It’s important to listen to that inner voice that guides you towards doing what you are passionate about.
But, it’s also important to make a living and take care of your family.
Finding the intersection of soul work and logic is the sweet spot of a fulfilled life, and our guest on the podcast this week, did just that.
Farnoosh Torabi is a leading personal finance expert and the author of You’re So Money – Live Rich Even When You’re Not, became a nationally acclaimed tell-all for young adults looking for financial guidance.
Add to that her stint on reality TV, an award-winning web-series, two other books, and her top-rated podcast and it becomes glaringly obvious that Farnoosh is as much a star as she is a financial savant.
Today on the InFLOW podcast Michelle and Farnoosh talk all things money, work, and being a financially savvy woman.
This is an episode you don’t want to miss, listen below:
In this episode, Michelle and Farnoosh discuss:
- The benefits of NOT being a stay-at-home parent
- Why women need a financial agency
- The importance of women being financially secure, if not independent
Find out more!
- Subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes at: http://www.michellebosch.com/itunes
- Android users can subscribe and rate our podcast at: http://www.michellebosch.com/android
- Follow Michelle Bosch on Instagram to see what she’s up to: https://www.instagram.com/michelleboschofficial
Keep up with Farnoosh here:
- Listen to The So Money podcast on iTunes at https://podcast.farnoosh.tv/
- Find her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/FarnooshTorabi (she loves answering money questions via DM!)
Farnoosh: Thank you so much, Michelle. And if any of you want to hear more about Michelle, come on the podcast, “So Money.” I just interviewed you. You’re such a superstar. I’m impressed with so much that you have built and you’re a complete role model for me too. So, it’s mutual admiration society here. Thank you for having me.
Michelle: Thank you. Farnoosh, I was just discussing right now with you briefly at the beginning of, you know, the recording. I want to hear about your background. How did you grow up around money? I know, you know, your parents are Persian, you know, from Iran and, you know, what kind of beliefs around money did you grow up with and…just tell us all about it.
Farnoosh: Sure. Well, I often say it’s partly why, it’s a big reason why I became a financial author and dedicated so much in my career to helping people put their money. It was because of the way I was raised. So, I have an education in finance and I have a lot of career experience with money, but it’s really my mom and my dad that gave me the sort of mindset to be able to talk about money, be interested and curious about money. You know, I’m Middle Eastern, I was born in the United States. My parents moved here around 1980. I was born here and they immigrated from Iran. And I think as I’ve spoken to other Iranians and other people from the Middle East, there’s definitely an openness to talking about money. And some would even say that it’s egregious.
Like, there’s just too much nosiness when it comes to money. Like, we want to know what things cost. We want to know how much people make. We want to bargain, we want to negotiate. We look at the financial world through the lens of investing and, you know, growing wealth and all of that. And there’s also a different narrative too, depending on, I guess maybe the cultural back-… There’s a lot of different cultures, even within the bigger culture of Iranians. There’s like as with any, you know, culture, there’s subcultures, and there’s definitely a subculture, I think that’s very much the case in the United States too, where there’s a lot of materialism, like the flashy, like wanting the big fancy house, the big fancy car, the designer handbag, and that’s definitely an aspect to being Persian. It’s not everybody, but, I mean, you know, like I just have to turn to Bravo and look at like, you know, what is that show? “Shahs of Sunset.”
I mean, that’s definitely an aspect of the culture, but it’s not the culture, you know. Just like there’s always going to be that person in your family that’s like obsessed with her Chanel. So, that is definitely something that was also in the background growing up where it was sort of this competing, these two competing philosophies, which is like work hard, save, invest, but also like treat yourself and go for the bigger house if you can. There’s a lot of phonetic financial ambition that I grew up with. My parents came here with very little. My father was a student. He was getting his Ph.D. My mom had me very young at 19 and went to school later, went, finished college in America as she was raising me and working part-time. So, my parents are not shy when it comes to working hard. They always had the goal to go big, you know, they wanted the American dream to the fullest extent and I grew up with them as they climbed. And I think that experience also was very transformative for me. And to be able to watch them and see the results of their hard work was a learning lesson in and of itself. Oh, I often say, you know, it’s not what you tell your kids, it’s what you show your kids…
Michelle: What do you demonstrate, yeah.
Farnoosh: …especially when it comes to money. Absolutely.
Michelle: Yeah. Now, I know that you, I mean, you started in journalism and you said you have, you know, an education and a background in finance and you saw, did you just wake up one day, okay. You know, I see exactly where those two meet. There’s an intersection and there’s an opportunity. How did you find your way in what has become now your greatest work?
Farnoosh: It was a lot of strategy and, I mean, I’m a deep thinker. I think a lot of your listeners and viewers can relate. If you’re someone who’s ambitious, you’re always thinking five steps ahead. And I am a planner. I come from, you know, an academic background, both my parents and I definitely have that part of my brain that’s always, you know, wanting to, you know, not be surprised by life. Like, I want to know what’s around the corner and I will say that my…
Michelle: Totally get it.
Farnoosh: Yeah. But like leave some room for spontaneity. But…
Michelle: When it comes to money, at least for me, I’m like, “I don’t want any surprises. I want it to be predictable. I want it to be boring.”
Farnoosh: Yeah. So, there were, you know, I think that the journey to identifying my career path, you know, you felt like you’d go to college and major in financial journalism or there weren’t even a lot of role models at the time to know that that could even be something that I could do. But I think my first love was always journalism and writing and communicating. And I’m also, I had a background in theater. So, if I were to be a journalist, I thought broadcast would be better for me because I’m not shy to the mic. I don’t mind the performance aspect. And, you know, there’s a little bit of performance when you’re telling a story on live television, you know, you have to be, you can’t be frightful, you have to have that, you know, be… So, that I was very secure about. I was like, I know that’s what I love to do. But I kept hearing, you know, the rational side of me was worried about being able to survive on a journalist’s salary. I didn’t want to ever be in a place where I felt financially dependent on anybody. And so, I got a lot of cautionary advice even from journalists who were older, who would be like come to my school and talk to us or through friends saying like it’s not just not to have passion for this. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot. You know, you’re not, especially if you think about, you know, journalists, we work 24/7, so holidays, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving. In the beginning, at least you might be working these holidays, you might have to go to remote parts of the country to work at first and build up your kind of your life and your career, you’re not going to make a lot of money. And I was like, “Oh, I like this, but I don’t like it that much.” But then when I got to college, my father was like, “Just major in something that’s going to give you an ROI.”
Michelle: I know. It’s like…
Farnoosh: Like, you can work at your school paper and pretty much learn what you need to learn. But like while you’re in college investing and paying for the tuition, like learn something that you could not learn outside of the classroom necessarily at this stage of your life. So, I took finance as my degree and I pursued that, because I was like, well, “What is the most likely path to grow making money when you graduate? Learn about money in school.” So, I did that but I kept this voice inside of me, Michelle, just kept saying, you know, there has to be more. I don’t think this is my end-all, you know, like I think there’s more for me. I’m good at money, I like can crunch numbers, but this is not what I was put on the planet to do. And it was at an internship that summer in college. One summer, I think I was 19 or 20-years old, working in New York, working for CNBC on the business side of the network, not on the news side. Then I got sort of the bug again. I was like, “Okay, I really appreciate the business aspect of this network, but I really want to go on the other side of it.” So, while I was there, I started to, you know, be, get friendly with some of the reporters. I started to learn more about how to become a journalist again. You know, it’s like, well, maybe I can transition. I’m going to make this work. I’m going to try to find a way to make money. I actually learned that business journalists make above more than average. So, that was definitely music to my ears.
I started to look into programs that could allow me to easily transition from, you know, business to journalism. And I started to look at all the people who were working in the field, what were their bio’s, how did they get there? Oh, okay, well, maybe you should go get your MBA or maybe you should, you know, well, great that I’m studying finance, but maybe I should also get a journalism degree on top of that. So, that’s how I started to kind of see the path was a little bit of keeping, listening to my soul, but also like doing what I thought was rational, but then trying to… But then those competing forces, you know, okay, how can I make a compromise? And from studying finance, I finished my degree at Penn State, then I went immediately into journalism school at Columbia, and then immediately started working in financial news in New York City, not the middle of nowhere, making, you know, not a lot of money, but there was sort of a lot of promise, you know. And eventually working for myself in this field, I thought…I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot in so many ways.
