Episode 68  We hear the term “Middle Class” thrown around a lot, especially by politicians during election years.  They use it to try and relate to what’s supposed to be a majority of us Americans, but does the term and its use foster unity and satisfaction or just the opposite?  And more importantly, how does this classification make us feel and behave as it relates to money and lifestyle?  On this episode of Getting Money Right, we discuss the impact social classes has on how we spend money and the satisfaction we feel about our own life.  SHOW NOTES    Definition: The  middle class  is a  class  of people in the middle of a social hierarchy.      In socioeconomic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the  working class  and  upper class . However, this term has evolved over time and is now more indicative of the working class (blue and white collar).     For as much as politicians use the term “middle class,” you’d think it would be more clearly defined.     There is little consensus on what middle class really means, but everyone certainly  wants  to be middle class:     Nearly 70% of Americans consider themselves middle class, but only about 52% would qualify based on income.     The Pew Research Center found that middle-income families–in a three-person household–earned between $45,200 and $135,600 in 2016.     The Brookings Institute offered a broader range, from $37,000 to $147,000 for a household of three.    Still others argue that the swath of Americans below the top 10% is middle class.      A recent CNBC story, which featured a detailed budget breakdown from a couple jointly earning $500,000 that still felt “average,” to grasp just how muddled the middle-class label is.       Here’s how much you need to make to officially be middle-class:    Household of one: minimum of $26,093    Household of two: minimum of $36,902    Household of three: minimum of $45,195    Household of four: minimum of $52,187    Household of five: minimum of $58,347    According to Pew’s survey, that means in 2016 29% of America were lower-class, 52% were middle-class, and 19% were upper-class.     There are so many ways to break down what “middle class” is.     By Income    By job type    By lifestyle & home amenities        Income     20% lower income    60% middle income    20% upper income        Job Type     Manual Labor    Management    Ownership         Life Style & Home Amenities     No vehicle, no homeownership, no medical coverage, no savings, no vacations    2 vehicles, home ownership, medical coverage, savings, vacations     Luxury vehicles, expensive real-estate, private health, maxed out retirement accounts, travel & entertainment whenever wanted.       You can still have rich friendship, find a community, eat every day, enjoy a safe place to live, and pursue fulfilling work even at very low-income levels in America.    Why does this matter to us today?     There’s usually an agenda behind why news agencies and politicians are using this term. You have to look at who is behind these claims and what their agenda is.     You have to be very careful what you’re absorbing and how it’s affecting your actions and attitude.    The term is often used to bring dissatisfaction, instead of bring satisfaction to your life.    You might be living a great life, but still feeling poor, unhappy, and angry at others.        Discontentment vs Contentment     “I can’t even go out to eat”    “I only have 3 bedrooms in my home”    “My kids have to go to a public school”       Upward mobility in America is very high. (Pew Research Trust)    Family Wealth Half of Americans surpass their parents in terms of family wealth.5     55% of Americans have greater wealth than their parents did at the same age.     72% percent of Americans whose parents were in the bottom fifth of the wealth ladder and 55 percent of those whose parents were in the middle quintile exceed their parents’ family wealth as adults.  https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/reports/economic_mobility/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf          Build a foundation of financial success    How a budget can help you succeed    Helps you have a clear picture of how much you make and how much you spend.    Spend on what’s valuable to you and not because of social pressures.    Allows you to plan ahead and meet goals, while still enjoying a good life and meeting all your needs.    Helps you avoid lifestyle creep - use income increases and bonuses to increase margin not lifestyle.    As you increase in income, you can’t allow lifestyle creep to grow at the same pace as income growth. Your margin should be growing. Moving from 10% toward savings, then 20%, then continue on till you’re living on 50% of your income.    Live on a little bit less than you make, then save & invest the difference over a long-period of time.      It’s the platform that will help you gain wealth and financial security.         RESOURCES   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools   Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com  Book cover design - vote here:  https://www.stewardshippastors.com/jesus-on-money-book-cover    

Episode 68
We hear the term “Middle Class” thrown around a lot, especially by politicians during election years.  They use it to try and relate to what’s supposed to be a majority of us Americans, but does the term and its use foster unity and satisfaction or just the opposite?  And more importantly, how does this classification make us feel and behave as it relates to money and lifestyle?  On this episode of Getting Money Right, we discuss the impact social classes has on how we spend money and the satisfaction we feel about our own life.

     

 
 
      Episode 67  IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) have been in the news lately with several well-known companies offering potential investors the chance to get in on the action and of course, the potential profit. In this episode we discuss individual company stocks and initial public offerings and whether they are a good option for your investment strategy.    SHOW NOTES    An IPO, or initial public offering, is the process by which a privately held company begins selling stock to outside investors, thus becoming a public company. From that point on, the company can raise the capital it needs by selling shares, but it must also comply with a strict set of reporting guidelines, as established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Most companies get their initial funding by emptying their bank accounts, taking out small business loans, turning to private investors or venture capitalists, or a combination thereof. But there often comes a point where more money is needed for a business to experience the growth it desires.    IPOs - Initial Public Offerings Coming Up:     Uber (transportation network)    Palantir (data mining | big data)    Airbnb (online hospitality market)    Lyft    Pinterest    Rackspace    Slack    Robinhood    Levi Strauss    Peloton    Cloudflare        Are IPOs good investments?    Though IPOs can be good for the companies behind them, they're not always great for investors -- especially the inexperienced kind. Though investing in IPOs can be profitable, it's generally a much riskier prospect than investing in established companies with a strong history of solid performance. Though there are certainly exceptions, IPO stocks tend to underperform for several years after being issued compared to the general market. That's because the companies behind them are usually more focused on growing the business than delivering profits to investors. Those inclined to invest in IPOs should therefore take the time to vet the issuing companies carefully before moving forward.   What is a stock  A stock (also known as "shares" or "equity) is a type of security that signifies proportionate ownership in the issuing corporation. This entitles the stockholder to that proportion of the corporation's assets and earnings.   Dual-Class Shares - Dual-Class Ownership  Dual-class ownership is a type of common stock offering in which companies issue shares that have differing rights. In a dual-class ownership structure, the company can issue two classes of shares, Class A and Class B. These classes may have different voting rights, but they represent the same underlying ownership in the company.  For example, when Google went public, it issued Class B shares that had no voting rights to ensure that the founders and executives still had control of the company. Google, now trading publicly as Alphabet, has since altered its share class structure with Class B shares having 10 times the voting power as Class A.     RESOURCES  Credit Freeze: A New Way to Keep Your Identity Safe ( Podcast )   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 67
IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) have been in the news lately with several well-known companies offering potential investors the chance to get in on the action and of course, the potential profit. In this episode we discuss individual company stocks and initial public offerings and whether they are a good option for your investment strategy.

     

 
 
      Episode 66  Having a healthy FICO score is important to your financial well-being.  Therefore, it’s important to understand how your FICO score is calculated and also to stay up to date on any changes that occur.  On this episode we discuss some recent changes to the FICO score and why these changes are good for your score.    SHOW NOTES     FICO Score Basic  Credit Score ranges between 300-850  Credit score rankings:    300-620 - Bad    620-660 - Fair    660-720 - Good     720-850 - Excellent       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     How credit score is weighted:    35% - Payment History    30% - Amount Owed    15% - Length of Credit History    10% - New Credit    10% - Credit Mix - Types of credit       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     FICO Score Change Updates    Medical debt not part of the equation anymore.      Other items such as, library fines and traffic tickets will no longer be on your report.    Tax liens and civil judgements have been removed from reports and will no longer impact your score.      Old consumer debt that’s paid off remains on your record but will not count against your score.    Creditworthiness of people who haven’t borrowed in the past (no extensive credit use record) will be more favorable.    Consumer debt that’s not paid in full will negatively impact your score.  The more you pay off the balance the better your score.       Remember you can also freeze your credit report for free now. Learn more from episode 53 “Credit Freeze - A Great Way to Keep Your Identity Safe”    Resources  Credit Freeze: A New Way to Keep Your Identity Safe ( Podcast )  Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools   Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 66
Having a healthy FICO score is important to your financial well-being.  Therefore, it’s important to understand how your FICO score is calculated and also to stay up to date on any changes that occur.  On this episode we discuss some recent changes to the FICO score and why these changes are good for your score.

     

 
 
      Episode 65  I have yet to meet someone who wouldn’t like to become financially wealthy. Unfortunately, most people have little knowledge of what it takes to build wealth and even less have a plan on how they hope to accomplish it. Building wealth is not as hard as most people imagine. It turns out wealth building comes down to a few key habits applied consistently over a period of time.      SHOW NOTES     Overview from 1st Episode:    STATISTICS ABOUT MILLIONAIRES IN THE UNITED STATES  17.3 million individuals are millionaires in the United States, 41% of the world’s millionaires.     This means that 7% of the U.S. adult population are millionaires    The 2016 study also showed that 78 percent started out as middle class or poor, only 22 percent grew up in the upper class.    Education is important, with 84 percent of millionaires having a college degree according to   Spectrem  .      One in three funded their own college education    without debt.     Research conducted by Thomas Corley of   Rich Habits,   showed that 86 percent of wealthy people who work full time put in 50 hours or more each week at their career.    66 percent of millionaires own their own business.    The Millionaire Next Door cites that the percentage of first-generation millionaires is 80 percent, dispelling the idea that most millionaires just inherit their money from a prior generation.     3 Characteristics of the Wealthy    Self-Awareness + The Awareness of Others    True Grit    Have a giving mentality - always give more than you take      5 Millionaire Habits   1. Make Smart Buying Decisions    It may be great to have a shiny new Ferrari or a Lamborghini, and although these status symbols may look nice in your driveway, they will hinder your long-term goal of accruing wealth.     Financially successful people avoid buying “must have” status objects such as expensive luxury cars, boats, jewelry, and other luxury accessories.     The problem with buying status symbols is that you always have to upgrade them and buy the latest models.    Financially successful people save themselves from these hassles by avoiding gaudy status symbols. Trying to “keep up with the Jones’” will leave you in a never-ending cycle of being broke.    2. Live Below Their Means    Financially successful people are able to adequately live off of what they earn.    Living below your means requires keeping your monthly expenses below your monthly income.     Frivolous purchases and wants are postponed and only needs are met.    It doesn’t mean that you can’t splurge occasionally, but these purchases should be the exception rather than the rule.     It is impossible to increase your wealth if you spend every dime that you have. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.    3. Make Their Money Work for Them    Wealthy people understand the importance of maximizing their dollars. They often take calculated risks with their money and seek solid returns for their dollars. Every dollar that they have produces for them and helps to build more wealth.    They do not waste their dollars on speculative ventures and get-rich-quick schemes.  Wealthy people understand that real wealth is built over time.    For many, this means a simple portfolio of low cost index funds.    4. Pay Themselves First    Paying yourself first is a great principle to follow whether you make $20,000 or $200,000 per year. Before you pay any of your bills, you should pay yourself first. Paying yourself first helps you to make savings a priority.    A good rule of thumb is taking 10% of your income and setting it aside as soon as you get paid. Making savings automatic is a great way of making saving money easier. Saving small amounts of money can add up over time.    5. Have a Plan and Stick to It    Millionaires plan to be financially independent. They devote their time, energy, and resources to building wealth. They create a financial plan and stick to their plan.     Their goal is to be financially independent and they allocate their time accordingly to make this happen. It’s not about how much money you make but what you do with the money that you make.       RESOURCES   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 65
I have yet to meet someone who wouldn’t like to become financially wealthy. Unfortunately, most people have little knowledge of what it takes to build wealth and even less have a plan on how they hope to accomplish it. Building wealth is not as hard as most people imagine. It turns out wealth building comes down to a few key habits applied consistently over a period of time.

     

 
 
      Episode 64  I have yet to meet someone who wouldn’t like to become financially wealthy. Unfortunately, most people have little knowledge of what it takes to build wealth and even less have a plan on how they hope to accomplish it. Building wealth is not as hard as most people imagine.  It turns out wealth building comes down to a few key habits applied consistently over a period of time.      SHOW NOTES     Statistics about millionaires in the United States  17.3 million individuals are millionaires in the United States, 41% of the world’s millionaires.       This means that 7% of the U.S. adult population are millionaires    The 2016 study also showed that 78 percent started out as middle class or poor, only 22 percent grew up in the upper class.    Education is important, with 84 percent of millionaires having a college degree according to   Spectrem  .      One in three funded their own college education    without debt.     Research conducted by Thomas Corley of   Rich Habits ,  showed that 86 percent of wealthy people who work full time put in 50 hours or more each week at their career.    66 percent of millionaires own their own business.    The Millionaire Next Door cites that the percentage of first-generation millionaires is 80 percent, dispelling the idea that most millionaires just inherit their money from a prior generation.      3 Characteristics of the wealthy     Self-Awareness  - genuine care for others.     True Grit  - a never give up attitude.    Talent X Effort = Skill.    Skill X Effort = Achievement.       Generosity  - have a giving mentality (always give more than you take).      RESOURCES   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 64
I have yet to meet someone who wouldn’t like to become financially wealthy. Unfortunately, most people have little knowledge of what it takes to build wealth and even less have a plan on how they hope to accomplish it. Building wealth is not as hard as most people imagine. It turns out wealth building comes down to a few key habits applied consistently over a period of time.

     

 
 
      Episode 63  Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. We’re in a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this third and last episode we’ll share some keys to having long-term financial success in your life and marriage.     SHOW NOTES     INCOME STATISTICS   Median Net Worth in 2010 according to the census bureau for 55-64    $261,405 - Married Couples    $71,428 - Single Male    $39,043 - Single Female       Brookings whittled down a lot of analysis into three simple rules. You can avoid poverty by:    Graduating from high school.    Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.    Having a full-time job.    If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.  60% of couples in marriage counseling identify money as a major problem in their relationship.        Money causes:     Fights    Tears    Anger    Un-forgiveness    Disunity      “In any relationship you have to cross certain bridges, if the relationship is strong enough then you can cross that bridge without fear of the weight of the conversation”       First Year of Marriage and Beyond         Combining bank accounts.    Setting up life insurance.    Finding long-term careers and work/life balance.    Start setting goals.    Home buying    Car replacement    Masters degree    Baby savings    Overseas vacation savings    Retirement savings    Estate planning         Dating life is different than married life. When dating it’s very social with many friends and many nights out on dates. Married life is more home life with date nights sprinkled in.   Socially you step into a new season, go from single friends to married friends, different peers and new influences that come with new peers. Be aware of who you’re letting into your life.     Lemming Mentality.     Pressure to buy a home.    Pressure to excel to a lifestyle that is the same and even better than your parents in the first couple years.    Furnishing    Farmhouse style | Modern | Posh | Personalized          How do you overcome this pressure? First, you start with a team mentality.       Team Home    Doesn’t look at other teams.    We’re going to play our game and focus on what we are doing.      Cares more about the team than the individual.    Doesn’t beat up a player who makes a mistake (shaming).    Feels good in the moment, but it would cost the team the overall victory and dissolve the internal trust.      Meets frequently.    Keeps their eye on the prize.        The best way to overcome peer pressure is to always go back to your values.      What do you value?  ·       Family | Church | Giving | Debt-free living     Values List:     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       If we follow out these values, what do we want our lives to look like 10 years from now?     Majors Dangers to Watch Out For in Marriage:    Disrespect of your spouse’s input in the finances    Dominance in Money / Making Decisions    My money mentality     Feeling your spouse is out of control    Disagreement on financial decisions, priorities, and values      Absence of Budget and Long-Range Goals     Advantages of a budget    Financial decisions in advance with facts, which removes emotion    Forces you to discuss and agree on values priorities and personal preferences.    Provides a basis for accountability and builds trust    Conflict is more manageable when you’ve done it in a more proactive way than a reactive way. Removes the blame game.        Debt    Ways to Avoid Damaging Debt     Borrow for appreciable assets only    Save money and live within your means    Downsize if necessary to pay off debt           Eccl 4:9-10 NKJV “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward  for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him  who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”      Unity is key. Pronouns matter. The two become one flesh. This happens spiritually right away with marriage, but it doesn’t happen physically right away.      RESOURCES   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com    

Episode 63
Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. We’re in a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this third and last episode we’ll share some keys to having long-term financial success in your life and marriage.

     

 
 
      Episode 62  Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. This is a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this second episode we’ll discuss pre-marriage and newly married and the money issues that are synonyms with this stage of your relationship. More importantly, we’ll share some ways you can begin working together and build a foundation of trust.    SHOW NOTES     INCOME STATISTICS   Median Net Worth in 2010 according to the census bureau for 55-64  ·       $261,405 - Married Couples  ·       $71,428 - Single Male  ·       $39,043 - Single Female     Brookings whittled down a lot of analysis into three simple rules. You can avoid poverty by:    Graduating from high school.    Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.    Having a full-time job.    If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.  60% of couples in marriage counseling identify money as a major problem in their relationship.   Money causes:     Fights    Tears    Anger    Un-forgiveness    Disunity        “In any relationship you have to cross certain bridges, if the relationship is strong enough then you can cross that bridge without fear of the weight of the conversation”       QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS AS A COUPLE:    What memories do you have of your parents handling money?     Describe the temperament or personality of your future spouse and how this influences their money habits.     Have you seen your partner’s credit score and discussed what it means?   o   Free Score - CreditKarma.com (or any other free resource)   o   Free Report - AnnualCreditReport.com (only government approved free site)     Do you have savings? How much? What are you saving for?      Which of you live on a written spending plan? Share it.     What debts does each bring into the marriage and what should be repaid first, second, and so on?    Do you plan to accrue more debt before marriage? How much?     Do you have an auto loan or is it paid for? How often do you hope to replace your vehicles?     Do you owe the IRS money? Do you owe money to your parents? Do you have any other loans?     If previously married, what monthly obligations need to be budgeted for?     What are your first three money goals as a couple? How often will you review financial goals together?  Example : pay cash for wedding, pay off car debt, save $1,000 emergency fund, combine our checking accounts, save 20% down payment for a home, honor God with first 10% of income, create a budget together, pay cash for next car, etc.    How do you feel about giving God the first and best of your increase by tithing from your income? Do you have a percentage figure in mind? If you don’t agree, how will you come together in agreement?     How do you feel about using credit cards regularly? Do you feel it’s OK to keep a running balance that never gets paid in full? Why or why not?     Where do you want to live - a house in the suburbs or an uptown loft? What is the plan to pay for it? Are you aware that housing should be no more than about 35% of net take home pay?     Do you want kids? How many? Do you both expect to keep working or will one of you stay home to raise children when they come? Can you live on one income, what does your budget tell you?     Have you discussed the need for life insurance when kids come? Will you have enough insurance proceeds to fully replace income of the primary wage earner? For how long?     How will you regularly share your financial account information with each other so you both know how much you have and where it is located?  What about account passwords?      If you notice there is significant difference in your views, what do you do?    Admit you might have a problem.    Acknowledge how you were raised.    Be open to receiving advice.    Take a course on personal finances.     Budget like a ninja .     Dave Ramsey .    Financial Hope Workshop ( Gateway Stewardship ).        Realize the need for balance, you are marrying someone different for a reason.       Ready to say “I do”? Let’s look at the things you need to think of leading up to the wedding.       Are you paying for the wedding?    How much are you planning to spend on the wedding ceremony, reception, ring, band, food, alcohol, cakes, dresses, suits, photographer, videographer?       Consider these average wedding costs, again from The Knot ($30,000):    Venue - $16,107    Photographer - $2,783    Reception band/music - $4,156    Florist - $2,534    Videographer - $1,995    Wedding dress - $1,564    Groom's attire - $280    Wedding cake - $582    Ceremony site - $2,197    Ceremony musicians - $755    Invitations - $462    Transportation - $859    Favors - $268    Rehearsal dinner - $1,378    Engagement ring - $6,163    Officiant - $278    Catering (price per person) - $71    Wedding day hair care - $119    Wedding day make-up - $100       RESOURCES   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 62
Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. This is a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this second episode we’ll discuss pre-marriage and newly married and the money issues that are synonyms with this stage of your relationship. More importantly, we’ll share some ways you can begin working together and build a foundation of trust.

