to keep them occupied, not bored, but also just, yeah.
[00:02:30] Stacey: And then also connecting with their friends. So put some friends together and they’re always outdoors, something, something.
[00:02:37] Stephanie: So a little bit of context about your current family structure who works, you know, what is, what is your family dynamic right now? And how many kids do you have?
[00:02:47] Stacey: Absolutely, so I live in Santa Monica with my husband and two children.
My husband works as well. He’s full time sells technology. And I also work full time with my company called Solve Your Books. And we have a eight year old boy, Dylan and six year old girl Stella.
[00:03:05] Stephanie: And are you both working out of the house in the house? You know, what’s your kind of post pandemic right now situation?
[00:03:11] Stacey: Yeah, we are both working from home and he’s downstairs in his office and I’m upstairs in the middle of the living room.
[00:03:19] Stephanie: And how do you, I was gonna say you, you know, you just started your company relatively recently. Let’s kind of step back a little and talk about, you know, your journey to get to this point.
And you were a full-time working mom. How did you get started in this whole accounting finance world?
[00:03:35] Stacey: Yeah, so, you know, I’ve been in accounting and finance my entire career and about two, three years ago, just right before turning 40, I kind of had this epiphany as I was, you know, looking at Stella one day.
You know, maybe two, three years old at the time. And I just said, wow, like, what am I contributing to the world? You know, what am I doing for her it’s and what example do I want to set for this little girl at that point? I love my job. I was a full-time head of finance for a venture backed startup. And it was my dream gig.
I had worked my entire career. To have that gig that I was working 60, 70 hour work weeks. I was working around the clock and it just felt, it just found a balance. It just felt like what was I really telling her? So in that point I decided, you know, I need to really go deep inside and ask myself what skills do I have and how I was going to help a lot more people than the one company that I was working with.
And that’s how personal finance coaching started as well. That turned into business coaching because of my extensive CFO level experience and just love for all things, numbers and money and finance. And that turned into a full-time, you know, advisory and accounting firm with solve your books.
[00:04:59] Stephanie: So let’s step back a little, you know, you, you have this kind of like a and this is a lot to do with kind of being a mom, like your pre mom life. You said you worked your entire career to get to this point and you finally obtained it. And then you’re like, wait a second. This motherhood aspect, steps in, what about, you know, having that two year old and just, is it just like contributing to the world or was it like, you felt like you were missing out on time with her.
What were those key kind of like feelings you had and then how did you even. I guess get the courage to leave, but like, how did you put your ducks in a row and your Domino’s in a row here to actually be able to leave? Cause some of us get to that point where we’re like, yes, like we’ve made it, we’re working, we’re making the money we want, we’re like fulfilling our passion, but then all of a sudden we want something else, but then we don’t know how to do it.
And I think that’s where a lot of moms kind of get scared and even women in entrepreneurship. How do we turn this like new side hustle, passion into a reality. So walk me through kind of how that journey went
[00:06:06] Stacey: really was that I think turning forward again and also looking at Stella and saying, what am I even doing?
You know, like, is this what I want my life to be? Do I, did I want her to see that. You know, I was stressed out living my best life, but also stressed out in that energy that I brought to her. Right. Like to my children, like, I’m always of the opinion, quality over quantity. You know, my kids have always been in school since they were seven months old.
They go to work from eight 30 to five 30 and I go to work before, you know, I dropped them off. But I think as you know, that feeling really contributed. What really helped that transition? I made it easy for me is always the idea that I had my own. And so when I married my husband, which was late in my culture, you know, at 30, 33, I already kind of had been saving up.
I didn’t know what was I saving for? So we both came in with, okay, you have your own stash of savings. I have my own staff. And throughout my professional career, I always save money on the side. And so not only were we contributing to the household, but we, I put money on the side for myself, just so I can go and go have a trip with my friends without really having to affect the financials of our family.
And my husband does that too. He has his own money. He loves to buy. And wine games, whatever it is he does. And so I just started tucking away money. And what I actually did was I looked at my, because that was a very strong concern. I had two kids in preschool and Westside, preschool is not cheap. You know, I have a mortgage and of course that conversation of what are you doing?
