Episode 41  Managing our money to ensure financial well-being and a secure retirement is important to all of us.  On today’s episode we’re talking with Darryl Lyons.  He’s an author, a personal finance expert, and an ambitious entrepreneur.  Darryl’s San Antonio, Texas company  PAX Financial Group  is an Inc 5000 “Fastest Growing Company” and a “Best Place to Work.” His work and his passion have allowed Darryl to give back to his community.  Darryl’s latest mission is to help redefine retirement where we no longer think of retiring but rather  pivoting  into the next chapter of life with purpose.  Show Notes  On this episode you will learn:    The 3 stages of our financial life.     Prepare  age 18 - 60     Pivot  age 60 - 65     Purpose  age 65 and beyond      Why purpose is so important to contentment and happiness.    How our emotions impact our spending and ultimately our ability to reach our financial and life goals.    We’re all in this together - your situation may be different but there’s a lot of similarity in your journey in relation to everyone else’s.    Having financial constraints can be a wonderful opportunity for creativity and growth.    Why generosity is so important to your financial well-being and to your overall health.      Books by Darryl Lyons    18 to 80: A Simple and Practical Guide to Money and Retirement for All Ages    The Grand Money Chasm: Ten Effective Strategies to Build a Money Legacy Within Your Grandchildren    Small Business Big Pressure: A Faith-Based Approach to Guide the Ambitious Entrepreneur

Episode 41
Managing our money to ensure financial well-being and a secure retirement is important to all of us.  On today’s episode we’re talking with Darryl Lyons. He’s an author, a personal finance expert, and an ambitious entrepreneur.  Darryl’s San Antonio, Texas company PAX Financial Group is an Inc 5000 “Fastest Growing Company” and a “Best Place to Work.” His work and his passion have allowed Darryl to give back to his community.  Darryl’s latest mission is to help redefine retirement where we no longer think of retiring but rather pivot into the next chapter of life with purpose.

     

 
 
      Episode 40  We’ve probably all had a coach at some point in our life, one that made us work harder, get stronger, or faster.  And although we may not have enjoyed the drills and the hard work he or she pushed us to do, we were grateful for their help because it was a benefit to us.  In the same sense, a financial coach can be a tremendous benefit to you and your financial well-being.     SHOW NOTES:        Three types of Financial Professionals    1. Financial Coach or Counselor  - A financial coach or counselor typically focuses on fundamental financial issues or habits. "A financial coach works with a client to change behaviors around money," They do not sell products and cannot specifically advise you on investments.   2. Financial Advisor  - provide services that are purely transactional or product-focused.  They manage your investments for a fee plus typically commissions on product sales.    All financial advisors are not the same.  Some only focus on investments that they are familiar with or those that are associated with their firms.  Therefore, they have a limited number of options they will recommend, which may be good or not.    Today, anyone can purchase any investments they choose from brokerage firms such as Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, without a financial broker or advisor.    Unless the advisor offers a lot of education with his services, it’s probably not worth hiring him/her.     3. Financial Planners  - a financial planner generally analyzes a client's entire financial life across cash and debt management, insurance, investments, tax, and estate planning.  They help you navigate through the life changes that have a significant impact on your finances (marriage, divorce, children, education, retirement, and investing.)  They generally charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management or a fixed fee and in some cases, could receive commissions from product sales as well.    There are at least 100 financial designations and many are just empty titles that don’t mean much.  The credentials you want to look for when searching for a financial planner are:    CFP (certified financial planner.)    PFS (personal financial specialist.)    CFA (chartered financial analyst.)        If you’ve been living on a budget, which includes tracking every expense, and have created margin - an amount above what you need to live on and meet short and mid-term needs, you may benefit from a financial advisor or planner.    They could help you choose the right investments to reach your financial goals and structure your finances in a way that will provide you with the most benefit long term.    If you don’t have a budget and you have no margin or surplus beyond what you need to live on, you could benefit from a financial coach or counselor.     Reasons to hire a financial coach    You’re ready to stop talking about it and get a plan in place.    You don’t know where to start and would like a step-by-step blueprint so that you can reach your desired financial goals.    You want to stop worrying about money, have enough to live on and make sure you can retire someday.    You want the support and insights necessary to overcome the inevitable roadblocks that stop you from making progress    You want the accountability to maintain focus on your financial goals so that all the distractions in life, fighting for your attention, no longer derail your plans to achieve      financial well-being.       What a financial coach can do for you    Teach you how to manage your money through a proven system.    Provides feedback on progress so you can improve, make changes, and reach your goals.    Makes the journey to achieving your goal faster - less trial and error of doing it yourself.    Motivate you to achieve your full potential.    Help you process through difficult decisions in different seasons of life.     The biggest benefits a coach can provide is accountability and expertise.  Financial mistakes can set us back, sometimes for years.  The accountability a financial coach provides can help you avoid these big mistakes by keeping you focused on your goals.     RESOURCES    Request free 20-minute coaching consultation       

Episode 40
We’ve probably all had a coach at some point in our life, one that made us work harder, get stronger, or faster.  And although we may not have enjoyed the drills and the hard work he or she pushed us to do, we were grateful for their help because it was a benefit to us.  In the same sense, a financial coach can be a tremendous benefit to you and your financial well-being.

     

 
 
      Episode 39  Having a correct view of money and how you’re to use it is important. We’ve all heard the saying, “Money changes people.” That change can be good or bad, and the difference is directly tied to whether that person has the right view of money. On this episode we’re going to help you gain a better perspective on money and show you how it is directly tied to your purpose, the thing that you are meant to do.      SHOW NOTES:       TRUE FULFILLMENT AND HAPPINESS    Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan   “Happiness happens on the way to fulfillment. Dr. Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association, believes there are five factors that contribute to our happiness: positive emotion and pleasure, achievement, relationships, engagement, and meaning. Of these, he believes engagement and meaning are the most important. Becoming more engaged in what you do by finding ways to make your life more meaningful is the surest way to find lasting happiness. When our daily actions fulfill a bigger purpose, the most powerful and enduring happiness can occur.     FIVE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OUR HAPPINESS:    Positive Emotion & Pleasure    Achievement    Relationships    Engagement    Meaning       GAINING THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE ON MONEY        1. Realizing what money is and what its purpose is.     We have to realize there are outside influences that shape our view    Advertising, culture, materialism.      “More is better mentality.”    Wealth is increasing exponentially, but what are we doing with it?            2. Setting a proper lifestyle     Defining needs, wants, desires.    Our budget tool gives great guidelines for you to enjoy life at your income    Creating a plan that is based on your needs.    Money can only make you happy to a certain degree, optimum happiness from a baseline of income, but there is a baseline that when you go beyond it more money doesn’t really make you happy.      What are your core values?    Values that cause me to set a lifestyle cap:    Value time together, deeper relationship, intimacy in marriage.  I would rather live in a less expensive home so that I can come home at 5pm, so I can go on a date with my wife.    Value safety.    Value Comfort.    Understand that I can’t do “all of it” - so I choose to limit some things to focus on the things that matter to me.           What’s pushing against your core values?    Friends    Culture    Work Life            3. Living a Generous Lifestyle     I’m going to use my surplus to fulfill my purpose and improve the effectiveness of my purpose on this earth.    When you have a surplus beyond your basic lifestyle, then you can begin to be generous with others.    Generosity is adding value to someone's life    My business can add value to others    My unique gifts and talents can add value    My time can give value              4. Dangers that money and wealth presents     Becoming the focus - takes the focus off of your real purpose and passion    Not deciding how much is enough (lifestyle cap) - competes with your real passion and will eventually win out.    Financial bondage    Searching for meaning and fulfillment through materialism - feeds on itself (increases) because it can only provide temporary happiness and then you need another dose.        Unless you know what your purpose is in life, then you’re just making money to live, but never really live a fulfilled life.       RESOURCES    BUDGET FORMS    DEBT PAYOFF PLAN

Episode 39
Having a correct view of money and how you’re to use it is important. We’ve all heard the saying, “Money changes people.” That change can be good or bad, and the difference is directly tied to whether that person has the right view of money. On this episode we’re going to help you gain a better perspective on money and show you how it is directly tied to your purpose, the thing that you are meant to do.

