With inspiration from her own life, Kalee Boisvert has developed an easy-to-use system for women, young and old, to take control of their finances. Make Money Your Thing is an approachable guide to take women on a journey from avoidance and overwhelm to feeling comfortable and in control of their finances. This book provides simple action steps to learn the basics of money management, understand the importance of balancing the books, and embrace the uniqueness of your own personal situation. The end result is women feeling good about where their finances are right now, and building a solid foundation for where you want to go in the future. When money is your “thing” you can feel completely at ease about making it work for you–
Stephen: So today on Discover Wordsmiths, I want to welcome Kaylee. Kaylee, how are you doing
Kalee: today? I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me.
Stephen: Yeah, this is great. And we, right before we started, I mentioned I don’t get a lot of nonfiction, so I’m excited about this.
Yay. All right. So before we get started talking about your book tell us a little bit about you, where you’re from, and some of the things you like to do besides writing.
Kalee: I am from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. And a little bit about me. What else? Sorry.
Stephen: jUst some of the things you like to do besides writing.
Kalee: Other than writing, I love reading. I am a big bookworm. So I think. By nature, it was destined to write a book, but I love reading and I’ve discovered how easy it is to read off my phone. Now I have a one year old and so I can’t really have books out because he has a tendency of ripping pages.
So he’s at that. That very destructive stage. So I read on my phone, but I find it so easy that I can read on the go all the time. So I’m reading way more books and book talk has actually gotten me a lot more interested in some of the books that are on there and are popular. So for a book talk and all that, but I do love reading.
I love like my guilty pleasures, like real housewives watching the real housewives of everywhere, those shows. And then I’m also always really busy with my kids. I’m a single mom. I have a nine year old and a one year old. Like hobbies include going to the park and things like that.
Okay. And so with all that going on young kids and busy why did you want to write a book?
Kalee: Silly me. Yeah. I think it’s because of how much I love books in general. So I’d always wanted to write a book. I’ve read books like, and just like love, like I see authors and people who write books is just, to me, they’re like celebrities.
I think it’s so amazing because it’s a long, challenging endeavor to write a book.
Stephen: You probably realized that way more when you actually wrote one.
Kalee: Exactly. Exactly. And I. kept receiving the message like I started writing stories when I was young when your teacher would ask you to write a, couple page story and mine would go on for 20, 30 pages and that was like grade four.
And because I was like, how do you develop A story in two pages. So for me, it was like this very elaborate the character development and everything But the teachers you could tell didn’t even read it and i’m assuming it’s because they had a lot of grading to do and I It went beyond the assigned work.
So in their defense, I’m sure that was what was behind it. But in my mind, I was seeing it as, Oh, maybe I’m not a good writer. That’s the messaging I took to believe. So then I decided maybe I wasn’t meant to write. But it was like a few years back. I was just sitting in my office and I said out loud.
I really want to write something because it just had all come back and it just, I don’t know. It was just like, I was pondering this has always been a goal of mine. And a colleague happened to be walking by and he’s Oh, I just met a book coach at a networking event. I was at, do you want her card?
And I was like, absolutely. So I met with her and she turned out to be my book coach and really get me on the path to writing. My book and the rest is history, but that was my journey. So it’s something I’d always wanted to do and then thought that it wasn’t something that I was good at or meant to do.
And then, coming back full circle, finding someone to just help get me on that path again. It’s really intimidating and scary writing a book, especially the beginning, early stages, right? You’re like, it’s like, where do I start? What do I
Stephen: do? You get a blank page and you look at it and then you start writing and you’re like, Oh, this is going great.
It’s wow, how close am I to being done? It’s like you wrote 500 words.
Kalee: Not close at all. Yeah. It’s a long game for sure, but it, so it’s been an amazing journey. I really enjoyed
Stephen: it. Nice. Okay. So let’s talk about your book. It’s called make money. Your thing. Tell us a little bit about it.
Kalee: Okay. So it’s I really wrote this book to help inspire and empower women with their finances.
So as I mentioned, I am a single mom and a financially independent woman. I was raised by a single mom. And so growing up. Money really showed up as a source of like stress and struggle and early on, it was like, I wanted to learn it and figure it out because in my mind, if I could figure it out, it was like math.