Michelle: Yeah. I love this, that you said, you know, I listened to my soul, you know, that deep yearning that many of us have, but I also need to, you know, package that and look at it, you know, from a very realistic perspective and see who are people that are doing, you know, similar to the things that I want to do and kinda like reverse engineer your way, you know, to who you want to become. You know, I love and admire, you know, the left brain, the right brain coming together to really help you find your way. Absolutely. I know that you’ve started, Farnoosh, and you kind of like started, you know, listening to, you know, the voice of your soul like you said, and went out there, you know, got your second degree, started working, you know, on personal finance, started creating your audience at a very young age. Because to be frank at, you know, I think age 22, yeah? I was already, you know, done with schooling at that point. I think I was probably finishing up my MBA as well, but I didn’t have that clear picture. I knew, you know, a couple of years later that, you know, what I was doing I hated, so I’m a little bit, you know, a few years behind you. And you start growing your audience, you start also, you know, time passes by. You start growing up, your audience is growing up as well, you know, and then you, you become a mother, you become the breadwinner in your family, you know, you publish that, you know, “When She Makes More” book. And what kind of challenges, you know, have you encountered or have had to overcome by being the breadwinner of the family? And what I mean by challenges, I want to know like socially, like how you’re perceived, you know, emotionally what like, what are you going through, and more tangibly, you know, financially, like what challenges did you have to overcome, you know, as you made that transition from being a young adult, to a mom, to the breadwinner and so on.
Farnoosh: Yeah. I’m going to be really candid. I think that what was hardest for us in the marriage and it, you know, everyone has their own pain points when they are in a marriage and there’s financial complexity. And, you know, in our marriage the complexity was that we weren’t living the kind of traditional economic life of he making more and she making the same or less. And I first came up with, I first identified this as a potential complexity when I was thinking about writing my next book. I wasn’t…I think I was about to get married and I was like in a bar waiting for my husband to show up and I had a notebook. I always have a notebook and a pen with me and I was like, okay, I was thinking a lot in those days about what I wanted to write. I was thinking, I definitely want to write for women, something very special and timely that had to do with money. And at the time, you know, this was like 2010, my book came out in 2014, so a couple of years before that. This is kind of what, as you know, takes years for your book to come out, but this is like what my thought process was, I want to write something for women that is, I’m going to take the conversation to the next level but also sort of addresses the real, most modern current trends that are happening with women and money. And the next thought I had was, well, what am I experiencing that could potentially be the seed of an idea? And I thought, “What’s a problem in my life?” And if there’s a problem in my life that I feel that I can’t really answer, well, there must be so many other women who feel the same, especially if I’m somebody who’s in a position to help, you know, like I’m supposed to have all the answers and if I don’t have an answer for something that’s happening in my financial life, that’s probably a good place to start exploring.
So, I thought, you know, there is this taboo issue in my relationship, which is that I make more. It’s not taboo to my husband and I, but I felt like there was this inability for us to be open about it. Like, when we would go out, something as simple as going out to dinner with friends, what usually happens? The husbands settled the bill, which I thought was so interesting, because it was often a reflection of who was kind of in financial dominance in the relationship, right? Who was the, and, you know, it’s just traditionally been a male thing. So, like each of them put down the credit cards or pay for the dinner. And I was like, and then they’re going to think that he makes more than I do, which I don’t care. But that was weird to me. Like, if I were to then put down my credit card the next day, double date, like what would happen then, you know? Like, come on, people are going to start like…
Michelle: And I know exactly what you’re talking about.
Farnoosh: It would be a moment.
Michelle: You know, Jack and I work together and we’re also married to each other. And when we go out there with friends, you know, he pays. I’m like, but if they knew that all the big financial decisions, you know, when it comes to the business are, you know, are basically being done ultimately by me and that, yeah, but you have to, but you feel a little bit like socially awkward if you’re the one doing it.
Farnoosh: And, but you have to conform to social norms.
Farnoosh: And in that same vein, you don’t tell people that you make more than your husband because then what does that say about him? I would go on job interviews and people would, and like this is not actually lawful, but like I would have employers say, “What does your husband do?” You know, because maybe they knew I was the breadwinner or, you know, I had a very public-facing role, you know, as I was on television, like, the assumption is that maybe you do make more than your partner and there was a lot of like unhealthy curiosity about what my husband did and how does that work? How does that work? I got that question a lot. “How does it work that you make more than your husband?” As if like we’re walking around with naked, you know, without like, I don’t know, we’re driving backwards, like, “I don’t know, I mean, how does it work? It’s just money.” But it’s not just money. It’s layers of social conditioning that make you feel less than or inadequate or not normal because you have a different financial dynamic in your relationship. So, it wasn’t even so much our own issues individually with it. It was how it was being perceived and that pressure on us. And, you know, I didn’t like the feeling of feeling as though people were judging my husband unfairly because he didn’t make more than I did. Like, well, how is he really… “Is he really a good provider then? Is he really a good husband then? Is he really like, is he ambitious?” You know, they would ask. You know, it’s like, that’s so unfair. But that’s kind of how we’ve been conditioned to think. And so, I started to explore this further. There’s so much research on this, Michelle.
We found out that when she makes more, there’s a higher chance for divorce. Men feel emasculated, all of the the… I did my own study, a thousand women, looked between women who make more than their partners and they make the same or less and kind of broke it down as far as, “How do you feel about, what’s your satisfaction in your marriage? You know, how much housework do you do? And it’s all very tough. The results of all that is like tough to bear. You can find out that women sometimes don’t want to be the breadwinners in their marriages because they are just so overwhelmed with the judging and also the work that, you know. It’s, women do more housework when they make more because they want to make up for what they feel as should be like their feminine role, their feminine duties, and domestic responsibilities are often a female thing. So, they end up overdoing it in the household. They actually do more housework than women who make the same or less. That’s sick, you know. Like, why are we doing this ourselves?
Michelle: And for me, like I remember, there’s years where I could totally justify a new hire in the business, but I could not justify the support here at home. And I’m like, “Hello, I need to, you know, see that equally, you know, it’s one whole life.” It’s not just my life at work and my life at home. It’s, you know?
Farnoosh: It’s all a blend. And I was talking to a female breadwinner just a few weeks ago at a work event and she came up to me, as always happens. So, women will find me and come up, “Hey, I would like to ask you a question of how I read your book or reading your book.” It’s always like, you know, they’re not going to raise their hand in the group and be like, “I’m the female breadwinner and I have a question.” They usually find me offline or they stay, they get me into a corner and she’s, you know, “I love my husband. I’m not resentful. I love my job, I love it. But what I find to be really annoying sometimes is that when I go to work, and I work with all these men whose wives are not the breadwinners. And they come to work and they can stay late. And they came to work with no stress perhaps because everything was laundered, everything was ironed, their breakfast was on the table before they left. Their wives take care of everything, so they have no responsibilities really outside of work. And then here I am expected to compete with these men, right, at work. I am the breadwinner in my marriage just like they are, but I go home and I have a thousand things to do.” She said to me, “I woke up this morning and I had no underwear, you know.” So, does that happen? Maybe when you’re the male breadwinner, but I would argue it happens more often when you’re the female breadwinner.
Michelle: Absolutely. I would have to say it as well. Now, I know for “Neustadt,” you have been…you got a little bit of criticism, if not just a little bit, probably a lot. I know that you shared an opinion about women that decide to stay at home, which I’ve always respected that decision, but at the same time, I’m totally with you in that the moment that you make that decision that there is something that could inherently go wrong when it comes to dependency, you know, financially that can translate into dependency, emotionally, psychologically and so on and so forth. So, what was that opinion? Tell us exactly the blanket statement that you made out there and how you’ve navigated, you know, what’s your perspective? Why do you think that?
Farnoosh: Well, and to be fair, I think this extends to men and women.
Michelle: Yeah. Absolutely.
Farnoosh: It is the title of the piece which I didn’t choose but I don’t necessarily disagree with, is “I Don’t Believe In Stay-At-Home Parenting.” And here’s why. That was a very controversial piece. You know, like you, I respect everyone for any decision they make. I think that every decision is hard and especially decisions that have to do with your family, your career, your life. I mean, life is hard and there is no easy answer sometimes, but, you know, I think that I just want so much for people when it comes to their financial safety and their financial independence that I think that it’s unfair for me to want to sit back and be like, “Sure, be a stay-at-home parent. Good luck with that.” There are so many things you need to be at least just aware of. And if you’re aware of these things and you’re still okay with being a stay-at-home parent indefinitely, then okay. My job is just to bring you the information and hopefully, I mean, I have opinions. I mean, it’s not for me and I think that if a girlfriend were to come with, to me with this crossroads and say, “My husband makes twice as much as I do. Our childcare is basically what I earn. So I’m thinking of stepping out of the workforce to be the primary caretaker. It just doesn’t make financial sense.” And she’s right. It doesn’t make financial sense in that moment. But the risk that we run often is that we don’t think long-term. We don’t think about the large implications of us not working necessarily have on our financial security and our family’s financial security.
