The Money Mindset Podcast

Ashley Patrick

The Money Mindset Podcast is hosted by Ashley Patrick from Budgets Made Easy. This is the place you will learn how to budget, save money, and pay off debt fast! It all starts with changing your mindset around personal finance so you can make the changes that you need to in order to improve your life. You will find advice and tips on relationships and money, budgeting, goal planning, creating a vision for your life and all the inspiration you need to get you there.

All Episodes

Planning your new year takes intention in December. Most people fail at their resolutions before February 1st. This year can be different for you. If you take the time to plan and be intentional with your focus, you can have the best year ever! Resources mentioned in this episode: Paycheck Budget Spreadsheet Episode 39 Episode 3 Don't forget to tag me on Instagram @budgetsmadeeasy and let me know what your 2022 goals are!

Dec 6

21 min 2 sec

You should spend money on things that bring you joy and happiness and not feel guilty about it...even if you are paying off debt or saving money! Resources mentioned in this episode: Free Budget Starter Kit: Platejoy Meal Planning Service: Get your FREE 10 day trial here! Use my link and code BUDGETS10 and save $10! (

Nov 29

25 min 27 sec

Your perfectionism is really fear that is holding you back from your big financial goals like paying off debt and saving money! You can do this, you just need to get out of your own way! Grab your FREE Budget Starter Kit here:

Nov 22

18 min 28 sec

Here is the full list! Fetch Rewards: Personal Captital:

Nov 15

11 min 52 sec

Create a plan for your time and money this holiday season so you can avoid going further into debt! Resources mentioned in this episode: Free Printable Holiday Budget Planner: Blog posts about saving money: Budget Spreadsheet w/Christmas budget:

Nov 8

16 min 49 sec

Amy Scott is a financial advisor turned Certified Professional Financial Coach who teaches couples how to get on the same page about their money. Today we talked about bringing curiousity into your relationship to help improve your finances and work together toward a common goal. Resources mentioned in this episode: (affiilate link)Atomic Habits by James Clear ( Free Budget Starter Kit ( Special Guest: Amy Scott.

Oct 25

28 min 45 sec

How Marcus went from being $30,000 in debt and working 3 jobs while barely affording the payments to debt-free! Marcus Garrett is a motivational speaker, staff development manager, and author of D.E.B.T. Free or Die Trying: How I Buried Myself $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out. He co-founded Paychecks and Balances, LLC.—an award-winning business dedicated to helping working professionals make money, save money, and get out of debt before selling his stake in 2020. Podcast: Paychecks & Balances Marcus's Book Free Budget Starter Kit: Books mentioned in this episode: Millionaire Next Door by Dr. James Stanley (aff link) Atomic Habits by James Clear (aff link) Walter Mosley books (aff link) Special Guest: Marcus Garrett.

Oct 2020

29 min 3 sec

Charissa talks about the 3 things she did to turn her money stress and fear into excitement so she could pay off her debt and put her husband through college debt free! Grab your freebie at Resources mentined in this episode: Paycheck Budget Spreadsheet: The Millionaire Woman Next Door by Thomas Stanley (affiliate link) Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation. You need to manage your money better. So you can stress less as living the life you want with budgets and the money mindset podcast. And today we are talking to Charissa from And she's going to tell us all about three ways that she has changed, how she approaches money to get rid of the money stress. She has implemented these three tips to change the fear she had around money in to excitement. Now she gets to be excited about her finances, as well as her story about paying off her debt while putting her husband through college debt free. So let's jump into Karissa's interview. Hi Chris. Thank you so much for being with us today. Hey Ashley. You're welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I am so excited to talk to you about your not only your debt payoff journey and just how that has affected your life, but really about how you have turned that journey and those financial fears into confidence. And I know you've got some really cool freebies for my audience as well that we'll get to at the end, but before we jump into all of that, can you kind of just give us like a background on your story? Um, I know you paid off some debt and so if you want to just kind of give us a little bit of background about yourself. Sure, absolutely. Uh, I think it all started really at the grocery store and I was right next to the flour and chocolate chips and, you know, I was struggling to keep bacterias, uh, because I had counted out my groceries again, and I realized that overspent and I was just overcome like with, you know, why couldn't I make this work? And I felt like such a failure and all these things like money and budgeting really made me panic. I really didn't know what to do. So I was newly married and we both brought that into our marriage. I had my car loan and he had a student loan and his credit cards and it wasn't a lot, but the burden fell upon me as the sole provider. And I had a no regular income and I'm putting my husband through school and like, I didn't know what I was doing. And it was just so overwhelming for me, but you know, what if he decides all of this chaos is stress with my money that I had. I had this like dream in my heart to see my husband graduate debt free. Now I really didn't know how we were going to do this because like I said, money was super tight. Uh, the debt that we did have was 20% of my income that year. And I was trying to figure out how to pay off debt and how to manage my money and still pay for school, pay cash for school. So we didn't take on any more debt. Uh, I had seen my parents pay off their debt when I was in, I don't know, early teens or young teens preteens. And that made such an impact on me that I knew somehow was possible. I just didn't know how I could do it. So I stumbled along, um, best. I could just trying to make things work, trying to manage the money and trying to pay things off and, um, pay for school. And then one day, you know, a couple of years later I looked up, I was trying to match up all my receipts and do my budget and all that I looked at. And I realized if I could come up with a couple hundred dollars extra today, we could be debt free. So I called my husband in, I mean, it was his student loan. And so I made him, he didn't really know what he was doing, but I made them like click submit the payment because, uh, you know, it was system alone. And as I watched the, that balance dropped to zero, I didn't realize that that day, March 17th, 2010, which is kind of special because it's now March 17, 2020. Um, but that moment was such a defining moment in my life. And that's awesome. Yeah. I taught my 10th dad free anniversary and you know, like that has been such a pivotal point in my life that I celebrated every year. Um, because here's the thing like immediately afterwards, like I watched those numbers dropped to zero and I was expecting some like huge life changing, you know, I dunno something and it wasn't, it was just quiet. And we actually went up to celebrate that night on a gift card. We went to Coldstone celebrated with some ice cream, but as I headed into the summer with my slow work period, that's normal, slow. You know, I was completely struck by the fact that there's so much peace of mind, even though everything else about our situation hadn't changed. Money was still tight. A work was going to be slow. Um, we were paying for school, all those things. There was peace of mind. And so now I have to be honest, like at this point when I paid off my debt, I didn't like money at all. I still at like budgeting and that I had this, I had this bigger fear, Ashley and this fear the was being stuck in the same place. Uh, still stressed out, still overwhelmed and worried about money and not ever making the progress on the goals that I wanted. So I, that really drove me into figuring out how to handle money. God's way, how to, to be wise with my spending, how to do all those things. And so I ended up over the next few years, I turned around and saved up over $79,775 in Oh wow. My husband's school. Holy cow. That's awesome. Thank you. Yeah, it was, it was a huge thing. I didn't know, uh, how we were going to make it a lot of times, but you know, God provided it and we were all able to do that. And now I've lived at free for 10 years. And so then at that point, friends and family really started asking me like, Carissa, how did you pay off that so quickly? Uh, you know, how are you budgeting? How are you paying for school? And then they started asking if I could help them with their finances. And so it was at this point, I realized that, you know what, I have gone through something that's really big. And I now have a gift that I can take something as stressful and complicated as money can be, and I can really break it down into simple steps that get results. And so, uh, and that was probably a couple of years after becoming debt free. At that point, I just completely fell in love with budgeting. Um, it makes me so happy to talk about your money and talk about budgeting. And I also dedicated my life to helping other women overcome the same money struggles and gain financial peace with a biblical perspective so that they can have confidence with handling money. They can provide well for their families and they can impact their communities. And the methods I've taught have worked, which is so humbling. Um, I, the women I've worked with, uh, they've been able to stick to a budget, pay off tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and just a couple of years put money into savings and most importantly, gain confidence and peace of mind when it comes to money. And I'm just so amazed that the struggles that we went through and the trials that we went through, um, was a, has been used in that way to help other people. Yeah, that is amazing. Um, so whenever you decided that you were going to pay off your debt and pay cash for your husband's school, um, what were some of the things that you did to get there? Like what did you start doing at first? Uh, so at first, um, I just knew I wanted to pay off my car, so I really didn't have a plan on paying off debt. I feel like I just stumbled through paying it off. Um, I was paying minimum payments. I think I paid a little bit extra on my debt, but I really bounced around. I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a strategy. I just, uh, you know, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm like, I want to see them graduate debt free now paying cash for school. That's something different. Like I really was intentional about, we lived very frugally, um, in a cheap apartment. Uh, we drove old cars that my husband kept fixing. I just worked and saved up as much money as I could for each semester. That's, that's amazing that you're able to do that. Um, what were some of the things that you did to, um, you know, save money, like, uh, grocery planning, a meal planning, or, you know, with your budget, anything like specific that you can, um, maybe tell somebody if they're thinking about doing that as well? Cause that's a lot of money to save. You know, most people don't think that they can save a thousand dollars, so to save over $70,000, that's a huge feat. So, um, what would you tell somebody that is just even wanting to save like a thousand dollars? Well, first of all, I mean, you have to remember, like it doesn't, I didn't go out trying to save $79,000. I was trying to say for the next semester. And so I'm breaking down a goal into smaller pieces. And what I've learned now is there's a couple of things, um, that to really have a plan for your money to be on a budget, which I know you love budgets. And, uh, because when I, when I'm control in control of my money and I have a plan for it, like, it really makes a difference because I am able to tell my money where to go and then I have extra money, you know? So if I, all my expenses are covered and then I have extra money, I am intentional about telling that money to go to savings. Then the other thing, like I close out my budget and I skim off anything that I didn't spend and I add that to it. But I think also, um, let me think, you know, I, I just, I think one of the big things that I came to with paying cash for school was the realization that you can't look at anybody else, um, for comparison because, you know, they have, you know, on social or whatever, you see all the fancy cars, the houses of vacation, whatever. But I had to come to a point where I'm like, I need to do what's best for my family. And if that means saying no to going out and buying whatever all my friends were doing, then I had to be okay with that because my family, I needed to provide for my family, I needed to put my husband through school and I was committed to not taking on any more debt at that point. So I had to do what was best for my family. And, you know, that became such a motivator for me. And it really freed me from, you know, like, Oh, I don't have this, Oh, I don't have that. I must be not as good of a person or good with my money. Like, no, it doesn't have anything to deal with that you have your goals and what's important to you. And like everyone is different everyone's situation is so different. Absolutely. And, um, how long did you save up this money? Cause some people may be thinking, Oh, well, that's great, but I don't make, you know, $79,000 in a year. There's no way I could do that. But it sounds like this was kind of small steps over time. So just like how long did it take you to save up that much? Well, I mean, like I said, it was semester by semester, so, you know, I had four months at a time that I had to save up, uh, you know, at the beginning my husband was going to community college. So it was like, I dunno, $1,500. And then as we got up to the university, it was more like five or 5,500. And so you, um, but I started out, you know, that first year when, um, we had debt, we got married and all of that, like my income was $37,000, so I didn't start off, you know, having it. But I think it's just the discipline of you having a big goal and you breaking it down into small manageable pieces. That's still a stretch that you can save for the kind of pushes you past it. And then you just keep working on that smaller goal until you reach it, then you add another smaller goal and you just keep you keep adding it because that's another thing I learned. Um, I did, I got to a point where, Oh, you asked me how long it took and then I'll get under my other story. Uh, so w it took us a long time to get through school. And it was about 10 years that we went through school and that I was paying cash for my husband's school. Well, that's awesome. I mean, then when you say it like that, you know, that seems a lot more doable for, you know, an average family and you might, I mean, you weren't making like an extravagant income or anything like that. So, you know, just like you said is to not focus on like the big amount. Cause then that just gets overwhelming, but focus, like you said, each semester and just chug away at the smaller amount. So you don't get so overwhelmed and go ahead with what you were going to say. So a couple years in a few years ago, uh, I was just, I had gotten to a point where it felt like no matter what money I brought in and I had increased my income at this point, but, you know, it was all just going out. It was all just going out and I'm like, I can't say I'm not a saver, like what is wrong with it? You know? And I was really discouraged and kind of burned out. And so I actually, for an entire year, I tracked every single dollar that I spent, excuse me, every single dollar that I put into savings, even if it was money such as, cause I saved for like Christmas, I saved for annual bills, you know? So any type of money that I put in the savings, whatever, the reason I was four and you know, some months I only put in $33, uh, other months I put in more, but as I track my progress through the whole thing, I realized that even small amounts, uh, really add up. And so at the end of the year, I had put in over $19,000 into savings. Wow. That is amazing. And I always try to stress that to people too, because I get the same way. Like, especially with savings, it seemed like when I was paying off debt, I was like, so focused that, and we did it really, really fast, but then once we got to the savings part, it's like, Oh my gosh, I'm never going to get there. Like it took forever. There's constantly things coming up and you know, it's like, you don't feel like you're making progress some months, but you know, even like you said, $33 or even not going back into debt is progress. So yeah, definitely. I like the idea of tracking each month or, you know, every week, every payday, whatever, so that you can actually see all the small progress that you're making that adds up over time. That's great. And, and, you know, I colored in a picture. I actually like went way crazy. I colored in a picture, I wrote a blog post. I had an Excel spreadsheet that my husband made up for me. Cause I was like, I am determined that I'm going to prove that I can be the saver and having those visual things that I actually colored in or seeing that Excel sheet, you know, like really motivated me. I was like, Oh, this is dumb. You know, whatever at the beginning. But as I did it, I was like, wow, because one, it showed me that I was making progress and not only was I making progress, like the amount I had to go was a lot less than when I started and the amount where I had come from, you know, like you could see all that. And so that really just motivates you to find extra money, to skim off your budget or to sell something or make more whatever the, you know, cut expenses and all of those things add up. And so I still, I don't, I mean, I still call her in a picture for my savings goals now, but I don't, I'm not all that crazy as far as tracking everything, but I still skim off money and every single month I'm looking for ways to put more money into savings. And because I know even, you know, like for example, like my cell phone bill, I have it at $70 in my budget and it's usually like 66 and some change, but I like round numbers. Yeah. And so then, but at the end of the month, I'm going to skim off that $3 and something and put it with everything else I can skim off so that I can have some extra money. And that usually gives me, you know, close to a hundred or a couple hundred dollars depending on the month extra that I hadn't even planned on. That's awesome. And that's just a habit that you have built over time, which really helps, you know, with sticking to the budget and just building those habits for the longterm. Now, what were some, um, other ways that you stayed motivated, you talked about the picture, um, and then the tracking, was there anything else that you did to kind of stay motivated over this time to save up money for my husband's school or yeah, just saving, um, you know, whether it was saving for that or just saving in general now that you're past that? I think one thing that's really motivated me is the incredible peace of mind and freedom I've had been debt free. And so that, cause I remember how stressed out I was. I mean, I told you I was crying in the grocery store and I remember just that feeling of panic and failure and all those things. And once I became debt free and really figured out how to manage my money at that point, um, there's very few things I'm going to even consider going back into debt for because my peace of mind is worth so much. And so that has been a huge motivator. So, um, even if I like I'm saving, I'm saving. And let me give you an example, you know, for when I was trying to do this great savings experiment, like I was talking about, uh, I was actually trying to save for school tuition. I was trying to save for another vehicle. I was trying to save to move. I was trying to save for an emergency fund. I was trying to save for all these things. And what would happen would be, is I would put this much, little, tiny bit here, a little tiny bit here, a little time right here, a little tiny bit here. But then when it came time for a tuition payment, I had to clean out all those accounts and put it towards the tuition. Cause I didn't have enough money or, you know, a car repair or something. And you know, at one point I was like really discouraged that, you know, so things kept coming up, but then I realized I'm like, you know what, even if I had, you wanted to use that money for something else, I didn't go back into debt. Exactly. I had the money, uh, I was able to make it work and um, I'm just super, I'm really goal, more motivated. You know, I love, we have big goals where, uh, renting right now, we're renting a house and we're saving up to buy a house at this point. And so I have all these things I want to do, but what I realized is it's okay to just focus on one at a time. And when you focus on one, it may seem at first, like you're going to make really slow progress and you're not going to get to all the things that you want to do, but that's not true. You do. It's just, it's a matter of priorities, but here's the thing you're actually making progress and you, uh, once you get it, then you can enjoy it. And then you're not like when you're trying to be spread so thin trying to do so many things at once. It's really discouraging. Cause you're not making any progress towards anything. Yeah. I'm the same way. Like, especially with saving for things like you talked about with Christmas and vehicle repairs and all that stuff. I can't stand to have like all those little things coming out of my budget each month. And so what I like to do, it sounds like you're really similar is I like to just fill up one fund, just focus on that one thing, get it done. And over with. So like in January I'm usually done for Christmas, like I'll cause my husband gets a end of the year bonus usually. Um, but the, you know, the amount changes, but, um, and so I usually try and fill that up like in January. So then I don't have to worry about Christmas the rest of the year. So I don't have like all these little things coming out of my budget every single month. Like it just, I can't do it. I'm the total opposite. So those things like that are regular expenses that I know are on the come up. My insurance, I pay every six months, Christmas, um, car repairs, you know, all of those things. I actually, even my renter's insurance, which isn't much I will take that and that, cause I prefer to break it down into a smaller bite size thing that I can absorb into my monthly budget. I put it into its own savings account. So then when the insurance is due in may I already have the money and I don't have to stress about coming up with, you know, this big bill. And so I actually do, I actually do it differently, but you know what, that brings up a really good point, Ashley, because this is the thing like personal finances, personal for a reason, exactly like your income, your expenses, your stressors, your goals, you know, all of them are different than anybody else's. And so you really can't focus on what other people are doing because it doesn't even make sense for what you're doing. Right. Exactly. You're exactly right. So I know, I, I, uh, yeah, I just, don't like a whole bunch of stuff coming out every month. I'd rather just like do it. I I'm the type that I just want to do something, get it over with like, I just want to move on. I don't want to think about it every month. So how, um, how did you take that fear about money and turn it into, you know, confidence? What are, what are some tips for that? Well, I got three things that really made a difference and I'm happy to share them with you. So the first one is really the power of an intentional plan for your money. And this is such a huge tool. Uh, now I'm talking about a budget. I've mentioned that several times, but when I originally started budgeting and I use that term very loosely is I would have this pile of receipts. And every time I came home, I'd crumble up the receipt and then throw it in this pile until it became so big and like fall off the desk and like on the floor. And like, I'd have to clear out a whole Saturday to try and figure out from these faded white crumpled receipts where my money had gone for the last two months. And I would be in tears and I'd be panicked and my husband totally stayed away. And I just felt like the budget was telling me like a neon sign saying you're feeling with money. And I felt like I couldn't do it. But what I realized as I, as you know, in my whole transformation is that a budget is actually a plan for your money ahead of time and where you're in charge and you get to decide what's important to you. And, uh, you know, something, um, eating out is not important to me. So we don't eat out very often. So that amount is very small, but I have other things that is larger, but for whatever your family is, you get to decide and you're going to set up, what's important, you set an amount to it and then you stick to it each month. Now I use a prioritize budget, which I have found to be the most easiest way to set up a budget, simple, to set up and simple to stick to. And this helps me close out my budget every single month so that I can actually bring, um, you know, skim off extra money, like I was talking about to put towards my money goals. And so a couple things, first of all, uh, for your readers, I do have a prioritized budget worksheet, and I would love to give it to you guys as a gift. Um, and that's free. Do you want me to give the website or you want to just put it in the shadow? Um, and I'll add it to the show notes as well. and that's for budget made budgets made easy. Uh, but one thing I really realized is if I put the four essentials, my food, my life's in water, my housing and my transportation at the top of my budget, all my gosh, a whole bunch of money stresses completely melted away because I knew my family's needs were taken care of. And that gave me the mental ability to, um, tackle debt, save money. And you know, you get creative ideas on how to come up with more, to put towards your money and goal. But most importantly, like that gives you hope and you know, that you can make it at this point. And so that has totally changed my life. And that's what I teach. And, you know, I have students telling me all the time, how much this budget method has really changed their lives. So that's the first thing is having an intentional plan for your money. The second thing is I learned is that money really doesn't have to be stressful because here's the thing. Anyone can change their finances and it's all small changes that you would make today and then are going to make a huge difference in your future coming up. It's like a plane, like you take a plane and you're going to, um, across the country say, I'm coming to visit you Ashley, but just the slightest change. In course, the slightest degree of difference. I'm going to end up in Alaska or instead of coming to see you. Yeah, that's a good point. And that's, It's the same with your money. So it's small changes that you make today that will make a completely different future. And the problem with money, like when we're stressed out about it is we don't know where it's going and we, we're not sure how to manage it. You know, trying to manage the debt. We don't have any savings and you feel like you're not making any progress and you're not making any traction. But what I have found is one, when you have that plan, like it gives you a roadmap to follow so that you know exactly where your money is going so that you're in control. And that, you know, I've seen how, um, God has provided all these years when I had no idea how I was going to make the next tuition payment or, um, pay off the debt before graduation and everything. And he's provided all these things, uh, and just really shown me that managing money God's way really makes a huge difference. Not only in your stress and your, um, mental status, but just how you're able to reach these goals. So that's the second thing is money doesn't have to be stressful. The third thing is that God has given each of us a gift and he wants us to use it. But too often, like money struggles hold us back. You don't have the ability financially, emotionally, you don't have the ability mentally or the space to be able to use that gift, to bless other people. And when you're in control of your finances, you can change your finances. And when you do not only are you providing well for your family, but you're able to change your life and you're able to be able to be a blessing for other people. And so I just want to encourage you guys, like it's not just about you and your money. I mean, that's totally taken care of our families is a good thing. Changing our financial future is amazing, but there's also a bigger purpose that you have to impact those around you and whatever gift it may be. Like. We all have different things that our heart is drawn to and different gifts and abilities. And it can even just be the, the, my, my family's needs are met. And I have peace of mind on that, that I can go volunteer or, I mean, it doesn't have to be like you giving financially, although that could be, but it just has you, aren't worried about your family survival and you have the ability to look beyond that. So that's, those are the three things that have really made a huge difference in transforming that fear of money that I had that panic overwhelm and that worry into something that I'm super excited about. And I love seeing that transformation in the lives of the women that I help. That's amazing. I really love those three points and completely agree with you. Um, so I do like to, at the end of every episode, ask what your favorite nonfiction book is, um, just so that we can, you know, improve our minds and our lives, not just our, not just our finances, so it doesn't have to be, um, financial, but do you have a favorite nonfiction book? Um, I would say probably right now, one of my favorites was it's the millionaire woman next door by Thomas Stanley. And I was just really impacted by the fact that one, a lot of the things that I've learned actually is legit and works for so many people, but so many women in particular, but just the fact that you, uh, as a, as a woman, we have an incredible ability to really make an impact and change our family's finances. And I just want to empower women, especially, I mean, men too, I focus on my audience is all women. Um, but you can create a better financial future. You can get out of debt, you can save money, you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. And it's, it's not really that hard. It doesn't have to be that hard and complicated can actually be pretty simple. That's great. I didn't realize there was a women's version of that book. I have the, just the millionaire next door, but I didn't know they had another, you would love it, like highlighting every single page. I'm like, Oh, I guess I can't give this one away. Yeah. Yeah. I like to highlight my books too. I'm to have To check that one out. Um, I say that like every episode, so my reader or my listeners here are probably getting tired of me saying that, but I, I didn't know, they had a women's version so, well, I appreciate you being with us today. And before we go, can you, um, give us the website again and tell us how, um, people can find you, like, are you on Facebook or Instagram, Pinterest, all those things. Sure. But could I just share one last thing with you? Yes, absolutely. So, uh, one of the proudest moments of my entire life I'm sitting there in the crowded stands, uh, the air horns are blowing. People are cheering when they're not supposed to. And I was watching my husband walk across that commencement stage and this cap and gown, he was completely debt free and we had done it. Uh, we had paid off our debt. We had paid cash for his school and along the way, I really overcame the fear of money. And I started handling it with confidence and I had peace of mind. And so I just want to encourage you guys like it's now is the perfect time to start making those changes to change your finances because, and your future, because small things. And I didn't even realize it at the time that was going to make such a huge difference, and it really has completely changed my life. Uh, you can find and I might change your finances on Instagram, on Facebook. Uh, I don't, I have a, I have a Twitter account, but I don't ever use it. So come check me out on Instagram or Facebook, all that changed your finances. Oh, well, thank you so much for being with us today. You are so welcome and I am so thrilled to be here, and I'm just so excited for all of your readers, to our listeners, to be able to see what they do with their finances. Thank you. Thank you so much to Carissa for being with us today and sharing those wonderful tips on transforming your fear of money into excitement, as well as some simple tips on reaching those big financial goals all while doing it on an average income, just, you know, small wins over time. So be sure to go check out her website and get your freebie. It And also don't forget. You can go get your paycheck budget spreadsheet And I will see you guys in the next episode. Special Guest: Charissa Quade.

Aug 2020

34 min 5 sec

Brian Haney, VP of The Haney Company, talks all about life insurance and how each type can benefit your family in many ways you probably don't even realize! Resources mentioned: Paycheck Budget Spreadsheet When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink (aff link) Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation. You need to manage your money better. So you can stress less and live the life you want. This is Ashley with budget, sweet, easy in the money mindset podcast. Today, we are talking to Brian Haney, who's the vice president of the Haney company, whom he deals With all things insurance. He also has a podcast that's called that's my financial guy. So you can go listen to him as well. But before we dive into his interview, that is all about different types of insurance that your family needs, and some benefits and pros and cons to different insurance policies. Go get the Paycheck Budget Bpreadsheet, so you can get started on managing your money better so that you can get all these little financial things in order so that you can live with financial peace. And that's what insurance also gives you. It gives you financial peace for your family, so that you know, that, you know, heaven forbid, something happens to you that your family will be taking care of. So let's welcome Brian, and jump into all about insurance. Hi Brian, thank you so much for being with us today. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. And we're going to dive into insurance and different kinds that you need and maybe some that you don't need. But before we jump into that, can you kind of just kind of give us a little bit of background about yourself? I'd love to, so I've been in the financial business for really the majority of my career. She's 16, 17, 18, many, many years, but just, you know, a couple interesting twists and turns to my life. I, I studied journalism in college. So, uh, and I graduated early with a BA in journalism and kind of, you know, had aspirations, I guess, to be the next Tony Kornheiser or be in sports broadcast or who knows what, um, and came back to where I grew up, uh, Washington D C area only to realize that essentially the journalism journalism industry is not maybe as a straight path towards stardom as I would have liked. And so none of those kind of opportunities popped up unless I wanted to live in the closet for the first five or six years of my, my adults. So I quickly became open to other, other possibilities and actually, uh, got an opportunity to, to become a, a licensed banker and a private banker. And so that kind of helped me establish, I mean, that was my entree into the financial arena and it also helped me, um, get a really solid foundation that I think, and I sets me apart now many, many years down the road because having understanding about deposits, loans, um, investments like having all of that really understanding all of those various components, I think really adds significant value. So, I mean, I've coached people on setting up checking accounts and, you know, all the ins and outs of every kind of credit product shake a stick at. So, Mmm, that helps now just current day. Uh, I work with my, my father and my younger brother. We, uh, uh, are the three principles of the Haney company, which is a multi multiline, uh, kind of financial services company. And actually the majority of our clients are concentrated in the association industry. It's probably 70% of our clients. So it's a pretty interesting industry target. And we do everything from benefits, retirement plans, commercial insurance, property, and casualty. And then, okay, we work with, you know, the executives kind of families. And that's where we kind of do individual things, whether it's insurance or financial planning or investments and that kind of stuff. I also work with them also work with business owners. That's the second kind of minority concentration, um, and business owners of all walks of life. So that's the other part that's, you know, a lot of fun and I've kind of specialized in along the way. Yeah, so you help businesses kinda like figure out their, um, packages to like offer their employees and things like that. Yeah. That's probably one of the biggest things that we do when we work with a business. You know, I mean at first of all, I love stars. I love a business in any stage, but, um, I think in the kind of the business owner in the passion alignment for me is really seeing a business kind of go through its life cycle. And, you know, it's, it's analogous almost to a child that grows up and, you know, it goes off to college and gets married. It's, you know, you get to see owners and, and, you know, small to medium sized companies that just have incredible passion and see their ideas come to fruition and then, you know, and help them kind of walk through that experience and make it as successful and profitable as possible. And that's Mmm. So it's just a lot of fun, you know, I mean, anybody that has the creative element to being able to be in the financial business, I think has a good appreciation for, for that particular type of a relationship. Not that associations don't have their own beauty and awesome newness to them, but, you know, they exist apart from the people that work for them and run them. So that's where I have a special place in my heart for the, for the solopreneur and the small business professional. Oh yeah. Cause it takes a lot to run a small business. And especially when you're trying to navigate insurance benefits For your employees and stuff, I can imagine it's a very different than, you know, a large scale business or corporate corporation. So I'm sure it's really interesting to see that growth too, you know, like seam from starting out to, um, growing and becoming successful. Cause, uh, I can tell you from owning a business, that's a stressful journey, but it's fun now. No, it sure is. And you're right. What do families need to know about different kinds of insurance, but let's specifically talk about for now life insurance. Like what do families need to know? So it's a fantastic question. And when I talk about insurance, I try to, you know, first of all, I, my, my joke used to be in certain networking events that, you know, I was an interpreter and people would be like, Oh, what language do you know? And I say, no, no, no, I, I interpret financial ease into English. And that's that couldn't even be more appropriate than when it comes to insurance. I think insurance in general is certainly highly misunderstood. It's not something that any person in any walk of life kind of, you know, there's not an educational course that you take in college that makes you equipped. Um, there's, there's really a lot that that's just missing in general educational circles. And you know, you don't roll out all of a sudden, you know, you turn a certain age and now you've figured it all out. So I try to just, you know, I try to talk about, um, the function of, of, uh, you know, of insurance or really kind of any financial instrument, because that makes it, I think, real and personal. So when I, when it comes to, you know, a family, a, you know, a married couple, maybe with kids or early stages of life, the hopes, dreams, and aspirations at that family has to grow up, roll together, see the kids off to college and all the other stuff. That's kind of the lifestyle framework that they are operating under. And yet we live in a, you know, a crazy world. I mean, we're in this COVID-19 pandemic crisis now as, as a unfortunate current day example of just the kind of stuff that can come out of nowhere. And so there's a risk to that lifestyle, to that dream that if one of the two parties doesn't make it home for whatever unfortunate reason, everything about that family changes. And so that's life insurance, I think in very, very practical and real terms, life insurance to me is really about the relationships that we value the most and what we would be wanting to be the best scenario that had we lived had I lived, had my spouse live, or we would be working hard to see that play out life insurance should come in then and at least provide for some sort of a financial means to try to have that play out since unfortunately that party is no longer going to be there to do it themselves. And so I kind of want to just start there as, as a, you know, a beginning framework to connect to something that can seem very arbitrary. Um, I don't think it is at all, I think is probably one of the most personal things that a couple, um, can really be considering because of, and I can say this, unfortunately in, in, you know, as many years as I've been in this industry, I've had to walk through delivering death claims and I've had even personal friends, um, pass away well before their time. So I've just seen too much to feel like I can water it down at all. Like, it's, it's really important, powerful and meaningful. Absolutely. And whenever like my husband and I, um, we're figuring out like how much life insurance for us to get, um, you know, we figured out, okay, well, how much would we need for, to cover, uh, to pay off the mortgage and you know, how much would we want to say for each kid for college, you know, still have, you know, all those things covered and you know, the other one not have to go back to work right away if they don't want to, you know, all those kinds of things. And that's, you know, just kinda like what you said, um, what our longterm goals are and still be able to accomplish that. So that's kind of how we came up with our number as well. So is there a number that you recommend, um, families to, um, shoot towards? I mean, of course I'm sure it depends on like their health conditions and age and stuff and what they can actually afford for life insurance, but is it, you know, is there like a standard number, like 10 times their annual income or just, you know, a baseline, a million dollars or something like that? Yeah. I mean, it's, it is the perfect follow up question and I, you know, actually I think you you've touched on a few Mmm really helpful measuring rods that, that kind of give some of us a tangible example, but the reality is that every scenario is a personal a decision. Um, because obviously we're all going to have different means and different goals and desires. And so, you know, I commonly say these are some of the components that traditionally are considered when you're coming up with that value. So I think it's more important just to think of it in terms of how you might go about doing the math rather than having a particular number or threshold in mind. Cause that makes it a lot easier for you to know, frankly, once you come to the number, how you got there. And so, um, and, and by the way, just as a total aside, but something that can be very interesting for somebody that's, you know, wanting to Google weird things, the, um, you know, a very, Oh, I opening place to learn a lot about life insurance, really the replacement value of human life is, um, with wrongful death attorneys, because of that part of the legal industry, their entire job is to quantify somebody's life. And it is amazing what, you know, what it goes into that kind of a calculation that Ben has to go to a courtroom setting and, you know, is, is and subject to, um, legal proceedings in terms of what the financial recourse is in a wrongful death. And it's unbelievable. So if you really want to, you know, get a crazy number and see how scientific you're going to be about to check that out, but, you know, two more rational, realistic ways to go about it. Um, you know, that there's that lost earning the capacity that I think is the big, um, wrapper that goes around this. And so, you know, common ways to come to numbers. Well, how many years might the earning person that we're, you know, you know, whether it's the spouse, husband, wife, it doesn't matter. Mmm. How many years might they be working? What's their current compensation. And then you can create, you know, a framework for that projecting that out. And then, you know, some other things that again are commonly into the consideration that help you quantify this, certainly any debts that you would, you would want to pay off, always a good thing to have, um, uh, you know, in mind and again, yeah, the, the expense of college, which, uh, in terms of things that have outpaced inflation is, is one of the top of the list. Cause the cost of, um, you know, college education is, is Crazy these days. So that's sometimes a number that number in and of itself can be bigger than what you got to pay off in terms of your mortgage balance. No kidding. I did a mortgage calculator the other day for all three of my kids and my youngest is two. So I mean, it was insane. I'm like, there's no way I'm ever going to be able to save that much for three kids. It was crazy. I don't even want to think about it. Yeah. It's yeah. It's not fun. And yet it is. And then we all just cross our fingers as parents and hope that they'll get scholarships and not have to worry about Yeah. Like the guys you're going to trade school. Cause that's all I'm going to be able to afford my man. Yeah. So, I mean, those are, those are kind of the, you know, the, the three most significant threads are replacing, lost earnings, you know, handling any kind of debts to create the best kind of cashflow scenario for their surviving spouse and kids. And then certainly the most significant expense outlay is, you know, wanting to make sure your kids have the funds to go to whatever school that you would want them to be able to go to. And I think that, that, you know, pulling that all and seeing what kind of a number, uh, that equates to, and then like you said, well, all right, now that we have kind of an idealized number, how do we look at the options for protection and what types of life insurance might you want to be considering? And then that also might, you know, again, depending on underwriting and expense, you may move the number. Um, if that, you know, if some of the costs for, you know, the full amount of protection maybe seem, uh, out of reach or would hurt your budget and wouldn't allow you to do other things financial, because you should never have, you know, I'm sure you see this a lot. You should never have a number for insurance that literally makes it hard for you to do other really, really critically important things in your budget. So, um, making, making it have the right space in your budget is, is very key. Yeah. We, whenever we were looking at, um, life insurance policies, like for my husband, it was pretty expensive. Um, cause he's a bigger guy. And so what we ended up doing instead of like a normal 20 year term, we ended up having to do 15 years so that we could have the amount that we wanted. And then the, you know, with the goal of like saying are more at the, by that 15 years, our mortgage would hopefully be paid off. Um, and so we'd be a little bit more covered at the end of that term. So, um, just like you said, we kind of took in the, the figure was more important, um, than necessarily that five year gap. So that's how we, um, figured that out. Now we know you mentioned like, um, replacing loss income. Now what about a stay at home? Like if somebody is a stay at home mom or a dad, um, do they still need life insurance, You bet. And, um, and by the way, kudos to you all for making sure that you kept the right number. Cause I think I agree and that's so important. Like the, the amount of protection I think is, is the most important thing about it. So, you know, figuring out how long you have that is, is oftentimes a secondary consideration when you're juggling it. So that's, that's great to hear and, and, you know, um, the idea that because a spouse doesn't have an income that they pay taxes on means that if they weren't around that they don't have some sort of a residual value is crazy. Cause I can tell you my amazing wife, who's been, um, you know, who stayed at home for awhile. She's raised our amazing daughter and is now, you know, we've been homeschooling her for the last two years and just being, I mean, just been incredible, but what it would take for me to function to replace her [inaudible] is probably a bigger number than I even like to think about. And so I think [inaudible], you know, when, when you don't have that inherent income number to try to, which is usually a big part of that baseline, then it's still important to consider really the lifestyle that you're going to perpetuate. And in some respects, if you want to get a more, you know, a strategic number, depending on what your kids are, I mean, you can start to look at what's the benchmark for a full time live in nanny or something like that. I mean, if you really are that concerned about coming up with a number, go ahead and use that. Not daycare use a live in nanny and what that would cost an okay. Or something like that. You'll find out that that's really, you know, it's a full time salary in and of itself. If you're trying to now have to unfortunately replace, you know, your, your spouse. So, you know, um, I absolutely, you know, my wife has a healthy amount of insurance on herself just because, you know, I, I would, I would easily be lost without her, but then also there is, there would be a significant financial burden. And I think a lot of times that's probably an area where I find, um, couples maybe, uh, I would say, yeah, make, make a mistake in not recognizing both parties as equally as they should. And it's not to suggest that you certainly don't need to have the same amount on, on, on each person. But, um, you know, I've, I've seen a lot of times where the, the, you know, the income that the working spouse loads up and then literally has little to nothing, um, for the stay at home spouse. And that's a real significant risk because forget the money. If you play the scenario out, what would happen if God forbid something happened to the say at home spouse, the impact to your lifestyle and your ability to continue earning the same way that you were when you know that spouse was still there running the show is, is night and day different. And so the reality is there is a significant financial impact. And so it is, it's really important to make sure that you assess both sides of the equation. And there again, you know, you can find some easy ways to quantify that and come up with a number that is reasonable. Now, what about, um, people that have life insurance through like their job, is that enough? Or should they get like extra life insurance? Also a fantastic question. And, um, I always kind of in, in most of my client interactions, I kind of consider life insurance through work of bonus. And so can it factor into your total calculation? Yes, it can, but the reason why I consider it a bonus and what I mean by that is that you don't want to count on it is this because you don't control that policy. The employer does. And, and, and frankly, I don't like trying to use current day stuff as almost like a scary example, but you know, in, in this pandemic, you are seeing a lot of small businesses now being significantly financially impacted. And so business owners are having to look at the benefits and the cost of maintaining those benefits. And, you know, maybe if they have had, you know, disability and life and medical and all the other stuff, and they're trying to save money, they could turn around and say, well, look, we're going to try to continue medical, dental, and vision, but we can no longer do disability in life. Cause just, we need to find ways to save money. And if that happens, then that coverage is gone with, you know, you did nothing to participate in that decision. So, you know, um, I just think it's very important to know, um, how, how that should factor in, but how much credence you actually give that. Cause sometimes you might have a generous amount. Maybe you have, you know, two times a good salary. And so the number can be a very real number. Um, but I just, you know, I don't, I counsel most people don't put a significant amount of emphasis on that because there's so many ways that that can change that are a beyond your control or just, let's say you change jobs and all of a sudden what you used to have, you don't have it, you know, so there's, there's just, um, there's too many variables that make that, that particular part of your benefit, something that's, you know, hard to really count on as rock solid for a long period of time. So, you know, I, I, I tend to say take it a diminimous amount. Um, if you want to factor it into your calculation and say, well, at least I have this much, it counted in this way. So not to spend that's and that's viable and that's, and that's important. But, um, I just, I don't, I don't like setting people up to overestimate how beneficial that can be. Cause again, I've seen it unfortunately too many situations where you know, it, it wasn't enough or it wasn't what they thought it would be. Yeah. And with, you know, so many people losing their jobs right now. I mean, that's that insurance is instantly gone and then you don't have any coverage. So, so what kind of life insurance should like the average family get or does it kind of just depend on their situation? That's an awesome question. And I, and I like, um, I like answering it in terms of understanding a little bit more about the financial instruments and how they can function because there's really two types of life insurance. Um, so I'm going to paint and big broad brush strokes, and then I'll try to get a little bit more detailed, the two main types there's there's term insurance. And I think the easiest way to look at term is we, you know, we understand a mortgage, right? It's a certain dollar amount that we have for a stated period of time. That's a great way to think of term insurance. You have a stated benefit amount for a stated period of time. Um, [inaudible] probably, that's the best way I think, good to use that type of policy is to assign it and align it with something that, you know, has, you know, a start and an end, because then it makes total sense why you would, you would match the insurance to that risk. Mmm. Permanent insurance comes in a lot of different forms, so that the two main ones though is his whole life insurance. And then there are variations of what's called universal life. Um, and there's a couple of different types of universal life. And I, you know, I think it would be a, uh, you know, an entire other session for another it again and all that. But permanent insurance is, is valuable in a couple of ways because it goes beyond now just being about this death benefit that can get paid out to someone else. Now it's also a policy that, that actually becomes an asset and builds value for you. And there's a lot of reasons why that in and of itself can be very valuable and important, um, as well as just the need for having coverage. Because I think a lot of times the average family that I know underestimates how long they're going to need insurance for and how much they're going to need, because we kind of think, you know, it's very natural to think everything's going to play out this way that we hope it will. I'll make more money over my earning years. I'll pay my mortgage off. My kids will go off to college. I'll be an empty nester and I'll have a ton of assets and I'll be fine. Right? That's the most common thing that I'm told. And that's an, and again, I hope to God that that plays out and, you know, many times it might, however, that doesn't mean that the need for life insurance goes away, even if that plays out. And so I think that from the insurance standpoint, it's just really important for families to understand that your insurance needs your life insurance needs will change over time and you can change the types of policies that you may have or the structure, but please don't, um, think that, you know, at some point you just don't need it anymore because the reality is that that's probably not the case. So you, you, you may very much want to consider at some point, keeping at least a certain amount, you know, kind of in perpetuity until you die. Which since, you know, I left my crystal ball at the shop. I don't know what that date is for me. Probably not for you either. So most people don't, you know, most people don't have that in mind. So therefore you do need to have something that'll last as long as you do, but I want to, I want to take a very brief moment just to talk about the asset component of permanent life insurance, because this is where there can be a lot of times where this is an opportunity we're insurance becomes a vehicle that allows people to actually save successfully for other things that they might otherwise be saving for apart from life insurance. This is where if you structure it correctly in the right circumstances, life insurance can actually be a very helpful vehicle in somebody's financial framework. Um, because you can use the way that it grows as, you know, an asset that then, you know, maybe some of those funds get used for college expenses, um, or, you know, a wedding down payment or what have you. So, Mmm. There's a, there's a significant, uh, argument in case that can be made to, to also find value in using it as that type of a financial asset and a resource, um, for intermediary purposes as well as retirement. So it's, it's a very valuable, valuable, and an underutilized asset. So how does that work then if it's kinda, if you're able to take money out of it, but it's also life insurance. Like if you take the money out, does that reduce the death benefit or is it kind of like two things in one it's the, it's the wonderful, my favorite asterix, it depends, right? It depends. So what I mean by that is it depends on how you structure the policy and what type of a scenario you're taking the money out in some of the basic components to what that looks like though. Um, and I, and I do want to, you know, I'm not a CPA, I just play one on TV. So there's there's tax components. Um, that the way that cash value life insurance is treated from a taxation perspective. It's very similar to how I Roth IRA is treated. So the funds that get built up, you're not taking a deduction for the money that goes into an insurance policy into a life insurance policy. However, when you take those funds back out, um, especially up to that kind of principle value, that's all tax-free back to you. It's a return of, they consider a return of principle and that's, there's a lot of value in that, right? From a tax man. You can borrow against the policy so you could take out a loan and again, then you're taking out a loan against your own asset. So that there's value in that if you wanted to use it that way, you can, um, you don't necessarily have to pay those loans back loans against the life insurance policy are also considered tax-free. So, Mmm. You know, the, the main structures that really make this helpful is, you know, I can take a, I can take as just a regular cash distribution out. And assuming that, you know, the amount I've put in is still more than the amount I'm taking out. I don't, I shouldn't have a taxable consequences of doing that depending on how much is in there and how much I put in there could be some impact to the death benefit. And so that's why you really want to you of want to know what that all looks like, and you want to be mindful with how it's structured, but that doesn't mean that that makes it a bad scenario. It just means that that's, you know, you're taking some of the policy values out that have, you know, also that carry with them and assign portion of that death benefit value. So, you know, that's part of the trade off, but it doesn't mean that it's, you know, it's a bad way to use it. Mmm. But there's a lot of more affluent people and clients that I work with on a regular basis now that really because of that tax component are, are, are using life insurance in a very strategic way. So may make sure that they maintain that, that need in, in perpetuity, but really as a, is that an after tax way to build wealth, because unlike a Roth IRA where you can get phased out of it, there's no cap. Um, so you can really use it as a strategic vehicle to build a lot of wealth, uh, and have it the, in a tax advantage, um, bucket that then you can turn around an access and retirement. And the coolest thing I like to tell this story, because most people don't understand In the retirement scenario for life insurance, if you structured the policy correctly, which is which most people have, then the policy gets to what's called a and I hate using terminology. It's called paid up. That essentially means that the policy has enough value in it, that it should be able to self fund or self perpetuate, whether you put more into it or not. That's a very cool place to get to, because what that does is that unlocks part of the death benefit for you in a very strategic way in life. Insurance is the only financial instrument where you get access to, okay, a bucket of money that you didn't have apart from the money you put in. So the death benefit of a life insurance policy is really just a promise to pay someone a set of money, right? That's someone can be your beneficiaries when you die, but it can also be you while you're alive in the form of accelerated loans. So that's why the power of it is an asset is that you can access the bucket of money that you built into the policy. That's your cash value, but in retirement, you may also be able to start to draw down that death benefit as well for income purposes. Mmm. So it's just, it's really awesome. Uh, I know I've probably spent a lot more time on that than you might've wanted me to, but I, I like to talk through these things because I find that these are very commonly misunderstood or things that people didn't even know about life insurance. Yeah. I mean, cause I've never heard some of this and, you know, uh, whole life or, uh, I keep forgetting what you call it, cash value, life insurance, like it has such a bad rap. And so I was curious, uh, you know, why, why, what the benefits of it were. So can you just kind of talk about what are some of the common misconceptions about it? Cause I'm sure that there are, um, some out there you've probably already kind of touched on. No, there definitely are. You know, I think, um, I'll try to touch on maybe three. I think the first one is if, if, when you're talking about the difference between term and permanent insurance, if you just consider the premium as the cost and that's what you're then comparing term and permanent, that's, that's a fallacy because they're two different things. One is a financial instrument that has value in the other isn't right. Um, and by the way, just as a, as a, there's an interesting statistic, about 2% of term policies ever pay out a death benefit, 2%, that is a shockingly no number. And the reason why that is, and the reason why term is great for the insurance company is because there's a shotgun, you know, low number. Most people do not keep the term policies and therefore don't have that coverage dynamics or the insurance company isn't paying anything out and they've kept whatever amount of money you've you've given to them months. That might be an acceptable trade off. But it's just important to think about that who really wins in those scenarios. But so just looking at it from a premium comparison standpoint, I think people can get hung up on, well, you know, universal or whole life is more expensive than term. Well, that's not how you assess it, right? The reality of that is the mortality cost is probably the same or very close to the same, right? So the actual cost of insurance is probably the same, what you have with a universal or a whole life, a cash value policy is you have a portion of that. That's going into an account that builds value. So that's kind of misunderstanding. Number one, I think number two, and, you know, two and or three are wrapped up in one in the same is that I don't think people really understand how it works as an asset. Um, so I'll have, uh, I'll, I'll hear people say, well, you know, the performance in these policies are terrible. Well, first of all, as a general statement, that's not accurate, but as a more practical matter, then you're, you're, you're going back to that. Well, are you comparing apples to apples? Are you looking, are you looking at something that, you know, most cash value policies or guaranteed policies? I mean, there's not a market component to them, so there's no inherent volatility or risk to the funds. So if you're comparing that type of financial instrument to a mutual fund portfolio, for example, that can go down in value. That's not an accurate comparison either. Right? So that's, I think the other part where I see a lot of just, you know, these generalizations, you got to really look at well, what are we really comparing? And is that a valid basis for comparison? And I think the last part is, is how it works functionally. Like I was describing it to you. People don't understand that you can access the death, benefit your policy and take that money out while you're alive. That's huge. I mean, there's no other financial instrument on the planet that lets you, that has a, that additional bucket of money there and B lets you use it. Right. So I think that that's the part that you, you don't, most people don't recognize how powerful that can be and why, you know, there's a lot of ways that you may want to use this as some part of your savings and wealth building strategy and that's not right for everybody. And obviously there's no one right. Insurance policy for everybody anyway. But I think that, um, just dismissing it or kind of hearing certain things that just because enough people say it means that it's, you know, it sounds like it must be true. Well, that's not, it's not always the case. So, you know, I gotta say, I mean, I, I, you know, for us, for our family, you know, we're probably longterm have at least, you know, 15, 20% of our income in retirement and will come out of life insurance because, you know, once you cross a certain earning threshold, I can't put money into a Roth anymore. So where else can I get that kind of growth and tax treatment? What other instruments are available to replicate that well, life insurance, you know, so there's, there's a lot of reasons why finding a way to structure it and use it as an asset can be very, very, very valuable. Um, as long as you don't just kind of get, I think, hung up, hung up on these common misunderstandings and misperceptions about it. Well, and I think just like anything else, uh, you know, you need to do your research and figure out what's best for you and your family. And I had never really thought about it. Um, you know, as a strategy for building wealth, like you said, you know, and I've heard more people talk about like putting money in your HSA, kind of the same concept, you know? And so like to me, that's just like another thing that you can do once you get to that point of building wealth. And like you said, other strategies for, you know, when you can't do certain things, when you make too much money or if you just need another vehicle to save. So, you know, I hadn't really thought about it that way. So you've definitely opened up my eyes to more options. Well, let me, let me give you one more example. That's really appropriate for anybody that's ever in engaged in college planning and college funding. If, if, if that's ever something that you're thinking about, then you're going to be familiar with a little form called FAFSA, right? And so the premise or the, the understanding, one of the things that you're addressing when it comes to that kind of stuff is countable versus noncountable assets, right? And how certain assets have more weight against you and others as well. The cash value of life insurance policies is, is a noncountable asset. And so that may mean it can be a very valuable way to accrue funds in that domain. And you can use that. The cool thing is there's no restrictions on what you use, the life insurance money, the cash value for you don't have to wait until a certain retirement age. The money's there it's yours. If you needed it, you you're 20 now and you fund your kids in at 38, you're taking some of that money out. That's fine. That's another common area we see. Yeah, it is being used, uh, in a very strategic way as an asset for, you know, these types of purposes. Cause there's, like I said, that's, that's a very tangible reason why, if I'm thinking about all these vehicles that I'm going to be setting money aside for and how the day will ultimately impact, you know, my child's ability to either get consideration rate or what have you. It's a very commonly used one. Mmm. And may play a very, very valuable role. So just as a, again, another thing that I, you know, most people don't even think about that. They're like, why would I, what are you talking about? Why would I, why would life insurance have anything to do with college funding? But it's, again, it's just knowing how an asset works. I think it's really weird that, you know, why it's something that you just, and do you want to have an educated conversation with somebody that really understands it and you know, can help you see it as an, as an option that you can either, you know, engage with or rule out. Cause it may not be right for you. Well, I'm really glad that you brought that up because a lot of people don't realize that for FAFSA. Like if you, if your kid wants to get any kind of funding that they look at your assets and that whether you like it or not, you will, you may have to contribute to their college fund or they just don't go. And a lot of people do not realize that they're like, well, I'm just not gonna, you know, they can pay for it themselves. Well, you don't get to decide that the government decides how much they can have in student loans. Otherwise you get parent loans. So I'm really glad that you brought that up because I had not thought about that aspect of it for saving for college and like how, cause I've thought about it. Like, okay, well, if you know, my house is paid off by then, I don't have any debt. Like they're going to say, I have to pay all of it. You know what I mean? Like it's certain to freak me out and I've, you know, I've got a nine year old, a six year old and a two year old. I'm like, how am I, how am I going to put all these kids through college? So now you've got me thinking of some more, more ways. So put some money aside. So I'm really glad you brought that up because you know, I, I've had some painful conversations with people that, you know, their kids as a senior and they don't have any money saved and they realize, Oh, I make too much money. And they think that I can afford a thousand dollars a month for college that the, you know, the government and, you know, FASFA or my kid can't go, yeah. People don't realize that you don't get it aside unless you know, your kid, a bunch of money saved Well and it's, and it's really scary what you've described because you can be doing so many things right financially. But then when you come to this juncture in your life, it's like you fall off a cliff. You're like, Whoa, wait a minute. You clearly don't know how, even at a certain income or asset level where all the rest of the money goes, it's not like it just goes under my mattress and it's just there, you know? Yeah. And you know, I've seen so many stories and it's heartbreaking of people that are close to retirement age, and now they have $200,000 in student loans for their kids and they don't know how they're going to retire. So, um, you know, I'm glad that you brought that up because I think, you know, having more options and, and being able, having knowledge and being able to plan ahead of time is so crucial. And at least just mentally preparing yourself for, Hey, I'm going to, I'm going to have to contribute. Or my kids don't go to college, like go ahead and mentally preparing yourself for that. I mean, of course we don't know what will happen by then maybe, you know, everybody I'm freaked out. Well, you know, it's true. Mentally prepare and then hopefully try to financially prepared as best you can. Yeah, exactly. So, um, you know, you've, you've given me a lot of things to think about. Um, but do you have any just last pieces of advice or your number one tip for, um, life insurance and you know what we need to know about it? Yeah, no, I think it sounds really corny, but seek professional help. Um, because you want to work with someone. I think I know for myself and I think it's fairly common for a lot of the people that I've talked to and work with. Right. We all are trying to make the right financial decisions for ourselves. So it's not a lack of desire or effort. Usually that's standing in our way. Usually what, what challenges us is we don't understand. Right? We don't understand maybe the variables, the options. We don't know how to see the equation the right way. And that's why it's really important to work with a professional in some capacity that that can help you understand the decision you're trying to make. And then, you know, lay out the options that are available so that you can execute with confidence. And I think that that's, that's always my, you know, my hope for as many people as possible, whether they work with someone like me or anybody, but there's, there's a ton of really great professionals out there. But do don't feel, um, like Google is the answer because Google is, it can, it can be a little bit scary. Some of the stuff that they put out there that they consider advice, um, and you can't Sue Google by the way, if you follow it's advice and it doesn't work, don't try it. You know, it's, I think finances and money sometimes because of how personal it is, you know, people tend to feel like they don't want to talk about it. And so that's, I guess the other side of that hope is that, you know, don't, don't, you know, it's not like you're going to a therapist for something that you you're really don't want anybody to allow me. This is just common stuff. And everybody needs to be able to, I think, get the benefit a really helpful, healthy advice because that's an empowering experience and then there's nothing better. And I, and I know, you know, this in all of the work that you do with your clients, right? There's nothing better than feeling good about making good financial decisions and being able to see how you're lining the dominoes up so that they fall the right way in your life. Oh, absolutely. That's, that's always my hope and whether it's life in drones or anything else just, you know, work with, with a professional or serious or professional in, in, you know, make sure that you can get that confidence that I understand the decision that I need to make and the options that are available to me. And I think I've found the right one. Oh, absolutely. And you know, no matter how much research that you do on your own and general advice that you read or get, you know, your situation just like you said is personal. And so what works for me may not work for you or, you know, tweaking things here and there, but getting a professional opinion and an outside perspective is crucial because, you know, you're in the weeds, you know, you've got all this emotional decisions to make and you need that outside perspective as well. You nailed it. I'm so glad you said that. So, and also at the end of every podcast, I ask everybody what their favorite nonfiction book is, you know, just self-development or something light and entertaining. Um, do you have a favorite book? I have a lot and there's a lot competing for that title favorite. So I'm going to give one that has just been that it's, it's somewhat recent and it's for anybody. It's a fascinating read. So the book is called when, and it's by an author named Dan pink. So super easy to remember Dan pink, cause that name stands out. Um, and the book is called when it is, I could not put it down. I could not put it down. He just, what it's about is he talks about your chronotype and it's, and it's a book about how understanding, how you, you know, you perform throughout a day and what type of Kronos have, whether you're, you know, a morning person, an evening person, or kind of a middle person, how really understanding that impacts when you're going to perform well, when you want to avoid certain things. I mean, it's just, it's a topic that I never would have in a million years thought I'd be interested in, be I'd want to read an entire book on. So fascinating. And I got to tell you like so much practical wisdom in terms of, you know, any, anybody that's looking to just optimize their own performance. You have to read this book. I promise you if you do, you will thank me for it. Um, yeah, it's, it's a great read. So check it out when Dan pink, thank me later. Well, thank you for that suggestion. I'll add it to the list. Now I do appreciate you coming on today and, you know, taking the complicated insurance and making it easy for us to, I understand, and given me some new ideas, um, and for people that want to maybe reach out or learn more about your, if they have any questions, um, how can people find you? Yeah, great question. So probably three ways. So, uh, the website for our company and all of our contact information's on theirs is www dot the Haney company, just all spelled And then, um, I have a podcast it's, that's my financial guy. So if you search any podcasting platform, that's my financial guy. You'll find me. It's the only one with that title. Um, and, and actually the website WWF that's my financial is where all, where all that can be hosted. So you can find it either way. Um, and then we also, uh, are at the Haney company on Twitter as well. So any one of those three ways you should be able to find me. I'm very, I'm very Googleable as well. I have a good LinkedIn profile and all that kind of stuff, but those are the, probably the three easiest ways to get ahold of me. Well, thank you. And we will link to everything in the show notes as well. So people can just click on there and find you as well, but definitely go check out his podcast and I appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today. No, it was great. Great being on. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks. All right. Before you go and check out Brian's podcast, don't forget to go crab your paycheck budget spreadsheet so you can get your finances all in order and know exactly what bills to pay out of each paycheck so that you can get your finances organized and get that financial piece that goes along with knowing what to pay and when, and then of course, make sure that you have your proper insurance coverage. You make sure that you are taking advantage of term life insurance, get your family covered and get all your ducks in a row. All right, guys, I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Special Guest: Brian Haney.

Jun 2020

50 min 13 sec

DeShena used to be so stressed about paying bills that she would physically shake when she had to deal with it. But with some mindset shifts she was able to get caught up on her bills and pay off $54,000 in 2.5 years! She is now a life coach to help others work on their mindset so they can overcome that stress and live the life they want! About DeShena: I’m DeShena Woodard, founder of Extravagantly Broke, a blog that empowers women to crush debt and pursue their passions. I’m an everyday working mom who followed the traditional path of going to college, buy a nice house, buy a fancy car, have a kid. Then I found myself living paycheck to paycheck, miserable, and stressed about bills. It took a total mindset shift for me to change my thinking surrounding money and then change my spending behavior. I was then able to pay off $54,000 of debt in a little over 2.5 years and now I’m 100% debt-free. Resources mentioned in this episode: Budget Spreadsheet: Don't Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller (aff link) Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation. You need to manage your money better. So you can stress less and live the life you want. This is Ashley Patrick with budgets made easy and the money mindset podcast today we're talking to DeShena Woodward. Who's the founder of extravagantly broke a blog that empowers women to crush them debt and pursue their passion. She's an everyday working mom who followed the traditional path of going to college, buying a nice house, buying a fancy car and having a kid. Then she found herself living paycheck to paycheck, miserable and stressed about bills. It took a total mindset shift for her to change her thinking surrounding money, and then changing her spending behavior. She was then able to pay off $54,000 of debt and a little over two and a half years. And now she is a 100% debt-free. Now, if you are ready to get started on your debt payoff journey, changing your mindset around money, changing your spending behavior. You can get your paycheck, budget spreadsheet. It is set up for you to budget by paycheck, which then goes into a monthly view if you want the monthly view. And then into the yearly view. Plus it has a bonus Christmas budget sheet included as well. You can go to, and it'll take you to grab your paycheck budget spreadsheet. That is totally customizable for whatever you want to do with your budget by paycheck. It also has a Google sheet as well as Excel. So you can use it on your phone, on the internet, however you want to do it. So go grab your spreadsheet at And now is our interview with does Sheena. Hey, welcome to the podcast to DeShena. Hi Ashley, thanks for being here. I'm so excited to talk to you about your debt payoff journey. And, you know, I know that you're really big about, um, you know, you changing your mindset around money and everything like that. So before we just like dive right in, can you just kinda tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do now? Okay. Sure. Well, my name is Deshena and I'm the founder of the website extravagantly broke, which is basically kind of like a money mindset blog, where I try to empower women to like crush debt and pursue their passions, pursue what they're passionate about, which is why I also became a certified life coach, because I began to understand that money problems don't just start and end with money and it can bleed into so many different areas of your life, you know, and even like your relationships or your job performance, even with, in my case, it was affecting my self confidence. So, uh, and there's usually some sort of underlying issue. And so I kinda like to take a holistic approach to debt freedom. And I just kinda talk about the methods that have helped me overcome living paycheck to paycheck, and to finally become a hundred percent debt free. And I want to help other people understand the motives behind them spending habits so that they can finally take control of their finances as well. So my basic message is pretty much that anyone can be debt free or can learn to live debt free, you know, once you make that mindset shift. Absolutely. And you know, my, my podcast is the money mindset podcast, because it's so important to focus about your mindset because you know, doing a budget or even making your plan, isn't the whole picture. Yeah. You can write it down on paper, but if you don't make those longterm habits and the changes mentally, you're going to wreck the budget anyway. Like you're not, you're still not going to follow through and things like that. So, and that's not even just about money, that's like anything, like how many of us want to lose weight and we make a plan and then they'll like me and then I eat all the Oreos at 9pm at night! So I'm so glad that we were going to talk about shifting your mindset and everything about money. Um, so tell me some of the things that you did to make those changes. You know, you've paid off a lot of money really fast, and so that is not an easy feat. So, um, what are some of the things you did to kind of change your mindset to get you in a place that you were even ready to pay off debt? Oh, well, let's see. It was like, it was so many things. It wasn't just one specific thing. Um, it, it, it was really an ongoing process. Um, but yeah, one of the key things that helped me was I started years ago trying to keep my expenses low. Um, and, but what really helped me was when I finally got a job that I had been pursuing for years, I finally got the position I had been pursuing for years and my kids were getting bigger. So I could take on more of a full time role because previously I had been more like, you know, just working a couple of days a week because I wanted to be available for my children. But as they started getting older, then I really kind of went after that job that I had been wanting for years. And once I did that, uh, what I noticed in all my research from a personal finance and even in my own experience is a lot of times when we, uh, earn money, we're already thinking about how to spend it as soon as we earn it, you know, what we're going to do with that money? I do. I start thinking about, Oh, I can do by this. So yeah, even in the interview, it's like, even while you're interviewing for the job, it, at least it's been nice. There's like, Oh my gosh, you know, I get this job, then I can get that car and I can get this, or we can buy that house and whatever. But this time when I, uh, when I got the job, my salary jumped at about 40, 45%. Uh, and, but my expenses didn't, I still kept my expenses low. I didn't start looking for ways to immediately get rid of my money instead. I wanted to hang onto it and save it and pay off, pay down my debt. So yeah, it kind of made you start to want to pay down your debt. Like, was this just something that had been weighing on you or was it, um, just something that you just felt like you should do weighing on me for sure. Ashley for years. I mean, it was just, it was torture. I mean, I was at the point where it was affecting me, you know, physiologically. I mean, I was having symptoms when, uh, I was always concerned about bills. I was always behind. I was always feeling stressed. I was always, when it was bill paying time, I could get that. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest that turned into my stomach and I would see mild tremors in my hands. And I was like, this is not right. You know, I'm like something, you know, why am I like this? You know, why is everybody else, you know, seem to be managing so well, but why, when it's time for me, I feel like I'm just so stressed, uh, with this, with paying bills and never catching up, you know, always behind. So, uh, yeah, it was affecting me, you know, physiologically. So I knew something wasn't right. And it weighed on me heavily. So I had to, I knew there had to be, I had to do something different because what I was doing was not working obviously. And I, like, you mentioned that, um, you felt like other people were handling it better. Like, I feel like whenever I talk to, um, other people, like, they always think that everybody else is better with money than they are, but it's not true. Like, we all stress about money and, you know, 80% right. Of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. And it's even like a worldwide thing. Like I talked to people in other countries that struggle with finances as well. So it's not just an American thing either, but you know, we always think that other people are doing it better than us. And you know, they're not, they're not, we all with the same thing. So you're, you know, you're not alone. So I'm glad that you mentioned that. So did you have like an aha moment that you like knew something had to change or was it just kind of the piling of the stress and the physiological stuff? Well, it, it, it was that come compiling of, of the stress, but they're definitely was an aha moment. There was a catalyst for sure. Um, okay. So I will tell you that my husband, you know, I guess it's part of, you know, the culture, the American culture, whatever, maybe I don't know every culture, but you know, you want to live up to a certain standard and you want to do better than you did growing up. Of course. Um, and you know, you're, you're taught in school, not necessarily about money, at least not when I was going through school, but you're out and not how to handle money, but you're taught that you should earn money. You should get a house and, you know, go to college, get a job, get a house, get a nice car, has some kids, kids in private school, you know, all that. Stuff's, you know, kinda like the standard for being successful, but you're not really taught, you know, really how to manage money. But, you know, people are, you see people doing well and you want to do the same. So my husband decided that we should, it was time for us to get a luxury car. And I really didn't have my mind set on a luxury car. I, it was not even in my, on my radar at that point, because I knew that, you know, I was still kind of, even though I was a professional, I was only working part time because my daughter was as an infant at the time and I won it, but he wanted to, you know, I guess kind of make sure he was, we were keeping up with what everybody else was doing. So he had us down there at the Mercedes dealership looking for a car and I was like, okay, but Hey, let me tell you, I did not put up a fight. I w you know, once we got down there, I was all on board, but let me tell you that was the, that was really not a smart move, but anyway, we got the car, uh, we figured jointly, we could pay this off, you know, with the standard 60 payments for five years. So we did it at, but what was the catalyst for me, even though we were, you know, I was always in debt, always behind, uh, with my bills, trying to keep up with this car payment. But the catalyst for me came when, while I in the middle of making this $850 a month car payment. Yes. Because this was like the S class luxury Mercedes. He doesn't do anything small. So it's like, so while you're go home, go big or go home. Right? So while in the midst of making this $850 car payment, about two and a half years, I think into it, the water pump broke and he took it to the dealership and they were going to charge something upwards of $2,500 a month. I mean, not a month for a repair. And then my husband said, Oh no. And he asked around and he got a referral. So we ended up going to this, um, uh, car repair shop that specialized in German car repairs. And it did bring the cost down, but it was still $1,700 on top of pain, $850 a month. Imagine having to come up with an additional $1,700 for a car repair. Once that happened, I was two through, I was like, no, this is, this is stupid. This is just beyond ridiculous. What are we doing? Why are we blowing our money like that? You know? And since then I've learned that one of Dave Ramsey's philosophies is that okay, if you want to stay broke our middle class, keep making car payments. And that is so true because I was both broke class, going nowhere with the way that we were up thinking about money. So that was a big catalyst for me after that, it's like, something's got this, this has to change. That's it You know, I was one of those that had the nice brand new luxury vehicle too. I'm still driving that thing like 10 years later. Cause my husband didn't want to sell it. We did. I mean, we paid it off obviously, but, um, yeah, I'm still driving that thing and drive it into the ground. Right, right. So tell me what were some of the mindset shifts. Okay. So you had your aha moment and, you know, um, sounds like you got a really good phrase. So what were some of the things that you did to pay off your debt? Well, first of all, how much debt did you pay off and how quickly did you do it? I forgot to ask you that. Oh, no problem with I, once I got that job, I would say that was like, um, right at the end of 2016. And then, you know, it took me a couple of months to actually catch up on all the things I wish I was behind on. And then, so I say my jet pack journey started in roughly January of 2017 and I was able to pay everything off by August of 2019. So a little over two and a half years, roughly about two years and eight months to pay off a $52,000 worth of debt. Wow. That's amazing. So tell us some of the things that you did, um, to pay off the debt fast besides, I mean, obviously you got a raise, but you know, you still had to be intentional about the money, you know, just, just having extra money. He's not all of the solutions. So what were some of the things that you did, um, to pay off the debt so quickly? Well, uh, one of the things that I did was definitely, um, doing like the zero based budgeting, uh, where I would, I was very, you know, strict on tracking my, my expense, every expense and assigning every dollar, a job, you know? Um, I would even my say even for savings, cause I had decided that I was going to start saving too, cause I didn't even have an emergency fund nothing. And so I decided that I, if I started tracking what I was doing, that I could budget my emergency fund or yeah, the money towards my emergency fund off the top. Because if you wait till the end, most of the time you don't have anything left. So I had to start taking a little bit off the top and, and then I decided to the next thing I would say, aye, it was pretty much the debt snowball, where I looked at one bill that I could pay off. First one, small bill, what's the smallest thing that I can pay off. And once I found that and I actually was able to pay that off, you know, it kind of gave me a boost and kind of made me look at, okay, now what can I pay off next? You know, it's kind of, it kind of becomes like a game. It's like, okay, now I took care of that. Now what else can I pay off and how much more money can I find to put into my savings account? So just being very, um, intentional with my, my budget and tracking my money really helped me, uh, to pay, pay off that debt. And it just snowballed, I just kept on throwing more and more and more money at the debt because like I said, my income did increase, but I didn't purchase things. I didn't start buying things. So, um, yeah, so it was, those are pretty much the two main things that I would say the snowball and the, and the zero based budgeting and being intentional. Absolutely. Yes, those are very important things. Um, and you know, and changing your mindset to, it sounds like, you know, you started thinking about, um, how you handled your money differently. So from, you know, whenever you were behind on bills and, you know, buy a new cars and credit cards, all that stuff, how did your mindset shift from then to where you are today? Like what was, you know, the major things in how you think about money? You know, it just kind of evolved because as after I realized, you know, with that, with that car payment, uh, it's like, you know, this is, this is, this is ridiculous. Why am I doing this? You know, do I really care about driving? You know, this kind of car and do I really want to work hard for my money, just so that I can pay it to finance the company. It's like, I just got to the point where I wanted to see my money, you know, it's like, it just, it would disappear faster than I even made it. And it's like, well, what am I going to see my money? Exactly. You know, it was just that thinking that what can I do to help me keep more of my money instead of always giving, giving it away as soon as I get it. So I would, you know, start making cutbacks on things that, that weren't, it didn't really matter so much, you know? Uh, I didn't care about I'm like, do I really need an Apple phone? I don't care about Apple phone. You know, as long as I have a phone that can, um, a smartphone that can take calls and good me GPS to get to where I need to go to the main, the main reasons that I need needed by phone. So, you know, I cut, I cut those expensive phones and I dropped down to like a phone where I pay, uh, what do we pay a hundred dollars a month for four lines? Oh yeah. Like with Metro PCs, you know, I'm not, they don't, uh, I don't have any affiliations with them or anything other than I just pay the bill, but it really worked out for me a hundred dollars a month for four lines. I'm like, you can't beat that with a stick and the, no, I'm not. And the phone does everything I needed to do. I don't know. Maybe for people who, who need more fancier things, then, you know, maybe you want something else, but it works for me. I just had to look at the things that, that really mattered most to me and going out and get it. Another luxury car was never on my to do list. Not unless I can pay cash for one, I'll tell you that. But, um, so when I did need a new car, uh, and believe me, it took years, we drove that other car for you. We still had, but, uh, and it's, uh, it's 20 years old now. So, uh, we drove, we keep it because like you said, we'll run it into the ground after all, you could have, you know, say it a small country for a year. We paid on that car. So it's like, you know, we still have it, but I don't even drive it. My husband drives it. Occasionally I went and got me when I needed a new car. I went and got me something economical, fuel efficient that was comfortable. I went and got me a nice little, a Nissan SUV, and now it's a hundred percent paid for, I paid it off early because it was affordable and it takes me everywhere. I need to go. And I love it. So just doing things like that, you know, I could, you know, I could keep, you know, some people believe they can, they always have to have a car payment and that's not true. You don't, you can pay off a car, get you a nice little car, pay it off and drive it. You know, it'll take you everywhere. You need to go the grocery store church to pick up the kids back home, to work wherever. So I'm happy with that. I started focusing on living comfortable and keeping my money in my own hands then, uh, you know, giving it away and trying to live extravagantly. Absolutely. Um, so what would you tell somebody that was in your shoes? You know, they're, they're behind on their bills and, you know, has a huge car payment and they just don't think that they can pay off their debt. They don't see a way out. What is your advice for people like that? There is a way, um, I will tell you that, um, I did this interview with a financial coach and she's been a financial coach for 20 plus years. She's talked to people from low income to high income and what she told me, the number one, I think mistakes that people are making that is affecting negatively impacting their budget is that they're not tracking. And so tracking and, and, and with the people that I've recently started coaching I've. I found that to be absolutely true. They don't know what's coming in and what's going out. So of course you don't know where your money is. So the advice that I would say is you definitely have to start tracking. And once you start tracking, you can see where the spending leaks are. And then when you see those leaks, you can start seeing, okay, look, I'm wow. I spent $1,200 this month on groceries. How is that possible for a family of four? It's like, okay, what can we do to start making some cut backs on that and, and, you know, pay more attention and be more intentional with this expense. So yeah, if you can, if you track, then you can find those spending leaks, and then you can see where you can start making cuts. And I promise you they're in there. Oh, absolutely. I, 100% agree with that. And that's so funny that you say $1,200 a month on food for a family. Poor. Cause that was me. That's how much, when I first started tracking, that was like my aha moment. I was like, you've got to be kidding me. Like, and one was a toddler. Mom was a newborn. So [inaudible], but you know, when you know where it's going, that's, you know, where you can, it's easier to see where you can make the changes. Cause you know, in our mind we don't think that we've spent that much. Like, and that's why swiping a card. You spend so much more money compared to like cash because you know, you just don't feel it the same way. And you just mentally in your head, you thank you spent less. I mean, I still do that. If I don't stay on top of my tracking, I I'll think, well, I spent this much and then I go and do it. I'm like, Oh no. Oh no. Mental accounting is not much. So do you have, um, any last words of wisdom? Any final pieces of advice? Yeah. Uh, yeah. Well, I would say, um, there was a three things that I I think are really important that people can do immediately to start seeing improvements in their budget. And the first thing is, like I said, with the tracking so that you can see the spending leaks. I mean, you gotta make a list, you got to write it down, you can't do the mental account because you'll, you'll be wrong every time we've all tried it and it doesn't work no matter what you think it doesn't work. So, and then the second thing is to stop spending, um, you know, there's this quote that I like to use or that once I heard it, I was like, absolutely, I love this quote. It's like, when you find yourself in a hole, drop the shovel and stop bigging, you just have to stop spending, you know, you just must, it's like start tracking your expenses and then identify those spending leaks and don't create any new debt. So, and then the third thing I would say is about just being intentional, uh, you know, seeing what matters most and then working backwards to find, uh, what action you can take this week. What's the one thing you can change this week or this month to get you to whatever that goal is that you want, you want to be debt free, then how much debt are you in work backwards? How long can you take you to reasonably pay this off? And so what can you start doing this week or this month to get you one step closer to that? So I would say those would be the three main things that anybody could start doing right away to start seeing improvements. Absolutely. I completely agree with that. Um, and what is your favorite nonfiction book? I always like to ask people so I can get some more ideas for my book lists, but, you know, just helps us improve our, not just our financial lives, but just our lives in general as well. [inaudible] uh, well, I would have to say, uh, recently it's this book called don't keep your day job by Cathy Heller. Uh, even if you look at the title on the book, uh, the caption, it says, you know how to turn your passion into your career. And I think that would help a lot of people. Well, because when you're, you're doing something, uh, that I don't enjoy, uh, it makes it even that much harder to improve your financial situation or to want to work, or you do it grudgingly. So, um, you know, if you can find that right to what you enjoy and learn how to turn that into your, your, uh, career, then, you know, it would go a long way towards the money will come. The money will come. I really, I really have been in, she also has a podcast and I really enjoy I've been enjoying her package. Yes. And she gives actionable tips on how you can do things like reach out to people or create your own opportunities and turn them into cash. So that's a book that I'm, I'm, I've just started and I'm anxious to really dive into that one. I love podcasts too. Do you happen to remember the name of her podcasts? It's the podcasts by the same name? Don't keep your day job. Awesome. I'll have to find that. So where can people learn more about you and follow you? Well, my website is extravagantly and I'm at extravagantly broke on all platforms except Twitter, I couldn't get the handle. I want it. So on Twitter, it's extra, extra broken. And also I do on my, on my side, I offer, uh, as a life coach, I, my specialty is, uh, debt freedom because I want people to know that anyone can be debt free. So you just have to, sometimes you just need the right push in the right direction or just, you need some accountability. Um, and so I offer a free 30 minute discovery or clarity calls if anyone is interested in chatting to see if I can help them, but, uh, yep. Extravagantly That's where I am. Well, that was so much fun talking to you with you today. And I will link to everything in the show notes as well. So you can go get your free call with Machina, and I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today. Oh, no problem, Ashley, thank you so much for having me. Thank you. Thank you so much to DeShida for being with us today and don't forget to go grab your paycheck. Budget spreadsheet., and I will talk to you guys soon. Special Guest: Deshena Woodard.

Jun 2020

28 min 30 sec

In this episode, Brittany and Kelan discuss how they work as a team so they could turn their side hustle into a full-time online job for both of them AND pay off $25,000 in student loan debt in 5 months! Resources mentioned in this episode: Learn more about blogging: Bloggin Secrets Course: Paycheck Budget Spreadsheet Books: Work Less Make More by James Schramko (aff link) Lifestyle Builders, Bulid Your Business, Quit Your Job, And Live Your Ideal Lifestyle by Tom Sylvester (aff link) Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation. You need to manage your money better. So you can stress less and live the life you want. This is Ashley with budgets made easy in the money mindset podcast. Today, we are talking to Brittany and Kelan with The Savvy Couple and they help families learn how to budget their money, organize their lives, and find the freedom to do more of the things they love. They love to chat about paying off debt and helping others make their attacks. So today I'm going to talk to them about how they turn their side hustle into a full time income. For both of them, they're both able to stay at home and work on their online business. They also give us some great tips about working as a team, not only in their business, but on their finances as well, and how they were able to transition that teamwork into paying off $25,000 in student loan debt in just five months. And so now they teach other people how to build an online business and how to blog and make money blogging and all the things. So we're going to dive right into all of their wonderful tips and get started. But before we do that, don't forget to go get your budget spreadsheet at, so that you can easily plan out your year and figure out how to pay off your debt and save money. Here is the savvy couple. Hey, welcome Kelan and, and Brittany. And today we are going to talk about how you guys started your blog in order to pay off debt and just live the life you want. And so I'm so happy that you guys are here with me today. Before we jump right, and can you just kind of tell us a little bit about, you know, how you guys started on this journey with, um, you know, today we're going to talk about starting your blog and how that helped you guys pay off a bunch of debt. So can you kind of just give us a quick background of how you guys kind of started your blog and how, you know, now you guys are making a full time income from it? Sure. We're both high school sweethearts. We grew up probably within a quarter mile of each other. I went to college together and had our life all planned out. Brittany was going to be the teacher and I was going to be the law enforcement. It's an officer and we got done with school and we started, we had like $40,000 with the student loan debt and we started to get into our careers and we both realized quickly, especially for me, that law enforcement was not the right career path for me, just the hours, the stress, um, not being able to see Brittany all the time, working opposite shifts, just not the lifestyle that I wanted. So we kind of got to a point where sat down at the, at the dinner table and kind of talked out things like, okay, this is what we wanted our life to look like, but it's really not what we want it to be like. So we kind of laid out a plan and, um, figured out that we needed to start a business together. Um, I definitely jumped around to probably six different jobs, after college and realized that I need to work for myself and kind of have my own freedom in life. So we we're at a crossroad. I was going to start a home inspection business and we decided to start an online business as a blog. And we just saw a bunch of other people that were doing really well with it. I was making money since I was 13 online selling stuff on eBay and Amazon. And so I knew that it was possible. But yeah, we kind of got inspired by other people and started our blog to help other people get better with their money and manage their money and kind of share our story and paying off debt, um, and just budgeting our money together. And that's kinda how it started. That's awesome. And how long did it take for you guys to actually, you know, make some money online? Because you know, it gets advertised and pushed as a gift quick, get rich quick kind of scheme. Sometimes I feel like, and you know, it can take a little bit longer for some people is faster for others. So how long did it take you to actually make some money? For sure. I think it definitely has the rap of being easy. And a lot of people see these success stories that happen. They seem to happen overnight. A lot of people see our story and they're like, wow, they did it overnight, but really it's been like a three year long hospital journey. But to answer your question, we started our blog in July, 2016 and we did not make our first bit of income until nine months into it. Wow. That was $50, $50. So basically the entire first year we were really not making any money. Yeah. Yeah. That's how, I mean, that's how it was for me as well. So I like to just kind of share that side of it. Um, you know, some people do make it faster, but you know, what I have found is that those people usually have a lot more previous experience, um, and maybe more mentorship or help to kind of get them to go a little bit faster than just somebody trying to figure it out on their own. Like, you know, like me, at least the learning curve for blogging is pretty, pretty heavy, but yeah, once you get that experience, I mean, we could probably start another blog and start making money a lot faster this time around. Yeah. Oh yeah, definitely. Cause you guys are, are, you know, doing pretty well. And so what do you, what have you been able to do now that you're making a living from your blog like that you weren't able to do before? I think it started with really growing an audience, um, and picking a certain type of ideal reader that we want to serve as our audience. Um, and kind of just picking our way into the personal finance niche and getting a good audience that people can relate to us and trust us, and we can share our story and kind of guide them on their journey to budget and pay off, um, the big things if you're talking like specifically with the blog and what helped it grow, um, was definitely focusing on our email list and using that as our primary way to communicate and build that relationship with our readers. Um, I think a lot of bloggers when they start off, they don't focus on the email list, which we didn't either. We, the first year we didn't even have an email list, um, which is probably why we didn't make any money. Yeah, same here. It took me awhile to realize, Hey, I might want to do that. So what are some tips for someone that wants to start making some extra money with a blog? I think the biggest thing in, sorry, Brittany kind of joined she's, she's always been part of the blog and, uh, especially like the first year or so, and then teach, she started teaching full time. So she kind of only did stuff here and there, but I am always a huge talker. So yeah, if someone's starting, I think the biggest thing is taking first. You have to take the leap of faith. A lot of people get hung up on questioning themselves if they can make it happen and if it's right for them, I think the biggest thing that's helped us is we were always able to take action and understand that failure is part of the process and it's okay to fail. Um, you're not gonna know if you're going to be good at blogging unless you try it. Um, so it's really getting over that mental hurdle and just getting started, um, and knowing that it's gonna be a long process. So making sure that you have the right mindset going into it, that it's going to be a learning process for good year. Um, and it's going to be a project that is just passion project. So you got to pick a topic that you're really passionate about and you'll never get tired of talking about and working on. So was this something that you both wanted to do together or was it your idea and you just dragged Brittany along? Well, since I was a teacher over the summer, I was kind of getting bored and always looking for something to do. So we actually started it in July, like Killen said during, right during the summer months. So just trying to find like something as a hobby that we could both work on. And then as we started digging more into it and the fact that we saw that we could make money and had potential income, um, we definitely both got on board as turning it into a business. Yeah, we definitely, definitely have always done it together when we were at that crossroads, if I was going to start the home inspection business or this, we kind of just thought to ourselves like, okay, what do we want our life to look like in five years from now? And with the home inspection business, that would have been me, you know, going out Monday through Friday, probably Saturdays and Sundays too, and working my butt off to make money and really be capped at a certain amount. So definitely pleased that we picked something to do together here. Now, did you guys have any struggles with working together and now that you are both full time working together, um, or eat, you know, even with your blog or your finances in general, you know, I know you guys give other people of families advice as well. So if you have any advice for working together on your blog or with your finances. Yeah, absolutely. So we were both smiling behind the mic here. You asked if it's hard to put stuff or to do it together. And it definitely is. Um, definitely not aligned. Yeah. Brittany, Brittany quit her job June this year. Yeah. So it's December, so about six months now. Wow. That flew by so yeah, it's definitely a learning curve having her come on full time and being together 24 seven. I don't think I could do that. It's a lot, but like I said, we've been high school sweethearts we're best friends. So we, we get along pretty well, obviously there's times that we don't and we've got to get out of the house or just separate, but yeah. Um, I think the biggest thing that helps couples get on the same page with stuff is a couple things. The first one is dreaming together. So we've always dreamed together a lot, even when we were in our teenage years, um, just what our life would look like. And we continue to dream often. And I think having that same vision and having those open conversations about what you want your life to look like and the steps that you're going to need to take to get there is just really important to both be on the same page. if one of you is trying to either pay off debt or budget and the other person's doesn't want anything to do with it. Usually it's just a conversation that needs to be had, and it might be multiple conversations and it might be turning into an argument but it's, it's getting through those difficult conversations, getting on the same page, um, with the end goal in mind, that's better for both of you. Absolutely. Do you have any tips or advice for, you know, somebody that their spouse isn't onboard with either, you know, starting a blog or doing the budget or, you know, whatever it may be to kind of get them to see the big picture? A lot of times I, when I deal with couples, it's, you know, one may be kind of shortsighted in there outlook on finances where they don't think that they even need to save or anything like that, where, you know, and the other one is wanting to, um, budget and save for things and they just can't seem to get on the same page, you know, and they, it turns into fights and everything else. So, yeah, it sounds like you two have done a really good job with, you know, working and finances and just being on the same page about everything it seems like. So do you have any tips or advice for kind of getting there? It definitely took us a long time to understand that we're different people and that we're going to do things differently and just knowing what your spouse does and their spending habits, Kelan's the spender, I'm the saver. So just knowing that about each other, having that and budgeting budgeting for that really has helped in that fact. Yeah. I think we also have been very intentional on learning each other's personalities and figuring out what makes Brittany tick, what makes me tick, what ticks us off, um, and kind of having, coming to marriage with the mindset of we are one unit and we, uh, teamwork makes the dream work. Is that saying that I say all the time and growing up, my dad always said that marriage is not 50 50, it's 60, 60. You always have to go above and beyond. So if your spouse is not onboard with budgeting or paying off debt, and I mean, we can even talk about our debt, pay off attorney Brittany wasn't 100% on board with paying it off so quickly. Um, but I think it's having those conversations and telling them how much it means to you and why it's important to you and why you need to make it happen and just kind of giving them overall picture and hopefully they can help it get started and listen to it. I love that advice. So yes, let's jump into your debt path story. So how much did you guys pay off and kind of what, you know, what led up to you wanting to pay off your debt? Sure, so we left college, um, with $40,000 in student loan debt and we kind of chipped away at it, um, minimum payment. Well, yeah, when we first got out, we were making the minimum payment and then once I landed a good job at, with law enforcement, we started making a little bit more like a hundred dollars, extra a month, nothing crazy. Um, and we got it down to 25,000 and this is when our blog started to take off. We were making, you know, significant income. It was $5,000 a month. And we started to get that possibility of what, if we could turn this into $10,000 a month and have Brittany come home and leave her job as well and kind of set that dream. So we sat down at a table and we talked about, okay, if we want you to come home, we need to minimize our risk as much as possible, just like we did when I quit my job. So that means saving up a huge nest egg in case things went South, uh, it's making sure that we don't have this crazy amount of debt that we still have to pay off and that's hanging over our head. Um, so we kind of sat down and we agreed, like in order for you to come home, we need to make a certain amount for six months in a row and hopefully eliminate all of our debt. So the only debt we have left is our mortgage and that's when we kind of took it head on and used our blogging income is the first time that I took more than a thousand dollars a month from our blog. I kinda just let that money stack away to grow our business. And we started putting $5,000 a month towards our debt. We started our debt free journey on in June, um, over the summer. And then we were paid off. We had a goal of doing it within a year, the 25,000 and we were able to do it by December. So we did it in five months. That's awesome. So, Brittany, what was your hesitation with not wanting to pay it off so fast? That's a great question. I don't still don't know internally. Why? I don't know. I think that just making the payments that we're making, I didn't see how I knew that eventually we'd pay it off, but I didn't see how that would benefit us. Like in that moment doing it so fast. But now obviously hindsight's always 20, 29. No, this is definitely the best move for me to be able to come home. It took some convincing for sure. I think the big thing was just like $5,000 is a lot of money. Yeah. Like Holy smokes. And we were just like, not throwing away, obviously we're paying off our debt, but it seems like we're making it and we're putting all this money and time and effort into our blog and then we're just giving that money back away. But it's honestly the one move that really made us find our freedom and have the ability to continue to grow our blog and get Bernie home. That's awesome. And I know with me, and I don't know if Brittany, if this is kind of maybe your mindset as well with being the saver is I always think, well, what if I need that money for something else? Especially if you're thinking about quitting your job and saying, Oh, it's like, well, what if we need that money in the future where we could just make the payment on the student loan? Yeah. And we just had it where we had our baby two in August. So we were, we had a newborn and we were trying to pay off debt with having a newborn too. So I think it was just a lot going on. Yeah, absolutely. So I can definitely see that mindset as well. I mean, I even had, um, just a small chunk, um, saved until like the very end when I could just pay off the rest of my student loans. And just in case, I mean, I didn't spend it or anything like that, but I just didn't want to let it go just in case I needed it. So, you know, maybe that was part of it. Now we did talk about building a blog and everything like that, and I know you guys help people do that as well. So, do you have any resources or free resources for somebody that is just wanting to get started on paying off debt by maybe making some extra money with a blog? Yeah, so we have our flagship course called blogger secrets and we kind of walk people through taking their blog after the first couple of months of that learning curve and turning it into a thousand dollars a month business. So that's our course that we've had, uh, over 1500 people have taken it, through different bundles and purchasing it through us. Um, but yeah, that's kind of our, our baby that we put together and put in all of the stuff that we've learned along the journey to help people do the same thing that we did and then on our blog, we also have a blogging category that we have some really helpful posts and hopefully by the new year, we also are creating a blogging binder to help people organize and be time efficient with their, with their time to kind of grow and help their blog. That's awesome. And do you guys have any last words of wisdom, whether it's about starting a blog or budgeting or, you know, whatever you want to talk about, any last pieces of advice? I think the biggest thing that I'm a big proponent of is sit down with your spouse. If you don't, if you don't have one sit down with yourself or someone in your family and really write down what you want out of life, what you want your life to look like a year from now five years from now, 10 years from now, and then put those puzzle pieces together and, and make a roadmap, have a GPS of where you want your life to be. I think a lot of people end up going to college, going into a job, getting stuck because they're going into more and more debt and I think it's important to really take a step back and realize that we have one life. So managing your money and going after the things you want in life and going after what you are here on earth to do is really important. That's awesome, Brittany, that was too good. So I think that as long as if you are doing it with your spouse, cause this is what we do day in and day out, just making sure that you're having those important conversations. And if a blog is the way that you want to go together or another way to make income online, just have those conversations together, dream together, plan out your life together. And just everything will start to fall in place. Teamwork makes the dream work. I love that. Do you have that like on a decal, on like on your wall somewhere, you should, you should have that in your office or something. So, and I always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. So do you have any, um, favorite books for self-improvement, um, that you'd like to share? Uh, so the book that absolutely changed my life and kind of got my mind set on the possibilities with the business and just having ultimate freedom over, over your time and money is work less, make more, um, and it's by, I can't pronounce his last name, but it's James [inaudible]. Um, but yeah, that book was totally a huge pillar in growing our business and doing it the right way and uh, just use of time really efficiently. That's awesome. Brittany, do you have a favorite? Yeah, it's a new book by Tom and Ariana Sylvester called lifestyle builders and it just makes you have that mindset change and gets you in the right mindset for creating similar to what we say is just creating that life in your plan and making sure that you're, you're building that lifestyle that you want the right way now, where can people find you? Uh, we are on all social media platforms at the savvy couple and our websites, Um, and we have a personal finance community that we call family finance freedom that we'd love for you guys to join that's on Facebook. Good. Cool. Thanks. And you guys also have a free, um, blogging group on Facebook as well, correct? Correct. That is called blogging with purpose. All right. Well, thank you guys so much for being here with me today. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Ashley, having us. Thanks. Thank you so much to Brittany and Keelan for being with us today and giving us some really great tips on working with your spouse on your money and on your business, and be sure to go check out their blogging course so that you can start making extra money and pay off your debt. And also do not forget to go get your budget, your paycheck, budget spreadsheet, but just made And I will talk to you guys soon. Special Guest: Kelan & Brittany Kline.

Jun 2020

20 min 55 sec

Eric Brotman, CFP, gives his strategies for turning this financial crisis and recession into a financial win for your family. Resources mentioned in this episode: Free Budget Spreadsheet: Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation. You need to manage your money better. So you can stress less and live the life you want. This is Ashley with budgets made easy and the money mindset podcast. Today, we are talking to Eric Brotman, who is a CFP and the CEO of BFG financial advisors. And he is the host of don't retire, graduate podcasts. So don't retire,, check out his podcast is well. And he's going to give us some great advice for families on how to take advantage of certain things during this financial crisis. You know, if you can, if you're still working, he's got some really great tips on lowering your tax burden and some things that you can do to take advantage of certain things happening right now in the financial world. So you can take this crisis and turn it into a financial win. And so he's got some really great ideas on how to do that. Now, before we jump into his episode, be sure to go and check out my free spreadsheet. I put together a spreadsheet after years of people asking me to, and you can get a free one month sheet of that, or you can get the whole year, you get a special offer for the whole year. Once you sign up for the free sheet, go to So go get your free paycheck budget spreadsheet. So this is the same spreadsheet that I use when we were paying off debt. It's broken down by Paychex. Plus you got a monthly view. Now, keep in mind the free sheet isn't as detailed as the yearly sheet. So if you want the yearly sheet, look for that. Once you sign up for the free sheet as well. Now, here is my interview with Eric. Hi Eric. Thank you so much for being with us today. Hi, Ashley. Thanks for having me. I am. So I'm excited to talk to you today. Um, it's my understanding that you've got some good advice for families in different stages, what to do with their finances right now during this whole crisis. And, um, I really want to talk to you about that today, but can you just kind of introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself? Absolutely. I'm a certified financial planner practitioner started a company, in 2003 in suburban, Maryland actually started my practice in 1994. So I'm dating myself. I realized at this moment we have 20 employees, each of us working from 20 different homes, which is a new experience, but, uh, eight financial advisors, 20 employees, we manage about $450 million for families in 31 and a few foreign countries. And we do financial planning and wealth management for multigenerational families. So in my spare time, I'm a husband and a father and a podcaster and author and a volunteer. Yes, as I was just hearing about your book coming out soon. So I'm excited to hear about that as well. So, um, you know, there's a lot of crazy stuff going on right now and I know people are scared and, you know, we don't know what the economy and everything is going to look like on the other side of this thing. Um, so, you know, what kind of advice would you give to families right now? Like, is there anything that they should be doing differently? Well, I think in each case, it depends upon the family situation somewhat. Um, right now there are a lot of families who are experiencing sudden job loss and for those families, um, the things to do differently are, are really based on almost triaged. You just have to get through this period of time, however long it lasts. And that's easier said than done sometimes. So for, for families, who've had sudden job loss. Uh, the first thing to do is to sort of take, uh, take inventory of resources, figure out what you're going to live on for the next couple of months, in addition to unemployment, uh, and, and really make a plan for getting back to work at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. So, um, there's not as much opportunity quite candidly for folks who are out of work. And that's obviously a sad situation, um, for folks who are still able to work through this. I think we'll look back on this five years from now, not only as being memorable and remarkable on so many social levels, but also as being one of the great opportunities of a generation. Um, you know, we've seen some of this before in the Y2K epidemic, uh, in 99 and 2000, we certainly saw it in the great recession in Oh eight Oh nine and every decade or so there's some new crisis, some new wrinkle that causes economic turmoil and there are always winners and losers in those deals. And usually it's based on behavior, not circumstance. So, yeah, so that said, um, for young families, Ashley, this is an opportunity for young families who are working to continue to dollar cost, average, continue to add to your 401k, continue to add your HSA account, continue to fund your five 29 plans. Um, whatever you're doing, that's growing money, particularly in a way that's going to be tax-free later is a total home run. We have relatively low market value. So you're buying on sale and we have the lowest tax rate in modern history right now. And I assure you that is not going to last. And I don't think it matters. Uh, the outcome of the election in November is less important than the fact that there was just two plus trillion dollar stimulus plan. Somebody's got to pay the bill for. Yeah, exactly. I'm curious your, your thoughts on the stimulus plan. A lot of people have asked me, um, how that will affect, um, inflation. Do you have any kind of insight into that? Inflation is, is generally a factor of either fed policy, monetary policy, or it's a factor of, um, of interest rates around the world and, and the confluence of those. So what I would say is right now, there's no inflation on the horizon. Um, there is a, a blossoming national debt that if we haven't already decided that debt is a crisis, it's a crisis waiting to happen. So that'll be an issue. Um, but in terms of inflation, there's no reason to believe that that's on its way. We haven't seen significant inflation in this country, 30 years, more than that. And so there's an entire generation back two generations who don't really know what inflation looks like. Um, uh, you know, I remember it as a young person basically, and I know that the house I grew up in, we financed with a mortgage at like 16%. Oh, wow. Yeah. With a visa card, that's kind of what that looked like and so of course there were refinances all the way down. We're so used to cheap money. We're not going to know what to do when it gets more expensive. I actually believe that there is no meaningful inflation on the horizon right now. Um, the, uh, congressional budget office just suggested that the inflation rate over the next half decade to decade will be in the 2.2 to 2.4% ballpark. The only organization that has quoted a higher rate of inflation is social security administration because they're backward looking. So I actually think inflation is going to be a nonissue. I think money's going to stay cheap. The real question is, um, whether people are able to take advantage of the buying opportunities in equity markets, um, and whether bond markets are able to recover without too much of a, of a, an oversupply with lots of people trying to sell. Right. And then what happens in real estate because real estate is really, I think, going to take this on the chin, particularly commercial real estate. Um, there's, there's going to be some major changes in that, in that arena. Now, some people have asked me as well, um, you know, with the real estate now, the interest rates and stuff are already so low now with the fed dropping the rate down too. Well, last time I saw zero, um, I haven't been watching the news lately. It was just stressing me out. So, um, I don't believe that it's changed since then, but, um, you know, how will that affect like mortgage rates is my understanding that it won't really affect it because they're already so low. Well, not, not only are they so low, but they've actually come up and not because of what the fed has done, but banks are recognizing that if they lend at those prevailing rates, it will, it'll cripple them for decades. Imagine if, if you had the ability to lend money to somebody on a fixed rate at what is one and a half to two and a half percent for 30 years, if someone was willing to lend me personally, a hundred million dollars at 2%, I would take it because there's no way I wouldn't out earn that. And so banks are going to get collaborative. So mortgage rates have actually come up, even though the fed lowered their, their federal funds rate. And the reason they've come up, isn't because of economics. It's because of business. These banks don't want, they don't want to make loans. Oh, that makes sense though. Yeah. I didn't realize that part of it. That's why I have you here. Well, Wells Fargo has already turned off the spigot for the, for the payroll protection plan that came out as part of the cares act and they won't be alone. That number one, that plan is going to run out of money quickly. And number two banks who are lending at that rate, even with some federal support are going to get clobbered and they don't want to do it. Oh, I didn't realize that part. Yeah. It's great to borrow money at a low rate, long term, but has got to be willing to lend it. Exactly. Yeah. I did guess I didn't realize that it was going through the banks like that whole, and I know I really should, since I have a business, but I don't really have any employees, so I haven't like really dived into it. Um, for that stuff, I didn't realize it was having to like go through a bank. Well, it is. And the commercial banks, the private sector is working with the public sector on this, which generally public private partnerships are the most effective anyway, in my opinion. But if you own a business, actually, you want to be looking into this now, anyway, because there are provisions in there even for sole proprietors and folks with no employees. Yeah. I filled out something on the website the other day, but I was so confused. So I don't think I haven't filled it out. Right. But I don't, I don't think it was the payroll thing. I was, I'm so confused by all the different stuff going on, like the different, or at least it seemed like it was different. Maybe it's all the same thing. The pay, the payroll thing I thought was a different thing. And I don't know, I'm totally confused by all of it. And then I try and read it and I get more confused because it's like, everybody's saying different things. I'm like, I don't know, time. Anytime the federal government comes out with a plan you can expect, there'll be hundreds of pages long and, and completely opaque. And that's exactly what happened. And the implementation hasn't been smooth and, and the back end will be smooth. And, you know, the federal government generally doesn't run anything. Well, no, it's simply too enormous an organization. [inaudible] exactly. You're exactly right. I worked, uh, you know, for a local government and, you know, the same can be said for just about any government, just because of the politics involved. And then, you know, you've got the community to answer to, and you know, you, can't always, you can't make everybody happy. It's, you know, just the whole dynamic of it. And so I can imagine, you know, on the government scale, that's why I am very pleased to be neutral. I'm Switzerland. I truly don't want to take sides because I think both sides are messed up. Yeah. It's just, it's just a mess. Yeah, it is. Yeah. It's so confusing too. So now for my listeners that I do have a lot of listeners that are small business owners. So what would you recommend for them at this time? Well, if you were still able to, to be in business, if you still have customers or clients or patients, or, um, and are able to, to use your vendors and suppliers and all and so forth, and you're really impacted by this, um, then you're in the minority because most businesses are experiencing either supply chain issues or employment issues or technology issues or finance issues. Um, it's sort of a perfect storm. Actually. I think there's, there's a, um, there's definitely a sense that for business owners to get out of, what's sort of been thrust upon all of us. We really have to, um, number one, stop spending things that we can avoid spending really sort of clamped down on things that are unnecessary and focus on the things that will create longterm growth, things that might not work for three months or six months, but that will make us better businesses three years from now. And so as an organization, you know, just our company, what we're doing is we're laying the foundation for the next, the next level of growth we're treating, uh, what started a month or two ago as a plateau that we're going to retreat from and then bust through. And that type of optimism is the only way I know how to do things. So that's, that's the way we're focused on it. And for business owners. Now, if you can keep your people employed with, or without the federal assistance program, that in and of itself is amazing. I think there'll be some amazing employee loyalty and great stories out of this, for those who are able to stay employed. I really hope so. And I think that, um, you know, this is going to be temporary and once we get through it that, you know, I hope it's not going to be, you know, as bad as some people may think it's going to be, you know, we had a good economy before this happened. So, um, you know, hopefully we'll bounce back, but you know, there's probably going to be some ripple effects, you know, for a couple months, at least. Um, but I think, you know, overall things are going to be okay. I mean, you have to think positively or, you know, you're just going to be all depressed in your house, eating all your food, like, well, I'm definitely not depressed, but what I will suggest to you though, is that we're not going to bounce back. Like it's like, it's, you know, elastic, this is not, and there is going to be a new sense of normal. I mean, the idea in the way that there is travel pre and post nine 11, there will be business and workforce pre and post COVID, and that's going to create some really amazing opportunities for certain folks. Like, for example, I think you'll see coming out of this, I think you'll see more telework. Yeah. See less boundaries and barriers in terms of hiring. So that you'll be able to work from anywhere. Companies are learning how to do this, and it's actually quite effective and efficient and saving some money. Well, it does. And I think you'll see better work life balance for people, which is something we've talked about, but never actually mastered Americans are lousy at that. We tend to be workaholics, but I do think there'll be some work life balance out of this and some appreciation for what's important. Um, I think there will be, um, as a result of some of this, there'll be less traffic. If there are less people have to commute every day, there'll be less traffic, less traffic means less pollution, less congestion, less expense on things like transportation. There there's some positives that'll come out of this because new behaviors are being created. Absolutely. There's also some challenges. One of which is, um, you know, retail and malls. I mean, retail has been on that on its heels since, uh, nine 11. And it got worse in Oh eight Oh nine and it never fully recovered. And I think this is a bit of a death knell for retail, as we know it. Um, there there's no middle there's no middle ground. You either have to be the cheapest or the best. And so the companies like the Louis Vuitton's of the world are probably going to be fine because they have their, their customers have an appetite for that and don't care, but everything else is going to look like Amazon or Walmart, because most people who are trying to pinch pennies or what have you are going to do that a different way. So retail is going to change. Office space is going to change. I mean, I would be darn nervous if I owned a, a 50, a 50 story office tower in a major urban area, I would be nervous right now that there will be companies saying, you know, we can get by on half this space, cause we're going to have some folks working from home or, you know, we just don't need all this space. So true. There'll be winners and losers out of this, but I really do think there'll be more winners than losers. I agree. I think that we, you know, just like you said, we're all gonna learn from this and there'll be some changes and you know, just like you said, a new normal, um, you know, everything's going to be a little bit different once we get on the other side of it. Yes, I think so. And I have a radical idea for you. Why don't we start making things in this country again? Yeah. Why don't we create jobs in, in manufacturing and in supply chain and be less reliant, not unreliant but less reliant on other nations. Why don't we put our people back to work, doing things that are important to us here at home as well? I just think there's opportunity there for anyone who can get it right. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that there will probably be a demand for that as well, with all the supplying issues, supply issues that we've had with, you know, all the, um, personal protective equipment and stuff. So, um, it'll be interesting to see how that changes in the future, um, just to kind of have more control over it. Um, so how can families turn this crisis into an opportunity, like when they're planning for the future? Cause that's, you know, that's what you do, you play it for the future. So what can we like for take me for example, I'm debt free. Um, I've got six months of emergency fund now in my situation, we don't know after this week, if my husband's going to get paid or not, but let's say he does keep getting paid. Um, you know, what would you advise? Like somebody, um, in that type of situation, they don't have any debt already. They have money and savings and they're still working. Um, you two ought to be maximizing your retirement plans. You ought to be making sure that you're taking advantage of every tax shelter that exists. Um, that means particularly since I know you have, uh, a handful of children, more, more than a handful of you guys can't even play man to man defense anymore. No, I know it's total chaos like that. What I would say is keep doing what you've ostensibly been doing. If you're debt free, it means you're already a good saver and not a big spender. Um, if you know, you're self employed, you ought to be funding a self-employed pension, a SEP IRA or something similar to make sure you're taking advantage of the tax codes. Um, you know, if your husband has benefits through his employer, take advantage of an HSA and it like crazy, but don't use it, let it grow for a few decades. Um, if you have five 29 plans or other college funding for your kids, whether it's just the two of you or whether it's with their grandparents, that would be nice if that was happening, keep doing those things. This is a, this is an opportunity to keep doing what you're doing. Um, I do think there's going to be one of the biggest opportunities coming out of this for all families who have resources. And I know not everyone does. And, and, and that's sort of an unfair thing, but for those families with resources, there's never going to be a better year than this year. I don't think to convert IRAs to Roth IRAs or, or, and the reason for that is that the combination of low tax rates, which I think we all know will go up and low market values, which I think we all believe will go up. If not immediately, then certainly over time means what a great year to pay taxes on some money and then let the recovery happen, tax free. Oh, that's a good idea. You know, I hadn't even thought of that. That's a good idea. The second time there's been a really good opportunity for Roth conversions. The first time was back in 2010 and 2011 because coming out of the great recession, the government needed money. And so what they said was, if you convert in 2010, you can actually split the income on your 2010 and 2011 tax return. So it doesn't creep up your bracket and so forth. I did my entire IRA at that time. Yeah. If I can split the taxes and not get crushed I'm in, um, this will be another opportunity like that. However, it's imperative that you have resources that are not in the IRAs to do this, do not pay the taxes from the retirement account. It defeats the entire purpose, right? So, you know, if you have $50,000 in an IRA and you can move it to a Roth IRA, pay taxes on the 50,000 this year, depending on your tax bracket, it might cost you 15 grand. But if it does, and if you have that in your non-qualified assets and mutual funds in cash, even, um, now's the time to consider that while markets are low and taxes are low, um, particularly the younger you are, the better it is. Absolutely. Now, can you kind of explain to somebody that may not know what you're talking about with the, like an IRA and a Roth IRA? Like, what is, what's the difference and why you would want to do that? An IRA, a traditional IRA, or a traditional 401k or four Oh three B are plans where you take a tax deduction typically for your contributions. And that means that you're contributing money on a pretax basis. You're not paying taxes in the year you contribute and they grow tax deferred for as long as you hold the account, there's no 10 99. There's no capital gains. There's no tax bill on the account until you make withdrawals. When you make withdrawals, it is taxed. Every withdrawal from an IRA is tax. Like it's a paycheck, it's ordinary income. So it'll be at whatever rates exist then. So if you're 30 years old and you're contributing to an IRA and you don't start making withdrawals till you're 70, the account will have grown for 40 years, it will have grown to a very big number. And then you'll be paying taxes on it at a future tax rate in 2060. Um, I have no idea what that tax rate is going to be. We don't know from month to month must let much less decade to decade, but it won't be lower than it is now. So you're not only amplifying the amount of the account. You're also amplifying the amount of future taxes. The Roth is where you fund with after tax dollars, you've already paid your taxes. The Roth can grow tax deferred for as long as you hold the account. And when you make withdrawals, they're tax free income tax free. So they don't affect your tax bracket. They don't affect whether you pay taxes on your social security as a retired person, they don't affect your Medicare premiums. When you're older, they don't affect your tax bracket at all. Um, and the beauty of that is that it, no matter what the tax rates are at that time, those assets are not taxable to you. Yeah. That's, I mean, that's a pretty good deal cause you're not getting, it's my understanding that you're not paying tax on, you know, any of it, like, like you said, like nothing, Oh, well that's, that's correct. But here's the, here's the rub for, um, since the demise of the defined benefit plan, you know, everyone used to have a pension years ago, companies were responsible for it. And the 401k was invented not as an employer, uh, I'm sorry, not as an employee benefit, but as an employer benefit. Cause it took the employers off the hook to provide for retirement for their people four Oh one K was not a gift to employees. It was a gift to employers who no longer had to be responsible. Right. That said the premise of the 401k and the IRA is you're going to want to, you're going to want to make deductible contributions. Now we're going to incent you to do it. Cause you're going to want to do that now because your tax brackets higher now than it will be when you're retired. Well, actually that's a plan to fail. Yeah. All things being equal. If we're all planning, like we make more money at 35 than we will at 65, we're doing it wrong. Yeah. That's true. That's I've never heard it said that way, but that's very true. So, you know, if yes, if you're planning to be nearly impoverished, an abject failure, when you're in your sixties and seventies, then that is the plan for you. But in the event, you're thinking, man, I'm really going to grow some significant wealth. You want your tax bracket and retirement to be as high as possible because it means you have money. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So would you recommend somebody, um, you know, their, their, um, employer has a 401k and they have a match. Would you still recommend them meeting up to the match and then moving to a four? Well, a lot of these companies have Roth 401ks. You can actually contribute after tax. What Roth Worland, K and still get the match from your employer into the traditional plan. Oh yeah, that's right. That is gonna, um, at least with my last employer, that was kind of a newer thing that they had added, um, that you could do the Roth, your employer in terms of running that plan. They don't care whether you're in the traditional, the Roth makes no difference. It doesn't cost the employer more or less. Um, they're still making the match the same as, as they ever did. The match is not taxable to you when it happens. So it will be taxable when you retire and that's fine. That's typically 3% of your income. I hope you're putting away more than 3% or 5% or 6% of your income, or you will in fact be impoverished and you will need to have a, you will be in a lower tax bracket, you to, to not be putting away at least 15 cents of every dollar you make is a recipe for disaster. And sometimes higher than that, it depends how early or late you start. Now, I have a dumb question here. How did they know? Like which part is the employer match? Like, is it in a different fund or like, how is that? Is it just tracked in the account? Right? When you, when you look at a statement, the statement will have up to five or six different categories for money. So for example, it might have employee contributions, pretax, employee contributions, Roth, employer match, maybe there's an employer, safe Harbor or a profit share. There's forfeitures in the account because in a 401k, if one of your coworkers leaves the company and isn't fully vested air their money that wasn't vested actually gets shared amongst all the employees pro-rata Oh yeah. Um, so there, I mean, there's, there's going to be lots of different kinds of money in those retirement plans, but they all have access to the same mutual funds or investments. So yeah, it's really just an accounting thing. And if you look at your statement, you'll see a lot of the times it's not all in one line, it's multiple lines for that reason. Yeah. I don't, you know, I don't really look at it since I'm not planning to retire anytime soon. And you know, I have a financial advisor too, that kind of helps me with stuff, but yeah, that's not, I mean, it's like, I hadn't like really looked at it close enough to like, notice that difference, I guess, on the, on the broader account, you know, I think there is like, you know, the employer match and stuff, but I guess I didn't really like think about it. Well, if you have an advisor, ask your advisor, um, to, to provide you with some additional education on those kinds of things, it's important for you to not only understand what you're doing, but why. Yeah. And to be able to do that and to be able to articulate it so that you could say, this is what we're doing, this is our plan, and this is why we're doing it. It's empowering for you to know rather than say, Oh, we're in good hands. We've got a good person. That's very true. That is very true. Now with, um, the Roth IRAs, like, is that something that somebody can set up themselves or should they really get an advisor for that? I think almost anything we do as consumers, as American people, you can do any of it on your own. All right. This is not like a dental procedure. It's not a root canal. Um, there's, there's no reason people can't do it themselves. There are reasons maybe people shouldn't do it themselves. And a lot of that has to do with either the complexity of some of it or the, the, uh, emotion around it. I mean, people tend to make horrible decisions with money emotionally, particularly in times of crisis. There's a pendulum between greed and fear that never stops swinging. And you know, in 1999, when markets were going bonkers money magazine was publishing covers that said your neighbors are getting rich. Why aren't you? Mmm. And then you look at, at, at 2008 and it was, the world is ending and the markets could go to zero and we're all going to be broke. And you know, it's very sensationalized. So I guess my point, my point is that the biggest determinant to financial success in my opinion is behavior. Not, economy's not timing, not strategy. It's not about what funds you pick. It's not about, it's not about anything that's in a textbook. It's about the way you react, particularly under stress. Absolutely. What are some of those behaviors that we can kind of start working on now that'll benefit us in the future. I'm one of them, one of the things you can do to curb, some of the behaviors is to put as much on autopilot as possible. So in the same way that if you have an employer and you're putting money into your 401k with every paycheck, you don't have to think about that every other Friday and decided this is something you want to do. [inaudible] um, if you can automate your savings, your investment, your, uh, maybe your debt repayments, whatever you can automate. So that they're, you don't have to torture yourself based on what the news story does. Yours. You'll always be better off. That is a behavior that, um, that will pay dividends. Another is whatever your ability to save looks like today, make a commitment either to ratchet up that percentage every year or every time you get a raise, however you decided to do it, but make it an automatic thing. So if you're saving 8% of your income, make sure it's going to be nine next year. We're make sure when you get a raise, you at least stay at 8% of the higher number. [inaudible], you know, it's those kinds of things sound little and they sound simple. And frankly, once they're set, you can set it and forget it. If you want to look at your statement or quarter, you don't have to, as long as you know that you own a suitable portfolio for yourself and that you're adding to it, every check, you don't have to study it every, every quarter is not necessary, but those behaviors matter. The other thing is, um, do a full financial physical once a year. This is really simple. It's just like keeping yourself healthy, get a physical exam, have your financial advisor, walk you through a full, comprehensive plan once a year. And then everything else can be tactics and strategies and tweaks. But once a year know where you are and know where you are relative to your goal. And am I closer to her further from the goals that we set and how do we need to adjust to, to reset the trajectory? It's like, it's like planning a trip. You know, you know where you are, you know, where you want to be, but it's not linear. No, this is not your you're not going to get the same rate of return every year for 30 years and have the same inflation rate every, every year for 30 years. And it's not going to be simple like that. There'll be plus years and minus years and years where you get a bonus and years where you maybe are out of work for six months. And so it's important to be flexible, but I think once a year, you should take a full inventory, sort of do that full body scan like you would do in meditation for your finances. Yeah. That's a great idea. Um, I think that's really good advice. Um, do you have any last words of wisdom, any last pieces of advice? Yes. Um, what I would say is in, in, in the current environment, it is not, I think, wise to begin a financial planning Exodus today, because any planning you do right now will be impacted by whether you do it on Tuesday or Thursday this week, because markets are moving too much. So what I would say is if you want to consider engaging a financial advisor, go in with the idea right now that it's a second opinion, it's getting a once-over, it's looking at your portfolio, it's getting to know you, but it's not trying to build some kind of fancy trajectory. Don't pay a lot of money for a financial plan right now. Um, because it will not, I don't believe it will make sense for you. It'll be so different in three months that you almost have to start over and you'll, you'll kick yourself. So my advice is yes, get some advice. I do think there's a benefit. I wouldn't do my own tax returns. I think it's good to have an accountant or a tax preparer. Uh, I'm not using legal zoom or one of the websites to do that. I have a lawyer and I have a financial advisor and M financial advisor to hundreds of families. And I do think there's value in professional advice, particularly where it comes to behavior. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I've got a CPA and a financial advisor. And I mean, obviously I don't know about all the investment stuff like, you know, of course, like you said, you should learn about some of that stuff and at least have a basic understanding of it, but you know, there's nothing wrong with hiring people to help you so that you can make more money and do things, uh, better. Well, th there, there are financial literacy tools out there. Um, there it's not taught in schools, it's, you can graduate with a, with a higher degree in philosophy, sociology, psychology, or, or biology and not have ever taken a course on personal finance cause they just don't exist. Um, but you can find them in the, in the, in the private sector, you can find them through your advisor. You can use various, um, various books or online tools. It just makes sense to educate yourself. It doesn't mean you have to do it yourself, but know what you're talking about, have some idea. Absolutely. Do you have any recommendations for books or, you know, websites of course, uh, your own website as well for learning about these types of things? Well, I, I would say that while there are several, um, the new book that's coming out that I'm publishing this fall, which is called don't retire, graduate is written to be like a college curriculum and it is a financial literacy tool and I'm very excited to have it come out. It matches the podcast that we're doing, and it really is designed to be educational. It's not preachy and it's not a textbook it's written in a very easy language and first person even. So there's that, um, I also put out a, an ebook, um, which is available for free And it is on four strategies where you can put money, uh, and never have it taxed again. And of course the Roth is one of those areas, but, um, we've gotten a lot of positive feedback on those. They are ways to learn what some of these strategies are and how to reduce your taxes without reducing your wealth. So those are good. And then just in terms of, of general advice, there are some terrific columnists. I think one of the brightest in the world is Michael Kitces who writes a blog called nerds eye view. Um, and it's brilliant. It's very technical though. So you've gotta be, uh, you have to be interested in, in the, the technical side to really appreciate that. Um, I'm writing more in a, in a way that's, that's easy to understand. Yeah, that's what I need easy to understand. You've got me really excited about this book, so hopefully, um, whenever it gets closer to time to, uh, being ready for purchase, maybe we can talk again and, um, talk to people about, um, about what you're teaching in the book as well. Um, now I do always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is, you know, besides your book, do you have, do you have a non favorite nonfiction book or, you know, just something to help improve our lives? I think the single greatest book ever written is Atlas shrugged. Um, and if, if you're familiar with Ann Rand, it is, it is a fictional story, but a lot of the book is nonfiction to the sense that it's philosophy, it's philosophy, it's economics, it's brilliant. Um, and it's a fascinating view of sort of how the world works and, and, and things that are happening now. It was written 60 years ago and it looks very much like our world today. So I think it's worth picking up. It is a heavy read. It's a long book. Um, but it's, it's definitely worth reading. All right, I'll have to add that to my list. I have a very long list and no time to read right now. So where can people find you if they want to learn more about you? Um, our company website is B F G F and that's the BFG financial advisors site. I already mentioned low tax and my podcast is that don't retire, So I'm pretty easy to find on social media and all the various sites you do. And, um, I look forward to connecting with some of your listeners. All right. Well, thank you so much for taking your time to speak with us today about all this great advice on what to do right now, when everybody's panicking and, you know, stressed about their finances, definitely their retirement accounts and things like that. So, um, I really appreciate you coming on and, you know, calming some of those fears for us. Well, I hope I helped a few folks and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks, actually for having me. Thanks. Thank you so much to Eric for taking the time to speak with us today. And don't forget to go get your free budget spreadsheet, budget, a paycheck budget slash budget dash sheet, and I will link to it in the show notes. And I will talk to you guys soon. Special Guest: Eric Brotman.

Jun 2020

38 min 30 sec

Emma, RN from Nurse Fern talks about the financial effects this crisis is having on healthcare workers and how you can support them through this storm. Emma Geiser is a registered nurse, creator of, freelance writer, and financial coach. She recently celebrated ten years in the field of nursing. She currently works remotely and lives with her dog and husband in Nevada. instagram -- @nurse.fern website-- Resources mentioned: Free Debt Snowball Bundle Books by Philippa Gregory (aff link) Special Guest: Emma Geiser.

May 2020

19 min 5 sec

Simple tips from a Certified Financial Therapist for dealing with the mental and emotional aspect of isolation and crisis so that it doesn't effect your finances. It's very easy to make bad financial decisions while we are stressed so if we can identify when that happens, we can make better decisions. Derek Hagen is the founder of Money Health Solutions, a financial therapy and consulting firm helping clients develop a healthy relationship with money and live with money mindfulness. Newsletter Signup: Money Health Solutions: Money Health Blog: Instagram: YouTube: Facebook: Resources mentioned: FREE 5 Day Cutting Expenses Challenge Atomic Habits by James Clear (affiliate link) Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg (affiliate link) Special Guest: Derek Hagan.

Apr 2020

34 min 55 sec

Financial Advisor, Brandon Renfro, explains the what the stimulus package means for families and how you should handle the incoming income. He explains if you should be spending the money or saving and how will it affect your taxes next year. Brandon is a fee only financial advisor and Assistant Professor of Finance at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX. He has been in the Arkansas Army National Guard since 2009 and is an Infantry Captain in the 39th Infantry Brigade. His wife Callie is a stay-at-home mom and cares for their daughter, Brooklyn, and son, Jackson. Resources mentioned in this episode: FREE 5 Day Cutting Expenses Challenge: Brandon's website: Favorite book: A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel (aff link) Special Guest: Brandon Renfro.

Apr 2020

30 min 2 sec

Nadia and I discuss how things have changed for her family while dealing with this crisis both financially and mentally. Resources mentioned: Book: I will teach you to be Rich by Ramit Sethi aff link: Websites: (Money Related) (Blogging Resources) Online Course: Free 5 Day Cutting Expenses Challenge Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. Today I am speaking with Nadia from speaking of sense and we are going to discuss how she's handling things in the midst of this crisis, both mentally and financially, things that she's doing different, how she's coping. And you know what, we're just going to laugh at some things because you know who knows how to deal with this craziness going on right now. So she does have some good and helpful tips for managing working at home with your kids and you know, just giving yourself some grace because this is just uncharted territory right now and we need to um, you know, give ourselves some Slack because who the heck knows how to navigate this crazy time. Now, before we jump in, I do want to mention that right now I am doing a free five day cutting expenses challenge in this is to help people that are, have already experienced a loss of income or could possibly experience loss of income. Um, it is this week and it comes with a free workbook and free Facebook group where I'm going live every night inside of the group. Uh, you can still join us, go to budget's made And I will of course link to it in the show notes as well. But let's go ahead and talk to Nadia. Hi Nadia. Thank you so much for being with us today. Hi Ashley. Thank you so much for having me and I am so excited to talk with you today. I know that you have paid off a lot of debt and you have been debt free for many years now. And we're going to kind of talk about, um, how you're handling things during this, uh, coronavirus crisis with financially and maybe you know, mentally how you're handling, uh, three kids at home and trying to work from home and juggle all the things. Uh, but before we jump into that, can you just kind of give us a little bit of background about yourself and tell us about you and your family? Uh, my name is Nadia Malick and I am a personal finance I am a mom of three and, um, I have a 12 year old, 10 year old and a five year old. So I have, um, my house full with cage and uh, you know, a lot of things that are happening right now are very, very unexpected with all the things. But, uh, we are managing well. I have been, um, debt-free for many years now and um, my husband and I have been, um, mortgage debt free for, uh, I would say 10 years now. Uh, and uh, that was the first house that we paid off our debt and um, as contagious added as it is. Um, we have stayed that tree for many years now and we are hoping to keep it that way. That's awesome. And so what can you tell us, um, just a little bit about how you're handling things right now with the kids at home and trying to work at home and just financially since you are already debt free, like, um, are you doing anything differently in the midst of this crisis? Okay. Um, I would say some of the things, um, we are doing differently, but most of the things we are just, uh, trying to keep up with that because uh, since we have been debt free for many, many years and, uh, living frugally and living on a minimalist budget has been pretty much a lifestyle for us. Uh, so, um, the, the thought process that goes in, um, being a minimalist person, it has not started just like in last couple of weeks. It has been with me for many, many years now. And, uh, the fact that we have been living on a single income since my kids were born, I used to work before they, before I did not have them, but since they, uh, are born since my first one was born, I stayed home. I was that patient who took the responsibility of being at home. And since then we have been on a single income and um, I am so, uh, like I would say that it, it, it can be an inspiration, inspiration for so many people who think that being debt free is not possible when you are on a single income. We actually became debt free on the single income. So I believe Mmm. That the, the, the mindset that we had is just continuing with this new new phase that we are in. It's just the, they're small things that were not in my routine or you would say that we're not a part of my life since I have been working from home. They are, they, they have now added into my routine or you would say in my life and by the looks of it, by the way, things are going, uh, it's looks like that this is going to be the new normal. So I think, um, the mental transition that I have is, has been bigger than the financial transition that most of the people are having right now. So, uh, it's, it's, it's been, it's been challenging at some ways, but on the financial side I [inaudible] I'm doing good. Good. So what were some of the things that you have been doing for the past several years that really, um, made this time less stressful financially for you? Besides paying off debt? What are some other things? Um, that kind of helped with that? The first and the foremost thing that we all need to remember and that I have been doing for many, many years now. And um, it, it comes as second nature to me that I need to keep things organized. They need to have a structure if they're out of structure. It just boggles my mind, gets the kids overwhelmed now that my husband is home, he also feels a little bit frustrated when things are not invested. And that definitely happened because all this, uh, staying at home with the kids started, uh, with the, uh, March break. Uh, so there was the first week that they were home, we were in the, in that mindset that, okay, these are the holidays. So everybody was getting up late and everybody was eating whatever they want and watching TV and stuff. And then when the week, yes. And then when we got the news that this is going to be like, this is, this is going to continue. Everybody would like, like it was like, okay, now we got to get ourselves together, get in a routine and you know, get things organized. It took me like good two days to [inaudible] like get everything back in routine. But as soon as I hit, we hit the routine. Everything started becoming normal. Uh, I, I was, I was having less meltdowns in the house because I have a five year old and she can be pretty tricky at times. So she was not very happy with the [inaudible] with the getting back to routine because in her mindset it was like, okay, I am home. I'm not going to school, so why do I have to follow the routine and I watch TV and why can't I have my snacks while I, I, I, you know, I'm watching TV or doing something over the phone. So, um, and waking up, waking up for the problem because everybody was like, like not getting ready to do, attend their online classes and the teachers meetings and stuff. But okay. It's, it's, it's pretty good. So, so I think being organized is the most important. I think that, that we need as a family. If I get off of that organized a bandwagon, everything just starts falling apart too. I'll, I'll just give you a small example. Uh, since this situation started, this, um, quarantine and this like, uh, the re resources started becoming scarce. Uh, we decided as a family that because we don't have a close family, um, that, that we can get help from. So me and my husband decided that we're just going to do a certain amount of groceries and just stay in on delight. The things settled down with every week that it's, it's coming at the situation is just becoming, uh, more and more, um, worse in our mindset. We did the groceries for just two weeks, so we were like, okay, let's just do it for two weeks and then we'll see how it's going to go. And the way I was doing groceries or the way I'm using the groceries is that, um, this is just one tip that I have used for many, many years now and it is really becoming healthier right now. So I just started using the fresh produce first because otherwise it would just go rotten or wasted and stuff. And then I started going on the frozen stuff that I had like, like whatever's the freezer and then the canned stuff and the beans and those kinds of stuffs that can, that can stay [inaudible] that can last the longest are going to be the last one. I haven't gotten to that point. So, uh, that's, that's how the organization, um, mindset helps me. And I think that's the most important part that we all need to um, adapt or we all need to think about rather than getting overwhelmed and frustrated and flustered with all the things that are going on right now. Absolutely. And I think that's so important for many different aspects of your life, including budgeting. Like when you're organized, you feel more in control. And same with your finances. When you're, when your plan is laid out and your budget is laid out and organized and you have all your stuff together, you feel more in control of your money. And especially, yeah, and especially right now when we feel so out of control, cause there's not much, you know, we can really do about everything that's going on in the world, but if you can control what's going on in your life, then [inaudible] lessen your stress and everything like that. So I think that's great advice for, um, what's going on right now. Um, and so is there anything that you're doing different financially right now with, um, you know, with your budget or trying to spend less, or maybe you're spending more to stock up or, um, so is there anything that you have changed financially or is everything kind of stayed the same? Uh, yeah. Okay. Because I already talked about, I have been trying to keep my things organized and that's how my budget is going to. Uh, I have definitely changed up some things and like replace some things with the other, the, the very, um, good example that everybody can apply in their lives is that I have um, replaced like, because my kids were going to school now they're not going to school, so we don't need like snacks that much, you know. Um, so, um, it's, it's a struggle because they want the snacks all the time. Oh yes. Oh my gosh. They're eating me out of house and home. So tell me, how do you do it? How are you keeping them from meeting all this next? I didn't bring any, I didn't buy any. Like when I went for the groceries last time and I told them that this is not going to work. I cannot give you snacks all the time. We are not at school. That's just a school thing. So we're staying home. So I just, I just told them that if, uh, because my thing is if they're eating healthy right now, they have a better chance to develop the immunity and not attacked by the whatever disease they have. Like, I'm not talking about the big, um, sickness right now. I'm just talking about the basic, like, like, like the health condition. Like nobody gets in a regular flu or nobody has a diarrhea, like the regular thing. So just avoid that thing because I don't want to go to any medical facility or like any doctor's office right now because, um, so, so the only thing that I'm doing now is like, I have replaced all the snacks and I've told them like, I have told them last week that we are not getting any more snacks. I'm not getting junk in the house or you're just going to be eating healthy food. So, uh, the, the funny thing that happens is that like when they come up for a snack and I tell them that you can go and have a fruit or something, they're like, nah, no, we don't want any. So, and also it has also like, uh, made my life a little bit easier because, uh, just because they don't have snacks, they are hungry. They are like properly hungry when it's like regular food time. So everybody like eats properly. And, um, nothing gets like wasted and stuff because that was also my big thing that I am not gonna waste any law, not even a single bite. And I told them and they know it. Um, even before all this started, they know that mama would not, uh, she does not like wasting food. So if the aid, I cover it and I offer them the next time, unless they are finished with that meal, they don't get the fresh meal. So, so that's the thing. So snacks have been replaced from junk to fruit. They are not eating that much, but that's fine. They are not doing any like hi, uh, physical activities. So I'm fine. Um, they're eating properly at the, at the three meals Milstein and that's absolutely fine with me. And that's the food thing. And other thing that I changed financially on the finance side is that, um, we have a pool. Uh, and of course we have a front yard. We don't, we do not have grass or plants like at the back of the house, but we have a pool. So because my husband is staying home, he's working from home. Um, we canceled all those services [inaudible] uh, and we are doing everything on our own because everybody's home. Right. My kids love helping him and he has time so he can take care of it. So, um, that's where, uh, a huge [inaudible] costs in our budget is also cut off so everybody has something to do and the things are getting done without me like paying outside. So that also helps. Oh, that's great. Yeah. So have you found that the kids are adjusting well? Like, well, have they gotten into the pool yet? Is it warm enough there? Yes. Yes. And the days when they are at pool that those days are awesome for me because I get like solid three, four hours of work. Yes. And then they're exhausted. Yes. Then they eat and then they go to bed. So I usually like we have, um, yeah, here we are in Dallas, so the weather goes up and down really drastically. But when it's a good day, it's a very good day. So if it's like above 75 or something and it's a sunny day, uh, I get in the pools by the noontime, they go in the pool by the noontime and um, they usually have a late breakfast. So the lunch is skipped because they are in the pool and they stay in the pool like under like five or like, like four 35. And then you know, that by the time they get showered and get done and cleaned up and everything, it's like around, it's like around like early dinner time they have dinner and they're like, yeah, yeah, that's awesome. I need a pool. I thought that it was just a lot of work because we have been maintaining it. Um, but um, now I'm like, Oh, that, that is good. Yeah, of course. Quiet, warm enough here. Like we had I think two days in the last week that were like 80, but then it got really cold again. And so like today it's really cool, but that's awesome that they're able to [inaudible] to do that. I'm sure that helps you a lot. Oh my God. Oh God. Oh, I'm just, I just have planned or like, uh, everything on those days. Like I first thing in the morning I wake up and I check the forecast. I'm like, okay, that day's is 80 degrees. So I have to put all my things on that. Yeah, exactly. I don't, it's been such a struggle, uh, trying to work from home and do all this schoolwork and chase a toddler around and I just don't understand why everybody thinks we have so much more time now because I have less time now. Like when you mean more time the, the, the, the work from home moms, is that like in any work, I am not underestimating anybody's work, but the thing is that the work that we do, we need like few continuous hours, like at least four to five continuous hours to sit down at work. It's not like, like I'm sitting and then I'm going out and then like you, I just lose my train of thought. I don't know what I was doing. I was like, wait, what was I? And then it takes me the old time to figure out what I was dealing with. That's over again. I know that's when it happened and then I'm tired. Like I'm physically exhausted, I'm not talking, I'm like physically exhausted by the end of the day. And I'm like, Oh my God, what am I doing? Really like getting like done with their homework and Fridays like ah, yeah. So yeah, that's, I mean that's how it is. It's, it's a transition, but it's, I think it's going to take, at least for me a little bit more time to get adjusted to. Yeah, I agree. And we're finally settling into a routine and you know, I'm just having to try and get my husband to, um, you know, deal with all of them for, like you said, a continuous period of time so I can get some work done and try and focus, but I really don't know how people that are like, I know a lot of people that are still having to go to work, like on their normal schedule, they're essential. So I don't know how they're doing it. And then trying to do the schoolwork, like they're trying to do the schoolwork in the evening. And a lot of them, their teachers have like, they have to turn it in each night by a certain time. Like at least our teachers. Um, we, like one of my kids, they haven't turned in any schoolwork, but they've had to, um, yeah, uh, meet with the teacher and then they work on some stuff. And so Monday I'm turning in the two weeks for her. And then the other one that my kindergartner, I've had to like take pictures of the worksheets and then upload them and just by Friday, so I don't like, I don't really don't know how these parents that are still having to go to work, you know, their normal 40 hours or more [inaudible] get all the work done every single day by a certain time. Like I just don't see how, how they are managing clue. I got to talk to somebody who's doing that because in my, like, uh, the people that I know, everybody's home and everybody is in the same boat like I am, some people are even struggling more. Um, but uh, because there are so many people who were not used to working from home. So just staying home and working from home and trying to like adjust to the new situation is, is it's very new for them. Like my husband used to work from home. He travels extensively, but uh, he either he traveled to or either he worked from home so he had all the things set up and he's not overwhelmed by it any means like he's like, like the, like the coolest. Mm Hmm. Calm and collected person. Right now it's me who does not know what to do. No. Well that's good that he's, you know, managing it well cause you, I mean you are right. Like if you're not used to working at home, that is an adjustment. Plus trying to do it with your kids running around and trying to like actually be productive on what you're supposed to do. Do you have any tips for that for somebody? Like, what are some of the things do you think have helped your husband kind of work from home or you know yourself even though you said you're struggling with it, that kind of makes it easier to transition from working at home, uh, or working, you know, regular office job or whatever to try and [inaudible] make it work at home. Yeah, the, I think the only thing that I, um, have figured out in like last two weeks, uh, because the, the, the spring break was just a spring break. Like when it was holidays. It's like, yeah, no, it was like chaos. Like everybody just wants whatever they want and you know, no, there were no rules whatsoever because whenever, like there's that kind of break, I just take a break from my work and we just don't, like, I [inaudible] barely do anything because that's like my off time too. So I just did with my kids. So, yeah, after we, the, the heart, all the news and the, and the new situation and everything. [inaudible] it took me like three, four days to like really my schedule, like getting together and stuff because it was really messed up. Um, so the thing that has really, really helped me is that if I wake up earlier than even an hour, it's, uh, like it really helps. I like the, I would not say that I get done with everything, like my work, but the thing is that like I sit on my computer and I, um, go to everything, like a check my emails. I, I actually get to plan my day. So once I've planned my day, I don't get that much, like overwhelmed during the day because I know what I need to do. And then I like whatever pockets of time that I have in the day. I just get those things like done by it batch, you know, by doing this, doing that. But I need to have at least an hour in the morning just to like look at what I need to do in the whole day. So, even if it's not done by the end of the day, I know what did not, did not get done and that gets, gets pushed to the next day. But getting up earlier, because I cannot stay up late, I'm so tired the day that I like I have tried. It's not that I haven't tried. I've tried, like I've made up my plan planner when they go to bed, I'm going to work and stuff, but it did not have some. So I just changed everything and I just wake up early in the morning and then, um, just an hour earlier, I, I'm not saying that I'm waking up like five o'clock in the morning. No, I'm not. Just because they wake up around nine o'clock or sometimes like nine 30. So I try to, okay, be an hour ahead of them because my husband is up anyways. He's, he's art. He's, because he's working from home, so he's logged in at eight o'clock. So if we both wake up at that time, um, he has no problem by the way. He has no for like the kids are yelling and everything is going on and he has that mindset where he can just like uh, shut his mind with whatever Alice is doing in the house and people working. Hey, I kept asking him like, how do you do that? And he has this super power that he can just take naps. Like when we all are like yelling, Oh that's a man before you God, he would nap. He would work. He does not money anything. I'm dying. So that is such your man. Yeah, he did. He would not say anything to anybody, would just like eat and you know, do his work and stay calm and like it. I don't know. I don't know. Yeah, that is a super power for sure. Yup. Oh my goodness. So do you have any tips for getting organized with your budget or your finances so that you know with all the stress right now, I think you are absolutely right with getting organized really helps lower your stress and keeps you focused. So, you know, right now it's more important than ever too. Kind of get organized and make a plan for your money. Even if you have a loss of income, you still need to make a plan for it and it'll help you see the picture clear. So do you have any tips for getting organized that way? I know that there are some places that I would not cut corners, especially food and stuff because I would rather have healthier food then having my kids in some kind of like sickness or a hospital with it and all those things. So, um, I will not cut corners of on food right now, but I have like cut every other thing that I could because um, I already told you that the pool services or anything that was done from any outside services has been cut. Uh, we never had cable and my husband was thinking that, okay, we should, um, [inaudible] I have a service like Hulu or some kind of and stuff. So I told him that there is no need for it. Like when kids are going to school, the schedules are so tight that they did not actually have time after the school day that they would watch TV and the rest of the days, the weekend and stuff. Uh, my kids are in professional golf, so they go golfing and you know, the golfing, it's like a whole day activity and there's not much time left. And then we have the pool. And then I told my husband that I would not recommend subscribing to anything because, uh, the, the best part is that they have all the resources with the school. Um, the, the, the resources that the schools have provided us, they are awesome. Like, um, uh, I don't know about the other districts, but the district that we are in, they have provided them with the Chromebooks. The Chromebooks are at home. And, um, uh, my kids have all two of them have their own device right now, which is like our wealthy, wealthy, wealthy kid. Uh, they did not have that. So now they have that and they have all the resources that they need to entertain themselves while educating themselves. So, um, I told my husband, let's just wait, let's see how the week goes and then we'll, we'll see. And now the thing is that they do do homework on their Chromebooks and when they're done with their homework, they can just watch those semi educational videos and it just, and in their minds they are like being entertained. So no need for that. I cut the subscriptions outside and um, so right now other than you would say like the basic bills like that you would say internet or like cell phones. My husband has a cell phone from work, so Mmm. And he just got it from work. So we did not need another cell phone. It's just one cell phone that I have. Oh. So just the food costs and you would say the mortgage and the basic ones right now. So everything else is being saved. Um, and other things that I am working and I'm like, I'm keeping my distance away from [inaudible] because so many people are in the mindset that they now that the stocks are going down or the real estate marketing market is getting better or the mortgage rates are getting down, they're trying to, um, get their mindset, okay, let's just invest here. Let's just do that. I'm just like keeping myself away like, like, um, away from that temptation to get into something just because like everything is going down because, um, I feel like, uh, in every recession or every time something like this happens, um, it takes at least nine months to a year to actually know what the situation is. Like, you cannot predict on day by day. Like if you see the store, I don't know if you, if you keep track of the stock market, but like in a, as, as a general public, like you keep hearing, okay, stock market is down, this is down, that is down. And people try to jump in at that time without having the experience. Just thinking that, okay, when this goes up, my things are gonna go up or my network is going to go up or if it's the right time of investing. So I'm just trying to stay away from that temptation to, um, because I have, um, people they close to me that have done it and have like lost money on that. And plus, the one thing that I'm doing is that I'm checking my mail very diligently, um, uh, because um, there have been instances and it has happened to me before, uh, that, um, some of the bills or like, because the situation is so overwhelming right now, there's so much going on in my life right now, or in my head you would say that, um, I feel like I can, uh, I tend to lose track of what nice. What gets, what used to get that done on the regular braces. So the bills and stuff and everything. Um, I just check my mail regularly so I don't miss on anything because once I missed one letter from a medical facility, it was just like, um, $60 payment and I missed it. And it went into the collection and then it was such a nightmare to get it out of that and paying all the money and you know, so the best thing that somebody can do is just to be organized and just to keep track of whatever payments or whatever, um, news or whatever subscriptions, like, uh, if you can, um, less than the amount of payments that you need to do, it would keep you, I think organizing, that's what I'm doing. Like just to get my finances in a good shape or just do not, you know, um, forget anything or just to do not get any financial trouble you would say. Yeah, I've had, I've had the same problem with medical bills because you know, before you used to get like one bill from a hospital or the doctor and it would include everything and now you get so many bills, it's insane. Get it. They're like, okay, you're going to have this bill, you're going to, I'm like, isn't it messed up? Like just send me one. Yes. And so, yeah, I do the same thing. And then if I forget to pay it, then they send another bill. And then I think that it's two separate bills or like, Oh my gosh. So yeah, I did the same thing here before. Um, or when this whole thing started, kinda like when we were on quarantine and stuff, I was like, well, I better through make sure I've paid all these things. Cause if somebody gets sick I'm going to have a bunch more pills. It is, it's like, it's so ridiculous. And then I have a problem with my kids. Uh, they've been sick like all winter and it's like every time they go they get a throat swab, see if they have strep throat, all this stuff. And so the bills are like the same amounts. And so I think we'll have already paid that, but it's not, it's like a separate pill. So I'm like so lost. I'm like, well, I guess the little, eventually they'll send another one if I missed. Uh, I dunno, like, like that $60 had, God had gave me so much pain. I was like, Oh my God, God, I [inaudible] I don't know. And, and that's what I keep telling them. When I go to the medical facility, I tell them just like, like, I want to pay it right now so you don't send me a bill. So it's going to go to the insurance, they're gonna process it and we're going to send you only, I don't like that situation. I like whatever money you need, just take it from me so I can just get done with it. And I hate it. Like collecting and organizing all that paperwork. I know. And then you have to save it. It's so ridiculous. And then our doctor's office, like we have to pay like so much that day, but then the bills always more than that. So then I pay that day, but then I still have to pay the bill when it comes and yeah, so annoying. It's like, would you just take like some money so you can quit sending me bills? Like don't you just want it? Like, Oh my God. Oh, the joys of being a parent. Oh yes. Yeah. It's all right. It's all good. But you know, we've, we're gonna we have to complain about something like, yeah, right. Yeah, I guess it's a, you know, first world problems here. Yeah, definitely. So do you have any like, um, number one pieces of advice or last words of wisdom for uh, just, you know, dealing with all the craziness right now? I really have enjoyed talking with you and just your kind of laid back approach but yet structured and organized with dealing with everything. It's like, Oh, like everybody else, I'm trying like all these moms, I am like, all right now because these are like real time heroes. All of these moms who are working, who are like, who have been homeschooling, Oh my God, I need to give them an award or something. But definitely who are in this situation right now? I mean just like, I think the best thing that we can do, like it's not money related, but I think [inaudible] just like supporting each other. It's very, very important right now because mental health is going to be a big problem once we get out of this situation. And it's, yeah, like I see all these emails from the school counselors and stuff and you know, they're trying to help the kids and stuff and I keep thinking kids don't need help really need help me go to the counselors. If they go to counseling, we're going to be paying. So if you guys can help us like do a zoom meeting at the end of the week and ask us like how did we do throughout the week because that's important. And we as moms or as a group of friends, we need to support each other and um, I know people can not meet right now. It's very hard being a, being these social creatures that we have, like women. I I D I never thought that it would BS so hard for me because I have been working from home for like two years now and it's never bothered me because my social life was very, very limited anyways because I had these, these, these morning hours to work and then rest of the day was dedicated to my family and kids and I never knew that it would bother me so much. I have just went out, um, just for like at least couple of days in the week, in the morning time just to do my chores and stuff. And, and that was entertainment for me. I was very happy with it. And now that I cannot do that, like I am not a very party person, but I have a, a group of friends that are very, very close to me and when I don't, I, I cannot see them. It's like messing out my brain. So the thing that we can do in any way, if we can support each other, even if it's like a group call at the end of the day or like every second day, like checking off on each other, okay, how are you doing? How was your day? How did you do that? You know, all those things, just renting out. I think that's very, very important. I'm not saying that, uh, we don't, we're not gonna lose patients with our kids, but we have to give ourselves some grace. Okay. And, um, just to be ready for the next day, we need to like talk to somebody and if you have a partner, uh, who is gonna listen to you with all these things. Oh, you are golden. Like you are like the luckiest person in the world. But I would not burden my partner like after the whole day with all these things. So I would like to talk to my girlfriends or my, that I have because they can relate to it. I mean, that's, that's the best thing. So supporting each other is very, very important. I know, um, that it's [inaudible] it's not going to be easy. It's, and the way that it's going, it's just, I think it's going to get even harder than this. I don't use the word worst because it just bothers my own mindset. It's going to be harder, but we also have to think that there's only like a month or for some people month and a half left for the school year. So once that is done, we're going to be fine. We just gotta get, we just gotta get there. Yes. This hour hits, we're going to be fine. At least we wouldn't have any schoolwork and stuff so everybody can relax. So until that time, keep your support system on a high priority. Um, and uh, if you think that you cannot handle it, just get out of that situation, take a break, then get back because Mmm. I find even in one day, I find myself in such a tricky situation, at least three, four times a day because [inaudible] I have these kids who are in different age groups and I feel like, like I am like a, like sometimes a lawyer or sometimes a judge at the time and I don't know what's happening. Everybody has their own version of the story, but you know, and sometimes I just need to take a break. I just need to right. Go in a separate place where they cannot see. Yes. So I can like have a reset button and then come back and deal with the situation. And that's where, um, that's, that's [inaudible] what we all need, like a little bit of support or legible, don't venting out or little bit of a time for ourselves. So we can get back. So what is happening right now? Absolutely agree. And I really love that you suggested even, um, video chatting later in the evening, I saw, um, uh, another blogger that was doing like a happy hour with her friends on zoom. So I was like, Oh, that's such a good idea. So definitely I've been trying and you know, it, you sound like you're probably an introvert like me because you know, I work from home and it doesn't really didn't bother me, but now that I can go anywhere, like I want to go somewhere, but I know our extrovert friends are really strong. Oh my God, they are, they are so bad. But you know, I think, um, I mean that's w that's how it is. They, they, they need more counseling. Yes, yes, yes. It definitely check on your extroverted friends and not just text them like you need to video chat them because that will just make their day talk to them. Like you need to hear what they are saying or like telling the whole story. So yeah, they're, they're struggling even more than us. And so I feel so bad for them. So, you know, I mean, even as an introvert, I'm struggling, so I can only imagine. Oh, well I appreciate you being with us today and I always ask, um, toward the end what their favorite nonfiction book is because you know, studies show that, um, everyday millionaires read on average one book a month. Now with all this going on, I'm definitely not reading one book a month, but you know, I try. So do you have any, um, do you have a favorite nonfiction book that you would recommend? Yes, I, um, well not lie, I can, I can't seem to finish it, but I started this, uh, remits 82nd book, um, that, uh, uh, the title is, I will teach you to be rich, uh, because I write about personal finance and budgeting and stuff. So it's right. I really liked reading these kind of books, especially if you, uh, read the introduction. It's very, very, uh, it right? Like really hooks you, uh, because it says, would you rather be sexy or rich? So, um, I like being a woman. Like when I did that, it really wants me to read the rest of it and it's really, really good. Um, and um, other than that, because I, um, I don't know, uh, I don't know about the other people because I have been blogging for like two years now and I am a, you can see I'm a Pinterest nerd. I like, I like reading about Pinterest, like what's happening with the pin Pinterest, what are the new things like, like they just started this, these video story of pins and the podcast just came out like yesterday and I've been like, Oh, I need time to like hear the podcast. I need to learn what they're doing. I have that, that like Pinterest brain damage problem the most time in my life. It's, it's dedicated to Pinterest. Um, I, I sometimes, sometimes I just think like, and I really like, I have a course on that. Uh, actually I have an online course on that and for that too, like I need to be updated with what Pinterest is doing, what is happening and you know, all those things. So it serves me two purposes. For one thing. I just love it. That's why I have a course on it. And then, uh, it also helps me to update that in real time, like what's happening right now. And, um, that's why like it's, I like doing it because it serves as my work and then it gives me something to learn and I love it. So it's a win win situation. So that's what I mostly read about. Like if you, if you ever got to my, the computer, you would see all the windows that the, that are open would be somehow related to Pinterest. Well, that's awesome. Yeah. I noticed that you had a lot of ideas for working from home or making extra money and things like that on your website. So, um, do you have any resources that you can provide for my audience to kind of help them learn how to make some extra money? Yeah, for sure. Uh, I have, uh, quite a few posts on my website and my website's name is www dot. Speaking of You can find tons of ideas. I write about everything that is related to money. And, uh, right now the hot topic that, uh, all the people are looking for right now is like making money from home. And, uh, I recently, um, did I also write about how you can manage the work from home life? So I recently did a post where I, uh, the post really came, like, really? It was really close to my heart because I needed that I and the posters about how you can keep kids quiet. Well, I need that. All those ideas I did not even have to like go and like research that all those ideas are from home. So those are the things that we really need right now. And then I also launched another website where I, uh, because um, I also, uh, like the things that I've learned during the blogging and during all this online business that I started, I did not want to mix it up with my money blog over here. So I started another website where I, uh, I have gathered all the blogging resources and the name of that website is I have a Facebook group that you can join and um, related to that top plugging courses and you can find me on Instagram. Speaking of sand, you can find me on Pinterest with the same name. Um, and um, if nothing else you can just send me an email speaking of just connect with me. I am a, I check my emails really, really regularly and if you have any questions, please connect with me. And if you have no questions, you just want to talk to me, just talk to me. I am going to reply for sure. That's awesome. I don't doubt it. So I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today. And for those of you that don't know, she's, she actually came on twice because of my internet shut down. So, you know, I just appreciate you coming on and being so understanding and taking the time out of your day. Not once but twice. It's all right. Ashley, thank you so much for having me. I'm just, I'm just so, uh, like honored that I, um, am working with the people who can relate to how this life is. And if we cannot understand each other then I don't think anybody would be perfectly fine. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much to Nadia for taking the time out of her day to speak with us and you know, just give us a dose of reality of how she is dealing with this crisis financially and you know, mainly mentally. Um, she gave me a lot of great ideas going forward on how to um, cope with the some things. Uh, but don't forget that we are doing the free five day cutting expenses challenge. Go to budget's made and find out how we are saving money in just five days, especially if you are experiencing a loss of income or you know, could potentially lose some income. As you know, a lot of us are dealing with right now. So go check that out. It'll also be in the show notes. Special Guest: Nadia Malik.

Apr 2020

45 min 3 sec

Marc shares how his family with from two incomes down to one inconsistent income and how to handle that transition. Resources mentioned: Marc's new blogging course Debt Bundle Book: The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Sterns (aff link) Special Guest: Marc Andre.

Mar 2020

31 min 17 sec

Here are my top 10 tips to save $600 a month on groceries and cut my grocery budget in half! Resources mentioned: Meal Planning Sheet Fetch Rewards and use code FETCH2K for $2 worth of rewards after you scan your first receipt. Read the tips here:

Mar 2020

19 min 55 sec

Sarah was able to pay off $33,000 in 3 years while only making around $25,000 a year. She was able to find some creative ways to make extra money and save money so she could pay off her debt super fast. You can find out more about Sarah here: Youtube: Website: Social media: @gobudgetgirl Resources mentioned in this episode: Debt Snowball Starter Pack: Book: Educated by Tara Westover (affiliate link) Sarah's budget template: Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. I am Ashley Patrick with budgets made easy and the money mindset podcast. Today I am speaking with Sarah Wilson, who is the budget girl on YouTube and budget about her journey to pay off $33,000 in debt in just three years and on a very low income. So she shares with us her budgeting tips and her frugal living tips and ways she saved money and a couple of different ways that she got creative with making extra money so that she could pay off her debt relatively fast. But before we jump into her debt payoff story, you can get your free debt snowball starter guide, which is the exact method that she used. The debt snowball. You can get it for free at comes with a spreadsheet, a worksheet, and a checklist as you can get started and know exactly what you need to do to get started. So let's jump into Sarah's interview. Hi Sarah. Thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you so much for having me on. I am so excited to talk to you today about your debt payoff story cause it is pretty amazing. And you actually went to the Dave Ramsey headquarters and did a debt freedom screen, correct? Yes, I did. That was so much fun. Uh, he's moved headquarters since he felt like a whole new one, so I kind of wish I could go back and do it again. But at the same time I'm kinda like, I got to do it in the, you know, the OJ studio. Yeah, I would love to go there someday. That's on my bucket list. Um, so tell us how much debt did you pay off and how fast did you do it? It was a little over $33,000, and it took me three years and three months where I actually used to know like the exact number, but it's kind of faded from my brain a little bit. Uh, yeah, that happens is you just like keep telling your story. If I, you know, I have a tendency to forget like exact months and things like that, but you know, overall you paid off $33,000 in three years. That is pretty amazing. It was a lot faster than I originally thought, which is one of my favorite things about watching people do their debt free journeys and being kind of the unique position I am to see people pay off debt, um, is that it, once you're working towards it, it goes so much faster than you think things happen in your life. You get raises, you find other ways to like cut expenses or side hustle. And originally when people were staring down the barrel of like a six, seven, eight year debt payoff, all of a sudden it only took them or four, which is simple. Absolutely. Like once you start going, you just build momentum and then you just find ways to do it faster and faster. Budgeting and frugality I often say is like a muscle and you know, you can't just walk into the gym one day and lift, you know, the a hundred pound dumbbells. You have to start with a smaller one. So if you make one small choice to incorporate into your life, that'll save you a little money or make you a little extra money, it will then segue into finding more habits and better habits. And all of those will snowball into getting you where you want to be a lot faster and living a much more frugal life. Absolutely. So tell us, what was your like aha moment, like what motivated you? Like what started this journey for you? So I got laid off, which is a pretty good motivator. So after I graduated college, I had a $27,000 worth of debt and I started working at a newspaper and I wasn't making very much. I was making like 24 25 a year and the government told me via letter that I was not making enough to have to pay on my loans. So I was like, okay, thanks government and, and I didn't. So for a couple of years, they just kind of sat there in the back of my brain and I guess some accounts somewhere and they ballooned up to 33,000. And when I lost my job and I had to confront that fact, I was like, Oh crap, this is, this is really horrible and terrible and I can laugh about it now. But at the time I had, I had lost my job working on a newspaper through no fault of my own, by the way, you know, not that it really matters, but my boss found someone who could do what I did cheaper than me, which makes smart business sense but sucked for me. So especially considering you weren't making that much anyway, you were making that much money. Yeah, I was actually the lifestyles editor at a little kind of tabloid newspaper, you know, those little ones that you see in gas stations that usually have, you know, a wreck on the cover, somebody's bloody, that kind of thing. It was really fun. I really enjoyed my time there. Um, but I, and what they wanted to do was be more read by the community that wasn't so interested in the crime stuff. So I actually came in and I developed the whole feature section highlighting like the amazing people in the community and it was a really, really fun job. Um, and after I had built an establish that he was essentially able to bring someone in and could maintain it and I, I mean, I get it as a business decision for me, it sucked. But, um, it taught me something very important about this job security and that even if you're doing a good job, even if you're not doing anything wrong, that doesn't guarantee you an income. [inaudible] so suddenly I've, yeah, suddenly I was on unemployment and I was on unemployment for five months and unemployment brought me in enough to pay my rent and eat. And that was pretty much it. And on, I guess the unemployment system in Mississippi, you aren't allowed to work while you're on unemployment. Any thing that you work counts against what you get from unemployment. So I have a lot of mental time to apply for jobs and to decide how I was going to change my life cause I was really scared and I thought that I was gonna not be able to find a job. And because journalism, you know, I was and everything, but I thought I wasn't going to find a job and I was gonna have to like go back to being a waitress. And there's nothing wrong with being a waitress, but I don't think anyone comes out of college with a degree hoping to V1. Right. So I swore to myself if I, once I found a new job, I would make sure that the only thing I would have to take care of one day would just be my regular bills because I couldn't, I would have been okay if it had just been living, you know, my, my rent, my electricity, my gas, my food. What was really killing me was that debt looming over me that I knew was growing every single day demanding to be paid. And I was, I was bringing home like a $500 employment check, unemployment check. So I decided to make a big change once I found a job and then I did. And it was not for much. I had to move to Louisiana where I didn't know anyone. And I accepted a reporter position where I was making $26,000 a year before tax. I moved into the crappiest apartment that I could find that costs $400 a month to rent and I completely started my life over. So. Wow. Yeah. I started shopping a once a week for and based it around what was on sale that week. So I learned essentially I had to teach myself how to cook and not eat out all the time cause I realized that that was a really big budget Buster when I started budgeting and actually plan out my meals and figure out how to live on less than I was making so that I could put as much as I could at debt. So what, um, plan were you using to pay off debt? Like was it a specific plan or were you just kinda throwing money here and there to try and pay it down? So I have my big Dave Ramsey fan and his was kind of the format that I was using. So I had two loans and I did the snowball method. So I had a $4,000 loan and I had consolidated my other student loans that were government into one big 27th house and tell her loan. And uh, so I paid the minimum on the $27,000 one as I was paying off the four K one and just kept going. And at first I was barely making the minimum payments, which were around $300 a month combined. And then I started being able to contribute $500 a month and then 700 and then over a thousand dollars a month through side hustling and figuring out other ways to cut my expenses. Oh, I got real motivated up in there. Wow. So what were some of the ways, I mean, cause you weren't, you were making almost like poverty level income. So what are, were the, some of the ways that you increased your income and cut expenses? Well, I was lucky enough to be eligible for overtime so I did as much of that as I could. Anytime there was like a weird night event, uh, that someone from the newspaper needed to cover or a weekend event. I was always in there with my hand up saying like, Oh, I'll do it, I'll do it. I also um, did some secret shopping, which was a really fun way to make just a little bit of extra money. I did it for a company called market force and there was another one that I've forgotten the name of now, but [inaudible] they would pay me like $12 to go to canes raising canes, which is a restaurant, a fast food restaurant and time. How long it took for them to like make and deliver my order check and see if the fries refresh, count how many chicken tenders there were, go to the bathroom and see if the bathroom was clean and I would have to do it all like very secretive. They couldn't see me writing any notes or anything, but they would pay for my meal and then it would pay me like $12 and that took maybe half an hour. So I figured that was a pretty good return on my income. There was another one where they hired me to go to Walmart gas stations and purchase cigarettes and see if I was carded. And most of the time I was not carded. And despite the fact that I was in my late twenties and they would pay me, you know, maybe like $15 for that and reimbursed me for the cigarettes, which I would then sell to a coworker. Uh, so I did a lot of that. I did some dog sitting and a dog training actually because I've, uh, managed to train my dog, Rory. And it just kinda came through the grapevine that I could, I could help people with that though I'm not trained or qualified in any way. And I also did a stint where I, I delivered pizzas in the wee hours of the morning for hungry Howie's, so I'd get off of work around five or six. And then I'd take a nap and I'd go in at nine or 10:00 PM and I'd work until 3:00 AM delivering pizzas. Wow. You are really hustling. That's awesome though because you know, I talk to a lot of people that have lower incomes and they just feel like they can't do it. Like there's no way for them to get out of the debt. They don't make enough money. Like what is your advice for somebody like that that is just struggling to even see that it's possible with that kind of income. I get comments like that all the time actually. Where you know someone, it was, it was really recently when I did a net worth report on my channel because people were asking me how I was doing it on such a low income. I started sharing my budget each month on my channel and I show them, this is how you can see right here. This is how much I spent on food. This is how much I was able to put to debt because people kept telling me I couldn't do it. And I had a comment that really kind of broke my heart the other day because I now have a $50,000 network. Then I decided to share my budget again and show people how I was spending my now much higher income. Because throughout this whole process, you know, when you start to become a little better at money, the opportunities just come up for you to get higher paying jobs. And I've been able to move twice for higher paying jobs. Um, and I had someone comment that, yeah, you were able to, you can pay off debt because you know, you pay $300 a month for rent now and you know, I can't do it. I, you know, I have like 12 grand in debt and I'm only making $30,000 a year. And I, I tried to respond back as kindly as I could that, you know, my, I split my rent with my boyfriend now, but for my entire debt free journey, I was paying everything out of my pocket on my own and I was able to pay off, you know, $10,000 a year on 26 great. And for the most part of it and then more when I was up to 30 and it's not necessarily a like I can do it so that you can do it too. Cause I don't know everyone's situations individually, but it's more of a mindset of I'm going to choose to try to do something this week to lower my grocery bill. What I save on my grocery bill, I'm going to put it debt and then I'm going to try to figure out something else where I can either say or make a little bit more money. Even if it's $12 for going to canes to do secret shopping, I would use that a to lower my grocery bill. Cause that's, that was a free meal. And then B, I'd put that $12 a debt and people most that's exactly. Then that's what I try to explain to people is you're not doing this all at once. You're taking small steps in the right direction to lead you to your bigger goal. Cause just like we mentioned earlier, you will just, just momentum you. It just goes faster and faster as you go. And then once you like can see the finish line, like you do everything possible to just get through it and get it over with and that just helps propel you there. Yeah. My last year I often called it my scorched earth year and I would, I would do practically anything. I mean I volunteered at a food banks because they fed people, they fed volunteers. Uh, and it wasn't because I was, I was so needy that I needed to go to a food bank. I never took food from anyone that was in need. But you know, those organizations that you know, need volunteers, they often feed you a meal. So I'm like, well, you know what? My hobby right now is making money and saving money. So if I can spend my time helping people and get a free meal out of it, that's just a bonus because then I'm not sitting at home considering spending money. I'm actually out doing something, buy things at garage sales and sell them for money. It's simple. Horsetrading can make people so much money. I know so many people on the internet that just go to garage sales and thrift stores and find things that are cheap that they know that they can resell for more money and they have been able to, you know, turn a dollar into 50 in a day. Uh, there are ways, if you are willing to do a little bit of birth and get a little creative. Yeah, absolutely. Now you said you shared your budgets and stuff when you were paying off the debt. Are those videos still on your YouTube channel? They are. There's a, there's four years of monthly budget reports where you can see my actual budget that I was working and you can see every single time I went to taco bell, every single time I got gas, most of them are, they're dated entries. So you can see exactly what I was bringing in and exactly what I was spending all my money on and what was left over. So, and that where that money went. So also throughout the three years that I was getting on a debt, I put the, the amount of debt that I had in the title of each video that I did. So people who are watching me could watch it very slowly go down. Awesome. And we will link to that in the show notes as well. But is your YouTube channel budget girl or is it go budget girl? It's budget girl. It's budget girl. Okay. Yeah. So good. So go to YouTube, search budget girl or slash budget girl and you'll find a ton of really motivating videos to kind of show you how she did it as well. So now do you have any just general debt payoff tips or budgeting tips? Um, even for, you know, if it's not low income, just the average family, um, to kind of help them get through paying off a large amount of debt? Well, I always try to say that your variable expenses are often where you can save a lot of money somewhat painlessly. So yeah, obviously go in and try check and make sure that you're not paying too much for car insurance. Um, you know, get a quote every once in a while. I do it about every six months to make sure that I'm not paying more than I need to. Cause that's, that's the service you're going to get anyway. It doesn't really, it's not going to affect you whether you're paying 60 or $90 for car insurance, but I think we'd all be rather rather be paying 60. So check obviously your non-variable expenses, but on the day to day, the month to month, your variable ones are where it really makes a difference in where a lot of people's money just kind of escapes them. So restaurants, entertainment, groceries, anything in that vein. If you can track, I'm not even going to tell you to try to lower those expenses. I'm going to tell you to track those expenses so you can see where your money is going. Essentially have a budget. Exactly. Tracking your expense. Like just where where you're spending money is crucial. Whenever you want to save money or pay off debt cause it's really eye opening. Like even for me, like I did not realize how much I was spending on food and eating out until I actually tracked it. Like I think in your mind you, you tell yourself it's a lower amount or you just don't do the math right in your head or what, you know, you're kind of guessing in your head how much you spent and when you actually write it down it's like, Oh man, I really spent way too much money. Yeah that was, that was the biggest game changer for me was when I actually sat down and I kind of did a spending audit and I was like, wait, I ate out 12 times, you know, over the past week. Even if it was like a single burrito at taco bell, that's still a couple of bucks. Yeah, exactly what I, I literally ate out for lunch three days this week. I'm poor. I can't do that. I would much rather that money be going to debt. I could use half of the money that I've spent eating out to buy myself some really delicious high quality groceries. And if I do a little bit of like meal planning and take my lunch to work instead a that's going to save me some time throughout the week because I'll already know what I will be eating. It'll be good food and it's going to save me a ton of money. So I do have a free budget template on my website. It's the same exact one that I use to get out of debt where you just put in every single one of your expenses. So you go to taco bell, you put in taco bell and how much you spent and it'll total out and you can actually see how much are spending and where all of your money is going. Awesome. And is that a spreadsheet or is it like a printable worksheet? It's a spreadsheet. So it's actually in Google drive, which is one of my favorite things, Google drive. So it's like the free version of Excel. And I using that, I always have access to my budget. So I have the drive app on my phone and if I ever am wondering can I afford something, all I have to do is hit it and I can go and see how much money I have left for the month on my phone. I can also look at it on my computer and it's really good for accountability. Oh awesome. And we'll link to that in the show notes as well. So you can go grab that free budget spreadsheet cause I know people, um, you know, I've got the printable one, I actually don't use a spreadsheet. And so, um, I know some of my listeners would prefer a spreadsheet, so I will link to that in the show notes as well. Um, now do you have any, just last words of wisdom? Any last pieces of advice? I would say it gets easier. Yeah. And that actually trying to manage your money is so worth it. I went from, you know, an negative net worth of, you know, minus $33,000 to positive 50,000 in five years. I am currently saving for a multifamily property. I own a small business now that nets me income, managing my money changed my entire life and I can't imagine myself ever not using a budget. A business would never operate without recording the expenses and profits that it makes. If you can treat just that one aspect of your life, like a business, you will vastly improve, I guess your margins for each quarter and your projections. If you're not managing your money, then it's not going to manage itself. That's right. Now I always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. As you know, Dave Ramsey is a huge fan of reading and um, you know, encouraging people to read nonfiction books and just to train better yourself. So do you have a favorite nonfiction book? So I am a huge, huge reader. I actually did a challenge this year to read a hundred books and I have surpassed that by about 30, just so far. All right. Now I'm writing the princess bride, which is a really, really fun read. Um, my favorite one, God that's so hard, educated by Tara Westover was probably my favorite thing I've read this year. Oh, I haven't heard of that one. It's, it's really good. It's a, it's a national bestseller is about a young woman who was kind of raised off the grid by a fundamentalist extremist Christians. And so she was, she was never sent to school, uh, and she worked her way out of that kind of educational poverty to having a PhD from Harvard. Wow. It's, it's really, really enlightening. It's, it's an inspiring story. And if you like debt, pay off stories, this, this type of aspirational inspirational Jordy would probably, you'd probably really love it. Oh, awesome. I'll have to check that out now. Where can people find you? So I I'm also on YouTube budget girl. So girl and I'm on all social media platforms at go budget girl. So Instagram is my favorite. I post there every single day. I even still occasionally do a, uh, spinning accountability thing. So in my stories for the entire month of October, I budgeted in real time essentially. So every single time I made a purchase, I took a picture and I posted it saying like, I spent $13 on gas, I spent blah, blah, blah on groceries. And that was kind of fun. Yeah, I remember seeing that. That was like, Oh, that's like so much work. I don't want to do that. But it also really reinvigorated me cause I, I generally, you know, back when I was in debt, I would reconcile my budget every single day. Cause that's the only way I wouldn't go over daily basis, how much money I had left in each category. But now I'm more of a weekly budget or so I check in every Friday, you know, sometimes every other Friday. And having to, uh, be accountable for my decisions in real time to an audience changed my decisions a little somehow I can, I'm going to imagine I was a lot more responsible with money in October than I normally am. I have a little more wiggle room now. You know, I live off of 60% of my income and I invest in save 40%. But, uh, yeah, just having to justify being at target, it was, I can definitely see that. Yeah. I was watching, I was like, Oh, that's a good idea. But that's just, yeah, I don't want to do that. I don't want to be that accountable. No, I considered doing it again for November and I really thought I was going to, and then my Instagram account got hacked and I had to, I had to get that back. So I was like, after that I was like, nah, nah, nah, we're gonna. Maybe I'll come back and do it in January. Cause it really was a lot of fun and people seem to enjoy seeing, uh, just like an average person, like exactly what I'm choosing to spend on. And what I'm choosing not to. And I would say why and what things I would doing kind of frugally on a daily basis. Like, Hey, I bought bulk in this, or Hey, I chose this over this because look at the cost savings. Yeah, absolutely. I mean that's really, people love to see, you know, somebody doing it, especially in real time like that. So I'm sure people love that. Uh, well thank you so much for being on today and I will link to everything in the show notes so you can go follow Sarah at um, budget girl and on YouTube and Instagram. And I appreciate you so much for being with us today. Thank you for having me. It was a blast. Thanks. Thank you so much to Sarah for being with us today and sharing her journey and her, uh, money making tips and budgeting tips and how she, you know, paid off $33,000 on a low income. So don't forget to go get your debt snowball starter packs. As you can get started with the debt snowball, just like Sarah, it is free at and I will talk to you guys soon. Special Guest: Sarah Wilson.

Mar 2020

26 min

How Bobbi and her husband changed the way they think and handled their money and were able to pay off $50,000 in 2 years. She started using the debt snowball and realized it was easier than she thought it would be! Resources mentioned in this episode: Free Debt Snowball Starter Pack ( End Financial Stress Now ( by Emily Guy Burkin Budgeting 101 ( by Michele Cagan Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. Today we are talking with Bobby Olsen from the sensible chat podcast and we're going to talk to her about her favorite budgeting tips and how she paid off $50,000 in about two years. So she gives us some really great advice on how to budget your money better so that you can pay off your debt fast and work on that money mindset so that you can do it without being miserable. Uh, but before we jump into her interview, don't forget you can get your free debt snowballs starter pack. So debt, snowball worksheets, spreadsheet, checklists, everything you need to get a jumpstart on your debt snowball. It is free and you can grab it at and I will link to it in the show notes as well. So welcome Bobby. Hey Bobby, thanks for being with us today. Thanks so much for having me, Ashley. Thanks for being here. And you know, we've been talking, chatting, so that my hug, I can't get my kids outside and have it be quiet for you guys. So I feel like I've already learned so much about you, but, um, you know, for our listeners that haven't heard you before, I know you have a podcast too, but can you tell us just a little bit about yourself and kind of, um, what you do to help people right now? Sure. Well, my name is Bobby Olson and I'm the host of the sensible chat podcast and I'm also a budget coach. And so, um, I'm really focused on helping people with their money obviously, um, for the podcast that we definitely say that we're committed to helping people learn positive money mindsets, destroyed debt, reduce financial stress, and break the paycheck to paycheck cycle. So that's what we're focused on. That's awesome. And tell us a little bit about like, how did you get started with, um, wanting to help people break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck? Well, you know, I've lived paycheck to paycheck all my life. And as most of us, you know, think at least at a certain time in our lives, I, I always just thought it was normal. Yeah. But I spent, you know, my younger years, I'm working in radio and actually my first job was for a, um, financial radio station and I, but I was just so bored with it, uh, that I didn't want to listen to any of the information. And so I went about my life and kinda got [inaudible] kept getting stuck back into financial radio for some reason. I don't know why. I guess it was my calling, I don't know. But, um, eventually I was, uh, producing a financial radio show, which I actually still am at this point. And, um, you know, we were just, we had had our own audio production company prior to me and my husband, and, uh, it had failed. And so we were in a lot of debt. And so now I'm working this job, which should be my dream job because radio was what I was always passionate about. [inaudible] I just hated it. Um, and I really wanted out, I wanted something more, but we were so far in debt that I couldn't afford to take the pay cut. And I was just so frustrated and it seemed like we were never getting ahead. We were paying everything on time, but you know, and even paying a little bit on top of everything, but it just felt like we weren't getting anywhere. And so one day I actually ended up opening up one of the books that was sitting around my office cause we were all, you know, interviewing authors left and right for hinder views on this financial radio show. And so I opened up the book one day and she was talking about the debt snowball method. She didn't call it that, but I found out later that's what it was. And she, she explained how it worked and I thought, no way could it be that easy, no way. And so I actually did it on paper for our situation trying to prove her wrong and I couldn't, I mean it worked on paper. I thought, Oh my, this is like a lifesaver. How could it be this easy? And I was so excited. I told my husband, we got to do this. And he's like, all right, cool. You know, whatever. You just like, my husband is like, yeah, whatever you want to do. Yeah, that's good. So I did it. We, you know, we went on this path and Oh my gosh, it just changed our lives and it was so easy and it was so exciting to me that this could be done and just relieve by stress. And, and I, I finally had hope that was the biggest thing. It gave me hope so I could see the light at the end of the tunnel at which kept me going through the whole process. And so it was just such a huge life changer for me that I just wanted to scream it from the rooftops and say, Hey, you know, anybody else that's feeling this way, I can help you stop. Look, it's this easy, you know? And so yeah, that's where my passion to help others with it came from. That's awesome. So how much did you end up paying off? Yeah. Uh, we paid off about it would probably be, you know, I, I was so excited when we got started and everything. I'd never really looked at the numbers, but, um, I would guess it was about $50,000. Wow. And how fast did you do that? It took us about two years. Wow. We really got serious. Yeah. Yeah. And so now you said your husband was like, sure. Whatever, you know, was he, I'm like, how involved was he did or did you have to like kind of like drag him along? You know, I know I hear so many stories about like, you know, people not being on the same page and everything. We were, I mean, he was all for it, but it was like, okay, I'm all for whatever you're doing, but you take care of it. Yeah. That sounds like my husband. Yeah. Which in some ways is good because you're like, okay, I'm just going to create this budget. If you're telling me you don't want to be a part of it, I'm not even gonna ask your opinion. We don't have to fight about it. I'm just going to create it and you're going to follow it. That's fine. You know? And he's like, okay, I'm good with that. You know, it works out in that way and it's great. There's some times when I wished he was a little bit more involved because, you know, then it'd be like, it'd be less stress. Like he's always asking me do we have money for this or that? And I'm always like, ah, gosh, I hate that question. You know? I mean, it's so much easier to answer now cause I can just go to the budget. But I, I, it really took me a long time to quote, train him, for lack of a better word, to just, you know, cause I kept having to say, just go and check the budget. Don't, don't ask me that. Go and check the budget, you know? And so, but yeah, he's been totally on board with it, very supportive and uh, we've really worked together to make it happen. That's awesome. So what were some of the things that you did to pay off this debt? So you made, you know that you use the debt snowball, it sounds like, and you know, worked on a budget and everything, but what were kind of the, some of the practical steps that you did to make it go so fast? Yeah. Well, one of the things that I did, the biggest thing was I budgeted high for every bill and every expense. So I just took like the last, I looked at my electric bill and I said, what's the highest amount it's been in the last 12 months. Okay. 130 bucks. So that's what I budget every month, even though, you know, during the summer it would be half that. And so every time that that money came in under budget, I could save the difference towards, yeah, I could put the difference towards my debt snowball. Awesome. Yeah. And so that really worked for me in all my bills, all my expenses, you know, our grocery budget, whatever it was. If there was money there that didn't get used, it went towards our debt. That's awesome. And so did you, um, you don't track your spending like before whenever you got started and were you like shocked about any category that was higher than you expected? Yeah, we totally, well, we've always done that. We've always tracked our spending. Um, that was the one thing that we did even before we got on a formal budget because we were just always, you know, didn't want to be negative in our bank account. So we were always very good about that. But, and so it wasn't shocking, but it was just the biggest change that we had to make was like everybody else. It was the eating out. Yup. Same here. I'm still like struggle with it. Yeah. Yeah. It's the biggest struggle for sure. And so that's what we had to reign in the most. And you know, we knew it, we just didn't want to do it. But once we were able to get on a formal budget, the good news was, this was the other thing that we did to, um, really follow the budget and, you know, pay off things quickly. Is that right? Instead of, because before we would just, we would pay the bills, everything needed to be paid and then the rest was our play money and that was it. And so we paint it. When we actually started budgeting, do now we give ourselves an allowance. So every week we got a certain amount, but that was it. If there was extra money quote laying around, no, it went to our debt snowball. It didn't go to our eating out or whatever. And so that was the other way that we curved it and still had so we could still, you know, go out once in a while here or there, but only if we stayed within our budgeted money for that purpose. [inaudible] awesome. So did you, um, do anything like, um, cash envelopes or, yeah, um, I actually started with that because, um, when I first made the budget I didn't know about that. And then when I got really excited about making a budget and paying everything off, I found out from my mom, she, she lived, um, you know, across the country at the time. And so, you know, I wasn't right there next door, so we weren't interacting every day. So I didn't know that somebody had given her financial peace university. Yeah. And I was like, mom, why didn't you share this with me? Yeah. And so one time when I was visiting her, she actually gave me the program and so I, I went through that program and yeah. Then found out about the cash envelope system and I thought, wow, that was, that really, really helped us a lot to stay on target and especially, and the ending. But what I found out through the process was it was really great. The cash envelope system is a really great concept, but we kept like, we would go to the grocery store and they go, Oh, we forgot the Pash. Oh no, carry it with us. We had it like in our, in our, um, filing cabinet home. We had all these envelope filing because we didn't want to carry all this cash all the time. Oh yeah. We kept going places and we were like, we don't have the cash. What are we going to do? We drive home. Who used the car and it got really complicated for us and not positions. Oh, okay. We, I, I was perfect for, I'm like [inaudible] there's gotta be something where we can do this digitally, like a digital cash envelope system. And then I found why NAB, you need a budget. And that's what worked for me and just totally [inaudible] change things because now we still knew the quote, passion envelope system, but it's just digital and full of cash. Oh, awesome. Yeah, I've run into, I still run into that for certain things, but I actually have like, um, cash envelope wallet and so I just carry like certain categories with me all the time, like food. Um, but yeah, th the, it'll be like, I'll leave one here because I didn't, I don't want to carry that much cash and I don't need it right now and then when I need it, I've forgot it. Yeah. [inaudible] yeah, definitely. Um, so how has your mindset changed since you started changing the way you budget and you've paid off your debt? Oh my gosh. I mean, it's like night and day. Um, I mean the mindset changed for me as soon as I found the hope, then it was like the world is my oyster. I mean, I really bought into, you can afford anything, just not necessarily everything. And so how, you know, having the freedom to decide what I really wanted and going for that because I was raised with a poor mindset. I mean, I just, you're poor. You can't afford anything and not the way it's always going to be, period. End of story. And so when I finally figured out that that wasn't the case, it was just so freeing and so exciting and Mmm. You know, discovering all these different [inaudible] that's tricks on, on how to make it work just really freed my mind. And, um, yeah, so, so the mindset just went from, okay, you know, hopeless to hope. That's the biggest thing. And that's really what I try to, um, help people with is get them to realize that there is hope and then everything else will follow. So that is, that's awesome. Um, what tips do you have for somebody that's wanting to pay off debt or manage their money better? Like what are some of your top tips? Okay, well, the, the top one is, you know, the one that we talked about earlier, just budgeting high for everything so that you, you know, have that money all the time. It's kind of tricking yourself into saving, for lack of a better term. And then of course, the allowance that I mentioned, that's been a really good one for us. Um, um, also, you know, budgeting low for your income. So if you have, you know, if your income, Barry's always low. Um, and I, I've found that that works on two levels because not only does it, you know, it just, it stops you from not having enough money. You know, if you have a budget in place and your paycheck comes in lower than expected, then you're kind of freaking out, always at least that amount, then higher is always gravy. Um, beyond that, let's see, what else have we on? Mmm. Yeah. I mean, you know, we went, we didn't really there. There's a lot of things that you always hear, like, you know, take your lunch to work and don't buy coffee out and everything. And we were already kind of doing that. Mmm. So those things didn't change for us, but really focusing on the goals because [inaudible] getting out of debt. I mean, when you're trying to get out of debt, obviously that's your first priority. Okay. Mmm. And so just throw everything chords that that you possibly can, but you also have to have a reason why. Like what do you want beyond that? Because if you don't, then you know, easy to fall off the track and just say, forget it. I want what I want and you know, so I'm just gonna no, not get out of debt. And then of course you, you add it later. Oh, absolutely. What are some things that you did to kind of stay motivated the those two years? Okay. Really focused again on, well, for me the biggest motivation was just knowing that when I finally got out of debt, I could decide whether I wanted to stay at this job or take another one. It was freedom for me, my biggest motivator was the freedom that was going to come out of it. And really that's been a motivator, know for everything. And I, I mean, I tell people that all the time. It's like, I mean, if you control your money, then you control your life. And I just felt so out of control over my whole life that that was the biggest thing I wanted to change. And so, yeah, really just Oh thing on how much freedom I could have if I just had or resources to decide how I was going to live my life. [inaudible] I always say that it gives you options, so like if you want to quit your job, you know, your story is very similar to mine actually. And so, um, you know, I just always tell people that it just gives you options like, and it gives you, like you said, freedom, but it's like the freedom to make the choices that you want, whatever they are. Like, it gives you that opportunity, so. Absolutely. That's great. Um, do you have any last words of wisdom or advice for somebody? Like, just, uh, get them to do it. Just get them moving. Just really focus on what it is that you want out of life. You know, I've decided, I mean, I've, of course you read this everywhere. It's not me that decided it, but I've really bought into the mindset that money is just a tool that's the resource. You know, there's all this shame around things and you know, I wish that I could just take that away from people because no matter what, you know, the place you're in today, you can change it and it doesn't make you a bad person. Oh, made financial mistakes. I mean, it's just the same thing as using a hammer wrong. You know, I mean, it's that simple. So I don't feel shame when I use a hammer wrong. And I don't think anybody should feel shame when they, you know, use their money wrong. We all knew that stuff. And you know, but wrong is relative. It's all about what you want out of life. And so if you can focus on what your goals and dreams are, then [inaudible] budget is just a plan to help you reach that goal. And that's the [inaudible] the biggest thing, reason that I tell people, you know, to budget and, and do spending plans and everything is because that's the best way that you're going to reach your goal and get what you want out of life. It's not about restricting what you do, it's about the freedom to choose in your life. That's awesome. Um, and I did not warn you of this, so you've added thinking about it for a second, but I always ask people what is their favorite nonfiction books? You've probably heard that, you know, most millionaires read like one book a month or something like that. And so, you know, I always like to motivate people to, um, find a book to just improve their lives and stop wasting so much time watching TV and things. So do you have a favorite nonfiction book? I actually do. And I was prepared for that because I've been listening to your podcast, so I know it's asked that question. And so I thought a lot about it and I was like, wow, I actually have free. So have you [inaudible] they all serve different purposes for me. Why NAB new need a budget? It was a book that changed my life because I had sound the app, what? I couldn't figure out how to use it. I didn't understand the mindset behind it. Different from really traditional budgeting. There a mindset is that you can only budget money that you already have today in your account. And so for me, there's a difference now between budgeting and and a spending plan because the budget is where your money is today. That's in your account. That spending plan is a plan of what you're going to do with the money that is coming from your neck. PayTech Oh, that's interesting. That's good. I didn't even know there was a book app obviously, but I didn't know the right, the book totally changed my life and like I said, I could not figure out how to use the software or the app before I read the book. When I read it, Oh, it was like [inaudible] I get it. And it helped me really understand budgeting in a way bigger, ah, like longer term than just month to month because month to month budgeting cuffing me up, you know, the oil paint is come up every quarter and things like that. I just kept forgetting the budget from them and so why not really helped me focus on, you know, long term budgeting, how to break it down and just, you know, there were so many wonderful tools in there. It changed my life and I recommend that book to everybody regardless of whether you're going to use their budgeting app or not. It just changes your mindset about money and my view. Oh awesome. Yeah. And then the second one is a book called N financial stress now by Emily Guy Birken. And I read this book a couple years ago before I started the podcast and when I started it I reached out to her and she actually responded and I was so honored because I got to interview her for the podcast and it's, her book is just for any income level because I was at the, you know, low income level and sell. That's who I kind of target with my podcast and her book is just so freeing for anybody at any level because it's not about know hips and tricks that you might only be able to do if you have this much money or that much money, whatever. No, it's about money mindsets and strategies. It just helped you think differently about your money and figure out how to, it empowers you instead of being feeling like a victim about your money, like there's nothing you can do about it. It changes your mindset to what can I do about it regardless of what money I have or do not have. And I thought that was a fabulous tool. That's great. Yeah, that's, that's exactly, you know what we're trying to do with this podcast and what you're doing with your podcast and everything, so I think that is awesome. I'll have to check that out. Oh, and what was the third one? Oh, and the third one is budgeting one Oh one by Michelle Kagan. She's written a ton of great books, but budgeting one Oh one is, it's, it's like your toolbox. It really gives you the specific, uh, strategies, different methods, um, and really great tips and tricks for creating your budget and following your budget, getting out of guts, smart spending, all of that stuff. Oh that's great. Cause you know, there are different methods to do it. And what I try and tell people is just find what works for you. It may be a little bit of what I say, maybe a little bit of what Dave Ramsey says or what you say. You know, it's really just finding a system that will work for you. Cause that's really all that matters is that it works for you and that it'll help you do it. Yeah, exactly. Achieve your goal. There's no right or wrong way. Yeah, I agree. Because Dave Ramsey, I love Dave Ramsey and, but there's so many people that are so willing to go gazelle like that. And then there's other people that just, you know, can't, I mean I felt like, nah, I need a little bit of a Slack in there. Otherwise it's like a crash diet for me. I'm just not going to do it, you know? And so, but yeah, I mean, whatever works for you is just, that's fabulous. And look, go down that road, you're out what it is. Yeah, exactly. You know, and everybody processes information different. Like, um, you know, I always recommend to have people write their budget down, especially at first just because it ingrains it into your mind, but some people like spreadsheets, you know, some people like apps. So it's really just finding what works for you. So that's a great book as well. And just finding different, you know, researching different methods to see if there's something that if you can take a little bit from each one and kind of put it together, make your own thing. Before we go, where can people find you and learn some more about you? Oh, they can go to my and that's sensible with a C. so it's like, since [inaudible] awesome. We'll chat back up and we will link to it in the show notes as well. Are you, um, do you have a favorite social media platform? Are you on anything? Yeah, I'm on Facebook. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so you can find me all those busy. Yeah, I love Instagram. I've just really, um, you know, I'm on Facebook all the time and so I never really got into Instagram until maybe the last couple months I think. But I really, I'm enjoying Instagram, so, wow. I just got on Instagram too at my husband's B house. He's like really got to get on it. I'm like, I'm still struggling with it because you know, it's just so different and I don't have a lot of pictures and videos so I know that is hard cause then I'll be like, Oh I want to post this but I don't have a picture so that I have to like try and figure out a picture to post to with it with what I want to say. But yeah, I'm enjoying it though. And so, um, yes, go check him out on Instagram as well. So, um, and I will link to everything in the show notes so that you can go to her website and check it out as well. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thanks for being here. Thank you. Thank you so much to Bobby for being with us today, and don't forget to go grab your debt snowball starter packs so that you can get started on paying off debt as well. Go to and I will link to it into the show notes as well. I will talk to you next week. Bye. Special Guest: Bobbi Olsen.

Feb 2020

24 min 5 sec

6 Simple Tips to Get Your Spouse Onboard with a Budget Resources mentioned: Free Beginners Guide: Transcipt: Trying to figure our how to manage your money on your own is hard enough but getting someone else on board with the plan can make it even harder. Especially if they don’t want to do the work or aren’t as motivated as you. If you are like me, you are super excited and ready to run all in but having your partner not quite as excited as you can damper your mood. It’s even harder if they don’t see the need for it at all and don’t want to budget, save, or pay off debt. Both partners need to really see how managing your money better will benefit them. If they think you are just trying to control them or they don’t see the point, its not going to work. This is why it’s so important to work together and at times compromise so that you can reach your bigger goals as a team. Today I will be discussing a couple of tips that can help you work together as well. It’s important to try different things to find what works for both of you. I have found that typically one partner is all into the budget and wanting to save and the other may have to be dragged along. One of the biggest issues in my free facebook group, budgeting for beginners, is “how do I get my spouse on board” or something to that effect. I get this question constantly. Now keep in mind that your partner may not be as excited about this as you. You also need to be mindful of how you talk to them and know that it may take them longer to see the benefit. Do not talk down to them or talk to them in such a way that they are going to get defensive. Try not to blame them for all your money problems. This will only make it worse and can cause them to completely shut down and dig in their heels. Think of it from their perspective, how would you like it if someone told you were doing something wrong or causing all the money problems. It would make you shut down and get defensive. Ok before we dive into the tips, go grab your free budgeting beginners guide and worksheet at I will also link to it in the show notes. Ok, now onto the tips to get your spouse on board. (#1) The best tip I have heard about this issue actually came from Adam Kol on episode #3 of this podcast. He suggests sitting down separately and writing out what you want out of life. What are you bigger goals? Now you should both do this separately and then come together to see what is the same, what you can do together, and what may not be possible. It’s important that you both compromise on somethings when doing this exercise. The point of this exercise is to agree on your bigger goals together. What do you both want to work towards? It’s important to figure out what you both want to work towards that will motivate both of you. Once you figure out the why then you can more easily figure out the how and it will make it easter to stay motivated. (#2) The next tip that I always suggest to people is once you figure out what you both want to work towards, make a visual that will inspire you to keep going and stay focused. This could be a savings tracker on your fridge, or a debt payoff tracker, whatever it is, keep a visual of your progress somewhere you can see it at least once a day. You could also do a type of dream or vision board with pictures of your “why” or things that will inspire you to stay focused. So it could be pictures of your kids along with pictures of the beach or Disney World, college, your dream home, whatever it may be. It’s important to keep visuals around that will help you stay motivated. Because there will be times that you feel like you’re not making any progress and want to give up. If your spouse is not fully on board the visual may help them see the progress you are actually making. Especially if they aren’t dealing with the numbers like you. It will potentially help bring them around to being more motivated to make your dream really happen. I spoke with a lady this week that was having a hard time with spending too much on food for her small family and issues with her husband staying focused on their long-term goal of building a house. They made around $150,000 a year together and yet are living paycheck to paycheck with nothing saved for their house or anything else for that matter. This is the main suggestion that I made to her to hopefully get her husband to see, visually, that they needed to save for their dream house. (#3) The third tip I have is to keep chugging along on your plan even if they aren’t fully on board and maybe once they see your progress, they will get more motivated to go along with it. Now, the issue that comes up with this is that the other spouse overspends, wrecking the budget and making more work for you. This is an issue that you will need to work on finding a solution. There are a couple things you can try and it will depend on the person if it helps. Be sure to share the wins, even if they are small. So if you paid an extra $50 towards debt or savings, let them know how much closer you are to your goal. You can try a separate bank account that they spend from for whatever they want or cash for the same purpose. BUT once that money is gone, it’s gone. They need to be a grown up and not overdraft that account or expect more money once the cash is gone. They may need to suffer through the consequences of not having any more money until it’s in the budget again. If they overdraft that account, then the fees need to come from their spending money. It should not come from the household budget. I’m not going to sugarcoat this or lie to you, this will likely happen, and you need to have a plan for when it does. When doing a zero-based budget like I teach, there is not room for screw ups like this. So, they have to understand that once the money is gone, it’s gone. They will likely try to guilt you and say things like “I work hard, I should be able to spend money on whatever I want”. If they start saying things like this, gently remind them about the budget and your long-term goals. Show them and explain to them that if they spend more money that what is budgeted, you won’t have that money for savings or debt or whatever you were planning on doing with it. That mentality of I work hard is what is keeping you in debt and overspending in the first place. This money mindset is what is holding back a lot of people from their big goals. It’s short sighted and immature. They are right though, they do work hard but your family doesn’t deserve to be in debt and stressed forever and not be able to do the things that you want, like stay at home with your kids, or go to Disney World, go on a paid for vacation, whatever it maybe. You do work hard and you do deserve to be happy and live the life you want, not be stuck in the paycheck to paycheck cycle just because you want to go the gas station everyday or Starbucks everyday and spend money here and there that adds up at the end of the month. 4 Listen to podcasts with them around. This worked for my husband to get him fully onboard with the mindset of saving money, paying cash for things, paying off debt, things like that. Some podcasts that I recommend include: Marriage, Kids & Money, The Equal Partners Podcast with Adam Kol, & Popcorn Finance. 5 Be mindful of how you approach them with the subject of budgeting and managing your money. Some people hate the word budgeting. If “budget” is a 4 letter word to them, think of another word to call it. It could be cashflow plan, financial blueprint, whatever you want. Be mindful of your tone and timing. Pick a good time to approach the subject. As I mentioned earlier, try not to get accusatory and make them defensive. We all make mistakes and we aren’t all going to jump right into a budget and be a total nerd like me. 6 Have Budget Meetings, meet with them once a month and make it fun. Have drinks, snacks, whatever so you can relax and talk about the numbers. Try to have the kids in bed or have someone watch them so they aren't running around everywhere distracting you. Do the work and show it to them and show them the numbers. Explain to them how much you saved and how much you spend. You can even to calculations to determine when you will reach your goal. Run the numbers to show them if you cut back x amount, you can reach it so much faster. Remember that this may take some time and patience but they may eventually come around. Go grab your free budgeting beginners guide and worksheet at I will also link to it in the show notes.

Feb 2020

16 min 7 sec

Andy and his wife paid off $50,000 in debt THEN paid off their mortgage of $200,000 in 4 years! Andy shares his debt paying off tips as well tips on teaching your kids about money. Andy Hill is the award-winning blogger and podcaster behind Marriage, Kids and Money which is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and thrive. Andy's advice and personal finance experience have been featured in major media outlets like Business Insider, MarketWatch and NBC News. Trusted as a personal finance influencer by national financial brands like Quicken Loans, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the US. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys wrestling with his two kids and singing karaoke with his wife. Find out more about Andy on his podcast, Marriage, Kids, & Money podcast as well as his website, Resources mentioned in this episode: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson ( (affiliate link) The FREE Debt Snowball Starter Pack ( Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. It's Ashley from budget's made easy. And the money mindset podcast, I'm so excited. Today we are talking to Andy Hill. He is an award winning blogger and podcaster behind marriage kids and money, which is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and thrive. And his advice and personal finance experience had been featured in major media outlets like business insider, MarketWatch and NBC news shares sued as a personal finance influencer by national financial brands like Quicken loans. Andy's message, a family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the U S when he's not talking about money. And he enjoys wrestling with his two kids singing karaoke with his wife. So I am so excited to talk to Andy today about how they, he actually has a couple of topics today, so we're going to talk to him about paying off $50,000 in debt in just 12 months. And then they paid off their mortgage of $200,000 in just four years. And then I talked to them about getting your kid or teaching your kids about money and the different things he does with this kids, which he had some really great ideas that I'm going to actually implement with my children as well. So if you would like to get started on paying off your debt, just like Andy, you can go get my free debt, snowball starter pack, but a and I will link to it in the show notes as well. So welcome Andy. Hi Andy. Thank you so much for being here today. I'm so excited to be here. Ashley, thank you for having me and I am so excited to talk to you about your debt payoff story. You know, I share a lot of those on my podcast and on my blog. I just love how inspirational, motivation, motivational they are to me and other people as well. Um, but before we dive into your, um, debt payoff strike, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started? Yeah, sure. So I host a podcast called marriage kids and money. It is a weekly show that allows me to talk with folks like yourself and learn from them on how they paid off their debt or how they became financially independent or how they paid off their mortgage, or I became a young millionaire and I take that information and I share it with the audience that listens to my show. And the reason I did that is that I wanted to learn and I wanted to help my young family thrive. And I thought that would be a really fun medium to do it. So I've been doing that for about three years and that is been keeping me busy in the personal finance world. Yeah, that's awesome. I love your podcasts. So, uh, if you're, if you're listening to this, go listen to his as well. But so how did you decide to start paying off debt and how much debt did you have? Like, what was your aha moment for change? Yeah, sure. So in 2010, my wife and I got married and at that point we were very happy and young and in love and I went to concerts and going to the bar and going to restaurants, just having fun, you to live in for today, enjoying ourselves, being young, being fun, you know. And uh, right around the time that we learned that we were going to be parents, I had sort of this click in my brain that happened that said, wow, aye bringing a human into the world. I need to take care of her. I need to give her the [inaudible] best life possible. And the first thing that came to my mind maybe cause I'm a money nerd, is I need to get my financial situation straight. I've always been like a saver, but I've been trying to kind of keep up with the lifestyle that I was used to before. I have, you know, when I was younger, but I didn't really have the income and the debt sort of piled up. And, uh, I had about $30,000 of student loans. I had a home equity loan that I was kind of using as sort of my ATM machine to kind of take extra money out. And um, my wife and I got together and just said, Hey, what can we do to pay off our debt? We had around $50,000 collective at the time. And we said, well what can I do to pay this off? And then we could start off our Parenthood as debt-free parents. Wouldn't that be cool? And it took a little bit of convincing cause I was mostly kicked about it and she was like, Oh, I'm having fun man. This is fun. Let's going to the restaurants, the bars and having fun and going to concerts. But over over time my conversation about the numbers transferred into a conversation with her about her desires and her emotions for her. She was working in a job that she wasn't really that excited about and she thought, Hey, it would be great if I could eventually stay at home with the kids. So my desire to become debt free was matched with her desire to eventually become a part time worker to a full time stay at home mom. And that kind of became our driving force that we worked on together to pay off our $50,000 of debt. And do you have any tips for getting your spouse on board? Like if, you know, somebody listening is like you and me kind of the money nerd but their spouse, you know, it's just kinda like, well you know, I don't know if I really want to do that. I'm having fun. Um, you know, cause my husband is kind of the same way. He went along with my crazy plans and everything, but you know, he wasn't like fully on board right away. Yeah. I can give you some anti tips in the beginning, which things that I did wrong but might help. So right away I read this book called the total money makeover by Dave Ramsey and I was watching a TV show, Susie Orman show, and it was just kind of getting really geeked about these, these shows and these books and things like that. So I would come up to my wife and say, all right, here's our plan. We're gonna sell your car and we're going to become debt free. Does that great. And it would be like after a busy day at work, she'd come home and look at me like with this death stare, like, what are you talking about? What is all this plan? So I guess my first anti tip is like, take it slow, don't get too excited, like come up with a plan and also speak in their language a little bit. That took me a little while to kind of figure out, she's not much into the numbers, she's more into what's the payoff? You know, what does becoming debt free? Get me. You know what I mean? Like for you and I, it sounds like we're kind of in the same boat, like being debt free. That's awesome. You just get a sense of freedom. It's awesome. But for her it's like, well what does that mean? What do I get? You know? Oh well you'll become a part time worker. That's kinda cool. And then stay at home mom, which you want. Oh, okay. I'm interested in that. That sounds good. Um, and so I guess some of the other tips that we eventually did at that point was we decided to get together for what I dubbed the budget party, which kind of was drawing my wife and being like, Hey, this is cool thing called a budget. And if I call it a budget party, then maybe you'll show up for a little meetings. I'll have wine and champagne and some pizza. We'll have fun with it. Uh, so that worked in the beginning. I mean she saw right through my tactics of calling a party. She's like, yeah, whatever. But um, so we met on a monthly basis to go over our budget. And what we did at the budget party was review our numbers from the previous month. How'd we do on our spending a review our plans for the next month, and then always look at our goals. So what are we, what are our goals right now? We want to pay off our debt, we want to move towards you being a part time worker. Then eventually a stay at home mom. And how are we tracking on those goals. So we would meet every month and have some fun together. Yeah. And review that budget and eventually over that next 12 months we were able to pay off our are $50,000 a debt. And essentially what we did is we looked at that budget and said, Hey, you know, we were both collectively living on each of our own incomes before we got together. What if we try to just kind of live on half and then pay off this debt and get through it. And since she was pregnant and we couldn't really go out as much anyway, she was kinda apt to, that's where a lot of our extra spending was entertainment going out and things like that. So we figured out a way to kind of live on half and then we paid off that debt and about 12 months. That's amazing. I mean $50,000 in 12 months is crazy fast. Yeah. Yeah, it was good. I'm going to say it was part collaboration, you know, part us working together and figuring out out. And it was also part increasing our income right around the time we were making to combine just a little over six figures, so maybe 110, 120 something like that. So it was a good healthy income for our family. And then as we continued, we got really kind of excited about, Hey, what can we do to grow our income, pay off this debt even further. And I had a sales commission job, so I said, well, what can I do to just kind of kill it at work during this time frame so we can pay off this debt as soon as possible. So I found different opportunities, different growth opportunities for my new job and if some commissions started to come in and instead of taking those commissions and you know, going on a vacation or doing something exciting, we would just take it all and throw it at the debt. Much to my wife's chagrin. Uh, but um, but it worked man. So we were able to pay off that 50,000 and about, uh, about 12 months. That's amazing. Did you guys, so you increased your income and then you did a budget, you know, followed your goals and stayed focused on like what your intent was, um, or did, did you do anything else like meal planning or you know, cutting expenses or was it primarily increasing your income and sane focused getting? It was more of those two, but we also looked at certain areas of our budget over the years following that, you know, reducing our grocery spending. We used to go to Kroger, uh, and then we switched to Aldi. That's simple change helped us to save about $300 per month. Uh, we cut the cord on cable. We weren't really watching cable that much. Netflix was, you know, fine for us and that little change made things completely fine. Uh, we were able to negotiate some of our insurance bills that hadn't been negotiated in a little while. You know, sometimes they're little, they're sitting there for a little while, they just keep raising the rate and you're saying, Oh, why am I paying $1,000 more than I was a couple of years ago because we're not negotiating. So it's a little things like that kind of helped, you know, nip at the old, uh, the debt. But, uh, overall it was just being intentional saying, Hey, here's what we're going to live on this month that'll help us to get to this goal of paying it off and then just increasing my income. Yeah, absolutely. That's amazing. So I also know that you paid off your mortgage. So tell me about paying off your debt and then moving into paying off your mortgage. Yeah. Yeah. So we kept sort of the same intensity after we paid off the debt. We said, well, wouldn't it be cool when I say we? I keep saying we, I said, wouldn't it be cool if we paid off our mortgage then we would never have a payment on our home in our, in our mid thirties. Wouldn't that be nuts? And she said, ah, okay. Yeah, I guess let's still had some fun. We just paid off our debt, so let's make sure that we're putting vacations in there and having fun and spending time with our daughter and you know, making some memories. And I said, of course, so that, that was the balance right there. And right around the same time my wife said, my wife said, well, I would also like to consider moving. We've been in your bachelor pad bungalow for a couple years and while it's nice, and I tried to fix it up a little bit, it's still a bachelor pad bungalow. So let's look at maybe a different neighborhood and a different community. And for me this was like [inaudible] no, no, that's gonna. That's not going to help us to pay off the mortgage. You get another bigger mortgage that's going to slow things down. And I'm not really, you know, I don't really want to feel like I got this gigantic mortgage on my back and I always have to make the income in order to pay it off. So what we decided was, okay, let's get the house that you want, but let's pay off the mortgage together in five years. So that became our commitment to each other. We said, okay, that's fine. You'll get the awesome house in the nice neighborhood and I'll get the mortgage free life cause that will just make me feel less stressed and you know, overall just enjoy things better. And that was our agreement. So that's what we decided to do at that point. And again, we kept that same intensity. We met every month for our budget party, reviewed the numbers, reviewed our goals, I continued to increase my income at this point. Nicole then went down to full time stay at home mom. So we had a loss of our income at that point. But I continued to do some great work at my office. I kinda got my, my income to around 150 to $200,000 Mark for the next three, four years. So that really helped us to put some major intensity on paying down the mortgage. So our mortgage that we got was around $200,000 and throughout the next four years, a little less than four years, we were able to pay it off completely. So that's about $50,000 extra at the mortgage each month in order for it to be completely gone. So that's what we did. That's amazing. I think that's awesome that you were able to increase your income that much with your wife staying at home. Like that's, that's amazing that you were able to not only pick up her income but also increase it altogether. Yeah, it helped a lot. I've had a really great employment opportunity over the past 15 years. I work in corporate event marketing and I'm in a sales role, so they need sales guys to bring in new business and then when it's there, you know, they are, there's a great opportunity to grow your, your salary and your commission depending on where you work. And that's, um, I had a commission job and my previous home and then when we moved to the new home, I had a full salary job and then that helped us to kind of have a more stable income. But, uh, the opportunity for commission kind of went away, but the salary was great and it helped us to have a good life together. That's awesome. So what are you doing now? Like, you know, you said that, um, this all started when you were going to be a father and that kinda changed your perspective on everything. So what are you doing now to kind of teach your kids about finances and managing their money? Oh, that's, that's a great question. That's my favorite question. Thank you. Um, so the whole time, since I get so geeked about this stuff, I have a lots of conversations with my kids about contributing and being rewarded for your contributions. Um, you know, I use the example of my, my job, I work really hard. I sell more stuff for my, for my company and number worded right. So I try to implement that for my kids as well. So we started a charter award program at our house on every Saturday morning my kids wake up and make a little breakfast and then they come down and they complete three chores, uh, very, you know, with kids size but very important chores around the house and they are paid a dollar equivalent to their age. So Zoe's seven right now and Calvin is five. So Zoe gets seven bucks, Calvin gets five bucks and this helps us to start a lot of about Hey, you're a part of this family. So contributing and being helpful is very important here and air go that helps you in your career down the road or your business that you're going to start down the road. And then what do you do with that money that we after you get it right? [inaudible] so we have a five jar system in our house. I got the three jar system originally from another Dave Ramsey book. But then I said, Hey, we can add two more jars cause they're really important. So the five jars that we have a spend, save, give, and then the other two that I've added are college. And invest because college costs are so crazy right now and they're only going to get even crazier by the time my daughter goes to school in 2030, um, and my son in 2032. So we're already having conversations about, Hey, the work that you're going to do here at the house and the money you received for gifts from birthday parties or Halloween money from grandma that's going to go in these different jars and they're going to help us to achieve the goals that you want in your life. And one of them is to go to college. And so it allows us to have important conversations about college very early. And then the invest jar is, gives us an opportunity to talk about compound interest and what that can do in their future. So with that money, we've been putting it into a UTMA brokerage account so that they can see how competent truss works. And I show them the balance and we have conversations about it. And yes, they are very young. But from what I've heard and the conversations I've had with individuals, a lot of kids, money habits are a lot of kids' money. I guess beliefs are set by the time they're seven. So having these conversations early [inaudible] they might not get it all, but at least they're understanding and seeing what you're modeling on a very early basis and it could really help them with the path they're on in their life. So that's something that we're doing to help our kids learn about money and, and kind of be money smart kids. Yeah. I think it's so important to talk to your kids about money in, you know, even if you don't, um, do the jars or anything like that, but just even talking about it, cause a lot of times, you know, previous generations, they don't talk about money. They don't talk about bills. Like it's taboo. Like, like you just don't bring it up. So I think it's great that, um, to start early and just at least start talking about it. Um, you know, with my kids, I, I'll tell them they only have so much money, um, just spend at Walmart like when they're looking at a toy, when they of course, I don't buy them any toys, but uh, you know when they do and they have to stick to the budget. So, um, you know, that's just kind of one way that we've kind of started with that. Now do you have a question about these jars for college and for investing? Like do they actually have a jar and then you wait till it's like so much money and then you take it to the bank or how do you work that? Yeah, so for, for all five jars we've got just clear plastic, clear glass jars. Like you've seen those Mason jars and so each week they'll fill it up in certain increment. So for spending we give that about 60% for saving, giving, invest. In college we do 10%. So you just sort of round up for the numbers based on there. But essentially little amounts of money is going to build up throughout the month. And at the end of the month we sort of do a little calculation. So for the saving we say, all right, you got a five bucks in here or six bucks in here. I take that and then I, I transfer it into their ally savings account. And then for the college we say, okay, there's an a minimum investment for our Michigan education savings of $25. So we wait for that to build up to be $25. And then for investing, we'd just do that on a once a month basis and we throw the money into their, uh, their accounts with your UTMA. So we just wait until the end of the month until it's calculated up. Then we have just a quick conversation about, Hey, here's what we're doing with the money and here's what it's going to do. So that allows us to have a chat once a month about compound interest about college, about saving up for the bike that she wants to buy and things like that. That's awesome. Now do they, um, are your kids good at staying focused on what they want to spend their money on? Like my kids go from one thing to another thing and it's like [inaudible] trying to get them to say for just one thing. Like do you have any uh, tips or advice on that? Like trying to keep them, keep them focused on saving for like the one toy or your kids kinda like mine all over the place. But one thing that we do do is in the beginning we did this program and our kids started to pile up a lot of money in their spend jar and that's nice cause we want them to have fun cause they worked hard for it, right? But then the requests for wanting to go to the store over and over and over again were just like a little overwhelming. Right? So what my wife decided, she goes, okay, I like this program. It's cool. But what we're going to do is just have one big shopping trip per month. We're going to say, Hey, save up your money and what's your November purchase? What's your December purchase? Then they can write it down and if they get excited through the month, just write it down. Say, Hey, this is something you're going to want. And this is actually a good lesson because sometimes Zoe will write it down and then a week later she'll be like, nah, I'm not into that anymore. Okay. That's one less plastic toy sitting around our house because we have so much stuff around here that we're also, my wife's big into like organization and minimalism. So for her to see all these toys everywhere just kind of makes sure go crazy. So it was sort of her idea saying, Hey, let's just do this. Once a month you will pull up whatever, 20 bucks or 30 bucks depending on how much you've gotten from, you know, birthday parties or grammar or your chores and then you'll have a good amount of money to buy something decent instead of, you know, the, the, the dollar store thing that breaks in five minutes. So, um, yeah. So that's what we've been doing. I really love that idea. I'm going to have to steal it cause my, yeah, my kids are, yeah. Is they're just like, Oh I want this, I want this. I don't want this. Oh wait, no, nevermind. I don't want that. That's all trial and error too. You know, like we, we've tried some things sometimes and we're like, well that was a big failure or we try this thing or we get suggestions from other people. It all depends on your kids and their, their, their styles. Like my, my daughter has become a lot more patient than my son because she's seven and he's five and she's a little more mature. But you know, over time things are gonna change and we'll have to modify things accordingly. But it's fun. It's really fun for me to do and, and have fun with. It's a fun tradition and it's so funny how different they are. Like my oldest child spends every penny she gets and then she tries to con her younger sister into spending her money as well, where the young, the middle child, she saves it all. And you know, she's so funny. She tells me all the time. She's like, when I'm rich, I'm going to buy us a new house. I'm going to buy us a swimming pool. I'm going to do all this stuff. She's like, when I'm rich, I'm going to, it's so funny how different conversations are happening. That's good. I know she thinks she's going to make a lot of money. Apparently someday. Hopefully she will and everybody's getting a swimming pool. She says it's a good world to live in. I'm like, sure, buy me some. Cool. Good. So do you have any last words of wisdom for, you know, paying off debt or budgeting and getting your kids to focus on saving or talking to your kids or anything like that? I would say that there's probably no right one way to do any of those things. I think a lot of it's just going to be some trial and error that you're going to have to discover because listening to a show like this, you might have, Hey, that's kind of a neat idea. Or you listen to Ashley on another show saying, Hey, that's a neat idea. If you try it and it works for you, that's great. And if it doesn't work, that's okay too. You're at least discovering what works best for you and your individual situation and just modify it accordingly and have fun with it. Yeah. And having fun is so important cause you don't want to just like dread, you know, doing this stuff. It's supposed to be fun so that you can live the life that you really want, you know, stay at home with your kids or whatever it is. Yeah. We read these books or listen to these shows sometimes and we're like, well that's what's, that's what the person said. So I have to do it exactly like that. No you don't. And I fall, I've fallen into that trap a lot where I'll come up to my wife and be like, well no, this financial experts says this is how we're supposed to do it. And she's like, I don't care man. This is how I know. This is how I feel and my feelings matter too. And I like, absolutely they do. And it's just taken me some trial and error to figure that out. Yeah, absolutely. Like I'm kind of the same way. Like I need to have like follow this plan, but you know, just take different things from other people and make your own plane, whatever's going to work for you. It's just important to actually do it and roll through with it. Exactly. Now I always like to ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is because as you probably know, you know, they say millionaires read like something like a book a month. Uh, and so I like to see what other people are reading. Like what's your favorite book? Yeah, I really like the slight edge by Jeff Olson. It is actually a very quick read, but the reason I like it is that his main point is that we make small incremental improvements on a daily basis that will get us to the big results in our lives. Sometimes we try to do the big thing and make it all happen right away. His whole point in the book is that if you make small incremental changes in your health, your, you know, your finances, your uh, your, your spiritual nature, things like that, things that you want to improve in your life, you make those small incremental changes that's going to have compound growth, compound impact over time. And I just really liked that concept because it helps me to realize that I don't have to do it all today. Right. You know, make the small improvement today because it's going to have a big impact on your future. So that's the slight edge by Jeff Olson. Yes. I love that. It's just small steps in the right direction and you will get there. Well, thank you so much for being here. Now, where can people find you? Well, if you are listening to this podcast, a great place to hang out with me is on another podcast called marriage, kids and money. So if you go into the podcast player you're listening to right now and just type in marriage, kids and money, that's the best place to find me. And if you're into reading, you can go to marriage. Kids and where I have a blog as well. So would love to connect with any of you and your listeners and I really appreciate your having me on today actually on the opportunity to speak about all this crazy fund that my family has had together. Well, thank you so much for being here. It was a lot of fun. Thank you. Thank you so much to Andy for being with us today and giving us some great ideas on how to teach our children about money. Don't forget to go check out his podcast as well and get your free debt snowballs starter pack so you can start paying off your debt as well at and I will talk to you guys next week. Special Guest: Andy Hill.

