How To Vote With Your Dollar

This week, Maggie is chatting with Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, money coach and author of Financial Adulting. In this episode, they are talking about what you can do to be a consumer activist. If you want to learn how to vote with your dollar, this episode is for you.

Related Links:

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is the author of Financial Adulting, a guide that breaks down everything you need to be a financially confident and conscious adult. She is also a money coach, author of The 30-Day Money Cleanse, and the Founder of the Fiscal Femme, a money platform on a mission to end inequality through financial well-being.

As a trusted money expert, she has been quoted in or appeared on The TODAY Show, The Financial Times, CNBC, Forbes, NBC, Glamour and The New York Times.

Ashley has worked in the financial services industry for over fifteen years: first as an investment banker, then in corporate finance, and most recently running The Fiscal Femme. She graduated with a bachelor’s in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit

The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:05
Hi, and thanks for listening to the money circle podcast. I’m your host, Maggie Germano, and I’m a feminist and a financial writer, speaker, educator and coach for women. I’m passionate about making personal finance less scary and more approachable so that women can improve their relationship with money and take control of their finances. Every other week, I will interview an amazing, inspiring woman to talk about the issues that impact our money, our health, our independence, and more. We will touch on the societal and structural issues that we need to work together to change and the actions that we each have the power to take in our own lives. If you’d like to learn more about me and the work that I do, visit my website at or follow me on Instagram @MaggieGermano. Thanks again for listening and I hope you enjoy.

Maggie Germano 0:55
Hey there and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, money coach and author of financial adulting. In this episode, we are talking about what you can do to be a consumer activist. If you want to learn how to vote with your dollar, this episode is for you. Enjoy.

Maggie Germano 1:23
Okay, welcome, Ashley, thanks for being here.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 1:25
Thank you so much for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Maggie Germano 1:28
I’m happy to have you back. So for folks who either don’t know who you are now or didn’t hear the previous episode you are on tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 1:39
I am Ashley, I founded a company called the fiscal femme I call it a feminist money platform. And I really spend my days educating about money and still learning about it too. I think something that has been very humbling lately, and just in I interviewed a bunch of experts for my book, and I just learned a ton. So I’m on this I guess a kick of and hopefully it lasts a long time. But that this is a never ending journey, this personal finance money journey.

Maggie Germano 2:10
I think that’s true, too. I, I tell clients that have like, there’s no real end point. Like it’s always gonna kind of be a process. And I think like hearing people like you say that and like for me to listening to things and reading things that I’m just like, oh, wow, okay, I didn’t know that. And things change every day. So it’s it’s okay to learn something new.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 2:30
You get a new family member, you have something else you move. So there was always there. Something was, you know, COVID I think people, things change to them stuff that was important and worth their time and money. Maybe not now. And so I think things are always your right, moving and changing.

Maggie Germano 2:47
Yeah, absolutely. And so how did you kind of find yourself in the world of personal finance and starting your own business.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 2:55
It happened very organically, as strange as that sounds, but I, I worked in finance, I was an investment banker. And I studied finance in college, but I knew nothing about my own money. And when I was an investment banker, I made like that big salary bonus and had no time to spend any money. And I switched into a job that had a much better lifestyle after two years, and had been in New York City for two years and never seen my friends really hadn’t done any of the New York City things. And so I had this time, I took a pay cut. And I just was bleeding money. And I was so much happier. And I loved you know, having time to see family and travel and go to events and sightsee. But I knew I had to figure out that budgeting money piece, or this was not going to be workable. And I realized I had no idea how to do it. That’s like where it started. And I started reading a bunch of things, articles, books, and at the time, this was about, I want to say 2011. And life coaching was getting to be you know, very popular. And one of my I had a friend of a friend who needed hours to get her certification. And so I started working with her. And she challenged me to share what I was learning on my journey on a blog. And that was terrifying to me. Because, you know, when you’re like it’s out in the Internet, what if I changed my mind? What if I learned something and I think that looks stupid later, you know, all things that we still deal with, but now we’re just used to but at the time. So that was my challenge. And so as I was learning, I started sharing on a blog that I called the fiscal Femme and that’s really where it grew from. People started saying hey, can you help me do that? Or other sites said, Hey, we need some more young women writers, can you come right for us and all started there.