It is a fact. This isn’t… I didn’t make this up. It’s a fact that when you have a single income household, they are far more likely to experience financial setbacks, because if that single earner, whether it was the man or the husband, the husband or wife loses their job, okay, you don’t have any income to fall back on. That’s one. Number two, when you’re not working and let’s say you’ve had a salaried job, when you’re not working, you’re not just giving up your salary, you’re giving up your social security in, you know, that getting put into your social security for your future, you’re not being able to invest in your 401k. And so the grand total of what you’re losing financially, it’s far more than what you think is just babysitting money. And then not to mention, in the event that there is a break-up, you know, you want to be able to afford that without feeling beholden to your partner and not feeling, which is such a big problem in this country, the financial abuse sometimes of being in a relationship where you’re not making any money and your partner is sort of dangling that over you and saying like, “It’s my way or the highway,” and you don’t have a financial fallback, you know. All, I’ve learned a lot from the Me Too movement. And the biggest takeaway that I don’t think we’re talking about enough is that women need financial agency, that a lot of the women who fell prey to these predators, these male predators in Hollywood, on Wall Street, every industry, often at the end of the day, you’ve heard this a lot. You’ve heard, “Well, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t want to lose my job, right? So, I took the harassment, I took the bullshit, I took all of it.” And I completely empathize with that.
But imagine if she had a nest egg. Imagine if she, you know, had savings. Imagine if she was making more than what she was. And money gives you agency, whether you’re in a job that you hate, in a marriage that you hate. You know what I mean? And so, that’s where I’m coming from. It’s not coming from a place of, well, I don’t believe in the value of a stay-at-home parent. I think that’s a beautiful dynamic. I mean, imagine if you’re, you could be with your child everyday. Like, that’s important to a lot of people, and I want people to be able to pursue that, but be smart about it. So if that is your plan to stay home before you do that, can you save some money for yourself? And if you are going to stay out of the workforce, do you have an exit strategy to come back into the workforce, a re-entry strategy back into the workforce? Is there something you can do in the meantime to make a little bit of money or stay at least eligible in your field to get a job in two years whereas you’re continuing to network or you’re taking a workshop here or there online, you don’t even have to leave the house? So, that’s all I’m saying. And I think people misinterpreted that as Farnoosh doesn’t value stay-at-home parenting, that it’s better work.
Michele: Yeah. No, no. And like I’ve met, you know, several women that I, you know, one comes to mind where, you know, they have children that are already older. You know, I can understand, like you said in the very, very beginning when, you know, the children are really small, are very young, but her kids are now, you know, teenagers and she’s married to one of the, you know, high profile CEOs owning a financial services company in the country. And yet, you know, there is issues in their marriage and abusive and so on and so forth. And there’s this incredible dependency where she, you know, was incredibly fearful of like, “Oh my gosh, you know. If, you know, if this marriage doesn’t work, I have nothing to fall back on. I have, you know, I have no career. I don’t even know what to start. I don’t know what I’m good at,” you know. There was like almost like a loss of self-identity of who she is at her core. And based on, you know, whatever prenup they had, you know, if that push comes to shove, you know, I have probably like 48 hours to vacate the home. So, for me from a real estate perspective, I’m like, “Ooh, not knowing even that your home, that this piece of real estate, that this is something that is yours and all the probably abuse that she’ll have to continue taking as a result of not even having that as a safety, as a certainty, you know, the roof over your head.” And so it was like, “Wow.” So, it is something to think about if you haven’t that this could happen, that perhaps right now in this moment, the relationship is great, but who knows, you know, what could happen in the future and so on and so forth. And not that we are being fatalistic about our future, but that, you know, things can happen.
Farnoosh: Right. I had a very angry podcast listener, because I talk about this quite a lot. I, this point comes up a lot, but this one listener was very unhappy with me and she wrote a review saying like, “How dare she judge us and I have a plan. As it turns out, my plan is that if my husband dies, I will get his life insurance. And if he divorces me, well, I get half.” And I was like, “That’s your plan? That’s not good enough for me.”
Michelle: That’s not… Yeah.
Farnoosh: “If that’s enough for you, then fine. But I feel I want more for you than that. I don’t want you to have just the money in case of a disaster.” And by the way, if anyone’s been through a divorce, you know, you don’t get that 50%. You might not get that and you might not get that right away. And, you know, if your plan is for him to die so that you can have your money back, I mean, that’s just…
Michelle: Yeah. And there’s something wrong with that. You need a plan B. I just didn’t understand there’s a paper wrong with that. [crosstalk 00:29:44.991].
Farnoosh: When we are forced to reconsider our life’s choices, that’s a hard reconciliation. And we don’t want people who don’t know us to give those opinions. I get it. But I’m, you know, it hasn’t stopped me. I’m to just [inaudible 00:30:05].
Michelle: I applaud you for that opinion. Absolutely. Now, shifting a little bit of gears here, Farnoosh. So, so we talked about, you know, you being the, you know, the breadwinner of your family, juggling, you know, a home life, you know, a book, you know, perhaps the podcast. What do you do to, on a daily basis to get in the zone or to be inflow basically? How do you ease into your life?
