How to Be a Financial Grownup

Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom

By Bobbi Rebell – Foreword by Tony Robbins

Pub Date: October 18, 2016
How to Be a Financial Grownup
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-938548-66-6 / 232 pages / $24.95
ePub ISBN: 978-1-938548-67-3 / $17.99
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-938548-69-7 / $17.99
ePDF ISBN: 978-1-938548-68-0 / $17.99

• Dozens of examples guide readers in making important financial decisions
• Features financial grownup stories from some of the biggest names in business
• Author is an award-winning TV anchor and personal finance columnist

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Who knew a personal finance book would have stories that included a sex scandal, repeated battles with cancer, tales of living out of a car, not to mention the heart-wrenching story of a childhood so poor even food was uncertain. — From the Preface

Bobbi Rebell, award-winning TV anchor and personal finance columnist, taps into her exclusive network of business leaders to share with you stories of the financial lessons they learned early in their lives that helped them become successful. She then uses these stories as jumping off points to offer specific, actionable advice on how you can become a financial grownup just like them.

Financial role models such as Author Tony Robbins, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, Designer Cynthia Rowley, Actor and Entrepreneur Drew Barrymore, CEO and Financial Advisor Sallie Krawcheck, and others share their stories.

Some of the stories are candid and raw, touching on everything from a personal health crisis, to infidelity, and even homelessness. Some are classic coming-of-age stories, including getting advice from parents, buying a first home, and learning tough lessons from bosses at first jobs. The beauty of Rebell’s approach is that these role models share their growing-up moments with you in a relatable, straightforward way.

The book walks you through some of the biggest money decisions you’ll make regarding real estate, investing, debt management, careers, friends and money, family finances, and even health and wellness. You’re guided by proven examples and given the information you need to make choices that are right for you.

How to Be a Financial Grownup will especially appeal to you if you’re interested in new ideas to better manage your finances, especially if you’re going through life changes where you have to pay more attention to your financial well-being.

Financial Grownup™ is a trademark of BRK Media LLC.

About the Author

Bobbi Rebell

Bobbi Rebell is the author of the bestselling self-help/personal finance book How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom. The book combines unique personal financial stories from inspirational leaders with targeted specific actionable advice to help readers take charge of their money. Role Models include Tony Robbins, Kevin O’Leary, Cynthia Rowley, Jim Cramer, Drew Barrymore, and Sallie Krawcheck. Financial Grownup has been featured in AARP Magazine, Well + Good,, New York Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Refinery 29, The Tony Robbins Blog, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, HerMoney with Jean Chatzky, and countless other media outlets.

Bobbi is an award-winning TV anchor and personal finance columnist, most recently at Thomson Reuters, the largest news organization in the world. Her business videos have been seen on hundreds of broadcast and online channels around the world, and her Reuters column on personal finance was syndicated to newspapers and websites worldwide. She was also previously a reporter at PBS (Nightly Business Report) and held various producer positions at CNN and CNBC. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has a Certificate in Financial Planning from New York University. She lives in New York with her husband, three kids, and her morkie Waffles.

Table of Contents

List of Financial Role Models
Foreword by Tony Robbins
Preface: Story Time

  1. Be A Financial Grownup
  2. A Debt Primer
  3. Careers Are for Making Money
  4. How to Spend Money
  5. Investing Starts Now
  6. Family Matters
  7. Consider Your Real Estate Options
  8. Mixing Friends and Finances
  9. Wealth and Wellness
  10. Educate Yourself, Then Others
  11. Conclusion: Your Own Grownup Moment

About the Author

List of Financial Role Models

Chapter 1: Be A Financial Grownup

  • Entrepreneur Ivanka Trump
  • Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary
  • WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell
  • Meredith’s Steve Lacy

Chapter 2: A Debt Primer

  • Yummie Tummie’s Heather Thomson
  • NerdWallet’s Tim Chen
  • HighTower’s Elliot Weissbluth

Chapter 3: Careers Are for Making Money

  • Fashion Designer Cynthia Rowley
  •’s Charles Best
  • Betterment’s Jon Stein
  • Douglas Elliman’s Dottie Herman
  • Macy’s Terry Lundgren

Chapter 4: How to Spend Money

  • DailyWorth’s Amanda Steinberg
  • Wealthfront’s Adam Nash
  • Author Jill Kargman

Chapter 5: Investing Starts Now

  • MassMutual’s Roger Crandall
  • Reuters’ Stephen Adler
  • Morningstar’s Joe Mansueto

Chapter 6: Family Matters

  • Ellevate’s Sallie Krawcheck
  • Big City Moms’ Risa Goldberg and Leslie Vinokur
  • LexION Capital’s Elle Kaplan

Chapter 7: Consider Your Real Estate Options

  • Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff
  • Reuters’ Bobbi Rebell
  • PwC’s Bob Moritz
  • Fortune’s Susie Gharib

Chapter 8: Mixing Friends and Finances

  • Huge Inc.’s Aaron Shapiro

Chapter 9: Wealth and Wellness

  • Well+Good’s Alexia Brue

Chapter 10: Educate Yourself, Then Others

  • Mad Money’s Jim Cramer
  • Author/Entrepreneur Tony Robbins
  • Actor/Entrepreneur Drew Barrymore



Every night, my eight-year old son and I read a story before he goes to bed. Sometimes it gets us talking about his day. Or my day. Or what happened at school. Or something he’s worried about. It starts a conversation. He asks questions, many that I can’t answer. We talk more. And then he sleeps on it.