I had a very like much a math mind too. I loved math. And so it felt like a math problem. If I could figure it out, then, maybe I could fix it and solve the problem. And I felt really like helpless back then as a child, like there wasn’t much I felt I could do, but it was, how about if I learn as much as I can?
And then as I figure it out for myself, then I can teach other women and I can help women like my mom one day so that women don’t have to go through that. And so that was always the goal, like my passion and why I got into the finance industry where I work. So it just felt like very natural. Then to write a book about money.
And it’s essentially like I put in one book, everything I’d want women to know about money, what I’ve learned in my experience in this industry for 15 plus years. So I share stories of women and their journeys and their stories of themes I come across quite often in my business. So it doesn’t mean I don’t think any two people are exactly the same when it comes to like their financial lives and their, their goals and their journeys.
But I see similar themes, so I would use those. As stories to share with the reader so they can really relate and see themselves in these stories of these women and then insert like the teaching or the, the lesson or the insight I want to share with the reader and then at the end of each chapter, I have action steps because.
As a finance person, the big thing for us is we can tell you everything you need to do, outline it, one thing after another, just say do this, and then this, and you got it. That’s what you need to do, but I was finding so many people just weren’t.
Taking the steps like they weren’t doing it and I can only do so much. So with this book, it felt I’m giving them these steps of action to take, and I’m giving them in like very like small, tiny homework assignments. So it doesn’t feel overwhelming where the reader actually. Wants to do the things and they, they understand why they’re doing it and what the impact is by, for getting to know their numbers.
And so it’s we think of a budget is like, Oh, like most people just don’t get excited over it, but I try to make it more exciting in the chapter. And explain why it’s so powerful to know those numbers and where it can lead you to by having that awareness about where your money is going.
So trying to break down these somewhat boring financial topics and make it fun, interesting, and really make it comfortable for women. So again, I wrote the book for women. Wanting women to feel comfortable because this industry has been very male dominated for quite some time now, the finance industry.
And as a result, how it is presented often forgets the interests and the needs of women. So that’s what I really wanted to do is get women really excited and engaged and put something out there that really felt like it was for them.
Stephen: And I was going to ask you this, you, I think you answered several of the questions that popped up in my head.
I was going to ask it, to be, to say it’s focused on women doesn’t mean a man couldn’t read it and get something out of it, but the way the material is presented is it mostly focused to a single mother woman or is it any woman?
Kalee: I would say any woman, but you’re right. Men have read it and they’ve enjoyed it and they’ve given me great feedback.
But I write it from the perspective of women and as a woman because I think, we get it or it’s just that whole again, I share stories about I love for the real housewives or my dating experiences. Somehow I relate it to money. And I think as women, it’s just, it’s stories that we can see ourselves in or relate to or get.
So I did want to write it from, as a woman. For perspective of women. So women can feel like, Oh, okay. Yeah, I’ve felt that way too. So it’s just different. It’s just giving the female perspective. And so of course men can read it. But again, it’s just, this industry has been very from the perspective of men, because that’s just.
It’s like by nature happens when you have more men in the industry as well, that, the material is presented more in, in their perspective. So you’re right, men and women and then women of all sort of stages of life, whether you’re a single mom or a young person just getting started or nearing retirement or already in retirement, I think there’s something for everyone in this.
That’s what most people or the feedback I’ve been getting is that there’s, So people who have said I already, have read a lot of finance books. I feel like I’ve got it all, have still given me the feedback that they got something new out of reading the book, which is really
Nice. Good. And I was going to ask you what the feedback’s you keep answering my questions before I get there. But mind reader too. That’s your next book, right? That’s your follow up. How to be a mind reader. So it made me think, and I’m glad you said that the way you did and what the focus is, because it made me think another very popular finance book for the common people, you might say, is Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Everybody knows that one, but the point is for authors, jump around a little bit, that just because there’s another book out there that already covers finances, doesn’t mean your voice. Couldn’t do it in a way that fits people better, rich dad poor dad doesn’t fit a woman.
You know the title so I’m glad you brought that up and mentioned that It’s not like the financial information is going to change and be different
Kalee: So it’s still exactly it’s still the same concepts. It’s about investing. It’s about, the power of science And I think with women there, it just goes into some of the topics that as women, I see pop up more than men.