You’re walking away from a well-paying job. But, you know, I just had this feeling like, okay, I’ve been saving money aside. I have enough in case my business doesn’t turn cash profitable right away. I’m going to have to make certain investments. And that really was my security. I was talk about emergency savings fund.
You don’t know what it’s for? But, you know, you might need it someday. And so that really helped me see, okay, this is the, this is what I’m going to do. How is that going to look? And what funds do I actually need to cover ourselves so that we can actually make this transition without hurting our family’s finances.
[00:08:32] Stephanie: Quit your job and then start working on this, or did you start working on it kind of on the side and building up clientele and then put in your notice? Like, what is that like cold
[00:08:42] Stacey: Turkey. Yeah. In Turkey. I just had this moment of, I’ve never taken a break in my professional career. Three months, really short.
And so I just was like, I never have taken her professional career, a break. And I thought in order for me to really dive in, I needed to stop. I needed to stop what it was really great that I actually did that cold Turkey because I technically had PTSD. Right. Cause you’re working so much. I would check my phone as if I was still like working.
And, um, it took me a couple of months to really sort of, you know, calm down from working that, that fast pace.
[00:09:28] Stephanie: Were there any kind of practices or things you did during that time to kind of calm yourself down and like to reduce that adrenaline and that feeling like, did you have an outlet or were you kind of like, what am I doing?
Like where am I like,
[00:09:40] Stacey: definitely. Steps, you know, at first I kinda, I still was like scheduling everything as if I was working and I needed to figure out what I was doing. And so it wasn’t baby steps. You know, at first I did make uncle calls like, Hey, this is what I’m doing. And then I slowly just went into.
Taking myself to read at coffee shops, like doing all the things that I wasn’t able to do because that I was working 60, 70 hours weeks and allowing myself to follow the interest of what I was really wanting to. And taking lots of walks because it really kind of, I felt like nature was going to slow me down and really just being outside and being with my kids.
So those were kind of the steps to kind of ease that transition off.
[00:10:26] Stephanie: So I want to talk about this emergency fund because I think a lot of working moms out there who might want to do their side hustle, you know, they’re like, how do I fund this? Some of them are lucky and might be privileged enough to have a husband that can support their lifestyle.
Some of them might not. And they’re like, well, Cat and mouse thing where, or chicken and egg where it’s like, I have to work because I need the money. So I can’t quit because if I quit, then I don’t have the money.
Like, and so let’s talk about how you can save to whether or not it’s to start your own company or whether it’s not to have the freedom and flexibility to be able to maybe get a massage or go on a trip or do something without, I hate the term asking permission. And I feel like I hear that a lot. A lot of women are like, I need to ask permission from my husband because he makes more money or whatnot. So how can you set yourself up for this like financial stability on your own?
Like where, where can we
[00:11:21] Stacey: start, start with asking yourself what you want, right. It’s about the, why. As women, we kind of look at finance as sort of this annoyance, right? Something that something we may have to deal with one day. And so a lot of times when I’m working with women, the first thing I asked them is why are you working.
Why are you even working? Why are you trading so much energy and time for this thing? If you love it. Great. If you don’t, what do you want to do about it? And if it’s a start a new company, then let’s talk about what that means for you. If it’s freedom, what does that mean for you? And then let’s put a number to it, right?
So that means, let’s say, you know, I need it. A year’s worth of $3,000 a month, whatever it is. Right. So I need $36,000. How am I going to save for it? And what happens all the time is when I set a goal and a reason behind it and to be glued up. What I do is I set a picture for them. So they’re like, that’s what I’m working for.
So then from there, we are portion of part of your income, because you’re never going. If you’re not intentional about your money, you’re never going to get there. And so we have to be intentional. It’s right now, am I choosing to spend money on X or it’s a short-term. Right or do I really want this freedom?
And so, and how much am I willing to save up for it? And we do that in an automatic way where we take your paycheck and a portion, let’s say it’s 10% of your paycheck and straight into your savings and you live on the rest of it.
[00:13:08] Stephanie: Do you have any apps or anything that you use to do that, or do you just basically tell them every time there’s an uncertain day, you know, your Wells Fargo was going to address.