Farnoosh: Well, I tell you, I don’t schedule much before 11:00 a.m. that is work-related. I have the privilege to work from home. I don’t have a boss that’s like, you know, and so I can do that. And that leaves me the morning, which I have early mornings. I have children who wake me up this morning at 6:20 a.m., sometimes earlier. And so, I’m like up and that. So, by 11:00, I’ve had five hours to kind of get in my flow and I need that because the way I wake up, it’s not like a lot of people. Like, I wake up with bang, out the bed, like making the breakfast, making the lunches, dressing my kids sometimes bathing them in the mornings, getting them to the bus stop. And so, by 8:00 o’clock, I need a break. You know, I need a coffee. I need just to kind of like ease into the professional workday. And fortunately, most people haven’t gotten to work yet, so, I use that 8:00 to 9:00 to 10:00 o’clock. In New York City people don’t even get into work until 10:00, so I use that time to kind of go through my inbox, see what needs like some responses or just planning the rest of my day. And I do plan like hour, sometimes half an hour increments. So, some days are much more demanding than others. Like, some days I have to record several podcasts or have a meeting that’s in another location. I have to like budget transportation time, budget transportation time getting back, being home in time to release my nanny. So, I’m a slow inflower in the mornings and then, because I know that usually by noon it’s rush time to get enough time. So, I might only work like a five-hour day, but it’s feels like a 10-hour day because I am multitasking during those five hours and usually like, you know, really changing it up, like going out to meet somebody, coming back home, you know, picking up my kids from his bus stop maybe taking…
Michelle: Makes total sense. I mean, for me the same, you know. Bob usually books any podcast recordings, for example. I’m like, “No earlier than 10:00, please.” Yeah. The only early morning I have is on Tuesdays at 8:30, we usually have a team meeting and ,you know, in consideration to everyone else in our team who’s East coast, you know, we actually make it at 8:30, which is 10:30 for them. But yeah, sometimes [inaudible 00:33:12].
Farnoosh: And then I work at night, that’s all the other thing, I’m a night owl. I’m not a morning person.
Michelle: Yeah. The same here. I wake up straight to get Sophia to, you know, to get her ready hair, lunchbox, get her to school. And my time to really, you know, think about getting in flow and in the zone doesn’t start until 8:15 when I’m back from dropping her off and so on and so forth. Now, how has faith had and spirituality have had an effect in creating and helping you create inflows of cash, inflows of ease and inflows of grace in your life? Has that had any role? And if so, what?
Farnoosh: Yeah. I feel very much like a faithful person. My parents raised us to believe in God and to believe in sort of the luck of the world, but also like that you create your own luck, but sometimes you just have to let the universe guide you and hopefully, you’re prepared and you feel like your life’s experiences prepare you for what’s next even though you don’t know what’s next. So, a lot of that comes with just maturing in age and feeling that confidence comes with that, comes with age. I’ll share a story with you of in my early 20s I was dating and not really getting anywhere, no traction as most people probably can relate to. And I just felt like my career was going great. Not really, this is probably in 25, so mid-quarter, quarter life crisis as some people might call it. I was having a quarter life crisis in only one department, which was my personal life, which, as I felt very alone. I had great friends, I had great, lovely colleagues. I loved my job, but I felt like I was missing that sort of intimate connection with someone. And I definitely did believe in true love and I was very ready for it, and I just kept hitting a lot of roadblocks along the way. And in a lot of that was like me feeling more open to it too. I think in the early days I was sort of very resistant to, I was very judgmental, maybe even just a little too high standardy, but I also felt like these are my standards and this is who I am so I’m not going to change who I am, you know. It’s the whole like, vicious cycle we all go through as we date.
And I remember, you know, there was a lot of momentum building before I met my husband where I felt like I was getting closer and closer and closer to finding the right person. And it was a combination of like listening to the people who loved me a lot tell me that, you know, taking the advice of others and feeling as though, and having fine learning more and more about myself throughout this one year before I met my husband, like who I really wanted to be with and having more clarity around it, being more open to it. And do you know what? The year that I should say reconnected with my husband because I actually went to college with him, and in college when I first met him, I was like, “This guy, what is happening to me? I must know him. I must get to know him. He’s interesting. I feel a connection to this guy,” and we weren’t even, we were in the similar classroom, but we just didn’t have an opportunity to really connect. But I did remember over the course of the year getting to know him, I said, “I’m going to marry this guy.” I remember saying that. I mean, I never said…I wasn’t the kind of person who said this a lot. I never set up getting my life. I just said, “I’m going to marry him.” And I was 19-years old. And so then fast forward to when I was 25, he reappeared in my life just through the internet. Like we were on, I think social media was getting its, you know, picking up and we were like, we were reacquainted on social media, and I feel like if we had gotten together when I was 19 it would not have worked out.
