Real Money, Real Experts is a personal finance podcast written and produced by AFCPE®. With an audience of financial professionals, we strive to educate and entertain with a combination of expert tips, engaging interviews, and real-life storytelling. AFCPE® ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting, and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive programs, the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) and FFC® (Financial Fitness Coach), represent the gold standard of financial counseling and coaching certifications. And our membership community offers a place to share best practices, solve similar struggles, and access tools and resources that advance your career and enable you to better serve your clients.
Providing Real Value in your Business with The Budget Mom, Kumiko Love, AFC®
Download the transcript here.
On this week’s episode, Mary and Rachael had the privilege to sit down with Accredited Financial Counselor®, Kumiko Love, more widely known as The Budget Mom. Kumiko is as authentic as they come. She openly shares her own money story, what led her to start The Budget Mom, and what she’s learned along the way. We dig into imposter syndrome, the power of community, the importance of niching down (spoiler alert: one person can’t help everyone), and setting boundaries.
Miko offers excellent insights on grassroots marketing and reminds us that the secret to building a thriving business is to lead with your values. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or simply someone who is passionate about helping people with their money to improve their lives, this conversation is one you don’t want to miss.
1:26 Kumiko's money story
6:04 How she used her journey to help others
11:30 Kumiko's big Aha! moment
15:26 When Kumiko decided to get the AFC®
20:23 Her tips for starting your own community
25:51 How she finds balance
32:56 Miko's final 2 cents
Show Note Links
My Money, My Way book
Kumiko on Good Morning America
#AFCPE22 in Orlando, FL
Start earning your AFC® or become a Member!
Military Financial Readiness and the AFC® with Mike Wood
This week on Real Money, Real Experts, Mary and Rachael catch up with longtime AFC® and AFCPE® Member, Mike Wood. Mike shares the story of how the AFC became the standard for Personal Financial Managers (PFM) on military bases across the globe.
Mike has the heart of a counselor, and we loved hearing about both the rewarding and challenging aspects of his career. As a pillar of the military personal finance community, Mike shares fond memories from past Symposiums, and offers some great insight for financial counselors working in all areas of our field. “Enjoy the ride!”
1:33 What led Mike to initially pursuing the AFC
5:28 How the military became involved in deciding to require AFCs
9:31 What does the AFC do differently than other designations?
10:58 Mike's most exciting memories in the personal finance field
13:31 The challenges Mike faced
16:20 Mike's advice with setting realistic expectations about your career
23:52 Mike's final 2 cents
Key Takeaways from CFPB's Financial Coaching Initiative with Pam Fraser, AFC® and Sarah Bainton Kahn
Celebrating 30 years of the AFC® means celebrating the incredible impact it has made over the years! This week we had the pleasure to speak with Sarah Bainton Kahn and Pam Fraser, two women who played instrumental roles in the success of the CFPB’s Financial Coaching Initiative, which ran from 2015 to 2019. The initiative provided financial coaching services to veterans as well as individuals and families in economically vulnerable communities and uniquely set a high standard by requiring that all coaches held both the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) and the Financial Fitness Coach (FFC®) designations.
In our conversation, Sarah and Pam fondly reminisce about the program – sharing the missteps, the successes, and the impact. They talk about the importance of meeting clients where they are, building relationships, and finding your champions. This episode is full of great insight and we hope it will inspire more programs like this one in the years to come.
2:13 How this initiative with CFPB came to be
4:55 How this program served the community
7:41 Key aspects of the program that made it successful
16:59 Learning takeaways and improvements for the program
22:04 Advice for organizations looking to use this model
25:18 Pam and Sara's final two cents
Show Note Links:
Email Sarah or Connect on Linkedin
Email Pam or Connect on Linkedin
CFPB Report: Read Here
Guide to Remote Financial Coaching
Submit an Invitation to Present by June 3rd!
Serving Our Clients Intentionally: Listening & Staying Informed with Heath Carelock, AFC®
Today we kick off our mid-season series focused on the 30th Anniversary of the AFC. In this episode, we had the honor to sit down with Heath Carelock, AFC®. Heath is the Program Director for the Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland. He was also one of the first AFCs to volunteer for our pro bono counseling initiative at the height of the pandemic and remains active in the program today.