Stories do that. They get us talking. They help us pay attention to things that matter. They help us remember lessons. They help us relate to one another. They bring us together.

Stories are the foundation of How to be a Financial Grownup because I believe nothing grabs a reader’s attention, and makes a lasting mark, like a compelling story.

When I started the process of asking successful people whom I admired about their experiences with money, I had no idea what to expect. What if they all said the same thing? That would make a terrible book. The project could easily crash and burn before it even got off the ground. Even worse, what if they didn’t even want to participate?

As you will see when you start to turn the pages, the very opposite happened. Each and every one of the extraordinary role models shared unique experiences. Who knew that a personal finance book would have stories that included a sex scandal (Sallie Krawcheck), repeated battles with cancer (Alexia Brue), tales of living out of a car (Jim Cramer) not to mention the heart-wrenching story of a childhood so poor even food was uncertain (Tony Robbins)?

It was also important to be honest and transparent about the reality that we don’t all begin at the same starting line. I believe that we can learn just as much from the born-rich role models, such as Ivanka Trump and Sir Martin Sorrell, as we can from the extraordinary rags-to-riches tales of a role model such as Tony Robbins. Many a scion has blown their fortune or, even worse, lived an irrelevant life. The accomplishments of those who get a head start can be just as instructive and inspiring as those who start with nothing.

The Process

I wanted to make the interviews simple and fun for the role models, so I asked them just two questions:

  1. What was your financial grownup moment?
  2. What was the lesson you learned, or one that you want to share?

The questions were asked by different means. Some were in person, some were over the phone, and some were by email. I promised everyone that their contributions would be treated as quotes and would be included in the book as is. No edits would be made without their consent, and even then would only be made in extreme circumstances. I gave no parameters. Some answers came in short and sweet. Some were a bit long-winded. But they are all unedited and genuine.

The role models I selected to interview included a mix of business types. Some were top executives whom I had interviewed when I was a journalist for Reuters. I looked for companies and individuals who had a strong interest in promoting financial literacy. Many were people who I knew were doing extraordinary things in their fields, and I reached out to them even though we had no connections at all. Some were suggested by friends who then provided introductions. As the process went on, I tried to hit a diverse range of industries and perspectives.

I then added a variety of subject matter experts to give readers tangible information and advice for implementing the lessons. Like the role models, they were often people I knew from my years as a journalist, or they were experts I reached out to because they were leaders in their fields.

And of course I added my own perspectives, along with specific tips and ideas of my own.

No one was compensated in any way for participation in How to Be a Financial Grownup, and I was not paid in any way to include any person or company quoted or mentioned in the book. Every product, app, and website recommendation I make is genuine.

My goal is to get you, my readers, to pay attention to your own financial story. And then you can take action and set a course that gives you the happy ending you desire.

Praise for How to Be a Financial Grownup

This collection of celebrity anecdotes – sometimes funny, sometimes scandalous – makes personal finance approachable and easily understandable. There’s a lesson for everyone, whether you make $25,000 or $250,000.
ANDY SERWER, Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Finance, and former Managing Editor, Fortune Magazine

Sure it is fun to play all day, but I think Peter Pan never wanted to grow up for another very good reason: there are no credit cards, mortgages, health insurance, or student loans in Neverland. In the real world, however, everyone struggles with these and other financial challenges. How to Be a Financial Grownup is the perfect personal finance storybook – with engaging money tales from real, successful people along with actionable advice. Follow their words of wisdom if you want a happy ending, folks!
LAUREN YOUNG, Money Editor, Thomson Reuters, and former Personal Business Editor, BusinessWeek, and Senior Writer, SmartMoney Magazine

Whether you’re a new grad just embarking on your financial life or a not-so-new one who simply never got your act together, Bobbi Rebell has amassed a list of to-dos that can get you on the right track without being overwhelming.  Plus, it’s a fun read.
JEAN CHATZKY, Financial Editor, NBC Today, and Host, HerMoney (podcast)

As a society, we’re used to seeking health and lifestyle advice from celebrities. How to Be a Financial Grownup applies that approach to financial health – a critical but often overlooked component of overall wellness. The result is a collection of engaging, practically applicable lessons about money from a variety of worthy teachers.
ELLIOT WEISSBLUTH, Founder and CEO, HighTower

To be a success, you need to know the difference between an idea and a gameplan. A lot of people have ideas, but not many have a real plan to bring them to life. Bobbi’s book is full of successful people who’ve had a real gameplan. It’s full of valuable advice to help make you a success – whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your game to the next level.
KENNY DICHTER, Founder and CEO, Wheels Up