Auto transfer. And how do you get them not to touch it? Because I feel like, you know, you see the number and you see it growing and you’re like in your head, you’re like, oh, I have all this money now saved. How do you approach that?
[00:13:30] Stacey: Yeah. So if you are a professional working woman, you know, your paycheck can be distributed to different accounts.
So it’s just, it just goes into that account. And so then it’s where does it go? And typically what we do is we put in the online savings account. That’s harder to get to, so it’s not linked up. It’s not you go to the bank and, oh my gosh, there’s so much money. I’m just going to withdraw that it’s oh, there’s an online savings account.
And I usually put it by itself and so that you can see it grow.
[00:14:01] Stephanie: What’s your favorite bank to use our
[00:14:03] Stacey: online little there’s a couple of them. There’s ally, a L L Y. There’s now Marcus with Goldman Sachs and even American express has an online savings account. And so it’s just that additional like, oh, if I needed to get them money, I have to transfer to my personal checking and then get it just that thoughts stops people in their tracks.
And so what we do is we always put guard rails, and then I will remain that. Okay. To starting my own business, you know? So when you’re looking at it, you’re like, oh right. I’m not starting my business. So I can’t touch that money. I’m going to go with what I got in my checking account right now. And it’s just the slightest shift, but also put a lot of guard rails.
And so that no one can, so people can. It’s human nature. Right. When we see it, we’re like, oh, I can touch it. And it’s just changing the muscle. As I say, of like, oh, that’s what it’s for. That’s the intention. If that’s not the intention, I can’t touch it.
[00:15:01] Stephanie: I love that word. Like intention on how you approach money versus like money is dirty or just a tool or whatnot.
It’s like very intentional. I know you’ve worked with a lot of women too on getting out of debt. And also, but saving for the future. So, but like, not just, you know, you’re starting your business savings, but like saving for your kids, your 401k and all of that. So say you get a paycheck. What are kind of your typical suggestions or advice that we would use?
Like you get your paycheck. Great. Now I have this, what do I do?
[00:15:31] Stacey: Yeah. So even before you pay, you get your paycheck, the number one thing I tell women is you must invest in your retirement. I see this over and over against especially women in our twenties. We’re like, no, we don’t have money for that because I need to go to a Cabo with my girlfriends, or I need to buy this pretty dress, or I need to get ready for dates to attract the man.
Right. But so they’re like, we don’t have enough to actually say for it in their thirties. They’re like, well, you know, it’s, I’m married now and my kid needs a 5 29 and then in their forties it’s college, you know, and on and on and on and over and over again, I see that the spirity between the men and the women in their retirement over and over.
And so the first thing I said is before you even get your paycheck, invest in your retirement, because there is so much at play with money growing by itself. If you start early, right. So pay yourself first. And then from there, Again, do you have enough? Right. And then it’s, you know, then it’s okay, what are, what do I want to do with my money?
There’s certain steps you have to contribute to the household. And that’s a conversation you need to have with your partners. Right. And, but there’s also certain set of, we literally go down. What is my goal right now, right? So let’s say retirement is taken care of what is your goal? So the number one goal, if you don’t have emergency is emergency savings fund, because what happens is people will focus on that.
But when they have an emergency, they go into more debt. And so even if it’s just $50, a hundred dollars per paycheck into their emergency savings account, it allows people to breathe so much better knowing that when, if the next emergency come. They are prepared. Right. And so what happens is, are always will set.
Okay. What is your goal for emergency and how are you going to get there as an individual and as a family? Right? And then we tackle debt because that is so expensive and that, and they’re still planting women, even in their twenties, living with debt.
[00:17:44] Stephanie: No kids actually, I think like our age. Student loans like we have, maybe you did go into credit card debt because you did start a company and stuff.
So how do you start to tackle that debt?
[00:17:56] Stacey: Yeah, so we start tackling the debt with what, from a standpoint of one interest rate. But two also it’s about celebration. It’s about feeling good. So as you can kind of tell, I work with a lot of the, kind of the mindset of it. So someone might have three credit card debts and a student loans, but student loans are usually so much higher, but at a lower interest rate.