Like men seem to be willing to sometimes dive in before they know in the finance industry, which is great. Because it takes a little bit of that. It’s a bit, it can be a bit scary, but women seem to just be sitting on the sidelines still. And the fear is almost like paralyzing and they don’t do anything.
And so if anything comes of it, I want women to feel like they can take the action. So it’s just giving them that little bit of a confidence boost that maybe they need as the first step in, in making progress. So yes, I think women and men, I don’t see them as different or, one knowing more than the other.
I think it’s just, they have different needs and they’re at, and certain things appeal to them more or there’s, women needing a little bit more of that confidence. And and the whole first part of the book is about the money mindset piece where I do come across a lot of women just writing themselves off saying, I don’t understand, or I’m not good with math.
I’m not good with numbers. Money just isn’t my thing. And that’s why I wrote this book. Make money your thing. Anyone can do it. Helping, what I see as women almost just deciding they’re no good at it right from the get go before they even give themselves a chance. And I think they do that far more than men, unfortunately.
So having a whole piece devoted to that, and
Stephen: you can definitely say, I wrote this book for myself and I’m sharing it with everybody else because you’re. The ideal demographic in many ways.
Kalee: And I made money, my thing. That’s what I say in the book. I’m like, I made it my thing. Again, I grew up, we had no money.
We had nothing. Like we lived in subsidized housing. We didn’t have enough money to buy groceries sometimes. And now fast forward. And I’m, I’ve done all the things I’ve I share that in my book about all the goals that I’ve accomplished and, buying my dream house on my own and things like that.
It’s just, it’s really empowering. It feels so good. There’s an element of. I can do anything when it, when you can achieve like a money goal you have. And I think confidence like that for people, it’s good for any element of your life. Cause then you can take on big things like write a book when feel like this is, wheelhouse, I don’t know how to write a book, but you just dive in and do it.
Cause I’m like, I could do anything.
Stephen: And so you mentioned there’s action items to do with each chapter. Do you have a workbook or are you thinking about a workbook for people?
Kalee: I don’t. That’s a great idea. Yeah. I try to keep it simple. I know with a lot of the books I read that have action steps, I read a lot of nonfiction and sometimes the action steps can lose me when it feels like homework or You’re taking a whole master’s degree in a new program.
So I tried to keep it light, but you’re right. Like getting, some sort of course or something, getting people going on those just to give them that extra push is beneficial. I’m sure. Absolutely.
Stephen: Just a thought. Cause if someone’s reading your book and they’re comfortable and they enjoy it, it would motivate them to get going.
And having that workbook right there, just, here’s the action plan. Let me take the notes and write down what I’m doing.
Kalee: I know, I, that’s a great idea. I know we want to do I’m working with a group of women to do is like a book study. And I’m like, that’s such a fun idea. Cause we can go through that too with people reading the book.
So you’re right. Making it widespread. So all women can take those steps.
Stephen: That’d be cool. So let me ask you, Miranda, you said you read a lot. What’s your favorite books and authors?
Kalee: I’m all about the thriller type fiction books now. It’s really popular. I was reading a post of someone on a Facebook group and they said they were researching what are the most popular genres and it’s one of the biggest selling, right?
It’s they said it was like romance and thrillers, not necessarily together, but.
Stephen: And the funny thing is the biggest reader of thrillers are women, like middle aged women are the biggest demographic of thriller reader.
Kalee: That’s me. They know, I don’t know why we like it. It’s so fun though. It’s that like twist and turn and what’s going to happen.
I don’t know.
Stephen: Do you
Kalee: have any favorites? I Frida McFadden. I’ve gone through almost all of hers. Okay. And I found out about her on BookTok too. So I wasn’t familiar. So I do get a lot of my thriller suggestions from BookTok.
Stephen: Oh, nice. Yeah. I hadn’t heard of her. I’ll have to look her up, put some links on the show notes.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s really good. Are your kids readers?
Kalee: Unfortunately, no. Oh, no. So Jax destroys books. He’s my one year old, which is terrible. And my daughter, no, I wrote a kid’s book too. It’s it’s about a little girl learning about money. And I was like, Ivy, like when it came in the mail, I was like, can you read my book?
And it’s not very long or any, it’s a kid’s picture book. She got two pages and she’s I’m going to finish it later. Yeah.
