The Personal Finance Show

The Personal Finance Show is a place for people to tell their personal finance stories. Everyone has a personal finance story.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 10

May 31st, 2020

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I resume the global tour in Week 10 of the COVID-19 series which features my friend Eric Wong in Singapore.  We discuss his personal experience with the pandemic so far, how Singapore is handling the situation generally, and how Eric's industry, hospitality, has been devastated by this global crisis, and what the future might look like.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 9

May 24th, 2020

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Week 9 of the COVID-19 series is a break from the global tour.  Matthew Siwiec joins me from his home in Toronto to review the "alphabet soup" of Canadian emergency benefits there are out there.  From EI to CERB to CESB to CEWS to OCECRA, among others, we try to make some sense of them.  Since these benefits change all the time is a good idea to talk about them as much as possible. 

Here are links to some of the resources mentioned in the episode:

Matthew's COVID-19 page – look for updates later this week

TPL Event – May 27th 5 to 6pm EST  - this coming Wednesday, open to the public

Benefits Finder for individuals – Didn’t get to this in the episode, but it is a great resource

Summary of benefits 

CERB Questions and Answers

COVID-19 Weekly Update 8

May 17th, 2020

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Week 8 of the COVID-19 series features my cousin Jay who lives in Berlin, Germany.

Every week during the pandemic Beau will find someone in a different part of the world with a different personal pandemic experience to share their perspective and tell their story for others to hear. 

In this episode Jay shares his COVID-19 experience so far in Germany, where he currently lives with my cousin Liz and their son Hudson.  Jay works for a company called HERE Technologies and Liz is an experienced travel writer, having most recently researched and written for 20 Fodor's guidebooks over the last 8 years.

For Jay, Liz and Hudson, travel is their way of life.  Though they are ok financially during this pandemic and acknowledge their privilege in this regard, this doesn't diminish the fact that they may have to rethink how they live and earn in the "new normal" that emerges after the COVID-19 dust has settled.  

(As we discussed in the episode, Hudson has his own Instagram account called Hudson in Hotels and can be found here:  https://www.instagram.com/hudsoninhotels/)

COVID-19 Weekly Update 7

May 10th, 2020

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Week 7 of the COVID-19 series features James Mwombela from North Carolina.  

Every week during the pandemic Beau will find someone in a different part of the world with a different personal pandemic experience to share their perspective and tell their story for others to hear. 

In this episode James shares his COVID-19 experience so far in North Carolina, which is currently on lockdown but that is changing this week as they enter Phase 1 of "reopening".  James was already working from home so his work situation has not changed much.  In fact, an interesting effect of this global pandemic is that people who may have been less focused on their finances are realizing this is the time to really figure things out.  As a Certified Financial Planner in the US, James is well equipped to help people with their finances during normal times, and the pandemic has provided him the opportunity to reach more people and help them make plans to survive and thrive in the future.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 6

May 3rd, 2020

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Week 6 of the COVID-19 series features César Tánchez from Guatemala.  

Every week during the pandemic Beau will find someone in a different part of the world with a different personal pandemic experience to share their perspective and tell their story for others to hear. 

In this episode César shares his COVID-19 experience so far in Guatemala, which has less than 700 cases of the coronavirus and only 17 deaths as of today.  For comparison, the global numbers as of today are almost 3.5 million cases with nearly 250,000 deaths.   César also explains how there is no employment insurance in Guatemala and how the pandemic is changing the way the people of his country view saving for the future and personal finance in general.

Search for César's podcast, "Trascendencia Financiera con César Tánchez", wherever you get your podcasts.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 5

April 26th, 2020

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Week 5 of the COVID-19 series features Tom Drake from Alberta.  

Every week during the pandemic Beau will find someone in a different part of the world with a different personal pandemic experience to share their perspective and tell their story for others to hear. 