So we kind of lead that to last. And what happens is we go. The smallest debt balance first, because it just feels so good to actually finish that, that you get the momentum, right. Then we’re like, okay, we’re going to apply all the money that we did. We use to pay down the first credit card towards the second and then a third.
And then you can see the small snowball effect. And then we take all of that into student loans and we just wipe it all out. And so there’s a plan and that’s the thing is people can feel like it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what to do. And we always say, let’s do a plan. You, you know, and I have clients that literally wipe off 50, $60,000 of credit card debt in less than a year.
[00:19:06] Stephanie: What do you think? I think, is it the mindset behind that that is the biggest driver and how they do it so fast? Or are there like little hats where they like, you know, open, they balance transfer or they do other stuff? Like, are there any ways to, I guess, accelerate the process?
[00:19:21] Stacey: So the really only the really way to celebrate it.
Honestly, making that position. Debt is a very, it’s a relationship. People have relationship with debt. And so what we always say is break up with debt. Thank it for the lesson that it gave you and working on, learn from it and not get into it again, because what happened. A lot of times there are tactical strategies, which is switching things around, but what happens is people just get deeper into it in a, what I want them to do was look at that and say, how did I get here?
And am I ready to say goodbye? Because it takes much longer when they’re not ready because they’re self self-taught. Right. But if they’re willing and I can set the tactical plan for them, it comes off so fast.
[00:20:15] Stephanie: Wow. And so you’ve definitely put into savings first and then start paying off the debt. And then now do you suggest, like, I’m thinking about this and some people say like, oh, but I have rent.
I have all of these things. I don’t have money left over for the debt or for whatnot. Do you suggest looking at the savings, the debt, and then seeing how much you have left over and what you can then afford? Like maybe I have to downgrade my apartment or maybe we have to figure out a different mortgage, whatever that is.
[00:20:45] Stacey: I turn it around. Right. And so a lot of people are like, what? So the, the method that I created is really pay. What are you making first? Let’s look at that number then. What are your goals before someone else has a pull on your money? What are your goals? Because you have to set that intention because everyone else, including your family, your friends, Everybody is going to want a pull on it.
Right. And even yourself, your habits. So what we need to do is decide. What is your goal first? So save first and saving could be paying off debt because that is savings. Right? So we think about, okay, we’ve got to start re reframe. This is the money I am making at the present moment. How do I want to spend that money?
How do I want to save? What are my goals? Take care of yourself first. And then decide, okay. Maybe I need to let go of a few things that are no longer serving my purpose.
So purpose of what I want. Right. Because what happens a lot of time is then we, we get into this great, these great, beautiful places or meals or all these things, but in the end you feel crappy anyway, because it’s like, yeah, I look great on Instagram for that night, but then shoot. I didn’t do the thing I actually want to do. And now I’m back to work again. And so there is this internal cyclical loop. And so we break them out of that by asking them, what is your intention? What do you want to do with yourself this year? Next year? Five-year ten-year what are your goals?
[00:22:28] Stephanie: So now let’s layer on top of it. So now we have a husband or wife, you know, have a spouse or a partner, and then we have. And I know like I’m getting, you know, my parents are like, why don’t you have a 5 29? See, we have three children. And I’m just like, I can’t think of all of these things. How do you layer start layering on top?
And I also wanted to talk about how you said you had separate bank accounts and like separate fight kind of thing with what is your families like financial structure look like. How do you have that communication around the money? Because again, that’s a very sensitive topic. I feel for a lot of families is talking about money.
And I know for me being a female, being a mom and honestly being an Asian female and a mom, it’s kind of this, we don’t really talk about it, but yet we keep our money really close. Like it’s a cultural thing. I don’t know. And so I wanted to talk a little bit about that cause I find it interesting. I’ve heard a lot of my girlfriends who are more financially savvy and things say like I have my own money and my mom always taught me.
She’s like, make sure that regardless of whatever happens, you can stand on your own two feet without someone. And so I definitely want to touch on that.