     

 
 
      Episode 38  Having a correct view of money and how you’re to use it is important. We’ve all heard the saying, “Money changes people.” That change can be good or bad, and the difference is directly tied to whether that person has the right view of money. On this episode we’re going to help you gain a better perspective on money and show you how it is directly tied to your purpose, the thing that you are meant to do.      SHOW NOTES:       TRUE FULFILLMENT AND HAPPINESS    Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan   “Happiness happens on the way to fulfillment. Dr. Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association, believes there are five factors that contribute to our happiness: positive emotion and pleasure, achievement, relationships, engagement, and meaning. Of these, he believes engagement and meaning are the most important. Becoming more engaged in what you do by finding ways to make your life more meaningful is the surest way to find lasting happiness. When our daily actions fulfill a bigger purpose, the most powerful and enduring happiness can occur.     FIVE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OUR HAPPINESS:    Positive Emotion & Pleasure    Achievement    Relationships    Engagement    Meaning       GAINING THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE ON MONEY        1. Realizing what money is and what its purpose is.     We have to realize there are outside influences that shape our view    Advertising, culture, materialism.      “More is better mentality.”    Wealth is increasing exponentially, but what are we doing with it?            2. Setting a proper lifestyle     Defining needs, wants, desires.    Our budget tool gives great guidelines for you to enjoy life at your income    Creating a plan that is based on your needs.    Money can only make you happy to a certain degree, optimum happiness from a baseline of income, but there is a baseline that when you go beyond it more money doesn’t really make you happy.      What are your core values?    Values that cause me to set a lifestyle cap:    Value time together, deeper relationship, intimacy in marriage.  I would rather live in a less expensive home so that I can come home at 5pm, so I can go on a date with my wife.    Value safety.    Value Comfort.    Understand that I can’t do “all of it” - so I choose to limit some things to focus on the things that matter to me.            Resources    Budget Forms    Debt Payoff Plan    

Episode 38
Having a correct view of money and how you’re to use it is important. We’ve all heard the saying, “Money changes people.” That change can be good or bad, and the difference is directly tied to whether that person has the right view of money. On this episode we’re going to help you gain a better perspective on money and show you how it is directly tied to your purpose, the thing that you are meant to do.

     

 
 
      EPISODE 37  Credit card companies use psychology to incentivize our use of credit cards. Understanding the psychology involved in the purchases you make every day, especially when credit card use is involved, and having a financial plan to manage your expense, will equip you to make better financial decisions that will keep you in control of your money.      SHOW NOTES:       Use a Budget to Avoid Credit Card Debt  You must get away from looking at the cash in your account as your base line. You have to get to the place where you live on the budget.  Each budget category balance grows  month by month to cover future expenses in clothing, electricity, car repairs, Christmas, birthdays, home maintenance, car replacement, car repair, etc.     You think you have an extra $300 at the end of the month, but really that money should be going into a saving account earmarked for future expenses that you know are coming.     New tires aren’t an emergency, vacation isn’t an emergency, pet grooming or vaccines aren’t an emergency, all of these things should be planned for in a savings tracker.     Have a savings account where money is accumulated each month for a variety of categories.  Tracks those categories in an online tool or use an excel sheet to see how much money is in each category. All the money is in one savings account, but the actual savings is being tracked across several categories.     Example  I may have $3,000 in my savings account, but…    $500 is for house repairs.    $500 is for Christmas.     $1,000 is for future car replacement.    $1,000 is for vacation later in the year.    $200 is for upcoming pet expenses.     $400 is medical savings.    $400 is savings for my next phone.       Medical Debt     Medical debt almost always seems to be a part of credit card debt. Never put medical debt on a credit card. Never use a 401(k) loan to pay off medical debt, or use any line of secured debt to cover unsecured debt.    Hospitals don’t have a lot of leverage….almost no ability to collect from you.    Credit cards have some leverage, but it’s a lot of work for them, so they wait a long time to use it.    Your mortgage company has big leverage against you.    Medical charges are ALMOST ALWAYS negotiable    Cost of medical care is inflated to make up for those who cannot pay.    Whatever the charge is, it can usually be lowered.    You won’t get a discount if you don’t call. (Example: Ambulance charge for Leo’s daughter $575).    People with lower incomes qualify for reduced or free care.      You can offer payment for medical bills of $20 a month, or $10 a month, or even $5 a month.    Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with the medical facility or talk to your doctor about a cheaper treatment option. Especially for ongoing care that include expensive tests and procedures - Shots, MRI, Scans, every 6 months, etc.       Resources   Budget Forms   Debt Payoff Plan    

EPISODE 37
Credit card companies use psychology to incentivize our use of credit cards.  Understanding the psychology involved in the purchases you make every day, especially when credit card use is involved, and having a financial plan to manage your expense, will equip you to make better financial decisions that will keep you in control of your money.

     

 
 
      EPISODE 36  Learn the psychology behind credit card use and how reward programs and other tactics used by credit card companies incentivize our use of credit cards.  We believe understanding the psychology involved in the purchases you make every day, especially when credit card use is involved, will equip you to make better financial decisions that will keep you in control of your money.      SHOW NOTES:      Rewards & Points program.    People get sucked in thinking, “I’m making money” off of this.    You can be that person, who never pays interest and gets points, but even then, you are likely to fall in the trap of spending more just by swiping vs using cash.      Credit card - 12-18% more.    Debit card - 10-12% more.    Cash triggers pain points in the brain that cause you to remember your transaction longer, feel the pain of the purchase, and cause you to look for cheaper options so you can spend less.    Studies by:    Dun & Bradstreet    MIT    Journal of Consumer Research    Carnegie Mellon University    We are unconsciously willing to spend more.    The more cards you own, the large purchases you’re willing to make.    You’re more likely to make quicker purchases online, with less research.    Typically pay 50% - 100% more for non-physical items.    Just seeing credit card logos causes us to spend more than we otherwise would.           Most people will end up paying interest at some point in their life and unfortunately credit card companies count on a person getting stuck in the cycle of not being able to pay off the debt and having high interest your whole life, or for a long season of life.    Average rewards are between 1-3%    Average credit card interest rate is 15-29%    10X higher interest rate than the rewards rate.    Miss one payment or overspend one time and all of a sudden the costs can far exceed the rewards.    If you’re carrying a balance month to month, then you’re always losing out.      Add the cost of the annual fee, which can be from $100 to $450 annually, and you can see how little reward there is to reward programs.       People have gotten to the place where they swipe for everything in their life...gas, groceries, eating out, car payments, insurance payments, home repair, doctors.    47% of credit card holders carry a balance over month to month occasionally.    32% say they make only minimum payments some months.    Majority of people don’t actually utilize their rewards points on time, because they lose track of them and don’t manage them.    Having a budget gives you clarity on how much you actually have, which helps limit and control your spending.       You have to get away from looking at the cash in your account as your base line.  You have to get to the place where you live on the budget, and the account balance grows every month to cover future months expenses in clothing, electricity, car repairs, Christmas gifts, birthdays, home maintenance, car replacement, car repair, etc.    You might think you have an extra $300 at the end of the month, but really that money should be going into a saving account earmarked for future expenses that you know are coming.    New tires isn’t an emergency, vacation isn’t an emergency, pet grooming or vaccines aren’t an emergency, all of these things should be planned for in a savings tracker.    You should have a savings account where money is accumulated each month for a variety of categories.    Tracks those categories in an online tool, spreadsheet, or software.    Use an excel sheet to see how much money is in each category.    All the money is in one savings account, but the actual savings is being tracked across several categories.       I may have $4,000 in my savings account, but it's a total of multiple categories.    $500 is for house repairs.    $500 is for Christmas.    $1,000 is for future car replacement.    $1,000 is for vacation later in the year.    $200 is for upcoming pet expenses.    $400 is medical savings.    $400 is savings for my next phone.    So if I decide I want to buy a $3,000 TV with that savings account money, then I’ll go into debt at Christmas, or when the dog needs shots, or when I need a new phone.    Resources   Debt Payoff Plan   Create Your Budget   The Yearly Budget

EPISODE 36
Learn the psychology behind credit card use and how reward programs and other tactics used by credit card companies incentivize our use of credit cards.  We believe understanding the psychology involved in the purchases you make every day, especially when credit card use is involved, will equip you to make better financial decisions that will keep you in control of your money.

