"Financial Pop Star" Mrs. Dow Jones Says Budgeting Makes Her Nauseous

She suggests a monthly "money date" to get your records straight.

Haley Sacks
Photo: Courtesy

Professional investor and avid money memer Haley Sacks, a.k.a. "Mrs. Dow Jones," wants you to splurge for the pedicure or the $17 bagel. Yeah, you read that correctly. CEO and founder of "Mrs. Dow Jones" — your go-to source for everything money and investment related, but fun — and self-proclaimed "financial popstar" stopped by Ladies First with Laura Brown (this week hosted by InStyle.com Deputy Editor Laura Norkin) to spill her tricks of the (literal) trade and dish out some financial advice for anyone who's ready to live a little more richly.

And some of her tips may not be exactly what you were expecting. Are you cutting back on things that bring you joy? "Mrs. Dow Jones" is encouraging you to treat yourself, as long as it benefits your life in a positive way.

"For me, that is a valid way of spending," she says of buying the over-priced bagel. "I'm not doing it every day, but that's a fun thing to do when I deserve it. But you know, the most important thing is to understand where my money is going, and then figuring out where I would like it to go."

And yes, that may include budgeting from time to time. But before you crawl out of your skin, Sacks wants you to know that it doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. And you definitely shouldn't deprive yourself.

"Making a budget — which obviously does make me nauseous to even say, and does also make me feel like I'm going to deprive myself — but I think that's why I have to have the [antidote] of a bagel or whatever, because I'm like, 'Oh, actually, I don't believe in deprivation.' So this is really about living my lavish life, about living a life that feels good to me."

"Mrs. Dow Jones" (Haley Sacks) on Money Smarts: Episode 17: March 23, 2021

InStyle Ladies First with Laura Brown

In fact, she challenges her followers to completely flip the way they think about budgeting. She wants you to stop trying to cut things out and start trying to bring more in.

"There's a floor to how much you can cut from your budget," she says. "But there's no floor to how much you can make. So I really believe in maximizing your income and figuring out ways to make more money. Whenever I've been in hard financial situations, that's where I've started mostly, like, 'Okay, but how can I earn more?' Because right now it feels like I have to trim everything down, and it feels really stressful and tough, but maybe I can pick up this job or, you know, do this thing or sell that. And then it'll create more ease in my life."

But she hasn't always been this confident in her money making and saving decisions. But that's exactly why she got into the business — because she was so afraid of it.

"Like in Sex in the City, when they say that New York City is the fifth character, in my movie, money was the fifth character in my life, because I grew up on the Upper East Side and was just always around finance and money and wealth, and really never saw it as for me, because I felt fun, and that did not seem so fun," she tells Norkin. "But you know, like with most things, what you are denying or running away from is usually the thing that you have to lean into the most. And so that really was what happened to me with money and with building this brand where I, you know, really needed to figure out a way to learn about this. I realized that no one is going to take control of my finances except for me. And so I needed to learn how."

And while she isn't going to sit there and pretend like money isn't stressful, she does believe it needs to be de-stigmatized.

"What I really see with my followers, though, right now is emotion and fear-based decision-making because there's so much in the zeitgeist around stocks right now and Wall Street and cryptocurrencies," she says. "And you know, this is all really fun fodder. Since I started 'Mrs. Dow Jones,' all I wanted was for people to talk about the market the way that they talk about Bella Thorne, it should be hot gossip."

"Let's make CNBC the new Bravo," she adds. If that seems like a stretch, check out her videos on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok, print out your last three bank statements, and let the fun begin.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. And tune in weekly to Ladies First with Laura Brown hosted by InStyle's editor in chief Laura Brown, who speaks to guests like Michelle Pfeiffer, Emily Ratajkowski, Cynthia Erivo, Naomi Watts, La La Anthony, Ellen Pompeo, Rep. Katie Porter, and more to discuss current events, politics, some fashion, and, most importantly, the major firsts in their lives.

Related Articles