With 15 years as one of television's leading financial reporters, Mary Caraccioli has interviewed some of the biggest titans in the global economy — from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to Virgin's Richard Branson to cosmetics icon Bobbi Brown.
But while the US market continues to sputter, the money analyst is looking towards Main Street to explore the nation's economic woes in her new series We Owe What?, airing Saturdays on the Live Well Network and KTRK-TV's high definition 13.2 channel.
Throughout March, Caraccioli is hoping to find a few good Houston families ready to take their money issues onto the small screen for an on-air financial overhaul.
"The program is like Supernanny for money," Caraccioli told CultureMap in a recent phone interview. "We'd love to get some energetic, interesting households in the Houston area in need of little advice."
Armed with an MBA and financial planning certification, Caraccioli will uncover the source of each family's struggles and devise a plan to help people reach their long- and short-term financial goals.
"Often times people are so close to getting over the hump. They just need a little push," she explained. "That's when we step in to help."
For those less inclined to reveal their money troubles to a national audience, Caraccioli shared a five-point approach to put any struggling families on the road to recovery.
- Diagnose the problem in daylight: "Figure out how and why you have these financial worries, but not at night when you anxious. Examine them during the day when you're more objective."
- Create a goal: "Once you identified your problems, ask yourself where you want to be financially. Write down the answer so you can keep referring to it."
- Take stock of your resources: "See how you can leverage your existing skills and even your social network to achieve your goals."
- Make a realistic plan to change your situation: "For a roadmap to better finances, the more ideas the better. Weigh the pros and cons of all your options and keep your goals in mind."
- Create a buy-in: "Make sure all your financial stakeholders are involved in the process, even kids. Everyone needs to be on the same page."
Any households interested in joining Caraccioli on We Owe What? are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org with a short overview of their dilemmas. Producers hope to find several unique and entertaining families before the start of April.