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022: End Your Financial Stress Now with Published Author Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy BirkenEmily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance writer. She has written four books: The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work for You, and her newest, End Financial Stress Now. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys.

Emily is actually a friend and long-time writer/editor at my site, PT Money. If there is a second voice on the site, it’s Emily. I’ve always enjoyed her writing and it’s a privilege to have her write for the site.

In this episode, Emily shares the secret to her financial success, some of her first big financial goals and struggles, her goals for the future, and she even shares some tips for getting started as a freelancer like her. Finally, she shares some great insights from her new book, what’s causing stress in our financial lives and what we can do to lessen that stress.

Listen to This Episode with Emily Guy Birken

I hope you enjoyed that. A big thank you to Emily for giving us the gold today.

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This show is part of the FinCon Podcast Network and was produced by Steve Stewart.

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  1. Avatar Engineer father of engineers says:

    I loved the podcast right up until Emily said her goal was to be able to send her kids to a super expensive liberal arts college if they so chose. Emily, seriously? Send your kids to the cheapest state school and urge them to major in something useful. You really don’t want to be feeding then when they are 30.

    1. Emily Guy Birken Emily Guy Birken says:

      Hi Engineer,

      Glad you liked the podcast. To answer your question, yes! Seriously!!

      Here’s my college-to-career story. I double majored in French Literature and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing at tiny Kenyon College. I graduated in 2001. I worked as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble right out of college, then as an administrative assistant, then as an Americorps volunteer, then as a teacher, before I started writing about money. I have always supported myself.

      Part of the reason why my writing career took off the way that it did is because I bring a love of language and a deep understanding of writing to finance, which is not something you find with the majority of money writers–and it is this, as well as my previous and varied career experience–that has positioned me to be a successful financial writer. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I anticipate that my sons will have similarly odd, varied, serendipitous, and fulfilling careers, no matter whether they go to a state school to major in engineering like their father (which I will absolutely support, if that is their choice), or they decide to major in Underwater Basketweaving at Big Bucks Small College. What I want is for them to learn and follow the path that is right for them.

      I can also say with total honesty that they won’t be relying on me when they are 30 no matter what they choose, because that is not how I am raising them, nor the example I am setting for them, nor the financial choice that I would ever make for a capable adult whether or not he is my son. I may screw up, they may screw up, and things may not turn out the way we hope. It’s entirely possible that 25 years from now I’ll be the mother of two unemployed (or underemployed) underwater basketweavers, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I will not be hosting unemployed basketweavers in my home, since there are always always always opportunities out there for capable, intelligent, and strong young adults who aren’t afraid of work.

      Ultimately, I want to teach them that education is a lifelong pursuit (their father is getting a Master’s Degree starting this fall), that making money and having a career are not synonymous, that meaningful work is the path to fulfillment, and that there is great pride in taking care of yourself financially. Where they go to school and how much we spend on it is only a piece of that puzzle, and it’s a piece that we can afford. I can certainly fail to raise self-sufficient adults in lots of ways, but focusing simply on my goal of giving them the gift of educational choices puts far too much emphasis on that single way that things could go wrong.

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