     

 
 
      EPISODE 35  In this episode we’re talking about some very specific types of debt that can severely damage your finances.  You’ve probably heard of payday loans or title loans, rent-to-own, or similar types of loans.  Well,... we’re going to dissect these type of loans and share how they work so that you can be better informed and hopefully avoid them and the danger they pose to your financial well-being.   SHOW NOTES:   Payday loans  A payday loan is essentially an advance against your next paycheck. You give the payday lender your pay stub as proof of income and tell them how much you want to borrow. They give you a loan for that amount, which you're expected to repay when you receive your paycheck.   Advertised for people with:  Bad credit.  Quick need for cash.  People in a pinch.    Typically pay 15% - 30% of what you borrow using your next paycheck.  If you borrow $100, then you write them a check for $130 and hand it to them to take out of your next paycheck.    Which can equivalate to 100% - 700% annual rate of interest.  Here’s a quick example:  Borrow $1,000 on a 6-month loan.  300% interest rate.  Monthly payment = $338.82  Total cost = $2032.92    Most common complaints  Lender charged fees or interest that I didn’t expect.  “They are taking money from my bank account without permission.”  “I’m making payments, but it’s not lowering my account.”  “Extent the loan fee.   Example: $100 Loan = $15 charge for the loan.  Now imagine a $900 loan with a $135 loan extension fee, which is simply $15 per $100. The person keeps rolling over the loan by paying the $135 each month, the borrower thinks they are paying down the loan and will be done in 7 months by paying the $135, 7 times. However, they have simply extended the loan 7 times and still owe the entire $900 even though they’ve already paid over $900 to the lender in the 7 months.  If you roll the loan over 4 times, then you pay $60 in fees for the $100 loan, plus the interest that has accrued on the loan at about 450% APR.  $15 - loan extension fee if you don’t pay if off in 14-30 days depending on the type of loan.        Median online payday loan cost is $23.53 per $100, which is a 613% annual percentage rate. If the rate isn’t paid in full on the first payday, then the loan extension fees allow them to keep the loan, but as they pay the fees, they don’t actually pay down the debt, just simply keep it going.     Title loans   Requirements  You own the vehicle clear from liens.  Steady source of income.  Not in bankruptcy or coming out of bankruptcy.    Similar problems as payday loan & fast cash places, high interest keeps you stuck in the cycle.  Plus, if you don’t pay, then they take away your car, which may be your only means of transportation to work, so they threaten your ability to work if you don’t pay by taking your car away. This added fear causes people to agree to crazy payments and high fees for the opportunity to extend the loan, because they are trapped by the debt.     Rent to own  New OLED TV   Buy it Now Price: $999.99  Rent-to-Own Price: $1,759  Interest Rate: 60%  Lowest Price Found for Same Product (new): $499.00   New Full Refrigerator   Buy it Now Price: $1,299.99  Rent-to-Own Price: $1,999.76  Interest Rate: 60%  Lowest Price Found for Same Product (new): $699.00   Newest PlayStation System   Buy it Now Price: $299.99  Rent-to-Own Price: $839.88  Interest Rate: 33%  Lowest Price Found for Same Product (new): $249.00   Rent-to-Own a Home   The Basics    Renting to own a home is somewhat similar to a car lease.  Seller gives his tenant the right to buy the house at some point in the future, usually one to three years out, for a price that is agreed upon today.  Tenant will pay a fee, called option money, that will keep open the option of buying.  A 20% premium above the typical rent for the house is paid by tenant, with a portion credited to the tenant for an eventual down payment.    Things to know and be aware of    If tenant decides not to purchase the house at the end of the rental term, none of the extra money that he paid to the seller comes back to him.  Tenant pays above market value for a rental, which is lost in the end.  Unlike in traditional rental scenarios, the tenant is often responsible for repairs and maintenance during the lease term, and any money or sweat equity you put into the rent-to-own property will not be reimbursed.  Scammers will target people that they know won’t be able to qualify for a loan, and they will charge the premium on the rent, knowing that they will not have to sell the house to the person at the end because they can’t afford to buy the whole home in the contract period.  Scammers may also try to lock you in to require you to buy the house at the end, or else you pay a major fee to get out from the contract. They knew you wouldn’t be able to buy it, but they put in the contract another large fee if you fail to fulfill the contract.     Resources   Debt Payoff Plan   Create Your Budget   T  he Yearly Budget

EPISODE 35
In this episode we’re talking about some very specific types of debt that can severely damage your finances.  You’ve probably heard of payday loans, title loans, rent-to-own, or similar types of loans.  Well,... we’re going to dissect these type of loans and share how they work so that you can be better informed and hopefully avoid them and the danger they pose to your financial well-being.

     

 
 
      EPISODE 34  In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about what happens when you can’t make your minimum payments, when you start to get so upside down on your debts that you're using food money to pay credit card bills, and you realize you’re stuck in a cycle you can’t break out of. We’ll share some strategies and tools you can use to gain control of your debt.  SHOW NOTES:   How do you know when you’re in financial bondage?   •    Your feeling financial stress - juggling bills that are due with the timing of your paycheck. •    You’re making credit card payments, often more than the minimum, but the balance is still growing. •    You’re so far upside down on your debt that you can’t even make the minimum payments. •    You don’t have the ability to pay your debts but you keep making the payments by using your income to make the payments and the credit cards to pay for things like food and gas. •    The balances grow until their maxed out and you can’t make the minimum payments and also provide for your basic needs.  How can you get out of financial bondage?   1.    Recognize you’re in bondage.    Understand what you can and cannot do.    It’s not a matter of what you want to do, no one wants to be in the position of not being able to pay their monthly payments, but you have to recognize and accept it when you are in this position.     2.    Stop the financial bleeding.    You can’t just ignore it, slap a band-aid on it and hope it gets better.    You actually have to stop everything and finally deal with it.    Most people in debt act too late. They continue making payments even though they don’t have the income to do so.    They make it worse by not recognizing the situation, admitting it’s a mess, and taking action to stop it.    3.    Spend according to a financial plan (budget).    Provide for needs first.    Save for a rainy day - it will come.    Then tackle your debts.    4.    Prevent future indebtedness    Use a budget to direct all spending decisions.    Stop using credit cards.    Use cash for hard to control areas (food, recreation, gifts, etc.)    Only borrow for appreciating items and when the payment fits into your budget without leaving another category unfunded or underfunded.    Dealing with existing debt     Do the work necessary to deal with your debt.  Don’t pass your problem on to someone else. Bankruptcy is not the answer - there is no easy, fresh start.     Know how much you can pay toward your debt.      Create a budget t hat clearly defines your needs and shows what you can actually put toward your debt. Priority should be:    Needs first (mortgage, car payment, etc.)    Saving second (prevents taking on future debt)    Debt repayment last.       Negotiate with your creditors  for a reduction in interest rate or forgiveness of balance or late fees.     When you can’t pay all the minimum payments.     Use the pro-rated debt system.    Debt snowball tool (second worksheet tab) - each debt gets a percentage of the total amount you can put toward debts.    Contact your creditors and let them know your situation.    Provide them with a letter and a one-page budget to show your current situation.        Steps to take:    Download debt payoff plan    List all your debts smallest balance to largest balance    Use pro-rata plan to set up a payment plan based on how much you can set aside each month for debts, which you can only determine if you have a good working budget.    Create a budget using the Create Your Budget spreadsheet.    Capture your income and all your expenses for 30 days in order to create a working budget.    Lower your lifestyle expenses as much as possible and increase income as much as possible to maximize margin.         Resources   Debt Payoff Plan   Creating Your Budget   The Yearly Budget

EPISODE 34
In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about what happens when you can’t make your minimum payments, when you start to get so upside down on your debts that you're using food money to pay credit card bills, and you realize you’re stuck in a cycle you can’t break out of. We’ll share some strategies and tools you can use to gain control of your debt.

     

 
 
      Episode 33  Money is a difficult topic for most couples, especially early in their relationship.  We’re continuing our conversation with Russell Baxter, a professional counselor (LPC LCDC-I) who works with couples to help them with how money impacts their relationship. Russell runs a counseling practice in Grapevine, Texas. He teaches clinical continuing education classes as well as classes on finances and marriage and is currently writing a book on the topic.  SHOW NOTES:  MONEY AND MARRIAGE - AN INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL BAXTER LPC LCDC-I   Sharing Your Heart, Sharing Your Treasure -  book by Russell Baxter (coming soon)      
   
     “ “Where your treasure is, your Heart will be also.” ” 
   
   — Matthew 6:21 
       When you talk and agree on finances with your spouse you improve your   intimacy and share your heart.   COMMON SITUATIONS IN MARRIAGES TODAY   CPA Home  Joint Venture Home  Wild West Home  A Team Home    Money is complicated because it’s influenced by our emotions.         Wounding   Impulsivity = Insecurity, Uncertainty, Fear, No Trust  No Communication = Decrease in self-esteem, Trust, and More Resentment  No Plan = Chaos, Anxiety, Feeling Trapped/Stuck   Healing   Having a Plan = Comfortable spending, Decrease in Anxiety  Accountability = More Impulse Control and Trust  Planning for the Future = Foster Safety and Security in Relationship  Communicate about Desires = More Vulnerability      How a couple can get started managing money together as a team   Just Talk About It…    Talking about our money is vital and a skill.  It Takes Practice!      We must Create a  Foundation for Conversations :    
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
  