Feb 2020

25 min 39 sec

Shannon shares her journey from postpartum depression and anxiety about their debt to starting their journey of paying off $500,000 in just 3 years! About Shannon: Our family has over half a million dollars of debt! My husband and I are doctors living the lie that “all doctors have debt”, and the only way to succeed is to take out loans. After finishing up our residency we had 360K of student loan debt, and instead of cleaning it up we financed cars, took out another 200K to open a practice, and even more for working capital and business start up costs. Before long we were drowning! Basically all of 2018 we struggled to even pay our rent and buy groceries...even though we had a six figure income! All of our money went to payments and keeping our business open. Because of the financial stress I suffered heavily from depression and anxiety for the majority of 2018. We started FPU in January 2019 and spent almost 7 months cleaning up our mess. Selling cars, moving, and cutting our expenses like crazy! We are now making huge monthly debt payments, but it took a lot to get here. You can follow Shannon here: Website (Go Grab Her FREE Budget Planner!) Resources mentioned in this episode: (affiliate link)The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson ( Debt Snowball Starter Pack: Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast and where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. This is Ashley with budgets made easy and the money mindset podcast. And I am so excited to share with you today the journey of Channon. She is a frugal foot doctor, uh, that she is telling her story about going from depression and anxiety about the massive amount of student loan debt. You know, medical school is super expensive plus business stat of starting a practice and so she has about $500,000 in debt, but she has now has a plan and is planning on paying off that debt in three years. So she's going to share with you some of the changes that they have already made, how they are living intentional, not letting the doctor lifestyle creep up on them as they start to make some money. Um, but you know, they are still being super frugal and being very intentional about paying off this massive amount of student loan debt and business debt. So just keep in mind that even though they may have, um, doctor income, you still have to be intentional cause they have doctor amounts of debt too, which is you know, a crazy amount of debt but they are going to be able to be debt free in a relatively short amount of time and then they can really start living the life that they love and the life that they want and really enjoy the doctor income. Right? I mean that's what we want to do is we want to enjoy our income and so she is sharing her journey. She's in the beginning of her journey and I cannot wait to talk to her again when she's debt free and I'll take you all, uh, whenever she gets to that point. So I want to jump right into her interview, but first, don't forget to go get your free debt snowballs starter pack so that you can start this journey as well. So good. A budget's made and of course I'll link to it in the show notes as well. But here is Shannon's interview. This is Ashley with the money mindset podcast and budget's made easy. And today we are talking to Shannon and Shannon is going to tell us about her journey to paying off almost half a million dollars worth of debt and some frugal living tips along the way. Welcome Shannon. Hi. Thank you for having me. I'm so happy you are here. Now. I really want to dive into, you know, how much debt you have and what you're doing to, you know, tackle that. But first can you just kinda tell us a little bit about yourself? Yes. Um, I'm Shannon. I'm actually a podiatrist, which is a foot doctor in Texas. Um, my husband and I practice together, um, which has a lot of different challenges. Um, one of them being that, um, we came out of school with already about $360,000 of student loans and thought it would be a great idea too. Take out more debt to start our own practice. So that put us well over half a million dollars of debt, um, right out of the Gates, um, out of residency in school and everything. And, um, it's been very stressful trying to figure out how to run a business, um, how to budget, which is something that in seven years of marriage we never once talked about. Um, so just, just in the last year when we started this whole debt free journey was pretty much the first time we ever even talked about money in that entire time, which seems crazy. Even going through the, the financing of the practice and all that stuff, we just figured like this was something that all doctors did. And that's just our only option really. I mean, we never even questioned it. Um, and so we also have three children that are ages six and under, and thank goodness our oldest started kindergarten, which relieves a little bit of childcare burden. But, um, yeah, also then a really big challenge, um, for us is balancing, um, our almost mortgage payment size childcare bill in two months. So we've done, um, a few different creative things with childcare and things like that, um, to help to cut our expenses, um, along the way. So that's kind of a little bit about us and our backgrounds. Yeah. So, I mean, you guys seem like you're pretty normal. I mean, you know, and even for both of you being doctors, I mean to me, $300,000 in debt of course, I mean, I don't know firsthand, but that even seems like it, it's not even that much considering that you're both doctors. Like did you guys have some help in med school or did, did you find any ways to kind of lower that cost as well? Yes. So I should say that that is all mine, all of my student loan debt and my husband was very blessed with a father that was able to help cashflow his medical school. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Cause I was thinking it would be like double that. So when you said that that part was, you know, I was like dang, that's actually didn't seem to, I mean I know that's a lot of debt, but you know, considering it could be a lot worse, but I'm, yeah, that too. Um, so even though there's two of us, since it's like a new practice, we really only make like one doctor income. So, um, you know, that have like making $400,000 a year. If we each were out there getting our own job, um, we are making, you know, just like a hundred and to 200,000 a year, which is like how much one doctor would normally make. Um, so we're kind of doing this all on one income right now as our practice grows. And, um, definitely, you know, if we made more it might be a little bit easier, but, um, I don't think that that's the main reason and it never usually is the income, um, that we struggled so much in the beginning. Right. And it's awesome that you guys are doing this, um, while you're starting your business too because you know, you can kind of get a handle on it and you could really build a successful longterm business. Um, by doing the right things early. I mean, it's hard enough to start a business, let alone with that much debt and then trying to figure it all out together. So I think you guys are definitely on the right track. Um, so I did want to, you know, you guys got out of med school, started your own visit or residency and started your own business and everything. And then so what happened to make you say, Hey, we might want to pay this off. And so they're just living the doctor lifestyle and going along with you normal. Right. So it all kind of started with the birth of our third child at the beginning of 2018 and really like those, the first two years of our practice started in 2016 January, 2016 and that first two years of our practice, we were kind of figuring it out and we had a lot of loans that we took out to kind of keep the practice afloat. Um, but then those loans started to come due and we were just kind of paying off debt and going back into debt. And then it was like all of a sudden, every month we were like, okay, we're barely going to pay our rent or you know, I was like, and I kind of did all the finances and my husband was like, I just don't even, I don't really want to know like, you know, just tell me if, if something's going bad just let me know. But I don't really want to know anything about the money. So I had all of that weight on my shoulders. Yeah, all the time. And so I would just be like, okay, things, things are going good. And then like the next day I would be like, don't spend any money. Just don't even like touch your debit card or yeah, we have no money in the bank. And he was like getting mad at me. Like, what are you talking about? Like I'm working so hard all the time and you're telling me we have no money and like, we can't buy groceries this week. And that was really hard because, you know, we went to school for like 11 years, including residency to literally live paycheck to paycheck or not even paycheck to paycheck. Like we were drowning. We were going deeper and deeper into debt with like every day. And I started to get like angry and embarrassed. I felt like a failure and I mean, I honestly was like, like I would almost fantasize about our business just going under because I felt like a weight would be lifted off my shoulders. And I was like, you know, we could just file bankruptcy and it would all just go away and [inaudible] you know, living like that every day with all of that anger and embarrassment and pressure, I started to really slip into kind of a depression. And um, then our third child was born at the beginning of 2018. And the combination of the hormones and the lack of sleep and all of this financial stuff going on, I just hit rock bottom. Like there were days I couldn't get out of bed. Mmm. I even got to the point where I thought, you know, my family would be better off without me because, you know, I thought, well, they'd get my life insurance and they could pay off all the debt and everything. It's hard to talk about, but yeah. Oh yeah. I can imagine. I w I had struggled with a lot of similar things after my third child as well. And it's, it's hard to even talk about afterwards, but you know, sharing your story, there's a lot of people just like you and thinking the same things. And so just sharing your journey about it is, you know, a big step in helping a lot of other people as well. Yeah. And I, um, you know, I got the medical help I needed of course then, um, therapy and, and all of that. But then honestly, I'm starting to share my story actually helped me because I started meeting people, um, other people, other doctors too, um, that felt the same way. And they were like, Oh, thank you. You know, for sharing this. And, um, you know, I, I share about our debt free journey on my blog and everything. So I honestly think that was kind of like therapy for me in a way. Yeah. It really helped me to know I was helping other people. Mmm. But so 2018 we're kind of treading water and then, um, I had known about Dave Ramsey, I'm just in passing, but I always thought that that was like something we would do once we had money. I didn't, I never thought of it as a plan to get out of this and to get you actually get us budgeting and get us to having money. Yeah. I thought, Oh, well, you know, someday we'll make more money and then we'll take care of our finances instead of the other way around. So, um, and I think that's probably common, um, a common misconception about that. So, um, but then with all this stuff going on, I saw that they were offering financial peace university at, at church that we live near. And I just mentioned it to my husband. I was like, you know, I'm really struggling and I think 99% of my postpartum depression is because of our finances and because we don't, we don't talk about it. And, um, it's, I'm really scared. I was like, we're going to lose everything. I really think we're going to lose everything. And um, he was like, okay, let's go. So, um, in January of 2018 or no of this year, January of 2019, we took financial peace university and, um, it was so great because we started talking about money and then, um, it wasn't just me telling my husband all the things we needed to do, he was hearing it from somebody else and he was like, Oh, this, this makes sense. You know, we do make a lot of money and, but we don't have any and if we weren't paying all these debt payments, then we could be doing a lot of other things like paying for our kids' college and, and all those things. Then it kind of just sunk in. And, um, we were finally on board together, but it definitely, it wasn't like an overnight transformation. And that's something I really want people to know. Like if they are getting discouraged, like they try to start any financial plan. Dave Ramsey or whoever, Mmm. And they are trying to pay off debt but they're just not making traction. It took us from the time we took financial peace university, it took almost seven months before we made our first that snowball payment because we were learning how to budget and failing and revising and learning again. And we were, as we did our budget, we were like, Oh, well we need to get rid of the cars and we need to downsize our house and we need to be better at our miscellaneous spending. But it took us time because we were so far gone at this point. Um, it did take us a long time to get to where we could start chunking the kind of money that we've been chunking for the last four months, um, on our debt. So it wasn't an overnight thing. And I want people to know if they're feeling discouraged, like, just keep going and keep moving forward. That's the only way that you're going to eventually make progress. Absolutely. And you know, and you should plan for your plan to fail. And so that way that you know what to do and it's not like coming out of nowhere, cause I mean everybody's gonna make mistakes and it takes time to really start making those small changes so that you can get where you need to be. But how much have you paid off in the last four months? So in the last four months we've paid off just under thousand. At the end of this month, I think it's going to be 40,000. That's awesome. No. Yeah. Crazy. And also our income did not go up. So from January when we started this and we were drowning to now there's no increase in income. It's all from getting on a budget and cutting our expenses. That's awesome. So did you get rid of cars or like what kind of things did you cut out to get to this point? So quite a few things. Yeah. We, um, so we had a lease that we knew is ending in August and we had a, a paid for car that was worth about 13,000. So we sold that, got the 13,000, and we said, this is our budget. We're not financing a car or anything. This is our budget to get two cars when we have to turn in the lease. So it wasn't easy. We had to do a lot of work, a lot of research. Um, mostly my husband, he's like the researcher. So, um, and we ended up getting a minivan and a like little commuter car for whoever doesn't have the kids and it's just kind of going back and forth to work, um, for about $11,000. And we even had like a little extra to put on the debt from that whole thing. So that was really awesome. And then the craziest thing, and this is the one that got the most like, okay, you guys are weird. but we were living in like this very beautiful, we were renting, um, because just with everything with the practice and all that stuff. Anyways, we haven't actually ever bought a house before. Um, but we were renting a beautiful two story, 3000 square foot house on a golf course and it was like $2,500 a month for rent. And we moved [inaudible] into a 1000 square foot house with our family of five. And we sold like all of our stuff. We actually, we had a garage sale and made almost $2,000 just at our garage. So that's awesome. Like all our furniture and everything. It was, it was crazy, but it was, it was motivating. So like all of these little things that we were doing kept pushing us further and further and we were like, okay, now what else can we sell? What else can we get rid of? Um, and then childcare was a big thing. And this, this isn't an option probably for everybody, but for us, we figured out that us both being at the office at the same time, it didn't make sense because we were only busy enough for like one doctor. And so now we trade off. Um, so I stay home three days a week and my husband stays home two days a week and um, the other one goes to work. And that way we basically completely eliminated childcare and we were at one point paying almost $3,000 a month in daycare. Yeah. Well that's awesome because I'm so glad that you guys were able to do that. Cause I mean you've got a big mountain to climb so you've got to make big changes, but you know, you didn't do it all overnight. You made small changes in the right direction to get you there. So how, how was it, you know, you're both doctors, you've got this, you know, social stigma or you know, perception that people have of doctors and where they should live and what kind of cars they should drive and all this stuff. So how did you kind of get through that mental block to say, okay, we're gonna drive $6,000 cars and we're going to downsize to $1,000 a month house instead of, you know, upgrading house and upgrading cars and things like that. So kind of what, um, did you have anything like mentally that you kinda had to work through to get there or other people you know from the outside judging you? Yeah, that was definitely hard. Um, I think one of the biggest things is yeah, because I was like worried. Oka y. Do people think we're not good doctors because we don't have like a Mercedes, you know, and I, I wonder, I mean, maybe some people do think this, I don't know, but I'm like, our patients see us rolling out with our, you know, minivan that like squeaks when you turn it on the belt and everything and they're like, why am I coming to see this doctor? Like they can't even afford a nice car. They must not be that good. Or they must not be that busy. I'm really, we're just, you know, new doctors and we're just trying to build our practice and, and all of that stuff. But that was really hard. And also the feeling of we deserve this because we worked so hard and I mean, you know, you finally get out there after going to school for so long and you just think like, well, I deserve a nice car because I worked so hard and you know, I, we've never bought a house and I'm like, man, I deserve like my nice pretty house for my kids. You know, I'm like, have it all planned out in my head how it was going to be. And um, I dunno, just [inaudible] yeah, just so much more calming and relaxing the way we're doing it now. Like I have zero money stress right now. Honestly, I really bill, I mean, we have all that debt, but we have a plan to attack it. And that was one of the hardest things, like with my depression and everything was just feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how we were going to do it. So as soon as we had a plan and knew how we were going to get out, I felt like instant relief. So that's better to me than the cars and the houses and all that stuff is feeling good. Yes, absolutely. So when is your projected debt-free? So I'm optimistic that we can do it in three years because I, even though we're only doing about 10,000 a month, we need to be doing about 15,000 a month to do it in three years. Um, but I think that our income will increase as our practice gets busier. And I'm obviously hoping my little blogging side hustle can bring in some income as well. So I think it'll be three years from, let's see, this June was June, 2019 so 2022 2021 yeah, 2022. That's awesome. Tony too is my hope. And then, you know, we'll have all this income to save for a house and do all these things we've always wanted to do. And it's really not that long. Like my oldest son just turned six and I'm like, Oh my gosh, that went so fast. Yeah, I know it goes faster and faster too. Like the more gets you that, cause I know it's like, Oh my goodness, where does the time go? I know. So yeah. I mean, and if people are like not starting because they think it's going to take too long, I mean that's just not a good reason because the time's going to go anyways. Exactly. You're exactly right. You can be stressed about it during that time or you know, have your plan and you know, just like you said that just having a plan helps reduce your stress so much. Um, so what things, um, you know, what other things would you say to people that they're in your situation, you know, they're, they're depressed, whether it's partly, um, postpartum depression or just money, stress and depression about the debt and you know, and they were kind of in the situation that you were in. What kind of advice would you give to somebody that, like you said, just, they don't see the point in even starting, but they really need to do something so that they can start making progress. Right. I would say definitely don't be ashamed to reach out for help if you need like the medical help or anything like that. That was really hard for me being a doctor because I know like all the primary care doctors and everything around here. So I was really embarrassed. Like I didn't want anyone to know I was suffering and struggling. But everybody just wanted to help me. Like everyone was so nice and just wanted me to feel better. So people, if you reach out, people want to help you, nobody wants to see you suffering. So don't be afraid of that. And then I really think just starting, like just taking some kind of action that will get you going and start your momentum. So it can be the smallest thing, like just adding up your debt. But some people haven't even added up their debt. And it was, even though we had so much, I thought it was more or you know, I just didn't know. So just adding up your debt and knowing what's really there and having something tangible that you can see I think is really helpful because avoiding it makes it so much worse in your head. So just seeing the real numbers helped me a lot, even though it was so big, just helped a lot. So I think taking some kind of action, even small will really help. Yeah, that's, that's very true. Um, and so do you have, um, any last words of wisdom? I mean, you've had a lot of, a lot of good advice here. Is there anything that you would like to add? Like, like your podcast says, mindset is so important and I never even thought about that before. Like just believing that you can do something and how powerful that can be. Absolutely. And that's why I love sharing stories just like yours because it really helps people believed that they can do it too. At least it did for me. Like I would read them every night before I went to bed just to kind of help keep me motivated. It's like, okay, they can do it, then I can do it. And so, you know, that's just why I love sharing stories. Like you're so much. Um, and another question that I love to ask people, because you know, they say millionaires read at least one book a month is what is your favorite nonfiction book? You know, not a medical book but it doesn't have to be finance related either. You know, just self-improvement in general. Yes. So this is my absolute favorite book and also my husband's and it's the first personal development book I can remember reading and the same for him. And it actually got us into reading personal development books and that's the slight edge by Jeff Olson. Um, and it basically just talks about how it's this very small, simple, consistent actions that we do every day over time that are what lead to success. So it kinda got me like thinking instead of watching like teen mom on MTV. Yeah. Every night. Like I could be reading something that would be improving my mind or you know, instead of scrolling Facebook for 20 minutes, I could be working on a side hustle or something like that. And you really, you realize how much time you actually have in the day. Um, and even an extra five, 10 minutes of doing a simple action can really grow over time. And it, it applies to paying off debt as well. That's awesome. I've got to order that book. You're the second person that has mentioned that book and when I asked that question, so I really got to add it to my list. I have so many books I want to read them. It's a really quick and easy read. It's a good starter one, especially for people who are just starting to get into personal development. Oh great. Yeah, I like the quick ones. Um, I read, um, the monk and the merchant, which is a really quick read, but that's, uh, that's one of the last ones I read as well. So where can people find you? Okay. So I and I'm the frugal foot doc on Instagram and all social media pretty much. Um, and my YouTube channel is just my name, Shannon, Karen's, and yeah, I'm updating everyone about our debt free journey. I'm posting new videos every week and update my blog as much as I can. So yeah, that's awesome and I will link to everything in the show notes as well. YouTube and social media and website as well. So thank you so much for joining us today and I cannot wait to have you back on when you are debt free to share your whole debt-free story. I'm so excited for you. So exciting. Thank you so much for having me. I feel really honored to be on here and be able to share my story. Thanks. Thank you so much to Shannon for being here and I cannot wait to update you all on her journey when she gets to the point of being debt free. I mean I know that this is going to be a really awesome journey for her. I mean that's a lot of debt to pay off in, you know, about three years. So she is going to, her journey is going to be amazing and I cannot wait to update you all now. Don't forget to go get your free debt snowballs starter pack and also linked to it in the show notes, but I will talk to you guys soon. Special Guest: Shannon Cairns.

Feb 2020

28 min 9 sec

Sean is a tax-focused financial planner. He helps individuals and small businesses with financial planning, tax strategies, and tax return preparation. The discussion we have is not intended to be financial, tax, or investment advice for any particular individual. You should consult your own advisor regarding your specific situation. Website: I have a tax and financial independence blog at Resources mentioned in this episode: 7 day Budget Challenge ( Millionaire Next Door ( aff link Simple Path to Wealth ( aff link Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. I'm Ashley Patrick with budgets means easy and the money mindset podcast. Today we are talking to Shawn Malaney. He is a tax focused financial planner and he helps individuals and small. This is with financial planning tax strategies and tax return preparation. And today we are going to talk with him about preparing for your taxes so that you can lower your tax bill. Now it may be a little too late to lower your tax bill for this year, but these are some helpful tips in planning for next year. So if you're getting a big tax refund, there's even some tips in here with what to do with the money to lower your tax bill for next year. Now, as a disclaimer, you know the discussion we have is not intended to be financial tax or investment advice for any particular individual. You should consult with your own advisor regarding your specific situation. But of course he's got lots of different ideas and helpful tips that kind of help you, uh, lower your tax burden for the coming year and possibly years down the road. So before we jump in, I do want to mention that the seven day budget challenge will be changing. I plan to change it by the end of this month. So this is airing in January of 2020 and right now the budget challenge is a pay what you want, challenge minimum of $5. So I am going to be changing mat. I'm going to be turning it into a mini course and the price will be going up. Now I may have another budget challenge where I shorten it. Um, but you know, for those of you who have taken the budget challenge, you know, it's um, pretty detailed videos, step-by-step videos on how to do everything. So I am going to be adding to that and increasing the price probably and by you know, next month. So if you haven't already, go ahead and check that out. You know, if you've been waiting, you know, people on average that do the seven day budget challenge save almost $500 every single month. I think the math is like $493 on average whenever I take out the average. So almost $500 a month just by doing their budget. And then there's lots of helpful tips, a Facebook group and everything like that. So if you have waited to jump on the budget challenge, if you are overwhelmed and you just really don't know where to start, this is where you start. This is where you start to save money. It's where you start to pay off debt is where you start to build longterm wealth. It all with your budget. It's the foundation. If you hate the B word, you know, call it a cashflow plan, you know, call it whatever you want, that'll get you to motivate you to actually do it. So, you know, if you just really hate the word budget, think of another word. Uh, you know, a lot of people call it a cash flow plan, which you know, is what it is. So go ahead and check that out at And now we will jump into Sean's interview. Hi Sean. Thanks for being here today. Thanks so much for having me Ashley. It's a pleasure to be with you today and I am so excited. You know, it's, it's beginning the new year and Tech's time and you know, you focus on taxes and so I'm really excited to talk to you about, uh, ways that people can prepare for taxes or maybe even, you know, next year, things that they can do throughout the year to kind of get ready for tax season because you know, it's coming whether you like it or not, you gotta pay your taxes so it's better to be prepared than surprised come tax time. Right? Absolutely. Ashley, you know, I think there are two things people should think about, right? One is every year you must file a federal income tax return. And in most States you're going to have to file a state income tax return too. And that's an important exercise, right? The IRS is a high priority credit or so you don't want to be on the wrong side of the IRS current in your filing obligations. But even more important I think is the longterm planning that I think some teachers, sometimes people get lost, you know, they say, Oh, I've got this tax return. You gotta make sure it's prepared on time and I'm all anxious and concerned about that. They get that done whenever they get that done. And then it's like, okay, I'll think about taxes some other time and then that other time becomes next year's tax return. But it's important to do some strategic thinking around your own tax situation. And that's true whether you're just starting out in your career or if you're much later or if you're, even if you're retired, uh, I think all people can benefit some from some intentional action on the tax front. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and it's so easy to just kinda put it off and think about all, I'll do it later. But you're right. Preparing for is the best thing, you know, especially if you think that you're going to owe money or you know, you're close or you typically owe money or something like that. Um, what are some ways that people can prepare and just kind of make adjustments through the year? Yeah, so I think for younger workers, I think to my mind I'd have four top priorities and then we could talk a little bit more about some tactics in terms of making tax season itself better. So the first thing is if you work for an employer, you should absolutely contribute up to the employer match in your 401k. Um, I say that because one, it's a way to reduce your taxes, but to, it's a way of a guaranteed return. So think about if your, if your employer says we will match dollar for dollar up to 5% of your salary or maybe we'll match 50 cents up to 5% of your salary, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of that. And unfortunately in America there are plenty of people not doing that. And the reason it isn't so much a tax reason as it is a financial reason, which is a guaranteed return on your money, right? There's no investment that I or anyone else can guarantee you a return on what if your employer is going to make a an a match to your 401k or your four Oh three B or your TSP. Then you need to be taking advantage of that because that's guaranteed money. The second you put in the first dollar you get back from the employer, 25 cents, 50 cents a dollar, whatever, the match percentages. So I'd say that's the first thing you should do in terms of organizing your tax life. The second would be if a health, a high deductible health plan makes sense for you. You want to cut that are a high deductible health plan with the matching health savings account. And Ashley, I don't know if you've talked about that previously with your listeners. Maybe might want to take a a S a minute to step back and just explain what a uh, an HSA is and just why it might be so powerful for your, Oh yeah, go ahead. I have not talked about it. Um, I actually have a high deductible plan and an HSA. Um, but I'd love to get your perspective on it. Yeah. So what this is, is it's a special kind of insurance that typically has higher deductibles than most people are used to, but there are some trade offs for that, right? So the deductible means it means you might have to pay more out of pocket, but if you're young and relatively healthy, that may not be such a bad thing, right? Because you're essentially a calculated risk. And on the other side you're getting benefits for, for taking that risk. One is the insurance premiums themselves typically are lower. Second is you have the ability to contribute to a tax advantage account called a health savings account. And that account lets you put in for an individual, it's up to 35 50 and 2000 or 2020 for a family it's 7,120 20 you can put in 35 50 every year of tax deductible contributions, which is really cool, right? So you see income tax around that. Not only do you save on the income tax around that, if you do it through your workplace withholding, you save on your payroll tax, so your FICA and your Medicare, you save on that stuff as well. So it's real neat tax saving tool. And then the, the money sits in the HSA, it builds up over time. You can invest it and hopefully grow it that way. And then if you take it out for qualified medical expenses, the money comes out tax and penalty free. So you get a tax deduction the way in and then the money comes out tax and penalty free. It's the best of both worlds, right? It's, it's like a Ronk and that you get a deduction upfront and then it's like a Roth IRA or a Roth 401k in that you get the money out tax free. Now you have to manage it correctly, right? You can't just take that out for a vacation or things like that. Um, and I also say make sure if you don't have major medical expenses, the only thing you got in the year is a cold and maybe a sprained ankle. Try to not take out from your HSA so you'll let the money sit and compound tax-free for many more years. Um, but I, I think if your circumstances warrant using a high deductible plan, the HSA high deductible plan combination is very powerful. Those who might not want to take this path would be people with chronic medical conditions, things like Crohn's and colitis, things that will have predictable high annual medical expenses. Um, these plans are great for the relatively young and the relatively healthy because their way of reducing your medical insurance costs while at the same time building tax advantage wealth and many employers are actually trying to move their employees toward these plans, which is, you know, good and bad. But if you're young, it can be very powerful, partly because the employer will usually make a contribution to the plan as well. So you're, you're making your own contributions and then the employer might put in 600, 700, a thousand bucks. And that's more tax-free compensation and more tax-free wealth building if you magic correctly. [inaudible] yeah, we had, um, at my previous employer, which is a, um, it's city government, uh, we had both options. We could stay on the regular plan, which, you know, cost more per month or go to this and they would give you so much for your HSA. And then, uh, my husband's plan, um, previously they had moved to it and then they contributed, but now they don't, uh, he moved to a different employer and they don't contribute anything and then they have the high deductible. So actually for like our family of three kids, so we meet our deductible every year and so it costs us quite a bit of money really. But the plan itself is pretty cheap. Like we don't pay that much per month for the plan, but I'm also putting, I have to put in like $500 a month into the HSA just to cover all the medical bills through the year. Like it's, it's a lot. Yeah, it's interesting actually. You say you're making this calculation around, well, okay, yes, we're going to pay more at the doctor's office, but we're going to pay less every pay period for the health insurance premium. We get all these tax benefits from funding the health savings accounts. Right. You're making, you know, it's a trade off and you know it, you know, so that's your family where, yeah, you've got three kids and there's a lots of, a lot of doctor's visits and those sorts of things. But think about your, your listeners who are 25 years old, right? Who maybe have any children, right? And maybe they're very healthy. Why would you pay a whole lot? For a gold plated insurance plan when you're doctor, hopefully twice a year if that. Oh yeah, absolutely. I think these, these HSA is, can make a lot of sense, um, for folks in terms of getting their tax life in order and saving on income tax and on payroll tax. Yeah. I didn't realize the payroll tax part, like I knew we saved just on taxes, but I guess I didn't realize that aspect of it. I'm not big into, you know, all those fine details. Think about that Ashley though, is you need to get the payroll tax saving. You need to do it through employer withholding, right? So if you just say, Hey, I've got this HSA, but yeah, you know, employer don't take any money from my paycheck every two weeks and put it in the HSA and then you get to the end of the year, there's no money in the HSA. What you could do is you could say, well, all right, I, you know, I've got this HSA I didn't contribute say for 2019. Right? Maybe you didn't contribute, but you are covered by a high deductible plan for the whole year. What you could do is then write it, check in early 2020 to your HSA and say this is for 2019 you would get the income tax deduction on your federal tax return, but you wouldn't get the payroll tax safe if you can do it through your employer withholding, which most employers will facilitate that right through your HR portal. Right? You set that up. Um, it's a, it's such a powerful tool, especially if you're below, right? If you're below the social security threshold, you're gonna save not only the Medicare tax, which is 1.45% of every paycheck, but also the social security tax, which is 6.2%. You know, a lot of younger workers, they pay more in payroll tax and they pay an income tax. So the HSA can be very powerful for them as a tax planning strategy. Yeah, that's, those are really good ideas. I didn't know about all that, all those details. So that's why I'm so happy you're here talking to us today. Um, so those are really great options and things to plan. Um, did you have a couple more? I'm trying to think how many you said you had. I've got at least four to start and then at least one tactical run one. The third one is the Roth IRA. And I know you've talked with your listeners before about the Roth IRA, but you know, as long as you're making a relatively modest income, the Roth is a very powerful planning tool. And actually I remember you talked about the experience you and your husband had a few years ago with a 401k loan. To refresh your listeners memory, please correct me if I'm getting any of this wrong, but if I'm remembering correctly, you and your husband did significant home renovations and you found yourselves cash strapped. And so what you did was you said, okay, well we've got money in a 401k, we'll take a loan from the 401k and yeah, sure we'll pay it back and we'll get the house, you know, built and [inaudible] and then we'll repay the loan. And then your husband left his job. And so that required you guys to either pay back the loan very quickly or to have the loan show up in your taxable income and have it be lip on your rate. You know, on your one year big slug of taxable income plus a 10% penalty. Right? Right. So let's think about if, what if you guys instead had had a Roth IRA at that time? You know, if you had had a Roth IRA and say you'd borrowed 40,000 of, well let's say each of you had a Roth IRA, you would contribute each $5,000 for the four years previous. So you each had 20,000 worth of contributions to that Roth IRA. What you could have done is you could have taken each the 20,000 of contributions out tax and penalty free, and you could have used that for any purpose. You know, under the sun, right? You could've taken a vacation with that. You could have done medical expenses, you could have, you know, rebuilt your house, whatever you want to do, 20,000 you just withdraw your old contributions. That's it. You don't withdraw the earnings. You now have $40,000 you can redo the house. Now, that's not exactly great tax planning and that you're going to lose the future growth on that $40,000 that would have been tax free, but at least you could have used that money, gotten the house repaired, gotten all those renovations done, and now tax time, there's no income tax hit, there's no penalty and you walk away from it and you say, well next time we go through that path, hopefully we'll have money in cash or other taxable investments to pay for it, but at least we don't have this huge penalty and this big slug of taxable income this time. Right. So I think the Roth IRA is powerful one because it's tax free growth for your retirement, but two, because the contributions that you've previously made could be withdrawn tax and pound, be free at any time for any reason. Not to say that that's something you should be planning on doing, redrawing early. But if you had to, it's a nice life raft where you are a tax hit and a penalty hit on top of an already difficult financial situation. Yeah. Cause our taxes, I mean it was crazy. We should have got back, you know, I think it was around $4,000 and we ended up owing over 6,000 so it was like a 50% hit. It was crazy. Cause I mean it just, it costs us a whole lot. And so like give you, like you said, if you have the other option then you don't take that big hit. Yeah. So I think the Roth IRA is just such a powerful tool. Four, pretty much all Americans have at least some access. You know, there are some who make too much to make a direct contribution. There's some strategies around that. You can also have a Roth 401k or four or three B Roth TSP. So I think for most Americans, and certainly for younger Americans, having Roth accounts is imperative because it just gives you so many more options and opens that door to tax free growth in the future. That's very powerful. And I think a lot of employers are moving to give the option of Roth 401k. Um, but if somebody didn't have that option at their job, like how would they go about opening a Roth? Like could they, you know, sometimes I see, um, just you know, at banks they have IRA accounts but those really aren't the same thing are they? Yeah. So these days to open a Roth IRA is relatively simple. There are plenty of discount brokerages and I'm not recommending any one particular brokerage or financial institution for any of your listeners, but just to list some examples that are commonly cited, Vanguard, fidelity, Schwab, there are others, right, where you can go to their websites or call them off and say, Hey, you know, I have earned income for whatever year it is. And in fact your, your listeners, if you're listening in January of 2020, you could still make a contribution to a Roth IRA is assuming you qualify in before April 15th of 2020. So there's still time in 2020 to do some tax planning for 2019. And the way yet, the way you would do it is you would contact one of these discount brokerages and say, you know, I want to open up a Roth IRA and their websites are usually pretty user friendly in terms of navigating you through that process. You'll have to link a bank account, right? Cause they all need some stores of funds to get the money. You know, in the contribution limit. If you're under 50 years old in 2019, uh, in 2020 is six thousand seven thousand. If you're over 50, you know, so you, you know, and this is done person by person, right? So even in a community property state, I live in California, retirement accounts are individual accounts. So you know, you can do it and then your spouse can also do it too. I'm assuming that you have, between you and your spouse, there's a neuro [inaudible] earned income there for a Roth IRA. And the threshold is pretty low, right? It's about $12,000 if you're under 50 years old. Um, but assuming between you and your spouse, you have 12,000 of earned income, you can go to one of these websites and set it up. Yeah. You link a bank account, the funds come over and then you invest them, you know, obviously for a younger investor that's gonna probably be, you know, skewed towards a, a [inaudible] equity portfolio. Um, perhaps if you're older you might want to do it in a more conservative portfolio. But you know, the, the brokerages are generally pretty user friendly. You know, some people will critique certain websites, but generally speaking, they're pretty user friendly in terms of setting up a Roth IRA. Great. And I do have a quick question because I see this in Facebook groups all the time and your comment about, um, having to have a $12,000 earn income. Like I see people in Facebook groups, obviously they're not, you know, they're just random people, uh, on the internet. So obviously everybody has different opinions, but they'll make comments about, um, okay, putting money in for your child into a Roth IRA, or how do you do that? Or can you do that? If they technically don't have any income, can you start a Roth for your child? Yeah, that's a great question actually. So the answer is yes, as long as your child is an American with earned income, that's the big key earn income, you can contribute to a Roth IRA for them. So a lot of kids don't have earned income and thus wouldn't be able to do it. Right. Where this comes up a lot is if you know mom or dad has a small business and as long as it's a sole proprietorship or partnership owned by mom and dad, then theoretically that business could hire you know, junior or daughter and you would then, you know, pay junior daughter, there's a payroll tax exemption if you do it the way I said you did it. And as long as that compensation is reasonable for the activity, right? So we're talking about relatively low value services, but you know in most cases you could justify, Hey, you know what, somebody who's got cleaned this office or you know, you know that mom and dad used for their, their trader business, you would then pay them. And based on the tax rules, you would not owe payroll taxes on that compensation because they're working for their mom and dad and their mom and dad's trader business. And then they would have, you know, if it's $1,000, 2000, 3000, whatever their earnings for the year are, that's the cap, right? So you would say, okay, and you could, you can just gift them that piece of it, right? So you can pay them the $3,000. They then put that in, you know, their savings account or you know, they do whatever they do with it. And then you could separately then say, Oh, well you had $3,000 worth of earnings, I'll just gift you the other 3000 to actually put in the Roth IRA account. Um, or you just use the earnings that they actually took home. Um, yeah, so this can be a powerful tool. I would say though, you want to be careful because if you're saying, Hey, you know, my 12 year old has, you know, school and soccer practice and swim practice and Oh by the way, my, my 12 year old earned $10,000 this year, the IRS might start looking a little scance at that. And the issues there can be that they would deny your business the deduction for that compensation, and they might even say, Oh, you made your child made an excess contribution to your return to his or her retirement. So you want to be careful and logical here with this stuff. But it certainly can be, you know, it's one of those things where, yeah, a thousand this year in 2000 next year, these aren't big numbers, but if you start stacking them on top of each other and you give your child, you know, your child's 10 years old and they don't touch that money till they're 60 or seven years old, all of a sudden it can be quite impactful. Absolutely. I mean, the younger you can start investing the better because it just has so much time to grow. I mean, it's just crazy how the compound interest work. That is exactly right. Um, and, and yeah, they will love you if, you know, you put in, you know, four or five, $6,000 over their childhoods and then that grows for 50 years con, you know, tax-free. It can be a very impactful maneuver. And if you can get a business deduction for it because it was reasonable compensation for the tasks that your kids did, you know, all the better. Right? Absolutely. Now would you recommend doing that as opposed to like an ESA or a five 29 plan for college? So it depends on the purpose, right? So if the purpose is we want to get our child to a place where they're going to have a lot of wealth or a relatively high amount of wealth in the future to have flexibility, I tend to like the Roth IRA. If the purpose is I want to use that money for my child's college education, I would not put it in my child's Roth IRA. And there are two reasons for that, right? One, if the money comes out of the child's Roth IRA while they're in college. You know, like I said earlier, it could be a return of their contribution. So there'd be no tax and there'd be no penalty. Well that's fine, but one, you're going to lose decades of tax free growth on that money. And then too, for the purpose of the FAFSA form, right? So the form that determines the federal aid, the student aid that your kid will get, that money that comes out of the Roth IRA goes into what's called the expected family contribution. The EFC. Yeah. So, and what happens is they say, Oh, that's income of the child, even though it's not taxable income, it's still income of the child. And we expect up to 50% of that income to go into the family's contribution for tuition next year. So you've just created essentially a 50% tax on a Roth IRA, which is not, you know, not advantageous planning. So if your goal is, look, I just want to fund Junior's college education, then I would look at alternatives such as you mentioned the ESA or the five 29 plan. The other thing to keep in mind too is we've got to take care of mom and dad, right? Mom and dad are going to get older by the time the kid is in college and it's gonna have a lot of time to repay the student loan, right? So, um, sometimes there's, there's a real benefit of just investing that money in a taxable account in the parent's own name and sure that that taxable account will generate interest and dividends and capital gain distributions over time. That'll go on the parents' tax return. But now mom and dad have more of a cushion and their financial futures more stable so that when, you know, the child is 25, 30, 40, you know, 50, the child doesn't have to worry about mom and dad's finances as much, you know. So I think there's a, there's a bit of a balance that needs to be struck there. Um, and before, you know, fully committing to a large contribution to your child's college and Oh, you know, five 29, that sounds great. Or ESA, that sounds great. I think you need to step back and say, well, what about mom and dad? How are we doing in our finances? And if it's, Oh, we're living paycheck to paycheck and we've got a big debt and those sorts of things, then maybe you say, well, why don't we focus on mom and dad and pay down debt or whatever we need to do to build up our finances. And then we can think about mom or about junior or daughter and their college education. So building off of that, would you recommend people, like if they're already in debt, living paycheck to paycheck to paycheck, should they still be investing or should they take that money and put it into debt? Like paying down debt, like even your company match or your 401k? So I would be hard pressed in most cases to tell folks not to take advantage of the company match. Right. So let's say, because you know, let's think about your debts, even if it's credit card debt. So let's say you've got credit card debt and that's at 19% so that's not a good place to be in. That needs to get paid down, you know, as soon as possible. Yeah. But let's say you're getting a dollar for dollar match at your company 401k yeah, I, you know, so essentially every dollar you put into your 401k, you get another dollar back. Instantaneously. Every dollar you put towards the credit card debt, you're getting 19 cents back, right? Because essentially you don't have to pay down 19% in interest. So what I would tell a person in that situation is, first of all, you've got to meet your minimums right on your credit card. That's number one. Number two. Then you've got to get that employer match on your 401k. And then after that you need to aggressively pay down the debt. And I know actually you subscribed to the debt snowball will say, well, you should look at the mathematics. What I would say is what's most important is behavior, right? If the debt snowball is going to be that thing that gets your behavior on the right track so that you're aggressively paying down debt, go for it. Right. Um, cause at the end of the day we want to get that debt paid off and if that's going to be that carrot that for whatever reason gets you particularly to get that pay down, absolutely go for it. Mmm. But you know, if some other say no, I've got my spreadsheet here and my spreadsheet says pay down 19% first and 8% second and 3% third and that's what I'm going to do and I'm satisfied with that. Then if that's what works for you, go with that. Exactly. I mean as long as you're paying down debt, I don't care how you do as long as you're doing it. That's exactly right. Right. And it's more about behavior than prediction. Right? Right. Yeah. I mean I think start good habits now, right. Contributing to your 401k to at least get the employer match, doing an HSA if you can, doing a Roth IRA. If you start those habits now, then it's just going to be so much easier in the future to keep doing that and to get the right results. You know, we don't know. No financial planner can come on and say, you know what, the S and P is going to return 8.3% for the next 10 years. Who knows? Right. That's just, we're all just guessing. Right. But what we can control today and what we do know today is your behavior today. So let's get that. If you're right and then go forward and you know what, the numbers are probably going to work out pretty good if we get the behaviors right. Okay. You're exactly right and then you'll stay out of debt. Because I do see a lot of people that tried to take shortcuts or they say they paid off debt, but really all they did was move it. Like you know, he lock or refinance their mortgage or you know, 401k loan. Then they say they paid off their debt, but they really did it. They just moved it. So whenever you can actually like make those changes, you will stay out of debt also and not go back into it. That's exactly right, Ash. My fourth point is just save, save, save. Right? So, you know, people will get, and this goes back to that, uh, behavior versus predictions, right? People get sort of, Oh, what should I be investing in? Oh, the market's high, the market's low. There's going to be a crash. We're going to have a recession. You know what, yes, the 401k to the employer match. Absolutely. The HSA, the Roth IRA, once you're beyond that, just start saving, right? And you could figure out what you're invested in tomorrow, right? Um, but just start saving. The more you save, the more wealth you're going to create, the more you're going to be in good shape. And the other thing about saving is if you were do, if you increase the asset side, you're also reducing the expense side, right? So every dollar you save today accustomed you to a little bit lower expenses. And just that, forget the assets for a second. Forget the savings. Just building up that I'm getting used to spending less and less on once you're going to become much more used to, um, paying less for your wants in the future. So I'll give you an example, right? Say you're 22 years old, you're coming out of college, you got a good finance or tech job, right? Well, I would tell you do not get a BMW for your first car out of college because if you get the BMW, then it's going to be so much harder in your 30s and forties to cut back to the used Corolla. Right? But if you start off in your 20s with, I'm going to get a, a used accord and then, you know what, in my thirties, well maybe a slightly better used accord and now I feel rich versus, Oh, I started off with a BMW and now I'm cutting. You know, it's so much harder to cut back if anything, you're going to have lifestyle creep, but on successful. So I would just say, you know, focus on getting those expenses lower and getting those savings up and your taxes will be better because investments are generally taxed at a lower rate, then earned income and your finances are going to be so much better too. That's really good advice. I mean, just keep living like a broke college student and pay off your student debt and then you can enjoy your money and buy the BMW later if you want. But it's not so much a status symbol, you know? And like you said, lifestyle creep and everything. So, um, you know, just keep saving now and then work toward it in the future and then that way you can, um, you know, instill those good habits as saving money and investing cause that's what's so important. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And then you actually, you'd mentioned about what are those things you could do around tax season, right? To make your tax return a little more or a little less painful. Right. The big thing I think, I think it's two things, right? So one in January and February be very attentive to your mailbox because you're going to get very important documents, right? You're gonna get your form W2 from your employer. You're gonna get these fancy things called forms 10 99, right? It might be called a 10 99 int, which is for your interest, might be called a 10 99 div for your dividends. It might be called a 10 99 B. That's for your capital gains and losses from your financial institutions, right? So you sold, you know, a hundred shares of Apple stock and there's a gain and you got to report that on your tax return. So January and February, sometimes in the March, be very attentive to your mailbox. Just make sure you're collecting that data these days. You can usually go online and grab those documents too. But either way, just be very attentive to that. And then during the year, be attentive to your expenses that could possibly be tax deductible. Um, but that said, you know, the landscapes changed a little bit here. Um, so it used to be that there was a relatively low standard deduction or you could choose to itemize, right? So to take your mortgage interest, your state taxes, your charitable contributions, those sorts of things. Well there was a tax law change in late 2017 and it significantly increased the standard deduction, right? So for 2019, the standard deduction is 12,200 for a single person, 24,400 for a married filing joint couple. And they even kept the amount of state and local taxes you can deduct for that purpose to 10,000 per year tax return. So think about if you live, say in Texas, right? Yeah. And you ha so you have no income state income tax and say you have a relatively modest home and so you're paying, I dunno, say 8,000 in mortgage interest. That might not be all that modest of a home in Texas, but just say 8,000. Well, that means in order to deduct, uh, itemized deductions [inaudible] and say you're married, you and your husband at that point would need over $16,000 worth of charitable contributions in order to do the itemized deductions. Otherwise, you and your husband are just going to take the standard deduction. So if you think, well, Oh yeah, we easily donate 20,000 a year, then yes, throughout the year, take good notes of all your charitable contributions, do an Excel spreadsheet or a Google doc or Google sheets, you know, a file and just track all your charitable contributions and then you should get a receipt from the charity in most cases. Um, that's, it's a really effective way of handling that. But you might say, you know, yeah, we, we contribute $10,000 to charity every year and we have low mortgage interest and no state income taxes and we're married. We're not going to be anywhere near that 24,000. Well then there's not a whole lot to track. Right. You'll get your, you'll get your W2 and your 10 99 and those things in, yeah, during the year or in January. And February, and then you just use those and you use the standard deduction. The exception to what I just said is business owners, right? So if you're a business owner, even if it's a small business, that's a very different situation, right? If you have a small side hustle, you might be able to get away with tracking your expenses in Microsoft Excel. But the second you have a significant business, you probably need some sort of accounting software to track those throughout the year so that you can, you know, report your business income on your tax return. [inaudible] absolutely. Um, now what about like, do you recommend people get a big tax return or would you recommend adjusting your withholdings throughout the year so that you get a smaller tax return? Yeah, so I generally recommend adjusting your withholdings if you can. Right? So, um, and this is a great time of year to think about that. And you know, what I would do is yet do your 2019 tax return and see where you came out. And if you wind up with a large refund, what you've done is you've given the government an interest free loan and that's not an optimal path, right? Because the government had used to that money. You could have had that money and earn interest or invested earlier and earn more investment returns. So what you could do, the app, the IRS actually has a pretty good online calculator around that and that would be my first, um, stop is I would Google IRS w four withholding calculator. It's IRS w four withholding calculator and the software, you know, the IRS software will ask you some questions and it's, it's a pretty good calculator. And what it'll do is we'll say, okay, through 2020 thus far you've made this much and you've had this much withheld and here's what your withholdings are right now. And it'll tell you, okay, this is what you should do to, um, make sure you're having the right amount withheld every year. Um, yeah, the withholding structure is a very sort of screwy structure. Yeah. It's taking me so confusing. And so some people wind up with very large refunds and then other people wind up, Oh, a whole lot of money. And this was exacerbated by the tax law change and people who generally would get a small refund all of a sudden owing a lot of tax that was particularly true of married people in high tax States like my own California, um, where their tax profile is very much changed and the withholding tables changed but not enough to account for that. So, um, yeah, I, I think the best thing, I think the [inaudible] two action steps. There are one, see what your 2019 refund looked like or if you owed a lot in 2019 and then two, you may want to use the IRS withholding calculator. Um, it's certainly not perfect, but it's a good start. And then if you're in a situation where, wow, we owed all these penalties and we got, you know, it was horrible results, then you might want to consult with a tax professional. Somebody like me. Absolutely. Um, you know, do you recommend that people, like just your average family contact a CPA, or do you think that that's more like if it gets complicated? I think it depends, right? So there are, obviously there are thousands of tax return preparers out there. And to my mind, there's sort of two things that they're doing for you. One is literally the time and expense of doing their tax return. So if, if you've got, you know, three kids and you and your husband have jobs and one of you has a side hustle and you're just busy, it may be worth your while to offload that work to a paid professional, even if your return isn't all that complicated. Um, but then second is the judgment, right? So, um, there are times where you're going to need a professional's judgment. And that often deals with things like businesses, right? So if you have a small business or a side hustle, if you are setting up a small business retirement plan, I think that's a big one where you may need professional assistance. So, yeah, you know, different people are different ways in terms of just how painful that tax return exercise is, right? If you've got some engineers in your audience, they might be like, well, we love playing with spreadsheets, but then what we do at work every day, you know, I'll, I'll knock this out while watching a football game. Right? Well, okay, fine. If you know what you're doing and you're using a good commercially available software, fine. I think that actually it's, it's hard to give a one size fits all. I think I will say this though, for your listeners, there are certain times where you should reach out to a tax professional and you know, this'll vary for folks, but sort of what I'll call him Disha of, Hey, this is a situation where I should reach out to a tax pro. I'd say if I'm starting a business, if you're starting a retirement plan for a business, right, like a solo 401k or something like that, or you think you should, that would be a good time to reach out to a tax return professional. And the other time would be if I ever received an IRS notice, so I owe a lot of money or it could be your state, you know, a taxing authority if you receive a note. So they're going to be sort of two sorts of notices, right? One is going to be, you get a notice from the IRS and it says you owe us 25 or you know, 20 more dollars in tax because there was a $67 dividend on a 10 99 div that you didn't report. And that might be just one of those that got lost in the mail. It got lost in your home office, whatever. If that happens and you think, yeah, they're right, I owe, you know, I got that $70 dividend and I owe some tax on it, fine. You know, write the check and move on. That probably doesn't need a professional's assistance. But if you get a IRS notice saying you owe us $3,000 in tax, I think at that point you need to reach out. In most cases you absolutely need to reach out because one, you gotta make sure, you know, the IRS can be wrong on these things. So you need to make sure, you know, before you cut that $3,000 check, you ought to ask somebody. And then too, even if the IRS is correct, then there's something wrong in your process and you now have $3,000 worth of indication that there's something off in what you did and that needs to be corrected. So, you know, I think, I think those are situations, and again, this can't be comprehensive and we only have so long to chat. Yeah, those are sort of, I think, three situations where you'd really want to think about reaching out to a tax pro. Absolutely. Um, now do you have any last words of wisdom? Last words of wisdom? I would say, um, a point I made earlier is focused on your behavior and the numbers will work out, right? So don't get obsessed of, Oh, we got to run a million different numbers and I need 8.25% return or no, don't be obsessed with that. Do what football teams do, right? So get your blocking and tackling right. And eventually the winds start stacking up, right? So do, do the, you know, pay down your debt, avoid debt, reduce your expenses, get your employer match in your 401k, get your Roth IRA set up, start saving and investing, you know, and those things will make your taxes much better and they'll make your finances much better. Absolutely. Now I do like to ask people, um, at the end of every episode what their favorite nonfiction book is. Do you have any that you would recommend? Yeah, and I'm going to do, some of your previous guests have cheated a little bit, so I'll give you a multiple answer. So the first one is obviously the Bible, right? So, um, that lays the predicate for all that we do on this earth, hopefully. So the Bible would be number one. And then in terms of financial books, I think there are two chestnuts that I strongly recommend to the listeners. One would be the millionaire next door, which is doctors, Stanley and Danko. I believe the author's names are [inaudible]. And that came out in the 90s. And that just goes over the mindset of most of the truly wealthy in this country, uh, against the millionaire next door. Just a classic and personal finance. And then the second one is a more recent book. It's called the simple path to wealth. It's by J L Collins. And the cool thing about this book is it started out as a series of blog posts. So the author was thinking about his daughter who was about to go to college and he does these blog posts, which are essentially just short letters to his daughter about saving, investing, managing your taxes, managing your finances. And what he said was, Oh, you know, I've got a, you know, dozens of these letters. Now I could make that into a book. And so that's what the simple path of wealth to wealth is. It's a book that is based on these blog posts and it's written in a way that's not targeted for somebody who's financially sophisticated. Um, that said, I think everybody can get something out of it, but it's done in a very relatable way. And if you read only those two books, you would be well on your way to a very good financial future. I have heard that the simple path to wealth, but I didn't, I didn't know the backstory. I hadn't heard that. That's pretty good. Yeah, isn't that a, it's a neat, it's a neat way of writing a book, write a book. You've got this other material that you then translate into a book and because of what it was originally intended for, I think that gives the book so much power. Absolutely. And I'm sure it's, it's a lot. It's easy for us to read it if he wrote it for, you know, his daughter going off to college. So it's not, you know, uh, complicated. Yes. Oh, right now before we go, where can people find you? Okay, so you can find me three different places. One would be my firm website, which is Malaney You could find me on my blog, which is five tax I blog on the intersection of tax and financial independence. So that's five tax And lastly on Twitter, I'm at Sean money tax. Um, I'm not on Instagram, I'm not on YouTube. Maybe one day, but those are the three main places you can get. You can find me. Yeah, you should try YouTube or Instagram. I've just started learning Instagram and it's a lot of fun. It's something I got to get to. But um, for now those are the three portals I'm trying to, uh, to optimize. Absolutely. Well thank you so much for being here and talking to us about taxes and making it interesting and making tax not boring. Thanks so much for having me, Ashley. It was a pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you. Thank you so much to Sean for being with us today. And don't forget to go check out the seven day budget challenge before it gets its revamp in the price increases at the end of the month. So go to to get it at the lowest price that it's going to be. I will talk to you guys next week. Special Guest: Sean Mullaney.