Maggie Germano 4:48
That’s great. I love that I love hearing the origin story, especially for women entrepreneurs, and you know, like, what kind of leads them to where they ended up being because I think It’s usually not something people planned on or always thought like, I was never like, I’m gonna be a financial coach when I grow up like that was never even on my radar in any regard. So it’s cool to see, you know, kind of how that worked out for you. And obviously, it’s working out. Is this your second book that is coming out?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 5:20
Yes. And it’s cool to when you look back at this, probably that might be true for you too. But there’s no way to know how it will evolve. Like, if I in that moment, I had no idea like that I’d be writing books or that I would be doing this full time or that anything. And so it’s cool to look back and see. But going forward, it was very much no clarity at all.

Maggie Germano 5:41
Oh, yeah. No, I’m with you there. Yeah. Um, so So tell me a little bit about your new book, financial adulting? What does it kind of entail? And who is it really for?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 5:55
Yes, such a great question. So financial adulting. My first book was the 30 Day Money cleanse, it was very much about budgeting and money mindset. And it was, I think, like, beautifully designed with workbook exercises, very approachable. And so for this next book, I brought a lot of those elements, it’s still approachable, they’re still the workbook exercises. But this time, I’m covering all the topics. So spans all the personal finance topics, I think we need to know as financial adults, and also in the first book, it was all for my own perspective. And this book, I interviewed 35 experts for it. So from all different backgrounds, expertise is very diverse experts. So it was so cool. It was my first time kind of being a journalist in a way, like asking questions, and like what you’re doing all the time on the podcast, and getting to feature their voices. So that was very cool. And another piece of this book that I’m super excited about chapter two is all around equity and personal finance. And so I think this context of equity and how we’re all starting from different places, and that there’s discrimination and racism, and the racial wealth gap, and the gender wealth gap in the background, and how that affects every area of our personal finances was really important for me to include. And I think what I uncovered through a lot of my interviews is that the book is definitely a how to, but it’s also a little bit of an expoze on many of the issues in our financial systems.

Maggie Germano 7:32
I love that. And I mean, for anyone who has listened to my podcast, or really seen anything that I do, I think it’s so important to be talking about the societal issues that are in place. And because I mean, like you were saying with the equity piece, like, not everyone is starting from the same point. And not everybody has the same opportunities, like the idea of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, or just working hard to get to where you want to be like, that’s just not reasonable or realistic for most people, I think, especially when you bring race and gender and plenty of other things kind of into the picture. So anyone who talks about money without talking about those things, I think, is either lying to themselves or lying to other people, or just fully leaving out a major, major piece of the puzzle. So it’s great that you’re talking about that.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 8:23
Thank you. Yeah, I think it breeds so much shame, too, because then we compare ourselves to others, like someone who had college paid for, or who and who has loans, like that’s a very different starting point, or if your interest rates are higher, because you are black or a woman. So I think it was it. Like going through each chapter, it was so blatant how it touches everything, and then they’re all interrelated, like the pay gap leads to having less money to invest having less money for everything, and then higher interest rates having less money. So having your homes appraised for less, so it just kept coming up over and over. It’s very pervasive.