[00:23:41] Stacey: Yeah. So I think it’s, you know, and I encourage women always to have that conversation. All I teach is come to it with love, right? Your husband, your partner, whoever they are, you guys are in this partnership because you love each other, but there’s actually a financial partnership as well.
And so a lot when I coach a lot of women in their twenties and a lot of people start living together very early, right. I wouldn’t say early, a lot of people are living with their partners. Right. So have that conversation and come from an app from a, Hey, I want to plan my life with you. Right. And I want to understand like what your dreams are, what your goals are.
And then what I say is come to that partnership with one goal, right? Do you guys want to have kids together? That’s a huge financial impact. Do you want to have kids together? Where do you want to live? How do you want to, and just go through some questions and it doesn’t have to be one sitting. Right. But it’s just that starting that, Hey.
You know, we, I’m starting to get serious with you and it’s something we need to discuss, right? Not a, I need you to need to, through this, you need to do that because that kind of puts off. I mean, I’ll speak from a, an Asian female as well. It puts off a man. Right. And so I’m always like, Hey, babe. Um, so. You know, if we’re going to have kids, we’re going to have to think about school.
You know, what are you thinking about preschool? Are we both working? What does that mean? Or is your, are your parents going to take right? It’s like, Hey, let’s decide together. And I do that with a lot. I have coached militarily, men who are extremely masculine to come to the table and Hey, we’re in this together.
[00:25:33] Stephanie: So let’s flash forward because I’m going to, a lot of the listeners are already parents and we’re going to, we’re going to just use, I guess we’ll, we’ll use my life as an example. I have three children, five and under that one goes to private school. We have preschool and we have, you know, my husband is, you know, full-time working and I am kind of dabbling in the whole entrepreneurship.
I stopped my full-time job. So we’re, we’re in this kind of situation. How would you suggest to families who are, are already in it and now spending and spending all this money and may not have had that maybe preparation before on the, what do you want? What do you see now? We’re in it now? What do we do?
[00:26:12] Stacey: Well, you can have the conversation at any point, right? And so when I decided that I was going to walk away from a very high paying job, we had the conversation. What is it? What is it going to look up? Okay. So from your perspective, it’s, there’s a certain amount of income that’s coming. Still intention.
What is it that you’re trying to build? Right. What are your goals as a family? You still have them, right? And so whether it is for the kids to go to private school, preschool, the school, those are all intentions that you’re making as a family.
And one of the goals could be, I want to start a business or I want to take a year off, or I want to take five years off because I want to be with my kids.
Right. And so those are all things where we need to basically, I say, even if you’re already in the process, right. Anything can change. And when there’s a change that is about to happen or a change that you want to happen, have the conversation. Right now, sit down with your partner and say, Hey, we really need to talk about this is something on my mind.
And I don’t think this is fair or it’s, it doesn’t feel good for me that I don’t have XYZ. Right. Cause a lot of it is about women asking for what it is that we truly want in our hearts. And we’ve kind of been because of this whole working woman. We’ve kind of always been, almost been pushed into you must work.
You must work. And it’s like, no, that’s not the intention. The intention is what do you want to do with your life? Yeah. Right. And so I would say, even if you’re already in it, it’s still start at the top. We’re making X amount of money. What is your goal? Right. If you wanted to start a company and it requires a certain investment, can we make that as a family?
And then from there, right? You, you didn’t port a portion, some rent, some kids and whatnot. And sometimes what I say is somethings are temporary, right? You know, your preschool is my, was a five-year commitment. So we talked about that for this five years, we’re making that commitment. We cannot change. Great next.
Right. And so it’s really, don’t feel like you’re tied into the certain situation at the moment. I feel like people just, we kind of lock ourselves into situations and then what happens is then we get into debt. And when we get into debt, we start fighting. And when we start fighting, we get into more debt because we’re trying to avoid all the conversations and then it ends not well.
And so, because it is hard to think about like, well, maybe I would have to pull my kid out of private school or do the thing that is not the best for them, but as parents, what is best for them is two loving present parents? Right? It’s not the private school. It’s not the soccer camp, the piano, the whatever lesson you hadn’t started, it’s being there with them, loving them.