Jan 2020

48 min 24 sec

How John and Rosemary paid off $66,000 in 32 months while still eating healthy and not sacrificing nutrition to do it. Rosemary and John, cofounders of Flourish Fundamentals are both Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners. They are helping the FIRE community optimize their health as much as they optimize their finances. You can learn more about them on their website: and sign up for their 30 day reset program here: Resources mentioned in this episode: The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin ( link) Free Meal Planning Sheet ( Full Transript: Hey, today we are talking to Rosemary and John about how they paid off their debt and how they are optimizing health and nutrition for the fire community. So welcome Rosemary and John, thank you for having us. Thank you, Ashley. Thanks for being here. And just to, before we jump in, can you guys kind of tell me about yourselves and kind of what you guys do? Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, I guess that you could call us the token, uh, nutrition people in the [inaudible] space. Um, we both sort of got into this financial independence step free community after we were getting out of debt and we had this background in nutrition and saw that a lot of the recommendations around reducing expenses involved like just eat rice and beans. And that was a little bit, yeah, no, no. So, um, we realized that there was really a need for people to talk about the importance of your own health and be able to teach people to empower them to be able to take care of their own health so that, um, they come, you know, they're more in a position of power when it comes to their own health and not just fingers crossed. Hope you don't get sick. Yeah, yeah. Just not eating ramen noodles and all right. They definitely, there's a sweet spot where we wish we can talk about more later, where you can keep costs down pretty low without sacrificing health. So for example, before we started getting out of debt, when we examined our grocery budget, we were like anywhere from $1,000 a month to 1500 for two bucks. And then we cut that in half. And then we were able to do that and we thought, you know what, let's try to cut it in half again just to see if we can do it. And we did. Um, and I'd say now we sort of settled between 400 to $500, but it's still may sound like a lot to some people listening, but we can get into more about what that actually means. Yeah, that's really not bad. I mean, for most people that I talk to, and it's true for myself, um, you know, with that was our biggest category was, um, of course it wasn't as healthy as you guys were at, you know, as fast food, convenience foods, things like that. But, and so that is definitely an area where people can improve, um, with managing their money as well as their health. So I'm so glad that, um, you guys are doing that and, you know, giving people other options besides just rice and beans. Yes. Yeah. And it doesn't have to be, you know, crazy expensive. We're not talking whole foods every week. There's other strategies to do it, like buying a whole cow or that sort of thing. So anyway, we'll get there, we'll get pasta, there'll be delicious and that's, yeah, exactly. Yeah. I would not compromise if this was not delicious food. So before we jump into eating healthy and cutting costs on food, why don't we jump into like your debt pay off story? How much did you guys pay off and [inaudible] how fast did you do it? So we started with 66 in debt, um, a mix of credit cards and some family loans. By the way, there was a little bit for me, mass majority, I made much more or much less intelligent choices. Yeah. But we got that paid off in 32 months was that was the total and most of the time we were on just one salary. Right. Wow, that's pretty amazing. So were you guys, um, just tell me how this started. Were you guys on the same page or was it one of your guys's idea and then kinda had to drag the other one in? Yeah, I mean, I think we were, we, the way I was raised with sort of the Dave Ramsey, you know, never like credit cards were a bad word in our family. So I never got into debt and never had a credit card. And John had come from sort of a different position. I was raised to believe that credit cards are an emergency fund and so sure enough I used them as such. Yeah. Yeah. I believe your dad had once said that he was doing Dave Ramsey before Dave Ramsey was doing. Dave Ramsey describes that. Yeah. So my family's always been really frugal. But Dave Ramsey actually sort of part of our story, right? Yeah. That's sort of how it started is um, well we went to go see a financial planner actually before we got married. We knew we were going to get married and so we wanted to discuss just sort of like what should we be doing now financially. And that was I think where we had the first conversation about how much debt was on the table. Couples normally have that conversation like when they're alone. And in the first time that number was named was like the three of us in a room. And I was like, Oh wow, okay. Yeah. Cause I think you have like 40,000 at that point or something like that. Right before we got married. So anyway, but I, but I knew like, that's okay, we can, we can figure this out, we know what to do, we just won't spend any excess money, obviously we'll get this paid off first thing. And like, I knew we, we knew we wanted to get married. So at that point it was like package deal, husband plus debt hashtag that fluff. But yeah, soon after we got married, I picked up Dave Ramsey's book, total money makeover. I don't even remember where I found it. If it was like a little free library or the literal literal literal library, that's hard to say. Um, but I just sort of read through it and then I think John picked it up. I hadn't been on the coffee table one day and yeah, I had just been flipping through it, so I left it out. Yeah. And John was flipping through it and, uh, you know, started reading it in earnest and I remember we were both linked together in bed one evening and you sort of shut the book and you looked at me and said, okay, I'm ready, let's do this. And I was like, really? Wow. I didn't even have to, yeah, that's awesome. You guys were like together on the same page pretty much from the get go, so that I'm sure that makes it so much easier and faster to get it done. Definitely. Well, I think you'd always all always wanted to pay off debt. I tried many times, but it never stuck, um, for number of reasons which we can get into. But um, but yeah, the sort of, the way he had laid it out in the book, it was just very, very compelling to me. And once that light bulb went off, I was all in. And that's how I tend to be about things. If, if something is compelling and makes sense to me, I will, Oh, you know, I can turn on a dime on things. [inaudible] that sounds like me where I did two things. Yes. Yeah, that makes sense. If they make sense. Yeah. John's very persuaded by logic. If you're familiar with Gretchen Rubin, she has this framework of like four tendencies for different types of people. And John is the question or type, which means he'll do something if it makes sense to him, but not if it doesn't. So for him reading that logic of like, here's how the flow works, here's why it works and here's the steps. For him it was like, Oh, that's enough. I'm convinced. Okay, let's do it. So we sort of dove in and started making a plan, examining our expenses, expenses, looking at what are the things that we really need, what are the things that are actually just wants, right. And that goalpost changes. I think as you know, as you get more into this, what is, what was once considered a need. A lot of those things that moved over into the want column and that that one column keeps getting bigger or things that were in the need column that need copy gets smaller and smaller. So I think that's one of the main thing is it changed. And I mean really it was, it really was shocking to us, at least to me. Um, just how much a difference, making a budget changed our spending. Be more intentional about spending. I mean, at the time we were both full time making over a hundred K a year combined and there was nothing left at the end of the month. There was always more month than money left. Um, and we weren't spending like crazy either. I mean, yeah, we only had one car. It was 2006. Right. But it was just, you know, no mortgage, Nope, no kids. But it was just all the little stuff. Oh, I want this book. We'll go on Amazon and get it. Yeah, go get a manicure, whatever. Lots of fiddly little stuff that you, ah, where did all the money go? So what were some of the, some of the things that you, um, cut back on or changed in order to manage your money better and get the debt paid off? Sure. Um, well definitely having a budget was huge. Um, doing the, initially we did the Dave Ramsey thing where you actually had physical envelopes where you put cash into each spending category at the end of the month and then only spend from those cash envelopes. We eventually ended up switching to simple the online bank and stat and doing sort of online digital envelopes. We'd still earmark money at the end of the month because what we found is in practice, even though using cash does happen, a more emotional sort of visceral component, which sort of as Dave Ramsey would say, makes you probably spend less money in practice. It didn't really work cause we often forget the envelopes when we'd go out. You know, if you're buying something online, it was hard to then sort of square the budget that way. So w we're big believers in this idea that the imperfect method you stick to is far better than the perfect method. You don't actually do. Absolutely. So as long as you're doing something right direction that's more important. That definitely helped was having that the earmark money and then realizing, okay, our grocery money is spent so we know we're sticking to this Kansas sardines we have in the, yeah, in terms of like what were the actual things that we cut out of that as expenses. At the beginning, it was all those frivolous little things that we didn't, the obvious stuff, you know, the low hanging fruit. Like, okay, do we need to go out to the movie theater every once in a while or can we rent DVDs from the library and watch them at home and make our fancy popcorn. We do this fancy popcorn that we make at home with them. Butter and truffle oil and we like sort of relish that. It's like so fancy popcorn. Um, so we started doing movies at home. Um, anytime we wanted a book we request it from the library or if they had a library already, just get it. The library. Um, quick pro tip, if people don't use their libraries, this is mind blowing to me, but can go to library and if they don't have the book you can just request for them to get it. And I've never had them not get the book I requested. I've requested probably a dozen by this point, you know, my tax dollars at work I guess. But uh, yeah. And other quick tangent for those that maybe are used to buying books and then writing in their books. That's sort of one of my meditations is underlining sentences. So that took a little bit of an adjustment for me, but it's actually now it's a pro instead of a con because what I find is that by having to write out quotes that I like from books, I actually increased my connection with the material and my ability to remember it. Whereas before I just underline it and then forget it. So, so other things are, we were going to, we originally were thinking about, Oh, do we need a second car? But then we decided, Nope, we'll stick to this one, make different places. So we just made it work. You know, one person would drop off the other and go to walk or we'd walk. Um, what else did we do? We certainly examined our grocery budget and tried to look at some other ways to, um, reduce, we can come back to that. That's, that's a big HBO now. Um, Amazon prime, Netflix, Hulu. I mean we had like all four of 'em piddly little things, but all those little things added up to big results. Yes. Well, one thing we did eventually was, um, stopped going to get our haircut at a barber shop or a hairdresser. I started just buzzing my hair instead. I like having shorter hair anyway. And so we just bought ourselves a pair of Clippers at Costco and it pays [inaudible]. Yeah. And for a while I was watching YouTube videos on how to cut my own hair. Yes or no. Now I'm like, eh, I'll go get my haircut. I'll just do it less frequently. Um, so those were some of the small things in terms of the [inaudible], the big, big one being housing. Um, we did actually leave that place. We were living at the time because John left a job that wasn't really working out for him. Um, and we moved in with family who had a baby on the way and we said, Hey, can we come? You know, we'll help look after the baby if we can stay in the little, you know, they had a mother in law suite in the back of the house and they said, of course, come on down. So we actually live with them for a little over a year. I was in the bro pair, so, um, that was honestly such a, uh, that was very, very generous of them to let us stay with them. But then not having that rent payment for awhile meant that we could, you know, uh, pay down debt at a pretty Swift rate, um, with, with, even though we were down to one salary at that point. That's awesome. So that really, I'm sure that really helped speed up the process and get this knocked out even down to one income. That's pretty amazing. Now what were some of the things with meal prepping and food that you want to talk about to cut costs but yet not compromise your health? Sure. I think the number one thing to point out first is that the focus should always be on what's called nutrient density and not on calories. So a lot of people will say, Oh, this meal hasX calories, so it's good or it's great, or it's this many dollars per calorie. And from our perspective as people trained in nutrition, that is just not the ideal way to go. Yeah, you really want to focus on nutrient density, um, which you know, is just what, what's going to get you. So, you know, you have macro nutrients like proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and then you have micronutrients, which are all the vitamins and minerals. So when we're talking about nutrient density, we're talking about those micronutrients there. So, um, so for us that looked like we were, uh, you can, for example, we talked about this a little bit earlier, but buying like a whole cow or a half a cow or even a quarter cow, you can go in with people and split up the meat. That really reduces the cost to, you know, four or five, three or four or $5 per pound depending on where you are. And you can still get really good quality, uh, grass fed, grass finished meat and support farmers who are raising their animals. In a way that is sustainable and not just sustainable sealant land, but is actually restoring the land so that it's better for everybody. Um, we started actually sprouting lentils and using that to stretch ground meat, which sounds weird, but in sprouting them, you are increasing the nutrient nutrition in the bioavailability, nerdy. You're increasing how your, how your body is able to absorb and use the nutrients gained. The, you know, you can sprout, you can soak and sprout, you know, all sorts of things. But basically you're doing is you're tricking that seed into thinking that it's already planted in the ground. And so then it will sort of turn off its natural defenses because normally the problem with legumes and nuts and seeds is that they have this protective shell that makes them really hard to digest. And so even people say, Oh, there's all these vitamins and minerals in these foods. You can't really get at it unless you do some, some sort of trickery. And so that's what the soaking the sprouting. So that's, yeah, so we did the sprouted lentils and we would make that one for one with ground beef. Um, I really like fermenting vegetables. So we would do our own sauerkraut and stuff, which is a natural and super cheap source of probiotics. Super simple, really intimidating. It's literally cabbage, salt and amaze and dark and time and time and not much time. Yeah. Yeah. Um, let's see, what else were we doing? We definitely changed where we were shopping, so I'd say before we, I mean it was, we just didn't really give it a second thought as to where we were shopping. So buying more in bulk, um, buying locally and in season makes things a lot cheaper. That was super helpful. Um, and then, you know, since then I've been doing a lot more sort of bartering and trading, which is new to me, but I know people have been doing that for centuries. Like for example, um, uh, this summer I have been helping out with, uh, actually where we get our meat, our farmers, they invited me to come help. Well, I offered to volunteer at their booth and they said, we'll pay you, you've all, and told them, I volunteered them that I was going to help them at their farmer's market and they said, we'll pay you. So I basically just get paid in meat now. And so that's also, it does help reduce our grocery budget. That was that. And then just a quick tangent on meat. So we've said that word a few times. I know that's kind of a controversial topic to a lot of people. We intentionally do consume it as nutritionist because it's one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, especially things like liver. Um, you know, people talk about quote unquote super foods and they'll mention things like Asai berries or KL. I was like, those things are great, but if you were to put a table of nutrients and put those side aside, they don't hold a candle. Yeah. Nutrient density. Like we can get into organ meats too as another cheap source of great nutrition. But, um, there's another, uh, another functional nutrition therapy practitioner of there. And she, she was said, um, I'm pretty sure that all the, the like answers to nutritional problems can be solved with liver. I wish it were ice cream, but I'm pretty sure it's liver. He's so much better if it was ice cream. So much better. Yeah. Actually that was another one. We did start cooking a little bit more with organ meats, which are, the benefit of those is that they're so rich in nutrients and they're really good for you, so likes, they're cheaper, they're cheaper. So, um, if you eat heart, it's good for your heart. If you eat liver, it's good for your liver, et cetera. Um, and I think, you know, especially in our culture, a lot of us are really squeamish about organ meats, but there's ways that you can prepare them that aren't too freaky, that don't taste weird and that you know, your, your kids and your husband will eat too and not know. For example, you can mix in a little bit of like meatballs for example. And you know, spices and herbs and things that can help cover up the flavor. Resurrection. She wrote a whole post on the blog about easy ways to eat liver and other organ meats. Yeah. Cause I hate liver so I'm always trying to find, I know, but I know it's so good for me so I'm always trying to find ways to get it in my diet. She actually makes her own liver pills. Yeah. I make desiccated liver capsules cause I'm a weirdo. But anyway, it was expensive. You can make them really cheap. Yeah. This is, this is me being like I'm not going to pay $50 for a bottle of 120 capsules of desiccated liver. I'm going to figure out how to do it myself. $5. And you've got some resources on your website that kind of gives people these ideas cause I'm like, Oh yeah, eat liver. I don't like it. Yes. Yeah. Actually so, well, one thing that is a really good kind of introduction is if you make like a chicken liver Patty, if you just Google parte, it's basically liver plus butter plus herbs and you can do that on, you know, carrot sticks or cucumber slices and it's sort of like a good little dip. Yeah, it's really good. Chicken liver in general is much more mild livers of quote unquote ruminant animals. Cows. Yeah. Yeah. I'd say if you're starting out do a chicken liver potty, that's a good way to dip your toes in the water. Yeah, you're really liked me and you really, really can't do any of the tastes. I think it is worth it to get like a in capsule form because it's just so good for you. Like livers rich in B vitamins, which give you energy, iron Coleen. It's good for the brain. It's good for your own liver and your own body's detox mechanisms. So yeah, huge fan of organ meat over here coming up. So Oregon meats buying a whole cow soaking and sprouting lentils. Oh, a quick thing about the lentils and the ground meat. So ground meat is another strategy on itself on its own because it tends to be much, much cheaper per pound. Yes. We switched from like steaks, you know, I'm doing more things with gardens. Yeah. I love me a good steak but more expensive per pound. So yeah, having ground meat most of the time doing meatballs, things like that. Yeah. Now what about, um, cause I kinda switched to like ground chicken and ground pork. Is that healthier than like ground beef? Insane, kind of the same idea or no fear? I'd say they're fine. Um, yeah, so there is this notion that red meat is unhealthy. That's a really, really common belief. It's just flat out not true. There's a lot of myths. That's why a whole other podcast, we don't have that here, but you can easily, you can easily look into, um, there's, there was a lot of shoddy science, a lot of vested interests, um, a lot of politics, so into that. So, um, as so I'm a certified in functional nutrition. I can tell you that's just not true. Um, but if you don't like it, that's, I think often that's where I come to is if you like other meats more or if you like fish like fine, go for it. Um, or if you are a vegetarian, like there are ways to at least optimize your nutrition within those restrictions. You know, having more eggs for example, or having full fat dairy. So other than those things, um, yeah, it really, I think it was mostly sort of the aggregation of small gains that really just added up over time and then continually going back and looking at our budget again. Every month we do a thing called open loops for each week we'll meet and have sort of a budget party and we'll look at, we'll get all our spending for the week. We'll review upcoming events or upcoming expenses and sort of make it fun. Um, which actually that's another sort of tangent. One of the things we did while we were paying off debt to help make that fine as every time we'd make a debt payment, we'd literally do a dance, happy dance, happy dance. We'd like hold hands and jump up and down and it sounds so ridiculous, but we look forward to that so much like every time that we, you know, every time that our paychecks would come over, like yes, we get a pay off debt and do her happy dance. And so, um, I like anytime you're trying to establish a habit like that, I would highly recommend the happy dance because it just, it gives you a little burst of excitement and it, it's, once you, it makes you want to do that behavior more. Yeah. She helps create a new habit loop. Yes. Highly recommend the happy dance. I think there's a video of it on our Instagram now. Do you guys have any tips or advice for couples that maybe aren't quite on the same page of maybe just like working together compromising so that you can reach your bigger goal? Yeah, this is a really, I think, important and interesting topic to me. Um, I really think it's important not to push, not to nag, you know, each person has to come to this on their own and they have to have buy-in intrinsically. In fact, we could talk more about the Gretchen Rubin four tenancies again here I think because especially if your partner is what's called a rebel, the more you push and the more you talk about this, the more they're going to resist and push back. So just stepping back a bit. So, um, I mentioned Gretchen Rubin earlier, but she's, um, an author and also a podcast or who has developed, she had wrote a book called the four tendencies. So it's this framework of four different tendencies of people and they differ based on how they respond to expectation. So she says like internal expectation might be like a new year's resolution, whereas external expectation could be like a work deadline or something your partner wants you to do. Um, so there are these four types which are upholder, obliger, questioner and rebel. And so they'll uphold both internal and external expectations. So you give them something to do, no problem, checkbox, they'll do it. Don't even have to ask them again. Um, anything they want to do, like adopting a new habit, done, no problem. Obligers or aspire to be. How do you just, you just make up your mind and you just do it. How is that possible? Um, and then you've got the obligers. So for them it's, it's hard for them to accomplish something, uh, less. They know they have accountability, so they'll do the things that are external expectations, but it's hard for them to stick to internal expectation. Then there's the question or type, which like, John, uh, they will do something if essentially what they're doing is turning it into internal expectation if they go, yep, that makes sense. With my logic and the way I see the world. And if it doesn't make sense, then they're like, well that's silly. You know, that that doesn't make sense. So that is external. If it's a rule or if somebody in authority says you have to do this thing, if it doesn't make sense, I'm not going to do it. Yeah. And then the last one is the rebel type. So rebels, which is what I am, I'm resist internal and external expectations. So you can tell rebels if you say, I, you know, you can't do that or I bet you couldn't do X. The rebel will say, watch me. So I have, um, you know, one thing I always say is that it's best to just assume that everybody is a rebel and then you'll always do, it's a safe assumption. So I think that in doing that, you, you always have to make the rebel think that it's their idea. They have to come to that conclusion on their own. So one exercise that I think is really useful that I heard about, um, uh, the, have you heard the, you've seen the plane with fire documentary? Um, I haven't watched it now. Okay. So, well anyway, in that when the husband in that documentary is bringing up to the wife, uh, what, what he had to do was make a list of the 10 things that make you happiest. And so it was like, you know, spending time with my baby, like spending time with my husband, hearing my baby laugh, you know, a glass of wine, chocolate, whatever. And then the approach became, okay, how can we get more of these things that make us the happiest in our life? And so viewing it that way, how can we get more of what we already want instead of where should we we or should we cut money? Right? You know, where should we cut expenses? It's about, okay, let's figure out how to strategize to get more of the things that we want. So like for us, that was freedom, fulfillment, being close to family, being able to work from home. And so we've made a lot of sacrifices and a lot of decisions for us to get more of those things that we want. So I'd say if you approach your partner, have proposed that exercise, say like, look, let's both take a piece of paper, we'll go away, we'll write down the 10 things that bring us the most joy and then we'll come together and compare our lists and that. Yeah, that that's what they did in playing with fire. That's what they talked about in the book that they wrote. And I really liked that because, because when you approach things from what do you want, how do you get more of the things that you want? It's something that you're running towards, not something that you're running away from. Right. And it just seems more like a world of possibility and there's room for creativity and figuring out how do we do this rather than, okay we have to cut more money. I guess we're really, you know, we really need to cut out spending here. Like that's not motivating or not sustainable. Exactly. Cause inevitably is it both partners are not fully [inaudible]. You know, in it, one partner who doesn't really want to do it, we'll do it for a while, to a certain extent to make the other partner happy, but the whole time it'll be a sacrifice and it'll be something they're doing for the other person, which has resentment and resistance and it's just not a recipe for a happy marriage or getting out of debt or building financial independence. So, so I'd say, yeah, the first thing is that list of the 10, you know, the 10 things that make you the most happy. The second thing I would say is, is um, figuring out if those four tendencies, which are partners, you might already have a good idea of what they are, but Gretchen Rubin does have a quiz on her website, um, which is free. You can find out which one you are, but if you know what type they are, then you can, um, you can persuade them in a way that fits their type. And you can also help build systems that will work for both of you with, but with what your types are. So for John, he was persuaded by the logic of the Dave Ramsey baby steps for another questioner. Like John maybe looking at the math of, okay, look, if we push hard, we could get all of this paid off in this amount of time and then we'd have more freedom to do X, Y, and Z. You know, if it's a rebel, it's the, what do you want more of? Like how can we be creative to get more freedom and letting you be yourself. And I think the rebel to adding in that, you know, an element of credit card companies or the man, you know, they want you to be in debt. Yeah. They want you to be controlled. That's how you get a rebel to control you and you, you're not gonna, you're not the type of person to be controlled are you? Then it's really hard. You probably can't do it. Yeah. And then so with the obliger, it's a matter of accountability. So, Mmm. You know, building in those systems of maybe it's art, like our open loops meetings where once a week you're coming together and discussing these things, the upholders, they'll just do it. You don't have to worry about that. So that is really good advice. Um, so do I even need to ask you what your favorite nonfiction book is? I think we have a good idea that I have probably gifted that book to people more than any other book. It really, my life, it changed my, my, uh, how I viewed myself. It changed our marriage. It changed how we relate to our family members, to our coworkers already. I think a good solid marriage and we have good relationships with family, but it just made it even that much better and that much easier to understand why people do what they do. Which pride for me as a questioner is really important. Yeah. Yeah. And we love that stuff. We love, like why do people behave the way they do? Right. Um, that's definitely one of them. Another book that's been very transformative for us. It's called the power of when [inaudible] and this is all about what are called chronotypes, which are your natural circadian rhythm. So your body clock clock KC. Exactly. Um, you know, we had this earlier, I'd mentioned that Rosemary is a morning person. I'm a night person. There's actually four types that the author lays out, which are, they're named after animals. So there's a lion, which is the morning person, early riser. Go get him first thing in the morning. They start, you know, they start at 11 and then they quickly taper off afternoon and just crash. It was just Rosemary. There's the bear and they're sort of the nine to five. They follow the sun. So most of about 50% of population are bears. And this is actually how most of society is organized, is around the natural biorhythms of bears. So you know, we have worked nine to five, that's the bare schedule. Third is the Wolf. That's what I am. So we are really slowly at going in the morning. We tend to be up later and wake up later. Um, it's been really empowering to find out that's what I am because my whole life I always felt frustrated that the entire world seemed to be sort of designed against this natural rhythm. And I always felt like I was lazy or there was something wrong with me cause I just couldn't get up earlier and I would never be able to fall asleep early enough to get up early. So same here. I worked night shift. So you're probably the Wolf type. Yeah. Um, and then the fourth one is dolphin and these are sort of the classic insomniac where they have a really hard time falling and staying asleep. Um, but what he lays out in the book is not only normalizing that these, these four tendencies are all normal and natural, but then also he gives you schedules that are sort of optimized for each type, which is really, I mean everything from, you know, when to eat, when to work, when to do creative work, when to do more admin and minutiae type stuff. Um, even work out what to do when to exercise based on your, your natural rhythms would have sex based on your natural rhythms for, you know, APOE enjoyment. And then most important I think in terms of the relationship is if you are a different type from your partner, figuring out sort of the, the, the best compromise time for things based on both of you. So obviously with Rosemary and I, we're kind of opposite ends of the, the spectrum here in terms of time, but we figured out a rhythm that, that works for both of us where we can still, you know, have a happy, healthy marriage and still see each other sometimes not want to bite each other's heads off. Yeah. That's awesome. I'll have to check that one out. So do you have any last words of wisdom you've given us lots to think about today? I think one thing that, uh, that, that I always say, um, that about, you know, why it's worth spending money on getting food that's of a higher quality. It's, you can choose to pay the farmer now or you can pay the doctor later. And that's really up to you. And for us, we just found that it's worth it to spend a little bit more money, um, on higher quality food and know that we're taking care of ourselves so that when we do get to a point where we can retire, where, uh, you can enjoy it, we can enjoy it fully. So yeah, we do kind of see food and nutrition and health in general is an investment in your most important asset, which is, you know, there's a lot of people that will optimize for finances there, their financial assets and they'll have a great portfolio, but they don't have the health to fully enjoy it. Uh, I remember when I was living and working in Taiwan years ago, uh, one of the guys that I was teaching, very wealthy guy, and he had this great quote, which is, he said, health is a one and wealth are zeros. And if you have all these zeros but you don't have the one in front, it's meaningless. Wow. And that's always stuck with me. That's, yeah. Yeah. I think just, I'm going to add one other word of wisdom that I really, really like and that is that I'm sort of going along with what we were saying about the sleep chronotypes and the four tendencies is that we can't ascribe morality to biology. So if you are that night owl type, you know, that's the way your body is designed to run for you. You're not broken, you're not a lazy or bad person. Similarly, um, you know, with the, with whatever tendency you are, if it's rebel or, or a bunch of whatever, like, you know, I'm not a, I used to just have this belief that like I'm a difficult person. I seem to be like dissatisfied in a cubicle job. Like, what's wrong with me? Other people seem to be okay with this. And he goes, Oh, I'm just a rebel. So, um, I think helping to understand yourself. Yeah. Yeah. Knowing yourself, knowing these concepts that helps you remove that morality from your own biology and understand, Oh, this is just the way I'm wired, so now I can make allowances and make changes in my life too. Um, you know, allow that part of me to flourish. Definitely. That's great. Now where can people find you? Yeah, so we're on Instagram at flourish fundamentals. Our website is flourish Um, and we have a weekly newsletter, so we're on flourish Friday. So, um, if you sign up for a newsletter on our website, we send out recipes and, um, teach you about the stuff that you need to do to take care of yourself for optimal wellness. And then actually, I'm currently writing my third book right now. Um, I'm writing a book that's all about kind of seasonal mood changes. I've always had a really hard time in the fall and winter, and now that that's rolling around again, um, I decided to kind of take all this knowledge and research that I've done over the past year and some things that I've implemented to help myself with that sort of putting that into a book to help other people that struggle with the same thing. Oh, awesome. Yeah, that's gonna be called happy in winter. Oh, awesome. I can't wait to read it. Yeah, I will if then you copy [inaudible]. Sounds good. Thanks you guys so much for being here today. Thank you, Ashley. Thank you. Special Guest: John & Rosemary Fotheringham.

Jan 2020

39 min 35 sec

Making SMART goals is the best way to actually achieve your goals in the New Year. It's not enough to make New Year resolutions and then never acting on them. These 5 simple steps will set you up for success for the entire year, not just January. Resources mentioned: FREE $250 in 5 Days Saving Challenge ( 12 Monthly Saving Challenges ( Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. Hey guys, it's Ashley with budgets fade easy and of course the money mindset podcast. Today I want to talk about how you can crush your [inaudible], your goals in 2020 so we got some big things that I really want you to accomplish this next year and it takes planning now. And so to get ready to really crush your goals next year, we're going to talk about five simple steps to get you there. And we are also going to do a free savings challenge in my free Facebook group. You can go to budgets made and of course I'll link to it in the show notes, but the free challenge savings challenge starts on January 10th and it will be to save $250 in just five days. So it'll help you get started on your, um, $1,000 small emergency fund so that you can get started on paying off your debt. So you've got to save money first and then start paying off debt. So January is all about getting that thousand dollars saved in this challenge. We'll get you a quarter of the way there and we'll give you the tools and tips and tricks to get you the rest of the way there. But I really want you to focus and hone in on getting that savings goal done in just five days, $250 in five days and tons of little tips and tricks to get you there. So it's free to sign up. Go to budget's made and it will get you there. And then you can also, whenever you sign up for that, you will get a special one time offer and it's only valid for 20 minutes to get a special discount on the monthly savings challenges as well. So go ahead and check that out. There's a different savings challenge for every month. Different things to do to kinda change it up, make it fun and interesting throughout the year. But remember, I want you to save this thousand dollars as quickly as possible. I don't want you to take the whole year to save up your thousand dollars, but each month has different challenges to just kind of make it fun, build new habits so that you can really reach your goals next year. So, you know, it's the time of the year that we are beginning to think about next year and our new year's resolutions. And then around March, April we start to lose steam and we just stop focusing on our goals. If we, even honestly, if we even made it to April, you know, March is about the time that people start to lose traction on their new year's resolution. So I don't you to make a new year's resolution that you can't keep. Like I want you to be very intentional about why you want to reach this goal and how to get there. So you know, in order to start paying off debt and saving money, you will stress less. You'll be able to save more and you'll be able to really gain confidence and hope in your financial situation. Because that's the big thing that I want you to accomplish is just have hope. And whenever you make your plan, that gives you hope, even if you haven't accomplished anything yet on your goals, just making the plan, you can see that it's possible and that you can do it. And that just really helps give you momentum. So there's five steps to reach your goals next year. And it's called smart goals. If you haven't heard of smart goals, they're my favorite. Uh, you know, you're their specific, I forget, I forget what all the acronyms are, but basically it's to make specific measurable, um, realistic, timely, and, um, I always forget what the a is, but you know, it's to be specific and make measurable and timely goals. That's the big thing and goals that you can actually do. So, you know, actually, you know, if you're 60 years old, you know, are you going to be able to run a marathon? Well, you can. Um, but it's going to take a lot of practice and a lot of work and you may not physically be able to. So, you know, it needs to be a goal that you can actually do in the timeframe that you set. So I want you to be realistic about your goals. And in order to make your smart goals, it takes some planning out. So in deciding on some major benefits of your life, you know, for one, it helps you make progress and not stand still in life. It helps you be successful in life in many ways, not just in your finances. Like you can make smart goals for anything. Um, but you know, setting financial goals is the key to financial freedom. You know, once you are debt free, you have so many options. That's the thing. Freedom, you know, people call it financial freedom. I like to say that it gives you options. You get to do what you want to do. Um, you know, if you want to quit your stressful job and you don't have any bills, you know, you don't have a bunch of debt, you've got money saved up, you can do that. Um, you know, you need to change jobs. You can do that. Do you need to go back to school so that you can get a better job? You can do that. It just gives you so many options. And then when something happens, like an emergency, you know, your washer breaks, your car breaks down, you know, you're not stressed and panicking and just taking the first option that comes up because that's the only choice you've gotten. You've got to get to and you've got to pay your bills and you don't have time for this and you, you know, you don't make the smartest decisions because you're under pressure, you're under stress. But when you have money saved up and you're like, okay, I've got this much, I can buy a new car or a new washer and dryer, you get a little bit more freedom. You get more options to choose the best situation for you instead of just panicking and rushing into a decision. Um, whenever you have freedom and you have the option to make the best choice for you. So everything starts with a plan. Even your budget is a goal for your money. You know, in, in your budget is a plan for your money. So it all starts with planning what you want to achieve with your money and then breaking it down to get there. You know, that's what a budget is. So that's why I start there. And that's kind of the foundation for everything else you do. Um, you know, we talk a lot about money mindset and figuring out why you're doing certain things with your money and why you think about money in certain ways. And once you kind of work on that, you know, your budget is the foundation and the goal for your money and everything else that you do with it. So you know, it really, um, is what you have to do in order to reach your bigger goals, whether it's to invest for retirement, save for emergencies, pay for kid's college. You really can't do all that effectively and efficiently or even, you know, to the most potential, um, without a budget. And you know, a budget is just simply a goal for your money. So the first thing that I want you to do, um, in order to achieve your big goals in 2020 is to set measurable and specific goals. So the first thing is to decide what your goal will be. Think about the big picture here. Where do you see yourself in five years from now, one year from now, even six months from now. And then you got to figure out how to get there. So we take that big goal and we break it down into specific and measurable, smaller goals. So it can't be something like, I just, I wish I was debt free. Well, that's not specific. It's not measurable. It's a wish. You know that if you wish something, it's not going to come true. You need to want it and you need to plan for it and you need to get there. So it needs to be specific enough, um, to be measurable. So it needs to be like, I want to pay off $50,000 in three years. You know, then you had to break it down to each year, uh, six months, three months, a month, a week. So you need to take that big amount, whatever your big goal is, even if it's a savings goal, I want to save 50,000 in three years. Uh, you know, you have to break it down and decide how much you have to save at each interval. To get there. Now keep in mind that the first little bit of your goal planning, like let's say the first week, the first month is going to be just kind of building the foundation. You know, you're just taking little steps in the right direction. So you know, if mathematically it may seem like, well, I've got to save $3,000 this month to reach this big goal, I'm never going to be able to do it. So why even bother starting? No, what will happen is, is let's just say like this week your goal is to do your budget. I want you to get it done in just a week, and then the next week will be, okay, well next week I want to save $200 and you know, it builds on it. And what'll happen is as you go, you gain momentum and you just naturally do it faster and faster and faster because you're building new habits, you're changing your mindset around money, you're really deciding on your priorities, what are priorities, what are needs, what are wants and things like that. And so it just really gains momentum. And you will find that you will find ways to find money or make money, save money that you hadn't even thought of. So by the end of it, you know, you're really like just gaining steam and you're plowing through your goal. So don't worry about the smaller goals in the beginning, like if it, um, if the math doesn't always add up to the bigger goal, like make up for it towards the end, make your, you know, it doesn't have to be an exact amount every single month, you know, um, you know, you're six months male and be 10% of your goal and, but then as you go, it'll have to be bigger and bigger. So just kinda, you need to lay it down on paper and really figure out how you're gonna achieve this bigger goal. So you really need to write it down and do the math and figure out how you're going to reach that bigger goal. So, you know, as you're making your bigger goals, we need to make it timely, so we need to put a deadline on it. So that's step number two. So step number one is making it specific, measurable. Step number two is to put a deadline on it. So like I said, you know, if your goal is to pay off or save or whatever, $50,000 in three years, you know, you need the three years is the deadline. So it needs to be timely. It can't be 10 years. That's way too long. You will never get there. You will constantly put it off because it'll be like, Oh, I've got plenty of time to do it. I'll do it later and then later never come. So it needs to be timely. I want your goal, whatever it is, debt free savings, I want the three years. Okay. Now, if for some reason you've got hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and for some reason you're not a doctor, five years max. Um, and keep in mind that this, um, your debt payoff goal, um, if that's what your goal is, is doesn't include your house right now unless for some reason, you know, you've got a low mortgage or you know, you don't have any other debt, um, your mortgage comes after you've saved up your emergency fund and you've paid off all your consumer debt, like your credit cards and your 401k loans, everything except for the mortgage. So, but if you're on that step, yes, you know, you will want to work on your mortgage, uh, paying that off. So whenever we are paying off just our consumer debt, everything else, it needs to be two, three years. If you have like an, a crazy, crazy amount of debt and not a huge income, five years max, like if you've got that much debt, you need to be selling stuff like cars because most of the time, uh, it's cars that are the huge debt burden. So sell the cars and you knocked out a ton of money right there. So you know you've got to make the hard decisions to get to your bigger goal, but you don't have to do it right away. You may be thinking, Oh, I don't want to pay off my car or I don't want to sell my car right now. But you, like I said, as you gain momentum and you start selling things and making more money and you gained steam, and really once you get like even to the halfway Mark over the halfway Mark, it's like, how can I do this faster? And a lot of times that will be when you will be ready to sell the car. So don't beat yourself up right now. If you're not ready to start selling the big things you will get there. Don't overwhelm your stuff with all the big details. Okay? Break it down into your smaller goals and then add those smaller goals. Still need to be timely. So you need to have like this week what your goal will be this month, three months, six months. And then just focus on that goal. For now. You know, I want you to see the big picture, but I also want you to break it down into the smaller bite size pictures and just focus on that. Because if you're focusing on the huge picture all the time, it will really feel like you're not making any progress and it will feel overwhelming and it's a whole lot easier to give up whenever you do that. So that's why I want you to break it down. Take your big goal and break it down into smaller, timely, and achievable goals so that you can get to your bigger goal. You will get there and as you go you will just gain momentum. So don't worry about that. As long as you're heading in the right direction. That is what is important. So I want you to break down your goal into one week, one month or sorry, what? Yes. One month, three months, six months, one year, 18 months, two years, and then a three year goal. You know, it may be possible that you as you go, I know it was for me, I think our debt pay off date was close to three years and we did it in 17 months. So you know, as you go, you will just find ways to do a faster and so that really, it's kinda like a goal to beat. Like that's your ultimate goal. But it's like, okay, how can I beat this goal and do it even faster? Um, you know, so just keep that in mind, make it still, make it timely, make it realistic. And then as you go, you will find that you need to, uh, that you will want to do it faster and faster. So, you know, even for just goal planning for this year, I want you to decide this year, at the end of the year, what do I want to have accomplished? And then make a goal for every single month. Like, okay, this month I want to do this, this month I need to do this in order to reach the bigger goal. Because if you just say, I want to save $10,000 by the end of 2020 or by the end of the year come November, you'll be scrambling trying to figure out how to do it. You need to break it down into smaller goals so that you have little things that will move you in the right direction throughout the whole year. Now number four, okay, so number one is is to make it specific and measurable. Number two is timely. Number three is to make your smaller goals to reach the bigger goal. And then number four is to write these goals down. You are one and a half times more likely to achieve a goal. If you write it down, it makes it real, it keeps you accountable, it helps you visualize your goal and once you write down your specific goals, a map out how to get there, you figure out what to do every month or every paycheck to get there. Make a list of things you can cut or sell to help you save money or pay down your debt. You'll write down your budget and see what things you can cut back on in order to reach your bigger goal. So I am a huge advocate of writing things down. That's why I sell the budget planner that is a printable. You have to print it out and write it out. The monthly savings challenges which are coming out, uh, this week are all printables. So you know, the, and it has a goal for you every single month, the different things to work on every month to reach your bigger savings goal for the whole year. So it changes is, uh, changes that, uh, keeps it interesting and keeps you on track for the whole year. So you're not waiting until December and panicking on how to even, you know, pay for Christmas. You'll be able to pay for Christmas before, you know, black Friday and you can get black Friday deals without guilt and trying to figure out how you're going to pay for it. Okay. And number five, this is a big one. I love, this is making visuals. So that's another thing with the savings challenges that we just created and are launching this week is visualizing your goal. So with the savings challenges, you've got the challenge itself, you've got the cash envelopes to put the money in that you are saving or earning and you know, selling things and whatever that you're saving for each month has its own cash envelope and then it has a visual tracker. So you print the tracker off and you fill it in as you go because I know so many times it will feel like you're not making any progress, but you are, it's just so small at a time that you're not seeing the bigger picture and seeing the progress that you really are making. So that's why I love visuals, whether you're, whether it's for saving or whether it's for paying off debt. So you can make a visual for your whole year for whatever. If you want to save or if you want to pay off debt, you can make a visual. Um, you know, you can even, all I did when I was paying off my student loans was I just drew on construction paper with a Sharpie, a thermometer and I filled it in myself. But you know, you can of course get a free ones on my website. You can get 'em, um, free on lots of other websites, you know, prettier ones or you can just make it yourself. It doesn't matter. Just visualize your progress so that it can actually feel like you're making progress. Because when times get tough, when something comes up and messes up your budget and you don't have as much to send towards savings or debt or whatever this month, it feels like, Oh my God, I'm not making any progress. You really are. You just have to see the bigger picture and see how much progress you're making. So I want you to make a visual, um, visual, uh, sheet of your goal. So whether it's just for your goal for 2020, or you know, your overall goals, and even if you're paying off debt, it can be for each debt and then your overall debt. You know, so that you can really see the progress, you know, and put the visuals in places where you need the motivation. You know, I had mine taped in my closet, so every day as I was getting ready for work, I would see it. Um, you can put it in your bathroom, you know, you could even make 'em really, really small one, put it in your wallet. You would put it there in front of your credit card or debit card. So it'll remind you when you go to spend money, you know, you make a little one laminate, laminate and, but in, in your wallet, make a little wallet card. So, you know, it doesn't have to be extreme. It can be something simple. You know, some people even take um, construction paper and they, I forget what it's called, but the, you know, the little a chain, the little paper chains and, you know, as they make a payment or something, they take off a chain. And so they see how much they have left. And so, you know, be creative with it, you know, search Pinterest for different ideas, whatever you need. Um, make it fun and just make sure that you can visually see your progress because it will help motivate you. And it'll really, as you get closer and closer to your goal, I'm telling you, it will help you go faster and faster because you're just motivated and you're like, you can see the finish line. You know, when you first start your, you know, hopefully you're excited about the, you know, the prospect of it and then about, you know, then you can kind of start losing steam. And then once you start to get closer and closer, you just pick up steam. So, you know, it's not a constant speed. Okay. You may go faster and then a little bit slower and then faster and whatever. So keeping a visual of your progress will really help keep you motivated whenever you start to lose steam or start to slow down or things just freaking come up that you didn't think about and you weren't expecting and hadn't saved for and it just screws up your whole budget, um, you know, and things like that. So it will really help you break down your goals and see your progress. So some other ways to just kind of stay motivated, you know, is um, to kind of recap is making visuals, writing it down and breaking your big goal into smaller goals. You in some other ways to stay motivated, include, you know, a big reason why, you know, I'm big on telling, um, and figuring out why you want to achieve this goal. You know, it needs to be a big reason. It needs to be for yourself. It can't be for somebody else because you just won't care enough to do it. I mean, that's just how we are. That's how humans work and operate. So it means to be a big reason that you want to do it. You know, why is this goal important to you? You know, do you want to quit your job? Do you want to retire comfortably? Do you want to take your kids to Disney world? Are all paid for vacation before you even get there? You know, whatever your reason is, make sure to remind yourself what it is. You set big reason as a visual to remind yourself to keep your eye on the prize. And you may also want to think about why you may not be motivated. Think about the barriers that are going to keep you from your goals in 2020 you know, you can go ahead and plan on how to overcome them. So if you already are planning for things to screw up your plan, then you will also be able to plan how to counteract that. So make a plan for the setbacks and the speed bumps because they're going to happen from time to time and you need to know how to deal with it. And you know what? If you already have a plan ahead of time, how you're going to handle that. It'll just be less stressful for you when it comes up because you know how to handle it. You've already thought it through. You've already made your plan. Now you just have to implement it. You have to do it. And so it will be less stressful for you if you already go ahead and make a plan and know that those things are just, they're just going to happen. That's just life. Life's going to happen. So, you know, I've already talked about tracking your progress. So that's another way to stay motivated. Um, it's important to tr, it's so important to track your progress so that you can visually see, um, the progress that you have made. Cause like I said, you will, um, not always feel like you're making progress, but you really are. Um, and the next thing is to celebrate your wins. Okay? So when you reach a milestone, celebrate it. It doesn't have to be fancy or extravagant or expensive of course, but Pat yourself on the back, celebrate your successes and that will help motivate you to keep going. You know, don't focus on the negative. Look forward. Celebrate your however you want to do that. You know, if you, let's say you've pay off $5,000 in debt, we'll go have a date night or go bowling, go to a concert, you know, celebrate that. You did that. That's a big achievement. Some people never do that in their life. So even if you've got $50,000 in debt and you've paid off 5,000 and may feel like you barely made a dent in it, celebrate the win. You did something amazing and you did something that a lot of people don't even want to do. They don't even care to do, or they don't want the, you know, they don't even know that they need to do it. You know, they're not listening to those podcasts. So, you know, celebrate the wins. Know that you still accomplish something that is going towards your bigger goal. You know, and it doesn't have to be a lot of money. Just be sure to give yourself credit for your progress and enjoy it. We don't want to be miserable while we're doing this and paying off debt and saving money, or we will quit and lose steam. So you've got a plan to have some fun in there. Celebrate your wins and just, you know, enjoy the ride because it's going to be so worth it in the end. So in conclusion, setting goals is really the secret to success in life, whether it's financial success or personal growth. You get there by setting a goal and doing what you can to achieve it. These simple steps will help you reach your goals and make 2020 the best year. Yet it all starts with a plan and some motivation. And with these steps you will be able to crush your goals in 2020 so let's start planning now. They have the best year of your life. I know you can do this and I am so happy to be part of your journey and please let me know your big wins. Come to my Facebook group. It's free budgeting for beginners. Come join my group, share your wins, share what your goals are for 2020 and then be sure to sign up for the free savings challenge to get you a jump start. We're going to be doing that in the Facebook group as well, but you can say them to get your free tracker so you can visualize your progress. Go to budget's made and I will see you guys later.

Dec 2019

26 min 1 sec

Chris and his wife were able to pay off $52,000 in 7 months by getting on the same page and working together. It certainly wasn't easy in the beginning but they both made changes and reached their big goal! Paid off $52k of debt in 2011. Started Money Peach in 2015. I’ve done over 120 episodes on the Money Peach Podcast. My focus is on creating budgets, saving money, and debt payoff. Website: Email: Social Handles: Facebook @themoneypeach, Twitter: @TheMoneyPeach, IG: @thechrispeach Resources mentioned: The Debt Bundle ( The One Thing by Gary Keller ( (affiliate link) Special Guest: Chris Peach.

Dec 2019

35 min 24 sec

Misty went on a year long spending freeze and how it changed her mindset around spending. Misty Lynch is a Certified Financial Planner™ and the founder of Relatable Wealth where she helps families and business owners manage their money better. The mission of Relatable Wealth is to share resources to help you handle your money with confidence both for the betterment of your family and your business. Misty lives with her husband and children in Walpole, MA. When she isn't writing and educating about finances, she enjoys reading, learning and taking courses, watch baking championship shows, making food her toddlers won’t eat, petting all the dogs, 90’s music, and one day, she wants to be on Jeopardy. Website: Email: Social Handles: @relatablewealth (Facebook & Twitter) @mistylynchcfp (IG) Resources mentioned in this episode: No Spend Challenge Printable ( Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl ( link) Full Transcript: Thanks Misty so much for being here. I am so excited to talk with you today. Great. Thank you for having me. So before we jump in, now I do want to talk about, we're going to talk about your year long shopping hiatus, but before we do that, cause I really excited to hear how in the world you did that for a whole year. Uh, but can you just kind of quickly tell us about yourself and what you do? Uh, sure. Um, so my name is Misty Lynch. I'm a certified financial planner and a behavioral financial advisor. Um, and I, I'm a and I created this blog really when I started to, um, decided I wanted to try to do a year long shopping ban and not buy any clothes, shoes or bags for the entire year. And I thought writing about it and telling everybody that I could about it, um, would help keep me accountable and it, and it definitely did. So that's, um, so that's just a little bit about me. I'm also, um, I have, you know, a five year old and a seven year old and, uh, live out in Massachusetts with my husband. Awesome. So this, so you decided not to buy any clothes, handbags, shoes, like was that primarily it and were, were there like other things in there? So for me, I, um, you know, I [inaudible] kind of notice that, you know, when I started to, you know, make more money and, you know, I, I, I always was just, I was just in a habit of buying things that, um, I didn't really even need or sometimes I would have clothes in my closet with tags on them. And it just started to, I wondered when I, you know, started developing these habits and it really, um, I think I came across an article about somebody who like, had stopped shopping for like two weeks. And in my head I was just like, I bet I have enough stuff here that I could do this for an entire year and be completely fine. And I really just wanted to see, you know, what was motivating me to, you know, spend on things that, you know, when I could be using my money [inaudible] for things that I cared about more or maybe [inaudible] um, starting a business or doing something different. So it really was more just like an experiment, I guess you could say. Um, to see if I could start to, you know, be more mindful about some of the, some of the things that I was, that I was doing just filling up my cart on Amazon and clicking and not even knowing what was coming in the mail. So I think I've talked to a lot of people that kind of, you know, are in similar habits. You know, two small kids. I was, you know, up at night nursing in the middle of the night and I would be shopping because my phone was right there. So it's something that's become really easy for people to do, but it could get a little bit out of control. And, and you know, when you wanted to, you know, when you want to stay out of debt and you want to do, um, you know, accomplish more with your money, um, sometimes there's some really tempting things out there that can, uh, can just keep you from achieving those goals. So it was really just an experiment to kind of see what triggered me to, you know, act a way and how I could, how I could go about changing it. So did you set out to do it for a whole year or was that just kind of like you just kept going? Nope, it was, it was, the goal was a new year's resolution really. I started on, on January 1st and, um, and then, you know, kind of in my first blog post that I posted that that first week of January was that this was my resolution for the year. And, um, and, but you know, that I would track my progress quarterly and then in the middle of, you know, um, as I was going throughout the year, I would kind of write things about, about money mindset, about, you know, about shopping, about Mmm. You know, business and family and other, other financial goals just to kind of, I didn't think anybody wanted to follow every week of yeah. I wanted to buy and didn't. Um, but yeah, it really was kind of the intention it was in the, to see if it could go an entire year and how, how it would change me afterwards. So what did you, so one, did you make it the whole year? I did. The only time that I got anything new was like on mother's day. But it was, it's interesting because when you just have like an instant gratification kind of world where you see something you like on someone else and you can just buy it, it really was different when it got to be like mother's day or my birthday. Like I had a list of things that I really wanted and I don't remember having anything like that since I was a kid. You know, like the things that you couldn't just go get. Um, and that, you know, like I really wanted a pair of slippers that I'd worn out completely. And I, and I waited til mother's day and when I got them I was so happy, like different, different kinds of happy than when you can just put them in your cart and get them tomorrow. Um, so it was interesting. So yeah, I did get a few new things, but those were really, um, those were like on my, on my birthday or mother's day. Um, and you know, occasionally if I got a gift card for, um, like a, a birthday present that I would be able to use that. But it was weird. I almost felt strange using it. Like it had to be so important that it couldn't just, I couldn't just ruin it on the first thing I saw. So those ended up sticking around in my wallet much longer than they usually do. Yeah. So how, how do you think that it kinda changed your mindset to do it for this long? Well, I think, you know, I had a job for a while where I was traveling and so I would be by myself in different cities and a lot of times I think like I would just go, I would just go shopping, um, to pass time. Um, but really what I was probably feeling was like lonely or bored, you know? And so, um, I, I kind of realized that it wasn't exactly a good pastime. You know, spending money is something you should do, um, with your front brain, you should do, you know, with some planning and some, you know, thinking ahead about it. And so, yeah, I really just, you know, started to, you know, if I felt like, you know, I always had a lot of books around, you know, so instead of feeling like, Oh, I have a couple hours to myself, I should go shopping, I would say I would kind of swap it with a different habit that I felt accomplished, a goal that I wanted to do, which was read more. And so it was just kind of noticing those moments where you felt like just kind of like compulsively like, Oh, I'm just going to go do this because I have time, or I'm by myself, or, um, you know, I'm on the West coast and my family's asleep. Who should I talk to? You can kind of, um, I could kind of notice more when I wanted to spend money or if I like didn't have a great day. Um, I would, you know, sometimes instead of, you know, you know, everybody has some, you know, usually we try to, to feel better. And so with, you know, having everything at our fingertips now you can go eat, you could go drink, you could go shop, you can do all of these things. And sometimes doing them just puts you back in that cycle of feeling worse afterwards, which leads to more of that same behavior. So it really was kind of setting up these roadblocks to say like, okay, this isn't something I do now. What will I, you know, what can I do if I don't have a great day at work? Okay. I can, you know, take the dog for a walk or I can, you know, I kind of had these back of things that were just easy go to [inaudible], um, ways to kind of snap out of whatever, you know, mindset or bad mood or anything that I was in to kind of just reset and get back to normal instead of doing something that I wanted to, you know, to stop doing. I also started to sell some of my things that I had, like the bags and the clothes that I'd acquired and held onto for 10 years that I had no interest in anymore. Um, [inaudible] got a lot at, got rid of a lot of suits that could go to women who were looking for jobs or maybe wanted, you know, needed to get something either secondhand or donated to, you know, go get their first interview when they were just hanging in my closet and the addicts. So I kind of felt good giving things away more. It almost felt as good as getting things, um, possibly better. Um, and so that was kind of an interesting thing to say. Like, I don't even need more stuff. Could also get rid of stuff at the same time. [inaudible] so what are some things that you did to kind of make it easier for you so you weren't so tempted, you know, like emails and just, you know, all advertisements and things like that, especially for a whole year. I'm sure as you built the habit and stuff it got easier and easier, um, for at certain times anyway. But I'm sure you still had your weak moments. Yeah, no, I'm, one of the first things I did was I unsubscribed to probably over a hundred different emails that were coming to me from retailers. And, um, sometimes you'd have to unsubscribe several times in places because really when you're looking at, you know, like I, um, you know, when I was up late with my, with my babies when they were, when they were really small, I mean, there would just be so many things. Every time you scroll through a newsfeed, there's advertisements and things that are basically just tailored to you, what you're looking for. So I spent a lot less time, um, following different stores are things that I liked. I unsubscribed to all the emails and then eventually my feet stopped showing those things. I did start seeing more of people like that I found inspiring. Like some, you know, I, I just kind of changed everything I was looking at. And eventually your, you know, everything that's tracking your, every move online starts picking up the things that you like. I really just tried to yeah. Know, limit how much I was seeing because yeah, it's tough when you see like, you know, Oh, this the sales going on or you have, um, [inaudible] you know, there's, all these new things are coming out for the season. And my husband actually did most of the, he likes, he likes to shop and he's good at it. So he, um, he did a lot of the shopping for the kids. Mmm. You know, because they obviously needed new things throughout the year because they were growing. And, um, I just, you know, if I went into the store to get stuff, I would just go straight to the kids section and find what I needed and walk out without even trying to, to look around to see if there was anything nice. Sometimes I would see some, like, um, you know, if, if we went into a store and there was like the mannequins or anything, I would start thinking, what do I have that's like that? Could I make that outfit based on stuff that I have in my closet? Um, because, you know, I still had things to do and wanted to look nice and I, um, that kind of wasn't interesting way to rethink, I need that, I want to buy that right now. It was, okay, do I have anything close to that? Or like, could I put an outfit together like that? And, um, I'm not necessarily good at putting outfits together. And so maybe I would see stuff like that and be like, you know what, I think I could do that. Or, um, let me go back and look at what I have because we tend to just pile up stuff and if it's in a basket under your bed or up in the attic, you're not going to remember it. You're really just going to see the stuff that's right there. So almost, you know, getting rid of some of the stuff that you really don't want anymore and then trying to be a little more creative with what you had. I mean, it kind of made things a little bit more interesting. And I did, I did try to wear different outfits, probably more so than normal where I just had my GoTo things or would buy something new every time I had plans. Wow. Excuse me. Um, so how much money do you think that you've saved that year? So I was looking back at my, um, I do track all of my, um, my spending, um, with the planning software that I use. Um, the clients and I, it looked like I had spent about, I think it was, I'd have to look, but it was probably like $5,000 that I had normally spent. Just on random shopping for myself throughout the year, which is, you know, it ends up being quite a bit, you know, if you're spending like, you know, a couple hundred dollars a month or you know, maybe one month you have more. Um, and that to me was just, um, you know, it was, it was too much based on what I actually needed. So I would say that I probably saved that much, you know, just thinking back about it. Um, because I really wasn't paying attention. Um, and so it might not seem it, you know, when you make your budget, and I know you help people with budgeting too, it's really easy to remember like the mortgage and the groceries, but people forget all those little things that they pick up, you know, when they spend $50 at target, um, on a Saturday, that might not be added into their line items when they have that budget in their head. But those, those dollars definitely add up and are, are worth tracking. So, um, it is really important to be kind of mindful about all of that spending. And then, you know, if you do say like, okay, I'm going to spend $200 and I'm going to get a pair of, you know, a new jacket because I need one, or, um, I need a pair of shoes. You know, it's very different when you plan ahead and go into a store to find exactly what you need instead of just waiting for, you know, for like target to tell you what you need. That leads to a lot of, a lot of impulse buying and spending where you're like, why did I even do that? But then you usually move on. But now whenever you were finished with this, cause you did this last year, right? In 2018. Yeah. Um, so how did, how has your shopping changed since, I mean you're technically not doing this challenge, you know, once you were done and you could spend, how did you handle that? Yeah, so I think there was definitely some things that needed to be replaced. I think my, my workout clothes were probably the most, they were in the worst shape. Um, and I think there was a pair of sweat pants and my husband was like out. And I think I had a, like a Yukon sweatshirt that I still, I still hold onto even though it is falling apart. Um, but yeah, so there was some things that I said like, okay, I'm going to, you know, I'm going to try to find, you know, a few more pairs of workout pants, but I would do it very mindfully. So like if I wanted to go to a store like old Navy, I would no what I wanted. I would look on my phone for coupons or deals before I went. So I would do all of these things that make you think so when you plan ahead, it's very, it's, it's easier than getting, you know, sucked away and doing something, you know, that you never intended to do. So I would almost have like lists of that I wanted, I would know which coupon code or whatever I wanted to use. Um, sometimes I would buy it online if that just kept it easier. Um, but a lot of times I would still go to a store cause that's another hurdle to actually have to get up, get dressed, go where you need to go look at it and decide that that's something you want. Um, and I would kind of stick to it. Um, I don't, um, I still see some things that I, you know, that I like on other people, you know, but I have to, I've started to be better at realizing like sometimes it's just okay to see somebody look really nice and tell them that I love those boots or I love your dress and move on because that's what I had done the whole last year. It didn't mean I have to have that or me at five foot two would look anything like the person that I might've seen wearing a pair of skinny jeans with a perfectly, they're like look completely different on me. So I kind of, you know, spent a little bit more like less time feeling like that envious or that kind of, you know, Oh I have to go do that thing or look that way. And kind of tried to figure out what looks best on me and, and stop buying things that maybe I just liked on other people. Yeah. So that I would wear it more or that I would actually use it. So yeah. So I kind of just have very, like when I, when I do shop, it's usually I still like, you know, if I have a gift card that that's kind of fun to spend it, but I'm just a little bit more, you know, Mmm. Clear on what I actually really need and what I, I know what I have now, which is much better to actually know what, what your little inventory is. And I do, um, I do like consignment. Um, I do give, you know, sell a lot of clothes at a consignment store that opened recently. And I do, um, I kind of have read a little bit about like fast fashion and like its impact on the planet, um, and all of the clothes that are really meant to be worn for one season and just end up in landfills. And, and I really kind of started thinking about that too, cause that that helped me, you know, reading things of course that kind of support some of your, your goals and opinions. And that made me think about how much we're actually buying and consuming that right. Maybe we could get secondhand or we could, um, give away some of our stuff when we need to and give it to other people. So that kind of helped me think about like, okay, do I really need to buy one more thing or am I good? Like do I have enough shoes or could I, could I wear something different? Um, and that, that kind of, um, with some of those, those triggers and thinking about what else I could do instead. So if somebody listening is wanting to do a no spin challenge, you know, cause I really advocate for that for just, you know, resetting your shopping habits and just trying to rein in your budget and things like that. Maybe not necessarily for a whole year, which is no, not a bad idea at all. If you really want to make some good progress. But let's say a long time. So even if they're wanting to just do two weeks or a month or something like that, what kind of tips would you give them to kind of help make it easier for them? Yeah, so I think, you know, and I, not everybody's a writer, but you don't, you don't have to be. But I do think if you, if you write down what your goals are, um, I think that that could be helpful. Um, you know, I told plenty of people what I was doing. Nobody necessarily wanted to join me, blame them, but I told them, you know, what I was doing and why. And sometimes even just saying things like that, um, will make, like, even if you say, I'm going to go to the gym in the morning and you told one more person who's planning to see you there, you're more likely to go. Um, you know, so I think that that was something I did. Um, and I, I told people what I was doing, I did use journaling and stuff as a, you know, I, I did start writing down certain things, you know, that if you're trying to give up something, you know, start your morning writing down some things that you have already in that you're grateful for it, it'll kind of make you feel a little bit less, um, just a little bit better. You know, I think it's just a good way to kind of start your day with like a good mindset, especially if you're trying to give something up or say you're going on a diet or doing a cleanse or trying to stop drinking for a month, you know, anything like that. If you, if you start by thinking about like all of the things you want to accomplish during the day and some of the great things that you've already got going on, um, it just makes it easier because you're already in a good space. And then I think like tracking the budgeting was, was good. I, um, I saw, you know, my savings increased. I was able to, you know, to, to see a positive, you know, throughout the year, you know, positive growth. So even if you just wanted to stop spending, um, you know, maybe you feel like you're, you're spending too much or you want to spend less on takeout and you more at restaurant starts put that money that you would normally have used and either put it in a savings account or even if it's just for a week or a month, you could put it like in a jar in your house, you know, and that, that helps to kind of show progress. And then it's like, okay, well if I was normally spending, you know, $5 a day on, you know, on lunch and I stopped doing that, you know, by the end of the month you might be like, okay, I can actually, like I could start an investment account with this, with this money, I could do a lot of different things. And so I think that that's kind of Mmm important. And if you know what you're like, one of the things that I do sometimes with, with clients that are kind of like feeling like they're not acquiring any, any wealth or they feel like they make good money and they don't know where it goes, it's really good to kind of narrow down what yeah, real values are. So I was spending all this money on shopping, but that's not one of my top five values in my life. That's not my family. That's not education, that's not independence or you know, entrepreneurs. It's none of those things. And so when I stopped spending money in different areas that if I couldn't ask myself like, does this support, you know, the things that I care about, um, and if the answer was no, then it was easy to change my mind. Where, you know, if buying a course online was helping me do better in my business or with my writing, that was very easy for me to say. Like, yes, I can. This makes me feel good. I do, I won't regret this purchase. Even if you know, you know, just adding to like some education or I learned something. And so kind of like knowing what you really, really want to do and care about and then making sure that your money supports that most of the time can make it a lot easier to kind of accomplish those bigger goals. And, and even if you just said, okay, if you set a goal to, you know, stop spending for a month after that month, it might be a lot easier to be like, okay, wow, I don't miss it or look what I accomplished and I could kind of keep going. Like definitely like unsubscribing to some of those emails can definitely, it's really like, it's really overwhelming. We see so many ads every day, um, that it's, it's almost like getting to be too noisy. Where I like every other thing is a sponsored ad or a post and it's like, Oh, this is really just a sales tool. It's not necessarily like, you know, connecting me or seeing pictures of families and friends. It's usually some sort of sales. So just to be kind of mindful of that and aware of it instead of feeling like, wow, how did they know that I needed this? Yeah, exactly. I only thought that, how do they know? How are they here? Like are they in my, in my head, in my computer and um, yeah, just trying to, if you can, you know, block out some of that noise and focus on more of the things that really light you up. Yeah. That's great. So what do you think was the biggest thing that you've learned from this experience? Um, I think biggest thing that I learned was like actually spending some time on my, you know, my [inaudible] looking at like what my thoughts and feelings were. Because a lot of times I would go straight from something happening to reacting. Like I had a bad day or I'm lonely in this town and I, you know, I don't travel home until, you know, two days from now, instead of thinking, okay, how does that make me feel? Is this the right role for me? What should I do? You know, I would just go shop. So instead of going straight from this circumstance, which is real, like I'm in a different city or I had a difficult, or I'm tired and thinking about, you know, doing something to correct it, I would jump straight to, all right, I'm going to do something that'll make me feel better right away. And I think that's how any habit, any, any behavior happens is just repeating it several times and then eventually you don't even notice you're doing it. So I do spend a lot more time writing down, you know, things that I'm, I'm thinking and feeling and then like how could I think about this or feel about this a different way. And like I know you talk to people who are in a lot of debt and I talked to people too that say I have $100,000 worth of debt. I feel so terrible. I, I hate my thought. You know, I'm feel so guilty. But it's like, it's just a fact that you owe, this is not in money. Like you can change your thoughts, you can change your feelings and have a different action, a different, a different response to the situation and then the results changed. So, you know, I think that that's kind of something that this whole process has helped me with to kind of think about things well in a lot more depth and then respond in a way that's helpful to me or to my family instead of just feeling a certain way about money because money's difficult and it's not something we're all trained to, to do well with or to understand. And so I think we see it as a very emotional thing when it's really just dollars and you can have a plan to do different things with your money, whether it's get out of debt or save money to start a business or to send someone to school or retire. It's really just, we put the emotion behind it. So that's something that we can kind of control. That's, that's very true. That's a really good point. Um, so just to kind of wrap up here, I do love to ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. You know, just self-improvement and working on yourself, just like you did with, uh, you know, not shopping as much or not shopping for a whole year and you know, the things that you learned along the way. So, um, what is one of your favorite novels? Fiction books? You know, I picked up a book this summer and, um, and I was in Cape Cod visiting my mother-in-law and, um, it's called man's search for meaning by Viktor Frankl. [inaudible]. It's an interesting nonfiction, very short read, but he survived concentration camp and he was, um, he was a psychiatrist when he went in and just reading about the way that he used his brains who help him survive, like the worst situation possible and the way he helped other people survive. And what happened when he saw people who gave up or who, you know, who were just dealing with things in a different way. So, um, it's something that I think anybody could read and, um, you know, it's, it's been around for, for a long time, but that's probably one of those books that like when you feel a little bit out of control or maybe a little bit lost, like it's, it's super fascinating and like very inspiring to just see how, you know, you know, decades later in different situations that whatever's going on in the world, like we all have this very powerful tool right inside our own heads that, um, maybe we could all use a little bit differently. Um, and just to, to get through, you know, difficult times. Yeah. I'll have to add that to the list. I've got a whole list growing now since [inaudible]. I mean, it's, it's, it's a quick read. It's less than a hundred. It's less than 200 pages. Oh, okay. A tiny book that you could sit in your, in your purse. Um, it just, you know, it's just fascinating. I like hearing stories about people, you know, and they're, and what motivates them and inspires them. And this was, this was one that I think probably is inspired a lot of, a lot of writers, a lot of the, you know, the, um, Adam grants and assignments and acts like the people, the big thinkers that we see now, like have, you know, kind of cited. This book is one that kind of changed their whole opinion on everything. Wow. And it's nice that it's a quick read. Yeah, no, I know. Those are great too, especially if you like to go back and reread things or you just like to have them, you know, a little coffee stash away somewhere, but quick one, but it's good. Good. Um, and where can people find you? Sure. Okay. So, um, my website is relatable, and you can also find me on [inaudible] Twitter at relatable well and Facebook at relatable wealth and on Instagram at Misty Lynch CFP. Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me today and I look forward to talking to you soon. Great. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks. Special Guest: Misty Lynch.