Maggie Germano 9:02
Yeah, and it snowballs on top of itself, right? Like you were saying, if you are being paid less, you have less money to be using to pay off debt or to save for retirement, which means you either are less likely to be able to retire or you’re going to be in a in a precarious situation when you need to retire because some people don’t get to choose they, you know, there’s an illness or disability or whatever. And then on top of that with like medical costs and medical access, and I mean, we’re seeing it with COVID Just like the unequal access to health care and the different things that we need. So like you said, it’s it all is intertwined, and it really does build on top of each other.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 9:43

Maggie Germano 9:45
So there’s a chapter in your book that is about being a consumer activist, and that is what I was excited to talk to you about today. But can you explain a little bit like what exactly does that term even mean?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 10:00
Yes, so how I view a consumer activist as someone who’s using their money to vote for more of what they want to see more of in the world, and that can be through our spending. So spending in line with our values, it could be through investing, it can be through giving. And so just being a lot more conscious of where we’re putting our money, and it does consumer activism is a privilege, like, it often costs more money to do that. So it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone can and it also takes a lot of time, I noticed. And time is something that many people don’t have. So I know this, for example, when I need to new sneakers, I started asking around, I started researching and it took a few hours. And so something I did is because I know this is important to a lot of people in the fiscal femme community. And I’m sure in yours as well, that we made a Slack channel called consumer activism. And people can post in there when they find a product or a brand that they’ve done the research on, and that it aligns with their values so that if someone wants to search it or ask a question, we’re using our group knowledge to make it a little bit easier because it and I’m sure we’ll get to this, but being the consumer activists, when you start to do the research and uncover things, it can feel really overwhelming and daunting.

Maggie Germano 11:18
Yeah, that’s such a I love that you were able to kind of create that space in your community as well for people to kind of help each other because like you said, it can be really overwhelming and time consuming. And some people just like, research is not their forte. And like you said, you know, that might just be someone just got to go buy the thing that they need, and they don’t have time or energy or money to be looking around for the best thing. So I love that you were able to create a space where people could really help each other with that.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 11:47
Yes, and I think a big thing is it’s like a never gonna be perfect companies are big and complicated. And I, I did this with the investing chapter. And I also did it with the consumer activism chapter as I asked a few people who are better at it than me what their criteria looks like. Because to become a consumer activist, what I have people do in the book is think about what’s important to them, because we can’t apply every criteria to something or there’s going to be nothing left to be able to buy. So like what is like thinking what’s important to you kind of ranking it. And then instead of I had this feeling when I started doing this, that I had to overhaul everything in my life, and I just you know, it makes you want to just give up because you’re like What is even a good company anyway, like, so to just take it one step at a time. Things are always changing, moving. So maybe a company that didn’t fit your criteria last year, they made changes because they know how important it is to the consumer. And now they do so to to do it however, slowly or quickly kind of has you be able to stick with it. Like if it’s, I give the example in the book of when we go to the grocery store, or even shop online at the grocery store. We’re making a lot of purchasing decisions, because there’s tons of brands there. So maybe one week you’re like, I’m gonna just look up my dressing, is there a better choice for my dressing instead of saying, just sitting there in the grocery store, Googling for hours and just spending the whole day there? So yeah, I think there’s a lot of compassion that we need for ourselves and just like ability to to be imperfect on the consumer activism journey.

Maggie Germano 13:29
Yeah, no, agreed. And before we kind of dig more into that piece, if someone’s listening to this, and they’re like, Okay, I guess I understand what a consumer activist is, but like, why should I care about doing that? What are kind of your thoughts on why something like that is important?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 13:47
So the idea around consumer activism is that our group, our group, buying power can influence company’s actions. So if we, if it’s really important to us that companies have diverse management teams and diverse boards, like that’s very important to me, because first of all, that’s people in management positions, they’re getting paid. I think companies will do better the world will be a better place if and even financially companies do better when they have diverse leadership. So it’s a win win all around for shareholders for the world for everybody. So let’s say that’s like my big that’s really important to me. Not only could I choose to support companies, like let’s say I am, I don’t know why I’m thinking of my dressing again, but it or like my shoe purchase, I supported it was a sustainable bipoc owned business. And I think the sneakers are made from like recycled bottles. So the I when I use my money to purchase that I’m saying I like that I’m giving them business. We can also use our voices so to talk about it and and share when a company we love is doing something that We’re not happy about or like we want, why do you have 11? out of 12? White men on your board? You know, can you we want to see more diversity. So the idea is that if, yes, me alone, it probably won’t make a huge difference. But if we’re all making these types of choices that we can influence a company’s bottom line, and at least they know that this is important to us, and hopefully that starts to guide some of their decisions. But, and to that point, too, it’s like, this is not the only thing that we need, we need a lot of changes that, but this is just consumer activism is something like we need a lot of policy changes and corporate changes. But this is something that an individual can do. And it can give us some power that we have this money, and we’re going to use it in a way that feels good. And makes change.