And that comes from you. You have to be right fulfilled and happy. And I always say like, start there. Right? Cause the 5 29, what I always say is take care of yourself for, and I take care of you cannot borrow for retirement, but the kids can borrow for college.
[00:29:35] Stephanie: Such a good point. And I also feel like this parallels just self care in general, like this is like financial self-care because I always tell moms, you know, that’s great that you’re pouring into your kids, but make sure you’re fulfilled first.
Like, make sure you have your practice, whether it’s meditation or exercise or whatever that is to fulfill you and make you better before you pour in everything you have to your kids. It’s very parallel with money, like take care of yourself first and then take care of others.
Let’s talk back though about the separate bank accounts.
Cause I’m curious about all of that. Like how is that structured? How are your conversations around that? Like, you know, it’s like, this is my money, that’s your, you know, I see that causing like fights or something, like in terms of this is mine, this is yours, but how do you have that conversation and how did you structure
[00:30:25] Stacey: that?
So we’ll talk about the structure first, you know, structure is we do, hers has an hours, you know, and even retirement it’s technically individual. And so that’s why I always encourage women to get retirement going. Cause it’s individual, it’s not joint in any way, shape or form. Okay. So you have your own retirement, you have your own bank and you have to have your own credit card.
This happens a lot of times the woman just abandoned them. Okay. Don’t ever do that because as women credit scores are also individual. Okay. So we must have our own checking. It must have our own credit cards and we have our own retirement. So we have our own bucket. Then he has his own. It’s the same. He has a checking.
He has credit cards and then he has a bucket of his money. And then we have our joint checking, a joint savings and then joint credit card.
And so the way it typically works is we make a certain amount of money and we both decide okay. Of that money. X percent of his paycheck is going to go into the joint checking.
X percent of my paycheck is going to go into the checking account, right as well. And then what remains goes into my checking account and then whatever his paycheck goes to his that allows us to basically then fulfill the goals of everyone. Right. I have my own entrepreneurial journey that I am funding.
We have goals, let’s say right now we are saving to renovate our house. Right. And so we are saving to do that. And then even the kids, the kids have their own checking and savings. And so
[00:32:08] Stephanie: what age did you start that for them? I’m curious. Why?
[00:32:12] Stacey: So they’ve started since they were probably one, they have their own checking account.
We didn’t tell them about it. We do a paper checking account when they get like red envelope, money and birthday money and things like that. Not so structurally again.
What is our goal and what do we need directly? And so that’s a conversation I have with my husband is, okay, let’s look at our financial picture, making sure that we are taking care of our home.
What’s our goal. How much are we going to put for that? And then what’s the rent and what’s the mortgage. What’s the kids, all that stuff.
So we bucket into food, housing and kids, right. That’s kind of the three big buckets. And then we make sure that we’re all good. Their families. And then we get a certain amount and then he gets a certain amount.
[00:33:00] Stephanie: Do you put things like, we want to do a vacation and all that in the joint stuff
[00:33:04] Stacey: we do. Yeah. So, but like joint, family vacation, we do put it in the family money, but if I’m going to Miami with my girlfriends, that’s on me. Same thing. If he’s having a boys trip, you know, somewhere just like they went to Seattle, that’s on him.
Right. And so we’re really clear.
[00:33:22] Stephanie: How do you handle couples or families where the income discrepancy is pretty big? Like, you know, say though the wife has a teacher, but the husband is making quadruple what she’s making or something. Cause I see a lot of families in this where then it’s this like, well, I make more money.
Like how do you handle the separate checking accounts? Cause you said like the overflow goes into your own. So then maybe the husband has more or vice versa. The wife has way more. You know, how do you, how do you approach that from like a mindset perspective of like, well, I have more money, so I’m spending this and I’m doing this because I work more like I,
[00:33:57] Stacey: yeah.
Right. It all comes down to what is your goal as a couple. Right. And so even if he’s making, let’s say he’s making a million dollars and there’s a stay-at-home wife, right. She should still get some for her retirement. Right. Even if it’s because what is she doing? Working a job that is unpaid. Right. But there’s a family decision that happened.