Stephen: Yeah. Family’s not the best to tell you how good the book is or not.
Kalee: No, she just doesn’t like it. And I don’t know why. I think she hasn’t found the right genre for her.
I’m hoping. I tell her about when I was a kid, I was like, I loved like goosebumps and Nancy Drew and all that stuff. And I would explain, and she was like, no, I’d rather just watch the show mom. I’m like, wow.
Stephen: One of the things I work with kids is storytelling in video games and there’s a lot of good stories being told in video games.
That might be something that if you Find a good story based video game that you and her sit down and do together. Some of them, there’s one I saw, oh, and I forget the name of it. I apologize. But it’s an adventure game, but it has cut scenes that are pop ups and it’s all text. It doesn’t talk to you.
So the other gateway drug, a lot of times that we. Mention is comic books kids sometimes get into certain comic books because of the pictures and the reading and then they move on to other readings. So just a couple thoughts.
Kalee: Yeah, those are good ideas. You’re right because the video game idea is very appealing.
Or so what do you think my next book? I really want to aim it at. young adults. And my book coach was like, think of presenting it in a different way. And I’m like, Oh no. What do you think then? Like late teens, young adults, because she’s right. You get to that stage of life and it’s almost like you don’t have time to read books.
I remember it was like head down you’re in university or whatnot. So that was like the years where I didn’t read, but I want to create a money book for people like that. Cause it’s such an important
Stephen: time. It would probably be very, we talk, I see all the time people like I never learned this in school and how come nobody taught me that I had a stepdaughter that had no clue that you were supposed to balance a checkbook and keep track of that and she kept going under because she’s I took money out, but it said I had money.
I’m like, how many checks did you have to? I wrote three or four. That’s why you’re going what do you mean? And she just didn’t understand how that worked. And that’s a, to me, a simple thing so that, and she was at the time, like 1920 that would probably be a perfect time, but like you said, maybe they’re not, maybe this is where you need that videos or something to go with the book, maybe a book with videos or something.
Kalee: Cause it’s a tough stage. Like it’s almost like they’re really busy, but you’re right. They need it. It’s it’s such an important point in life because it could set you on your whole trajectory for what’s to come with money. And in the finance industry, we always give those, great charts and say if you started at the age of 19, putting away a hundred dollars a month, and you’d be a millionaire.
And everyone looks at that and goes. Why didn’t I do that? I’m like, that’s what your book is going to get people doing
Stephen: it, right? That’s when they’re older though. But I had several kids all graduating within a couple of years of each other. And I showed them like, look, you have this money right now.
You got from graduation. If you put it into this with an average return, blah, blah, blah, blah. When you’re 55, it’ll be this much. They went. Huh. I’m gonna get a new monitor for my video games, and it’s just like I don’t think they get and I know I certainly didn’t, I had a great couple jobs that if I had just taken even half of that money I made, which I didn’t need it all for living, most of it went to stuff or doing things I didn’t need to worry about and do, but if I had done, I’d be so My life would be very different right now.
And it’s hard to get the kids to grasp that. I
Kalee: didn’t. Yeah. It’s like our brain isn’t connecting it, that investing now and putting it away. It almost seems then I don’t get to enjoy it, but it’s you do. It’s like future you. So it’s still for you, but it’s like this disconnection of Oh no.
Like it, I’ll think about that later. I’ll do it later. I have plenty of time, just like with debt and the credit cards. It’s people are it’s so easy to spend and use it because it’s almost like you don’t think that you’re the one who’s going to have to pay it at the end of it.
You just think, Oh no, like that’ll just push it off to another day. And then it almost feels like you’re like, Oh, someone else will take care of it. I got to take care of it.
Stephen: Yeah, I just read a story about a guy telling a story about his friend who. Got a credit card, ran it up till, almost total max.
And then the next month he was trying to use it and it was bouncing. He’s what’s going on? They’re like you used it all up. He’s doesn’t it reset at the beginning of every month? No, little things like that, that you don’t really, but I think even now today’s kids are. More distanced from that because we don’t use cash.
We don’t use checks. We use a card and boop. And it’s just they net when they’re younger. They don’t see the money. They don’t see the transaction. It’s just you put this card in and everything’s magic. And I don’t think that gets explained or goes away.