In this episode Tom shares his COVID-19 experience so far, which includes getting officially tested and having to isolate under quarantine law.  Tom and Beau also discuss investing during an economic recession like this and what to be careful of at a time when no one can predict how the economy will be affected and for how long.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 4

April 19th, 2020

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Week 4 of the COVID-19 series features Jordon Cox of the UK.  Beau and Jordon discuss:

-Jordon's trip to Disneyworld that was cut short and for which he's still trying to get some money back

-His recent health issues and how that affects his susceptibility to the virus

-How the UK is handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the rules in place to protect the British people

-How 1/3 of the National Health Service (NHS) workers have been compromised by COVID-19 and the system is overwhelmed.

-How the pandemic has affected Jordon's ability to make money and what financial relief exists in the UK

-That a podcast host should never ask this question during a lockdown: "Where is your boyfriend now?"

-How the British people are excellent at queuing(standing in lines) which is very evident during a pandemic.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 3

April 12th, 2020

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In the third weekly episode of the COVID-19 series, Beau calls Australia to speak to Michelle from frugalityandfreedom.com to discuss:

  • How COVID-19 has affected her life so far

  • How Australia and New Zealand are handling the pandemic

  • How Michelle's personal finances have been impacted

  • Financial independence and frugality

  • The live event industry and how it has been decimated

  • The importance of staying positive and taking care of your mental health during times like this

  • Building other forms of capital other than financial capital to help you adapt to changes in the world or your circumstances

 

Links to things Michelle mentioned in the episode:

Rich & Resilient Living blog - Looking Beyond Financial Capital on the Path to Financial Independence

http://www.richandresilientliving.com/looking-beyond-financial-capital-on-the-path-to-financial-independence/

Nomad Numbers - Nomad life during COVID-19: exiting Bali and home quarantining in Taiwan

https://www.nomadnumbers.com/nomad-life-during-covid-19-exiting-bali-and-home-quarantining-in-taiwan/

Website & social links:

FrugalityandFreedom.com

Twitter @FrugalityFreedm

Instagram @FrugalityandFreedom

COVID-19 Weekly Update 2

April 5th, 2020

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In the second weekly episode of the COVID-19 series, Beau talks about:

  • Emergency-fund shaming and how we're in survival mode now and there is no point in telling someone they should have had an emergency fund

  • Hopefully going through a pandemic without an emergency fund will give you the perspective to start saving once you have surplus income again

  • What if you are in a position where you have no surplus income so you can't build savings?

  • The dangers of relying on credit as your emergency fund

  • This new world of video and how we need to be patient with those who aren't familiar with new technology, and how to protect yourself from hacking with online passwords for video meetings.

  • How everyone's situation is different and we can't give blanket financial advice at a time like this, or ever, really.

COVID-19 Weekly Update 1

March 29th, 2020

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Beau returns from his podcasting sabbatical to provide a personal update and talk about the COVID-19 global pandemic in Canada as of March 29, 2020.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.

Debt Free in 30 podcast on Apple Podcasts or YouTube

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Infographic by Matthew Siwiec

Podcasts for US Listeners:  Money With Friends, Stacking Benjamins

100 - Financial Privilege

September 19th, 2019

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This is the 100th episode of The Personal Finance Show!

My special guests today are Tanja Hester and Kara Perez, the hosts of my favourite podcast, The Fairer Cents, and James Mwombela, who is a CFP and Associate Planner at Grid 202 Partners.

Episode 100 isn’t about someone’s personal finance story. It’s about an important personal finance topic.

Today’s topic is financial privilege.

 

My goal with this episode was to encourage you to think about privilege and how it affects your life and your finances.

Most people understand obvious financial privilege.  

If you come from a wealthy family, you have an easier time than someone who doesn’t come from money.  

Having to work as a teenager to pay bills is very different than choosing to work as a teenager to buy the things your parents won’t buy you.  

Graduating with student loans puts you in a very different financial starting position from someone who’s parents saved up and paid for their schooling.  

Working to save for retirement is very different from working to pay your bills and make the minimum payments on your credit cards.

But as we discussed in the episode, there are also less obvious layers of privilege, like your gender, the colour of your skin, or whether you are an immigrant, which may affect your ability to make money.  

Like Darryl Brown from episode 93 of the show who didn’t think that anyone would want him to be their financial advisor because he’s black.  