Maggie Germano 15:49
Yeah, and that’s so important. I think, especially like just seeing everything that’s going on in the world with like COVID, and the, you know, demise of democracy in the United States. Climate change, like all those things, like it can feel so overwhelming and make us feel really powerless in a lot of ways. As individuals, there isn’t a lot we can do about certain things. But I think identifying the places where we can do something, even if like you said, it feels small as one person. But if lots and lots of us are also doing it and speaking up and putting our money in different places, or removing our money from certain places, it can actually make a difference. Because I mean, we live in a capitalist society. So we run on money. And if a company is noticing that people are not buying their stuff, they’re going to hopefully in probably start figuring out what they need to change in order to get people to come back. I mean, something that’s going on right now is like Spotify is kind of under fire. Because nothing that they’re specifically doing. But because Joe Rogan is spent is spreading a lot of misinformation about the COVID vaccine, and like vaccines in general. And it’s dangerous. And he’s getting paid 10s of millions of dollars to have his podcasts on their platform. And a lot of people are canceling their subscriptions. There a lot. Some people are pulling their podcasts off of Spotify and things like that. And I’m hoping that it ends up resulting in something positive because like, a lot of people love Spotify, I really liked Spotify, I was just telling my husband, I was like, I just recently started listening to all of my podcasts on Spotify instead of Apple podcasts and stuff. I mean, it would be such a tiny inconvenience for me to like, switch away from that, obviously, that’s it’s totally fine. But, um, and I know that they are now starting to have to like talk about their misinformation policy and like, you know, what kinds of steps they’re taking to, like not censor people, but you know, stop the spread of misinformation, deliberate misinformation. So that’s just like one example that I’m hearing now, where they’re, like, kind of getting, you know, people are leaving their platform and all that.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 18:03
So I think this is important to us. Yeah.

Maggie Germano 18:06
Yeah. And it fuels the conversation, too. It’s like, hopefully, the company will take action in you know, whatever scenario, but it also gets people to start thinking and talking about an issue that maybe they hadn’t talked or thought about before, and encourages people to do things maybe differently in the future.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 18:23
Right? And like understanding what is the responsibility of a company. And also, I think to like, in addition, so that is shows the power of the group, because that is such a big conversation is getting so much media attention. And I think when this is this actually applies to personal finance, too. What I found through, like, talking with people about money all the time is there’s usually someone in their life that gave them a nudge, like, the person next to you at work, who’s like, are you investing in your 401k? Or, Hey, what’s your salary, like, let’s chat. And I think the more knowledgeable we are, the more we can be that person for others. And the same goes for consumer activism, like when we’re talking about it, someone might have never thought about it, and now they’re thinking about it. Or if the information is if like an example of a research if you research and switch a recurring expense, for example, that’s like something that pays off over and over and over again, and you’ve done the research once or you got the information once so I think we have power to in our networks and our friendships in just sharing what we’re up to and allowing and I think then we lift others up when as we learn more and so I think that gives me some motivation to even though sometimes it feels like what could I even do?