But by that point in my life and in his life, we were, we knew who we were. We were both interested in finding love again or for the first time and just it worked. And then, you know, we dated and it, we got married. But all I would say to the run up of that, especially the year before that, things got really intense for me in terms of like feeling like I was going to find that person. And I would think I was just tapping into whatever it was. Like, there was like a stupid story. One day my mother, she’s very spiritual. She was like, “Farnoosh, today you must pray. You must pray for the man that you are going to meet.” And it was like a random day when I was 25 and I was like, “Mom, enough with the praying,” like she prays a lot. And so I’m like, I was coming home from work one day and I just sat on a park bench and I was like, “You know what? God or whoever you are like, I would be so open to receiving, you know, a committed relationship this year or soon.” And no sooner than a few months later did I reconnect with my husband. So, I don’t know what that is. Don’t like follow that…
Michelle: That is ask and you shall receive.
Farnoosh: Ask and you shall receive. That’s also telling the universe what you want. I told the universe at 19 that I was going to marry this guy. Forgot about it, went on with my life. And now in hindsight, I was like, okay, that may have been just a coincidence, but I also feel like I’m so glad that the university didn’t give me that if that’s, until several years later, six, seven, eight years later, re-introducing me to this person. Of course, all that I felt about him at 19 was still there.
Michelle: Oh, that is beautiful.
Farnoosh: Yeah, it was weird. I don’t know how else to describe it.
Michelle: Yeah. That there is a little bit of faith meeting you and you, you know, [inaudible 00:39:16].
Farnoosh: I never felt like that. I didn’t know what that feeling was, but I was like open to like recognizing it and being like, and just kind of letting it do, go run its course through me. And I just, I never forget. And I did go and I told my roommate that night, I said, “I’m going to marry this guy.” And they said, “Okay, whatever.” And when I reconnected with, his name is Tim, years later, first person I called after that was my roommate and I said, “You’ll never believe who I’m talking to.” And she knew. She said, “Is it, Tim?” Oh my God. I don’t know. And, you know, when he re-entered my life online, like his name popped up on my screen, this was years later, right? I’m at work. I’m on the phone and I felt like the room was spinning. I don’t know what that was either, like were these are all these signs? And again, I’m not like a super woo-woo person. I don’t tap into signs normally, but I was like, “If 10 years from now we’re married with kids, like this was all going to be in a book. This is all going to make sense to me. But like right now, I don’t know. And I don’t want to really believe it too hard because I don’t want to get my hopes up, but…”
Michelle: Sometimes things seem random, but, you know, decisions that we make, you know, in hindsight you start realizing they’re not so random, you know, that, you know, sitting at a bench and praying and asking and also co-creating in terms of like putting it out there. I, you know, with incredible certainty and radical conviction, I will marry this man. [crosstalk 00:41:03.679] maybe it’s not.
Farnoosh: Well, you know what? My friend once told me, when I was having my episodes with one bad date after another in my 20s, a girlfriend of mine said, “You know what? Maybe you’ve just already given your heart away to someone and that someone is going to re-enter your life when you’re ready, but your heart is not open because you’ve already given it away.” And I said, “Who would I have given it away to?” Perhaps the man that I told the universe that I was going to marry when I was 19. So, be very careful. We are always worried about, you know, are Big Brother watching us, but it’s actually the universe. It’s much bigger than Big Brothers. So, be careful what you tell it.
