Episode 31: Getting Real with Personal Finances | Laura Adams, aka the “Money Girl”

In this episode we hear from Laura Adams, who many may already know as the “Money Girl,” who is responsible for helping a large number of people get out of debt and plan for a safer and calmer future. Laura talks about her relocation from California to Austin, and gives tips for everyone, whether you are managing college debt, or thinking about adding a side hustle to your routine. Laura shares her professional insight on the evolving scene downtown in Austin, and ways to invest, increase, and save intelligently through rentals, scholarships and much more!




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Key Takeaways:

[1:50] Laura was born and raised in South Carolina and went to the Bay Area for work, then her company relocated to Austin. She knew nothing about Austin when she arrived but liked it right away!

[3:50] Laura loves the difference of no state income tax in Texas, vs. California. There are things about the Bay Area she misses, but she finds Austin very friendly! She found going from Florida to California very expensive, and some parts of Texas remind her of price-friendly Florida.

[6:11] They love living in downtown so much they just renewed their lease. She finds living downtown in Austin similar to the Bay Area prices and recommends living on the outskirts of towns for those wanting to find bargains. For them, convenience and being close to her yoga studio, grocery stores, and fun places was very important.

[8:54] When Laura was getting her MBA, it struck her that people can be very knowledgeable about finance in their career, but could struggle when it comes to personal finances. After she got her MBA, she started blogging about corporate finance and then it led to more personal finance tips.

[10:31] She got into podcasts early — about 2006, only about two years after they came out. She had over 100 different podcasts she listened to.

[11:55] At first her podcast was about corporate finance, but the feedback was that the personal finance side sparked people’s interest of what they wanted to hear. She dove in to learn more and educated herself deeply on the subject matter.

[12:38] She was invited to be part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and started in 2008. The conversations then were based in the recession.

[14:09] The Quick and Dirty Tips network was acquired by Macmillan, a large publisher based in New York. This gave her a book deal, and she was able to do several audio books and a paperback with them.

[14:42] Her first book was titled Smart Moves to Grow Rich. It starts off with mindset, and then leads to how to create a budget, manage your net worth, and basic tips for saving money.

[16:18] The Money Girl audience is slightly more male than female!

[17:10] Some advice for students living in Austin: on the surface, the escalating cost of real estate values may seem daunting, but Laura sees only good things ahead.

[19:46] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.

[20:51] A good strategy for young people is to buy a duplex and rent out one side, or keep it as a rental property. She stresses just to make sure everyone is on the same page about living habits.

[24:10] Folks in school can continue to apply for scholarships while they are in school. Student loan rates are less than a car loan and credit card debts, so focus on the debts that are the highest interest rate.

[26:18] Interest accrues more when you back off of payments. Look at consolidating debt at a lower interest rate. Sometimes debt can even be forgiven when you work in underserved areas.

[28:45] Side hustles are going to be the solutions to many people’s problems to help them get aggressive on debt.

[32:07] The tech community and Tim Ferriss have both helped make side hustles mainstream.

[34:23] She loves showing guests around Austin, and taking them around a tour of the Capital, the LBJ Ranch, walking on South Congress, downtown, and watching the bats from the Four Seasons hotel.

[36:51] Next week we will be talking with Ivan Misner.

The Taco:

Whole Foods Tacos | Corn Tortilla Breakfast Taco

Mentioned in This Episode:

Laura Adams

Grammar Girl

Quick and Dirty Tips Network

Macmillan Publishing

Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich

Tim Ferriss

Whole Foods Austin

LBJ Ranch

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