Maggie Germano 19:42
Yeah, it’s it’s it does feel overwhelming and powerless. But yeah, like you said, there’s more of us as individuals than there are like CEOs of big corporations that are maybe doing not great things. And there are more of us than there are politicians and it offers does not feel that way. But we are the ones that keep them in business. And we are the ones that keep them in power. So we like coming together and speaking up or voting with our dollar or literally voting in elections, it really can and should make a huge difference and move the needle in the direction that we want it to. And, you know, even though things can feel really bleak, many days, I think a lot of times things do end up turning kind of into the into the right direction. Because we’re all remembering our power and acting and speaking up. So I think that’s it’s so important, especially, again, we’re in a capitalist society. So our dollar is one of our most powerful tools. So using that in a way that we really believe in is important.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 20:48
Yes, definitely. And I think another thing I think about too, is giving, because I think giving is something that we often and of course, like giving is another financial privilege. But if it’s kind of like saving in that if this, so I used to try to save, I wait and see if there’s money leftover, and there’s never money leftover. So I don’t save right until you start paying yourself first. And that’s when you actually start saving. And the same I think happens with giving. Even if you’re starting with a small amount, like if we I had this idea that I would start giving once I just had this surplus of money available, and it just never gonna happen you are in more expenses rise, just things come up. And so that’s something that I’ve started to really build in almost like my expense is, is my giving, and I smooth it out month to month to make it feel less like a not a big painful one time thing. But that’s another great way because we’re giving money directly to organizations that we think are doing great work and that are working on things that are important to us.

Maggie Germano 21:53
Yeah, I love that. I mean, yeah, like you said, it’s not just about going out and shopping and voting with your dollar in that way. But it’s bolstering the causes in the organizations that we care about too. And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot too, like you said, sometimes it’s like, oh, at the end of the year Oh shit, like I didn’t really donate as much as I had wanted to. And so then it’s like, do I come up with the money to do like a big donation now, or should I be spreading it out. And that’s something I really want to be doing beginning like this year, too, is like, really thoughtfully building in that giving into my budget plan. So like, instead of necessarily just doing like the annual contribution, doing like even a small monthly contribution, it makes a huge difference to these organizations that are really, depending on that, and then you you know, that without necessarily even having to think about it, you’re supporting the causes that you care about.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 22:46
Yes. And another thing that I just thought of too, with consumer activism, because the decisions take work, sometimes it actually has the wonderful side effect of us spending less because we’re like, I don’t even I don’t this thing I want to buy is not even worth the research. So I’m just not going to get it. And then we probably didn’t need it anyway. And I interviewed Tanya Hester for the book, who wrote wild activism. And she was saying that sometimes the most, or actually, a lot of times the most, like eco friendly, sustainable green decision is just to buy nothing at all. And so a lot of times these decisions like beautifully coincide with what is best for our finances, because it forces us to decide if it’s worth it to even have that thing, because it’s not just a click of a button anymore. It’s like a what, how does this contribute to the things that I don’t want?

Maggie Germano 23:38
Yeah, absolutely, that that’s a really good point. And so, you know, we’re kind of, we’ve touched on a lot in terms of like, the things to kind of think about when it comes to, you know, being a consumer activist, but if someone listening might be like, Oh, my God, like, how do I even begin with this? So what are some of the steps people can take to start bringing some of that consumer activism into their daily lives?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 24:05
So one thing, the something I have people do in the book is to do an audit, a consumer activism audit. And so once you know, once you have those things that you’re that are important to you, you know, if and, like what is important to you about a company’s values, then go through, like, if you have a budget already, or you have your expenses listed out, I would just go through and look at each one and rank it on a scale of one to five. And if that feels daunting to do the one to five, you can just say yes or no. And that will take some time. So even to do like a couple a day is fine. I think just again, going back to slow and steady break this down. Like if you if you’re someone who has monthly budgeting meetings, what I called Money parties, like this is something you can do look at a few of them a month. But at first it’s really just analyzing there doesn’t have to be a lot of action, but then going forward, maybe Maybe you decide to switch over one expense a month or two stuck up spending on something because it doesn’t align with your criteria. Plus, you don’t really want to, it’s not even worth it to you. So kind of going through and saying, Alright, if I have a positive shift every month in this area, that’s my goal. Or if you have more time, and you’re really pumped about it, you can do one a week, or you could do a couple of months. But I think like creating a being honest with ourselves, and creating that slow and steady momentum to ship, one thing can make a big difference. And also, so looking at the things that we spend the most on so that the decision we’re making, or the research is going to give us literally the most bang for our buck, or switching over something that’s recurring. And then I interviewed so on their consumer activist criteria, Kara Perez, of Bravely Go shared that, for her like a lot of like, a lot of times, we just have to choose the most financially helpful option for our bills, like our rent, or we’re going to go with the phone company, that’s the cheapest and gives us the best service, right. And so for her, she really evaluates her non Bill spending, like her variable spending, and just kind of lets go of the monthly recurring like ish, so to, I think also to create some parameters or boundaries, so that if there aren’t better options, or it’s really astronomical to switch options, like that’s something that you just will start somewhere else. So being understanding that we it’s kind of like the whole, put your own oxygen mask on first, like you want to make sure you’re okay financially, that you’re taking care of yourself before switching to more expensive things or, or if spending a lot of time when you need to take care of yourself or taking away from your sleep or something. So take care of yourself first and foremost.