Kalee: No, it’s yeah. It’s we’ve changed money in, for the more convenience.
Yes. but for not necessarily the better because there is no visual. And yeah, my daughter says when do I get a credit card? I’m like you’re nine years old. So not for a very long time. And it’s not actually just like a gift card or you just go tap. I’m like, you actually have to pay the money back.
It’s not your money. So they don’t, they have no idea. It doesn’t make sense.
Stephen: There were a couple of times when my kids were younger. They wanted something, but they didn’t have the money for it. And I got it and loaned it to them. And then they paid me back and they paid me with some interest. And I know some parents were like, that’s mean and blah, blah, blah.
No, that’s not, that’s what parenting is for. That’s what it is. I’m not just. Buying them stuff. So they’re, catered to, and I think it helped a little bit that they, neither of them have credit cards and they just live off what they make and, put money aside. I don’t think I failed completely there, but probably a little better.
Kalee: No, that sounds amazing. Anything like I tell people because when it’s, when people don’t think when people are not feeling confident about money adults, oftentimes they don’t feel like they can, teach their kids. It’s almost this idea of I don’t know enough to teach them or whatnot.
But I think as parents, we have to remember really, it does fall on us because they’re not learning in the education system, which, okay, that’s fine. And then knowing it falls on us, it’s just. Be like aware of that and have those conversations and give them those examples of real life. Like you were doing where they can actually like experiment and see.
Oh, it’s taking me even longer to pay it back or it’s taking me a really long time. I do with my daughter now. I do give her like. An allowance for doing work that she does like cleaning up cause her brother destroys the house. So she’ll clean up, which is so helpful. And I do pay her and she starts to see like how much she earns for that.
And then when she goes and has her own money and wants to buy things, she’ll look at things and say, Oh, it’s, Oh, that’s 20. No, that’s too expensive. Like she gets to start now making decisions, knowing I worked this hard to make this money and this costs as much. And then weigh the.
Cost benefit or like how much does that mean? Starting to get an idea of what money means. And so I think there’s so powerful for parents. So what you did amazing, like just giving these options, like our actual real life experiences that they’re going to have later on in a nice, like safe environment where you’re not like going to come after them and, take their car and their house if they don’t make a payment, nice, safe environment for them to experiment,
If you don’t hear about these. 23 year olds going bankrupt because they have so much debt, so hard. That you did some writing when you were younger stories but now you’ve written a nonfiction. So how did you approach starting to write a nonfiction book? How did you organize your thoughts or what got, how’d you get started writing?
What are some things you can maybe help others who want to write nonfiction? Absolutely.
Kalee: So I think the big part is like getting down your thoughts of what you want to get across to the reader. Like usually with a nonfiction, there’s almost like something you’re trying to teach or share. And you probably have a very specific set of ideas of what you’re hoping.
The reader will learn, like how do you want your reader to end up? Again, like there’s usually in nonfiction, it’s an element of a journey, something you want them to grow or, develop or do. So I think it’s just like writing down all those. Those lessons or things you want them to learn.
That’s what I did with the money book. So it was like, I wanted them to learn some of the money mindset piece. And understanding your numbers and what is budgeting and knowing your net worth how it’s so important to stay in control of your finances. There’s these ideas that I wanted to get across and then, just writing them with the very like finance oriented, thought process I was going through.
Obviously, what came out of it was like a textbook, which was so boring and no one would want to read it because no one likes reading textbooks. That’s very much an obligation in school. So working with the book coach was so helpful because I would have these, ideas and it’s. basic form, which was again, boring and needed a lot of work, but then it would be like, okay, what is a story about someone you’ve worked with or come across that, experienced this, the good or the bad, and can you share that?
And so I was working with a book coach who is experienced in fiction writing, and it was so beneficial for a nonfiction book because nonfiction is still. Sharing stories. That’s what engages a reader like a reader is always going to be engaged with storytelling. And so you can’t lose that, whether it’s, fiction or nonfiction, you’re still going to have that nonfiction I learned, which was like, Eye opening for me.
So she would give me like writing exercises where it would be like completely different scenarios And I would just have to like a rewrite about a zombie apocalypse or something like to get those creative juices flowing So I could take that into my non fiction work And it was so beneficial having someone pull that out of me because I would have never thought to do that.