Or Nico Barawid from episode 67 who’s parents were both doctors, but were discriminated against financially because they had immigrated from the Phillipines.  

There is still a lot of work to be done to increase Indigenous people's access to culturally relevant financial education resources, as Bettina Schneider and I discussed in episode 95

Women are 80% more likely to live in poverty in retirement than men, as Saijal Patel mentioned in episode 77.  This is not surprising if you consider that women only gained the right to open a bank account in the 1960s. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act was only enacted in 1974, which made it unlawful for a creditor to discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, marital status, or age.  

Think about that for a second -  45 years ago, it was so normal to financially discriminate against anyone who wasn’t a white male, that they actually had to make a law to tell financial institutions to stop being racist and sexist. On the other hand, white men have been able to open bank accounts and get credit since banks were invented hundreds of years ago.  And it’s not like everyone stopped being racist and sexist on the day the law came out. As we discussed in the episode, this discrimination still exists, though it’s not as explicit as it once was.

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t think this is a problem.  There isn’t anyone I know who would explicitly say that they don’t believe everyone should have equal opportunity to make money and build wealth.

So let’s do something about it.

Let’s talk about it on podcasts like this.  

If you have the opportunity to use your privilege for good, to help someone who might have less advantages than you, do that.

Remember that privilege is just perception.  There’s no logical reason why gender or race or all of the other differences we mentioned should impact your ability to make money.  It’s all in our heads and to stop it we need to change our thinking and our actions.

So that’s my 100th episode.  I’ll be back soon with new episodes so if you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, please do that now, so you know when the new episodes are up.  If you liked this episode, check out the other 99 episodes and please leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. And if you have any questions or just want to say hello, you can always email me at beau@beauhumphreys.com.


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99 - Beth MacMillan

September 12th, 2019

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Beth MacMillan wants you to prioritize travel.

In 2011, Beth and her husband, Mark, decided to use their saved up money and take a 6 month honeymoon around the world.

You don’t have to save $20,000 and buy round-the-world tickets like Beth did, but if you’re interested in travel at all, you can pick up a lot of tips by listening to Beth’s story.

To be able to travel, you need 2 things, time and money.

Maybe you have the time, but not the money, so you feel like you can’t afford to go anywhere.

Maybe you have the money, but not the time, so you can just fly somewhere for a weekend or a week and it doesn’t seem worth the effort.

There will always be barriers to travel, and if you have disposable income, there are a million things you can spend your money on instead of travelling.

However, if you have the desire to travel, there are ways to make it a priority in your life.

Every time you have extra money, you make a choice to use that money for something that is important to you. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, as Beth and I discuss in the episode.

For Beth, travel was always top of the list. Maybe you’re the same. Maybe you don’t even realize it yet because you haven’t been anywhere.

Personally I believe every dollar spent on travelling is totally worth it. The “return on investment” of travel isn’t dollars but it’s a higher quality of life.

But that’s just me. And Beth, of course.

P.S. If you want to ask Beth any questions about travel or concussions, you can email her here.

NEXT EPISODE

100 - Financial Privilege with Tanja Hester, Kara Perez, and James Mwombela


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98 - Sarah Li Cain

September 5th, 2019

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Sarah Li Cain wants you to be open to opportunities and to make independence a priority.

Sarah was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Canada, has lived in Australia, South Korea and China, and is currently in the US.

Sarah worked mainly as a teacher, but the key to her survival and success was to be open to opportunities along the way.

Knowing that she couldn’t be a teacher in the US if she moved there from China with her husband and new son, Sarah looked into ways to make money online.

Sarah ended up finding freelance writing as something she could do from anywhere in the world and focused on personal finance writing.

Today, Sarah makes over $100,000 a year working part-time from home, creating content for financial brands and online publications. It’s not easy to create in-demand content and get paid for it, but her desires to be independent and to be free to spend her time the way she wants, keep her on track.

Sarah is also the host of the Beyond the Dollar podcast, where she has deep and honest conversations about how money affects our well-being.