Maggie Germano 27:02
That’s really good advice. And I like how you were saying, you know, start with one thing, because I think, especially people who care about things and who want to help make the world a better place, they want to like, change overnight, or just change everything in their lives overnight. And that’s just not realistic financially, emotionally, physically, just, it’s just not realistic. And that can, like you said, lead to just being like, I can’t do anything like, I’m just not gonna change anything then and then feel guilty about it probably. So yeah, like you said, choosing like the one place where you can make that change or make that difference. And I mean, I was just thinking about I was like, oh, yeah, I’ve been meaning to start donating to the national network of abortion funds like that is I’m going to add that to my monthly budget and have that be a recurring contribution. And then I can think about like my current spending later, when I feel I have more brain space, but I’m like taking a step in the right direction, just from taking that action.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 28:02
Amazing. And I think that what you talked about, like, I feel like I’m just gonna give this to, whenever we have that feeling, that’s a sign that our steps are too big. You know, like, that’s not helpful if we give up. So I think that could be like, if you’re not, if someone’s not sure if their pace is too quick, when they start to feel that it’s like, okay, I need to slow it down or give myself a break or take one step at a time.

Maggie Germano 28:27
Yeah, I like that. I mean, because yeah, we don’t all need to just be overwhelmed and stressed and suffering all the time, even though it kind of feels like that. So giving ourselves that grace in that space to just take that one action to begin with, and then go from there if we want to, or can, it’s gonna still gonna make an impact, and it’s not going to just totally destroy us.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 28:54
Right. And also, I just thought of this idea when you were just because it’s so fun, like talking about it with you, right? It’s, we like feed off each other’s ideas and stuff with this. So I was thinking it’d be so fun with a group of friends to tackle the same expense at the same time. Like, if you are all are deciding what we want to start giving a monthly contribution. Okay, where are you going to give, here’s where I’m going to give, it could be a very fun, also challenge for the Slack community like this week, we’re focusing on clothes. This week, we’re focusing on this and can kind of all switch together.

Maggie Germano 29:27
I love that because then there’s the like, exciting group approach to it too. And like having that support in that community. So that you can like celebrate with other people instead of kind of just like isel in an isolated space making a joke right

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 29:43
on really notice. And some of these things are so gray that like, sometimes you’re just it’s helpful to talk through with someone you know.

Maggie Germano 29:51
Yeah, definitely get ideas, advice, guidance on all that. Yeah, I love that. So is there anything else that you want listeners to know whether it is just about consumer activism or how to make changes in their own life or just anything kind of in general,

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 30:10
I would say just the biggest thing, I think that comes up over and over again, and it came up in the consumer activism conversation is like financial adulting is not about knowing everything, like we both talked about how we still are learning and make mistakes. So it’s not like the end all be all end of the road, it’s really about taking small consistent steps, and just be getting clear on where our money is going, which sounds very simple, but like being clear on what’s coming in, what’s going to our expenses, what’s going to our goals. And knowing what those goals are like that is so profound. And we can take those small, I think there’s the misconception that to improve, we have to completely transform overnight and take these leaps and bounds and then we give up very quickly. So small, consistent steps, like there’s a chapter at the end of the book on becoming our own money coach or our own financial coach. And it’s very much about like cheering ourselves on, we have such negative self talk and shame about money that like trying to learn from our mistakes, ask the questions like how can I prevent this from happening next time, or at least as bad as like a little better next time. And so I think more of that, where we can shift our how we interact with our money and support ourselves, I think. So that’s the, the overview, I would say, like key takeaways cheer ourselves on in small steps.