Like the version of the book that I probably, started with, it’s not at all what it became. But it became these stories and sharing stories of myself. So I think, start with that outline and it’s going to be probably. pretty technical and, point form and sort of these are the bullets you want to cover.
But then think of like fun and exciting ways that you can share them. That’s going to pull the reader in. That’s going to have the reader like wanting to know what happened. And do what was a big lesson for me was going through the edit, editorial, like with my editor, the process where she was doing like the structural edit and her telling me about how you really want to make sure you’re taking your reader on a journey.
This is where they’re starting and you might know where you want them to end and then that’s how you want to rearrange the book as well. So again, you might have that outline and the points. But how can you see them, how can you see a reader going on that journey, like where they’re starting to where they end up and preferably breaking that into parts, maybe like three part, most nonfiction books have four part structure or three part.
They have some sort of like separation like that. Not saying you have to, but again, that’s how it unfolds and think of it as taking the reader on the journey. So that’s. the order of things. So that might rearrange your points when you start going through, and Oh, this one’s about, just getting started and making sure your mindset’s in place.
That should start first because, they’re not going to do the budget and all that if they haven’t worked on their mindset. So it’s going to help your whole writing process, seeing that unfold, seeing you. Bring that the reader on your journey with that journey with you or and I think that’s really key for nonfiction.
Stephen: And I’m glad you said that today’s nonfiction book isn’t like yesterday’s that they are very much. Feel of a story or more casual in how it’s presenting the information getting even further from that textbook feel and I’m glad you said that because I was going to bring that up, that’s what people are more used to that casual story type of.
Kalee: Yeah. Because no one just think if you’re saying, if I say to you, okay, so what you need to do is put away this amount of money every month, and then in five months time with interest, it should be that, or what if I say, can I share a story with you about a client who ended up being a millionaire?
By some really great habits that she put into place early on. And, at first she was really nervous and scared because of blah, blah, blah. Like those are going to draw you in more and resonate more, I think, than that very yeah, let’s do that. Do that.
Stephen: Absolutely. Absolutely. KAylee I think your book sounds great.
I’m, I love hearing that it’s a focus. for women. That’s a great way of doing it. And I think it’s like you said, a demographic that means approached in a different way rather than a just general book. I think that’s wonderful. So before we get going do you have Any advice for authors or better yet, if somebody stopped you on the street was I heard you wrote a book on money, why should I get your book and not Rich Dad Poor Dad or something like that?
What would you tell them?
Kalee: Yeah, because mine is for women. No. Oh, and because in mine, I’m wearing some pink boots on the cover. No, it’s, I think it’s just, One I wrote where you can feel really comfortable sitting down and just reading some chapters and feel really at ease non intimidated. So that was really my focus and not feeling like you’re doing some sort of course and being put on the spot where you should grab a text or a notebook and start taking notes.
So I did make it really, again, the story is very relatable. You see yourself in them, I would hope. Very like. Easy action steps at the end that I think anyone can do while reading the book and an easy read that you can do in one sitting that doesn’t feel overwhelming. Like I wanted to cater to more of the majority of people concepts, oftentimes like the rich dad, poor dad, and some of the other finance books really like hone in on a specific thing, buy a bunch of real estate and build up this whole real estate portfolio and things like that. And that’s not realistic for everyone. I wanted it to be something that people feel like wherever they’re at right now, that they can actually do things and see change and really make a big impact. That they didn’t have to Be, I think a lot of these books feel really overwhelming and put really high expectations on us.
And sometimes it’s just we want to just have more joy in our lives and feel like we’re doing the right things with our money. Like as simple as that. And that’s what I hope this book gets across to the reader.
Stephen: Nice. Nice. Hey, you mentioned real estate. Yeah, I actually recently got into buying some real estate.
I was able to buy both park place and boardwalk and put hotels on them. So I understand the concept.
Kalee: I love Monopoly. Like Monopoly is a great game, but you’re right. It’s hard being a landlord. It’s a lot of work.
Stephen: Yes, especially in Monopoly. All right. Kaylee, I appreciate you taking some time getting on today.
aNd I wish you luck with the book and let me know if you get a workbook or that teen book. I’d love to talk to you again about that.
Kalee: Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thank you for everyone for listening too.