Sarah joined me from Jacksonville, Florida to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

99 - Beth MacMillan


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97 - Bridget Casey

August 29th, 2019

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Bridget Casey wants us all to get rich together.

The good news is that Bridget already did most of the work for you. All you have to do is follow her instructions.

You don’t have to spend years studying the stock market and get an MBA in finance. She already did that so you don’t have to.

Bridget took all of her personal finance skills and education and spent countless hours crafting online courses for you.

Her stand-out course is called the Six-Figure Stock Portfolio. She created this course because there’s nothing like it online right now and as you heard in the intro clip, her students are doing very well.

Bridget started her website Money After Graduation in 2012 and today she has over 3,000 visitors per day.

Bridget also makes personal finance videos on YouTube where she has over 6,500 subscribers and over 500,000 views of her videos.

Bridget joined me from Edmonton, Alberta to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

98 - Sarah Li Cain


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96 - Erin Lowry

August 22nd, 2019

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Erin Lowry wants you to know that words have power, especially when it comes to your money.

Saving and investing are not the same thing. For example, if someone is saving for retirement, they might not even be aware that they are actually investing their money. Very few people put their retirement money in a savings account. It’s much more likely that if you have your retirement money invested in an index fund, or some kind of portfolio of stocks and bonds that are subject to risk and growth.

But if we keep using the word “save” when we talk about retirement, we miss the opportunity to learn about our investments. If we say “invest” for retirement, you might be triggered to ask “What’s my money invested in?”

You might be thinking, Beau, everyone knows the difference between saving and investing, and people know where their retirement money is invested. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. I read yesterday that 40% of Canadians keep their TFSA contributions in a simple savings account.

Why are Canadians doing this? Well, it’s in the name. TFSA stands for Tax-Free Savings Account. The Canadian government called it a savings account. But it’s not a savings account. It’s a tax shelter. Where the RRSP, or Registered Retirement Savings Plan, was created to save you taxes now, only for you to pay them later when you withdraw money in retirement, the TFSA allows you to take after-tax money you already have and protect it from ever being taxed again.

So the TFSA is not for savings, because savings might grow, if you’re lucky, at 1% per year. You can afford the taxes on 1%. What you want in your TFSA is your highest growth investments. If you have $10,000 in Canadian bank stocks, for example, and you say they are part of your TFSA, and then grow by 10% this year, you pay no tax on that 10%. Not this year or any year after that. That $10,000 could grow to $100,000 and you never pay any tax.

So should this program created to shelter your investment growth from future taxes be called a Tax-Free Savings Account? Absolutely not. It’s a terrible name and it’s confusing Canadians.

Words have power.

Like the words "broke" and "poor" are not the same thing.

This is something that Erin and I discuss in the episode, as she has now written two books: the first one is called Broke Millennial and the most recent one is Broke Millennial Takes on Investing. And there’s a third book in the series coming soon, which we also discuss in the episode.

Erin joined me from New York City to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

97 - Bridget Casey


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95 - Bettina Schneider

August 15th, 2019

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Bettina Schneider wants you to understand the impact your values, histories and life experiences have on your financial decision-making processes.

Bettina has a PhD in Native American Studies and is currently Associate Professor and Associate Vice President Academic at First Nations University of Canada.

Bettina spends a lot of her time contemplating the following questions:

How can we increase Indigenous people's access to culturally relevant financial education resources?

How can we reframe the way we talk about financial literacy and personal finance in order to make it more accessible to a wider audience?

Bettina believes that financial literacy resources do not always speak to the varied values and experiences of their audience and would like to see more of those resources explore how people's "money culture" impacts the way they relate to money.

Bettina joined me from Regina, Saskatchewan to share her personal finance story

NEXT EPISODE

96 - Erin Lowry


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94 - Joe Saul-Sehy

August 8th, 2019

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Joe Saul-Sehy wants you to learn about money, but he doesn’t want you to think you’re learning anything.

Joe is the creator and co-host of The Stacking Benjamins Show, one of the top personal finance podcasts in North America. Joe also co-hosts a new podcast called Money in the Morning.

