Getting Honest with Ourselves About Money: The Financial Diet’s Chelsea Fagan

Episode 01

It’s the first episode in our “Ending the Year with a Bang” series, and we’re bolting headlong into everyone’s favorite topic (especially after week upon week of holiday spending)–finances! Maybe your finances don’t have you ending 2022 with a bang—it has been challenging and hard on the financial front for a lot of us–everything from post pandemic shifts to rising inflation to rising interest rates; things might seem a little gloomy on the financial horizon. But as Jen herself has learned over the last couple of years, you can turn the tide and start calling the shots on your finances, instead of staying in the dark and wondering where you stand. This applies to everyone no matter what money madness plagues you—even if you’re having to start over, or you don’t have much to work with, or you’re wildly uninformed about how to wrangle numbers. Just like a new year, we can all start at the very beginning. This week’s guest brings the realistic–and hopeful—truth about how to turn our finances around, or even just how we can manage things a little differently for maximum benefit. Chelsea Fagan is the co-founder and CEO of The Financial Diet. Having descended into her own financial pit during her first years living in New York, Chelsea decided to make a change and as she began to see some of the simple things she instigated move her toward a healthier financial picture, she wanted to empower others with the reality that basic changes in how we look at money can create great impact toward our financial futures. Chelsea helps people daily with budgeting, credit scores, investing, and does it all with a hopeful outlook that will bring even the least financially minded of us a sigh of relief. Get ready as Chelsea doles out some hard truths, some practical advice and even turns our weekly “what’s saving your life” question back on Jen—this is a conversation that ends up being, well, on the money!

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody, Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love Podcast. You guys, welcome to the show. I’m loving the series. We are in the For the Love of Ending the Year With a Bang. I like the idea of finishing strong and not just kind of phoning it in until January gets here and we sort of turn our attention to the things that matter. I really love the idea of going, “How can I walk out of 2022 just in strength?” Here we are, another year, another dollar as they say. If you have been following me at all, you know that for the last two years plus, I have been wildly reassessing my financial world and learning literally on the fly what is going to work for me and my family and what is not.

It has been a journey of learning practically everything new on personal finance, practically everything. I would’ve said that I started right after my divorce in negative space on this. I suppose it’s good timing as all of us collectively are looking at new events happening right now with global inflation, rising interest rates, and rising housing prices. I just think we’re in a new world, the pandemic has changed things. We’re going to have to figure this out while also keeping our eyes lifted and not discouraged. We can do this, we can adapt, we can change, we can try new tactics, and we can learn. Also, we can ask for help. It’s never too late to take charge of your finances, never. We’re not too far gone, we’re not too old, we’re not too deep in the bag, we’re not too far down the line on our career.

It’s never too late to say, “I’d like to be more in control of what my personal finances look like.” That was, I mean, 100% for me, I was 46 and I had no idea how much money I made. I didn’t know how to pay my bills. I didn’t know how many accounts we had. I didn’t know anything. When I tell you that it is possible to learn, I say that from experience. I mean, I started from scratch, figured it out with a lot of helpers. I asked a lot of questions, I sat in a lot of meetings, and I did a lot of reading. I can tell you now… I mean I’m just a regular person, I’m not a financial advisor, but I am definitely in front of my own financial journey now. I am in the know, there’s nothing I don’t know. There’s nothing I haven’t managed or touched, and it’s possible for all of us.

As we attempt to focus on how we can end our year well and start a new one strong, which by the way doesn’t have to happen at the start of a new year, it just happens to be where we are, I wanted to bring a financial expert on the show who would speak to all the different aspects to this current time, who really gets the mental fatigue surrounding all things finance, and give us practical, smart advice and new ways to think about our money, our future, and how we go about taking even baby steps to reel it all in. We do, she and I start at the absolute beginning. Then, we have some real specific conversation around how to handle finances at the holidays, because there’s real specific pressure there too. Today we have Chelsea Fagan, she’s the co-founder and CEO of The Financial Diet.

Chelsea hones this vibrant, amazing company that creates resources for anyone who wants to get schooled in all things financial. It doesn’t matter what your income level is. This is not just for rich people, this is just for anybody who wants to be in charge of their personal finances. Her company covers budgeting, credit scores, investing, life is messy stuff, all of it. She’s even champion, and we talk about this a little bit, a four day work week at her company. Y’all, we like her, we like Chelsea at the show. You’re going to feel really fired up about how she lays it out there and breathe a sigh of relief. I’m telling you, it might not be as hard as you think. I think she’s smart, wit smart. I like her approach to money. I like how she talks about it. I think she’s got an interesting mindset toward it and super practical advice, and so I’m absolutely delighted to bring this incredible conversation in front of you. You guys help me welcome Chelsea Fagan.


Mentioned in this Episode: 

Nerd Wallet


Broke Millennial

Can’t afford a CPA? See if you qualify for help with your taxes via a free service from United Way


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