Maggie Germano 31:39
Yeah, I love that and cheer yourself on as you take those small steps, like allow yourself to celebrate those small wins on the way to the bigger win. Because like, if you don’t acknowledge what you’re accomplishing as you go, it can be very demotivating. And make you kind of stop and not actually get to where you want to be. And so, you know, allowing yourself to celebrate, even if you haven’t hit that big number, or that big debt payoff, or whatever it might be. Still, you know, appreciating yourself and celebrating and cheering, like you said, cheering yourself on.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 32:14
Yes. And I think having keeping track of where you started, because we have a sneaky thing we do. We’re like as we make progress, we imagine that’s where we’re starting. And so our progress can see much smaller because we forget how far we’ve come. So that can be really helpful, too. And I think if you I’m a huge fan of rewards and celebrations. And of course, I think, you know, money can provide so much happiness and security. And it’s so important. But at the same time, sometimes we we don’t really enjoy the ride. And we think we’ll be happy when we reach the goal. And then we realize, Oh, now we just have another goal and it nothing changed and how I feel. So celebrating just another point that it’s really important to celebrate along the way.

Maggie Germano 33:00
Agreed, definitely. So as we’re recording this, your book is not out. But as folks might be listening, it might be out. So tell me when your book is being released and where folks will be able to get it.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 33:14
Yes, so it’s being released, released March 2 2022. You can find it on the website, financial adulting books calm. And if you preorder before March 2, there’s so many great goodies, there’s guides on credit score, buying a first home negotiating, we’re kicking off a challenge, which will is all about taking those action steps. So that will kick off a week after the book comes out. So everyone has time to get their books, but you’ll get a weekly challenge that corresponds to a chapter of the book from me. So we can all be making those small, steady money moves. And there’s actually also going to be a consumer activism workshop because this is a topic that is so important to like the people in my community. And so we’re going to there’s a workbook and we’ll go through putting together your criteria and doing your audit and making a plan for how to make the changes. So that’s all of that is just from pre ordering the book. So I wanted to make it exciting to preorder it because it’s sometimes more fun to order a book right when you can get it but pre orders are so important for authors. So we try to make it juicy.

Maggie Germano 34:23
Yeah, no, that’s great. And I’ll link to that in the show notes too. So folks can get that early. Anything else you want to promote to listeners? Really,

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 34:33
it’s just all about the book right now. And I’m so I’m so excited for it to be out in the world. It was like a year in the making of writing, editing, interviewing, cutting down. So yeah, I’m excited for it to be born in a few weeks.

Maggie Germano 34:51
Yeah, I’m so excited for you can’t wait to get a copy in my own hands and to make sure that listeners get access to that as well. I know That sounds like you’re covering so much information. And you it sounds like you’ve interviewed some really amazing people. So I’m really excited for you to have it out there.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 35:08
Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Maggie Germano 35:09
of course, and how can folks get in touch with you and follow what you’re doing?

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 35:14
They can find me at the fiscal femme on all social, and our websites,

Maggie Germano 35:22
Great. I will link to those in the show notes as well. And thanks again for taking the time to chat with me today. It’s always a pleasure. So I’m excited to have had you on.

Ashley Feinstein Gerstley 35:32
Thank you again for having me. It was so much fun.

Maggie Germano 35:34
Of course!

Maggie Germano 35:39
Thanks again for listening to the money circle podcast. If you want to learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings, or just to read my blog visit To get in touch with me directly email me at [email protected]. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye bye