     

 
 
      Episode 61  Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. We’re beginning a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this first episode we’ll discuss dating and pre-marriage and the money issues that are synonyms with this stage of your relationship. More importantly, we’ll share some ways you can begin working together and build a foundation of trust.     SHOW NOTES     Income Statistics   Median Net Worth in 2010 according to the census bureau for 55-64    $261,405 - Married Couples    $71,428 - Single Male    $39,043 - Single Female       Brookings whittled down a lot of analysis into three simple rules. You can avoid poverty by:    Graduating from high school.    Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.    Having a full-time job.     If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.   60% of couples in marriage counseling identify money as a major problem in their relationship.   Money causes:     Fights    Tears    Anger    Un-forgiveness    Disunity          Winning Over Your Mate, While Dating    Have honest and open conversation about money after you establish a certain level of trust    Could be a real shock when the person you’re dating finds out you’re not who they think you are.    Could be an even bigger shock if the other person was using debt to fund all the gifts and spending during dating, which you now have to deal with as a couple.      Have to discuss money in advance, so that the expectations aren’t impossible leading into marriage.    Does the guy pay for everything or is it more equal?    David story of $40 date night envelope while dating.       When in the relationship should you start talking about these things?    Definitely have to talk about them before you propose.    Need to understand the other person's financial situation.           “In any relationship you have to cross certain bridges, if the relationship is strong enough then you can cross that bridge without fear of the weight of the conversation”       Questions to Discuss As a Couple:    What memories do you have of your parents handling money?     Describe the temperament or personality of your future spouse and how this influences their money habits.     Have you seen your partner’s credit score and discussed what it means?     Free Score - CreditKarma.com (or any other free resource)     Free Report - AnnualCreditReport.com (only government approved free site)       Do you have savings? How much? What are you saving for?       Which of you live on a written spending plan? Share it.     What debts does each bring into the marriage and what should be repaid first, second, and so on?    Do you plan to accrue more debt before marriage? How much?        Resources   Budgeting and Debt Elimination Tools    Jesus on Money  by David Thompson -  stewardshippastors.com

Episode 61
Managing your money is an important part of your life, especially when you’re considering joining your life and finances to another person. We’re beginning a 3-part series on managing your money through the seasons of dating, pre-marriage (engagement), and marriage. On this episode we’ll discuss dating and pre-marriage and the money issues that are synonyms with this stage of your relationship. More importantly, we’ll share some ways you can begin working together and build a foundation of trust.

     

 
 
      Episode 60  As Americans we have the privilege of living in a country where we experience freedom and incredible opportunities, but it doesn’t come without a cost. In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking taxes. We’ll talk about why taxes are important and prepare you to make some important decisions as you prepare to file your taxes for last year and plan for this year.   SHOW NOTES     Taxes we don’t usually notice:      Sales Tax    Airline Transportation Hotel Tax    Library Taxes    Building Permits    Fishing & Hunting Licenses    Vehicle Registration Taxes    Vehicles Sales Tax    Driver’s License Fees    Sin Taxes - Sugar, Cigarettes, Liquor    Gift Taxes     Estate Taxes    Toll Roads    State Income    Federal Income     Unemployment Taxes         Grateful for the opportunity to pay taxes…     Over 50% of people don’t pay any taxes….    75% of American filers in 2017 received a tax refund, which is like giving the government an interest free loan.       Should you file your own return or hire a tax pro?   The tax filing dilemma     You want to get the most deductions and tax credits so you can get the biggest refund.      Tax filing software is less expensive than hiring a professional, and there's also some free filing options if you file online.     But, can they guarantee you get back every dollar you deserve? More importantly, will they keep you safe from mistakes that may trigger an audit?    I (Leo) didn’t want to pay for something I knew I could do on my own. It turns out I’m not alone.           In 2017, 55% of the returns filed were done without the help of a tax preparer.         There are people that can and should file their own tax returns, just as there are people who should always hire a professional.  Don’t try to save $200 to $300 and end up in trouble with the IRS, or worse, pay more taxes than you should.  The key is to know when it’s time to hire a professional and when you should do it yourself.   Hopefully, the following guideline will help.     IF ALL OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO YOU, YOU CAN FILE YOUR OWN TAX RETURN    You have basic understanding about tax returns or are willing to learn so you feel confident you’re doing it right.    You have the time and the patience to do it yourself.    You have a simple tax situation, unchanged from the previous year.      Sample situation that is simple: You’re single or a married couple who rent an apartment, have no dependents, no significant assets, no business, and made no significant charitable contributions.      You’re comfortable with using technology to assist you in filing your taxes or preparing by hand.       For those making less than $66,000, you can use  IRS Free File  to file your return electronically at no cost to you.     IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO YOU, YOU SHOULD HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TAX PREPARER    You don’t have a basic understanding of tax returns and are overwhelmed by the notion of filing one.    You don’t have the time or patience to do it - the average time to file a tax return for those who itemize deductions is 16 hours.    You have dependents, real estate property, investment income, you've made charitable contributions, or own a business.    You are not able or willing to represent yourself in case of errors or an audit by the IRS.       The first year I (Leo) hired a tax professional to file my return he saved me $800. I was glad I spent the $250 to hire him. Of course,  not all tax professionals are created equal.   Like in any profession, you have the good and the not so good.  Make sure your tax preparer is  licensed and verified . You may need to interview several to find one that you like and will serve you best.  Let me share my personal 3 Must Do’s for a tax professional.     3 MUST DO’S FOR A TAX PROFESSIONAL    1. PROVIDE MORE THAN TAX RETURN FILING  A good tax professional will not only file your return but sit down with you and help you plan for the future. She will help you plan for income and expenses that will maximize your deductions and reduce your taxes legally, so you can keep more of your income and use it to increase your financial well-being.  2. STEER YOU FROM VENTURING INTO GRAY AREAS  The IRS sees everything as black and white as it relates to its tax laws. You either can or can’t deduct an expense, and there are requirements you must meet for every deduction. A good tax professional will guide you to ensure you stay out of trouble. If a tax professional likes to venture into the gray, you should look for someone else to assist you.  3. REPRESENT YOU IN CASE OF AN AUDIT  I like tax professional who will defend you when the IRS comes calling, which is bound to happen from time to time, even if you do everything right. It’s an inconvenience to be audited and can be a very stressful situation.  Ultimately, you’re responsible for the information on your return. But, a good tax professional will represent you and often handle the whole process for you, when you provide all the documentation at the time he prepares your return.      The tax code itself is around 4 Million words. And there were some huge changes for 2018 tax filing. Most people are working on their 2018 taxes now, let’s talk about the top 4 changes this year.   4 Top Tax Changes for 2018  1.     Lower Marginal Tax Rates . As your income rises, you pay a higher and higher marginal tax rate. If you’re single and earn $9,000, you only pay 10% in taxes on that money. If you earn $39,000 total then you pay 12% on the amount of income over $9,500. If you earn $80,000 you pay 22% on the income above $39,000. So, you have incentive to keep earning and making more, because your initial earnings are taxed low, 10% & 12%, but the higher earnings are taxed higher at 22%...this goes all the way up to 37% for people earning more than $500,000 a year. In 2018 the marginal tax rates were all slightly lowered, which helps to lower the taxes you pay.   2.    Increased Standard Deduction      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     3.              Personal exemptions eliminated.  While tax reform increased the standard deduction, it also eliminated personal exemptions entirely. Before the changes to the tax plan, a personal exemption would reduce your taxable income by $4,050, and you could take one for yourself, one for a spouse and one for each dependent. The exemption phased out if you reached a certain adjusted gross income.   4.           Expanded child and dependent tax credit   With the tax plan changes, the child and dependent tax credit increases to $2,000 per qualifying child (it used to be $1,000), of which $1,400 is refundable.   Tax reform also created a $500 nonrefundable credit for qualifying dependents other than children.  What’s more, Congress increased the income level for when the credit begins to phase out to $200,000 (or $400,000, if you’re married filing jointly), making the credit available to more taxpayers.     Taxpayers may choose either itemized deductions or the standard deduction, but usually choose whichever results in the lesser amount of tax payable.     Ways to reduce your taxes    Have your taxes prepared by a professional    Contribute to 401(k) IRA    Buy a house?    Select the correct filing status    Save receipts (charitable donations - cash and non-cash, healthcare costs (changing in 2019 to include only non-reimbursed expenses over 10% of AGI).    Double check old returns for missed deductions - another reason to hire a pro    Fund an IRA for non-working spouse       CONCLUSION  Filing a tax return can be intimidating. For some, it’s best to hire a professional to make sure your return is filed correctly.   For others, filing is straightforward and fairly simple, and a professional is not needed. Know which one best describes you, so you can get through tax season with confidence, and hopefully a little better off financially.