Dec 2019

32 min 13 sec

Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. Tom provides some simple and easy ways to make extra money to pay off your debt faster. He has some great tips for making extra money online and in real life. Resources mentioned: Free Debt Snowball Worksheet ( 4 hour Workweek ( (affiliate link) Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast, where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. Actually with budgets mace easy in the money mindset podcast. Today we are going to be talking all about earning extra money easily and at home. Just ways that creative ways that you can make some extra money so that you can pay off your debt a lot faster. So in order to get started on paying off your debt, you can get my free debt bundle. It's uh, forms and spreadsheets and worksheets to get started on your debt. Snowball. Good. A budget's made And today we are talking to Tom. He's a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income and marketing. So this online world is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. So he has some really great ideas that you can do from home and you know, even some in rural areas, uh, you know, and things like that. So let's jump in to Tom's interview. Hey Tom, welcome. Thank you so much for joining us. Hi Ashley. Thanks for having me on. And before we jump in to different ways to make passive income and money online and all the things about, you know, making extra money so that you can pay off your debt. Uh, Tom, why don't you go ahead and just tell us a little bit about yourself. Oh, absolutely. Uh, so yeah, I'm, I'm, my name's Tom, I'm a recent college grad. Uh, I went to school in Gwelf, which is a little town right outside of Toronto, Canada. Um, and I've been blogging for about almost two years now. And just, yeah, I have a pretty substantial interest in, uh, finding unique ways to make money online. Yeah. And that's a question that I get asked a lot. You know, my audiences, a lot of moms and families and they, you know, they need to make extra money but they don't have a lot of time to make extra money. So finding something that they can do online, um, especially like passive income, you know, where you're not like actively trying to sell things and um, stuff like that is always a win. Um, you know, they, they want to pay off debt but they need to make some extra money to do that as well. So, um, what are some ways that, you know, somebody like that can make some extra money online without, you know, having to drag their kids to a babysitter and do all the things right. Um, well I think the main thing to keep in mind, and this is kind of what I found, um, when I was in college and trying to make passive income or bits of income online, there's kind of two ways to go. I think a lot of the options out there, you can get started really quick. So you've probably seen a bloggers mentioned like survey apps or survey websites where you can answer surveys or even watch videos to earn bits of income and free gift cards. So that's actually how I got started. I stumbled across something on Reddit called phone farming back in the day. This was about, uh, two years ago. And the gist of it was, was using, um, a bunch of Android phones to watch videos on these reward apps. Um, and basically you would get these in-app credits that you could redeem and you'd get, you know, free Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash. Um, and it was, it was a really slow earner. It probably made about $50 a month at its peak. Um, but you know, back in college, this was a pretty passive way for me to get some grocery money, um, or free Amazon stuff. Um, but this, the second way I think people generally go about passive income is they putting a lot of upfront work into something and then they kind of coast. Um, so whether that's blogging or starting an Etsy store and then outsourcing parts of it, uh, I think there's a bunch of options down that route. And ultimately I think it comes down to, yeah, do you need money in the next month or two or are you willing to kind of put in a bit of more upfront work and then have a longer term project? [inaudible] so what are some of your like favorite ways to make extra money, even if it's not online? How, like how do you like to make extra money? Um, so right now I'm doing a lot of freelance writing these days. Um, so outside of a nine to five job, I, you know, maybe once or twice a week I'll have a, a freelance article I have to complete. Um, I've definitely dabbled with a few other things. I've tried, uh, SEO consulting, which was, I work as a, a digital, um, campaign manager right now. So it was kind of a natural fit to go into, you know, a bit of extra work outside of a regular hours for some clients. So those are definitely the two. The two main, uh, side hustles I've been involved with lately, um, over the past year or so. Um, yeah, so it's cut out a little bit. Uh, so what if somebody is wanting to do something like freelance writing? Cause that's a, you know, fairly simple way to earn some extra money. I've done it and I've also hired freelance writers as well. So you know, most people know how to write an article, a maybe not necessarily, um, in the same format as like a blog post, but it's super easy to learn. So what is, um, a way to kind of get started with just freelance writing? You know, how do you find clients that's, Oh, that's a really solid question. I struggled with that, um, for a really long time. And I think that's probably the main hurdle I would say for freelancers. Um, I think there's a lot of, maybe not misinformation but, uh, over simple or over complex, I should say info out there. Um, when I was starting, I looked into a bunch of a freelance job portals. So even like websites, like indeed or LinkedIn or I think remotely is another one. I, I flex jobs, looked at a ton of them. Um, and after sending out about 30 to 40 cover letters and resumes and never hearing anything back, um, I honestly just turned to Twitter and Facebook, um, and, and joined a lot of blogging groups there. So, um, I'm, I'm interested in finance and that's what I primarily write about and I have a finance blog. So I joined those Facebook groups. I started networking and that's actually how I found my first two clients. Um, people reached out in the Facebook group. They said, Hey, I need someone to write an article or [inaudible] once a week or once a month. Um, and I just, I connected that way. So I think turning to your own network or even branching into social media and these, these kind of niche groups, um, is probably a faster route to finding a client. Then, you know, just sending out dozens and dozens of resumes. [inaudible] I agree. That's how I've found my clients. Of course I, I've done it just kind of like I'm on the side like when I need some extra money for my business or for something specific. But yeah, I found all of my clients in Facebook groups, you know, people ask for, um, I need help with this. Do you recommend anybody? And you know, that's how I've found my virtual assistant as well. I asked in a group about finding a virtual assistant and she reached out to me and then we, you know, met online and all and got to know each other and then I hired her. So I think that's a great way to kind of network and get your face out there and get to know people and when they need help then you're there to help them. Yeah. It's also a crazy, I mean I'm not, I'm not surprised you you've had the same success because even just looking at some of the people that are in these groups and their accomplishments or the online businesses they're running right now, it's kind of mind blowing. I mean, there's no second bestselling authors and multimillion business owners, those kinds of Facebook groups. And there's really no other way to get in contact with them except through those platforms. I think it's, it's pretty remarkable. Yeah, absolutely. So it's almost like the new way to network as opposed to like you said, doing cover letters and sending, you know, all the things to businesses and things. It seems like everything's online now, that like Facebook groups and everything. That's how you find things. So, um, and now what if somebody doesn't want to do something like virtual assistant or freelance writing? Um, what are some other ways that they could make some extra money so that they can pay off their debt, you know, surveys, it, you know, it doesn't take much time, but you also, you know, you're not getting paid a whole lot either. So what are some other ways to kind of make some more extra? Yeah, no, that's a great point. I mean, yeah, you can take the freebies or the quick route to cash, but I think you're right. If you want to pay off debt quickly, honestly, I think my advice would be to turn to something in the gig economy. Um, so by that I mean, and I don't mean, you know, just getting in your car and driving Uber or, uh, delivering food. It's, it's pretty crazy how, how many opportunities are out there now and how many new opportunities are coming out. Um, just with all of the apps and platforms out there. I mean, there's companies like Rover that will pay you to dog sit or, or take the dog for a walk. I know there's, um, there's one financial blogger out there I know, and his side hustle is, he charges, um, line scooters in his city. He lives in San Francisco and, uh, at Nike scoops up the, uh, the lime scooters, charges them and then brings them back out on the street. And he, I think he clears $1,000 a month by doing that. And then, yeah, and on top of that, I have, I have a friend actually who, he lived downtown Toronto, which is quite an expensive city to live in, uh, in Canada. And he would just bike for door dash and Uber eats maybe twice a week or three times a week. Um, so he'd get exercise. He wasn't putting mileage on his car or anything like that. Um, and you could easily make, you know, a couple of hundred bucks a month doing something he enjoyed. He really liked cycling. Um, and yeah, no, pretty much no downside to it really. I mean at a few late nights if uh, he wanted a bar rush or a dinner rush, but um, yeah, there's so many, so many different apps and platforms out there now. I think that connect side hustlers, people who need a quick service. Cool. Now you know, everybody's on their phone nowadays too and there's so many different apps. So do you have any recommendations for like apps where you can either make extra money or find jobs to make extra money? You know, are there like any survey apps or anything like that where you can just, you know, play on your phone and make a little money or find a job like Uber or something like that? Right. Um, I know there, there's a few interesting ones. I know there are even apps like job spotter where if you're walking around and you see a for hire sign and you post it through job spotter, you can get a few bucks. Um, so again, anyone living in a big city that can easily be an extra 20 to $50 a month for practically nothing. Um, and then yeah, that was another cool, if you live in a small town, it's not really gonna do much, much good. But yeah, that, that was a neat one. Um, I think it's actually, uh,, uh, partner or subsidiary. Um, so there's apps like that. And then I know there's other ones, I think Shopkick, you can be a secret shopper through that app or you scan things at grocery stores when you're there and you can make some extra money. Um, you're nothing will, you know, that'll break the bank. But if you're on your phone anyways, like you said, you might as well. Have you been in money? Heck yeah. Now what about, do you have any ideas for people that aren't living in a big city? Like, even where I live, it's not really, I'm kinda ruled, but I'm close to everything. But like we barely have Uber that comes out here. Like I think there's like one person, Uber driver out here. So do you have any ideas for something like that, that, you know, not near a big city where the, the, where there's more options. Right. So in that instance I would probably lean more towards online, online work, online side hustles. Um, just because you can connect to anyone if you really wanted to stay offline though, I know there are some platforms that do like peer to peer delivery. Um, so like I think citizenship is one and they're kind of similar to Amazon flex. And basically if you're traveling somewhere in the future and you know, you're going through a specific route, you can look on that platform and see, um, basically if somebody along your way needs a package from where you're coming from. Um, so that it can be international as well. I know it's called like a peer to peer shipping. There's a few companies that do it. Um, and essentially like if you were going to, let's say, Mexico for vacation, or if you were going across state and you were going, you know, or across the country, um, there's all kinds of people who will pay, you know, a lot of money for you to bring a package to them. Or I think there's even people who, you know, they'll adopt a dog, a few States up from them, and then they'll pay someone a few hundred dollars if they're passing by to, to bring the dog. It's, it's crazy. Yeah. Peer-to-peer shipping is pretty wonky. There's, there's a lot of weird weird requests like I need, yeah, I need a dog from, from Texas and I live all the way in, in Florida. But if you happen to come this way, you can bring the dog. It's a bit weird, but it's kinda interesting. Like I had never even would have thought of that. So, yeah. The internet is so strange that way. Yeah. I mean there's, I honestly believe you can make money doing almost anything these days. It sounds like it. I mean, you've given us a lot of good ideas. So, uh, do you have any quick tips for somebody that is wanting to start an online job? Um, you know, like a blog or freelance writing or you know, something like that. Just some quick tips to somebody that isn't familiar with the space or how to even get started. Sure. Um, I think the first thing would be not to stretch yourself too thin no matter what, what it is that you decide to go into. Um, one of the main mistakes I made with both freelance writing and blogging was to basically try to do everything all at once. Um, so when I started a blog, yeah. And I'm sure everyone encounters some, some degree of that, but I know when I started a blog it was okay, I need to be on every social platform every day. I need to write five articles a week, I need to do SEO for the site outreach, networking. And you ended up doing I think six things poorly instead of one to two things the right way. Um, so that, yeah, that would be [inaudible] I don't know if you relate cause I imagine having, um, you know, so many different businesses to run in a virtual assistant and everything, things probably get kind of crazy. Oh yeah. It gets it. And I agree with you just like focus on one thing. Like I've been doing it not quite three years now, and I hired an assistant in July, I think it was with some of the things that were just taking up too much of my time that were important but important for me to do. Like somebody else could do it. So, um, but yet focusing on one thing that's gonna move the needle. I mean, and I say the same thing with budgeting and paying off debt. Just focus on one thing, do it well, and then move on to the next thing. So when you, like you said, when you try to do too many things at once, you're not doing any of them well, so exactly. Learn what, and you know what? Another thing that we'll mention is that I didn't do right away that I wish I would have was to spend money to do things faster. Like I tried to, Oh my gosh, I tried to save money by trying to figure it out all on my own. I thought I could Google it and then I would get all the answers and I didn't need to pay for things. But it's not true. Like you will save yourself so much time, so much stress by just either paying for a course to just teach you so that you can just learn it and start getting to work or you know, getting a, I'm getting in the right groups, you know, getting the right mentorship. Like I hired a business coach this year and my business has is like five times what it was the last two years. And so just getting the right advice and the right tools and knowledge to help you, you will go quicker. You will just go so much faster. It's worth it. So don't try to be too cheap. Like, it's funny, I mean like I, I, I went to college so I made the decision to pay for college. Um, and I, you know, I thought about it a lot but I, I didn't flinch. I kind of just decided to do it. But then yeah, I'll, I'll see a course out there for $40 or you know, a logo designer who wants to charge me 20 bucks or 50 bucks. And that used to just be agonizing for me. It's just funny. I mean some, I think we're used to paying for certain things or you know, our car payments or paying for groceries and those things become normal over time. But yeah, when you start a business you have to think of it as a business and you need to reinvest to grow. Um, yeah, it definitely takes some, I think the shift in mindset, I realized the same thing this year. I had never paid for anything and at the start of this year I started outsourcing Pinterest marketing and graphic design stuff. And it just saves me so much time cause I, I would take five times as long to do the same result. Yeah, exactly. When you can just pay somebody that is an expert and knows what they're doing, it saves you time, it saves you stress and then you can focus on the bigger projects that are going to bring in more revenue or move your business even further. So that is really a good idea to think about when you are, when you get to the point where you can outsource. And so for those of you listening that are looking for, um, you know, a job like that, you know, virtual assistants learn Pinterest, learn Facebook and social media. Um, you're on it anyway. And so that, but there's a lot of, um, little things you have to know like what Facebook likes, what Facebook doesn't like, what Instagram likes, what they know like, and then, you know, just a little bit with Pinterest. But if you can focus on just one thing, like don't try and be an expert on Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, like all the things just focus on one, like just Pinterest, just Facebook and learn everything you can about it. Take a course on it or something like that. And you can make money online with other business owners, other bloggers. I mean there's a ton of bloggers out there that are willing to pay you to do it for them because it saves them time and energy and stress so they can work on bigger things. So yeah, just focus on one thing to learn and be an expert at it and then market yourself as such. Yeah, that's great. I think you nailed it. The expert part is, is the key there because ultimately you're going to do a better job and you'll get a reputation for being an expert in one thing and you can also charge more. Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's, that's another thing I realized with, with freelance writing, um, I used to just be general, um, and the rates were pretty bad. And then as soon as I got into finance, um, it's easy. Your portfolio is more relevant because all of the content is in the same niche and then know you get referred to the same clients or clients in the same, same vertical. Uh, it, it just makes life easier. Absolutely. And then you like, you're trusted with this information because I don't think even as a writer, sure you can Google things and kind of try and put the pieces together, the information together and post, but the, the writing that you do will be better when you are an expert in that topic. And then, you know, when you do that right, the same or similar things all the time, you'll be just be a better writer and so you can charge more. So, uh, do you have any last words of wisdom, like any other tips or advice for somebody that's wanting to make some extra money? Uh, sure. I think my, my one tip would be to kind of get, you know, get something on the back burner and, you know, I've got an iron in the fire so to say, and really work on, on growing that. I think, um, and this is what I saw with a lot of my colleagues, I guess, you know, being a younger college student, um, it, it's easy to, you know, get an idea, get really inspired and then to drop everything in your life and to chase it. Well I think this can be good and there's definitely success stories out there. I think, you know, building a security net for yourself first and working on things on the side before making any kind of drastic life change is probably, probably works out a higher percentage of the time then, you know, quitting your job on Monday, getting a ticket to Thailand and you know, taking off for a, for a year. So I would say, yeah, if you're looking to build an online income, um, do it in your, in your spare time when you can and learn the ropes and you know, make sure you get a thorough understanding of, you know, how to network and how to brand yourself and how to properly market yourself and then yeah, slowly grow it over time. Um, I, I think the nature of online moneymaking has a bit of a bad rap. There's a lot of, you know, get rich quick schemes out there or [inaudible] Oh my gosh, yes. Yeah, it's definitely a, uh, the down there, the dark side of the industry I think. But in reality, most things worth doing, take a lot of time. Um, but as long as you're consistent and optimistic and you work hard, I think even in your spare time, a few hours a week, you can build a sizable online income and eventually even make the switch to doing something full time if that's what you want to do. That's great advice. And I always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. Just, you know, self demote development and improving our lives and you know, moving the needle on our debt and managing money. Do you have a favorite book? Um, that kind of, I guess a genre and then a favorite book? The genre is a bit nerdy. I anything history related I really love, yeah, I just, I think anything, you know from military history to reading biographies to, you know, bits about sport, famous sports athletes is always a way to feel pretty, you know, well, some of it's pretty inspiring. Um, so that's, that's one. And then in terms of a specific book, uh, I really liked the four hour work week. I know that's a popular one. Um, for people looking to transform their, their online income or income streams into one day, you know, having that mythical four hour work week, I'm not sure how, if four hours is really four hours, I'm sure it's more like 60 or 80 some weeks. But, um, but uh, that one, that one is definitely, you know, it inspired me a few years ago, so I do like that one. Oh good. I have, I think I've heard of it, but I haven't read it. I, I hit sounds familiar, but I can't think of who, I can't even think of who writes it, but I feel like I've heard of it before. It's um, Oh, hold on. Who's the, it's on the tip of my tongue. Um, it's Tim Ferris. That's why that was a lot of divide time. Yeah, I definitely recommend that if you ever, you know, look into, uh, to set some, some big goals and have a bit of a, a dream. Awesome. Well thank you. So, Oh wait, where can people find you? Oh, right. So, um, I have my blog if you want to check that out. So it's a, this online Uh, and then I'm on, I'm on Twitter and Facebook under the, the same username. Um, and that's, that's all I have for now. I have a Pinterest, but, uh, it's if you ask me not worth following. Aw, I'm sure it's great. All right, well, thank you so much for talking with us today. Well, thanks so much Ashley, for having me. It's been, it was a fun one. Thanks. Thank you so much to Tom for giving us some really great ideas to get started on making some extra money, you know, especially with the end of the year coming and new year and just get started on crushing your debt. So in order to, you know, get you a good head, start on paying off your debt as well. Don't forget to go get the debt bundle the debt snowball, a worksheet and spreadsheet and checklist and everything you need to just get started. It's free, but a budget's made and I will see you in the next step. Sewed. Special Guest: Tom Blake.

Dec 2019

23 min 47 sec

Chris and his wife paid off $50,000 in 4 years plus find out if he thinks you should invest or pay off debt first. Chris Browning is the creator and host of the award-winning, short-form podcast, Popcorn Finance. Each week he discusses finance with amazing guests in about the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance with an emphasis in financial planning and still maintains his position as a financial analyst specializing in revenue analysis. Website: Social: Instagram/Twitter @popcornfinance Resources mentioned: Debt Snowball Bundle ( Dollars and Sense by Dan Ariely ( link) Full transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. I'm Ashley Patrick with budgets made easy and the money mindset podcast. Today we are talking to Chris Browning who is the creator and host of the award winning short form podcast, popcorn of finance. Each week he discusses finance with amazing guests and about the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn. He does hold a bachelor screen finance with an emphasis in financial planning and still maintains his position as a financial analyst specializing in revenue analysis. So today we are going to talk to him about his debt pay off story and also I did want to get his opinion on whether you should invest or pay off debt. And so we will jump into that here in just a minute before we start his interview. I do want to mention, uh, for you to go get your free debt snowball bundle. This has worksheets and spreadsheets to get started on your debt snowball today. Uh, you can get that for free. A budget's made So go ahead and go grab that to get started on your debt snowball and paying off debt in this new year. And now we will talk to Chris about how he paid off almost $50,000 in about four years. All right. Today we are talking to Chris, the founder of popcorn finance. And today we're going to talk about his debt pay off story, which is pretty neat and how he loves tiny homes. So before we jump in and get started, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and kind of, you know, about how you started on this journey? Ah, yeah. Well thanks Ashley. I really appreciate you having me on. And uh, yeah, so about my, my journey, specifically my debt free journey or just the podcast journey in general, uh, just about yourself in general and then how you started paying off. What, um, kind of motivated you to start paying off your debt. Oh yeah. So, uh, for, for me, I didn't have a lot of debt growing up, so, you know, right out of college I got a small credit card, but it ended up paying that off relatively quickly, mainly because they wouldn't give me a high limit. Yeah. It's all kind of forced me not to be able to go that far into debt. But then when my wife and I, uh, got engaged and we were getting ready for the, uh, the wedding, that's kind of where the debt started to pile up. We didn't really have much saved up. And what ended up happening was when all the bills started rolling in, we had to take on himself. That's really the ourselves and it kind of spiral from there. So it was combination of a wedding. Dad went on a honeymoon, uh, getting into our first place, a behind furniture and some school and medical expenses, all that together, piled up and put us in about $27,000 worth of credit card debt. Ooh. So did you have like an aha moment that was like the breaking point, you're like, something has got to change. Yeah. You know, I, I knew that the debt was piling up. I wasn't really tracking it or adding it all up, but one day, I don't know why, I was just like, you know, let me just look at this and see where we're at. And that's what I saw, how high the balances got into, cause it was spread over about three cards. And that's when they kind of hit me. And it was, it was really the stress and anxiety of knowing that I had this huge sum of money that we owed. And at the time I think combined, we're making somewhere between 40 to $50,000 combined. And so our debt was over half of our actual income or our before tax income. So that's when the stress where they set in and I was like, we have to do something about this. Wow. That. Yeah. That's pretty amazing. So, and you have a degree in finance, right? Yes. And that made it all worse because I should have known better and I knew what I should be doing. But it's one thing to know and it's a completely different thing to actually implement those, those practices. And those, those, you know, routines in your life that'll help you be a little bit more stable financially. Well, and it's one of those things that you don't know until, you know, because a lot of people think that they're the only ones that make mistakes or do these types of things. But it's really like everybody, it doesn't matter how much money you make or what kind of job you have, you know, we all make mistakes with our money and you know, almost everybody has dead, at least in America. And you know, it takes usually a big moment to kind of shift your thinking about debt, especially, I mean, even in the finance industry, you know, you know, debt can help you, you know, they say debt can help you start a business and all this stuff, but really it's stress. Um, so even if you have a finance degree, does it mean that you, yeah, I think that you should be debt free or anything like that. So what kind of turns your thinking to just pay it all off instead of say like investing at a higher interest rate or something like that, that you know, some people try and advocate. Hmm. So for me a lot, most of our debt, I know I would say most of it, all of it was on credit cards and so there's no way I'm going to out earn the interest on the credit card. What I was doing though was I was, I was doing this technique, I don't even know where I heard this ad. Um, it was to, I kept doing these balance transfers and to get the, the 0% promotional interest on credit cards, what I would do is I would have, you know, 0% interest on the car for, you know, 18 months and then pay it down as aggressively as I could. And if I couldn't pay the balance off in full, then I would do a balance transfer to another card. Hey, you know, I think 5% and then, um, take advantage of the 0% transfer for awhile there. So I, that's why I was like, I'm not going to invest this money because I need to just get rid of this debt because if I don't pay it off, the interest is going to be ridiculous. Yeah, absolutely. So what were some of the things that you did to pay this off fast? Because you guys did it really fast, right? Yeah, we did it in about two and a half years. Uh, cause there was definitely some setbacks there during that time. But the biggest thing was initially we set up a budget to figure out how much money we actually had coming in and figure how much we could throw towards our debt. And really it was being super aggressive. So pretty much all additional money went towards the debt. I mean, we may be kept, you know, 20, $30 for ourselves every month to do something with. And everything else was just going towards the debt. And, uh, over time I started looking for other ways I could bring in extra money. Uh, I've done several side hustles. I would sell things on eBay. I did food delivery for awhile. Uh, and, but one of the biggest impacts was, um, at my job, I really focused on advancing. So I worked really hard to get additional raises and if I could, if there was no room for growth financially, I ended up changing jobs to a T take advantage of higher salaries at different locations. Oh, awesome. So did you, um, were you able to like negotiate a higher salary whenever you did that? Yeah, so every time I had changed, which I'm trying to think time wise, I always forget the time frame when this was going on, but I know I changed jobs at least once. I know what changed. I've changed about two times since the whole debt payoff journey started. I think the second change was I had already, we'd already paid off the debt, but yes, I was able to negotiate much higher salaries, uh, whatever. I changed jobs because at most I was going to be able to get maybe a, you know, three, 4% increase at my current position on an annual basis. Uh, but I was able to increase my salary drastically by changing places where I worked. Oh, awesome. And was your wife like fully on board with this whole plan as well? You know, she was, I, I think she, I because that was the one who handles the finances. I did all the budgeting and I would pay the bills. That was my, the thing that I took on. I think I was more, I think I carry more of a stress burden cause I was looking at it all the time. I was overthinking it and constantly worried about it, but she was on board with the change because she, she knew how, how it was impacting me and also how it was impacting our lives over all because so much of our money we needed to go to just keep the debt going and not fall behind and we really couldn't enjoy or the money that we were working so hard for. [inaudible] um, so you sold things and you got higher paying jobs and um, was there anything else that made like a drastic Mmm, improvement on paying this off faster? Really, it was getting a handle on where our money was going and it's like one of the most boring things you can talk about. And it really was what helped us the most because when I really sat down and we went over our finances and we looked at where our money was going, it was kind of scary how much money we were just going to throw it away and not really noticing. And uh, one thing I always talk about that it's slightly embarrassing, but it's, it's ridiculous. At the same time when I think about it is I went through and I looked at, I think one month we spent like 11 $1,200 on food. Oh my gosh, that was mine to $1,200 on food. I was like, this is ridiculous. I was like, how's that even possible? It's like I didn't have any one fancy meal this entire month. I didn't have a steak or lobster or anything considered expensive and yet all this money just flew out the door and it was like, it was a real shock and it ain't going to hit me in the face like, Hey, we need to do a much better job of tracking where this money is going. Yeah, absolutely. So what kind of mindset changes did you or you know your wife go through from whenever you started to like where you are now? Like how do you think about money differently? I think it's, it was a lot of focusing on our priorities and shifting our focus from kind of what's going on now, what are, what, what do we want to do right now to what are some goals for the future? And I think it's really hard to shift your focus out so far because it's, it doesn't feel real. It's you, you're so disconnected from it because it's not, it's all right. It's so hard to put yourself in your future self shoes and say, what would I need, you know, five years from now? Or what would I be thinking about my decisions now down the road? And so for us it was really thinking about priorities and what really mattered and were the things that we spent that $1,200 on that important, those bills that great, that memorable that we needed to do that again or it was a better to think about other big goals we had, like getting rid of this debt or maybe buying a house or going on vacations, things that we would actually enjoy and value and remember versus kind of just, you know, not really caring, not really paying attention and letting things continue to kind of fall to the fault of the cracks that kind of blow up on us. [inaudible] were there any other things that you did to kind of keep yourself motivated since you guys didn't have an extravagant income and your debt was, you know, about half of your income, uh, you know, over the two years. Did you do anything else? Uh, like visuals or you know, little celebrating, small wins or anything like that to kind of help keep you guys motivated? You know, I'm really sad that I didn't learn about all of the, uh, debt blogs and communities that existed during our journey. I had no idea any of this stuff existed. And so it was a little bit of a lonely journey because I didn't really had, I mean my wife and I, we've talked about it, but you know, you can only sit there and talk about the debt you have for so long before you talk about this anymore. And I didn't talk to any friends or family about it because I was so, I'm down on myself for getting in this position. You kinda, you get embarrassed, you're like, I can't believe I let this get this bad. I can't let my parents know that we did this. So it was a really isolating time and it wasn't until we were almost completely debt free that I found out about some of these communities. Yeah. Specifically, I hang out a lot on Instagram and like the hashtag every community there and things like that that are really motivational and I really wish I would've known about those things. I think the best thing that I had for, for feeling better about being on bed where the, the little milestones where we would pay off a credit card. So it was spread around about three cards. So every time we paid off one of those cards, that was like a motivational boost. It was like, Oh man, we're actually making progress. And so I would, um, I used to track everything and I would always look at the balance and it would feel great when I would see the balance drop. And then specifically when one of the cars would fall off, I'm like, Oh yes, we're making some type of progress. This is actually mattering. Yes, exactly. Uh, so did you use the debt snowball or did you use a different method? Yeah, I use the, let me think back. I use the avalanche method because that's what is built into mint. So what it does is that you put in all your details and then it just basically organizes your payments based off of interest rate. That's the method that we ended up going with. And it [inaudible] it kind of ended up being almost the same as the snowball because the demo, it was pretty evenly spread across three cards. So, and the interest rates were relatively the same across the cards as well. So I don't think it would've made much of a difference either method for us at the time. Right, right. Um, so let's see. Now, if people are in your situation and they are wondering if they should save money, invest or pay off their debt, what do you typically tell people? Cause you know, you're in financial planning, so you know, I'm sure investing is, um, really important to you as it is to all of us. I mean, you know, compound interest is amazing. So what do you tell somebody that if they're, if it's going to take them a couple of years to pay off their debt, which would you recommend for them? Oh, this is always a really tough decision because there's a lot to think about. One of the best I think responses to this question I've ever heard was um, Erin Lowry, she, um, she wrote a book called Brooklyn lineal takes on investing and she said she spoke to a lot of different financial planners and professionals and one of the pieces of advice she got regarding that issue is you need to kind of look at the interest rates, all your debt versus on what you could be potentially earning by investing that money. And so specifically I think there's a big focus on like student loan debt, which I mean so many people have right now, but it's, it's a comparison of if you're, if you're, um, if you're paying, let's say roughly more than 5% interest on your debt, then it's probably a better idea to focus on that than trying to invest because you can't, it's kind of hard to find a guaranteed return greater than 6%. Cause especially cause the market fluctuates up and down and you don't know what you're going to get. And on average it's going to be slightly higher than that. So it's better to focus on paying off your debt and getting that down than to worry about investing. Because in the long run you're going to save yourself more money by getting rid of this debt, the interest you're paying on this debt. All right, so it really depends on what you're looking at. I mean this definitely, if you have credit cards and you're paying interest and your interest rate is like 15 to 25% focus on the debt, you got to get rid of that because there's no way you're going out or that in any type of investment or at least there's no way you can guarantee out earning that and then where they need type of investment. So for sure, I would say if you have any type of high interest debt, you want to focus on that. Um, but I would still say, put a little bit aside, I mean obviously you can't max out your retirement plan, but most people can't max out your retirement plans and pay off huge sums of debt all at the same time. It can be a little difficult, can be a little hard on cash floated to be able to attain that. But I would still say to put something aside, so whether it is, you know, $50, $100 a month, putting away something so at least you can take advantage of the compound interest and at least start building something up, whether it is an emergency fund or starting to put money into a retirement plan. Uh, but I think you should definitely make your focus getting rid of that high interest in. Absolutely. Um, so how much money did you pay off and how fast did you end up doing it? So I actually have like a little bit of an update to it. So we are credit card debt alone. That took us about two and a half years. So it was $27,000 in credit card debt. Uh, we started that in late, I'd say late twenties, try to think of the late 2014 and then we ended up paying it off the very beginning of 2017 and then after that we actually ended up focusing on paying off my wife's car. And so we ended up paying that off, I think about, uh, a year, about a year later. So in total, cause we ha we actually, we actually got her car right at the same time. We realize how much debt we had. So that was just like piling on top of it. So that was about $23,000. So in total we pay it off about $50,000 in I think roughly four, four and a half years, somewhere around there. That's awesome. That's amazing. I know that you love tiny homes cause I follow you on Instagram. So you know, I just, do you live in a tiny home? Like do you want to live in a tiny home? No, I actually do not live in a tiny home. So I live, I live in Southern California. It's not really something that's easily, easily accessible here. But those laws are, or they're changing, but as it stands, you cannot build a tiny home. Like, no, you're not doing that. You've got to put a bigger house and we get more property tax money. Yeah, exactly. So they're not letting us do that. But I do love tiny homes and, uh, I got the opportunity to stay in one in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the first time I ever stayed in a tiny home and I loved the experience. It was amazing. I think what I love about it is one, they're designed beautifully. They make great use of this space. They somehow make it feel bigger than what it really is. A tiny house can range anywhere from like, you know, 150, 170 feet all the way up to, you know, low 400. I think most people think a tiny home is under 500 square feet. It's like what's considered standard for a tiny home. But they do such a great job and I think it also promotes, um, more intentional living and definitely more intentional spending because you only have so much room. And it kind of forces you to become a, because you have to utilize your space. You want to just pilot to the ceiling with the junk. For all those reasons. I, I really love tiny homes. I have no idea where this came from. Like this love for tiny homes, game pro. But it's just something that I've just grown to appreciate more and more. Yeah. I've seen it on Instagram. I was like, I just have to ask him about this tiny home thing. I mean, they're, they're amazing. I really wish they would be more accessible here at this point. I would need, I need one for podcasting and then E one for living because there was no rooms really. I mean, some of them have rooms, but for the most part there's no rooms in a tiny Hill. If you're, if you're a one spot, you can hear whoever else. Right? Yeah. It wouldn't be good for this sound. Um, all right. Now I always like to ask people what they're feeling. Favorite nonfiction book is, you know, because most millionaires read like some of them, like a book a month. Um, and so I like to get other ideas and inspiration on ways to improve, you know, yourself and your finances and things like that. So it doesn't have to be finance related. Just anything that you know is your favorite nonfiction book? Oh, that's a great question. I think my favorite nonfiction book would have to be a dollars and cents by Dan Arielli. So he is, um, he's a brilliant, brilliant mind. This is kind of like a, Hmm. Like a macro economics. [inaudible] excuse me. No, I messed that up. It's not macroeconomy it's behavioral economics, a book. Basically it's looking at how we interact with our financial decisions and why we make the decisions we make. And it's really fascinating. I, I somehow also become fascinated with economics. I just love the study of looking at how our financial system works and how we interact with money and how it overall impacts everything that's going on. And behavioral economics really brings in like the psychological aspect of it. And so it's a really cool look at all of these different aspects. So it's like, you know, how do, how do, um, how does pricing things for free or for rental prices impact our spending behaviors or the way that things are marketed or the way that we make financial decisions and I organize things. It's a really cool, like it can be a little dense with the numbers sometimes, but I think for a behavior economics book is actually written very well. I, and I think it's, it's really enjoyable. It's something, a cool way to look at our finances in a completely different light than I think we do for the most part. Oh well I'll have to check that out cause I'm fascinated by that as well. So I will add that to my reading list. And do you have any last words of wisdom? Last pieces of advice? I would say something I've been trying to focus on lately is giving myself more grace when it comes to the mistakes that I make financially. I think it can be really easy to get into the trap of focusing on all the things that you're doing wrong and seeing everyone else, it feels like everyone else is doing right. I think that's the trap that we fall into. You look around, you see people doing all these amazing things and making, hitting these milestones in their lives, and you feel like, Oh, why am I not there? Why am I not doing this? Or if I would've done this differently, where would I be? Now? It's, it's really easy to fall down that spiral of really getting down on yourself and feeling you know, horrible about the decisions you've made. And I think it's really important to give yourself grace for the mistakes that you've made because even though things may look great for other people, everyone's making mistakes. Everyone has done things that they wish they would not have done. You just can't see it. They're not going to, they're going to walk around telling you all the things they regret. So I think it's really important, especially while you're on your, your debt repayment journey is to just give yourself some grace. And even something I wish I would've done is to allow myself maybe a little bit more money to enjoy myself and to keep my spirits up. I mean, I'm not saying, you know, spent, you know, half your income to make yourself feel better, but finding something I really, truly enjoy that's not going to, you know, destroy your budget and allowing yourself that, that, that break, that, that enjoyment. So that way you can keep the journey going because it's so hard to stay consistent and to keep, you know, seeing your paycheck go away every, every time you get paid to take care of your debt. So to give yourself a little bit of grace, uh, you know, celebrate the small wins and you know, not be so hard on yourself for maybe getting into debt or making a mistake because we all do it and you can definitely overcome it. It just, you know, just takes a little bit of time. Absolutely. That is great advice. And where can people find you? They want to follow you. Find out more about you. Oh yeah, you can find me or where you're listening to this podcast here. You just saw just section five point finance and you can find me there. And I also hang out on Instagram a lot. So you just look for about for finance. I always post different things on their updates on the show or even a bunch of pictures of [inaudible]. Yeah, go follow him on Instagram. What does he wear? I wish I lived. All right. Well thanks for coming today. I know, I really appreciate it. Ashley. Thanks for having me on. Thanks. Thank you so much. Shucker Serbian on with us today and talking about his debt free journey. Uh, also don't forget, before you go to go get your free debt snowball, uh, bundle you with worksheets and spreadsheet and everything to get started on your debt snowball, it is free. Go to budgets made and you can sign up and get it there for free. I will talk to you guys next week. Special Guest: Chris Bowning.

Nov 2019

23 min 14 sec

In this episode I will explain how to make your holiday plan so you can avoid debt. Resources mentioned: Holiday Planner ( 7 Day Budget Challenge (

Nov 2019

18 min 31 sec

How your personality type affects how you handle money and ways to manage it so you can still handle your money well, no matter your personality type. Plus how your personality type effects your relationship with money and your significant other. Catherine is a personal finance blogger specializing in debt payoff and money mindset, and self awareness via personality types. Website: Instagram: @catherinetreme Money Psychology Approach ( ebook by Catherine Treme Resources mentioned in this episode: The H.O.P.E. Money Roadmap ( Do It Scared ( by Ruth Soukup (affilaite link) 16 Personalities test ( Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast and where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less, live the life you want. This is Ashley Patrick with the money mindset podcast and budgets made easy. And today we're talking to Catherine all about how your personality type affects how you handle money. But before we dive in, I do want you to go grab your hope money roadmap. Your quick start guide at budget's made this is where you will start working on your money mindset, creating your financial for class and your financial blueprint so that you can create your safety net, knock out your debt, and start living the life that you want. Today we are talking to Katherine Treme, who is a personal finance blogger specializing in debt, payoff and money mindset and self-awareness via personality types. I'm so happy you are here. We've been talking before this podcast and laughing and I was so ready to get started talking about our money mindset and our personality types. So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. So, um, yeah, just like, as you said, I am a personal finance blogger specializing and, um, personality types, um, um, as it relates to your money. Um, as we all know, money is like literally the thing that makes the world go round. Right. You know how you, right. You know how much money someone makes, you know, how you spend it, how people react to it. It just matters so much. And I think it's just a crying shame that we don't talk about it more. I know. Oh my gosh. So you had me take this personality test, which we're gonna talk about here in a minute, and I love personality tests. Like I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, so I've always been intrigued about why people do what they do. And a lot of it, you know, can be segmented into personality types and there's all kinds of different personality tests, but I'm just always amazed at like, how accurate is, I'm like reading it. I'm like, Oh yeah, that is, I told them that that is me. That is, it's like they're just accurate. They always say to like, I don't know, I do that. Right, right. And it's so funny that you said accurate because, okay, so you are an IST J and that is one of the things that I S T J's like values most is atrophy. And we were laughing about this before. Listen a podcast listeners, we were like literally dying a few minutes before this podcast started about like her personality type and cause she kept on state accuracy. I was like well that's obvious based over the code functions. Like ICJs would honestly appreciate that the most. Right. You know, random side note. I just thought that was absolutely hilarious cause I had to add a word into my little introduction and you were like, yeah that is so something you would do based on your verse. Yup. We have it. We, we haven't known each other but I'm just like, you know, Oh she's nice TJ. Of course. So there may be some people out there wondering what the heck are they talking about? Personality types saying. So let's just jump right in. Since we already started talking about it, kind of what are some ways that our personality types kind of affect how we handle money or think about money or even, you know, we can jump into it later, but we were talking about how your personality types it with ah, spouses and couples and how that affects your relationship and money and everything. Like that version of kind of how our personality fits into how we handle money on an individual basis. And then we'll jump into couples, right? Sure, sure. So first of all, let me clarify, um, what we're, what we're talking about is the Myers Briggs personality type. Um, and it's basically goes into the diff, uh, the four four acronyms like extrovert versus introvert sensing versus intuitive thinking versus feeling. And then the last one is perceiving versus judging, right? So, um, and there is, uh, what's called, uh, within the theory, it's called the cognitive function stack. And it literally, uh, if you look at it on, you know, what textbook or something along those lines, it is literally a stack. Like, if you just imagine four blocks, um, and it goes from the top to bottom, your level of consciousness, cause you didn't have some things you could do just so I'm like, okay. [inaudible] how do I, how do I say this? So like your reason level of consciousness, it's um, [inaudible] so like the hacks for each one, for each different category is how like conscious you are of that block. That's correct. And how, how, how good you are at it. Actual, okay, I see. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, um, I am in the NFP, um, just imagine basically like your zany counselor type that pretty much, which is crazy, right? Or like, okay, that's kind of, you know exactly what I do, like counseling with [inaudible] in relation to money, money, behavior. So I mean, wow. It's kinda crazy how I Helen to that. So, um, I have my primary cognitive function is what's called a extroverted intuition, which is basically like thinking and relating different ideas and patterns. Right. That is like my natural, that's what some, some people called their flow state. Right. Um, and for you it would be introverted sensing, right? You're an IST J so you, you very easily recall, um, specific scenarios, facts. Ah, it just blows my mind how you guys can do that because that's our cognitive function stack is actually flipped. So that's my least favorite and least least developed, I guess you could say would be introverted, introverted sensing. So remembering bill due dates, you know, Oh, things. So since we're relating it to that, right, so bill due dates, things of that nature. Um, that is what I, I fault her at the most, right? Like, Oh yes. If I don't have my budget, Excel spreadsheet, um, plastered, like literally everywhere I have it on my phone, I have it like literally everywhere. So I don't forget what specific bill due days are. No. Like I just have like the same bills are due and I know like when they're due like every month. But for your personality type, you have to have reminders everywhere for you. Oh, yes. Oh, 100%. And because I'm in my, I'm in my thirties now and I still like, what am I? Bills haven't changed. You know, like your cell phone bill, that doesn't change. Right. But I'm still on that or is, I can't remember. You know, funny cause some of my, some of my other, I have some like local friends who they're like Catherine, like why can't you just get it together? Like how'd you graduate from college? And I'm just like, well ever since I've learned about this theory, I'm like, well I have inferior introverted sensing and that's actually pretty normal for Justin. So no, for somebody listening, you know that may not be like me where you just, I'm like, well just write it down and paid the same time every month. They may be like you were, they have to have constant reminders like so for, for somebody that is your personality type, what are some tips to kind of help keep track of their money and their due dates and like that? Because for me, I'm just like, well just write it down and follow it. But for somebody with your personality type, that's not as easy to do as somebody with my personality type do exactly what I did. Just like literally poster it like everywhere. And try and think of like the implications of what it could mean for your relationships. Cause that's what w um, NFPS are typically driven off of. Cause you know, the main reason why people have divorces, right? Or like issues and stuff like that is because of money issues. And so if you think about it from that perspective, that's a driving force for a lot of people. With our personality, with my personality types, we are very much so driven by um, relationships and um, thinking about, um, connecting the dots between actions and you know, what it could imply in the feature. And that's very well what you know, can and will imply in the future. Like if you don't get ahold of that, that's what's going to happen in the future. You know what I mean? [inaudible] yeah, that's good because I don't think plus I'm just sitting here thing and how that side of my brain works. So that's really good. That's really good advice, you know, to kind of have that other perspective for somebody that is, you know, maybe a little bit more on the emotional side of things. Cause I'm just like, well just pay it, just pay it. Like what's the problem? Yeah, yeah. Like why are we, but you know, it's actually really funny. So going a little digging a little bit deeper. Um, so the cognitive function SAC actually can change based off of the different levels of stress. Right? So a couple of years ago I was actually in some pretty severe like chronic stress levels, um, with, you know, cause I actually went through a divorce myself. Oh. And my job was a little, you know, unstable. And as we all know, work environments can very well shake your emotional stability, you know, so, so I actually, my cognitive function sex actually changed. Oh wow. I didn't realize that it could really shift like that. It can, it can. And cause you know, people like let's say you're in, think about a time that you had in your life where you were like severely, I'm talking like your whole world was shaken up. So we was funny because I actually turned, um, basically in two an IST J you know, everything had to be meticulously, um, planned out. And I'm just like, I am not being myself. Why, why am I like this? Like my cognitive function, sex actually changed all this kind of stuff and digging deeper. Like that's actually another factor that you can take it into consideration, which is, um, a lot of what I talk about in my ebook that I created the money psychology approach. So if you listeners out there ever interested in that, it's, it's a very interesting read and you could apply it so much in your life. It's unreal. We will link to it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, please just go ahead and take a look at it. Google it. It'll be there in my shop. Yeah. So, um, yeah, it's, it's so [inaudible] and it's literally life changing how you can, um, if you take this in consideration, um, and apply it to your life and not only that, your, your relationships, think about the other person's personality type. Like if we want to, if you want to kind of ease on into the relationship aspect of it. Like, you know, you and I actually were talking earlier about how like your partner could do something crazy, something crazy that seems to you, right? Like, let's say, let's say your husband was an NFP, right? And it's just like, why can't, if you miss the bill and now we have a $35 late fee, are you kidding me? Like, wow, how did you, this is your responsibility, you know? But, um, if you take in consideration, like that's their natural weaknesses, maybe you guys can adjust, you know, like, okay, well maybe I do this, I handle the bills. Um, I handle like the bill due dates, you know, I say, don't go against your personality, you know, go for it. Let's, what does everybody's natural strengths, let them thrive in that area. Right. So let's say for a, yeah, let's say your, for instance, your husband, isn't he NFP, right? So your husband would EMFP [inaudible] NFPS we're really good at coming up with creative solutions to problems, whether it be through like a new business idea or, um, creative side hustles that you can come up with. Like let's say you're coming up with a bill coming up with unexpected expenses and you don't have something in the budget and you don't have an emergency fund. NFPS are, it's, it's uncanny like how much we can [inaudible] um, um, things like honor to make some extra money like, and quick, you know, and yeah, they can actually be like pretty good side hustles too. Like I actually had, um, I went through, I was at a startup and, um, you know, my boss flew in from California to come lay me off, you know, and it was funny that followed. Sure. So it was like on a Friday that following Monday I was already working on my side hustle, like making money like that. Yeah. That that day I was like, Oh well obviously I gotta do something. I'm going to be a Lyft driver. You know, I'm an Austin so I'm going to be a Lyft driver. And you know, I didn't have very much money at the time cause I had a lot of student loan debt. So I'm just like, Oh well, you know, we, we take, you know, again with the um, inferior introverted sensing, we, I guess that from that perspective it kind of worked for me cause I wasn't thinking too much unlike previous experiences, which for me it would be getting laid off. Like at that point that following Monday, it was a previous experience for me. I'm like, okay, well how do we fix this? Like immediately let's just think of new possible ways to fix this. And within a few weeks I was making like a thousand dollars a week. It's uncanny. That's awesome. So really kind of worked out for ya. Yeah, it did. It did. You know, so S so there's pros and cons, you know, to that. And if you're not an NFP or I S T J, you know, you know, again, going back to the ebook thing there, there are other ways, um, there are other natural strengths that you may have. Um, for any of you that may be listening and you're like, well, I'm not a nice TJ and I'm not Nina FPA. I don't know what I am, you know, so you could go to a 16 and figure out what you are and just kind of go from there. Like don't, um, [inaudible]. Yeah. Just get to know your natural flow if you will, or your natural, um, state and you know, expand on your strengths and try and minimize your weaknesses as much as you can, you know? Yeah. Or even just, you know, balance each other out. So if you know that your strength is the numbers and doing the budget, but your husband or significant other strengths or coming up with ideas to make more money, you know, just try and balance each other out. Like if you know that you can stay on top of the due dates, then that's your responsibility. And then if their strength is something else, then they can do that. Um, I do get a lot of questions about getting your spouse on board. And so I'll have people like in my group though, like, okay, I've tried to tell my husband, I've done the budget, like, don't spend any money on this. And yet they still go out and run their debit card. Like even though they have went over everything and they're just not on the same page. So do you have any tips for like, maybe trying to start with their personality types and running this personality test and just kind of see where each other is coming from? Just from their natural tendencies and personalities and then trying to kind of come together on the budget and their, you know, their big money goals or their money mindset, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so, um, again, it kind of goes back to what I was saying with the cognitive functions, um, and how it can change based off of like the different, uh, stress levels. Right? Right. So let's say, um, you know, your spouse had recently like lost a job or whatever and they normally are an I in TJ, right? So I, and TJ is just imagine like the mad scientist that always comes up with these elaborate plans, you know, that's seems to be like their, you know, they're very meticulous and maybe like creatively come up with these like elaborate plans, things of that nature. Um, and they're normally very reserved and very controlled, right? So let's say they recently experienced a job loss, they come up with, um, they start randomly start spending like all this money, right? So the actually their cognitive function stack, which is again how you process information and make decisions can turn into what, um, that have an ESF P yes. FPS are extroverted sensing, feeling perceiving. So just imagine like they're performer or, or like an actress that maybe you really good at making money but just like blow it all cause they are in the moment and things of that nature, they can actually turn into that. Right? So if you, if you want to, yeah, they can actually turn into that. And you know, from a spouse perspective and be like, Oh my God, this is not who I married. You know, I'm here and here. It's very different. Yeah. Yeah. That is very different and it can change very quickly. So, ah, taking that into consideration and be like, okay, they are in chronic stress levels. Function sec may have changed. I mean, you don't have to say it to think about it in like clinical terms. They're like, okay, they're changing, right? They're going through different, um, they're going through a stressful time and so they're thinking about things changed very quickly. You know, I'm maybe drinking too much functions that they, I N T days may not normally be into. It can manifest in that way and very quickly. It's absolutely, it's absolutely crazy. Like how that changes that is, yeah. I didn't even realize that that could change so that I'm just like sitting here trying to process that it can change because you think like, okay, well this is just how you are. But you know, but you're right. Whenever somebody is under a lot of stress, you know, their personality does tend to change. I mean their, their habits may change. They start not acting like themselves. I mean, Oh my gosh, should we, especially with when it comes to money, when you are under like so much stress, I find that people don't think through and process what they're doing with their money, whether it's spending or you know, transferring it to another counter. You know, what make a big purchase out of nowhere, you know, things like that. So that actually makes a lot of sense to me that, you know, when they're under a lot of stress that you just, you can kinda change your personality and do things that you wouldn't normally do. Yeah. Or for me it was the exact opposite. I was very meticulous about the, the bill due dates and like, Oh it's just like, Oh my God. Like I have an Excel spreadsheet of all my debts and I [inaudible] categorized it based off of the interest level. Like it, cause I'm not Norway like that kind of a person. I normally have not. But like at that time I'll, I was like, everything was organized. Everything had to have like a specific reason for being in, in my Excel spreadsheet. Like it was just, it was just so crazy, like how, how that changed, you know? And I actually, that's what actually made me, I guess survive, you know what I mean? When it was, how you coped with it. [inaudible] it was good with it. Now for it, let's back up a minute because I don't think that we really like went into each personality types. Um, so let's talk about that real quick. So my understanding is there's four like main kind of groups, but each, each personality type, like, like I'm a I S T J and so each, the I stands for something. The S the T the J, they all stand for something, but there's four like main groups and kind of how, just real quick, like kind of what is each category and kind of like characteristics of each first a acronym, group level. It's extroverted versus introverted, right? So the extroverts tend to have more, um, uh, I guess lively, like facials, full expressions. Whereas introverts, they tend to, you know, have more conservative facial expressions or be conservative with their facial expressions. Right? Um, yeah. You know, and then obviously extroverts tend to want to go out more and do more things and they get energy from being around other people. Whereas introverts, eh, they tend to, I've, I heard a couple of introverts say they suck the soul up my life. I could see that. So they need to like stay at home for a couple of nights and just regroup and things of that nature. Right? And so, so the next group would be sensing vs intuitive. Syncers tend to be, um, more in the real like day today. Um, like interactions, right? Like, like, so for your, you, you're an ISDN TJ, right? You want to know the facts, you want to know how all of that plays out in day to day life. W whereas, uh, intuitive tends to be more like what is the potential implications ofX , Y, Z information, right? They want to know, like, more of like the abstract, um, abstract idea of like what's going on. And then you also random side note, you can tell an intuitive because they tend to talk more in um, euphemisms, right? They tint like what I just did, right? They tend to talk more in theory and all that kind of stuff. Whereas sensors may not so much. They tend to talk more [inaudible] facts and specific details of like what happened in the past and things of that nature. And then there's thinking versus feeling. Um, feelers tend to, um, think, let's say, let's say you're a boss, right? Boss has an employee that doesn't, it's not performing level, but that that's not performing at optimal levels. I thinker would be more so inclined to be like, okay, well what's the effectiveness of this employee versus the, um, versus the feeler and be like, okay, well what's the specifics scenario? And like what's going on with this specifics person? And then the last category would be, um, perceiving versus judging. Perceivers tend to want to see how life just kind of plays out, right? Yeah. That's not, yup. They want to see like, okay, let's not get bogged down with all this checklists to do lists. Let's just see how things just kind of play out. Right? Versus judgers not necessarily saying they're judgemental people, but because that's what people tend to immediately think about. I'm not judgemental. Oh, you know, well this is not necessarily what that means, but judgers tend to want to kind of wrap things up, if you will. Yeah. You know, like what's the, what's the bottom line here? What's the exact, you know, that kind of thing. That's what those four like acronym stand for. And just like a general overview of like what that actually means. Awesome. Thank you so much. I know this people are probably like, what the heck are they talking about? So I, and Oh my gosh, now I forgot what it's, I am N I S T J. So I'm an introvert. I'm very much an introvert. Like I have to force myself to be kind of an extrovert. Like with my previous job, I was a detective and so like I had to talk to just random people. It has very, very outside of my comfort zone. So I've learned how to like kinda cope with it, but I definitely need my alone time, like [inaudible]. But I'd imagine you'd be very good at that job because they have a lot of details that they have to take in consideration and remember, you know, so I imagine that would be a very good career path for I an IST J and it's a lot of facts. Like I can only deal with the facts, like I can't deal with how you feel, like I have to deal with facts and what I can prove in court. So yes, I definitely can see that being a strength. Um, so I could see like an extroverted, um, now I forgot what they all stand for. But at E S T J I guess is what you would probably do really well too. Like being able to just talk to people and things like that, but then also deal with the facts and the numbers and you know, that kind of stuff as well. Yes. Yes. And they, um, tend to make for excellent military leaders as well because you have two people in the military and you could tell the EST JS because they can take their primary cognitive function is to um, is extroverted thinking, which is organizing your environment. So E and TJ is an S T J's a, they lead with that cognitive function. Um, so if you think of like the Donald Trump's of the world, um, if you don't like Donald Trump, I'm sorry, but that's like the first, um, yeah personally. But he does lead with extroverted thinking like he is immediately just like how do I take control of the situation? Yeah. Right. Like that is, that is what, you know, he does and a lot of Ian and ESG Jays tend to do that, which, you know, it has its pros and weaknesses, right? Like, you know, it's really, especially when it comes to money, like it sounds like there are strengths and weaknesses with each personality type. And I think that, now, correct me if I'm wrong, but it kinda like your focus is figuring out your personality types, your strengths and weaknesses around money. And maybe kind of, um, using your strengths and your weaknesses to manage your money better. Is that kinda like what you help people with? Yes. Yes. Um, and then how to not only that, but just how to, um, relate that two, a person's a spouse or significant other, like if they're thinking about getting married but they're kind of hesitant because they're like, Oh, this person does this crazy things with money. Um, yeah, I would definitely be the person. They'd be like, Hey, you know what? Let's think, let's talk about that. Yeah. Especially like before you get married, if you were to do one of these personality tests and really get ahead of the game, like know what each other's strengths and weaknesses are, especially when it comes to money, because that's a huge factor in divorce. And if you're already like, I mean that could really set you up for a life of success for finances and your marriage, you know, like that could [inaudible] Oh really? Yes. Yeah. I wish I would have known about this cause I think it could have saved me not only from a money perspective, from my career perspective and just it just this one little test can affect your life in so many different ways. And now not just taking the test but actually applying it in your life. It's about this test. The 16 is where I took it and we can, we'll link to it in the show notes, but it like gives you a summary. Like it says strengths and weaknesses, romantic relationships, friendships, Parenthood, career paths, workplace habits. So it gives you a little summary of like your strengths and weaknesses. And really, I mean I was reading some of these, I'm like, Oh my gosh, that is me. Like it just, it's like how does it know that I do that very well-developed theory. Oh, that can just change your life. And it sounds so crazy to say just from like a couple of little letters. It's so amazing. I really hope like for anyone that's listening right now, like please just take the time to, um, take it just 20 minutes out of your day and just really research about yourself, um, because, because it could be a major game changer for you and your family or a future family or you know, whatever's going on with you at the, um, at that particular time. Um, it did wonders for my life and a little scary because of, you know, like Ashley said it a little cause it's so accurate. Give me just a couple last words of wisdom. Uh, any like quick, when's quick tips that somebody can do that they're wanting to change their mindset? Um, you know, just be more aware of their PR, you know, their personality and how they handle money. Any last words of wisdom take into consideration you or your spouses? Cognitive function stack. Um, you know, we did talk about that. Um, because it's a huge factor in how you process information and make decisions. Um, so just recognizing the different levels of consciousness that a person has can be a huge factor in how you need to proceed with your life. So whether it be from like who manages the bills, who's coming up with the creative solutions for things of that nature. So yes. Awesome. Now I always like to ask people about their favorite non fiction books. So you know, we're all about improving our mindset and our lifestyle and everything here. So I like to read a lot of nonfiction books. Do you have a favorite or maybe more than one? Uh, yes, 100% it is do it scared by Ruth Sukup. I am a major fan fan girl. We'll have different podcasts and made you read her book on a hoopla and I try cause it's free through my library and I tried to read that book like three times. It would never load, so I guess I'm going to have to just go buy it because apparently I can't read it for free. The audio book might've been on there the last time I checked in night, I think I forgot. I hadn't actually listened to the audio book. But yes, I love Ruth. So tell me, so what about this book? Cause I know that there's like a personality types. This book is about personality types. So tell us really quickly about this book. Yeah. So I am the, I am a procrastinator like 100% I'm a rule follower. I know. I just [inaudible] know what we were at a soccer game this morning, my kids' first soccer game and somebody, somebody brought a dog and there's signs everywhere. The email said no dogs and there's a dog. And I'm like, they're not supposed to have a dog here. And my husband just let it go. And I'm like, but the sign says there's no dog. It's like, why didn't they have a dog? Why don't people think they could just do whatever they want? I would've never even, I never would even realized it. I'd be like, Oh, that's a cute dog. And I'm sure they probably never even noticed the signs. They may not have got the email, but I'm like, the rules are the rules. They are not supposed to have a jockey. Oh, that's so funny. Another example of how accurate this stuff. Another example. I know, it's so funny and I'm like, you're right, I don't know why I care. Just let it go. And then I did. I was over. Well, I mean, but there's, there's, there's pros to that, you know, cause if there were no rules in society, we'd all live in chaos. You know what I mean? That is true. Yes. The book, it breaks it down into wet four. Is it 4%? Cause like I said, I haven't actually read it, but I've listened to her podcast and stuff, so I kind of have like a general idea about it. But yes. So she does, it's not, um, it's not in relation to Myers-Briggs. I'm not, I can't remember how she, again, with introverted sensing in fear and sensing all the, I know there's one that was a rule follower. There's a procrastinator. There was like perfectionist, so and whatnot. But I remember how accurate it was for me, like how I kind of put things off because I don't want things to be messed up because I'm like, Oh well I don't want to like screw this up. So yeah, it was, it was crazy to me like why I did what I, Oh, why I've procrastinated the way that I've procrastinated do it scared and move forward, you know? Yeah. So I, I love that about her. She, um, I could just imagined, I've never met the woman a day in my life that I could just her and be like, okay, so why didn't you finish that blog? Let's do this. Yeah. Cause I think she's talked about she is a rebel. That's what it was. She's a rebel. So the rules don't apply to them and rules of her soccer's for soccer. So that's where she is. So that's right. That was the other one last thing. Where can people find you too, Katherine? and then you could go to my shop and then I'll look for the money psychology approach. Awesome. And do you have any good freebies that they can go and download? My main, my main page and it's my, um, on my money vault, I guess you could say. So it's all my, um, best resources for, um, how to save and make money, you know, whether it be yes. Um, and obviously in a creative way, of course, whether it be through starting a blog or you know, getting a drought, driving side hustle on or something along those lines that you can make money and make money fairly quickly. Oh, awesome. I'll have to do another episode on that because you know, we can talk all day. So we'll have to schedule, we'll have another episode and talk about all about side hustles. That sounds [inaudible] awesome. Oh yes. I am like the queen of side hustles. I sometimes I've made up to like $3,000 a month with my side hustle. It's crazy. That is crazy. That is crazy. Yes. We need to talk about that soon. Okay. So where, where can they find you on social media? What's your favorite? Oh, yes. Um, my favorite is Instagram. I'm always, again, being an NFP, I am all for, um, coming up with creative solutions and Instagram seems to have like all these awesome things to say so that you could just kind of get your day jump-started. Um, I'm really big into like Instagram stories, so yeah, follow me there and yeah, we'll go from there. Awesome. Yes, I've just started like in the last maybe month, like really tried to focus on Instagram. I'm really liking it. Like I never even used it for personal use. Like I just always used Facebook, but now that I'm getting added, love the stories, just like you said, like I get a D, just do quick little videos and things like that. So yes. Come follow Katherine on, um, Instagram and I'm sure you have Facebook and everything. Also a, is it all the same? It's all the same at Catholic. Yes. And then my website is Katherine Yeah. And I'll link to everything in the show notes. Of course. Be sure to go check out Katherine on social media and her website. And then don't forget to go grab your hope money roadmap of budget's made so you can get started on paying off debt, saving money, and living the life that you really want. I will see you in the next episode. Special Guest: Catherine Treme.

Nov 2019

38 min 33 sec

In this episode Dan talks about how couples can start working together as a team to manage their money. Resouces mentioned in this episode: Radical Candor ( (affiliate link) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ( (affiliate link) How to Talk About Money With Your Spouse: The Ultimate Guide ( About Dan: Dan helps newlyweds get on the same page with money and stop the money fights before they start. Website: Email: Social Handles: @adultingwithmoney on FB and IG, @adultingwmoney on Twitter YouTube: Full Transript: Hey, this is Ashley with the money mindset podcast and today we are talking with Dan Heinz with adulting, with He helps newlyweds get on the same page with money and stop the money fights before they start. Welcome Dan. Thank you Ashley. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy for you to be here because you know, couples fighting about money is such a huge factor and just stress in their lives and their family situation. So, you know, I'm so excited to talk to you today about things that people can do to get them on the same page with their spouse. So, so excited about this podcast today. Yeah, and thank you for having me. I mean I, I even had, I was just telling you before we started recording that I had a dentist appointment this morning. Uh, and so I was telling the a dental, a dental, uh, assistant hygienist, um, about what I do and she, Oh, and so she started asking me all these questions and I'm just like, ah, ha, ah ha. You know, just sitting there and like, well, I can't really answer you, but I'd love to. Exactly. And it's so important for people to talk about this. So I love it when people just randomly start asking us questions about, you know, managing their money better. So yeah. But when they have all this stuff in your mouth, it's like, what are you talking to me? Oh yeah. Well, and it's, and I'm so grateful that I come off as so helpful and that people just start asking me questions. Um, you know, I, I really do take that to heart as to say, well, if they didn't like me or trust me enough, they just wouldn't be asking periods and be like, Oh, that's neat. And then they move on, they move on. Just a polite nod and a wing, like, okay, well that's nice. So how's the weather going? So tell us a little, a bit about yourself and how you kind of got started on this journey with helping, uh, newlyweds with their money. Oh, sure. Yeah. So, I mean, long story short, I have an engineering degree and then I got an MBA and I was with Edward Jones as a financial advisor for a couple of years. Um, but I knew that I figured out that wasn't really the past path for me, but really my personal finance journey I guess, um, started when my wife came home one day with these giant bags from target and while she had bought, I think pillows, that's why the bags, the bags were extra big, just gotten married. I was sitting on the couch in the apartment, I can see the front door and I can still see it now. And she walks in and the first thought I had was, what the F did she do? Okay. And, but, you know, being a new husband, I also, my second thought was immediately, I need to never think that again. Okay. So I wasn't, but I wasn't sure how like, okay, now I know what I want, I know why I want it. I want to keep our marriage going for more than six months. Um, and so that, how do I go about doing that? And so that really sent me on my journey to, to try to figure it out. Um, but I realized pretty quickly that a lot of these personal finance books and financial coaches and stuff that you listened to oftentimes are geared towards a single person. Like I'm a big fan of Romy SETI and his book, I will teach you to be rich and grant. Um, I can't, his last name is French. It's not, no a Sabbath's here. Um, but that's not the French way of saying it. But anyway, super nice guy. He has another book called financial freedom. Um, but it's a, you know, it's, it, it takes a little while to get to talk about like, okay, I understand it, but how do I get my spouse on board? How do I get my partner on board? And so like, cause when you want to start budgeting and you bring that B word of with your partner, they just, their, their, their buttholes just clinch up like, Oh, what are we getting into? Right. And so that's where I come in as a coach is to say, okay, I'm going to help you guys. I'm not going to, but you're adults. I'm an adult. I'm not going to tell you exactly what to do cause you, you lead your own lives. But tell me about what's going on. How can I get you to, to a better spot? Um, and so as a coach, I listen a lot and then I tell you what to do, but I let you play with stuff and toy with stuff and you know, um, you know, I'm not trying to assume that you're a square peg and I'm going to pound you into a round hole either. So that's kind of, I guess that was, you know, how I started my journey, but also how I help as well. That's great. So what are you have like first some tips for newlyweds or just people trying to get on the same page as their spouse, even if they're not newlyweds, you know, they could be married forever, but they really want to start or one of them really wants to start getting their money under control. What, how do you help somebody like that? Right. Um, I think the first lesson to learn is that you might be thinking about, Oh, should we have joint accounts or separate accounts? That's usually what a lot of couples like jump to like how should we, uh, organize our finances or our bank accounts? But the problem is, uh, goes back to like goal setting. So the best advice I've ever gotten in my life for anything is that when you want something, you have to first define what you want. Um, and you also have to define why you want it. So like that died, uh, that dental hygienist this morning, um, she was like, Oh, we, I think we should get separate accounts. And I said, well, what is it that you want? And she said, well, I really want to save for retirement. I said, great, why do you want it? She was like, well, I want to retire one day. I said, perfect. And then the third thing after those two is who, who can help me? Because you've never solved this problem before. And it's better to go out and find someone that has solved it and then they can just tell you the how, um, the, the trouble is, and having an engineering degree myself, I do this a lot and I've had to overcome it is I jumped straight to the how, how I know what I want. Uh, but what, how do I go about getting it? So I'm wrapping that back to the, the joint accounts and the separate accounts. That's a great question, but it needs to be like the fourth or fifth question that you're asking. And in a, in the beginning you have to sit down as a couple and talk about what, what is it that we want and why do we want it? So, so that's what I do with all my couples. And that's my first suggestion is just start having conversations about and start talking about, well, what is it that you want and, and, and why do you feel bad about some things that are going on? Or why do you feel good about some things going on? Um, that's really kind of where I start. That's great because you know, you really have to think about yourself as an individual and then put it together as a couple and work towards the same goal. So I love that. That's how you start with it. And yeah, you hit the nail right on the head with the individual part, especially with newlyweds is because as a society we are getting married at an older age, which also means that we've gone through college and, and used our own money, maybe gotten our own debt. Um, you know, had our own job, our own apartment, our own car, our own bank accounts, bank accounts. And then all of a sudden you're trying to combine that with another person who's been very individual with all of their stuff. And so how do you come together as a team, as a family, as, as a couple and, and start to do that together. Um, and so that's also really what I'm helping with when it comes to newlyweds, is to, to bridge that gap from individuality to, okay, now we're a team and specifically a team with money. How do we do that together? That's great because you know, uh, as you were saying that, I was just thinking, you, they, you also have your own money habits, whether they're good or bad. And so you have to work together with your spouse is good or bad money habits as well. So I love that, you know, you uh, work with them to work together like that. Yeah. Yeah. Or develop new habits together is to say, well, let's, you know, maybe there's a not a good or bad bad habit that we have at all, but just let's, we need to start a new habit. Yes. That's a good way to think about it too. Cause you know, especially with newlyweds, it's like a start to kinda recharge and kind of restart your whole money life and habits and everything. So what is something, um, or maybe the most important step to start communicating better with your spouse about money? Like how do you help them communicate better? Yes. So the first thing I do is have them go through basically a goal setting session. But when I say goal setting the, well, let me back up just a tiny bit. There's a great book I've read that's called, um, Oh gosh, it just popped out in my mind it is a book. Um, and in the book there's a this advice that when you're having meetings, sometimes people are coming into a meeting with different expectations. And by expectations, I mean, some people were like, Oh, we're having a brainstorming meeting. And some people were like, Oh, we're here to meet to get something done. And so when you have people that are like, Oh, let's talk about stuff and throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. And some people were like, I got stuff to do. Let's make a decision and move on. That's a huge conflict in that meeting. Um, and so when you, um, so the first thing to do radical candor, that's the name of the book I knew, I think of it as radical candor. So anyway, so when it comes to couples is I have just do a brainstorming meeting. Like, Hey, let's talk about it. There's no decisions that are going to be bad. Let's just talk about it. Um, so I'll have them go off on their own for five minutes and, um, write down as many things as they can think of with money. What is it that they want? What is it that they're afraid of? What do they want to pay for? Um, all everything that they can think of. And if they can, if they can't think of it in that in five minutes, then it's not important today. It might be important to some day down the road, but just today, what is it that you want? And then come together and talk about those lists. Like what is on your list and why is it on your list? Why do you want a big emergency fund? And, and we, you know, we dig into like, well, this is how I grew up. This is how my family handled money, but I really didn't like it or this is how we handled money. And I really liked it. And so you get to know each other on a little bit deeper of a level when it comes to money, but you're tying it specifically to like, okay, how do we each feel about debt in general? How do we each feel about, um, you know, our student loans in general. Do, do either of us want a house? And then after that I have them pick the top five things on their list that they want to deal with individually and then come together as a couple and have a top 10 list. So that means that something's going to be number one and number two, but your top five as an individual will be on the, the top 10 list as a couple. And again, I, you know, I talk about this all in my guide, so everyone listening, um, we'll, we'll give the link later, but the guide has these step by step process that you can do later with your partner as well. Um, and so, but yeah, have them create a top 10 list and say, okay, what's number one? Let's start going after that. How are we going to go about that? That's awesome. I really like that idea because you know, you're really focusing on the individual mindset, why they think what they think about money, and then coming together as a couple. So, and everyone is afraid of being wrong or, um, made fun of or put down, even if it's your partner, you're just like, you know, there's still a little bit of either embarrassment or fear that they're not, they're going to think I'm weird or think differently. And even though you're married or maybe about to be married, um, it's still there. I mean, and maybe it's not money. Maybe it's, you know, sex that you're feeling very uncomfortable about or just talking about kids or something going on in the family. So certainly, certainly it's there and it's normal to feel a little bit of hesitation. So I, the first thing I do is just try to set up this meeting to say, Hey, we're just talking about stuff. We're not gonna make any decisions. We're not here to judge anyone. We're not here to, uh, we're just here to learn and listen to each other. And then we'll go from there. But we gotta we've gotta have that broad conversation first and then we'll get to the, like the how and the what to do next, the strategy. That's great. Do you, um, work with couples like online or do you meet with them in person or both? I've done both. Um, I'm mostly online, so I mean if, uh, if you're listening to this and you download my guide, I've got a YouTube channel that I'm starting up. Um, so if it's something that you want to follow along, I'm trying to make my business completely online. So, so starting out, um, I, you know, I've dealt with individuals and couples. Uh, there was this one woman that, uh, I helped and she was in the Navy and over in South Korea. So we, the time change was a bit tough, but we made it work and we, we were, I was able to help her out and coach her. Um, I've had a couple here in my area. Um, I've had couples in California that I've helped, um, and uh, Ohio and Indiana. Um, and so it's, it's all over Florida. Oh, that's great. Yeah. I love working online and working with people online and we do it by video calls as well. And so, I mean certainly I want you to see me and I'd love to see you guys is that, you know, on the couch together, snuggling or maybe not snuggling, depends on how to say, um, and then help you the best I can. And it's, you know, I really as a coach, I look for those nonverbal cues is when I ask a question and I see how the eye contact is working, uh, or not working, uh, between you as a couple or with me just as a coach looking at the camera. Um, those, it helps me a lot, be a better coach as well. So I love doing video calls. Now you did bring it up earlier. Um, I was, I was wanting to get your thoughts cause I get this question all the time, but what do you think about shared bank accounts? Like is it a hard and fast? Yes. You need or maybe, maybe not. Like, what do you tell people when they ask you if they should or, um, what they should do about bank account? Yes. And that's exactly what the dental hygienist um, asked me this morning and I tell people that it's an important question, but it's a secondary question. Um, I had this post that I put on Reddit in the personal finance subreddit and it made it to the front page of Reddit. And so, yeah, so you know what that is, but for anyone that has no idea what Reddit is, um, it's a website and basically to get to the front page, a lot of people have to like upload it. They have to like it. And I got like something like 400,000 views and 17,000 up votes and uh, like, uh, like 1700 comments on this post. I mean, a lot of people were just arguing back and forth and we were, but whatever, it Rose to the top. And what I learned from reading hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of comments was that there are very happy relationships and marriages where everything is separate, where everything is joint or there's something in between. And the common thread is communication is that if you're not talking about money on a regular basis, and regular could be [inaudible] yearly, it could be monthly, it could be quarterly, it could be weekly if you really need to. But if, if you're talking about money on a regular basis, you have that habit, um, then you're going to be fine. Cause that's where most of the troubles come into is that, you know, I, it's like, Oh I want a separate account so I can just do what I want. But the deeper level to that is that maybe your isn't listening to what you want or, or you're feeling guilty of buying stuff. So you want to hide your money over here and not have to ask for permission. Um, and so the, usually when I hear that, I know immediately that there's kind of a, a deeper level to that. So it is an important question. We should talk about separate and joint and all that stuff, but that it's secondary. It's not the first conversation we're going to have. Yes, I agree 100% because there's so much more to it about, you know, why they want a separate one or don't want a separate one. And it all goes back to their individual mindsets about money, which we've already talked about as well. So it kinda just, it all comes together, but it usually comes out from this question, just like you said, you have to back out, figure out why they're asking in that money, that money mindset that you talked about. I know Ramit Sethi, his, his, he did a second version of his book and he talks about something called money dials, where we all have kind of that one topic or that one thing that we actually really love to spend money on. Um, you know, sometimes it can be closed, sometimes it can be travel, you know, maybe, uh, you know, it could be guns or it could be a hobby. It could be computers, it could be video games. Um, that we're, we love actually enjoy spending money because what we're spending money on is valuable to us. And that's why we have that first conversation is to find out like, what is it that you really value as an individual and then how do we kind of, how do we combine that as, as a couple? Um, for myself personally, I love spending money on, uh, educational things. I love going to workshops and seminars and buying online courses. I am, I just am constantly trying to improve myself, whereas my wife, she just spends all of her money on a heart. Our dog, she just loves our dog. She wants, you know, a nice carpet. And she in Disney world, while I like spending money going to Disney world too, that's where, that's where we as a family, as a couple of, we are 100% together on, Oh good. Yeah. But you need to be to spend that much money on godly, his knee. Oh yeah. Yeah. So, and I know that, um, there's like, Oh, well, you know, I'm a spender or I'm a saver. And I, you know, I, I don't like to put people into those categories. It's, it's more about trying to understand yourself as an individual and the nuances and to say, okay, well, you, you don't, just because you're a saver, quote unquote doesn't mean you're a saver and you're frugal on everything. Um, and just because you spend on one thing doesn't mean you spend on everything. Um, and so it's defined that nuance as a couple and to say, okay, well what, let's, let's dig a little bit deeper into that to figure out how we fit. How are puzzle pieces fit together? I love that. Uh, so I, and I always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is because, you know, the studies have shown that millionaires, uh, read at least I think it's one book a month. And so I always love to find out people are reading and what their favorite nonfiction book. Sure. Okay. Um, well, gosh, I've already mentioned like five already, but I, so for me, my favorite is the seven habits of highly effective people. Um, and I guess I really pick that because that was the first nonfiction book that made me realize, wow, I don't have to like go to school or a teacher or a particular, you know, you know, the, the system in order to learn something amazing, it can be in a book and I can read it. And so, you know, and this was before that blogging really got started. Um, and so, you know, it was books and magazines for a bit there. Um, before blogging got popular enough, they're like, Oh, well I can follow someone on a blog or a podcast or YouTube to learn stuff. But the, for me, especially being in engineering and being younger person, that one of the habits is seek first to understand then to be understood. And that's basically a motto that I've kept for years to say, okay, rather than being some sort of pretentious person and trying to be a know it all. Is this like, yes, it's good that I know many, many things, but I don't know everything. And when I'm listening to someone, I need to understand exactly where they are and where they're coming from in order to help them next. And so that's, um, you know, I got that habit from that book. Uh, and that's been kinda always on the top of my mind and why it's my favorite, not to say it's the best. I think I got some other favorites that I really like. Uh, but that was the first that really kind of unlocked that door for me. Yes. That's a very good book. I love that quote. That'd be perfect on the, uh, you know, Facebook share it on, but it a graphic. Yeah. Stephen Covey, the seven habits of highly effective people. Now, do you have any last words of wisdom? Um, follow me on YouTube. That's, that's my, my next step. Um, I'd, so I'm starting my YouTube channel today. I'll have a video up by the end of the week and I, my personal goal is to have a video up every week for the next year. So the first 52 episodes or videos or, or whatever you want to call it, but I, I mentioned earlier a guide. And so I've written a, a 20,000 word ultimate guide and it has that brainstorming that, that, um, goal setting exercise that I talked about. So if you go to adulting with M E so that stands for budget's made easy adulting with M E you can download that for free. Um, and so that's, uh, so that's where you can get that guide. Uh, but then also follow me on YouTube adulting with money. And that's the last piece of stuff I've got, unless you have any more questions. No, that was there. My next question was going to be where to find you. So I think you've got that covered. Everything is that adulting with money, correct. All your social media. Yup. Adulting with on Instagram. It's adulting with money on Twitter. It's adulting w money because adulting with money's too long in my handle. Facebook, it's adulting with money. And then you can search for Dan Heinz as well. Um, and yeah, it's uh, but yeah, definitely YouTube is what I'm going to be focusing on the most over this next year. I can't wait to see it. I try, I started YouTube, like I have like four or five videos up in the night. I just gave up and moved on. And that's okay. I mean, certainly I'd, if you were a client of mine, I would say, Hey, you tried and you, and you found out it wasn't for you. The same thing goes with money. Like, Hey, we need to try some things and try this app, see how it goes. And if you don't like it, we'll try something else. Exactly. So I might get back to it. We'll see. But I'm really loving doing this podcast and getting to talk to people like you. Yeah, no, thank you. And thank you for having me. I really do appreciate it. You're welcome. We will talk to you later. Bye. Alright, bye Ashley. Special Guest: Dan hinz.

