Help for the Psychological Challenge of Money | News | – Theredstonerocket | Vette Leader

Redstone Arsenal’s finance expert is also a licensed advisor, so it only makes sense that her unique brand of advice has an informal genre of its own: psychological finance, or P$y-Fi for short.

Olivia Pierce, financial preparedness program manager for the Army Community Service, said when the economy collapses, people with financial worries can actually become clinically ill.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In an economic downturn, it’s more important than ever to watch your money.

Pierce runs a monthly P$y-Fi course virtually on Teams and last week addressed the topic of estate planning, with a focus on the importance of facing financial worries rather than running from them.

Next month’s theme is a “Review of Financial Relationships.”

October’s course will help those who need a “credit report overhaul” and November’s is about changing overspending behaviors.

December rounds out the fall courses with a review of your personal relationship with money.

Pierce said her goal is to “help people approach their financial fears” and “pull back the curtains on what’s really going on financially.”

Getting bogged down by depression and money worries “stops people from doing good with their money,” she said.

For vetted workers, financial mistakes like not filing income tax returns or negative information on their credit reports can even put their jobs at risk.

But the classes aren’t just for people with such money problems – they’re for anyone with a connection to Redstone Arsenal.

Pierce has also recorded a series of P$y-Fi podcasts about the Garrison Public Affairs Office and has several more podcasts planned for the near future.

One of her goals is to talk about how to live in “such a shattered and uncertain economy,” Pierce said, adding that the options for most people’s finances are fight, flight, or freeze.

The latter group of people suffers the most. “They just froze and don’t do anything,” she said. “They may not have control over the economy, but they still have control over the money that they have today.”

Examples of bad decisions these frozen people make include failing to live on a budget and racking up credit card debt even when interest rates are skyrocketing.

Your mindset may be that the economy is hopeless, so why bother taking care of finances. “They start to justify[their actions],” Pierce said.

Instead of talking about specific types of financial accounts, including stocks, bonds, and savings accounts, she talks about savings in general.

The decisive factor is not how much money you earn, but what you do with it. It’s not uncommon for a savvy single mom to be far smarter with her money than a couple earning two incomes who are still living beyond their means.

She suggests looking at savings as a reserve plan for the future, but advises people not to check accounts regularly, especially when the economy is in a downturn. Trying to control every dime will inevitably “create more panic,” she said.

In the meantime, if your finances are bleak, look at how you spend regularly and “cut” variable expenses like food, entertainment, and family outings, and set limits when it comes to giving money to family members.

Other variable expenses include cell phones and even cars and homes. “People are getting the latest and greatest iPhone,” she said. “Do you really need a $600,000 house? Do you really need this luxury vehicle? If you can afford it, that’s one thing.

“If you don’t have a spending plan, you don’t have a plan.”

Pierce’s monthly classes are followed by a question-and-answer session via chat or phone. But it is not necessary to “attend” a live class. All courses are also available online to view from the comfort of your home.

To access previous courses, visit on MS Teams.

To access podcasts, visit

Pierce also noted that in addition to financial preparedness, the Army Community Service offers a number of programs to help those who are struggling. Sometimes problems overlap.

For example, money problems may stem from the need for a higher-paying job. If a new job is coming up, the Employment Readiness Program can help.

And for victims of “economic abuse” — those who are unable to control, or sometimes even access, household finances — the Family Advocacy Program can provide help.

Pierce is also available by appointment for private personal financial advice. For more information, call her at 876-6299 or 876-5397 or email her at

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