This episode covers the gamut, offering great insights on reframing our services to better meet our clients’ needs, valuable ways to improve our own work as financial professionals (hint: it goes beyond financial knowledge), and the importance of aspiring to a belief system. We also talk about the power of words (in relation to someone seeking help) – and how important it is to understand your clients and how they think about money.
Following the recording of this episode, we learned that Heath was named the “2022 Community Champion” at the Maryland Financial Education and Capability Awards Program. Heath’s impact is far-reaching, and his insights are great, making this an episode you don’t want to miss!
2:10 Heath's background and what led him to his work today
6:12 What inspired Heath to pursue the AFC® designation
10:43 Heath's experience with the Pro Bono Counseling Initiative
13:23 Trends and different scenarios Heath has been picking up on
17:00 Has there been a rise in clients over the last few years?
23:01 How Heath connects with the community
29:00 Heath's final 2 Cents
Show Note Links:
Connect with Heath on LinkedIn
Cash Campaign of Maryland
Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College
Join the Membership community
AFCPE Symposium Invitation to Present
Discovering Your Niche and Growing Your Private Practice with Maggie Klokkenga, CFP®, CPA®, and Rachael Bronstein, AFC®
In this final episode of our Real Money, Real Experts Career Series, we catch up with Rachael Bronstein and Maggie Klokkenga. Tune in as they share their own experiences in starting a private practice and how honing in on your niche can lead to a more successful, fulfilling career.
Maggie Klokkenga, CFP®, CPA, and AFC® candidate is a financial coach and the owner of Make a Money Mindshift, a financial coaching and planning firm in central Illinois where she helps individuals and couples to reduce their overwhelm and shame with money.
Rachael Bronstein is an Accredited Financial Counselor & financial coach for Jean Chatzky’s FinanceFixx program. Rachael also launched a company last May to help touring music professionals simplify their life & finances, called Life’s Jam.
3:24 Rachael's journey to personal finance
11:33 FinanceFixx Program
14:11 Maggie and multiple streams of income
16:24 Rachael's tips for small business owners
18:26 Tools Rachael found helpful early on
21:18 Maggie's tips for small business owners
24:29 What led Maggie to pursue the AFC
28:15 Guests' final 2 cents
Show Note Links:
Life’s Jam Website Connect on LinkedIn or Instagram or FacebookKim Kaupe's podcastFollow Maggie:
Make a Money Mindshift website Connect with Brad KlontzConnect on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook or YoutubeAFCPE Resources:
Join the Membership community: AFCPE Connections Fair: Gain Experience. Find a Job.
Empowering our Youth through Financial Literacy & Education with Laura Levine
To kick off Financial Literacy Month, our hosts Rachael DeLeon and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson speak with President and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Laura Levine. Laura shares the ins and outs of her own career journey and provides listeners with ideas on how to get involved with youth financial education and the coalition’s work.
Laura is a fierce advocate for financial education and she is passionate about better equipping our youth with the knowledge they need to thrive. Tune in as she shares resources and actionable steps we can all take to provide the schools in our community with more financial education.
2:20 Laura's Career Journey to Today
4:50 All about Jump$tart and its history
10:35 Getting involved with the coalition and where to start
14:02 Making a bigger impact with the state coalition
18:18 AFCPE's impact as a Jump$tart board member
20:26 Getting involved as an organization at the state level
21:41 Current state of financial education in schools
27:59 Laura's final two cents
Show Note Links:
Connect on LinkedIn
Laura’s LinkedIn page
Project Groundswell / Check Your School for Financial Literacy:
Jump$tart State Coalitions
Jump$tart Clearing House
Council for Economic Education’s Survey of the States:
Join the Membership community
AFCPE Connections Fair: Gain Experience. Find a Job. April 28
Great show. The guests and content are well thought out and informative. Thank you!
Up to Date
I very much enjoy topics and the engaging guests. The knowledge each one of them share is very applicable in not only financial decisions but in relationships as well.
Real Experts is Right!
I’ve learned so much from this podcast! I’m studying to become an AFC and this show keeps me focused and motivated. Keep up the great work!