  
  
  
       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


         Action – Follow through/ Accountability  Budget – Execution / Limits  Plans – How / Time Frame  Goals – Dreams / Direction  Principles / Priorities – What’s important to us? Boundaries for our Family   When we are having a problem with an upper layer refer to the level below. Our foundation is not dependent on our feelings and impulses; it is based on our principles and our priorities. This process is messy and takes time, especially if you are coming from the Wild West.   Constructive Arguments    Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing  Own your part/Take Responsibility  Watch Your Pronouns  Mine, Yours  Ours  “That’s your problem/debt”  “You can borrow my money”      Working Like A Team    What do you want?  How can you have what you want within our Foundations?  What can I do to help?      A Healthy Team is:    Isn’t looking at how other teams play  Cares more about the team then the individual  Doesn’t beat up a player who makes a mistake (Shaming)  Meets frequently  Reviews errors and changes the plan  Keeps their eye on the prize       RESOURCES    Combining Finances for Couples - Episode 18   Managing Money Well for a Lifetime - Episode 29   More information about Russell Baxter

Episode 33
Money is a difficult topic for most couples, especially early in their relationship.  We’re continuing our conversation with Russell Baxter, a professional counselor (LPC LCDC-I) who works with couples to help them with how money impacts their relationship. Russell runs a counseling practice in Grapevine, Texas. He teaches clinical continuing education classes as well as classes on finances and marriage and is currently writing a book on the topic.

     

 
 
        Episode 32  Money is a difficult topic for most couples, especially early in their relationship.  We’re talking with Russell Baxter, a professional counselor (LPC LCDC-I) who works with couples to help them with how money impacts their relationship.  Russell runs a counseling practice in Grapevine, Texas.  He teaches clinical continuing education classes as well as classes on finances and marriage and is currently writing a book on the topic.  SHOW NOTES:  Money and Marriage - An interview with Russell Baxter LPC LCDC-I   Sharing Your Heart, Sharing Your Treasure -  book by Russell Baxter (coming soon)          
   
     “ Where your treasure is, your Heart will be also. ” 
   
   — Matthew 6:21 
       When you talk and agree on finances with your spouse you improve your    intimacy and share your heart.       Heart is:   Thoughts                     Passions Desires                        Dreams Intentions                    Interests Attitude                        Character     These are the things that we are trying to get our clients to share with each other.     Money Fights/Money Problems shows up in every major study as one of the most common reasons for divorce.     Common situations in marriages today      1. CPA Home    One partner manages all of the finances  Other partner knows little to nothing about finances  Very common in single income homes  One partner makes most decisions and even sometimes gives the other an  “Allowance” or lets them know that they can spend  “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”  “You handle it.”    2. Joint Venture Home    Tend to not talk about a plan  Very common in remarried couples  Both partners manage their own accounts  Checking  Debit  Debt  Retirement    3. Wild West Home    No plan / budget  Spend as long as we have money  Talk about desires but lack a plan or accountability  Not stewarding well    4. A Team Home    Two people working together  Communications  Talking about what we want and a way to get it      Money is complicated because it represents:  Safety              Fulfillment                  Purpose                      Shame Security           Anxiety                       Self-Esteem                Guilt Future             Possibilities                Healing                        Inadequacy      Whether spoken or assumed we each associate with money in an emotional way.      Two main reasons money problem stick around:    Assumptions  Implications      How can managing money help heal or wound your spouse?   Wounding   Impulsivity = Insecurity, Uncertainty, Fear, No Trust No Communication = Decrease in self-esteem, Trust, and More Resentment No Plan = Chaos, Anxiety, Feeling Trapped/Stuck   Healing   Having a Plan = Comfortable spending, Decrease in Anxiety Accountability = More Impulse Control and Trust Planning for the Future = Foster Safety and Security in Relationship Communicate about Desires = More Vulnerability    Resources   Combining Finances for Couples - Episode 18   Managing Money Well for a Lifetime - Episode 29   More information about Russell Baxter

Episode 32
Money is a difficult topic for most couples, especially early in their relationship.  We’re talking with Russell Baxter, a professional counselor (LPC LCDC-I) who works with couples to help them with how money impacts their relationship.  Russell runs a counseling practice in Grapevine, Texas.  He teaches clinical continuing education classes as well as classes on finances and marriage and is currently writing a book on the topic.

     

 
 
      Episode 31  This is episode 2 of starting and operating a small business with Jordan Kennedy, the owner of a small photography, videography and media business.  Among other things, we’re discussing finance, marketing, sales and working with clients.  SHOW NOTES:  Managing the finances of the business    ·      Have Stewardship (Good Manager) Mindset      
   
     “ Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. ” 
   
   — Proverb 
      Personal   Social Security  Personal Accounts  General Checking  Short-Term Savings  Emergency Savings  Giving Account  Debit / Credit   Business   EIN or S.S.  Business Accounts  Business Checking  Business Card  Retained Earning  Link to Paypal  Link to Intuit Quickbooks       Self Employment Taxes vs W2 Taxes  Business Structures:   Sole Proprietor  Partnership  LLC  C Corp  S Corp   Taxes   12.4% Social Security  2.9% Medicare  15% Federal  0%-13% State     1. Should I quit my job to start my dream business?   Don’t quit your day job just yet!    Starting a business can be financially draining.  Making a profit can take a while - 2 or more years is common.  Having a base income coming in will remove the stress of having to make a profit quickly.  Save a year's salary to live on while you build the business.  Spouse working can help cover some of the living expenses.  Working part-time or full-time while you build the business can provide the needed income.        2. Do I need a Support Network?  Being a business owner can be an isolating experience at times.  Especially if you’re a solo business owner.   Friends and family for personal support and encouragement.  Accountability partner - set goals and hold each other accountable.  Business coach - help you find solutions to problems and work through tough decisions.  Facebook and Linkedin.  Mastermind group (peer group).  Discuss problems and solutions  Hold each other accountable to goals  Support and encouragement when you want to quit.       3. How do you find clients?   Word of mouth (referrals) are generally the best.  Website.  Social media.  Marketing and advertising.      4. How do you find and work with clients?   Identify your ideal client.  Have a process for client acquisition.  Interview them as much as they are interviewing you.    Price your products or services correctly.  Offer a great deal of value.      What not to do when running a business  1. Don’t quit - keep trying   Running a business is like a marathon.    You will have ups and you will have downs, possibly in the same week or even in the same day.  You will gain clients and you will lose clients.  That’s just part of having a business.  I don’t know of any business that hasn’t experienced failure and disappointment, often many of them, before success came.    Instead of becoming discouraged, focus on becoming resilient, learning how to handle stress productively.  Don’t give up!  Keep trying!  Learn and grow from your failures.  Success will come eventually.  Don’t try to do everything yourself.  Don’t forget why you started.        2. Don’t stop evolving   Nothing you’re doing now is set in stone.  Your strategy, your marketing plan, your target market - it must change and evolve with time.  The world is changing more and more rapidly each day.  The best way to remain relevant is to keep your eyes open for changes that will impact your business and your mind open to new ideas.  You must stay flexible.

Episode 31
This is episode 2 of starting and operating a small business with Jordan Kennedy, the owner of a small photography, videography and media business.  Among other things, we’re discussing finance, marketing, sales and working with clients.