The running joke on Stacking Benjamins is that you won’t learn anything about money by listening to the show, and if you do learn something, you should keep it to yourself.

Joe figured out a way to make personal finance fun and entertaining, and somehow got over 130,000 people to subscribe to the Stacking Benjamins podcast along the way.

But Joe’s history with money is not all sunshine and roses. He’s made his share of money mistakes over the years and that’s what makes him so effective as a host of a personal finance podcast.

I’m very happy to have Joe on the show and I’m flattered that he has invited me to be on the infamous Stacking Benjamins roundtable coming up on a Friday sometime in the next few months.

Joe joined me from Detroit, Michigan to share his personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

95 - Bettina Schneider


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93 - Darryl Brown

August 1st, 2019

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Darryl Brown wants you to stop complaining about bad financial advice and do something about it.

If you walk into a bank, give them money, don’t ask questions and do zero research on investing, then you’ve pretty much given up your right to complain if you’re not happy with the results.

Instead of complaining about things, let’s be proactive. This is your money. It’s important. You work hard for it. So why not spend a bit of time on it.

Yes, I’ve said this a lot. I know it’s hard to do the work yourself. It takes time and a personal interest in investing. So it might make more sense for you to pay someone a fee to help you figure it all out.

And this is where a lot of people get confused. They think that walking into a bank or going to a company that sells financial products is the best way to invest their money in a way that achieves their financial goals. They don’t charge upfront fees so that sounds great to most people.

But as I’ve said many times, if a financial services company doesn’t have the product that is best for your goals, they are not going to tell you to go somewhere else. They are never going to make money if they send business away.

If you walk into a Mazda dealer and you start talking about how much Ford means to you and you love Ford products and it becomes really obvious to them that you are going to have a significantly better life if you buy a Ford, they will NEVER say, “I don’t think a Mazda is the right car for you.” As a salesperson, that is possibly the worst thing you can do for your career. They will instead try their best to change your mind and fit your desires into their available range of products.

Darryl started his company You & Yours Financial so that he could provide truly unbiased advice. He is not at all interested in forcing you into a box so that you fit the financial product he sells. He doesn’t sell financial products at all. A quick glance at Darryl’s Twitter feed and you can see that he has no patience for the financial BS that’s out there.

Darryl is only interested in providing you with a completely unbiased opinion and an investment solution that is truly right for you.

Darryl joined me in the studio in Hamilton to share his personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

94 - Joe Saul-Sehy


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92 - Kelley Keehn

July 25th, 2019

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Kelley Keehn wants you to feel good about your money.

To feel good about your money, you have to educate yourself, ideally as early as possible.

Before you sign up for a credit card, read a ton about credit cards and how they work.

Before you buy a house or a condo, listen to podcasts about the pros and cons of buying real estate.

There are so many personal finance resources out there today, and people like Kelley, who are dedicated to educating people about money.

Kelley has written 9 books and has a 10th on the way called Talk Money To Me, which will be published in December 2019.

When Kelley was younger, she didn’t have the personal finance resources that we have today. She had to learn about money through trial and error.

Today, Kelley spends a lot of her time trying to change people’s thinking about money so that they don’t fall into the same traps that she did.

Kelley joined me from Edmonton, Alberta to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

93 - Darryl Brown


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91 - Robert Brown

July 18th, 2019

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Robert Brown wants you to not be afraid of a little hard work.

Robert grew up on a dairy farm. His father worked the farm while also working a full-time job at General Motors.

Robert learned about working for money early and also about patience and delayed gratification.

There are a lot of things that we buy today with borrowed money that we could easily put off until we have money in the bank, and we might even get a better deal if we wait.

Robert realized over time that many Canadians hadn’t learned what he did on the farm and as a result they were spending money before they earned it, and doing things like buying houses they actually couldn’t afford. They didn’t understand the concept of compound interest or how to save for the future while still being able to live a comfortable life today.

After over 25 years of working in the restaurant and food service industries, Robert decided to write a book about personal finance. He would write it in a way that Canadians would understand.

