Financial Wellness with Fiscal Femme

Interview by
Diane Danvers Simmons
Natalie Simmons
Published on
March 17, 2020

In this episode...

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Mothers & Daughters Unfiltered brings trusted money expert and self-proclaimed feminist, Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, on the podcast to discuss her mission to end inequality through financial wellbeing. Learn about everything from values-based saving to the 30-Day Money Cleanse and Money Parties. Let’s dance, ladies!


Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is an author, entrepreneur and feminist who is on a mission to end inequality through financial well-being. A trusted money expert featured on Forbes and NYTimes, she is the founder of the Fiscal Femme and the creator and author of The 30-Day Money Cleanse.


Episode 6 ventures between personal finance tips & tricks; stories of money-guru, Ashley Feinstein Gerstley’s, money journey from finance student to new mom and entrepreneur; and discussion on the power of financial wellness and what that means for women everywhere. 

Key Ideas:

2:30 - Guest, Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, introduces herself, sharing how her venture, Fiscal Femme, began as a blog based on her own journey with personal finance and has grow to encompass her greater mission of helping women achieve financial well-being so they have freedom in their choices. 

4:30 - Natalie shares a financial learning from her college negotiation class that while 7/10 men negotiate their salary only 3/10 women do. Updated information, from Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Linda Babcock, co-author of Women Don’t Ask, “Men are four times more likely than women to ask for a raise—and when women do ask, we typically request 30% less than men do.” 1

5:15 - Ashley declares herself an “elder millennial” as seen on Iliza Shlesinger’s Netflix special and discusses how she differentiates her “target market” angling towards feminists who care about women’s issues. 2

6:08 - The group discusses how to start progressive, feminist conversations around money by ushering in voices beyond the typical older, white, male leaders; making money conversations “accessible and fun”; and, developing resources that are uncomplicated and NOT boring.

7:25 - Walking through why Ashley created Fiscal Femme’s “30 Day Money Cleanse” and how it can support any goal we have from saving for retirement to starting a family. 3

10:28 - Taking a values based approach to personal finance versus using the traditionally recommended money percentages. 

13:40 - Flipping the script on saving, starting with low threshold goals and auto-enrolled 401K payments so we put saving out of sight, out of mind. Ashley shares a staggering statistic that “the average american has less than $400 saved.” 4

16:10 - Natalie remarks on the psychology and behavioral economics of spending and tools that make it easier on ourselves to save or spend wisely by taking choice out of it. Ashley shares preferences for auto-transferred funds for saving and 401Ks.

18:25 - Diane shares experience creating a college fund for Natalie and, son, Nicholas using the savings tool: the 529. 

21:10 - Ashley shares how her perspective on money has changed since she had a child, the unexpected costs of having her first kid and stories about how she is starting to talk to him about money early.

27:30 - The group discusses sharing finances with a spouse and Ashley shares tips on how she recommends starting the money conversation with your significant other. 

28:22 - Ashley introduces her concept of Money Parties - creating time to deal with finances every month - in hope of making facing our finances more lighthearted and fun!

29:59 - Natalie takes a moment to break down the financial wellness analogy the group has been discussing.

39:21 - The group discusses the state of the traditional “financial dream”: buying a house.

42:45 - Ashley restates her reason for creating Fiscal Femme, citing how financial independence can empower, protect and create a virtuous cycle for women. She states: “Money means choices. With a good amount of money in your account - a woman can leave a job or a person when she needs to.” 

43:08 - “We have all of these negative associations with money, like ‘having money is greedy’, but imagine all of these incredible women having money and what they would do with that.” 

43:50 - The episode ends with financial tips from Ashley including, keeping a money journal to track spending, setting recurring calendar invite for Money Party, and simply taking action, perhaps starting with choosing one step from Fiscal Femme’s “7 Day Jumpstart Guide”. 5


1 | That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together by Joanne Lipman. Copyright © 2018 by Surrey Lane Media, LLC. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. (See World Economic Forum Article: Women are still not asking for pay rises. Here's why)

2 | Iliza Shlesinger, Elder Millennial Netflix Comedy

3 | The 30-Day Money Cleanse Book

4 | Survey: 69% of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings, GOBanking Rates, December 16, 2019

5 | 7-Day Jumpstart Guide

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