Right. So it’s not that she couldn’t get a job. It’s not that she couldn’t get paid. It’s not that she did XYZ it’s that the family made a decision, but for the betterment of their family structure, she’s going to stay home or he’s going to. Right. There’s there’s a lot of dads are seeing him now.
[00:34:39] Stephanie: Quick question on that.
You said she should save to retirement. Should she just start a traditional IRA? Cause in that case they wouldn’t qualify for a Roth based on income, but I’m wondering, cause you know, I see, I have friends who made the choice to be a stay at home mom because their income was just basically paying childcare and the husband’s like it’s not worth it or vice versa, like, and so should she, she should just start like a traditional IRA then.
[00:35:02] Stacey: Absolutely. You still want to see that. Increase. And you want as women that independence that we talked about right. Is seeing that that is yours, right. And that no one can touch it really because it’s a retirement account. And seeing that grow just, you know, right now the limit for IRA is 6500 6500.
Just keep putting in there. Cause because technically. In California retirement, if it’s contributing, it’s common, but really it’s really for the mindset of the women. I always encourage them put money in retirement, putting money in retirement. And so that’s a decision, right?
Hey partner A. You’re making this money.
This is how that money is going to be distributed. And even that means that partner B gets quote unquote paid. So whether it’s $500 a month or something, because we all want our independence, we don’t want to ask for permission and vice versa because what happens is that right? It’s a ego play, right?
It’s a power play and changes and shifts the dynamics. Whereas then the, the, the partner who was currently not working feels like they have no rights to talk, which is untrue, right? Whether or not what you make. We are humans and we are in a partnership. It does as a 50 50 partnership, even if we’re not making the same equal amount of money.
Now, if you decide. I don’t want to deal with it. That’s totally fine. But what do you need? What do you need to be independent? What do you need to feel like you have money to do things that you want to, you don’t need to ask for permission, right? Yes.
[00:36:43] Stephanie: No, that totally makes sense. I just, I see that where, you know, I have friends where they took a step back from their corporate career because they have young kids and when they did the financial yeah.
Better for them to stay home, to be childcare, or even if they outsourced a little bit, but it was, but then like, do they get an allowance? Do they get, you know, they’re being, they’re not being paid to be a mom and it’s like, but they’re doing a ton of work. And so it’s like, how is that mindset of how do you approach that?
And so I liked that to still have the separate bank accounts. To still do retirement and to still pay off all the debt and save. And I was going to say, the woman should still then take that allowance and save some too. I’d be like, okay.
[00:37:29] Stacey: That’s really, if it would be no. So this happens a lot, right? When people, women become entrepreneurs, they just stopped saving for retirement.
They haven’t stopped paying themselves as happens over. I coached so many women. You are a business you would never work for. You will never work for Netflix for free. Why are you working in this business, even if it’s your own for free, right? And so we need to start thinking about our businesses as real business.
It needs to be profitable and he makes them make you some income, whatever it is. Yeah, sure. There’s startup period. That’s a little bit more fluid. But for sure any money that we take, we still use the same percentage, right? Like I want, it’s still, what is the goal that you want with that? And if it’s not achievable with the joint money, then you have to achieve it with your own.
Right. And it’s about gaining that confidence. Do you
[00:38:24] Stephanie: suggest, and do you suggest what the savings that you are that you have to do investments or anything, or again, is that just your goal? Like, what is your goal? Do you want it to just sit there or do you want to invest it? Stocks, whatever mutual funds, things like that?
[00:38:40] Stacey: No, that talks to their bigger picture, but generally it’s what, what’s your intention with that money? If it’s, you know, if you’re going to use it within the next five to seven years, Right. You don’t have, you want to save it in savings account where it’s relatively a hundred percent. That money is going to be there.
If you’re not going to use it for five to seven year, or you’re just risky person in general then, put into the stock.
[00:39:04] Stephanie: I like that. So, well, I want to switch gears a little bit back to motherhood, being a working mom. And then now doing this, like how do you approach childcare and, you know, making time for yourself, what do you outsource?
Do you have childcare? Do you have, you know, what were the things that you decided in life to pay for? It could be jointly or whatever in order to allow yourself that time and freedom.