Episode 60
As Americans we have the privilege of living in a country where we experience freedom and incredible opportunities, but it doesn’t come without a cost. In this episode of Getting Money Right we’re talking taxes. We’ll talk about why taxes are important and prepare you to make some important decisions as you prepare to file your taxes for last year and plan for this year.

     

 
 
      Episode 59  Healthcare cost has becoming a large part of our monthly spending. Every year the cost continues to rise, and the Affordable Care Act has made healthcare cost anything but affordable. Alternative healthcare sharing programs have been growing in popularity over the past few years and they may be the answer to lower healthcare cost you’ve been looking for.   SHOW NOTES   What Is A Healthcare Sharing Program or Ministry?    Faith-based programs (of varying degrees with options for different religious denominations) which facilitate voluntary sharing among members for eligible medical expenses.     Members send in monthly ‘shares’ (i.e., premiums) which are distributed to or on behalf of other members with medical expenses (i.e., benefits payments) in accordance with program guidelines.     Built upon the principle of people with similar beliefs and values coming together to share each other’s burdens (in this case healthcare costs), not unlike the risk-pooling nature of health insurance.    The appeal of healthcare sharing programs is that in practice, they are  much   less expensive than health insurance .     Families can become members in healthcare sharing programs for $300 to $500 per month, compared to the average unsubsidized cost of family traditional health insurance coverage at $1,564 per month, and it’s easy to see the savings appeal for those who lack generous employer coverage or do not qualify for government premium assistance.      Healthcare sharing programs typically have lower out-of-pocket expense limits than typical high-deductible health insurance plans as well.     Caution:  healthcare sharing programs are  not  actually  health insurance . In fact, part of the reason that they’re less expensive than traditional health insurance is that their coverage may be more limited (than Affordable Care Act mandates for essential health benefits).      Limitations of coverage are based not only on managing potential costs and claims, but also the faith-based nature of the programs.     While healthcare sharing programs do cover many typical medical expenses that health insurance covers, they typically do  not  cover many health-related costs deemed to be ‘unbiblical’ – which the programs define in their guidelines – and may exclude payments for:     Birth control.    Abortions.    Injuries related to alcohol or drugs.    And injuries from certain hazardous activities (i.e. failure to wear helmets or seat belts in some situations).       Participating members are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance, and from completing the  IRS Form 8965  at tax time which attests to membership in a qualifying program (in lieu of traditional health insurance).     To become a member, healthcare sharing programs may require agreement with a statement of faith, and in some cases even have a process to verify regular church attendance, although each has a different policy.     How they work?  Basically, everyone pays in a certain monthly share amount, and for your own expenses, you are responsible for covering an “annual personal responsibility”, or “unshared amount” (like a deductible). Then, the rest of your medical expenses are shared among the group from what they have paid in – in many cases up to $1 million per incident!   Are There Restrictions?  Yes. Since they are faith-based ministries, they do have different guidelines (like smoking, or certain pre-existing health or lifestyle-related conditions). In which case they will decline membership.   Some take people with pre-existing health conditions others do not. For those who accept pre-existing conditions, these types of conditions may be handled in a few different ways. The condition may be phased in. If that's the case, members do not share costs for that condition during the first year.  Then during years two and three of membership, members share up to a certain amount ($50,000) of eligible expenses to treat that condition. However, some pre-existing conditions might never be shareable. You can always just call an ask.   Are there programs for families?  Yes! They have programs for the entire family. Your family can participate in a very comprehensive option for  under $500 a month,  which is a maximum. There is a range of options less expensive than that depending on how much you want shared.   Differences between Sharing Programs and Health Insurance      Healthcare Insurance guarantees a certain level of payment depending on your level of coverage.      Healthcare Sharing Programs provide no guarantees of payment, although many do provide reimbursement for qualified expenses.     A few of the major health care sharing ministries are:      Christian Healthcare Ministries , this is the one I (Leo) use.      Samaritan Ministries       Medi-Share       Liberty Healthshare      What is the difference between the health care sharing ministries?     All four of the above medical cost sharing ministries are very similar, but there are some differences among them. The largest differences are:     Their acceptance guidelines     If they process medical bills electronically or not     If they allow cost sharing of alternative or natural treatments.     Beyond that, we included a  FAQ  in our show notes which you would find extremely helpful. It has a very informative and clear answer for every question you would think of asking.  If you are looking for an affordable way to handle your medical expenses, a health sharing ministry could be just what you need.     RESOURCES   Christian Healthcare Ministries   Samaritan Ministries   Medi-Share   Liberty Healthshare

Episode 59
Healthcare cost has becoming a large part of our monthly spending. Every year the cost continues to rise, and the Affordable Care Act has made healthcare cost anything but affordable. Alternative healthcare sharing programs have been growing in popularity over the past few years and they may be the answer to lower healthcare cost you’ve been looking for.

