Last week, Farnoosh Torabi, Money Coach extraordinaire, was on The View sharing a bit about a new show she’s starring in called “Bank of Mom and Dad”. And this week, we had the chance to chat with her personally! She lent some great wisdom around saving (and splurging), and gave us a behind-the-scenes peek at the episodes that lie ahead.
Photo Courtesy: ABC
First, a bit about “Bank of Mom and Dad”. The premise? The ten-episode show takes money-struggling young women in their 20s and 30s, and provides them with a financial coach to help them on the road to becoming debt-free. The girls must face their parents moving in for a week to help control their overspending, who along with Money Coach Farnoosh Torabi, help to curb the gals’ bad habits. Each week, the girls must face a harsh reality check as their parents move in and each penny they spend is scrutinized. It’s airing at 10-11pm Wednesday nights on SOAPnet — we’re off to set our Tivos now to ensure we capture every single episode…hopefully we’ll learn a thing or two!!
As an added plus, tonight’s episode (10/7), even has a fun style/fashion component to it! It highlights Danielle, a 27-year-old wife, mother and aspiring fashion designer in Hartford, CT. Her $40,000 debt is taking its toll on her dream of having her own design business, while still hoping to provide a stable future for her family. She spends money she doesn’t have on wigs, beauty products and fast food while student loans, car loans, parking tickets, medical bills and bills pile up. With the help of money coach Farnoosh Torabi, Danielle’s mom Natalie and stepdad Fred move in to help get Danielle’s priorities straight. (SOAPnet/MARK BRENDEL)
Inside Scoop – Up Close & Personal with Farnoosh Torabi:
Farnoosh Torabi, Author of “You’re So Money – Live Rich Even When You’re Not” is known for her captivating words of wisdom about spending. And lucky us, as we mentioned, had the chance to chat with her up close and personal– check out the words of wisdom she shared with Shop It To Me!
Shop It To Me: You look so great on camera! Give us some behind the scenes scoop on the taping of the show itself — how much is your wardrobe influenced by a stylist vs. your own picks?
Farnoosh: I have more than 30 outfit changes for this show – but a limited budget for clothing – so it was important to get expert help. I have the fortune of working with two very talented stylistas. Jamie Rosenthal and her assistant Amber Stolec. To establish my look for the show – which we wanted to be chic and professional but not stuffy — Jamie examined my existing closet and asked me where I like to shop, the brands I prefer and my sizes. From there she hit the stores of New York where she could find affordable and versatile pieces. Much of my wardrobe stems from Banana Republic, Zara, Macy’s, J.Crew and my own closet. The idea was to blend some of my own clothing with Jamie’s purchases so that I was really portraying myself. If she brought me something that I would never wear in real life – it most likely wouldn’t make the show.
Shop It To Me: Anything incredibly exciting or unexpected from this season of “Bank of Mom and Dad” that you can tease us with?
Farnoosh: Let’s just say it’s not just the daughters who have breakthroughs. Sometimes Mom and Dad also learn a thing or two about money management proving it’s never too late to enhance your money management skills.
Shop It To Me: To be 20-something and in debt is a common situation. If you could only pass along one, and only one, tip to 20-something women regarding their finances, what would it be?
Farnoosh: Keep busy and find opportunities to make more money if cash is tight. On average, women earn less than men, all while living costs have gone up. So if you find yourself at the end of the month with empty pockets do what it takes to land a side job to supplement your income in a way that allows you to pay down debt aggressively and save for a rainy day. Not to mention – the busier you keep yourself the fewer chances you’ll also have to get bored and shop.
Shop It To Me: We’re dying to know about you personally. Farnoosh, did your parents teach you money management, or was it something you learned on your own?
**Farnoosh: **My parents taught me almost everything about money. And it wasn’t like they sat me down and had weekly money sessions at the kitchen table. Much of what I learned was from just observing them. I was an only child until I was 11-yearss-old so I spent a lot of time with my parents – going to open houses with them when they were house hunting, sitting forever with them at the mortgage signing, watching my mom haggle at flea markets, seeing her pay off her Macy’s card with cash in the mall and seeing my dad manage the family’s finances on Quicken. My dad also took me to the local credit union when I was 12 to open my first savings account. I vividly remember a phone call in college, too, between my mother and I where she basically told me that if I ever got into serious debt she and my father would not bail me out…all while secretly I carried a $4,000 balance on my Visa. Gulp. That sure had me get my act together. My finance degree and eight years writing about personal finance has contributed a great deal, too. My parents, though, take the cake.
Shop It To Me: Our members love to shop. Any thoughts on responsible ways of shopping where you can still get your fashion fix?
Farnoosh: I actually use shopittome to deliver all the great sales out there from my favorite designers and stores. I also think it’s important to budget for clothes and not to see it as, say, $100 a month (if that’s what you decide) but rather $1200 a year. This way your budget doesn’t seem impossible. You can suddenly see a whole wardrobe with $1200. The trick is – if you spend all of it at once you have to spend the other 11 months not buying a single item. So best to spread out your purchases and not feel deprived the rest of the year. I also find more women swapping clothes these days. It’s completely free and offers the chance to clear out some of the unwanted items in your closet in exchange for something you’ve had your eye on in your friend’s closet.
**Shop It To Me: When it comes to clothing, when (if ever) is it appropriate to splurge?! **
Farnoosh: Splurging on a piece that you consider an investment with a valuable return – like time or confidence – can be worth it sometimes. For example, a black cashmere cardigan is classic so it’ll never go out of style and you won’t be back in the store buying another one next winter. Pieces that also win you confidence can sometimes be worth the splurge. For example a power suit that’s going to win you an interview and serve you in your job as you climb the ladder (and earn more money) can be a great investment. (But hey, still shop around).