     

 
 
      Episode 30  In this episode, we’re talking about starting and operating a small business with Jordan Kennedy, the owner of a small photography, videography and media business.  Among other things, we’re discussing finance, marketing, sales and working with clients.  Show notes:  How to get started in a small business     1.     Find your niche  ·       Do what you’re naturally good at.  Don’t start something because it has the potential to make a lot of money.  You may end up successful but miserable.  Do what you like and what you’re passionate about.  ·       When researching your niche competition is a good thing - sign that the service or product you plan on providing is in need.  ·       Focus on one thing until successful. Trying to do too much too soon will only lead to a lot of work that will not produce a return.     2.     Be very specific with your goals  ·       Quarterly goals, 1-year, 3-year, 5-year goals.  ·       When it comes to revenues, break them down to into smaller numbers so they’re easier to obtain.  o   If you need to make $25K in a quarter, what does that mean in terms of sales?    o   How many items do you need to sell each week or each month?  o   How many speaking engagements do you need to book?  o   How many workshops do you need to teach and how many students do you need in each?        “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”  Your success relies on defining measurable goals, regularly documenting and assessing your progress and reviewing your results.     Add professionalism to your business  ·       Be as legitimate as possible  ·       Have clear and concise communication  ·       Have well-thought out, written contracts and other documents (stay away from the “handshake”)  ·       Don't be afraid to say "no!"  ·       Be organized   ·       Wave Apps      Branding  ·       Style Guide - Color Palette, Fonts, Look & Feel (pictures)  ·       Target customer?  ·       What’s the promise you make to the consumer. Brand is a promise.  ·       Consistent on website, social media, emails, ppt presentations, any marketing and products.     Delegate whenever possible  ·       Do the things that only you can do.  This will grow and make your business profitable.  ·       Delegate the administrative stuff or anything else you’re not good at.     ·       Hiring people may cost you money but if they’re the right people they will do a better job and they will do it faster than you.  This will free you up to do more of what will directly benefit the bottom line.          Passive/Freelance Income:  ·       If you're a creative, a great way to make passive income is through social media and stock photo/video.  ·       YouTube can be a great way to make passive income when utilizing ad-sense and monetizing videos.        Renting vs. Buying Equipment:   Purchase your "core" equipment and then rent "specialized" equipment. This could apply to tools, production gear, etc.  Sometimes you just have to do the math. If you have 5 prospective jobs in a single year and the equipment you need could be paid off with the same amount as it would cost to rent, then go for it!  Know the value of and longevity of what you're purchasing.    Ex. What will the item re-sale for it 5 years? Is this technology going to be obsolete in the near future?

Episode 30
In this episode, we’re talking about starting and operating a small business with Jordan Kennedy, the owner of a small photography, videography and media business.  We’re discussing finance, marketing, sales and working with clients.

     

 
 
      Episode 29  Managing your money well for a lifetime will provide you financial security and a comfortable retirement. Would you like to know how to do it? In this episode we're interviewing Ernie and Kirsti Frausto. Tune in to hear their story and learn how they managed to enjoy a good life while preparing for fun retirement.  In this episode you will learn:   How a financial plan can help you achieve your financial goals.  The secrets to reaching your retirement goal even if you suffer setbacks.  How to train your kids to manage money successfully.  Why working together with your spouse will help you go further faster.  Why it's never too late to start saving for your future.    

Episode 29
​​​​​​​Managing your money well for a lifetime will provide you financial security and a comfortable retirement. Would you like to know how to do it? In this episode we're interviewing Ernie and Kirsti Frausto. Tune in to hear their story and learn how they managed to enjoy a good life while preparing for fun retirement.

     

 
 
               Episode 27  In the last episode, we discussed the benefits of having a revocable living trust as your estate plan instead of a will.  In this episode we’ll cover how to set up a living trust and how to plan the distribution of your assets.   SHOWNOTES:    How to set up a living trust   You can use an online provider like LegalZoom or RocketLawyer, or you can find an attorney that specializes in estate planning in your area.  The cost for an attorney to set up your estate plan will be between $1,200 to $2000 for a couple or $1,000 to $1,500 for a single person.   LegalZoom.com  - Between $249 to $299 to set up a living trust.   Rocket Lawyer  - $39.99 per document or $39.99 per month membership,   which includes a 30 minute session with a lawyer on every legal matter, ask a lawyer your legal question, and all documents.  If you’re a church or non-profit organization, you can look into  Financial Planning Ministry , who specializes in estate plans and has a full-service process for your members or employees.  Whichever you decide to use, make sure you do your homework.    Learn about estate plans and educate yourself on the basics so you’ll know which one is best for you.  LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, and FPM are all great resources to learn from.        Checklist for creating a living trust   List of your assets you want to include in the trust including your house, car, jewelry, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, etc.  Documents - titles and deeds of property, stock certificates, life insurance policies, etc.  Choose your beneficiaries.  Choose a successor trustee and a secondary trustee.  Choose someone to manage property for minor children.  Prepare the trust document.  Sign and notarize the trust.  Fund the trust - transfer property and assets into the trust.  Store and keep your trust up to date.      Medical Directive   Artificial feeding (feeding tube).  CPR ( cardiopulmonary resuscitation ).  Life-support equipment including ventilators ( breathing  machines).  Do not resuscitate (DNR).      Health-care proxy:   This is a legal document in which an individual designates another person to make health-care decisions if he or she is rendered incapable of making their wishes known. The health-care proxy has, in essence, the same rights to request or refuse treatment that the individual would have if capable of making and communicating decisions.     Durable Power of Attorney     Through this type of advance directive, an individual executes legal documents that provide the power of attorney to others in the case of an incapacitating medical condition. The durable power of attorney allows an individual to make bank transactions, sign social security checks, apply for disability, or simply write checks to pay the utility bill while an individual is medically incapacitated.      How to distribute your estate     Without specific instructions to direct asset distribution, family members can be left guessing what a deceased person would want -- or decide what to do themselves.  In some cases, a probate court has to step in and resolve bitter disputes by distributing numerous items. It’s a textbook example of the headaches, heartaches, and expense that can result from inadequate estate planning.  To help avoid this in your family, there are a number of steps you can take to distribute your estate:    Give away gifts while you are still alive.    Remember, you’re allowed to give up to $14,000 to as many individuals as you like.  Couples can give $28,000 per year.  If there are specific items you want to give to loved ones, present them now. In other words, get them out of your estate.  It can be rewarding to see your prized possessions go to individuals who appreciate them.  Depending on the size of your house, you may have thousands of items.  Throw away or donate things you no longer need. (A donation to a qualified charity may result in a tax deduction.)       Make specific bequests in your will or in a letter of intent.   If you want your car to go to your daughter or your golf clubs to go to your grandson, put it in writing.  Without detailed instructions and guidance, the executor may have to devise an equitable system for distributing your possessions.  That can place a large burden on the executor and lead to disputes among your heirs.       Choose your executor carefully.   The executor generally exercises discretion in distributing personal and household items.  So it's important to name a trustworthy person with a fair, impartial, reasonable personality -- especially if there are sibling rivalry issues.  You want someone who will fulfill your intentions.  The right executor can reduce the chance of litigation.      No matter who you name as an executor, he/she will appreciate clear, written instructions.      Guide for dividing your estate among your heirs    Use a “fair” division of all your assets when appropriate.   If one of your beneficiaries is disabled, they may need more resources to take care of themselves after you are gone. You might consider  establishing a trust  for their care.  Some of your beneficiaries might be your step-children. In this situation, they will probably inherit from their biological parents. You probably will want to leave them less than you leave to your biological children.  You might have given one beneficiary gifts during your life. For example, you might have provided the down payment for a child’s home.  One beneficiary might have been instrumental in growing a family business. It makes sense to leave them the business instead of your other children.  One of your beneficiaries might waste money because of a gambling or substance abuse addiction. In this case, a trust can help ensure that they cannot spend the money unless they meet certain conditions.       Ask your heirs if they want sentimental gifts.   Something small, like a tea cup, might not have much monetary value. However, it could be your youngest daughter’s favorite item from childhood, and she might resent you if you don’t give it to her. You can head off disagreements after your death if you ask your beneficiaries what they want.  In your will or trust, you can identify who gets what property using a separate memorandum. Make sure you mention the memorandum in your will or trust.  It might be easiest to give sentimental objects away during your life, particularly if they aren’t worth much.  However, problems can arise if the sentimental gift is valuable. Keep in mind the “fair” measure for distribution to avoid making the other beneficiaries resentful.       Set expectations in advance   Discuss your estate plan with your family.  Your heirs may be expecting a certain inheritance and perhaps planning on it.  If they aren’t inheriting as much as they expect, let them know.  The worst thing you can do is to blindside someone after death.  If you're worried about fighting or resentment, write out explanations and justifications for your gifts. Leave behind messages stating why each person is receiving each gift.        RESOURCES     Legal Zoom   Rocket Lawyer   Financial Planning Ministry         

Episode 27
​​​​​​​
In the last episode, we discussed the benefits of having a revocable living trust as your estate plan instead of a will.  In this episode we’ll cover how to set up a living trust and how to plan the distribution of your assets.