Michelle: Yeah, absolutely. Now that Tim is there, you guys found each other, have two children, and I know you mentioned that you are now together thinking about your next real estate purchase. Tell us about that. I know that you’re super excited. You just had some great news today, so…
Farnoosh: So yeah. Well, I’m sitting in an apartment in Brooklyn where we’ve lived for nine years. It actually started as one apartment, we broke through to the second neighboring apartment when we were growing our family. We love this home. And if I was to tell you that I haven’t had a, shed a few tears over leaving, I would be lying. It would be emotional. But we are ready for the next real estate chapter. We love New York City, but as we are getting older and our children are getting older, we are finding that our values are changing as far as what we really need and want in a home and in a location. So, we’re in the process of leaving. We’ve sold this beautiful apartment, we are closing in the next couple of weeks and things are moving quickly. You know, they move slow in the beginning and then all of a sudden like, “Oh my gosh, you’re closing.” And then you found. And then so we’re going to move to out-of-state but close by still. And we’re looking at houses this weekend. We think there’s one that we might just put an offer on, we don’t know. But we love this one house that we are looking at right now. And the goal is to be moved over to the new house by the end of the summer. We want the kids to finish the school year here, but it’s a lot of moving parts as you know, especially if you’re dealing with schools as well and, you know, a close and then you want to buy and timing it all. I’m going to rent actually. So, where are we going to live, you know, between now and moving into the house that we haven’t bought yet is [inaudible 00:43:51]
Michelle: That you haven’t found perhaps yet. yeah. So, tell us, as a financial expert, what advice would you give someone that is in your situation right now, they have an offer on their home, they’re selling their home and now you’re looking to buy but you haven’t found yet. Like, what would be, what, what have been your considerations basically in navigating this new big purchase and this big financial decision?
Farnoosh: Well, unless you’re okay with living in limbo. I’m not. I like to know that when I close, I have cash in the bank with the close then I can now use to make like a less stressful decision as far as where I’m going to move. Now, the problem is you have to leave the house after you close, so you’re out homeless until you find your next place. And I’m totally supportive of renting in the meantime. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re renting in the neighborhood. We were very lucky in that we did find short term lease, so we didn’t have to commit for an entire year and we would have just not use the apartment for probably the last three or four months of the lease. But renting can give you a really nice cushion to make decisions with more ease. And now it’s not fun to move twice, you know, moving and then moving again, but we think it’s affording us the opportunity to one, for us because we’re a family, we want the kids to finish the school year, two, you know, essentially even bring down our housing costs for a little bit because when we rent, we’re not paying HOA, we’re not paying taxes, all of that. And so, we are actually gonna save a little bit of money monthly as renters. So, that’s good. More money for when we buy the next house. And it also allows us to buy the next house with more confidence knowing that we have the money, we don’t have to buy with a closing contingency on our home and then [crosstalk 00:45:49.932].
Michelle: Yeah. No pressure, buy the home that you want, that you need that really, you know, serves all its purposes and…
Farnoosh: A real estate agent friend once told me, never buy before you sell.
Michelle: Oh yeah.
Farnoosh: You know, because what happened in, for example, the financial crisis, the housing crisis was people would buy their next house and then go back and deal with the business of their current home and try to sell it. Well, then the housing crisis happened and then you can’t sell and now you’ve got two mortgages. Maybe you can float two houses for a while, but not for the unforeseeable future. So, that’s a risk.
Michelle: Yeah. So staying discipline is what you’re saying and still, you know, sell it first and then start looking for something else?
Farnoosh: We started this process back in August, September. We put our home on the market in late September.
Michelle: Plus, you know, the market cycle. We don’t know where, you know…
Farnoosh: No. And we’re so thankful that we started sooner than later because especially in New York City, the difference, especially right now, the difference between, putting your home on the market last September versus now is it was difficult in September, it’s even more difficult now. It’s just not a good selling market. It’s definitely a buyer’s market.
Michelle: Yeah. Absolutely. So, how can people stay connected to you, Farnoosh? I mean, you are the host of the “So Money,” so you can follow Farnoosh there. But how else can people reach you, connect with you?
Farnoosh: Thanks. So, the “So Money” podcast is definitely something I’d love for all of your fans to check out and you go to somoneypodcasts.com. I’m a big a user on Instagram. I’d love to build a community there. I’m constantly on DM and I encourage people to send me their money questions on DM, direct message on Instagram because on Fridays, I dedicate the podcast to answering listener questions, and that’s often where I get them. And it’s not uncommon for me to respond to you pretty quickly from there. So, Farnoosh Torabi on Instagram, and that’s pretty much it. And then “When She Makes More,” if you’re a breadwinner or thinking about it, you know, it’s always good to get prepared.
Michelle: I know. Your book?
Farnoosh: But thank you so much for having me. This has been an honor.
Michelle: Thank you, Farnoosh. It was an honor to have you. I was so, you know, curious in learning about your background, how you grew up and you know, the back story to the book and just in general how you have found your great work, you know, found, you know, that deep yearning, listening to the soul with like, you know, okay, but realistically, how am I gonna make this happen? You know, bringing both of those worlds together to go out there and now be, you know, an inspiration to a lot of, you know, women to a lot of men as well, you know, to an entire generation that has grown with you. And so, thank you so much. It was such an honor having you.
Farnoosh: Thank you. Thank you.
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