     

 
 
      Episode 58  Being able to communicate about finances with your spouse is crucial to a happy and satisfying marriage.  On this episode, professional counselor Russell Baxter who has recently released his book, Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure, continues sharing his insight and advice on what couples can do to improve their finances and as a result, their marriage.      SHOW NOTES      4 TYPES OF HOUSEHOLDS  1.     CPA Home  2.     Joint Venture Home  3.     Wild West Home  4.     Team Home     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.       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.      
   
     “ When you talk and agree on finances with your spouse you improve your intimacy and share your heart. ” 
   
   — Russell Baxter 
 
     Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, your Heart will be also.      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    Why is Money So Complicated?   Money represents:          Safety    Security    Fulfillment    Purpose    Shame    Guilt    Anxiety    Inadequacy    Self-Esteem    Future    Possibilities    Healing        Whether spoken or assumed we each associate with money in an emotional way.      Creating mindfulness about my relationship with money.   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.       A Healthy Team is:    Isn’t looking at how other teams play.    Cares more about the team than 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  Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure Book  - Signed copy  Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure Book  - On Amazon   Budget Forms and Tools  David’s New Book -  Jesus on Money  David’s New Website -  www.stewardshippastors.com

Episode 58
Being able to communicate about finances with your spouse is crucial to a happy and satisfying marriage.  On this episode, professional counselor Russell Baxter who has recently released his book, Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure, continues sharing his insight and advice on what couples can do to improve their finances and as a result, their marriage. 

     

 
 
      Episode 57  Being able to communicate about finances with your spouse is crucial to a happy and satisfying marriage.  On this episode, professional counselor Russell Baxter who has recently released his book, Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure, is sharing his insight and advice on what couples can do to improve their finances and as a result, their marriage.      SHOW NOTES      4 Types of Households  1.     CPA Home  2.     Joint Venture Home  3.     Wild West Home  4.     Team Home     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.       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.      
   
     “ When you talk and agree on finances with your spouse you improve your intimacy and share your heart. ” 
   
   — Russel Baxter 
 
     Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, your Heart will be also.      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    Why is Money So Complicated?   Money represents:          Safety    Security    Fulfillment    Purpose    Shame    Guilt    Anxiety    Inadequacy    Self-Esteem    Future    Possibilities    Healing        Whether spoken or assumed we each associate with money in an emotional way.      Creating mindfulness about my relationship with money.   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.       A Healthy Team is:    Isn’t looking at how other teams play.    Cares more about the team than 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  Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure Book  - Signed copy  Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure Book  - On Amazon   Budget Forms and Tools  David’s New Book -  Jesus on Money  David’s New Website -  www.stewardshippastors.com

Episode 57
Being able to communicate about finances with your spouse is crucial to a happy and satisfying marriage.  On this episode, professional counselor Russell Baxter who has recently released his book, Sharing Your Heart Sharing Your Treasure, is sharing his insight and advice on what couples can do to improve their finances and as a result, their marriage. 

     

 
 
      Episode 56  Having a budget is foundational to financial success. However, just having one doesn’t automatically make you financially successful. You must know how to use it to achieve success. On this podcast we continue sharing our many years of personal budgeting experience to help you gain insight into what will make your budget more successful.   SHOW NOTES     Auto & Property Insurance  Everything tends to go up each year, at some point it’s worth switching.    Lots of competition so take advantage of that.    Ask for discounts - insurance companies have many discounts they can apply to make your policy less expensive.    Don’t forget other options to decrease your premium like:    Increasing your deductible.    Liability insurance for older vehicles.           Episode 42 - Auto Insurance   Episode 22 - How to Buy a New Car   Episode 23 - How to Buy a Used Car      Car repairs    If you have kids that you help with car repairs or maintenance, then you have to put it in your budget. You can’t just budget for your cars, you have to budget for the people you support financially, if you don’t write it down you won’t set healthy      boundaries.    Set a plan in place with your grown kids.    Encourage them to have their own budget that includes car maintenance and repairs.    If you are mechanically inclined (oil changes, even minor repairs) have them       pay for the parts and you do the work, this way your budget is not affected.         Miscellaneous    Purchases that don’t fit into a category.    Something you buy occasionally (printer paper and ink).    Not light bulbs or cleaning supplies because they are either in house        maintenance or combined with groceries.      Apps for phone.    icloud storage or itunes charges (only when small and not frequent).    Dry-cleaning, magazine subscriptions, unexpected giving.    Most miscellaneous expenses you should be able to see over long-term tracking and create a full plan for those expenses.    Animals expenses (might put your first couple pet toys in misc, but then it needs to go on the pet budget category).      Add a pet category to your budget so you can track everything you’re spending and plan accordingly.    Add a healthy living category. Don’t put gym memberships & vitamins under Miscellaneous.    Add a gift category to your budget, don’t just put it under miscellaneous. You will likely spend $1,000 or more on gifts throughout the year. This is large enough to      budget for it in its own category.     Resources   Budget Forms and Tools  David’s New Book -  Jesus on Money  David’s New Website -  www.stewardshippastors.com

Episode 56
Having a budget is foundational to financial success.  However, just having one doesn’t automatically make you financially successful.  You must know how to use it to achieve success.  On this podcast we continue sharing our many years of personal budgeting experience to help you gain insight into what will make your budget more successful.

     

 
 
      Episode 55  Having a budget is foundational to financial success.  However, just having one doesn’t automatically make you financially successful.  You must know how to use it to achieve success.  On this podcast we discuss our many years of personal budgeting experience to help you gain insight into what will make your budget more successful.    SHOW NOTES     Groceries  Buying in bulk quantities   Is buying in bulk really worth it? Can I do it and save money?    Sometimes it is the same price as other stores. It looks like a good deal, but it’s actually not.    Membership fee.    There’s a temptation to impulse  buy things you don’t really need to be buying.    The impulse is buying something in bulk...which means you spent a lot more on an impulse.    You have to purchase large quantities that will last multiple months, so you actually spend next month’s money before you earn it.    You need a specific Costco or Sam’s budget, because you go there every couple of months, something most people don’t do resulting in overspending.        Cell   phone       Too many people are staying with their carrier way to long.    They  charge high prices.    Hidden fees.    Lock you in with a special phone deal, while overcharging in other areas.      Second tier brands.    People don’t understand the bill, the carrier changes the fees and taxes, and the bill goes way up, but people don’t notice for months and then when they do notice they don’t want to call and push back.    Paying monthly for your “new phone” and getting locked into a carrier.       Electricity    Save by shopping for electricity when possible.    Power to choose.org    Shop at non-peak seasons to get better rates (December through March).        RESOURCES   Budget Forms and Tools   David’s New Book -  Jesus on Money   David’s New Website -  www.stewardshippastors.com

Episode 55
Having a budget is foundational to financial success.  However, just having one doesn’t automatically make you financially successful.  You must know how to use it to achieve success.  On this podcast we discuss our many years of personal budgeting experience to help you gain insight into what will make your budget more successful.