Nov 2019

23 min 17 sec

Here are my top 10 budgeting tips so you can manage your money better and start living the life you want! Resources mentioned: The H.O.P.E. Money Roadmap ( The 7 Day Pay What You Want Budget Challenge ( Full transcript: Hi, guys. Today, I'm going to be talking about 10 budgeting tips. These work great for beginners. If you have a low income, if you just can't figure out why you're not saving any money month to month, these 10 tips will help you get on track with your budget and start saving money so you can pay off debt and live the life you want. Number one, the number one budgeting tip is be realistic with your income and your expenses. More than likely, you are spending more on certain categories than you even realize. This is true for me and this is true for numerous families that I've helped. This is why the very first thing I have you do when you're starting your budget is track your expenses and where your money has been going for the past month to three months. Because more than likely, you may think that your budget and what you're spending is this amount, but most of the time it's way bigger. For example, before I started really taking a hard look at our budget, I was budgeting like I think on paper like $800 a month for food. This is for a family of four, one being a newborn. She really didn't cost much. When I went through back through our spending, we're actually spending like $1200 on food. I was spending a ton of money at the grocery, a ton of money eating out. We were throwing away all this food anyway. It was just wasteful. Now we spend $600 a month on food, which includes eating out. Number two, revisit your budget at least once a month. It's a set it and forget it type of thing. Things may come up in the month that you didn't think about. Things change. You need to keep an eye on your budget. Otherwise your spending will get out of control and you'll be back to wondering where your money went. Number three, examine your expenses and cut costs. Look at your budget, prioritize your spending, and figure out what you really need and what you really want, and then figure out how to make it work in your budget. If you can't, start cutting things out that you can't afford. Number four, make budgeting fun. It shouldn't be this overwhelming, dreadful thing that you just avoid because you just don't want to deal with it. Make it fun. Have budget meetings. Bring snacks. Play around with the numbers. Just dream about why you're doing what you're doing and what you want to get out of it. Make it fun, which brings me to number five, which is include fun and savings as expenses in your budget. You don't want your budget so tight that you can't even do what you want to do. What's the point in that? If you make it so restrictive, you're not going to stick with it. Okay? You need to include having fun, realistic amount of money here, having fun and then of course, savings as expenses. Pay yourself first and have a little fun. That will it make easier to stay motivated, keep going and reach your goals. Number six, make a new budget for every month. The budget is generally the same month to month, but you still have to examine different things for each month. You've got seasonal expenses. You've got different taxes, vehicle registrations. You've got different things for each month. Your general framework of your budget maybe the same month to month, but you still have to look at each month and see what you need to adjust for that month. Number seven, use savings funds for expenses that aren't monthly. Savings funds are sinking funds. Sometimes when I say that, people don't know what I'm talking about. Sinkings funds are just savings funds for things like Christmas, clothes, gifts, holidays, vehicle maintenance, house maintenance, savings, your general savings account. All those are four things that don't come up month to month. I pay trash quarterly, so I have to save for that. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind that you need to put in your monthly budget that doesn't come up every single month. Number eight, keep it simple. Don't over complicate it. Don't overthink it. Do what works for you. If you're nitpicking what to put, one item, which category to put it in, it doesn't matter. It's your budget. Put it in whatever category that you want. The point is is that you plan for it, you have the money for it and that you need to track it. It doesn't matter. You can put paper towels in your food budget. That's what I do. You can make a housing budget. That's fine too, but don't make it overly complicated. You don't want to have to go through the grocery store line with 10 different transactions so that you can keep track of it. If you want to put everything that you buy at the grocery store under food and groceries, do it. Just adjust it so you have money in your food and grocery budget to cover it. Don't make it overly complicated. Don't overthink it. Keep it simple. Number nine, plan for it to fail. Especially in the beginning, you're going to screw it up. You're going to make mistakes. I still make mistakes. Nobody's perfect. It's going to fail from time to time. That's why you want to have a plan for what you're going to do when that happens. That's what your savings and your emergency fund are for. That's what you need to do mentally is prepare for it to fail, so that you don't give up when it happens because it will happen. Number 10, have a miscellaneous category. This is for all those little things that are just so minuscule that you didn't even think about putting it in the budget, but you don't really want to put it in some other category because it's just minor. This could be things that you have forgotten. It could be just something small. You want to stop and grab something at the grocery, at the convenience. You make a mistake in your budget, this is kind of like your buffer. Most things you can cover with a category, but there maybe something that comes up that you just didn't think about or didn't plan on, or you're not to the point where your savings funds are fully funded, or you may have money for one thing and forgot that there's something else in that category. That's what your miscellaneous category is for. Keep that in mind. Plan for it to fail. Give yourself some slack. Know that it's going to take time to really get the hang of this and feel like you know what you're doing. It can take like three months to make a new habit. Just keep that in mind. Don't give up when it fails and things don't go the way that you planned. You just got to keep going. That's how you make the changes for the long-term that you need to do so that you can get your finances in order, pay off your debt and start living the life that you want. There's no point in just keep going and going and going in a dead end job when you can make some changes, improve what you need to do and live the life that you want stress-free, about money anyways, and keep going. Be sure to subscribe, like, comment, share. Let me know what is your biggest budget category and what you do in your budget so that you don't forget things that just... just always feels like it's something, right? Also, I've got the top 10 budget tips in a handy little printable. I will drop the link for that. Be sure to grab that. It's free. I will talk to you later. Bye.

Oct 2019

22 min 51 sec

How Kelly paid off $30,000 in student loans in less than two years and then paid for a wedding in cash! Hear how she went from the spender to the saver in her family and plans to pay off her house 18 years early! Plus her number one tip for managing your money better so you can pay off your debt! Resources mentinoned: 7 Day Pay What You Want Budget Challenge ( The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson ( (affilaite link) Kelly McColgan runs the YouTube channel and blog Freedom In A Budget where she helps change the stigma that budgets are constricting and controlling but rather give you freedom! Kelly shares her journey and tips on how you can live a great full life once you become in charge of your money through the aid of a budget. Website: YouTube: Freedom in a Budget Social media @freedominabudget Full Trascript: Today we have a special guest, Kelly who runs the YouTube channel and blog, a freedom and a budget where she helps change the stigma that budgets are constricting and controlling, but rather give you freedom. Kelly shares her journey and tips on how you can live a grateful life once you become in charge of your money. It's through the aid of a budget. So welcome Kelly. Thanks for coming. Thank you for having me. This is awesome. Thanks. I'm so excited to talk to you today. Um, and you know, just getting to know you and talking with you, uh, you know, you're debt free and that's awesome. And I really love talking to people that are debt free and figuring out, you know, how you got there, how you started and things like that. So, um, can you just take a couple of minutes and tell us about yourself and how you started on this journey? Absolutely. I was living paycheck to paycheck, wasn't making my bills, I was making somewhat decent money. Um, but you know, just not making ends meet. And my now husband and I were dating and we wanted to get married and my inlaws said that they didn't want us to get married and so we got our finances in order and it was a hard blow. It was, it was a lot to take in. But through that we ended up finding Dave EMC and finding this community and got really hugged in. And from there I started by youtube channel for accountability and it just kind of snowballs, you know, with the dead snow. But also with just my like financial literacy and just learning so much about personal finance and I became obsessed with it and that's why I started the channel was because for the community but also I needed to talk about it because my husband was just getting sick of all the time and two and a half years later, here we are, you know, we paid off all my loans, we cashflow to wedding, we just bought my dream car, a Jeep Cherokee in cash and we just stay for down payment and bought a house a couple of weeks ago. Just went on an Alaskan cruise a week ago. And so it's been, it's been so fun. That is awesome. So can you tell us how much you paid off and how quickly you did it? The paid off. It was just my student loans. My husband didn't have any debt and it was $33,000. And that was over the course of about a year and a half. Wow, that's awesome. Yeah, we did receive, uh, a little bit of an inheritance that helped finish it off. And then the rest of it we just put into investments in this charter to saving for the wedding. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Do you use your degree? No, I know me either. I talk to so many people that have so much student loan debt and then they don't even use their degree. So that's, that's funny. Um, so it took about a year and a half and you said you found Dave Ramsey, so can you kinda tell us kind of how that journey progressed for you? Like, was it really hard to start or did you, are you like me and you just jump all into things? He actually had a bad stigma and like my group of friends, um, that I would hang out with just because he was very intake credit cards and they, you know, didn't really understand like, okay, you don't agree with this one part of him, but the rest of his principles are amazing and you know, they really help people get out of debt and they, you know, really are great for those people that need that starting point and being like, I need to learn how to deal with my money and manage it. And so, um, a lady in our church was moving away and they were actually millionaires and they had taken financial peace university years and years prior, probably 15 years prior. And she gave us a workbook and the DVD. So I just did it myself and that's when I started watching youtube videos and I became obsessed with youtube videos, um, cancelled my cable and just watched youtube videos. Hey, that's awesome. So did you get any negative comments or moments when you wanted to give up negative comments in the community or, yeah, like usually people, like, like you said, it's your friends that didn't want to give up credit cards. You know, sometimes we have friends or family members that don't fully understand what we're doing and so they will make negative comments about trying to pay off debt or not using credit cards. And um, you know, I had somebody tell me, uh, stop acting like you're broke and things like that. It's like, well, I'm trying to act like I'm broke so I can build real well later. You know, it's just a matter of priorities and, uh, deciding where your money is going to go each month. And that's really all it is. It's not a matter of, you know, necessarily acting like you're broke. I'm living within my means and working toward my goals. So, you know, sometimes people just have negative comments about this journey. We have more of it in the budget, no tins. And you know, like, especially I think my husband got it harder than I did just because it was very clear that I was not budging on, you know, my budgeting and you know, from the living. Um, but for him, eating out was really hard and he used to eat out every single meal, like do not cook at home at all. So it was a really big adjustment when we got married and he had to start eating my lunches that I would, he was like, yeah, they're good. But I like going out. I like having the variety of being able to look at a menu and pick anything I want. So that was a, that was a struggle for him a lot. And he's getting better. But yeah, it's a work in progress for sure. My husband is the same way and uh, that was like his time to get out the shop and relax. You know, he stands on his feet all day and he works in a building with no windows and like, he still is still a struggle. Um, but we've definitely cut it down. But you know, I still have to budget and for eating out and you know, it's just kinda like his entertainment I guess. We don't really budget a whole lot for entertainment. Like we plan date nights every now and then, but it's not like a regular budget item. So where that is. So that's kind of his entertainment I guess. So to speak of his, of his, but um, so if you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself about money? Oh goodness. Only spend what you need and don't, I had this thought process and especially in college and you know, when I first started getting more of a real grown up paycheck of if I had $20 in my bank account, that's $23 to spend. And like when I think back, I'm like, Kelly, what were you thinking? Like, no, you need to be saving that. You need to be putting it towards, you know, extra payments on this or whatever. Like not let's go to Marshall's, let's go to target. I have $20 to spend. Okay. Kind of like, I don't know, I was so dumb with money. Like so yeah. So would you consider yourself the spender or the saver? Cause usually in relationships there's one or the other. I used to be vendor and now I am 100% saver. 100% like it drives my husband crazy of how much we have to like he has to reel me in of like spend a little money like we were in Alaska and I was like, I had to do all these Uber's and everything and I was like $50 for new Uber. And he's like, yeah, that's normal. I'm like, are you crazy? I know that. Yeah. But I guess you don't have much of a choice. I mean, so what is your number one tip or piece of advice that you would give somebody that wants to be debt free? Also track your spending a hundred percent track everything in a budget and so many people got just so overwhelming to them. But if you spend 10 minutes every other day tracking your spending, it really doesn't take long. Now if you wait until the end of the month, it may take you an hour to go through all your bank accounts or receipts or everything like that. But if you're in it every couple of days, that's really going to be a big game changer. And also you can see where you're at half weeks a month, like are you overspending in a category and then you can kind of reign it in. Whereas if you wait till the end of the month and it's like, oh well I overspending groceries, $400 I guess. Oh, well, okay. Yeah, absolutely. So definitely tracking that was the big thing for us. Like whenever I started this journey as well, we were spending so much money on food and eating it. Um, was there any categories that surprised you whenever you started tracking your expenses? Eating out? Yeah, it seems to me like for most people, every now and then I'll get an email where it's something different. But I'd say like 95% of the time it's food between eating out and groceries and restaurants and all that kind of thing. Um, so you said you just bought a house and paid for a jeep in cab. So tell us about that. Like how long did that take you to save up that much money? Um, it took us maybe a year. Yeah, just about a year cause we started saving right after the wedding, um, to buy the jeep and then after the jeep, then we started saving for the down payment. And that took maybe, um, eight months probably around there. Did you do like what Dave recommends at 20%? We did it just because we live in south Florida and for us to do 20% down and closing costs and then have a few thousand dollars for like repairs and stuff, we would've needed a a hundred thousand dollars. Yeah, that's a lot. Hey, some is better than none. I mean really like it doesn't, you know, even if he can't, like I'm sure people in California that would be insane to try and save up 20%. But you know. So what are your current financial goals? We are trying to put, um, a thousand extra dollars a month towards the principal of the house. And I did the calculations for that. If we do that, we're able to pay off the house 18 years early, $130,000 worth of interest. Wow. Blows my mind. I wonder, you don't want to pay for Uber. So we're doing that and then beefing up our investments, which is really fun too. And I'm learning a lot about stocks and dividends and everything. It's a whole new world for me and a little overwhelming at times, but it's really, it's really fun and exciting. Yeah, that can be confusing for people. So what would be like if somebody came to you and they really need help, um, you know, with their budget or reigning in their spending, is there anything that you would recommend them doing? Like writing it down or using an app? Like what do you like to use for tracking your expenses in your budget and things like that? I use excel. I'm an excel nerd. I've used all the different apps and try them out and everything and they just, they were okay. But I just, I dunno, I love excel. I use them all for my work and everyone makes fun of me for how much I use spreadsheets. Um, so I think that's the best way. I, I love how it's customizable. You can transfer, promotes the other. It's very easy. Um, and I do have templates on my Etsy shop as well as my budget templates. Oh, awesome. Yeah. I love using spreadsheets cause you can play around with the numbers. So I like, especially when I was paying off debt, it was like, okay, well if I can find an extra $200, how will it change everything that I love about, cause it's easy to play with the numbers. Um, so what do you, do you have any tips for somebody that is just starting to try and cut back expenses and live frugally? Um, what are some of the things that you do to kind of cut back expenses and save money? Just doing a little out of time. So many people like when they, you know, want to cut back their grocery budget, they try and go so drastic and they try to cut hundreds of dollars a month. Like that's not realistic. You know, especially if you have a big family and everything, it's, it's going to take time. So cut $25 a week. Once you get used to that, did that for a couple weeks, then cut no $25 to now your $50 from where you originally were. They cut a little bit more and get used to it and then you can slowly over time get to where you want to be. Um, same with eating out or pocket money or whatever it may be. Just make those small changes. And then also for ward yourself, if you're making a, you know, if you're hitting a milestone or you know, every $5,000 worth of debt that you pay off, um, go and do something or have a, something to look forward to. It doesn't have to be a lot, but just those little rewards along the way, they're really going to keep you motivated. Yeah. That's awesome. So did you use the debt snowball then? Can you kind of tell us about that and explain kind of how you did it? I didn't have too many debts, just a, just a couple of student loans. Um, but just, you know, putting them in order of smallest arches, regardless of interest rate, and then paying the minimums of one and then once that one is paid off, then go onto the next one. Um, and honestly, I, I'm not 100% on the snowball. If people want to use the debt avalanche, I think that the a hundred percent. Okay. As long as you're just sticking to one. I see so many people that jump around from one to the other. It's not working, not motivated. Find one that works for you and stick to it and just, you know, when you're not motivated, just keep on plugging along and it'll pass. We'll get motivated again. It just, just keep on going. Yes, exactly. That's what I try and tell people too, is like, just make progress. As long as you're heading in the right direction, you'll get there. Just something heading to where you want to be. Um, and I always like to ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. Do you have anything that you're reading currently? Um, oh gosh, I'm reading a lot. I just moved to, my commute is two hours a day now for work, so I'm doing a lot of audio books. Um, but I think my all time favorite is the slight edge by Jeff Olson. And it just talks about those little changes that you make every day or every month or whatever they may be when you make it one time, it just make a difference. But over the course of a month, a year, whatever it may be, it's a huge impact. And those changes can be positive or negative, but they really add up over time. Oh, that's a great, I haven't heard of that one. I'll have to look for it added to my list. And where can people find you? Oh goodness. I am all over the place. I mainly on a youtube freedom minute budget. I just started a blog about a year ago, reading minute on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. All of the above. Oh, that's great. And do you have any last pieces of wisdom, words of advice? Just get plugged in. Find people that are doing the same thing that you're doing, whether it's, you know, in your real life, and if not, then find community on mine. There's so many Facebook groups. There's, you know, Youtube. Um, there's so many different ways that you can get plugged in and encouraged, especially when you're feeling down. Absolutely. Well, thanks for coming on and talking with us today. I appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me. This was a blast. Thanks. Special Guest: Kelly McColgan.

Oct 2019

18 min 8 sec

In this episode we discuss how your money mindset is formed whether it's directly or indirectly and how you can change it to improve how you handle money. We even discuss getting on the same as your spouse by evaluating your own mindsets sepereately. Resources mentioned in this episode: 7 Day Budget Challenge ( Millionaire Next Door ( Mind Over Money ( Start with Why ( About Derek: Derek Hagen Financial Health Advisor and Financial Behavior Coach Bio: Derek Hagen is the founder of Money Health Solutions, a financial therapy and consulting firm that helps clients develop a healthy relationship with money and align their money and their values. Newsletter Signup: Money Health (Blog): Money Health Solutions (Advice): Instagram: Facebook: Full Transcript: Before we jump right in, can you just kinda tell us a little bit about yourself? Okay. Yeah. So Derek Hagan, I live in suburban Minneapolis and I work, as you mentioned, many health solutions working virtually with people around the country and in Canada actually to help them achieve a stronger relationship with money. I come from a world of high minimum investment advisors and I never really felt comfortable. They're really, because I come from premium, modest, a background, borderline poverty, poverty, and it w it was a different aspect trying to help people whose biggest challenge in life is to make sure their grandparents get the most money from their state. And I grew up in a world where my friends and my family members were now figuring out how to get their money to their grandkids, how to get their money to their landlord by the end of the month. So I wanted to try and figure out a solution where I can help the other 99% I know you know people who don't pay above $5 million to start investing. And so that's kind of where the Genesis of money house solutions came from. Bringing advice to people who are struggling with how to think about money and their relationship with money. So with that, I really love what you're doing with your podcast too because I think we're pretty much aligned in there. Yeah, I, I was pretty excited when I was reading your bio and I was like, yes, I've got to get you on the podcast because this is exactly what, um, I'm trying to do and trying to get people to think about is, you know, their mindsets and all that. And you know, we had it very similar upbringing. You know, my family is not, uh, was not well off, is still isn't, you know, we're working class and so, um, I really loved that. That's kind of what moved you towards your mission. So kind of can you kind of lay out for me how you help your clients, um, kind of where do you start with their mindset and getting them to kind of make those changes so that they can make better decisions about their money and create better habits with their money? Yeah, that's a great question. And then I think, and you might know this as well, it kind of starts with understanding that you have a mindset about money or money mindset. Most people don't even, they don't know that they think money is this thing and you've probably never talked about it because we're not allowed to talk about it. And in the United States, and if you do, there's a lot of funny emotions that get sprung up when people start talking about money. So just starting to get people to understand you have a money mindset. So kinda, I run my life around this 80 20 rule. So if we can get awareness, if we can get people more aware that you have a relationship with money or that you have a money mindset that's going to get you above and beyond what most people, most of your friends are doing, because you're now starting to tackle how you think about money. And that's, it's not easy, but it's, it's step one in it. It gives you most of the way there. So I kind of start with, let's look at our past. You know, what did you learn from your mom about money? What did you learn from your dad about money? What did you learn from it? Your, the interaction of how your family talked about money. And usually when I ask people that and your listeners might be thinking as well, I didn't learn any lessons. You know, cause there's a difference between direct lessons. Here's how check Texas work, here's how your checkbook works, here's how your paycheck's gonna work. Like there's so few direct lessons. So what we do is we get these lessons indirectly. I watched my mom and dad fight about this, therefore I learned this lesson. You know, I watched whatever it is I watched the lights get shut off. And so I learned about this and I watched my friend buy these fancy clothes. So I learned this. So we have an enormous amount of surveys about money that, uh, that are, that actually contribute to what we learn about money, even though most people don't think they learned anything. So it's, it's about starting to unpack some of these memories that we have about money. [inaudible] and how do you think just in general that there that all of us really all of our mindsets about money, whether we realize it or not, like effects how we spend our money? Yeah, great question. There's an idea called money script. In a script you can think about it either as like a play or a movie where it's dialogue and you have to read from the script or if you're more tech savvy. A script is kind of like a automated set of rules that a computer follows, but in both cases the script just runs automatically and you don't really have any say so. So money script or these little rules that we've created in the deep, in our minds, we don't know that we're following them without some awareness or some exercises to figure them out. They're mostly built throughout childhood from these lessons, these indirect and direct lessons that we learned. And they're also built from something called financial flashpoints, which is of like the money version of trauma. And it doesn't even need to be a big event that one time where you got embarrassed or picked on at school for wearing the wrong clothes or that one time you saw your mom slapped your brother for talking about money. These are all true stories that I've seen. These are highly emotional events that happen to us and they all feed these money scripts. And so the money script could be anything and you've heard them, you've heard it. We don't talk about money in this family. You bird, you shouldn't buy anything unless it's the best or your self worth equals your net worth. And there could be competing ones, you know, more money would make my life better is an exact opposite of rich. People must have gotten that way by taking advantage of people. So whatever it is, whatever the rule is for you, they generally fall into four categories. One is the category has the label of money avoidance. So these are kind of people who [inaudible] to have a negative view of what wealth does to people. Money corrupts or rich people are greedy, or, uh, there's virtue in living with less things like that. And a second one would be, uh, money worship. So this is the idea that more money is going to make me happy. I had a little bit more money, my life would be better. It's easy to have these scripts, but when you look at the research, people with 50,000, think 100,000 income would make them happy. People at a hundred, it could be two 50 people at two 50 think it's going to be a million. So it's just this treadmill that people are after trying to figure out how money's gonna make them happy. [inaudible] it's never enough. It's like, it's like the money's dangling in front of you and you're chasing it. You're never going to catch it. Right, right. And then there's that, Oh, sorry. I'll just finish off that last two of those money status, which is chasing money for status purposes. So were money, worship was chasing money for your own internal reasons. Money status is equating money with success. And then the fourth one is money vigilance. This is probably the better quote unquote of the four because this is, you should always save for a rainy day. You shouldn't talk about money, but taken to an extreme, you turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge where you have an emotional attachment to money and saving and you've not able to use it to, you know, enrich your life. [inaudible] and that just reminded me, um, I was watching some news program the other day and it was a round table discussion and they brought up, uh, what success means to them. And so everybody was telling, uh, you know, what being successful means. And so that really plays into your mindset as well. And one of them, uh, mentioned that they thought it was how much money you make, that is what being successful is. And so we each kind of have our own idea and perception of even just what successful is. Um, you know, and just like you said, some of it is um, status and how much you make and then you know, others it's, you know, giving to others and you know, maybe the type of job you have, not necessarily how much money you make and things like that. So really, I mean even just stuff like that, when it comes to success and money, it all goes back to that those money scripts like you talked about, absolutely 100%. And that's part of what people like you and I are trying to contribute to the world is the idea that you have your own values and you have your own definition of success. So please spend some time and figure out what that means to you because if you don't, it's way too easy to be swayed. Now, this used to be just your neighborhood. This is where the Joneses came from. My neighbor bought a new car. I think I need a new car now with social media and everybody's just broadcasting the best parts of their life. Way too easy to think that without a solid foundation of our own values, we let the social media tell us your friends or followers of people that we're looking at. We let them dictate how we should define success. And it does it need not be that way. If you just kind of focus through the lens of what's important to you, it becomes a lot easier to kind of ignore that. You can be happy for people. Look, I'm happy that you bought that new car. I don't value cards, for example. Right. Instead of feeling that guilt or that shame that I don't have that car, it makes it easier to kind of flow through life and be happy for people, for having their values, but recognize what yours are. Absolutely. Um, and so how do people go about once they recognize, okay, this is what I'm thinking and it may or may not be accurate, um, but this is how I view money. How do they go about kind of changing that mindset so that they can, you know, plan for the future and make better habits? That's a, that's a great question. So most of the time just having this awareness as part of that 80 20 rule, just having awareness of where these beliefs and behaviors came from. Even if you're not fully accurate, you think this might be where it came from. That's often enough to start to challenge your beliefs cause most people don't know why do I go shopping when I'm stressed out digging and find out that, Oh well let's, because I was deprived. For example, I'm, this was never a one on one relationship, but for somebody who stress shops, it could be that maybe they felt deprived when they were a child or that could be a thousand other rules, but whatever that is, once that switch is in your brain, it becomes a little bit easier to say, Oh, that's why I do that. I guess I don't need to or let me figure out a different way that I can satisfy that my needs when I'm feeling this way are like that awareness isn't enough, but usually it is. Then you can start to challenge those beliefs and to challenge those beliefs. There's a couple of ways to do it. My favorite is to try to think of a counter example. So whatever belief that you have that's limiting. Can you think of a counter example? So for example, if you remember math class and they start to do proofs and things like this, you can't prove every iteration of an equation. But if you can find one instance where it doesn't work, now you've just proven that rule. It only takes one. So it's kind of the same thing with our beliefs. If I think rich people are greedy, for example, which is kind of a common one, can I think of an example where that's not the case? And the closer to your inner circle, the better. Maybe you've got the rich uncle or maybe you've got your boss or something. Somebody who is, yeah, they're actually a good person and I think they have money. So you can start to [inaudible] start to peel back the layers of that onion of maybe, maybe I've been wrong, maybe I've only been seeing part of that equation. And so you can zoom out and see a bigger picture. It challenges your beliefs. And when you challenged those beliefs, it now opens you up to create your craft new beliefs for yourself. Oh, that is really good example. That just reminded me of the book, the millionaire next door. I'm sure you've heard of it. And it's, you know, people have this idea that millionaires make $1 million a year or they live like, you know, the celebrities that we see all over TV, but in reality, they're not like that at all. Like they make average income, you know, they don't buy new cars. They were like $20 jeans. Uh, you know, they just spend their money wisely and invest their money. So that really goes back to that belief of, you know, well, I'm never going to be a millionaire, so why even bother like investing or anything like that. But in reality you can be. And so that's kind of one of those money mindsets that you can start to shift. And it's, it's a pretty good book. I mean, it has all the statistics and all that stuff about, they studied a bunch of millionaires. Um, and I think there's some other books similar to that, but that's kind of the most part. Yeah. And that's when I, I've recommended that one a lot to my clients. It's a, it's fascinating because again, it can become common knowledge for people like you and me in the industry to, to understand this, but sometimes it's easy to forget that the masses, normal people walking around who don't talk about money, they don't know that. So it's like if you, if I give you $1 million and you spend a dollar, you don't have $1 million anymore, so you can't be a millionaire by spending all your money. Oh, that's good. I never thought of that. We have $1 million. You spend a dollar, you're not wondering where I'm going to have to use that one. That's really good. So it's a really cheap example of what it means to not spend. Yes. That's a really good example. So, and I get this question a lot. And so, um, you know, on those podcasts I've talked about, um, kinda help for married couples and getting on the same page and, um, getting like working on your mindsets individually so that you can work in together because obviously you each have your own ways of thinking about money and, but you need to come together so that you can reach your common goal. So do you have any tips and advice for couples that are just really struggling to get on the same page financially? Yeah, so I'll try to give you the biggest bang for the buck, um, because this is the kind of topic that can take weeks to really, really grasp. But, um, the two biggest pieces that will get you the most way there is first understand that we've all got these basic needs and all of our behaviors are just desperate attempts to try and meet these needs. So you've got, and some of those are opposites too, right? We all have a need for autonomy. We need to make our own decisions. We also have a need for connection. So those are kind of different. So the funny example is, do you know anybody who's kind of felt lonely? So they text people on their phone, Hey, let's go hang out. And then you hang up and you think, Oh man, I really want to be alone. Yeah. Yeah. Because those are two competing needs that you have. So we've all got needs and values and the way that we approach shows isn't always productive. So here's a simple solution. If your spouse, and we'll keep this about money, if your spouse comes in home and says, okay, Hey, we need to just got back from the dentist for example, and junior needs braces. Oh, we can't afford bracelets, easy boat. There's a fight. Are you open up the American express bill all of a sudden? Oh, there's like [inaudible] well, yeah. What is more likely? Is it more likely that your spouse is trying to attack you? Or is it more likely that there's a need that's not being met? So if you just take a step back and ask yourself that question, [inaudible] almost almost never the case that they're trying to attack you. There's always some reason that there acting the way that they do it. Same with you. Everybody has these strategies that we use to meet our needs and our values. So take a step back. Are you trying to harm me or is there something deeper? Now let's talk about what steeper, and this is not making it sound super simple, okay? Because you're going to be emotionally flooded as well. As soon as people, as soon as we hear something that sounds like criticism, it's very common for us to go into defense mode and defense mode sometimes mean a, a counter attack and that's what, and then boom, now you're in a fight. So it does take some time to actually take a step back, cool I and say, okay, well what's happening here? Tell me more about that. Right? Let's get a conversation going about what actually is on your mind. Because when you said that I spent too much money, that was an attack that I don't need to respond to because there's something below the surface that we need to figure out what it is. So that's tip number one is just trying to figure out or it's trying to take a step back and try to get some space between stimulus and your response. Because if you re if you respond too quickly, it's not likely to go super well. Yeah, yeah, that's important. Especially, I mean not even just for money, but yeah, take a step back and cool off. Yup. That's a, that's a huge, that's going to be the biggest bang for the buck. And then the second tip in terms of you know, goals and, and what do you want it to life as a family, as a couple and as individuals. This is a neat little exercise. So write down, maybe each of you would write down five or 10 financial goals that you want. So things that you want to spend your money on in the, you can do short term, medium, or long term. But let's just keep it general. Let's write down five financial goals. Each of you. And when you come together and you talk about what were your five, what were my five, maybe there'll be some commonalities and those will for sure going into the couples goal list and then you can start to figure out as you're talking, maybe there are some goals that you didn't think about when you were writing it down. Those can go on the couples of goal list and then ones that personally has this person been, doesn't have, and vice versa. You can start to think about is there ways that you can accomplish that goal and I can accomplish my goals. Or maybe there's some, you know, some trade offs and we need to make to make something happened. Can we tweak these goals? But starting off with individual goals that you want to do, each of you want to do, and then coming together and having a civil conversation about what does that mean for the, for the partnership. And I'm further, we would ask people, when you see that list of goals, this is gotta be at no shame, no blame conversation. It's too easy to look at that and say, we're not. No, we're not going to pay for all four years of college. You are young that's going into that attack mode again. So let's start and say, okay, well tell me why that's important to you. And you can start to peel back and get to the core of, Oh actually I thought it would be nice to pay for all of doing your college, but I can see your point now that maybe we can only pay for two years or something like that. So avoiding the temptation to judge is, is really hard, but it's going to be very productive if you can get yourself to do that. Absolutely. Um, and the last general question I have, I always ask everybody what their favorite nonfiction book is because reading is so important. Um, even for your money and just your personal wellbeing and everything. So what is a nonfiction book that you would recommend? And I have to pick one. Well, it give me more than one. It doesn't even have to be money-related. It can just be any nonfiction book. Great. So, um, well so millionaire next door, let's just throw that one on the table already. And then there's a book called mind over money by Brad Klontz and 10 clients, which really tackles the psychology of money. So I'd recommend that one for sure. And then in terms of a non-money related book, start with why by assignments. Sinek is absolutely amazing cause that gets you thinking about how we've all got a reason that we do everything and that often goes unexplored too. So start with why Simon Sinek, mind over money. Brad intent clients. Awesome. I'll have to check those out. I'll add them to the list and then I always link to them in the show notes as well. Oh, so do you have any last words? It's done. Any last pieces of advice? Uh, last pieces of advice is going to sound like a broken record. But take a step back when you're talking about money and try to call yourself down before responding. Put a little space in between your response and the stimulus and ask yourself why. Even if you have to ask yourself why a couple of times that'll make your money conversations start to go in the right direction. Absolutely. I mean, and that even works not even um, you know, with couples but also with yourself. You know, if you really wanting like this designer purse, you know, don't buy it right away. Just kind of step back, think about it for a little bit, think about why you want it and then I'll really help you make the decision whether or not you can't afford it or if you really should buy it or something like that. Is that kind of what you're yeah, that's for sure. And if you, if you go through the exercise to figure out why money is important to you, what are your values, your core personal values, then you can view all your purchases through that. And then that space between stimulus and responses to ask yourself, is this something I value? How will I feel tomorrow if I buy this? Do I even have room for it? So then, then if it's Amazon, if you're doing stuff online, for example, throw it in the cart or throw it in the list. [inaudible] come back to it in three days and see if you still want it because that'll, it gets rid of that. I want it now. Yeah. We all get. And then when you come back and you say, I'm never gonna read that book. Delete. Yeah, exactly. I do that from time to time. Or then if I just like, I'm like, Oh, I need to buy this. And so I jump on and I order it and then two days later a package shows up and I'm like, I don't even like, what did I order? I don't even remember. Wait, wait, what's coming today? What is this? Oh yeah, I forgot about that. It seemed like very important at the time. Yeah, exactly. Um, and where can people find you? So I know you have, um, a lot of resources on your blog and, um, so you want to give people your website and social media where they can find you. Yeah. The best places to find me are. So I write about the psychology of and there are use kind of personal stories and I'm just kind of quick sketches to try to get past to the complexity and really get to the heart of, of the matter and try to help people conquer their relationship with money. So that's the blog and then I offer advice is the advice side of the business and you can see links to the different social media outlets on there, but those are the two main places people can find me. Awesome. And I will link to those in the show notes as well of course. And be sure to go check out his amazing resources. I was checking him out this morning. He's got a lot of good free resources for you as well. So thanks so much Derek, for coming and talking with us today. Special Guest: Derek Hagan.

Oct 2019

27 min 59 sec

How Kim paid off $45,000 in student loans in 3 years by negotiating her salary and being intentional with her money. About Kimberly: Kimberly Hamilton is the Founder of Beworth Finance. After earning her Master's degree in 2012, Kimberly moved to Washington, DC making $15/hour, with over $40,000 in student debt. It was a crash course in learning how to manage her money. Over the next few years, she would develop a system of managing her finances that not only enabled her to pay off her student, but also to buy her first home before her 30th birthday. In doing so, she noticed a lack of easily understood information regarding not only personal finance management, but also first-time home ownership, investing, and saving for retirement. Beworth Finance was established to address that gap. When not running Beworth, Kimberly still works at that same consulting firm, which now pays entry-level staff a higher starting pay. She is a travel junkie, wannabe foodie and personal finance nerd. Website: Social Handles: @beworthfinance Resources mentioned in this episode: The Budgets Made Easy Membership Community ( 7 Day Pay What You Want Budget Challenge ( Beworth Finance Finlit ( 3 Myths Busted to Help Milliennials Invest for Retirement ( Books mentioned: Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier ( (affiliate link) Full transcipt: This is Ashley Patrick with the money mindset podcast and budget's made easy. And today we're talking to Kimberly Hamilton, who's the founder of be worth finance. She a travel junkie, want to be footie and personal finance nerd. She teaches courses on how to be better with your finances and she makes personal finance more approachable for the average moneymaker. Welcome Kimberly, how are you? Hi Ashley, I'm great. Thanks so much for having me today. Oh, you're welcome. I'm so excited to talk to you today because you've got a pretty cool story, you know, on this podcast and on my website. I love sharing debt, pay off stories. Like for me it's super motivational. I, when I was paying off debt, I would read them and listen to them every single day to help keep me motivated. So that's kind of been my mission is sharing other debt payoff stories. Uh, so yes. So I just really love it. Um, so can you tell us a little bit about yourself and just kind of like your background and how you got started on, um, teaching finance and paying off your own debt? Sure. And I'm happy to do that. You know, I think it's really interesting that you share these stories as motivation because I think so often it's the case that so many people have all different types of debt now. People have gotten so used to just dealing with it as opposed to talking about how people navigate conquering their debt and strategies to do that. So, so props to you. Um, for me, and my issue was, was student debt. So I've never had, um, medical debt or credit card debt like that. But you know, I'm, I'm a proud new Yorker. I moved to Washington D C to work for a government contractor in 2012 and for me, I, when I started I was making less money than the student debt I came out of grad school with. And I think that could just be really debilitating for a lot of them to have sort of a lower starting salary knowing you have all this student debt that's kicking in and, and no one was really talking about it. And to be honest, for the first six months I didn't really know what I was doing. I wasn't looped into, you know, these motivational stories of other people and how they tackled it. So for those first six months, I was making the minimum payments because that's what I thought I needed to do. And I think a lot of people, um, you know, so many more people are moving away from their hometowns and making more money and things like that now. And it's easy to think that those people have it figured out when I think a lot of people struggle with how to pay off their student debt. Um, so I was one of those people and about six months in I decided to get educated about money and really started learning about fit things that seem simple now, but you don't know what you don't know. Right? So at the time I didn't know that I should be making extra payments. I didn't understand the money that I could have been saving and an interest if I paid my student debt down sooner. But after six months I figured that out and that's sort of when I decided to double and triple down on my payments. Um, I worked side jobs when I could. I sold things on Craigslist. I negotiated my salary year after year to try and make bigger and bigger payments towards that. So, so that's the short story, um, of how I got started. That's awesome meat. It's great that you figured that out so young and early in your career because like for me, I paid on my student loans for 10 years and I had only paid off $3,000 and 10 years taking the minimum pay. Like it's insane to me. And so I just love it when people figure it out early and don't waste all that time, you know, building real well. So how much debt did you, and how quickly did you pay it off? I had, I'm a little over 45,000 and I ended up paying it off in a little over three years. That's awesome. And so tell us, um, and that was all student loan debt, right? Nothing else. All student loan debt. I was lucky enough to, I didn't have any student debt from my undergrad, which was amazing. But for me it was the decision to go to grad school that put me into debt. And I think with student debt in particular, it can be really tough because you think you're making the right decision and you think you're investing in your education and you're going to come out on the other end of it and make a higher paying job. And that doesn't happen for everybody. Um, so it could be a little bit of a rude awakening when you know you're working so hard to get yourself ahead and then all of a sudden you're faced with how do I know, navigate those and money can be such a taboo topic that I think not enough people are talking about it or talking about strategies of what they can do to get ahead. Um, so I was, I can't even say that, you know, I, I heard a podcast or I came across the information on my own. I think I just had so much anxiety about my debt that it forced me to really take a hard look at it. And that's when I started learning some of the tips and tricks you can do there to get ahead. So what do you think? Did you have like an aha moment or was it just kind of just stress dude, just building up about the student loans? I, I think the stress was always there. I did have an aha moment though. I mean, they have so many calculators. Anyone can, you know, Google, um, uh, uh, calculator on what an extra payment would do. And for me, I think it was the day that I used one of those and I found out that if I had taken 10 years to pay off my loans, um, I would have paid an extra 22,000 and interest [inaudible] the price. Yeah, my loan. And I was just like, this is ridiculous. Like, right, yeah, we do the calculator. You're like, no, no, no. Um, and finding that out and thinking, wow, what could I do if I did have an extra $20,000? And you know, for five years when I moved to DC, I think paying off debt does, you have to take a hard look at what you have. And if you don't, um, if you're not making enough income to make those extra payments, you're probably going to have to make some sacrifices. And for me, I had three roommates in DC for quite a few years, but that really helped me. Housing could be such a big cost in someone's budget and that really helped me pay off my debt quicker. And then I having that extra $20,000, you know, I've, I bought my first apartment in D C two years ago. And so I think it was, that was my moment thinking, Oh my gosh, what could I do with an extra $20,000 if I could pay this off a bit more quickly? Um, and at first I was only thinking of cutting off a few years, but once you sort of get started and making some of those changes to your lifestyle and getting more disciplined, I do think it gets easier. Yeah. Yeah. That's so true. It's like, how much faster can I do it? Okay, I've made this much progress. Now what else can I do? And it just like built so much momentum that makes you want to do it faster and faster. Exactly. And I think luckily those habits stick with you after you pay off your debt as well. Or at least I hope they do. You know, that's sort of my number one advice to people is don't let that, that discipline and that drive stop the second you're debt free. You know how you can use that to start building wealth and, and you know, even if you're the first one out of your friends or family to make some of those decisions, don't be scared of letting that discipline, um, dive with, with your debt. Absolutely. Cause I know with me and that I've heard it the same from other people. Like when I was paying off my debt, I was so intense about it. It was almost easier than saving money. Cause then once we were debt free, you know, I bought some things that we had been holding out on so that we could pay off the debt faster. You know, if it could wait a month or two, it waited. But then it was like once we got to the saving money part, it was like something was constantly coming up. And luckily, I mean we didn't go back into debt or anything like that and have no plans to do that at this point. You know, we have enough money saved up that, you know, we shouldn't have to for anything at this point. But sometimes it's hard like when you have the debt, you know, it's like you owe somebody else and it's motivating to keep going. But then when you're just saving for yourself, it's like it's so easy to slow down. And I think that it's great that you kind of focus on, no, just keep going and building those. Right. I mean, I do think you'd have to build in, you know, the thing, obviously you build in the things that are really important to you and I think you have to build in some of the fun stuff too. Otherwise you're never going to develop that discipline to begin with, cause upset. So for me that thing was, was travel. Right. You know, I mentioned I'm a travel junkie and it's something I have always considered distantly done no matter where I've been at in my finances. But they have changed what used to be, you know, when I was paying off my debt, what used to be a weekend trip or you know, time going to New York to visit my family. Now I could take, I got back from France in may and that was a little bit more expensive than a trip to visit family in New York. And so I do think you can change some of those things, but from the get go, keeping what's important, um, and some of the fun stuff in your budget I think is an important to you just may have to think about how you change how you do it. Yeah, exactly. Do you have any, um, actionable tips, like specific things that you did to pay off the money that somebody else can do? Specific things that I did. I mean, I think I mentioned it earlier, but taking a look at what you're really large expenses are. For most people, that's housing, transportation and food. Really analyzing those in your budget and where you may able to be able to cut back. Or is it worth living? You know, an extra 20 minutes, it could mute if it's going to save you, if it's gonna enable you to pay an extra few hundred dollars every month on your debt. And the impact of that can be thousands and tens of thousands of dollars over time. So I encourage people to think about that. I do, I understand that sometimes people just aren't making enough money to make those extra payments. So I encourage courage people to look into all the different various ways you might be able to generate extra income now. Um, whether that's, you know, having a side hustle or Airbnb being your place or what have you, just to generate that extra income. I'm building in the small wins like I said earlier. And then something interesting I did, I'm not sure if they do it anymore, but I would actually use, um, I was with Citibank at the time and, and I don't recommend any specific bank, but I was actually able to use my credit card points to make extra payments on my student loans. Oh cool. I think not a lot of people look into, so I encourage you to check it out cause that was actually really helpful. Even if it's just, you know, a lot of people think to get ahead of their debt, they need hundreds and hundreds of dollars. And um, I think it's important to appreciate even what like a $50 extra payment can do. And I think that's total totally doable to find over the course of a month. Oh, absolutely. I mean, I, one thing that I did with paying off my student loans was I figured out how much interest I was paying every single day and it was almost $5 a day. So even if you just, if you only have $50 that month or $100 a month, that's still lowering how much interest you're paying every single day on those student loans. And it adds up in course of a year and over time. So I think that's great. And I love that you had, what'd you say, three roommates? That's, that's insane. Like did everybody get along? For the most part, at least for the most part, we actually did. You know, I think in big cities, having more, having a roommate or having multiple roommates may be more common than living in rural areas. We had a, we had a crazier too along the way, but for the most part it worked out and I'm happy I did it because I wouldn't have been able to pay off after I paid off my loans. I stood an extra year and I wouldn't have been able to afford the down payment on my apartment had I not done that. That's awesome. So I always like to ask people, um, and you did say that your, um, undergraduate was, you didn't have any student loans, so this was all your master's, so, um, do you use your degree then? Yes, I do. Um, my nine to five when I'm not running Beechworth, which I call my six to 10, my nine to five, it's an international development. Uh, I work for a company that does government contracting and foreign aid and my masters degree was in international affairs. So, uh, yes I do. I do use it. I don't think I'm happy to see that they are starting to bring in some [inaudible] more trade schools and vocational schools and things like that. I think some of the decisions that people feel like they have to do, like I have to buy a house or I have to get, um, the, you know, the advanced degree or whatever. I think those are very personal decisions. Um, so I encourage everyone to think about them carefully. But yes, I do use mine. That's awesome. Cause a lot of people, including myself, don't use their degree. Like I never technically needed a degree for what I did and what I do now. My degree is not in finance or anything like that. Um, but I have thought about getting my master's ums or in business or finance or something. But yeah, I said, there you go. It's absolutely, yeah. So it's so, I mean it's just crazy to me. I mean, and I was the same way that, you know, we spend so much money on this degree thinking we need it when in reality a lot of people don't. I mean obviously some people do. Um, but yeah, so I was, I always like to ask that question. So do you have, so if you don't mind me asking, how did you get through your undergrad without any debt? Um, I had family support court and I had a partial scholarship. Oh, awesome. Awesome. Um, okay, so you did mention something earlier that I want to touch on is negotiating your salary. Um, so I think you said you negotiated every year with your, um, is it with your employer? Um, do you have any tips on how to negotiate? Because you know, especially women were afraid to negotiate. I think, um, you know, we don't think that we can or that it's not worth it or you know, we're just insecure about it or whatever it may be. So do you have any advice on negotiating your salary? Absolutely. And I will say, I think one of those years I skipped, I gave my employer a break. There's this misconception that just because you went in for a raise or something last year doesn't mean you could do it twice. And that's entirely not true. Um, I think similarly to the decision to go to school, which you were just talking about, you know, that that's an investment in your education. Um, I named my company be worth finance cause I want people to be worth the investment in themselves. And I think it's a similar mentality when you're talking about negotiating your salary. Um, some points of advice I would give are to prepare well in advance. So don't wait, you know, until the two weeks before or the week before to to get sort of your, your pitch together. I think it's really important to develop a relationship with your employer so you can check in, you know, six months before you may be up for a raise or as advanced as you can to sort of set benchmarks to make it more difficult for them to say no the day of. Right. So what are your performance indicators that you're going to strive to me over the next six months to make it difficult for your boss to say no to that raise or to that higher pay band and keeping track of how your responsibilities or how your role may have changed and really how your maybe going above, above and beyond to get the work done. The statistics, and I have this on a, I wrote an article on this recently, I'm on my blog, which people can find that be worth, one of the statistics of the amount of people that do ask for money, it's a very, very high percentage that actually get it. And, but I think it's so difficult to sort of pump you pump yourself up for that ass, right? So that's why those setting those benchmarks and setting those performance indicators in advance really help. Um, I'd always say go for higher than you think your employer's gonna land. So you're asking for, you know, if you really want a 10% raise, asked for the 15 and see what happens there. And then everyone's fear is always the worst case scenario is they say no. And I try to tell people not to look at that as a negative because if your boss said no this year, that gives you a really awesome window of opportunity to say, okay, well, you know, I understand it's not in the budget or maybe I'm not performing where you would like me to. How can I change that? What can I do in the next six months? And maybe you don't wait a whole nother year to go for that next ass, right. Set it up so that you have benchmarks and you have indicators you can meet, um, in the near future that you can revisit those and then it's going to be really difficult for them to say no to you twice in a row. The, the cost of replacing a high performing employee is likely much, much tired than the raise that you're asking for. So that's always something to keep in mind as well. A lot of people working in HR know that already, but it's easy to forget when you're on the other side. Oh, absolutely. And I think that we, like, I didn't know some of that. And of course I work, I worked in a government job so there's, you know, set, pay raises and pay scales and all that. So there really wasn't room to negotiate on my end. But even if I was in a job where I could negotiate better, I don't think that I'd have the confidence to do it. But I think after listening to you explain it like that, it's like, Oh, that makes total sense. You're, you're, you're right. So I think that people should definitely negotiate more and um, the better. And then of course I'll link in the show notes to your articles so that you can jump over there and grab those helpful tips as well. The other thing to keep in mind, just quickly on that point, Ashley, is even if you're really constraints, like you said, you, you know, you're within a certain pay band or it's not in the budget or what have you. Keep in mind that you can negotiate benefits as well sometimes. So it's not necessarily always be about your salary. If you could increase your employer match, for example, to your retirement plan or we were talking about side hustles earlier. If you can negotiate more, you know, paid time off, more leave so that you can generate more income that way. Those are also things to consider. Oh, I, yeah, I didn't even consider that either. That is great advice. Um, so one more thing. What is your number one tip or advice for someone wanting to get started on managing their money better? Whether it's paying off debt or budgeting or anything. Like what's your number one tip for people? Ooh, well number one is, is hard, but you know, I think you really need to be realistic with yourself in terms of what challenges are you facing with your finances, what are your, what are your habits that you know are going to be really difficult to, to break and be honest with the goals that you set for yourself as well. I think, you know, a lot of people have this feeling like learning about finances only for someone that works in a bank or is only for our financial advisor. And so something I really try to tell people out at be worth is D, don't be, don't feel embarrassed if maybe you're not as educated about money as you would like to be. You know, I try to break it down so it's more relatable to get rid of some of those fears that people have. Just being honest about, you know, this is where I'm starting, but I want to learn more about how to pay off my debt or how to invest, um, knowing what your habits are so that you can build that in to how you're going to go about achieving some of those goals and then not being ashamed of you. If you know that you want to take a crazy vacation every year or you want you, if your dream goal is to have, you know, a car you really like or whatever it is, that's fine. Just build it in to something that's realistic and to a financial plan that's, that's gonna work for you. Um, because of if it doesn't work for you, then you're never going to meet any of the goals that you set. So really just being real with yourself in terms of, um, where you are with your finances and, and not being scared to take them one step further. That's awesome. Um, okay, so I lied. I said one more thing, but I have actually a couple more questions if you have tech. Um, I also saw recently that you were on Forbes, which is crazy. Congratulations. That's awesome. Uh, and it was about three myths, myths busted to help millennials to save for retirement. And I really just wanted to touch on that really quick, um, because the myths are really accurate and so, um, can you talk about that real fast? Sure. Um, you know, jogging my brain a little bit here, but thank you for the congratulations. I mean, being honest of yourself where you are with your finances. It's sort of a whirlwind to go from seven years ago I was, I was struggling with all this anxiety about debt and then to have a publication like that was pretty cool. But what I had wanted to do with the article is there are so many reasons, well first of all, millennials get a lot of flack for PE. They're not saving as much for retirement as they should be. And there are a lot of systematic reasons about that stagnating wages being one of them. But I wanted to get just like the things you hear around the office about why millennials, you know, people 22 and 35 aren't saving as much as they should. And so some of the myths that I included in that article were things like [inaudible] people have a fear, a lot of people will jump job to job because it's a way to, they're scared about negotiating a salary like we talked about. And it's a way to increase their income if they jumped from employer to employer. And a lot of people feel like they'll lose if they start contributing to their retirement plan, that they won't have access to that money. And so that's not, it could be true, but that's not necessarily true. And it's something to check when you're accepting a new position with a new employer. What the vesting schedule is like for your retirement plan because it's possible that you could, I'm 100% vested, which is basically the point at which you can walk away from an employer and have access [inaudible] to your money to those friends. Um, so that's not always true that you're going to lose your retirement benefits just because you change employers after one or two or five years. So I encourage people to check that. The other one that I remember from the article is that so many people are starting their own companies and doing their own side hustles and working for Uber and things like this. And I think it's a common misconception that if you don't have like the standard nine to five, if you're not working in an office that you don't have a retirement and plan to contribute to. And so a lot of people are just, you know, stashing their money or saving it somewhere instead of putting it in a tax advantage account that could really save them tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. Um, so I talk a lot about independent retirement accounts, IRAs, and in the article and throughout be worth, I recommend that everyone, if you're eligible to get a Roth IRA, which is, uh, a retirement vehicle, you could set up completely on your own, um, with a Roth IRA. The cool thing about that is any money that you contribute to that Roth IRA with other retirement vehicles, you would be penalized if you take that out before you retire, which a lot of millennials get scared about not having access to those funds with the Roth IRA, at least any money that you contribute to it, you can take it out without any penalty, without paying any additional taxes on it. So that's something I always recommend people check out. But there are, there are several different types of these individual retirement accounts or, um, there's a spousal IRA if you work and your partner doesn't, there's, um, a SEP IRA if you're a small business owner. So these are all ways millennials can save for retirement without having your standard nine to five. So don't think, just because you don't have a traditional employer, that's not an option for you. That's awesome. And I'll link to that article in the show notes as well so you can go and check out the full article on Forbes. That's awesome. Okay. And you also have an upcoming course. Uh, would you like to talk about that? I would. Thank you. I'm very, very excited. It's actually, um, being tested by some of my viewers subscribers now. So if anyone wants to check it out, you can get on the email list for be worth at the bottom of any web page on my site. And the first course that'll be launching, uh, later this year or early 2020 is called the money moves accelerator with be worth because I know so many people, uh, get anxious about talking about money. I wanted to provide something that people could take at their own pace and not if they're worried about having those conversations with people. I wanted them to, to have a course that they can take, you know, in the comfort of their living room, but still digest that information and have a, a way to really improve their finances. So they're, there are four modules, so the money moves accelerator. I'm focusing on how to build a budget, how to pay off debt, and that's not specific to student debt. Also covers his credit card debt, medical debt in that as well. Um, the third module is how to level up your finances. So automating your money moves so that there your budget's more easy for you to implement. And the fourth module is saving for retirement or investing for retirement. If you're at a stage where you're investing 10% of your income or less, if you're already on top of that and you're investing 10% of your income or more than you would fall into a later course from be worth. But I'm very excited to get that out. The whole course will take people about two and a half hours to go through, separate from the work they'll have to do on the side and setting up their budget and things like that. So it should be a quick way for people to make some really impactful, um, moves when it comes to their finances. And I'm, I'm very excited to get it out the door and in the next few months here, I'm excited for you too. I think it's going to be great for people to really, um, start working on that. Especially, you know, at the beginning of the new year when people start making resolutions and they decide they want to manage their money a little bit better. So I think that's awesome that you're doing that to help people. Um, one thing that I do like to ask everybody is what their favorite nonfiction book is. Cause I'm always looking for more books on learning how to grow and self-improvement and all that kind of stuff. Um, and of course this podcast is all about, uh, improving your mindset and things like that. So what is your favorite nonfiction book? Oh, I love the book question. I'm actually in a book club and I've been trying to sneak in some finance books there. We tend to go more fiction lately. But I think my, one of my most recent favorite books on the nonfiction side, I actually did a giveaway contest on my Instagram account not too long ago is called Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier. He is part of what's called the financial independence retire early movement. Um, and so the book is really [inaudible] a story, but he also weighs out quite a few strategies that he used to go from. He was living with this parent, you know, he had a standard nine to five living with his parents had $2 in his bank account, which she actually took a picture of it included in the book, which is, um, pretty brave of him to post there a mass thing over 1.2 $5 million in wealth before he, uh, I think when he turned 30. Wow, that's awesome. So there are lots of tips. Even though I think it's really easy to say, Oh my gosh, that's never going to happen to me. Or maybe, you know, I'm 31 but maybe someone listening to this and saying, you know, I'm already 40 so retirement at 30 isn't going to happen. But I think even opening your mind to those possibilities and he talks a lot about where he invested his money or the strategies you use to generate additional income. Everything from um, you know, air being, being your apartment, two different side hustles you can do and where to invest those funds. I think even just learning about those opportunities, even if you have no plans to retire early, can do nothing but help you in your finances and it's just a fun read. Awesome. I'll have to check that out. Um, all right. Any last words of wisdom? A lot. You've had a lot of good tips in here, so you know, you may not, I don't know if you'd think of anything else. Um, I think, you know, I think I said it before, just, just don't be a lot of people. It's so easy to, to look at money as a negative thing and no matter where you are, just get started and you know, don't, don't let your debt, um, stop you from taking control of, of the rest of your life. And so I think, you know, not being intimidated to get started, no matter where you are in your financial journey, it's never too late to, to make a few steps to improve that. So, um, I'm sure all your listeners are already one step ahead cause they're tuning in to begin with, but I think that's really important to keep in mind. That's great. And where can people find you? Oh sure. Um, well they can visit the website. I have some free tools up on there as well, like the smart money moves checklist, which is a really quick, um, three minutes checklist they can use to make sure their finances are headed in the right direction. So you can find all of as in be worth the investment or be worth the time. Um, and I'm a big fan of Instagram, so you could find me on Instagram. That'd be worth finance as well. And I look forward to hearing from everyone. And thanks for coming. It was such a joy to talk to you today. Thanks so much, Ashley. Special Guest: Kimberly Hamilton.

Oct 2019

36 min 12 sec

The H.O.P.E. Money Roadmap is your guide to go from Hopeless and Overwhelmed to Prosperity and Enjoying life in 6 Simple Steps! Get a FREE Quick Start Guide at

Sep 2019

20 min

Learn why you should pay yourself first and side hustle ideas! Patrina Dixon, the It’s my money lady with Bio: International Speaker, Award-Winning Author, Finance Coach, Blogger and Podcaster. Find out more at Follow Patrina on IG and Twitter: @itsmymoney_ or Facebook: @itsmymoneyjournal Resources mentioned in this episode: Four Financial Languages ( Automatic Millionaire ( 7 Day Pay What You Want Challenge ( Budgeting for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide ( Full transcript: Hey, it's Ashley Patrick with the money mindset podcast. And today I am so excited to have Patrina Dixon a k a. It's my money lady with, it's my money a on the podcast today. She's going to be talking about budgeting and side hustles and all those great things. She's an international speaker, award winning author, finance coach, blogger and podcaster. Welcome, Katrina. Welcome Ashley. I'm so glad to be here. Thanks for having me. I am so glad to have you here. Uh, so why don't you just jump right in and tell us a little bit about yourself. Sure. So in addition to the things that you, you've named, I'm also a mom, which is actually one of my favorite roles. I'm a husband, or excuse me, a wife to my wonderful husband. So I love to add those because you know, the titles give like the personal tie. Those are my wise, like I, you know, I do what I do to show my daughter, if you put the work in, you can accomplish goals that you want to accomplish and live the sort of life you wanna live. So, um, she's, she's my why and then my husband is my, you know, one of my hugest supporters in addition to, um, my mom. So that also about me. Yes. Having a big why is so important. So I'm so happy that you said it like that because that's like the big thing behind developing your money mindset, which is what my podcast is all about. And you know, just having your big why and knowing your reason for continuing. So that's, I love that you said it that way. So tell us a little bit about what you do to help people with their finances. Sure. So, and being a certified financial education instructor, uh, it affords me the opportunity to work with individuals one-on-one. Um, so I have clients that I work with to really be their accountability partner because a lot of what I share with them or not, um, is not hard. And some of them have tried it in many different ways. Um, so it's about showing them and having them be accountable when they meet with me on the frequency for which they do that. Okay. Did you do this? Did you stay on track with what we talked about? So it's that one-on-one. Um, you know, like I said, training being their accountability partner, helping them to reach their financial goals. And then on a larger, um, a larger scale, I, uh, facilitate workshops with both youth in adults. So I'm, yeah, I'm hired in to come in and talk about topics like budgeting and side hustles, entrepreneurship and things of that nature. Again, all financial concepts to help folks find additional dollars by decreasing spending that they're, that they may be doing or side hustles, meaning additional ways for them to earn dollars so that they could pay off debt or increase their savings. I love that. I love that you are doing workshops with a young people because it's so crucial to really develop the money mindset and how to handle your money at such a young age. Do you feel that when you do these that they're really receptive to the information? Yeah. No. So Ashley's interesting that you asked me that. So I'm a much older person and I'll say wiser a person. When I originally started, I was a bit delayed. Am I journey, um, because my goal was wanting to work with young people and I had a lot of people say to me, like, young people are not going to relate to you. You're much older than they are. How you're not, you know, when you were their age, things were different and you know, you'll get that resistance. But I'm finding the exact opposite. Um, you know, I, I try to get as much information about the young people that I'm going to speak with so that I can come in and sort of meet them at their level, if you will. And I'm there. I'm getting, uh, you know, they, they are very engaged. Um, you know, uh, the, the questions that they asked are right on point. I, um, you know, get wonderful responses to the surveys as to thank you so much. Please teach my mom or my dad or whomever. Um, yes, they, you know, interestingly enough, they are really receptive and because of their engagement in their responses to surveys, it allows me to get, you know, be in front of additional youth by way of sharing those in the organization. Sharing. Yes. Thoughts about my workshops to others. Oh, that's awesome. So just out of curiosity, have you been doing it long enough to have them, uh, come back like a couple years later? The like give you feedback on how it really like impacted their life on how they handle money? Yes, yes. Oh Wow. Great question. So yes and yes. So I'm in two different yeah. Ways have I had that sort of feedback. So I'm actually one of the interns that's working for me now. She attended my workshops through the wide WCA and now she's actually one of my interns. Like, oh, help me do this. Yeah. So it's really great. And then I've actually, I do a, a local TV show here just for a local station here. And um, I had a couple students on one that had gone through a book club that I used to host as well as one that had gone through my workshops. And both of them came on talking about, uh, decisions that they've made regarding money that was different before they went through my class. So it was like, okay, I'm one, one young lady said that I had a dance to go to and then another event she had to go to, she was like a totally different people that were going to be there. Why did I need a new dress? I didn't need a new dress. So I saved the money from like that. My friends were spending on a new dress for the second event when I knew I wasn't going to see the same people. So she was like, I started to think about my money differently after going through your workshop. That's awesome. That is so great that these young people are getting such a great headstart in life because I agree low and Morton does start young, you know, we all make mistakes with our money and the younger you can learn it the better. So that is, I love that. Absolutely. What is your number one budgeting tip? Like whenever you do these workshops, whether it's with the youth or you know, young adults or whoever, like what's the number one thing you try and stress to people? Pay Yourself first. And I say that, and it can be done in many different ways. Uh, pay yourself first because when life happens, like the car break down, the water heater breaks, you have to take care of it so you have to pay yourself first. So, um, there's like I said, oh, there's many different ways that that can be done. I encourage people to, um, automate paying themselves first. So just like a, you know, you have your 401k, your taxes, whatever it is, come out. Also have your contribution to your savings to come out first. So spend your money on you by habit directly going into the savings account of your choice. I always encourage web-based savings accounts, but whichever of your choice, just make sure that that's done first before you start doing everything else. That's great. Now what about, do you ever get people, and I see it so much in today's society, especially like I even saw it this morning on Facebook, but people don't believe that they can get ahead. Like they feel like they're just stuck in this cycle of not making enough money, not being able to save for emergencies. You know, they think that millionaires were born into it, which, you know, those of us that know the research, know that most millionaires are self made. You know, and you know, I think there is a disconnect between what people think is a millionaire. Like, you know, they think they make $1 million a year versus like they have a net worth of $1 million. So, you know, there is definitely a disconnect in our society about that. But you know, for somebody that's really struggling to believe that they can get out of the cycle and they can budget and save money, do you have any tips or advice on just getting past that mindset and shifting into believing that it's even possible for them? Yeah. You know, again, another great question and I actually in all candor, um, sometimes struggle with uh, no knowing folks that I know that need to learn the various different tactics and strategies that I can share with them or others can , um, getting them to understand exactly what you're saying. Like, you need to invest a little in yourself so that you'll be in a better place financially. And it's because of what you said, their mindset, I can't do it. I don't have enough to do it. They can't wrap their head around paying someone to help them manage their money better. So, um, yeah. So, so how do I help with that or what do I see? I see it. Um, unfortunately it's a very hard nut to crack and I would just say it's a little by little, I love Shannon testimonials because when folks can see somebody that looks like you, maybe you've grown up with or what or whatever have you are doing exactly what you can do as well. Sometimes that encourages them to try to, you know, take that step or that leap forward to do the same thing. So testimonials are really critical. I tried to put them on my site, on my social handles so they, they can see that it happens. Um, the other thing I would say is I'm continuously trying to, uh, share when there is all free opportunities for folks to be a part of that. When there's community events or when there's um, you know, like, like a podcast like this that's available where they can listen and they can hear this is a person that started here and here's where they are and here's what they did to get there. I think sometimes it's like a story resonating with them that they can say, oh wait a minute. That's my exact situation and what that he or she do. Oh wait a minute, let me try that. So it's about, you know, you have to continuously put, put it out there, make this stuff available and, and hopefully eventually, you know, you would start to see a mind shift change. Yes. That is so true. Like that really helped me when we were paying off all of our debt. As I would lay in bed at night and read debt, pay off stories, like we just read a couple and then I would go to bed, go to sleep because it was like I saw other people doing it as like they can do it, then I can do it too. So that is, and of course I listened to tons of podcasts and stuff. You know, it's just actually right. You got to find what you can to, you know, get motivated. So now another aspect that you know, you help people with is making extra money. So we may have this person that they're starting budgeting. Um, they're really, they, they know that they can do it or at least they're starting to believe that they can do it, but they really just aren't making enough money. Like they don't have enough money. They have too many bills. Like even when they sit down, they do their budget. Like it's not necessarily a spending problem with an income problems. So what kind of tips or ideas do you have somebody that just needs to make some extra money? Yeah, so now I don't, I want to make sure that we're clear in saying sigh hustles in my eight view side hustles are different than second jobs. And I say that because I liked it. The find a side hustle is fine. I think a way to monetize things that you are passionate about and enjoy doing. Um, a second job is you can go out and you know, work at the mall or whatever have you and you're still, you need to, you know, punch in at a certain time, punch out at a certain time, take your lunch at a certain time. Maybe depending on the job you get where a certain thing in my mind, although that will help you increase the amount of income that you have. It is different from a side hustle. I see a sigh hustle as something that you're doing that you're getting paid for, that you love doing. So when I work with clients, when they are looking for ways to increase money coming in, what do you enjoy doing? If you didn't have to go to work, what would you like to do? If it's baking, if it's um, I don't know, drawing, whatever it is. People need artists for books. People that are authors. Sometimes they need illustrators. If you like baking during the holidays, people that are very busy can't bake that pie or those muffins that they need. Maybe you can pick up an income like that. So it's what would you, what do you enjoy doing? Like if you didn't have to go to work, you didn't, the kids are all taken care of and they're playing. So what would you like to just sit down and do? Even if it's reading, maybe it's getting paid to do reviews. So that those are the ways that I a, um, try to encourage people to make that extra income. So it does it seem like it's another laborious thing that you have to do and it's actually something that you can't wait to do and you're getting paid to do it. That's it. Great. I mean, those are really good ideas. I mean, that's how a lot of things like on Etsy and um, you know, uh, this people do sewing and crafts and things like that, you know? And that's Kinda how they get started with that. So I love that you are taking the approach of finding something that you love so that, you know, cause sometimes it can take you a while to get out of debt and things like that. So if you're finding ways to make extra money that isn't so daunting, like delivering pizza or something like that, that's those are really, if you, if you like driving. So maybe Uber eats or maybe you know, Sherry's different. So it's like it's trying to get out of them, you know. You know what, uh, Ashley, what I find sometimes in some, some of my clients live locally, so I've meet Facebook face to face with them. Um, they are, they literally pause for an extended period of time because they really don't know what they have a passion for because they just haven't had time to indulge in that. So it's always interesting because it's like, I, I um, I am not too, shouldn't be the one telling them this is what you should do to do as your side hustle. It's more about pulling out of them what they enjoy and is, it always amazes me when some folks take a, you know, take quite a bit of time to figure out what do I like, like I don't know, cause I haven't done something that I did in a long time. It's about getting that money, paying bills, but when you, when you see in their face, when they start to really think about it and then, you know, articulate it and then it's like, wow, I never even thought about that. Like I love watching that happen. Yeah. That's awesome. Because we get so busy with just the day to day life and kids and running here and there that, you know, we can, as adults we kind of lose sight of what makes us happy, like our hobbies and things like that. Like it just, that's one of the first things to go. So, you know, they probably haven't thought about it in a long time, like, or even thought about how to make money with it, which is a huge thing. Like they may just do it for fun or do it for their friends, but to actually have somebody tell them, hey, you could make money doing this is probably very eyeopening for them. Yes. Yes it is. Um, okay. And I like to ask everybody what their favorite nonfiction book is because you know, they say most millionaires read at least one book a month and it's really about self-improvement and changing your mindset. So I know I kind of threw that question on you. Do you have anything that comes to mind that is like, you know, a nonfiction book that is your favorite? Oh my gosh. I read a lot of self-help books like um oh or I should, I guess finance top finance topic book. So I guess that could be in that category cause I can't, yeah. Okay. So, um, you're the, I'm trying to think of what I'm packing cause I'm actually prepared to go to fin con. Are you on to think gone? No, I don't get to go this year or next year. I just realized yesterday that I can't go next year either. I'm really sad. Oh, why are you a, because of the dates that I've already gone out of Kansas for my grandma's 80th birthday. So it's, you know, I have that. So I don't know. You must do that. So let's see. The books that I've, I'm most recently acquired a need to finish reading. So I would say it's the, um, four financial languages by, uh, Tara or madam money. Uh, that's one that I have. Um, let's see. Automatic Millionaire, I purchased that actually a while ago. I haven't finished reading that either. I'm really bad about that. Oh, that looks good. I gotta read it. And then it says, um, speakers is another book by a woman named Cheryl Wood. Oh, okay. I haven't heard of any of those. And that's why I love about this question because usually it's books I haven't even seen or heard of. So I'm adding those to my list. All right. Where can people find you? Oh yes. So, um, my website is, it's my So that's I t s m y m o n e I'm on Twitter, Instagram. It's, it's my money underscore and Facebook is at, it's my money journal. Awesome. And do you have any last words of wisdom? Yeah, so I said it earlier in the recording, but pay yourself first. I know it may sound very difficult to do, or you have to make sure you pay your mortgage or rent a car payment, whatever it is. I don't care how much it is, if it's five, 10 or $20 make sure that's the first thing you do because when life happens, you have to take care of it. That's great. Thank you so much for coming on and speaking with us today. Oh, they actually, thank you for having me.