     

 
 
               Episode 26  In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about estate planning and what you need to know about wills and living trusts so you can be prepared to manage your assets and ensure your family is taken care of even after you’re gone.    SHOWNOTES:     60% of Americans do not have a plan for how their estate will be handled after they die.      Perhaps it’s because they’re in good health or young and don’t feel they need to worry about it right now.  Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and no one is guaranteed tomorrow.   No matter what age you are, if you’re an adult and have any assets you should have an estate plan.      If you think you don’t have any assets you’re wrong.    If you have a checking or savings account, own a car, a home,  life insurance , furniture, or any personal possessions, you have assets and you need an estate plan.   Life insurance  - you should have enough coverage for you and your spouse to provide for  your children in case you or you and your spouse pass unexpectedly.  An estate plan is vital if you both die and you have children.     What is an estate plan?     An estate plan is simply a plan for how your assets will be managed or distributed after you’re gone.    No doubt you’ve heard of a will.  A will is one instrument you can use to direct how your assets will be handled.     A better instrument is a  living trust  because it better protects your assets , which is what you should be after.     Why should I have an estate plan?     Aside from the financial benefit of having an estate plan,  the most important reason to have one is to protect your family.     We’ve all heard of family’s squabbling over mom's and dad’s estate.  Don’t hope your heirs will play nice, guarantee it.  Not having an estate plan puts the pressure on the family to divide your assets in a way that’s good for everyone, which is asking a lot.     An estate plan allows you to decide how you want your assets divided.   If anyone’s unhappy about the division of the estate, they’ll be unhappy with you, and not each other.     What’s the difference between a will and a living trust?     A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children.  A living trust includes a will for your medical directives, while giving you the most protection and control of your financial assets.  Because a will can only go into effect after you die, it provides no protection if you become physically or mentally incapacitated.  The court could easily take control of your assets even before you die.       A revocable living trust lets you keep control of your assets while you are living  - even if you become incapacitated, as well as after you die.     Why is a living trust better than a will?      A living trust will avoid probate while a will will not.   Probate is a legal process through which the court ensures that, when you die, your debts are paid and your assets are distributed according to your wishes.     If you don’t have a living trust, your assets are distributed according to state law.   A living trust can include a will and is used to designate how assets, that are not included in the trust, are to be distributed. Sometimes people don't move all their assets to the trust or obtain properties after the trust is created so they need a way to dictate how those assets are to be disbursed.      Why you should avoid probate    1. It can be expensive   Probate will cost the estate legal fees, executor fees, and other court costs, which must be paid before the assets can be distributed to your heirs.    The more assets you own and more dispersed they are the more costliest probate will be.   2. It takes time   Probate can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years but can be longer.  Your assets will be frozen at least part of the time until an inventory can be made.  Nothing can be distributed without a court and executor approval.  This could affect your family should they need the money to live on.   3. It’s public   Probate is a public process, so anyone can see what you owned, whom you owed, and who will receive your assets.    This exposes your heirs to unscrupulous solicitors and can cause disgruntled heirs to contest your will.   What are the benefits of a living trust?    1. It Avoids probate   A living trust will keep your estate out of probate saving money and time and keeping your estate private.   2. Reduces or eliminates estate taxes   Federal estate taxes can be expensive (35%-55%) and they must be paid in cash, usually within 9 months after you die.    A living trust gives you the capability to control and manage your assets so you can legally reduce or eliminate estate taxes.  One way to reduce estate taxes is to reduce the size of your estate before you die.    Spend some of it and enjoy it!  Give some of your estate to your heirs before you die.  You’ll experience the satisfaction of seeing your gift bless your kids, grandkids, or perhaps a non-profit organization, something you won’t be able to experience if you wait until you die.  You’re allowed to give up to $14,000 to as many individuals as you like.  Couples can give $28,000 per year.  Example: A couple can give $14K to each of their 4 children for a total of $112,000 per year.  Give to causes you care about     3. Provides full control of your estate   As the trustee of your estate, while you’re alive, you can manage your assets as you wish.    The trustee you designate will manage your estate after your death, ensuring your wishes are carried out, all along your assets are protected and guarded against unnecessary expenses.   4. Customized distribution of your assets   Through a living trust you can designate who will receive your assets, retirement benefits, and proceeds from a life insurance policy.     You can direct the guardianship of your children  – especially if any of them have special needs, to whomever you think is best suited to raise them.  If your children are minors or young adults, you can coordinate the release of fund from the trust based on a timeline and the financial maturity of your children.       Conclusion   An estate plan is for everyone.   At the very least you should have a will.  A better option is a living trust.  Although it's more involved than a basic will and may require an estate attorney to set up, don't let that stop you.  The benefits are more than worth the expense because it provides the protection and flexibility you want for managing your estate.             

Episode 26
In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about estate planning and what you need to know about wills and living trusts so you can be prepared to manage your assets and ensure your family is taken care of even after you’re gone.

     

 
 
               Episode 25  Buying a house is a BIG deal!  When purchased at the right time and within your financial ability, a house can be great for your family.  In this episode we help you understand how much house you can afford.  We break down all the housing related numbers to help buy the right priced house.  SHOWNOTES:      How much house can you afford?   “Mort” “Gage” =Death Pledge   Mortgage lenders use something called qualification ratios to determine how much they will lend to a borrower. Although each lender uses slightly different ratios, most are within the same range. Some lenders will lend a bit more, some a bit less. The ratios below are an average of what the industry uses as standard.  Rules to affordability (Bank's Method)   Max Principal + Interest + Taxes + Insurance (PITI) payment 28% of gross monthly income.  For an $80K combined gross annual income, mortgage should not exceed $1866.    Max housing cost 32% of gross monthly income, or $2133.  One of the best way to keep your finances healthy is to keep your housing cost as low as possible.  Having a lower cost mortgage payment and for a shorter period of time will free up money you can save to ensure your financial future.    Max total debt payments including your mortgage not to exceed 40% of gross income, or $2667.      Calculating how much house you can buy   Assuming a 30- year mortgage with a fixed 4.5% interest rate, every $100,000 borrowed costs $507 per month.  ($1244 / $507) x $100,000 = $245,000 + down payment    Example:   $245,000 house   Total Housing Cost = $2133 (32 % of gross income).  Mortgage (P & I) = $1,244  Insurance = $125  Property Taxes = $497  Other housing exp. = $267 (electric, water, gas, internet, cable).   $80,000 Gross - 18% (Federal and FICA) = $65,600  or $5467/mo.  Total Housing Cost $2133 = 39% of Net Income ($2133 / $5467)      Our Recommendations ( 30% of Net vs 32% of Gross)  Use 30% of Net Income to calculate your mortgage and housing cost  (Spending Guidelines)  $80,000 Gross = $65,600 Net Total for Housing Cost - 30% of $65,600 = $19,680/yr. or $1640/mo.   Example :  $170,000 Loan ($200,000 House with $30,000 down payment)   Total Housing Cost = $1640/mo.  Mortgage = $861  Property Tax = $340  Insurance = $110  Other Housing Expenses = $329  Electricity  Water  Gas  Internet         Shopping for your house    Determine what you  need  and what you  want  in a house.  Understanding the difference between what’s a need and what’s a want is important because once you start looking you’ll need to prioritize needs over wants.  You have to get all your needs but can skip out on some wants if the budget doesn’t allow it.  Start with your dream home.  Where would it be located?  What size would it be?  How many bedrooms? Bathrooms?  2 or 3 car garage?  Size of lot / backyard space?  Swimming pool?      Now, based on the price you know you can afford you can begin searching for a suitable house.  This is where a real estate agent can help.  You may need to compromise by doing the following:  Increase commute to get a bigger and better home that meets more of your wants or cross off some of the wants to have a shorter commute or be closer to the city.  Get a slightly smaller house (3 instead of 4 bedrooms) in the location or neighborhood you want.  Add the swimming pool later.  Get an older home in the area you want, which you can update later.     Focus on “value items”    Items that add value include:  Dual-pane windows  Granite countertops  Hardwood floors  More Land    Nice landscaping  A beautiful view  Top-rated school district.           How to find a realtor    A licensed real estate agent must also be a member of the National Association of Realtors. This requires additional training above the licensing requirements that all agencies must meet. Realtors:  Complete ethics courses and exams, and  Make a commitment to uphold the association’s ethics standards, which are more stringent than both federal and state laws.    Word of mouth referrals are generally how people find realtors but, be careful.  Make sure to interview the person to make sure they will do a great job for you.  Interview 2 to 3 realtors to make sure you can find one that will serve you best.  The realtor should take the time to educate you in the process so you understand every step of the transaction.  He/she should offer insight and knowledge but not push you or try to sell you something you don’t want       RESOURCES    RENT VS BUY CALCULATOR   MORTGAGE CACULATOR   BUDGET FORMS AND TUTORIALS   SPENDING GUIDELINES         

Episode 25
Buying a house is a BIG deal!  When purchased at the right time and within your financial ability,  a house can be great for your family.  In this episode we help you understand how much house you can afford.  We break down all the housing related numbers to help buy the right priced house.