     

 
 
      Episode 54  We make financial decisions every day. Some of our decisions are complicated and can have long term ramifications. That’s why it’s so crucial to understand the process you go through in making financial decisions so that you can make the best decision for you and your wallet. On this episode, we discuss the challenges, shortcuts, and solutions to making good financial decisions.     SHOW NOTES     Bounded Rationality    Rational  - based on or in accordance with reason or logic.   Bounded   - limited, constrained, not knowing everything.   Bounded Rationality is the idea that individual decision making is limited by:     Personal information  - lack of knowledge - The decision maker might not be aware of all the      best information that will help take the optimum decision.     Cognitive limitations   - Humans have their own cognitive limitations. They might become biased or judgmental, or may not be able to process all the complex data available.     Time constraints  - Time is one of the biggest constraints for a human being. He often has to make decisions in haste, due to emergencies, or need of the hour.     Usually, people act in ways to maximize their self-interest. We do things that will increase our happiness. It seems logical that we would make rational decisions in order to accomplish that. Unfortunately, information asymmetry, cognitive biases and other factors conspire to bound our rationality, and people often make choices that lead to outcomes that go against their desires. (I desire to keep it under $200, but now I think there’s no way I can spend less than $200 to get what I want).     What are the shortcuts we take to make decisions?     Rely on celebrities to tell us about products.    Not do something because it’s difficult.    We never start investing because of the difficulty of starting.    Automatic enrollment.     Automatic +1% each year.        We get “sold” because we don’t have enough information or enough time to seek out all the available information.      We rely on rules of thumb.    Brands.    What parents or friends use.    Buzz words (organic, non-GMO, no gluten, healthy alternative).      So many options that when you’re trying to purchase something you search all the big places first...Google,  Amazon, Walmart.    Upselling    Radio with auxiliary cord.    Radio with Bluetooth.    Radio that connects to multiple speakers/subwoofer.    Touch screen option.    Premium brand.    Car Play or Android Compatible.      Truck Example    Adequate, but not over pay.    Sense of insecurity.    What’s the standard?    We can’t go back to the first choice, we now have multiple choices to go through, if I make the wrong choice then I’ll be frustrated and experience pain, so now I’m insecure about the decision.    Most people start with a price in mind.    Reliable.    Provide proper value for the dollars.      We no longer have 2-3 choices, we have 10-20 choices, and we have tons of information around each of those choices.    Company reviews.    Product reviews.    Reviews of the reviewing company to see if the review are from actual consumers or they are false?      Information overload    Having to buy things I’ve never thought of before, and each time I find more information I find new products I have to buy to protect myself and keep my original transaction secure.        Store Generic Brands vs. National Branded Companies    Adequate, but not over pay.      Buying online    Amazon    Potentially get it faster.      Direct from company    Trusted source, potentially easier to use warranty.    “In Stock”, but then it takes 10 business days.            I bought a camera, “in stock” online, then waited two weeks thinking it would arrive any day...after waiting two weeks I called the company and they said it’s not in stock… I asked how long till it was in stock, they didn’t know how long it would take. So I called two weeks later … same things… called two weeks later…. Said the same things and finally up-sold me to something that was in stock that I didn’t originally want.      Buying the right house, right neighborhood, good schools.       Solution    Have a budget and you stick to it. There has to be a limit somewhere.    Have margin in your finances so you can deal with unexpected expenses without feeling doubly frustrated by the situation.    Be weary of taking every person's opinion as truth. Others people's biases can cause us to eliminate options that might be good solutions.    Deal with fear, realize that every decision will come with some uncertainty.    Label the fear and label the worst thing that might happen.    Do you really need to lose sleep over that.    Is your life in danger, is your family in danger, does it completely wreck your finances.    Or does it just lead to inconvenience.      Buying house in a flood plain for $300,000 vs buying a desk for $300      Realize the value of brands.    Satisfaction.    Sometimes being sold feels good.         Good, Cheap, or Fast  Usually get 2 out of the 3. Hard to get all three at once.  1.    Good & Cheap - but have to wait to get it, it won’t happen  fast.   2.    Good & Fast - but won’t be  cheap.   3.    Cheap & Fast - but it won’t be  Good.

Episode 54
We make financial decisions every day. Some of our decisions are complicated and can have long term ramifications. That’s why it’s so crucial to understand the process you go through in making financial decisions so that you can make the best decision for you and your wallet. On this episode, we discuss the challenges, shortcuts, and solutions to making good financial decisions.

     

 
 
      Episode 53  Your identity, especially your financial identity, is something you have to keep safe.  In this information age most of your personal information is stored digitally, which means there’s an increasing risk that the wrong people will gain access to it.  What you do to protect your information can either make you vulnerable or safe.  In this episode we share ways you can keep your identity safe, including a new law that makes it much easier for you to ensure identity theft doesn’t happen to you.   SHOW NOTES  Credit Reporting    Experian    Equifax    Transunion    See your actual reports from each credit bureau once a year:  www.annualcreditreport.com     Credit score: www.creditkarma.com       Credit Score ranges between 300-850   Credit score rankings:     350-620 - Bad    620-660 - Fair    660-720 - Good     720-850 - Excellent        Love hate relationship with the credit score.    I love that someone was smart enough to build a business tracking this data and making it easier for businesses to lend money to trustworthy people, so that it’s easier to buy a house, this system has made it very easy for large companies to make millions of decisions everyday about borrowing and lending. That’s kind of neat.    I hate that they take all of our information without our permission, they don’t make it easy for us to access and manage the information flow. They don’t protect the information as well as is needed and can put us at risk for identity theft.    I also hate that the system encourages debt and makes “borrowing” easy...I think borrowing is something that very rarely makes sense in someone’s life. I think you need “surety” if you’re going to borrow. I think most people don’t realize the risk of debt. I think too many companies.     You can’t stop them from tracking all your data and putting together a score on you, but you can implement some strategies to keep your credit report safe from Identity Theft   Consider these identity theft statistics:    2017, 6.64 percent of consumers became victims of identity fraud, or about 1 in 15 people.    That equals 16.7 million victims last year, an increase of 1 million from 2016.    Over 1 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2017, costing families $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses.    There’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds.    It takes most victims of identity theft 3 months to find out what’s happening, but 16 percent don’t find out for 3 years.    In other words, if your chances of winning the lottery were 1 in 15, like the odds of being an ID theft victim, we’d all have family, friends, and colleagues who are millionaires.   How can you protect yourself?       Use two-factor authentication:  Banks and brokers commonly ask you to verify your identity by receiving a text message or email when you use a new device to sign in. Now, many online merchants offer the same, but consumers generally must opt in.     Encrypt and password protect:  Malware doesn't infect only your computer. Now that an increasing amount of commerce is conducted via phone and other mobile devices, new viruses aim at them. Treat your mobile devices with the same care that you use to guard your desktop or laptop. Secure them with passwords, security software and encrypt any stored data.     Set up alerts:   An increasing number of companies allow consumers to put alerts on their accounts when transactions exceed a certain dollar amount, which could allow you to spot fraud before it got out of control.     Freeze or lock:  If you're not planning to apply for new credit anytime soon, consider freezing your credit reports with the three major bureaus. This will halt any new credit being opened in your name. The downside is that freezing credit reports can cost up to about $10 at each credit bureau, and if you want to apply for a loan, you would have to lift the freeze first.      What is a credit freeze?   A freeze makes your credit reports inaccessible to most people, with some exceptions:     You can access your own records, including getting your  free annual credit report , while your credit reports are frozen.    Pre existing creditors and debt collectors still have access.    A freeze has no effect on your credit score.     What are the pros of freezing my credit?    Peace of mind and protection against identity theft.     No one will be able to open credit accounts in your name, which can save you the hassle and cost that come with having your identity stolen.    It is the strongest form of protection for the sensitive data in your credit reports, and it is free.     What are the cons of freezing my credit?    Freezing your credit can be inconvenient. You need to contact all three bureaus.    You also have to establish accounts with Equifax and TransUnion when you freeze or thaw online, while PINs are required when you unfreeze by phone or postal mail.     You are required to keep track of your PIN to freeze and unfreeze your files regardless of method.    A freeze can give you a false sense of security — you may still be susceptible to credit fraud or other fraud involving your Social Security number.    A credit freeze won’t affect your current accounts, but if a thief steals the information on an existing account, your credit may be used without your permission. It is still important to check statements carefully.     How to freeze your credit     Equifax:  Call 800-685-1111 or  go online . Check out a step-by-step  Equifax credit freeze  guide.     Experian:  Call 888‑397‑3742 or  go online . Here’s a detailed walk-through on a  credit freeze with Experian .     TransUnion:  Call 888-909-8872 or  go online . Read our  TransUnion credit freeze  guide.    Once a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, is in place, it secures your credit file so nobody can access it unless you give direct authorization to the credit bureaus, usually through a password-protected credit bureau website or PIN.      