Sep 2019

18 min 40 sec

These simple tips will help you get started on paying off your debt today. Learn the ways that I stayed motivated to pay off debt fast while I was paying off $45,000 in just 17 months. Resources mentioned in this episode: Debt Pay Off Tips ( Debt Success Stories ( Budgeting for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide ( No-Spend Challenge tips and printable ( No Eating Out Challenge Printable ( Debt Snowball Bundle! ( your free worksheets and spreadsheet! The Debt Snowball Method Explained ( Billcutterz ( link) Wallet Card (

Sep 2019

33 min 39 sec

Jessi is a wife, mom, personal finance coach, speaker, blogger extraordinaire, and all-around personal finance expert after overhauling her own family's budget. Her family of five paid off over $55,000 of consumer debt in two years and is now 100% debt-free with a paid-off home all on a salary of $47,000! Since documenting her journey on her blog, she has been able to help thousands of others achieve their version of financial independence by embracing their own real life on a budget. Follow Jessi at or on social media @jessifearon Resources mentioned in this episode: Debt Snowball Bundle: Crucial Conversations ( The Millionaire Next Door ( The Monk and the Merchant ( Full Transcript: So why don't you just go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and kind of how you started on this journey. Okay. Well, I am a wife of 10 years and we have three children and we live off of adjustment, husband's income. Um, and we have been for the last almost eight years now. And I'm, I am a certified financial coach. I became a certified financial coach after we, um, became consumer debt free. We paid off just over $55,000 of consumer debt and two years on one income a right before the birth of our third child. And we are now as of January of this year, 100% debt free when we paid off our house. Wow. That's so exciting. I can't wait to get the hundred percent debt free. That is amazing. Especially on one income. Like that's really hard for people to fathom, even with two incomes who are doing it on one I'm sure. Like just blows people's minds. Well, it wasn't easy, but it's so it's been so worth it absolutely worth every single sacrifice that we made. That is awesome. So can you tell us kind of what started you to um, pursue being debt free? Um, so it actually kind of started, the story is kind of starts in, uh, 2012 so in 2012, um, I gave birth to our first child. I also graduated from college and I became a stay at home mom. And we also ended 2012 pregnant. The boys have Irish twins and so we started, yeah. Oh. And in 2012 my husband had a horrible work related accident where he fell out of a two story window that obviously he is fine, but you know, he, um, he shattered his left wrist and fractured his right elbow. And the problem was that when he's left handed, and so he obviously couldn't go to work anymore, um, was for a couple of weeks, but he had to have emergency surgery on his wrist because of the potential nerve damage. The fragments were like pinching against his nerves and there was danger of them like severing his nerves. Oh my goodness. So he would lose all ability to actually use his hand. And so we had an emergency surgery problem is, is that we didn't realize that my husband's employer didn't have workman's comp insurance. We had told the hospital it was a work related injury. So when we found out they didn't know workers' comp, we tried to get our insurance to pay for it, but they of course kicked that back because it's a work related injury. And so we had to drain all of our savings in order to get my husband this surgery cause they literally would not take him back there until we paid them the cash. And so we did that. And so when we started 2013 we were hurting pretty bad financially and we were expecting our second child. And so I was sitting there trying to like figure out, okay, what's money going to look like? You know, when our baby comes, like what is money gonna look like? And I started to realize that we were going to be broke. Like we were going to be running a deficit every single month. There was absolutely no way we were going to be able to pay all of our bills. And all of our responsibilities, they just, it wasn't going to happen. And so it brought about, you know, really hard conversations of, you know, me going back to work, going back into the corporate world, which would not have necessarily been a big deal, but the reality is that we would be, but half of my paycheck was going to go towards just daycare for two kids under two years old. And then we live in Metro Atlanta. And so there's traffic and there's all these things. And we just realized that we were gonna have this really rushed and chaotic life that we didn't really want for our family. That's not what we had envisioned for our family. And so we had to make these really tough decisions of how do we fix this? And so we decided right then and there that we were going to become debt free. And I'm so grateful that we did. Um, it has allowed me to continue staying home with our kids. Um, which is such a blessing and it's honestly, it's taught us how to live just on the money that my husband makes, like taught us how to live with within our means. You know, you hear that all the time, like live within your means, but sometimes I think we don't know what that means. Um, we don't know how that practically plays out, but when you truly do just live off of what your paycheck is, it's totally life changing. Yeah, you're absolutely right. So what, um, well I'm first I'm really glad that your husband's okay and that it turned out everything turned out okay. Um, you know, and a lot of times with people now I know it's true for me since like it was true for you. It's usually like this, the catalyst for starting this journey is like something major life that, you know, and at the time you're like, how am I going to get through this? And then once you're on the other side and it leads to being debt free, you know, you're at least I was, I was thankful for that struggle because it led me here even though at the time it was, you know, I'm sure your husband is, I'm sure he wished he didn't have to have surgery. And so I'm sure that was really painful. But you know, the catalyst to get you there, you know, usually it takes something dramatic like that to kind of get you moving. Exactly. And so that's always like, yeah, they'll push that you need. So. So can you tell us just kinda like what you did, like what changes did you make to actually become debt free? Well, the first thing that we did is that, um, so we had been married, oh my goodness, you married by like five. I don't know. We've been there for five years, but like we've been married for like four or five years. Like we weren't newlyweds anymore. And it was like the first time we were actually sitting down and really talking about money, like not arguing about money, but like talking about it. And planning our money and sitting down and looking at how much we were spending every single month. I mean that was life changing. Just pulling up all of our bank statements and categorizing everything out and realizing that we were spending an obscene amount of the money on one. Just stuff that we couldn't even identify where we were spending money on, you know, and we were just, overspending is so many different areas and it was just mindless stuff. And it was like once we sat down and we became real with our money and we started, you know, focusing on, okay, where's our money going? It totally changed the story for us. That's awesome. That's usually the, you know, the biggest mindset shift is when you sit down and actually see where it was going. Um, you know, for us it was food and eating out. I was spending so much money on groceries we were eating out for like every meal. It was ridiculous. Actually. We had spent over $1,200. This is back when we were a family of three. Okay, $1,200 on groceries. And I'm like, what? And worth rolling so much of it away. And then, oh that much we were spending on Papa John's. Yeah, exactly. This is the same price. We were like three with a newborn. So before, but you know, she wasn't really eating it and it was $1,200 and I was like, what are you doing? It's ridiculous. So yeah, that's funny. That's like the same amount too. So how, did you have any issues with it getting your spouse onboard with a budget then? Or do you have any tips for that? You know, I kinda thought I was going to have issues with it cause my husband is naturally a spender and I'm a saver. And so when I first tried to bring up the conversations, I didn't quite realize that I was really just yelling at him and nagging at him. Like I thought I was being helpful. Like, oh my God, you're spending so much money on red bull every single month, you know? And instead of like actually trying to sit down and have an adult conversation, I was instead like trying to act like I was his mom. And so I had to realize that, you know, this wasn't just about me, that we in fact were a team. We committed our lives together. We're gonna figure this out. And so, you know, I had to pick a good time, not like a time right when he comes home from work, you know, and he's like, you're tired. Um, but you know, pick a good time to sit down with him. I had already run all the numbers, so I didn't like, you know, expect him to have to do that with me. I'd already run all the numbers, had everything tallied up and brought it all to the table and I showed him everything so he could see like the proof in the pudding, so to speak. He can see those details. And once he kind of realized that, you know, he was like, you know what? You're right. He was like, here, take, he's got his credit card out of his wallet and hand it to me. He handed me his debit card. We have actually had, we have shared my debit card, the one with my name on it for years now because my husband's like I don't want it. I don't want to. Even our bank knows that my husband is actually the one that uses that debit card occasionally. Like they know that don't even send him his own debit card anymore. That's awesome. You know, cause sometimes like with my husband it was kind of the same thing. Like I did all the leg work and showed him the numbers and stuff. But you know it's still hard and you know, do you have any advice for people where their spouse isn't like on board with it where they like they don't, they may sabotage it, you know though like okay I I understand. But then they still go and use their debit card at the gas station, you know, a couple of times a week. One of the best books that I read that was super helpful for figuring out how to communicate. Now it's not necessarily like a marriage related book. I think it's actually labeled as a business book, but it's just about like communicating and uh, in relationships in general, it's called crucial conversations. Borrow that from the library. It is so good. One of the things they talk about in that book is how we have to realize that we sometimes tell ourselves a story about the situation. And so in our mind we're going into these conversations, but we're speaking through the lens of the story we have already told ourselves. And that story may not be true. And so for me, I had to always kind of recognize, like if I'm telling myself the story, I need to bring the story out in the open and say, okay, this is what, you know, this is how I'm seeing this, you know, x, y, Z, you know, whatever. Is this how you're seeing it? And that kind of has that really has changed the way that we communicate because it puts us on the same page. We're not just assuming we're on the same page anymore. We actually know that we're on the same page, if that makes sense. Wow. Yeah. That's, I'm going to have to go find that book. I haven't heard of that. So that, that would be really good for me because I'm a visual person. And so that sounds like that would kind of help me. Yeah, it's really, really good. Like I said, they talk about, you know, just all sorts of relationships, whether it's your coworker, whatever. It's just, it's really, really good. That's great. Yeah. Cause I mean, a lot of our perception and what we expect from people or is, or, you know, IX think that people will do is based on our expectations, but they're not always the same. Like they may think that you want this and you want something else. So it's really, that is very important to be on the same page about what you expect, so. Exactly. Exactly. Um, so did you, during this journey, like I know for me, I would get comments, um, you know, it must be nice or you're so lucky I can never do things like that. So did you ever get any day or maybe you still do? Um, I think I saw your post this morning on Facebook. Uh, tell us about maybe some negative comments about being debt free or during your journey and, um, like how, how do you deal with the negative comments when you are, you know, working on a financial goal and maybe your friends or your family don't understand that this maybe saying no to certain things to get to your bigger goal? Like how do you deal with that? Well, at first it was really hard. Um, we had one particular family member, obviously I won't say who it is, but one particular family member who, um, like ripped me apart personally for saying that because they found out that we weren't using credit cards anymore. They told me that we were gonna destroy our family, that we were gonna fail. Like, don't, you know, you need a credit card for emergencies and all of these things. And then a few months later, um, some extended family members that come into town and everybody was wanting to meet at this restaurant. But Pat and I couldn't afford it at the time because we were so on our debt free journey and we just didn't have the room in our budget. And this family member was like, well, I will pay for you. I will pay for you. And we were like, no, you're not understanding. We're, we're telling you no, because we don't have the money to do it. We appreciate you wanting to pay for us, but you're going to need to respect our, no. And it was really hard, but we had to actually keep saying over and over again, you're going to have to respect what we're saying. So if we tell you no, you need to respect it. And it was, and it was really challenging for a very long time, especially with that particular family member. Um, but it just comes down to really holding your grounds. You have to hold your ground. You don't have to fight about MCL about it because it's your family, you know, this is your family and you have to make those decisions for your family. And so you have to just kind of stand your ground and, and be firm in what you say. Yeah, that's hard with, I mean, and it's important, like you said, to set up, um, boundaries and so that people know what to expect, that you, you know, you're not making up excuses or anything, you know, be honest with them that, no, I can't afford it, I'm not going to go. Um, instead of being, you know, like even wishy washy, that even for me, that would be hard, especially if they offer to pay for it. You say no, it's like, you know, cause you don't want to borrow money or feel like, exactly. Well, and that was the thing. So it was, let's just say that this particular family members, the type of that that wouldn't in there. That makes sense. You know what I mean? And so we knew that we couldn't accept that offer as generous as it was, because it wasn't actually being given in a generous way. It was given in a way like, we want you at this restaurant and you're gonna be there type of way instead of more like, well, hey, you know, I don't mind, you know, paying for you guys. It's not a big deal. If you still want to go, let me know, I'll pay for you. It was instead of like, no, I'm paying for you, you know. Okay. I got you. Yes. So it was very smart for you guys to set up those boundaries ahead of time. I'm sure. Well, I hope that it's gotten easier for them over time. It has. It has, thankfully. Thankfully now they realize like that, no, you don't have to have a credit card. No, you don't have to, you know, live life that way. Like it's okay to put off going out to eat for a little while so you can save money and pay off debt. It's okay to do those things right. And you know, and I like to tell people to budget in the fund because I mean, if you're just always saying no and never doing anything, it's hard to stick with the plan and keep going when, if you know, you're miserable all the time and can't have any fun. So, um, you know, how do you guys still budget in for date night and going out to eat and stuff? Well, I'll tell you that my husband and I work, we're kind of weird. We have realized that we're not the biggest like date night people. Yeah. That often. Like we've tried a couple of different times. Like I mean we stole like every once in awhile we and him will like have a date night and go out to eat or whatever. But like word, not like regular go out to eat people anymore. And I think it's because like I really challenged myself when we were on this debt free journey to get really good in the kitchen. And my husband even says, he's like, honestly I don't want to eat other people's food. I like my wife's a good smart man. Totally. Exactly. And so it is funny because sometimes like we've been to like, we went to this one restaurant, there's this new restaurant in town, it's our last date night and mean it was kind of expensive, but that was fine. It was budgeted, but the food was honestly terrible. Like, yeah. And I would have rather have just made a pizza at home like, right. You like that. So I'd like you save up and you have all these high expectations cause it's like you don't do it very often. And then for the food [inaudible] like that's just, yeah. And so we've kind of like, we've transitioned, like when we do have our dates to it being less like going out to eat and we're just going and doing something, whether we're just going hiking or something, like just something for us to go do together. Oh, that's a good idea. Um, so d what kind of kept you going while you were paying off debt? Cause I mean, I'm sure it wasn't always easy and you know, hard to say no to some things. So kind of what kind of helped keep you motivated? Honestly, it was, it was my kids. Like knowing that I, I didn't want to like [inaudible], you know, I didn't want to put them into daycare because one, we really weren't gonna be able to afford it. But two, it was like, I enjoyed it, getting to be here with them. I enjoy the fact that if the school nurse calls because my kid is sick, I can drop what I'm doing and go get them. Like I love that. And I realized that that is something that my family truly needs. Like they need that, that family member that is here and um, is ready for them whenever they need them. And for me, that's what kept me going is that I wanted to, to be here cause I do really believe that, you know, the mom sets the tone of the household. And I know for me and my personality that if I did go back out into the workforce and I had that lifestyle, like I would be crazy all the time because I don't like being rushed and I don't like being frantic and I don't like running late and I don't like those things that I'm like, it would just never work for me. Yeah. Same here. Like I have been home now two years and I just like the thought of going to work and like being rushed. I'll, I mean, I was stressed out, you know, my kids were sick all the time. So then I was having to miss work for that and it was just stressful. So I really like being able to work at home and you know, be there for certain things. But you know, honestly I also enjoy having alone time and working, like being at home, like where I have more control over my schedule and, and you know, just what my kids need at the time type of thing instead of being like confined to an office. Yes. So what is your number one advice or tip for people that want to be dead? My number one piece of advice is to make sure that you want to become debt free. That you don't compare your debt free journey to someone else's. Don't assume that you know that just because this one person has paid off this mass amount of debt and they make less money than you and they did it and say you know a year that you're going to achieve that same fee in a year because then you're going to disappoint yourself if you don't meet that goal in a year. Set realistic expectations for you and for your family and for your own debt. Pay off plan. Don't allow yourself to become overwhelmed or fall into that comparison trap. Yes, that is, that is really good. That's very good advice because especially with social media and stuff, it's like, I mean even just anything in general, uh, you know, life, vacations, kids, everything. It's like you're constantly comparing yourself to what you see but you may not see the sacrifices that they make. Cause you know, people want to post happy stuff. Not like I will, I'm sitting at home saving some money, you know, today. Exactly. They don't want to post the messy stuff. They don't want post the fact that it's, you know, Friday night and their husband's working lay and the kids are being crazy. You know, they don't want to post about that, but they, you know, they're not going to go out to eat or anything. They don't, we're going to order the pizza, they're going to help it out and find something to make in the, in the Pantry, whether it's PB andJ or cereal. Right. Like they don't want to post about that stuff. Exactly. So it's just so important not to compare yourself. Um, so just, let's see, a couple more questions. Uh, what are your current financial goals? Our current financial goals are to Max out our, um, our Roth IRA contributions. So we are working very hard to try to achieve that. It's funny, it's easier to pay off the debt than it is to save money. I don't know. I know it is so true. I don't know why, but that is true. Like we've had, you know, it's been a struggle for us going from two incomes down to one the last two years. And so like it seems like saving or especially the Roth is always like, even though I budget it first, you know, it never, it never seems to happen like, or it's sporadic, you know, and it's something is always coming up. But it's been, it's actually been a pretty big challenge mentally for us to go from two incomes to one. Even though we're debt free, it's been really tight. Like I wouldn't have even been able to stay at home if a, if we still had debt. So, um, you know, just, just mentally and just something just is constantly coming up that we didn't think about or something like that. Like did you have any tips from going from two incomes to one or you know, surviving and staying sane on one income? You know, it, yeah, it can be so much of a challenge. It really can be. And I mean, I think it's amazing that you guys have done that, um, after becoming debt free, you know, because it is such a lifestyle change and that for us, like we, when we got pregnant with our oldest, we knew that we wanted me to stay home. And so the best thing that we did while I was still working is we changed my paycheck from being a direct deposit into our checking account into our savings account. That allowed us that kind of time to figure out how to live on just my husband's income. Cause yeah, it was very rocky for a few months. Like we were just constantly to go back into savings to pull money from my Bates things. Um, you know, so definitely if you are planning to make that leap from one income to, to save as much money as you can. Um, just so you have sort of that buffer because it's going to be a bit of a challenge, but don't allow the buffer to be an excuse to not budget and planning your money accordingly according to the one income that you're now trying to live off of. Absolutely. Okay. One last question. I always like to ask people about their favorite nonfiction book because you know, studies show that millionaires read like at least one book a month or something to that effect. So I always like to ask people about what their favorite book and why. Oh my goodness. I have so, so many. Um, but I would say my favorite book would be the millionaire next door. Mm. Yeah, I have that one. I haven't actually finished it. I started it, but I had never finished it. I mean, it kind of reads like a textbook, not going to lie. Yeah. But it's, it is very insightful into what actual millionaires will look like in the United States. Um, and it's just, it's fantastic. It's like just fascinating to read it. It really is. And it really motivated us to really get this whole retirement game started. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I've really enjoyed it just because it, it does give you a realistic view because I talk to people all the time and they, they really believe that millionaires inherited money or had like their parents help or whatever. But that's not true or accurate at all. Like most millionaires are self-made. But I think there is also kind of a disconnect of what people think is, or who they think is a million. They think people that drive Lamborghinis are all millionaires and that's not really the case. Or that they make $1 million a year, which is, you know, a millionaire or somebody that is a, has a net worth of $1 million and they only be making like 50,000 a year. So I think that's kind of where the disconnect is too. So we see, you know, the Kardashians on TV and stuff and that's what a millionaire does, but that's not really accurate. So you're right, that book does give you a more accurate representation of what a millionaire is and that, you know, and Kinda like their spending habits and things like that. So that is a very good book. Um, but I've just get in the habit of like starting a book and then I never, I don't finish it. Uh, not always actually did finish when it was a quick read. It was um, uh, the mock, the monk and the merchants. Oh, I love that book. Oh my gosh. That is such a good book. That is a good book too. Yes, yes. And it's a really quick read. Like it didn't take long at all, so I read that in one night. It was so good. Yeah, it was really good. So that I did finish that one over the weekend. So, um, alright. D uh, any last tips or advice for people? I mean, you know, don't be afraid of the sacrifice that's involved with becoming debt free. Um, I know a lot of times that we can be met with a huge sacrifice that we're going to have to temporarily give up in order to become debt free or to save money. Um, just keep in mind that it's, it's temporary. Life is so much longer than just a day. You know, don't, don't stress about the one sacrifice that you have to give up for just a short period of time to gain what you truly, truly want. Oh, that's awesome. Um, where can people find you? They can find me on social media @jessefearon and they can find me online at that's great. I'm so happy that you are here with me today and I appreciate you coming on to speak with us. Well, thank you so much, Ashley, for having me. I really appreciate it. Thanks. Special Guest: Jessi Fearon.

Sep 2019

25 min 36 sec

Get the advice and tips you need to get on the same page as your spouse about money. It's so important to examine your individual money mindsets then come together for a common goal. This can lead to a greater understand of each other's points of view which can lead to better communication and money management. Adam H. Kol, J.D. is a Couples Financial Counselor. He helps couples who love each other make sure that the money conversation doesn't get in the way, allowing them to experience greater peace and love. Adam draws on over a decade of experience as a Certified Mediator, Communication Coach, and a former Tax Attorney and Financial Advisor. Adam received his law degree from Duke and a Master's in Tax Law from NYU. Through working with Adam, couples have gone from the verge of divorce to being best friends, all while making huge financial progress. Adam’s work is informed by perspectives of equity and social justice. He is an experienced community organizer, as well as a lifelong musician. You can find Adam's amazing resources at and follow him on social media at @ahkcoaching or on Linked in at Adam H. Kol, J.D. Resouces mentioned in this episode: The Essential Money Conversation Checklist: To schedule a complimentary Financial Harmony Consultation with Adam: Facebook group: Favorite nonfiction books: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts ( Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Juhn ( Full transcript: It's exciting and I'm grateful to be able to share what I do. Uh, which is, I specialize in working with couples who as you said, I mean they're in a relationship, things are going pretty well. Um, just money is a difficult topic for them. I mean I've also worked with couples who are having more avoidance or fights around money. Um, I've even had couples come to me on the verge of divorce, as intense as that and I've been able to help them get back to being best friends again while also paying off a ton of debt and getting businesses restarted and all kinds of wonderful outcomes. Uh, my goal is to help people and couples come together, get closer, more intimacy, more connection, more love and more partnership. And I actually do that through working on their money stuff, helping them talk about money, helping them understand their own relationship to money. And I like to use art as well to help people kind of draw out their own interrelationship to money so that they can use that to further their partnership with their significant other. Yep. That's great. Because, you know, we each have to work on our own money mindsets, but then when you're with a couple of, you know, you, you have to work, you both have to work on the individual mindset and then work together. So that's a pretty, um, pretty big task to try and work on your own mindset and then drain other on it. So, so what is the number one thing that couples can do to work together on their finances? Yeah, I mean, the number one thing is, is talk and listen, right? Like, um, the money is an area of life and relationships. Just like so many others in our minds, it's, we kind of separate it and make it as if it's somehow really distinct. Maybe because we're afraid of the numbers and maybe because we didn't grow up talking about money. It's a taboo topic. We're afraid of it. There's some shame around it. All of which is very common. Um, but the biggest thing is to talk, so your partner, share your thoughts, share your fears, share your hopes and dreams and ask them about theirs and listen to theirs. Right. And, um, a lot of times what I see is that couples will get caught up in, uh, some something on the surface level. Like, oh, we shouldn't have spent $45 on this item. And what's really missing is that they are not align, they're not on the same page. And the way to get there is through that talking and through that listening. And so I always tell people to, you know, dream together. So just like you said, you know, make sure or work on your goals and have the same like big goal. Um, and you know, a lot of times, and um, correct me if I'm wrong on your aspect and how you see things with working with couples is, um, I totally where I was going with that. Oh, compromise. You know, sometimes you just have to compromise a little bit because you know, especially if both people think that they need to be right or their way is the right way. Um, and it is just kinda like compromising a little bit, giving a little bit both of them so that they can come together and work on the [inaudible] bigger picture. And so like you said, you know, worrying about like the smaller amounts but focus on the big things. Yeah, absolutely. And of course each situation is different. And for some couples, the, you know, the smaller things may be important if you're living paycheck to paycheck or really struggling. Um, and that happens a lot to families in the u s uh, but it's like about having that, like you said, those shared dreams. And um, I once said like, there's not right or wrong in relationships. There's just intimacy and you know, there's this point where you're like, well, what is right? What is wrong? Like, who, not to be all philosophical, but it's like, is that really what matters? Right? We get caught up in it because we're human and we have an ego and it's our blessing and our curse. And yet like to be able to step back and say, okay, is how I'm showing up right now in service of the kind of partner I want to be in, the kind of relationship I want to have. Right? And it's okay if the answer's no because again, you're human and we all have times where we show up, not the self we really want to be. However, to be able to be in that inquiry, that self reflection, notice it and then step back and be able to be like, whoa, take a breath. Go to your partner and be like, I'm sorry I was kind of being a butthead. Right? And, um, can we revisit this? Because you love your partner, you have shared, you want to live your best lives individually and as a couple and as a family if you have one. Right? So the point is to get over there, right? Not to necessarily be right or wrong. Um, and that just the best way to get there, like I said, is just to take a breath, step back, take a look at your behavior. As I once saw someone say like, am I in like a space of love right now? Am I coming from love or am I coming from like fear? Right? And if you, the more you can come from love, the better your is going to be. And then by the time you get down to the budgeting, then it'll be seamless to implement the expertise of whatever you're doing in your budget or someone like your programs. Because if you're on the same page and there's no resistance, now it's just a matter of doing the work. Absolutely. So where, where should couples start when they can't agree on how to manage their money or their budget? Like when they're just butting heads. Like what is some advice that you would give a couple that comes to you and they just cannot seem to agree on how to handle their money? Yeah, it's a great question and it's very right. And this is something that cuts across the income and like class categories, no matter how much people are making or not, they will often still have this struggle. Um, and the first place that I like to go with couples is to have them each do a little bit of digging into their own money mindset and then share that with each other because it's a safe entryway to the money conversation. See, a lot of people are used to either not having money conversations or when they do, they're like super awkward, super uncomfortable. They may lead to a lot of arguing or tension. And so I like to get it started by getting a healthy conversation under your belt. And when you're just talking about your own history with money in your own past, there's not really anything to argue about. It's just kind of like, here's how it was for me growing up. This is some of the messages I internalized about money based on Xyz, based on my family, based on my gender or my race or whatever, and the societal norms and stuff like that. You know, I find that to be a pretty safe conversation for people to get started with. Um, and the other thing is to just have the courage to ask for a conversation with your significant other. And to frame it in a constructive way. Like it's not like, hey, we need to talk about our budget. Right? It's actually like, you know what, I love you. I want to have the best possible life together. We can. And money I know is an important part of that. And I'm a little bit anxious because we haven't been talking about it or are actively managing it. So like when can we have a conversation about that? Right. Something like that that actually frames it. So they see that your teammates, right. Cause a lot of times, like you said, they're having trouble managing their money together. It starts to feel like they're in opposition to each other. Like they're kinda not rowing in the same direction and just reasserting like, hey, we're talking about this because we're teammates because we're looking to both have great lives. Like, I want a great life for myself and I want a great life for you as my partner who I love. Um, so really just creating that context is powerful. Yes. I love that. That's really great advice. So what tips, um, just to kind of flow into the next topic, this is kind of related then, is what tips would you have for couples to kind of goal plan together? So once they get like on the same mindset or they, you know, maybe understand each other's mindset a little bit better and then moving forward to the next step, you know, goal planning so that they are working together toward the same goal. Yeah, just like be inside of like love and curiosity within four and about each other. Like, because it's very common for people to not even, we don't even know what we want, knowing what our partners want. Um, and that's an inquiry that is ongoing and changes over time. Um, so just really creating the space to have that conversation. If you've never had it before, you know, it doesn't have to be painful or exacting. It's just like whatever intimacy looks like for you and your partner, you know, do that. Some people, it's light a candle or open a glass of wine or have a nice meal or just cuddle on the couch, you know, whatever it is, create that space where your care for each other as present for both of you. And then just talk about it. Um, and one thing I've been playing with and just kind of an idea that I've had that I tossed out to my girlfriend recently came out of one of my coaching calls, um, is to play with different scenarios. Like be like, what if we did this? Because sometimes I feel like we have this pressure that we have to just somehow magically know what our top choices, like what we want. And it almost like we have to call Alessa out of thin air versus being like, okay, what if we like worked 50 hours a week now and then retired when we were 55 versus like, you know, working 40 hours a week now and like retiring when we're 65. Like how do you think about those two? Right? And it's not that life is necessarily gonna go exactly that way, but it's always powerful to have a plan and you can always adjust. But like, you know, actually kind of sketch out some different ideas or scenarios and then talk through what are your thoughts on something like that. How does that make you feel? What would be not so good about that? What would be really awesome about that? Right. And ask these like, I like to call them, well they're called open ended questions where it's not like a yes or no question because it's like you want to retire at 55 is like a yes or no answer and that's fine sometimes, but it's like, what are your thoughts on retirement? Or like, tell me about how you think about when you want to retire or like what are the important considerations for you around retirement, right. You give the other person this like expansive space where they can really think for themselves and, uh, get a richer response. Yeah. And just kinda dream together. You know, my husband and I, um, you know, with building my business and really wanting to make this like a fulltime thing possibly even for both of us and you know, we sit and we dream about what if we got an RV and just traveled out west and just traveled the country and you know, just having the freedom to be able to do whatever we wanted to because you know, with, with my job in podcast and a blog and all that, I can, you know, as long as I have a computer and Internet I can go anywhere. So, you know, just being able to like dream with your partner about different ideas of what you might want to do or do want to do in the future and Kinda like how to make that happen. I think that is great. Absolutely. I love what you're visioning as well with your husband and you know, I encourage listeners, I give yourself and your your significant other like complete latitude, like even ideas that might seem ludicrous or like, oh I don't know, we can't do that. Just dream. Just let them just let the words flow, let the ideas flow. Even if all you get is a temporary feeling of excitement and like that excitement and nervousness and the liveliness, right you've been, that is a beautiful thing to experience. But um, just let the ideas flow. You never know. I mean, I was, I have a couple I'm working with. They came to me like their relationships great, but money is uncomfortable for them. They've been slacking on tracking it. Um, and so they wanted some support in that area. And where the conversation actually flowed was too, that each of them is underpaid in their current jobs. And in having them examine that and uh, get coached to the point where they can go have a conversation with their boss. It's just like transpired. All these different things have transpired and now the wife is like, I actually don't know if I want to stay at this job. I might even want to change careers. There's some interest in starting my own business or even going back and taking some classes and then, yeah, that's true. We're not tied to the bay area anymore. If I'm not gonna work at that job, we could go wherever we want, like our husband's job. There's opportunities for him everywhere. And now they're just like thinking, right. They're like, maybe we're gonna get like a beach house in Monterey and go live there and like, awesome. And I don't know where it's going to go. It's up to them. Right. But they have now seen so much of what's possible doing this work. Yeah. And they're excited about it now where when they came to you, they were, you know, stressed out and fighting and now they are dreaming together and seeing what's possible for their future. And that's, you know, that's what I want for people. That's so exciting. Yeah. In fact, like, you know, there's folks like, you actually were like the budgeting experts and while I budget with my clients, my expertise is really on that emotional communication mindset, coaching piece of it. And like what tends to happen with my clients is like, I'll send them a budget template to fill in, but then they just do it themselves. And like with this couple that I was referencing though, I was like, yeah, now like when I do the budget, I'm, I'm super excited. It's not like stressful anymore. I just do it cause it's like I know that it's helping us achieve our goals. I'm like, okay, awesome. Great. Yeah. Cause the, you know, it's really just the foundation or the stepping stone to getting, you know, what their big picture, their dream, you know, and that's, that's awesome that it's not stressful and overwhelming now because they have something to look forward to and something that they're working for. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. They're awesome. So what, um, so I get this a lot. Like even when, um, you know, somebody, they come to me, we're working on managing their money. Um, they get the budget done. They, they are excited about it, but then their spouse just is so reluctant they won't get on board with the budget. They sabotage it. Like they still take the debit card and they go to the gas station. Like they're still spending, even though you know, they need to work together. What is your advice for somebody that's like working really hard to do what they've done? The ground work, you know, they've laid it all out, the PR, you know, the spouse may be like, okay, I'm good with that. But then they turn around and they sabotage the budget anyway. Like what is your advice for a couple that is, that is dealing with that they're just one, one partner is just completely sabotaging it or not. I'm not, they're not on the same page, but they're just recklessly spending still. While one is trying really hard to manage the money better. Yeah. Yeah. Great question. And I mean there's almost like a couple of questions in there. Um, but if the, you know, I guess I'll, I'll answer kind of like two questions that I heard. The first one is if one partner is struggling to have like the other person's not on board in general, then that's really where some of the things I've been talking about through this call and some of the other things I talk about, like on my youtube videos there are just really helpful for getting the conversation started. Because my recommendation is always, especially if you share funds with your partner, if you two live together, if you're planning a future together, then have like get them on board, right? These are conversations you should be having with both of you as far as creating your goals and your visions and your budget to implement that. So that, you know, that's really the first place and that's just where getting in their world, understanding what's going on for them. And even if you have to, like I said, that framing of, look, I want to have a great life with you and I know this is an important part of it. Um, so when's a good time to have the conversation? Not like, do you want to talk about it? Like we need to talk about it. And you know, there's, I was at a, on a panel earlier this week and, or I guess it was technically last week now I got asked a very similar question to this and I said, you know, we need to expect our partners to be on board for these conversations just because it's been a taboo topic and past generations that doesn't work because we're missing out on our opportunity to thrive. And it's creating anxiety and resentment and fear and worry and tension and fighting. It's number one cause of fights and relationships. It's the number one or number two cause of divorce in every study I've ever seen. Uh, at least for like us marriages. And this is a country with a huge divorce rate. So this is not some small beans, small potatoes, whatever you want to call it, kind of issue. This is something that needs to be tackled. And so you like, you got to come at it with that, right? The same way you come at it with like talking about where to live or where to have children or if there were challenges in your like intimate life. Like if those things, the same degree of seriousness with which you take those because of how much they matter to the integrity of your relationship, I think money's the same way. And you know, there's no one way to do it, but holding your partner to account, like, look, we gotta be talking about this. This is an essential issue that touches every aspect of our lives. You want to buy a home? How are we going to do that without being on the same page financially? You want to have kids, how are we going to do that without being on the same page financially? You want to retire? How are we going to do that without being on the same page, financially start a business, et Cetera, right? It is that important. Um, and of course every day we're spending money. Every day we have bills to pay. Every day we buy lunch or groceries or whatever. So my, it's like we need to be holding our partners to account like, we need to talk about this. Right? Um, and you know, if they're hesitant, of course you want to bring compassion and love, you know, like why, you know, what comes up for you around this? Why, you know, where do you think your hesitancy comes from? Or like, why don't you like it? Um, you know, and there's, that's where having them do some mindset work and understanding their money story can be really powerful because there's a reason they don't want to talk about it. You know, like for example, men, we're socialized that our value is in providing for our family. And so if we feel like a conversation is implying that we're not doing that job well, um, not at a conscious level even, but like unconsciously, it just triggers like a sense of shame. Like, we're not good enough. We're not doing what we're supposed to do as a man. And that becomes like an existential crisis. Even though the man may be completely unaware that this is what's happening for him, it's nevertheless often what's happening. And so, you know, to be able to traverse that bridge and get to the other side is not always easy, but it takes some listening, some questions, some empathy, some understanding and some patients, um, and uh, of course women have their own ways that they're socialized about money. And that's like I said before, it's not just about gender, it's about race and sexual orientation. All of this stuff plays into how we see ourselves and how other people see us money. And so, uh, it takes a nuanced approach to really break through those barriers. Um, but the number one thing is to keep bringing your love, your empathy, your curiosity to that person. And it's honestly the same answer as if they're sabotaging the budget even if they agreed to it. Right. Cause if you just got them like you agreed to this budget and now you're sabotaging it, I mean you can, you know how that's going to go. It's not saying you shouldn't hold them accountable right in that spot. It's more like, hey, you know, I feel really like you want to kind of own your feelings. Like, I feel really anxious when I'm ICU using the debit card because we had agreed not to and this plan is really important for our future. So I get scared. We're not going to be able to have the life we want. I'm like, can you tell me what's going on there for you? Right. Like, ask an open ended question again. Like, can you tell me what's happening there for you? Like, or you know, like in a non accusatory way, just as much as, as neutrally as possible. Right. Because there's a reason they use that debit card. They may not know it, but there's some sort of reason that they did. Right. Um, maybe they just don't like being told what to do. Right. And again, that's an unconscious thing. And so they're acting out kind of like a teenager, but that's cause it's like, you know, childhood crap that, Ooh, excuse my language, but childhood that hasn't been, uh, hasn't been dealt with. Right. Um, and so there's a lot of important work to do around mindset, which is a lot of the work you're doing, which is why it's so great. It's really important to examine that stuff. That's great. I hadn't even thought about some of the subconscious things like that, so I'm really glad that you mentioned that. Um, so do you have any resources that you would recommend for couples? Um, either your stuff or you know, stuff that you highly recommend to kind of maybe help them work together to get on the same page? Books or workbooks or anything like that? Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, one place that you can find me is I have a Facebook community. It's totally free and there's, we're having all kinds of conversations like this all the time. It's called money and marriage, but instead of the word and it's not written out, it's the like symbol, the ampersand, some money and marriage a and for sure if you go and join there, let, let me know that you heard about me through this podcast and uh, that'll be exciting to see. And I partnered there with another financial coaches and expert with couples and she's more the tactical and practical expert and I'm the more emotional and communication experts. So we provide a real full spectrum of content there. Um, and I have, uh, another thing, uh, that I put together and perhaps we can link to it in the show notes or something like that is a, I call it the essential money conversation checklist. And so it's just eight steps that you want to take in each money conversation and you know, they're not what you'd think up front. You might kind of have a feel for what they are after listening to me speak here. But it's about like getting connected to your partner, making sure you're hearing and validating their feelings and then sharing your own and making sure that they understand where you're coming from. And then from there, once you two are actually on the same page emotionally and you're actually in partnership, that you really from there start to look for what compromise might be like, um, rather than trying to jump to it. You know, that's the number one thing I see couples want to go straight to the action items. And a lot of times there's some work beforehand that could really make it more powerful and more long lasting. So I'll definitely put that link out there for you all. You got the money and marriage Facebook group and if there's anybody listening who's like, you know what, I'd really love to work with Adam directly. I work with couples in a wide range of situations. Like I said, even people come to me where it's a really serious challenging topic that's leading to a lot of fights, intention, happy to work with you. Also couples who are like our relationships, great. Money's just a kind of difficult topic. We don't know a lot about it. Um, also work with those couples and uh, have specific content for engaged couples to plan the wedding, make sure that they are sticking to their budget, talk to the family about the spendings and families usually chip in and uh, also to help them merge their finances with their fiance. And then I have also a specific content for a first time home buyers to be able to get on the same page with their partner for what's gonna be the biggest and longest purchase of your life. You know, you want to make sure that front end. So I help people get on the same page with that and get on top of their finances. Oh, that's great. I will link to all those in the show notes as well. And just one last question. I like to always ask people what their favorite nonfiction book is. So whether it's, you know, related to couples of money or just something, um, you know, some kind of self-help improvement life improvement book. Uh, I probably should've warned you before so you could think about it. In college I took a course, I minored in philosophy and I took a course on the philosophy of science and I read a book called the structure of scientific revolutions. I think it's Thomas Kune and it was such like an incredible study of how scientific theories, uh, evolve and become the accepted theory. And then when the data starts to not, uh, fit, then how there's like this kind of interesting process that seems to repeat itself. And uh, then they eventually get replaced by a new theory that fits the data better. And I don't know, something about the way the world works and the way humans operate and like how there's like the zealots of the old theory and they try and cling to it even though the data's no longer fitting it and they try and change it to fit the data. And it's like, it just is a fascinating study of human psychology for sure. Um, but also right now I'm like reading, let's see how far into it I am. I just picked it up off of my table like maybe a quarter of the way through this book called the wisdom of insecurity by Alan Watts. And it's a remarkable piece. Like I can only read a couple pages at a time. It's just such a, so much depth of [inaudible]. I don't even know the book. It's really, it's really just about the nature of how life is fundamentally insecure and like, and uncertain and how we grasp for certainty and how that actually causes so much of our pain and suffering and about that we can actually live in love live in the moment live now if we relinquish that desire. And for me, someone who has dealt with a lot of anxiety and desire for security, that's a big, a kind of growth edge as they call it these days, like a place for me to expand. So I'm really getting a ton every time I pick up that book. That sounds really interesting and we're going to have to check that out. Yeah. Well thanks for coming on today. Do you have any last words of wisdom? You know, um, my pleasure. Again, thank you for having me. Um, what I really want to impart to the world is that having these dialogues can bring you closer in your relationships and people kind of stay away from the money conversation because they think it's going to go poorly and, um, they're going to just end up uncomfortable or fighting. And the truth is right. Like if you don't talk about it, that's what's going to eat away at your intimacy in your relationship, let alone your finances could very well be worse off. But it's by having these conversations and having them in a constructive, productive way, which is what, of course I am to support people in doing that, you can actually have a better life, stronger relationships, more freedom financially, and actually live in a line, a way that's more aligned with your values and your goals. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming. It was such a pleasure to talk with you. My pleasure as well. Thanks, Ashley. Thanks. Special Guest: Adam H. Kol, J.D. .

Sep 2019

30 min 14 sec

Welcome to the Money Mindset Podcast where you will learn simple ways to improve your lfe and your finances. Resouces for you: Blog: Budgets Made Easy ( Beginners Guide to Budgeting ( How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck Guide ( Full Transcript: Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better than you can stress less as living the life you want. I'm Ashley Patrick, founder of the money mind mindset podcast in budgets made easy. This is your place to get the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to improve your finances and your life. My mission [00:00:30] is to inspire and motivate you to take the steps toward becoming debt free and building real wealth. That can seem overwhelming at first, but when you break it down into simple steps and focus on just one thing at a time, the possible the impossible becomes possible. The important thing is to take small steps in the right direction and you will get there, but it all starts with changing your [00:01:00] mindset around money. Believing that you can do something is half the battle. Once you believe that you can do it, then you can take the steps and make the plan to actually do it. If you don't truly believe that you can do something, then why would you even try? That's why I am focusing on changing your mindset so that you can change your life. It all starts there. No matter what your financial goals are, whether it says stop living paycheck [00:01:30] to paycheck, whether you want to save money, pay off debt, save for your kid's future, you have to believe that you can do it and that you, that it is really an option for you, which spoiler alert it is. So that's what I will be focusing on in this podcast along with tips on budgeting, saving money, and paying off debt so you can stress less and live the life you really want because that's what I really want for you. [00:02:00] And that's what my mission and my goal and my whole focus is for you, is to get you to change your mindset around money so that you can get past that first hurdle and make the changes and take the steps to really take control over your finances and your life so that you can do what you want to do. I mean, because that's what happened for me. So dinner news myself real quick. You know, a couple of years ago I was an extremely [00:02:30] stressful job. I was a police officer or detective for 10 years, you know, I wore child abuse cases in things that people don't want to, you know, even think that exists in this world is incredibly stressful to kids sitting in traffic just just to get to work and back home. Like traffic is ridiculous around here, you know, and I really wanted options and the only way to do that was to pay [00:03:00] off my debt. Once I was able to pay off my debt, which will be in more detail in the next episode, $45,000 in 17 months, I was able to have the freedom to make the choice to stay at home with my kids. Once I had my third child and if I still had debt, I wouldn't have even had that option. There's no way I would've been able to stay home. So being at free gives you options. It gives you freedom. You get to do what you want to do. If you want to be able to take [00:03:30] a different road in life, go try something new. Try a different job. It gives you the ability to do that. Um, it gives you the freedom to be able to make choices based on what you want instead of what you have to do to pay the bills. So that's a little bit about myself. Uh, my ma, my website and all my social handles, everything is budget's made easy. So it's budgets made You can get all kinds of freebies. I've got a budget worksheets, I've got, um, you know, [00:04:00] how to stop living paycheck to paycheck guide, uh, debt, snowball worksheets, you know, everything is there. There's also the budget challenge, which is a seven day pay, what you want, budget challenge, which is actually pretty neat and I really love this idea. So the idea behind it is that you pay what you want, minimal of $5, because you do need to have some skin in the game and some motivation to actually follow through. And so that is why I did pay what you want because [00:04:30] you need to choose an amount that will motivate you and get you to actually do it and follow through with it. It's broken down into tiny little baby steps every single day, seven days. Like even the seven days is not even making your budget. Your budget is like three days worth. So you know, you can have your budget ready to go and just a couple of days without the stress and the overwhelm of knowing where to start. This is where [00:05:00] you start. So the biggest thing people tell me is, I'm overwhelmed. I don't know how or where to start. This is where you do it. and you can get started today, have your budget done in just a couple days. Get past that overwhelm, get past that mindset block and just get started. Just do it. Okay, so in the next episode and going forward, I will be talking about how we paid off the debt so that you can do it [00:05:30] to debt payoff, tete tips, tips on budgeting, saving money. I've got lots and lots of guests, uh, that we've already started recording interviews. So I'm so excited about that. You get to hear about how other people paid off debt and how they're managing their money in such a way that it works for their family and their life. And that's another thing before I get off here that I want to really stress to you, myself and Dave Ramsey and Susie Orman, everybody, [00:06:00] you know, they give you general advice, good budget tips, good money tips, but it's personal. It's why they call it personal finance. So what works for one person may not work for you. You need to do the research and, and you know, look at how different people do things and figuring out what's gonna work best for your family. Because you know, you may need to save more than a thousand dollars is your starter [00:06:30] emergency fund. You may need to pay off something that is in a different order than the debt snowball and that will go into what all that means in more episodes. But you just really have to focus on your situation, see what will work for you and what will motivate you to start and keep going and finish. Cause that's the most important thing. As long as you keep moving in the right direction, you will get there. You may not get there as fast as [00:07:00] me or somebody else, or maybe you will. Maybe you don't have as much debt as I had. You know, everybody's situation is a little bit different, so don't compare your journey to somebody else, but you just need to get started. Keep going, stay motivated. And that is what this podcast and what I'm all about. I am so excited to get started on this journey with you. Be sure to check out budgets made for all your helpful resources on getting started by [00:07:30] making your budget, working on your mindset, planning your goals, and everything in between. To get started on your budget, go to and get started working on your budget and planning out your goals today. Be sure to check out the links in the show notes for all your helpful resources. And the next episode I will be talking about how we paid off $45,000 in debt in just 17 months. [00:08:00] I'll see you there.

Sep 2019

8 min 3 sec

This is my story of how I paid off $45,000 in just 17 months while working as a detective. Resources: Full Story ( Debt Snowball Bundle ( Follow me at: Instagram ( Facebook ( Twitter ( Pinterest ( YouTube ( Full Transcript: Today I want to talk about paying off debt because it gives you so much freedom. You're able to do the things that you want, save for the things that you want when you're money isn't going to things that you've already paid for already bought, you know it's, it's stuck in the past, you're still paying for the past. Let's start paying for the future and saving for the future and that is possible when you are debt free. All right, so my journey starts back in 2012 we'll start there. I'll try and you know, make this quick, but I want to give you just kind of the overall picture. So in November of 2012 we bought our dream house. We sold our starter home. That just really didn't work well for our family and bought our dream home. 10 acres, uh, had a big shot for my husband. Uh, those, you either don't know him, he's a big car guy does. Um, he works in racing, like cars are his thing. I always have been. So this as a 40 by 60 shot, 10 acres would it, you know, we're, we're out in the country but close enough to uh, grocery shores and stuff like where it's just really convenient and it's just works very well for our family. Well, shortly after we bought our dream home, actually like two months later, um, we found out that I was pregnant with our second child. Our first child was only 18 months, somewhere in there. Whenever we bought our house, well, our new house, the property, everything was great. But the house, the layout didn't work. It had, it was basically a small two bedroom with a separate in law suite that had a small bedroom, a living room, kitchen, bathroom, all that. But it was only accessible through the garage or outside. So this was not going to work for two kids because our second bedroom and the main house was like, it's so small, it's barely big enough for an office. Like you can barely fit a twin size bed in there. So two cribs were not gonna work like in, there's three doors because there's a door to a bathroom, the main door and the closet door and there's like no room in there. So what we decided to do was to enclose the screened in porch and connect the in-law's suite to the main house. I would add a bedroom at a place space and then make it flow where we can get to the whole house without having to go outside, you know, would work better for do's little kids. Right. So we were trying to where options, figure out how the heck we were going to pay for this. So we got a couple estimates and it was going to be like $25,000 to do this. And that is with the roof already being there and the foundation aren't even being there. We're literally just in closing the screened in Porch area and you know, finishing touches and it was still $25,000 okay. So we're weighing our options. We just bought this house, there's no equity in the house. And my husband started talking to people that he work with that we thought, you know, were financially savvy. You know, they seem to know what the heck they were talking about with money and things like that. They told us to do a 401k loan. A, it's a low interest rate. You're really paying yourself back and you know, if you lose your job, you know you've got other options and your income will be lower. So it really won't be that big of a deal. Well I hope you can see where this is going. So we finished the renovation, the money is spent and gone. We have our second child, newborn. I returned back to work in January of 2014 I come home like the first week of January, just are the new year. Literally just went back to work. I was a detective at the time, and I walk in the door and my husband's already home, which was kind of odd because he doesn't get home before me. And I can tell by the look on his face, something is not right. But he is a jokester. And he, even after being together almost 20 years at right now, I still can't tell when he's joking sometimes. So I was like, okay, what's going on? And he says, I lost my job today. And I thought he was kidding. I'm like, you're joking. You know, you did not. He's like, no, for real. I lost my job. And I could tell that he was being serious. And so after, you know, I panicked and freaked out and cried and all that stuff. You know, I looked through our savings, um, talked to, he ended up getting a severance package. Um, you know, he started looking for a job and then we got a letter in the mail about this 401k loan that we'd only paid on, you know, I think like six months at this point, and we had 60 days to pay it back. Well, the money's gone at that point. We owed $20,000. You know, I don't have $20,000 laying around or I wouldn't taken out 401k loan. Um, and my husband didn't have a job, so how am I going to get another loan to pay off this loan? I, you know, with my income, I could not even pay all of our bills, you know, and I had to worry about feeding two children and making sure that, you know, we had electricity and a roof over our heads and I certainly wasn't worried about this 401k loan, so we ignored it. Um, my husband ended up finding a, everything was great. He's been at the new, his new job like five years now or something like that. He loves it much better. Uh, but then the next year we got a little note in the mail about, uh, you know, a tax statement thing saying basically Canada as a withdrawal and we were going to have to pay taxes on it. Like it was income and penalties and fees and everything for taking out so much money out of our 401k. So then more panic set in again. It's like, what am I going to do? We went from getting back like $4,000 to owing over $6,000 to the IRS and that's not something that you want to do. Like Oh, in the IRS is panic mode. So I started trying to figure out what, how the heck are we going to pay this? I had some money in savings, but I didn't want to wipe that out. You know what if, what if my husband loses his job again, you know, I'm not going to be without some savings. So decided to do a um, cash advance on my credit card. That was 0% interest for 18 months and just wrote it off as a lesson learned in life, never to a 401k loan again. Well, the next month I started getting the bills for the credit card. I don't know what the heck I was thinking. I just thought I had 18 months to figure out how to pay this off. Like, I don't know. I don't know why I didn't think that I would have to pay it every month leading up to that 18 months, but for whatever reason, I didn't. And so I started getting the bill in the mail and I'm like, I have to pay this. I've got to take it out of the budget. I don't know how I'm going to pay it and how the heck am I going to pay off? And I think it was at the time, it was $6,000 in 18 months. I'm like, how the heck am I going to pay this off in that time? So I started looking for debt, pay off plans, came across Dave Ramsey, zero based budgeting, the debt snowball, and I'll explain all that. And my life was changed forever. So those 401k loan was really the catalyst to making the big changes that we needed to in our life and in our finances. Uh, so even though it costs us a ton of money, you know, I'm still thankful for the lessons that I learned from it. You know, e everybody makes mistakes and you have to learn from it. Move on. You can't just keep beating yourself up about it. So what we did was I read the total money makeover (, and it was life changing, I read it in like two days. And to me it was very inspirational. Now I know some people, if you've ever listened to his podcast or his well, his podcast or his TV show or whatever, uh, either love him or hate him. So just sworn warn you. Uh, you know, but I really liked the message in the foundation behind it all. So basically you start with catching up on your four walls. That's food and you know, you had to pay for food, clothing, your housing and your transportation so you can get to work, keep a roof over your head, keep clothes on yourself and feed yourself. So if you're behind on your bills, that's where you start. And you start with a zero based budget, which is planning for every single dollar in your budget. So before I would just write down how much I expect us to get paid, what the bills were for each paycheck. I, and I still do, I've always done it a budget by paycheck and then whatever was left over, we would just spend, like I would say, oh we should spend, you know, $800 a month on food and 400 on gas and Yada Yada. But we would just swipe the debit card and not pay attention where our money was going. So one of the first steps in this plan is to track your expenses so you can see where your money has been going. And that is one of the most eye opening steps you can do. It's one of the hardest steps, but you have to do it because that is where you will know what changes to make and you will know where your money has been going. So if you're one of those just like me, that at the end of the year and you're doing your taxes and you see how much money you made and you're like, where the heck did all this money go? Because I have nothing to show for it. Like I made all this money, I should have something to show for it. This is where you start. This is where you see where that money has wind going, and then you build your zero based budget around that. So like for me, um, I was, we were spending $1,200 a month on eating out and groceries. So I was spending so much money on groceries for at the time. Remember, this is just a family of four with one being a toddler and one being a newborn. We were spending $1,200 a month on food. It was ridiculous. So I knew that that was one of the places to cut back. Um, and then I also, you know, cut back on, uh, you know, services like my cell phone bill, the TV bill, like all that kind of stuff. Alright, so started with a zero base budget, cutting expenses, seeing where your money is going, and then whatever is left of your budget. So remember, the a zero waste budget is planning every dollar. So after you get all those things planned for, everything is in, then you've got so much money in leftover that goes toward your goals. So first you want to save $1,000 at a minimum, and I can go into this in another episode, but you know, for a lot of people you may need to save more than a thousand dollars. But you know, some of you may have never saved a dollar in your life, so thousand dollars seems huge. So you know, that's a minimum. Just get to there and then reevaluate your goals and if you need to save more or if you can go on to paying off debt. So once you save your thousand dollars, then you start paying off your debt. Everything extra in your budget goes toward the debt snowball and the debt snowball is listing out all of your debts from smallest balance to the largest balance. Your regardless of interest rates, there are some instances where you will want to factor in interest rates or even payment amounts depending on your situation. But in general, for most people that just doing the debt snowball is what will be the most effective method for you because it's more motivating. Uh, you get the quick wins of paying off the small balances and you see, you can actually see the progress quickly and that will motivate you to keep going. Um, if you focus on the interest rate only, you know, that could be your biggest debt and it could take you forever and then you'll give up. Like there's no point in that. Start on a small debt, get it paid off so that you're motivated to keep going. Okay. So we already had the thousand dollars saved. Like I said, we had money, I'm already saved, but I didn't want to use it just in case. So we were able to just jump right into the debt snowball. And the first we only had, so at that time we had the credit card that the taxes went on, which is like $6,000. We had my car, which was $14,000. And then we had my student loans, which were $25,000. So the very first thing we did was focus on the credit card and we got that paid off in like two months or so. Um, you know, at this time I didn't know I would be talking about it so much. I didn't track like I don't remember exactly when we paid off the first credit card. Uh, and then we paid off my vehicle so we got that paid off at the end of the year. So I do know that. So we started this journey in May, like may or June. And so by the end of the year we had paid off both of those. So that was like half of the debt. And then January 1st, 2016 we started focusing on my student loans, which was $25,000. And I had only borrowed $28,000 and I had been paying on it for 10 years and I didn't even use my degree. I was a detective, like I had a degree in psychology cause I was going to be a counselor. I always thought I was going to be a counselor. That's what I had planned on doing all through high school, all through college. And then my last semester of college I decided that I was sick of school and I was done. And I was going to go be a police officer instead of going to get my masters degree. And then I had all this student loan debt for no reason. But anyway, that's besides the point. So my interest rate on the student loans was ridiculous. It was like six point something. So in 10 years I had paid off $3,000 and we, let's see. Um, so in 10 years I'd only paid off $3,000 and I was paying almost $5 a day in interest every single day. It was like $4.62 cents, something like that, $4.64 cents, whatever. And that's one of the things I did to keep me motivated to keep going because it was like, you know, once you get halfway through, when she would kinda get toward your last year, biggest one, it can seem like a mountain, even though you've made all these big changes and climbed all these smaller hills is like, oh my God, I'm never going to be done. So I calculated how much I was actually spending every single day in interest. Um, and some other things that we did. We, um, at this point we decided to shut off our retirement contributions because I realized how much I did the math and saw how much faster I could pay off this debt if we did that. Um, we already have quite a bit saved, um, in our retirement accounts and I still had a pension that I had to contribute to and the town that I worked for, um, well in the state, they, um, the local government, they have to contribute to my 401k as well. So we still had money going into retirement, um, but not our own money into our 401ks. So we cut that out and that was actually a couple of hundred dollars. So that helped us speed up paying off my student loans. And I only recommend that to people. If you are all in, you are intense about this, that you're not going to go and spend it on other things because you will, um, you will see that you have all this extra money and think that it's extra and spend it and then not turn your retirement contributions back on. So I don't take this recommendation recommendation lightly. So you really need to think about it before you do it because retirement is crucial. So just because I only did it halfway through, like I didn't want to do it at first. So once I sought ran the number, saw how much faster we could do it and be done, I decided to do it. So, you know, think about it really hard before you actually shut it off. Um, we sold some big things. We sold a trailer and a four wheeler, which for those of you that don't know, my husband, this is huge. My husband is a hoarder. He literally has every single magazine he's ever had his entire life. Literally it's still out in the shop in bins. It's ridiculous. He says he knows, you know, where they all are and what they say and he still looks at him. So to get him to like really sell anything was a major, major feat. And really without him being fully onboard, we wouldn't have been able to do it this quickly. Um, so, you know, if you're struggling and doing it this on your own, I've got, um, I guess coming up on a, on another episode coming up soon about getting your spouse onboard and living on one income. Um, but anyway, back to why that they all stories. So, you know, we made a lot of changes to do it faster and faster. You know, I didn't just, now I do jump into things, but you know, I went into this and made small changes as we went and as I saw progress and how much faster we could do it and keep going, we made changes gradually. You know, I didn't just do my zero base budget, do my debt, snowball, do cash envelope, shut off the retirement contributions, sell everything all in one day. Okay. This was a increase in intensity and change of behavior over the 17 months. So, you know, that first month, don't beat yourself up if you're not all in, just keep making the steps and changes in the right direction and you will get there. And as you see the progress and as you see that debt balance going down, you'll be more motivated to do it faster and find things to do to make it happen faster and faster. So like another thing I did was I sold like all my lamps and my wall decor, like I'm wanting to eventually change the style anyway, but like it looked like we just moved in. Like I literally sold the pictures off my walls and all my lamps. Like I was intense about it once we got to that point. And I just wanted it to be done with my student loans because I was seeing how much money we were spending every day for that, you know, when you're spending $5 everyday just to have the loan there, that's insane. So I wanted to add in my life and gone forever. And so that really helped motivate me to go and do it faster and faster. Uh, some other things that we did or that I did to, um, stay motivated while doing this was I joined, uh, groups that were about budgeting, Dave Ramsey paying off debt. Um, and that really helped keep me motivated to, uh, talk to other people and see other people doing the same things that I did or that I was doing. Um, another thing that I did was I read debt, pay off success stories like every night before going to bed. And that's one reason that I share so many on my website as well. And you can go to my website, go to debt and debt, sex success stories, and you'll be able to see like all the ones that I've done so far, debt free interviews. Um, let's see, what else did I do? I pay a [inaudible]. Okay, so we cut back our food budgets. You know, I've talked about how we were spending $1,200 a month. We cut out there that down to $600 a month. Um, and initially we cut out lunch, but that didn't work very well. So we ended up adding money in for lunch, but it wasn't every single day for my husband and I, that was our social time to get out of the office. We have stressful jobs and like that's our time to talk to people in distress a little bit. So we did add that in. Um, we realized that we just, that was something that we needed to do. Uh, we also, you know, we said no to things like not everything. Like we still had fun, we budgeted money in for things that we wanted to do, but we did, we didn't do everything that our friends wanted to do. Like we still said no to some things because it wasn't a priority right then. And then if, if there were something that we wanted and it could wait until after we were debt free, it waited. I mean, the last month that we had, my husband actually asked me were more debt free, can we buy shaving cream again? Like that's how intense I got there at the end because I just wanted it gone. And so like I bought generic stuff. I didn't, if it literally, if you could do without it for a month or two months, I didn't buy it like it could wait. And then of course then once we paid it off, you know, I caught back up on things. I just wanted it out of my life and I wanted the freedom and be able to say that I did it and you know, feel like I accomplished something. And that's what I did. And you know what, we were able to pay it off in seven in, well the student loan was 10 months. So that was 10 months of it. We paid it off in October of 2016 total of 17 months, $45,000. And you know what, I'm so glad that we did. You know, I had people asking me while I was doing this as if you died tomorrow, would you still be, um, would you still be doing this? Like, and I said yes. Like I want my family to be set up financially to be able to live without me, to be able to grieve, to do what they want to do once I'm gone and without doing this, you know, my husband would have to go right back to work, uh, not have any time off. You know, somebody is going to have to pick up the slack at home with babysitters and house cleaning and all that stuff. You know, and I have life insurance, I have a plan, we don't have debt. So that it just make things a lot smoother and easier if something does happen to me. But you know what? I still enjoy my life. It's not like I'm not having fun. I still had fun and it was temporary. Now I'm on the other side of it. Been debt free for, um, almost two years. No three years now. Yeah, almost three years now. And of course I'm still thankful for. I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I made the sacrifices then so that I can live the life I want now because without it, I wouldn't be able to be at home with my kids, building my business. I'd still be stuck in a very stressful job that I just was burnt out on and didn't want to do anymore. And I wouldn't be able to take my kids to school over day, pick them up, work on my business. Um, help you guys get your lives. And finances together so that you can do it too. If I was still in debt, I would still be working a regular job and being on call and having to see and deal with things that nobody really should have to see and do. And so that is why I am very, very thankful that we made the sacrifices to get to where we are now. You know, and I, and then human now I still have people say, well, you're just lucky. I, you know, that must be nice. Yeah, it is nice. But I'm not lucky. I worked hard. I made a plan. I followed through on that plan and I did what I needed to do so that I could live this life that I want now. And that's what you have to decide for yourself is what are you willing to sacrifice now for what you want later. And once you do that, everything else will fall into place. You will know what you need to say no to what changes you need to make so that you can get to your bigger goals. And you know, don't let anybody discourage you and tell you that you need to have debt, that there's good debt, there's a, you know, you should always have a car payment. You should always have a mortgage payment, student loans, good debt, no debt is good debt. You know, mortgage is not considered in this debt free journey just because it is a much bigger loan. But we are working on paying it off early. Like that is the end goal. Uh, but for right now, you want to concentrate on your consumer debt. So your credit card, your car payments, yes, you can be without a car payment. You don't have to always have a car payment. You just have to decide that that's what you're going to do and then do it. Uh, and you know, find the ways to make it happen. You know, and like I said earlier, you may not be able to do it as fast as I did. Um, but that doesn't mean you can't do it. It, it'll, it'll happen in your time and as fast as you can do it. So. Okay, I'm going to quit on my rant today and I will talk to you soon. We've got some great guests, podcasts coming up. Uh, and I will be talking about how our 401k loan cost us almost a million dollars. So, uh, look forward to that. I am so excited about this podcast and sharing these stories with you to help motivate you to pay off debt. And remember, you can go to budget's made for all my free resources and helpful advice and follow me on Instagram at budget's made easy. I will talk to you soon. Bye.

Sep 2019

25 min 48 sec