The book he wrote is called Wealthing Like Rabbits and it’s now a Canadian bestseller.

Robert joined me from Ajax, Ontario to share his personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

92 - Kelley Keehn


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90 - Sonya Smith-Valentine

July 11th, 2019

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Sonya Smith-Valentine wants you to be Financially Fierce.

Sonya has an accounting degree and a law degree.

She is a CPA and a lawyer, and has worked professionally as both.

Sonya has worked for legal aid in New York and Maryland, and later started a law practice specializing in Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy, winning cases against credit bureaus, credit card companies, banks, and collection agencies for unlawful activity.

Today, Sonya is a Financial Confidence Expert and as President and CEO of Financially Fierce, LLC her mission is to improve the financial acumen of employees and managers to create financially savvy and highly productive workplaces.

Sonya joined me from the Maryland/DC area to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

91 - Robert Brown


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89 - J. Money

July 4th, 2019

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J. Money wants you to know that Budgets Are Sexy.

That’s the title of the personal finance blog that he started 11 years ago, and even though you may never think budgets are sexy, the point that J. is trying to get across is that personal finance doesn’t have to be boring.

In 2008 J. started posting monthly net worth updates in addition to his regular content. In 137 months, J. has grown his net worth from just under $59,000 to almost $920,000. And you don’t have to wonder how he did it. Just go to Budgets Are Sexy and click on the Net Worth link. You’ll see all 137 posts and can drill down on any one of them.

J. has always been about full disclosure, which is one of the main reasons he still remains anonymous. As we discuss in the interview, I have met him at FinCon, but I don’t know his last name or whether his first name is actually Jay or a name that starts with J and I don’t know where he lives.

Including Budgets Are Sexy, J.’s personal finance projects have reached over 30 million views, but most importantly, J. is just a great guy and we are lucky to have him in the personal finance community. If you like what you hear today, I recommend you sign up for J.’s daily emails. After 11 years, and now a father of 3, J. is still doing what he can to make personal finance fun and engaging.

J. Money joined me from an undisclosed location in the US to share his personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

90 - Sonya Smith-Valentine


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88 - Ericka Young

June 27th, 2019

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Ericka Young wants you to be intentional and have a plan before you spend any money.

This applies to every single situation that involves money, which is pretty much everything.

As Paula Pant says at the beginning of her podcast, you can afford anything, but not everything.

Unfortunately because of loans and credit cards, we think we can afford everything.

This happens to too many people. They make good money, and can pay the bills, but the bank account doesn’t grow and the credit cards stay at the same level.

When you start out in debt, that’s what you know, and it becomes normal.

But living on credit creates this mindless spending, which can easily get out of control. You make decisions without thinking and sometimes those decisions have consequences.

There are so many people like Ericka who could easily break free of the mountain of debt that they are trapped under, if only they would step back and have a closer look at their financial situation and whether their spending habits align with their financial goals.

One day Ericka looked at her low bank balance and her high credit balance and asked herself: What’s going on here?

The process she went through was so motivating that she knew she wanted to help others achieve the same thing.

Ericka launched Tailor Made Budgets in 2005 and has been helping people change their money habits ever since.

Ericka joined me from Indianapolis, Indiana to share her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

89 - J. Money


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87 - Robert Farrington

June 20th, 2019

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Robert Farrington wants you to think before you click the button and accept your student loans.

Getting an education is an investment and you should spend some time thinking about what you’re investing in and what kind of return your investment will provide.

For example, you may not even need a degree at all to work somewhere you like and that pays well. You may need a degree to get promotions and more responsibility but that might not be until later and who knows, your employer might even help pay for your schooling.

We have been brainwashed over the years that to get a “good” job you have to spend a lot of money on school, and then eat ramen noodles while living in a tiny apartment and work 12 hour days to repay your loans.

After the interview with Robert I realized that some part of me is still brainwashed, and it actually scared me a little.

Robert worked at Target for over 16 years. He mentioned this right at the beginning of the interview and I totally didn’t hear him say that he only stopped working there 2 years ago.

