Want to Know the Secret to Becoming a “Financial Grown-Up?”

AKT clients Drew Barrymore, Alexia Brue, and Bobbi Rebell, share their “adulting” how-to’s with Well+ GOOD. Find out how health and wellness factor into their success formula.


Most milestones of adulthood are pretty rad. Remember the thrill of getting your own apartment, going on your first solo trip, and finally scoring a job that pays a daily-green-juice salary?

But financial firsts, like setting up a retirement fund and coming up with a plan for tackling student loan debt, aren’t quite so exciting. In fact, they can be downright scary—and the stress of dealing with them (or not) could actually be detrimental to your health. (For instance, one in four Americans have PTSD-like symptoms linked to money stress.)

how-to-be-a-financial-grownupTo help turn this widespread fear into empowerment, Reuters personal finance columnist and TV anchor Bobbi Rebell penned How to Be a Financial Grownupa new compilation of advice and personal stories from celebrities, business leaders, and money pros, all sharing the a-ha moments that led them to take charge of their cash flow.

Monetary maturity has nothing to do with age, says Rebell. “A financial grownup is making deliberate decisions about their financial health,” she explains. “They may have debt, and they may not be making as much money as they want, but they are fully tuned in to what is going on with their finances and are taking the best steps they can to create a path to financial wellness.”

Although the book’s contributors come from all sorts of upbringings and industries, from Drew Barrymore to Tony Robbins, one common thread runs through their stories: Financial security’s not a given, even if you make serious bank.

“[Everyone] shared unexpected events that changed their perceptions of—and their attitudes towards—money,” says Rebell. “Many were caught in situations they never thought they would be in—things that happen ‘to other people’—or were forced to be honest with themselves about their financial situation. We all want a ‘grownup’ to take care of us for as long as possible—it’s so much easier! But life doesn’t work that way.”

“We all want a ‘grownup’to take care of us for as long as possible—it’s so much easier! But life doesn’t work that way.”

Rebell hopes your bank account won’t be the only thing that’s healthier after reading these honest, unedited stories, a few of which are excerpted below. “The stress caused by financial anxiety can cause tremendous physical issues,” she points out. “There’s a reason I talk about things like organizationrelationshipshealthy eating, and even meditation. It is all connected. Financial wellness is an essential part of being happy and healthy.”

Alexia Brue, co-founder and publisher of Well+Good


I was diagnosed with cancer in college. Hodgkin’s disease. I had chemotherapy. Usually you deal with your mortality later in life, so it was a real wake-up call that I couldn’t take good health for granted. Staying on top of my health has always been front and center in my life for the last 20 years and Well+Good, in many ways, is an extension of that.

I once read a quote from a very popular female celebrity. She said working out every day was self-indulgent—I think she had that wrong. You can do all the right financial planning in life, but if you don’t take care of yourself, it can cost you everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Just think—a $1,500 bag translates into 30 boutique fitness classes and 40 green juices.

It is about trade-offs. With personal finances, there is no way to have it all. You constantly have to prioritize and plan for what’s important to you. You can’t splurge without saving somewhere else. Actually the Well+Good community employs this principle all the time.

Luxury wellness experiences, such as $35 fitness classes and $10 green juices, are expensive, to be sure. We’ve seen a lot of our readers reallocate the way they spend their money. For example, people used to care more about the season’s it-bag or a pair of incredible shoes. Now, we see a lot of millennial women saying to hell with the bag of the season; they’d rather do the workouts they love and splurge on smoothies and green juices.

They’ve made a conscious trade-off in deciding that these daily experiences mean more to them than a bag. Just think—a $1,500 bag translates into 30 boutique fitness classes and 40 green juices. I can’t remember the last time I bought a pricey bag. Instead I’ve turned my yearly bag splurge into my fitness fund.

Drew Barrymore, actress and entrepreneur


My financial grownup moment was being told by Steven Spielberg to turn down money. This was after E.T.,and I was getting all kinds of endorsement offers. And for many years afterwards it was very difficult, because I would have liked to have that money and maybe even needed that money very much.

When you have the intention of wanting to strike it rich, something might possibly go awry.

But in the end it paid off because I was able to learn about integrity and that working for your money is not only key and crucial, but if you haven’t spread yourself too thin, you probably will have better opportunities later. Even if they are the ones only created from yourself, you won’t have confused everyone along the way.

I think that when you have the intention of wanting to strike it rich, something might possibly go awry. [But] if you pour your heart into something and you know that one day you might have enough to support yourself, that is literally the energy that has to go into building whatever it is you are trying to build.

 Read the full article here.

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