     

 
 
               Episode 24  Buying a house is a BIG deal!  When purchased at the right time and within your financial ability, a house can be great for your family.  In this episode we break down the house buying process so you can be totally prepared for buying your first or next house.  Shownotes:    Should you buy a house?   Buying a house is a big deal!  It’s a lot of work and not always a good investment.  Before you take the leap it’s best to understand what you’re getting into because it’s a big commitment.   Where are you in your financial journey?   Do you have a written budget in place, so you know what’s coming in and going out?  Do you have 3-6 month emergency fund?  Have you paid off the majority of your debt? (student loans, credit cards, car loans)  Do you have a down payment saved on top of your emergency fund?  Do you have money saved for furniture or any needed maintenance?  Are you ready for closing costs?      Why do you want to buy a house?  Is now the best time to buy your first house?    Don’t buy because someone told you you should or because someone told you paying rent is “throwing money away.”  Don’t buy because all your friends are doing it.  Don’t buy because the interest rates are low or because it’s a buyers market.  Buy because you’re settling down and need a place to live for a minimum of 5 years.  Buy because a house would better meet your family’s needs.  Buy because you’re financially ready.      Financial Requirements      Great credit  - You might get approved for a mortgage with a score in the 600s but, a score of 720 or higher will get you the best rates and save you, quite literally, tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.   Credit Reports:  https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action   Credit Score:  https://www.creditkarma.com/       Cash down payment -  Although you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down payment (FHA loan) , we don’t recommend it.  Put at least 20 percent down to avoid being upside down on your loan and to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).     Cash on hand -  Aside from the down payment, banks want to see that buying a home isn’t going to drain your account. And it’s good form to have an emergency fund leftover after all the closing costs and moving expenses are paid.     Solid employment -  Next to your credit score, this is most important. The longer you’ve been at your job, the better. If you’re self-employed, prepare for a minor battle to get approved for your mortgage: Most lenders will want to see at least two years of tax returns and will figure your income as an average over the last two years, which could potentially reduce the amount of financing for which you can qualify.      Getting Financially Prepared      Step 1: Determine how much house you can afford    Keep your total housing cost at around 30% of your net income.  Check out the  spending guidelines  to get more accurate.  Will you live in it at least 5 years?  If not, renting will be cheaper. Use a  rent vs buy calculator    to determine if it makes financial sense to buy.  Don’t think of your home as an investment.  An investment puts money into your pocket, while a liability takes money out of your pocket.  A house costs money to buy and to maintain (taxes, insurance, maintenance and upgrades). It will likely go up in value, but so will your expenses as it raises in value.    Step 2: Get your finances in order to prepare for the mortgage application     Check your credit score.   Credit Karma or your bank.  If you’re under 720 work on improving the score (about 6 months) before taking on a mortgage.   Save for the down payment and closing costs.   No less than 10% down payment (20% preferred).  Closing costs can range between 2% and 5% of house price.   Gather your documents   Pay stubs / W2’s.  Bank statements.  Self-employed - tax returns for the last 2 years.      Step 3: Shop for a mortgage      Get pre-approved.   Mortgage pre-approval is free and you have no obligation to purchase.  It helps to present you as a serious, qualified buyer when buying a house .      Mortgage types    There are fixed-rates and adjustable rates (ARMs).  You can take out a mortgage for 30 years or as little as five years (interest rates are typically higher the longer the term of the loan).  We recommend a fixed-rate 15yr mortgage if you can afford it.  It’s good to become familiar with how mortgage rates work and the different kinds of loans that are available.  Run some scenarios through a  mortgage calculator  to see how different terms and rates will affect your monthly payment.      Mortgage fees    To make matters worse, mortgage lenders charge fees that aren’t necessarily reflected in the interest rate. There can be fees for appraising the home, checking your credit, and preparing documentation.  With some loans you have the option to pay “points” at closing that will reduce your interest rate. Points are essentially prepaid interest. This can be a tricky decision, but it can make sense if 1) you can afford to put down the extra cash and 2) expect to carry the mortgage for many, many years.       Private mortgage insurance (PMI)     If you put less than 20 percent down, your lender will charge you a monthly premium for what’s called private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the bank in the event you default on your loan and the value of your home declines significantly.  PMI varies from .3% - 1.2% of the loan amount per, paid annually. Typically it is around .5%, which is about $50 per month per $100,000 borrowed.  $200,000 = about $100 a month = $1200 a year      Don’t Forget Closing Costs    Closing costs vary, somewhere between 2-4%, average 2.5% of total purchase price:  $100,000 is about $2,500  $200,000 is about $5,000  $300,000 is about $7,500  $400,000 is about $10,000      Where to get mortgage rates and pre-approval    Shop around.   Start online or find a mortgage broker.   You can compare rates with any number of leading online mortgage lenders or find a local mortgage broker who will shop your application to multiple lenders on your behalf.  Many  real estate agents  have relationships with lenders and they can help you find a good lender if you want the transaction to be face to face.  Using an online lender like  LendingTree.com  or  Bankrate.com  can help you quickly get four or five competing mortgage rates from different banks.  These rates will be more accurate than the ones you see in advertisements and websites because banks provide real rates based upon your credit profile and the location and value of the home you want to buy.     Resources    REnt VS Buy Calculator   Mortgage Caculator   Budget Forms and Tutorials   Spending GUidelines         

Episode 24
Buying a house is a BIG deal!  When purchased at the right time and within your financial ability,  a house can be great for your family.  In this episode we break down the house buying process so you can be totally prepared for buying your first or next house.

     

 
 