So I kept asking him questions like “So what was your next job” not fully comprehending that he was always at Target until he decided he was making enough from his side hustles and he wanted to spend more time with his family.

I realized that there’s this part of me that still finds it hard to believe that someone would work in retail for that long and it’s scary to think that I have these notions in my brain somewhere, when I don’t actively believe this is true. But on auto-pilot, the notion that guided me to my next questions were that he must have got a better job. No one works at Target for 16 years. It really sucks but it seems I’ve been brainwashed to think that this is not a good job, without even knowing what it is that Robert even did for 16 years.

Of course there are people who spend their whole lives in retail and are very happy. Robert actually ended up with a lot of responsibility, managing several hundred employees and millions in sales. But he shouldn’t be any less valuable to me as a human being if he simply pushed carts and stocked shelves for 16 years instead. Especially when on the side he was building a web empire that now has millions of visitors per month.

Even more ironic is that I’ve been driving for Uber since last September. And I’m sure there are people that think it’s odd that someone with a university degree and 15 years working in accounting and finance would be an Uber driver. But I actually really like it and it fits with my flexible schedule.

I decided that even though it makes me seem like a classist jerk, I needed to talk about this. Maybe you do this too and you don’t even realize it. Talking about it openly is the only way to shake off these archaic notions about what is good or bad, what is the right path and all the other societal norms that seem to only cause us to spend money we don’t have and take jobs we don’t want.

So as Robert suggests, before we just press a button and fund our future with debt, we need to spend more time thinking about what it is we want. Are you going to be able to pay back this debt? What kind of job will you get after you graduate? If you’re going to take on tens of thousands in debt, shouldn’t you at least have a general answer to these questions? Why is the default: get the loan and figure it out later.

Personally I think we have it all backwards. We should try working in jobs in our areas of interest or curiosity, make some money, and then take whatever training or schooling is necessary to move forward in that area of work, if we enjoy it.

Why is a 4 year degree the thing that everyone cares about? Logically it doesn’t make sense.

Most people hire someone who works well with others and then train them how to do the job.

We’re focusing on the wrong things and it’s creating a society that is trapped by huge amounts of debt.

As Robert wrote in a recent post on his site The College Investor, student loans should be your last option. If you do decide that you want to go to school before you have enough money to pay for it, there are so many options to explore before going straight to student loans. If you or someone in your family is in the process of deciding how to pay for school, I fully recommend going to thecollegeinvestor.com and reading everything.

Robert joined me from his home in Southern California to share his personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

88 - Ericka Young


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86 - Stacy Yanchuk-Oleksy

June 13th, 2019

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Stacy Yanchuk-Oleksy wants you to see a non-profit credit counsellor if you have credit problems.

Stacy is Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counselling Society.

If you’ve listened to episode 76 of the show, you know that I had credit problems 11 years ago. I filed a consumer proposal with a licenced insolvency trustee, under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada.

My case was severe so I skipped the first step that many take and that’s going to see a credit counsellor first to discuss options.

There are a lot of great people out there looking to actually help you get out of debt.

Whether you see a counsellor or a trustee, most will help you make the right move for your debt situation.

As Stacy and I discuss in the interview, just make sure that you don’t pay anything upfront for debt solutions and don’t just click on the first link in the online search.

There are websites and companies that appear to be offering debt settlement solutions, but they are just payday lenders in disguise.

Make sure you find out about the company that you’re dealing with. The legitimate trustees and non-profit credit counsellors have nothing to hide. They have names of staff and locations and they are active on social media.

Stacy is very proud of the free workshops and educational resources that the Credit Counselling Society provides in order to try to prevent Canadians from getting into unmanageable debt in the first place.

The most important thing to me is that you know what your options are when you’re in trouble. And I fully recommend you take advantage of free consultations with as many organizations as you can handle. Go meet them in person and talk to them about solutions. Everyone’s situation is different and the more information you have from multiple sources, the better you will be at determining which solution works for you and more importantly, the one you can live with.

Stacy joined me in the studio in Hamilton to tell her personal finance story.

NEXT EPISODE

87 - Robert Farrington


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