[00:39:28] Stacey: So one thing I do for self care is I always wake up essentially an hour before I’m on mom duty.
[00:39:37] Stephanie: And what time is that?
[00:39:39] Stacey: Right now?
It’s six because LAUSD start school and Stella us. At 7 45. So that means I’m up at six. And I usually have this morning routine that I go through that includes taking care of vitamin supplements, meditation on some movement that just kind of preps me for the day. And all of that was I paid for to learn how to meditate.
But other than that, it’s pretty free.
[00:40:04] Stephanie: Did you do what type of meditation? I do
[00:40:07] Stacey: a something called Vedic
[00:40:08] Stephanie: meditation. Yeah, I was looking into transcendental meditation. So when you said you paid to learn, there’s only a few programs that you pay to learn. So I was curious
[00:40:18] Stacey: that, and I would say lately what we decided.
So after preschool, we don’t pay for childcare. Dylan was at an afterschool program currently it’s free, but we do pay for after-school program mainly because we’ve decided that during school, they actually don’t get to know their friends that well, it’s just learning, learning, learning, right? How 15 minute recess, 30 minute lunch.
That’s it. So afterschool program was actually a way for him to make friends. And so we, and so we’re like sweet. Let’s pay for that. Let’s for him, he needs that friendship, building that social interaction. And so, you know, we make the same decision for both. They’re both going to come after school. So we definitely pay for that.
We don’t have childcare outside of that. My husband and I, we pretty much take care of them. We drop them off. We pick them up and are, thank God. My husband, his job is fairly flexible. If he’s traveling, then, then I’m on all the time. And that’s okay with me. I just it’s. It’s actually a really great mental break to drop them off, go to work and then just focus on work and then be able to pick them up.
[00:41:27] Stephanie: How did you do that when you were working 60 to 70 hours a week and they were little, they were probably, I mean, you said they started at seven months, but still like, how did you do that?
[00:41:39] Stacey: So what I did is I would wake up in the morning and spend as much time as I would with them, unless they drop off at preschool was nine I’d be there at 8:59. So I spend as much time with them and I just made sure I came home for food for our dinners together. We always have dinners together and thank God my husband cooks. And so he did that. And then, you know, I would work after, or right now, what we actually invested in was someone to cook for us.
With the pandemic my husband was cooking three meals a day for all four of us. And he, he was just so stressed out and we just said, Like, you know, we weren’t sure when school was going back. So we actually invested in some private chef who food Monday through Thursday, Monday and Thursdays, and feeds us through the week.
That’s a nice thing. So much worth every penny because she, he doesn’t need to do it anymore.
[00:42:36] Stephanie: Oh, that’s great. So to wrap things up, I wanted to ask one of my final questions, which is what is your mom’s super power that you gained once you became a mom that makes you better in either business or life
[00:42:50] Stacey: or you think two things, one.
It’s really about patience and unconditional love, I think is what I really learned from children. You know, you can’t change, you can’t control them and you can’t change them. They are who they are. And so I have a lot of patients and. Listening to their needs and their wants. And that really kind of helped me in starting my business because it’s like, okay, what, what are you having problems with?
And how can I help solve that? Then that’s where it’s sort of the unconditional love comes in because that’s really what we want to do, express our love for them and whether that’s letting them having patients and if they need to sleep in my bed or if they need to. You know, and they sit with them for half an hour while I’m like, I really need to be prepping for those podcasts it’s being present.
I think that is really kind of Dan what my children was able to teach me.
[00:43:45] Stephanie: Oh, well, thank you so much for joining today. Where can we find you online? Yes. So,
[00:43:51] Stacey: um, like Instagram at Stacy S T a C E Y H. L E E my website is
[00:43:59] Stephanie: solve your books.com. I love that. Solve your bucks. Well, thank you so much for joining Stacy.
Thank you for having me. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of mommy’s on a call, your support Nancy absolute world. To me, you can find the show notes for this episode and other goodies over at mommy’s on a call.com. And if you enjoyed this episode or have gotten value from the podcast, I would be so grateful if you could head on over to apple pie.
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