               Episode 23  In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about how to buy a used car.  Buying a used car is usually more economical while still providing you with the performance and reliability you need.  Follow the steps we outline to find, evaluate, and choose a great used vehicle that you’ll enjoy for years to come.    Show Notes:    Find the right car   There is no “best” car that is suitable for everyone.  The cheapest car is not always the best buy; neither is the most expensive.  You must consider the amount of maintenance a car requires, maintenance costs, mileage, resale value of the car, and the intended use of the automobile.  Most of this information is listed in consumer used car guides, which you can easily find on the internet.  The average family, during their lifetime, will put more money into automobiles—almost 50 percent more—than they will put into their homes. Your best hope of finding a good used car at the right price and knowing the quality of it is to buy it from a private individual.  Before you buy a car, you need to have it mechanically checked.  A good resource for reports of service histories, safety recalls, fuel economy, key advantages and disadvantages and current price ranges for all makes and models of vehicles is   Consumer Reports Complete Guide to Used Cars .   Each issue contains all models for the previous ten years.  Most libraries keep copies of the most current issue.       Pre-Purchase Steps      Determine the type of car and features.   Avoid making impulsive decisions and purchasing cars that don't match your lifestyle.  Make a list of your routine driving needs and select a car that best matches those needs.  Needless to say two-seater cars aren't ideal for big families.     Read car reviews and Forums.   It's advisable to read reviews for the specific type of used car you intend to purchase.  Several websites such as  Kelley Blue Book  and  Edmunds  and  Autobytel.com    provide information on car features, specifications, even cost of ownership.     Define your budget.   Consider the total cost of the car.   If you will finance the purchase determine the monthly payment that you can afford and look at used car listings bearing this price in mind.  Consider the overall cost.  Don’t just take in account the monthly payment, but consider the total cost of the vehicle.      Factor in additional costs.   Apart from the basic car cost, you should also budget for taxes and registration costs.     Cross-reference various online used car listings.   To get a quality car for a good price, putting in the extra time to comparison shop is a must.  Buyers should also research Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and Edmunds.com to determine the actual worth of used cars.     Determine vehicle history.   Ask if the owner has maintenance records.  Look for hidden clues that will help you assess the true condition of the vehicle.  Look under the hood - if the engine is dirty and looks like it’s been neglected so has the maintenance.  Fluid leaks - Be prepared to look under the car (flashlight).  If you see oil stained parts move on.  Interior condition - stained, torn, or abused upholstery are trouble signs you should not ignore.  There are too many cars out there to settle on something that’s not been maintained and cared for.    Consider running a vehicle history check (Carfax) to find out if the car has been in accidents, but don’t let it be your only source of information, because not everything will show up on the report.  A vehicle history report provides information on maintenance and on the number of times the car was previously sold, but since the information is not regulated a lot of information will be missing, especially for cars not maintained by car dealerships.     Car Insurance.   Once you find the ideal car, it's important to research insurance rates offered by major insurance companies.  Some cars with a higher probability of theft or damage require higher premium payments, so bear these factors in mind before selecting a used vehicle.     Watch out for scams.     Craigslist is a great source for finding cars but you have to be aware of scams.  Remember: if it’s too good to be true, it generally is!  A good deal is only good when it’s good for both parties.       Steps to buying      Call the owner   Get as much information over the phone before you drive out to look at the car.   Ask for additional pictures to get a better feel for the condition.   Ask the right questions to either confirm or remove the car from your list.  How long have you owned it and why are you selling?  How many ORIGINAL miles on the car?  Has it ever been in an accident?  Is the title a salvage title?  There are different types of titles such as flood, totaled, junk, salvage, reconstructed, and rebuilt.         Take it for a test-drive .   After you have found a vehicle that you would consider purchasing, take it for a test drive for at least 15 minutes (not just around the block).  Check all the accessories and features. Use an Inspection Checklist to ensure a thorough visual and operational check is done.  This is your opportunity detect obvious problems and eliminate a car from consideration.     Negotiate your best deal .  Your negotiated price is based on the assumption that the vehicle is in good working order and has never been in an accident or flood. Any known problems should be in the negotiated price.  Always make any offer contingent on  a professional pre-purchase inspection.     Get a professional unbiased inspection .   Never buy a car without getting a pre-purchase inspection done.  The only way to know if the vehicle is in good condition is to have it properly inspected.   There are many types of pre-purchase inspections.  However, only an inspection from an experienced ASE Master Certified Technician can give you a comprehensive inspection.  Once you have quality pre-purchase inspection information, you can renegotiate your deal based on that information.       Cash or Financing   We strongly believed the best way to buy an automobile is not to finance it but to save the money and pay cash for it.  However, if you are going to finance an automobile, there are some basic guidelines.    It is generally better to sell your old car yourself rather than trading it in on a higher-priced newer one.   This may take a little longer, but you will get more for it to put toward the newer vehicle.  Never use equity in your home (ELOC) to purchase a car or a cash out refinancing.  Don’t create a 10‑ to 15‑year note for an automobile, because the car will be worn out long before the note is paid.  If you have to borrow for a car this time, we encourage you to start preparing yourself to buy your next car with cash.   Car replacement fund!  Requires less per month than a car payment.  Use saved amount + the cash from selling old car to purchase your next car.       Extended car warranty    If you're considering buying an extended warranty, get the answer to the following questions first:     Does the warranty cover a period of time or number of miles that is not covered under any implied warranties?    If an extended warranty covers five years or 50,000 miles, the average driver will have that warranty for only about three years, since the average person drives more than 10,000 miles per year. However, if the extended warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles, the owner would get approximately five years of extended coverage.     Does the extended warranty cover parts and labor or just parts?    Does the price of the extended warranty seem reasonable in relation to the price of the parts covered?   When the extended warranty covers only parts, labor is usually so expensive that the owner will not get the full benefit of buying an extended warranty unless each part covered under the extended warranty is more expensive than the cost of the warranty itself.       RESOURCES     10 Used Car Buying Myths   Used Car Inspection Checklist               

Episode 23
​​​​​​​In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking about how to buy a used car.  Buying a used car is usually more economical while still providing you with the performance and reliability you need.  Follow the steps we outline to find, evaluate, and choose a great used vehicle that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

     

 
 
               Episode 22  Buying a new car can be exciting and a bit stressful.  Knowing how to maneuver through the process of finding and buying a new car can make the experience both enjoyable and financially sound.  In this episode we walk you through 7 steps to buying a new car that will ensure you make a great purchase.    Show Notes:    1. Research Vehicles and Features          Start by figuring out what type of vehicle you need and want and how much you’re willing to spend.  Use apps or websites such as  Edmunds.com  and  Consumerreports.org/cars  to learn about the vehicles you’re considering.  Expert and owner reviews.  Vehicle Invoice Prices.  Features, add on, etc.    Automaker’s websites are useful for seeing more photos and learning more about the features and options.  Once you have a short list (2-3), it’s time to figure out how you’ll pay for the car.     2. Financing   If you’re paying cash you can skip this step.  Get pre-approved for a loan.  Let’s you know how much you can borrow, and you’ll have an interest rate you can compare to the dealers, which you can use to negotiate a better rate.  We suggest credit unions, or online lenders to find the best rate.    We recommend a minimum of 20% down payment with a term of no more than 5 years (60 months) to keep you from being upside down after the purchase.  Have your salary and employer information as well as the balances of other debts you owe available before applying.  To avoid multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, be ready to shop within a couple of weeks of approval.  Get quotes from your insurance agent on how much your insurance price will be.     3. Plan Your Trade-In or Sell Your Old Car   You can skip this step if you don't have a trade-in or an old car to sell.  Whether you’re going to trade your old vehicle or sell it yourself, it's important to get your current car's trade-in or sell value.    Knowing the trade in value before you go to the dealership will help set your expectations for what the car is worth and gives you a reference point for any offers you'll receive.  The best way to get the value of your trade-in is to use the  Edmunds  or  Kelly Blue Book  sites or apps.  Be honest about the condition of your car. Most cars fall into the "good" or "fair" category. Very few cars are "excellent," no matter how much their owners babied them.  When you're done appraising, you'll see three figures.  The trade-in value is what the dealer may offer you — that's a figure to keep in mind when you're at the dealership.  The private-party value is what you might expect to get if you sell the car yourself.  The dealer retail value is a little different: It's what you might expect to pay for the car if you were to buy a similar used car at a dealership.    Armed with this information you can decide which way to go; sell yourself or trade-in your old car.     4. Locate and Test-Drive the Car   Once you’ve settled on a few car candidates, you should see them in person before making a decision.  Verify that the car you want is still in stock. It might have been sold recently, and what’s available on the lot may not fit your criteria.  Ask the salesperson if there are any dealer-installed options. Many new vehicles are sold with add-ons such as all-weather floor mats or theft protection packages. These can easily add $1,000 to the sale price.  Don't just show up at the dealer on a busy weekend or late at night. Waits may be long and you may not get the salesperson's full attention.  Schedule an appointment for a test drive. Having an appointment means the car will be waiting for you when you arrive.  Don't just drive around the block. Take the time to see how you and your family fit in the car and see how it handles on a variety of roads.  Don't feel obligated to buy the car the same day. Feel free to take a night to think it over.     5. Check Sale Price and Warranties  Once you have a target car, it's time to focus on getting a price. We recommend using one of these two ways to get the purchase price of your new car:   Call, text or email the internet sales department of three dealerships that have the car you want.  Ask each for the total selling price, including any additional accessories that may have already been installed on the car. The best price will be obvious.  You also can take that quote and ask the other dealerships to beat it.  Add sales taxes that will need to be paid (you can find the rate by googling your state and new car tax).  Don’t forget to add in the cost of insurance.  Add the cost of gasoline if you're buying a vehicle that gets less or more miles per gallon than your current car.        6. Review the Deal and Dealer Financing   At this point you’re pre approved for financing. See if there's a chance that you can get a better interest rate at the dealership by having them run a credit inquiry or by providing them your credit score to determine the interest rate they can offer you.  If it’s less, go for it.  Dealers will try to sell you on add-ons during the financing portion of your deal.  Most of these add-ons come at inflated prices and you don’t need them or can get them from other retailers.  An extended warranty is the only item I’d consider but the cost is going to be high so choose wisely.      7. Close the Deal   If the price, financing and fees look right, it's time to say yes to the deal. From here, you can proceed in one of two ways: 1) buy at the dealership or 2) have the car and paperwork delivered to your home.  Most people tend to wrap up the sale at the dealership. Once you've agreed on a price, the salesperson will take you to the finance and insurance office. Here, you'll sign the contract and fight off purchasing any of the additional products they will try to add on, such as an extended warranty.  The alternative is to make the sale contingent on having your new car delivered to your home or office. This is a great time-saver and allows you to close the deal in a relaxed environment.  Wherever you finalize the deal, review the contract carefully and make sure the numbers match the out-the-door breakdown. Be sure there are no additional charges or fees. A good finance manager will explain each form and what it means. Don't hurry. Buying a car is a serious commitment. And remember: There is no cooling-off period. Once you sign the contract, the car is yours.      RESOURCES   Edmunds.com   KBB.com   Autobytel.com   Consumerreports.org         

Episode 22
Buying a new car can be exciting and a bit stressful.  Knowing how to maneuver through the process of finding and buying a new car can make the experience both enjoyable and financially sound.  In this episode we walk you through 7 steps to buying a new car that will ensure you make a great purchase.