Kristen Bell wears many hats: actor, entrepreneur, mother and recently she has added American Express ambassador to that list. AOL’s Julia Webb caught up with the 38-year-old to talk about her budgeting tips for her family of four and why “Veronica Mars” coming to a streaming service is a big deal for her.
AOL: You pretty much do it all. You’re an actor, you have a line of baby products, Hello Bello, you co-founded a snack company that gives back, you have a family, and now you’re helping American Express to launch their refreshed Blue Cash Preferred card. Why are you excited to add this to your list of projects?
Kristen Bell: I don’t think I’m legally allowed to say that this card was made for me but I will! The cash back rewards on this card were specially designed for, I suppose, an older millennial. When I’m not working, I’m usually at home streaming shows or cooking for my friends, and I was very much excited about the relaunch of the cash preferred card because now they’ve added that you earn six percent cash back on streaming and on groceries and three percent on transit, and those are some of my biggest things I spend on all year, so I thought it was a great partnership.
Kristen Bell takes her #CleanPledge with Tide purclean ahead of Earth Day.
This card sounds like it does all of the heavily lifting for you — you just have to use it. Do you have any other tips or tools you love that help you budget for your life?
I definitely try to look at my finances from big ticket items on down, which isn’t always what I did, but as an adult I trained myself to. Meaning I used to get caught up with seeing what was on sale at the grocery store and then I realized “oh, I might have a bigger ticket item in my life that I’m spending a lot of money on and I would never have to worry about price changes at the grocery store if I cut something larger out.”
Finances can feel like a difficult or intimidating subject to talk about with your friends and family. How do you approach those conversations in your life?
Wow, that’s a tricky question. I’ll start that I’m in a very lucky position where I don’t live paycheck to paycheck. So let me start by saying that. I have conversations about money with my friends and family coming from a point that it’s not personal and if I’m ever asked for guidance I’m fully transparent about the fact that I don’t know the most about money. I usually pass them off to my husband who’s much better at financial stuff than I am. But if I’m ever loaning people — friends or family — money I do it knowing well that it’s going to be a gift and never returned, because money is a tangled topic and it deserves a lot of focus and intense thought behind it.
You mentioned that this refreshed card gives cash back when it comes to streaming subscriptions. What are you currently streaming at home?
Oh, wow what a goober I’d be if I said “Game of Thrones.” [Editor’s note: This conversation was held the week of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale.] We just finished “Patriot,” which is on Amazon, which I absolutely loved.
And I’m very excited because I’m actually going to, for the first time ever, watch “Veronica Mars” on Hulu when it starts streaming this summer. I never watched the original series because the episodes aired while I was shooting the show, but now that it’s streaming I’ll be able to watch it for the first time as a viewer!
What was it like for you to step back into Veronica’s shoes and play that character now, years later?
I was so excited to play Veronica again because I feel like I love playing her in my bones. This show was originally a story about the haves and the have nots and I don’t think any of us realized that 15 years later it would be as topical perhaps even more so.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
See more of Kristen and husband, Dax Shepard, below: