Alexa Von Tobel’s “Financially Fearless”

Let’s be honest.  We’ve all had a time when we’ve been guilty of trying to “keep up with the Jones.” And if you find that competing with Ms. Jones is more than just rare occasion, we have just what the doctor ordered—or in this case, just what the financial planner ordered! Financial planning is one of those concepts that we sometimes put on the back-burner in order to take care of our day-to-day responsibilities.  Alexa von Tobel, chief executive officer of personal finance website, LearnVest, struggled severely with this reality. As a certified financial planner and graduate of Harvard University, Alexa found that even after working a few years on Wall Street, she still didn’t know the basics of this important life skill.  Luckily, she turned her challenges into what could be major triumphs for you! Now at 30, she shares her answers and experiences in her book Financially Fearless.

Unlike most financial planning books, Financially Fearless is not only digestible, it’s also relatable. Alexa writes from a holistic view, but provides practical and engaging information that speaks to situations unique to a woman. Although the gap is slowing closing, women on average still make 77 cents to a man’s dollar and are not typically the target audience when it comes to managing finances and wealth. Alexa’s book changes this.

In a candid, but dignified voice, Alexa discusses how to build circumstances such as maternity leave, childcare costs, grad school and caring for aging parents into your long-term financial plan. Despite its playful chapter titles like “Therapy Sesh,” Alexa writes under the empowering assumption that women have careers, not sugar daddies.

Financially Fearless is meant to break down the barriers of intimidation surrounding finance with flexible, but effective methods based on Alexa’s core 50/30/20 philosophy. Her budget structures the division of your monthly pay into using 50 percent for essentials, putting 20 percent in savings and the other 30 percent is reserved for “happiness.” The plan is weaved into witty, easy-to-read steps, laced with narratives called “Money Mics” that provide real-life scenarios for inspiration. Graphs, charts and even worksheets are also spliced throughout the book so that you’re not just passively reading, but physically crafting a future plan.

All of Alexa’s advice is practical and adaptable to various lifestyles, such as how to choose the correct health insurance plan to fit your needs and budget. She even has a section that analyses the economics of packing a lunch. She shares the surprising brown bagging stats: brining your lunch to work four days a week saves on average $1,248 per year. Her quick tips let you weigh your “cost per happy,” as she calls it, helping readers cut out the frivolous extra cocktails or clothes that provide a short lived happiness return. A modern guide, Financially Fearless, takes the anxiety out of future planning and puts you on the path to financial freedom!

Want to win a copy of Financially Fearless? Tweet us your top money-saving tips at @dressforsuccess and we’ll pick three winters at the end of the month to receive a copy of Alexa’s book!

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