Ashley Feinstein Gerstley launched the "30-Day Money Cleanse" course as a way to help people reach their savings goals. The life coach, writer behind the "Fiscal Femme" and former investment banker says the online course helps people save an average of $950 over 30 days. Gerstley has transformed those lessons into The "30-Day Money Cleanse" book. We asked Gerstley why we should spend our hard-earned money on the book.
How would you change the way people talk about money?
"There's a lot of power in the language we use," Gerstley said. "And a lot of times the language we use around money invokes restriction and taking away fun."
Shifting our language around money can shift our mindset, she said. Take the word "budget."
"The word 'budget' invokes feeling like we're going to stay home and do nothing to save money," Gerstley said.
She prefers "happiness allocation." And instead of "cutting expenses," we should say "let go." A change in language can make us feel more empowered and less restricted, Gerstley said.
What's a money habit people should break?
"Being completely unconscious of what's happening with our money," Gerstley said. "That often goes hand in hand with not spending any time with our money."
Many people don't take the time to know where their money is going. That can make it hard to achieve their financial goals.
Technology has made it easier to spend unconsciously. Credit cards allow people to put off thinking about where their money is going, she said.
"With apps like Uber and Lyft we hop in and out without actually paying, so there's not even a transaction to be conscious of," Gerstley said. (Learn how Uber and Lyft devotees can save money.)
What can people accomplish in 30 days?
"In general, the goal of the book is to create a happiness allocation," Gerstley said.
Readers will save money and focus spending on things that matter to them, she said. They'll have a plan for their money.
"Our lifestyles can actually feel bigger and more meaningful while we're saving money," Gerstley said.
What sets this book apart from other personal finance books?
"Something that is important to me is addressing the emotional, behavioral sides of money, not just the numbers," Gerstley said.
Addressing both sides leads to lasting solutions to money problems, she said.
"We're going at it from something deeper and getting at the motivation and what's getting in the way," Gerstley said.
She also tries to keep it simple.
"A lot of people don't think money is fun," Gerstley said. "I try to make it fun and as simple as possible. We have a lot of things going on and for most of us, this is not our jobs. I don't think it needs to be complicated."
Why should we listen to you?
Gerstley has been running "The 30-Day Money Cleanse" as an online course for years. She hopes readers of the book will find as much success as people who take the course.
"I honestly believe everyone needs a money cleanse," she said. "And it's such a great way to kick off the New Year."
This book costs $17.99. Why should I spend my money on it?
$17.99, we pointed out to Gerstley, is the same price as a hoodie from H&M. What makes the book a better buy?
"After they read this book, they can decide if they actually want to buy the H&M hoodie," she said.
But the point of the book is not to make people feel guilty about buying things.
"It allows us to take an honest look and decide for ourselves," Gerstley said.
"The 30-Day Money Cleanse" goes on sale Jan. 1.
Image: Ashley Feinstein Gerstley