Episode 53
Your identity, especially your financial identity, is something you have to keep safe.  In this information age most of your personal information is stored digitally, which means there’s an increasing risk that the wrong people will gain access to it.  What you do to protect your information can either make you vulnerable or safe.  In this episode we share ways you can keep your identity safe, including a new law that makes it much easier for you to ensure identity theft doesn’t happen to you.

     

 
 
      Episode 52  We love the start of a New Year because in a literal sense it closes one door, the year past, and opens another door, the year ahead. With a new year comes new possibility and new endeavors. We always feel hopeful and enthusiastic about a new year because it means we can pursue new things or improve on the old ones. In this episode, we share our thoughts and ideas for how you can make 2019 a success and achieve even more financially and personally.   SHOW NOTES  Goal Setting    Increasing your income    Advance your career    Improve your relationships    Improve your life and health       Hal Elrod - The Miracle Morning    Morning routine.    As little at 10 min or as much as an hour.    Do 6 things.    Life Savers.    Silence - Solitude.    Affirmation - Review your gifts and talents, affirm that you’re called to do what you’re doing, and that you’re making an impact where you are.          5 steps to create your own affirmations.       What you want.    Why you want it.    Whom you are committed to being to create it.    What you’re committed to doing to attain it.    Add Inspirational quotes and philosophies.      Visualization    Envision the future.    What are the benefits of where you’re going?    Create a debt thermometer and put it on your wall.    Create a education plan and check mark accomplishments.      Exercise    5 min routine up to 30 min exercise.      Reading    Learn and grow.      Scribing     Writing and journaling.            It’s not about squeezing ths in to your current routine, it’s about purposely making extra room in your morning for this routine. You wake up an extra hour early, or 30 min early, or even just 5 min early.    Tell someone    To increase the chance of success share your plan with someone who will hold you to it. You have to give yourself some accountability. You need to be excited enough about this to share your plan and encourage others on their journey.    Intentionality is the standard of leader. The person who is the most intentional IS the leader. Not based on title or pay-grade or who you know. Over time your intentionality will elevate you to the position and place you want to be. Being intentional is the standard.    If you were meeting the president of the United States tomorrow, what would you do to prepare?    If you’re intentional about every day, you’re going to have a great year!      Financial Focus    Improve Your Income    Building a small business, side hustle.    Take an inventory of your gifts and abilities and look for ways to use them at your current job or pursue other job opportunities.    Side hustle ideas.    Garage sales, estate sale.    Online arbitrage.    Finding furniture at Goodwill, Facebook Buy & Sell.    Blog about your online finds and build a community.    Start a YouTube channel teaching something you know.    This has multiple benefits, can lead people to find you as an expert and pay you for consulting.    Turn it into an online “premium” class where people pay to learn special things from you.      Uber / Lyft /Amazon fulfillment.         Personal Finances    Be a better financial manager.    Improve your financial position.    Time to create your budget, we talk about it all the time, but now is the time to       sit down and do it.    Create Net-Worth Statement.    Reduce your debt, set a plan for the $ amount you’re going to pay off.    Use a  debt snowball .      Start investing.    Matching at company (401k, 403b, IRA, Roth IRA).    Build the habit of saving.           “Anything important in your life should be done daily. Show me your day and I will show you your future.”    If I look at your plate, I can tell you about your health 15 years from now.    If I look at your budget, I can tell you what your net-worth will be in 15 years.    If I look at your education plan, I can tell you where you’ll be in your career.      Sustainability is the guide of success. As you make your plan, you have to ask the question, “Is this sustainable?”      Start by  limiting  the amount of time. This will cause you to want more. Do you walk away each morning wanting more? That will draw you back and cause you to be consistent.    Make a 1-year commitment to the plan, then tell someone about it.    Do not change the plan 3 months into the year, if a new exciting plan comes along, then save it for the beginning of next year. Most of the time it will lose its       excitement before the next year and you’ll realize you would’ve lost out on your current plan to chase something that wasn’t the best.    You want to follow this through and see the impact it has on your life.         Resources   Budget Plan/Debt Snowball/Forms  Hall Elrod - The Miracle Morning -  book  &  website 

Episode 52
We love the start of a New Year because in a literal sense it closes one door, the year past, and opens another door, the year ahead. With a new year comes new possibility and new endeavors. We always feel hopeful and enthusiastic about a new year because it means we can pursue new things or improve on the old ones. In this episode, we share our thoughts and ideas for how you can make 2019 a success and achieve even more financially and personally.

     

 
 
      Episode 51  We hear a lot about the economy and how it’s fluctuating and impacting our buying choices, but what do you really know how economics are really affecting your personal finances? In this second episode we continue discussing certain economic terms and phrases that have a significant impact in the way we make financial decisions. Having the knowledge and insight into these terms and phrases will help you better manage your own personal finances.    SHOW NOTES   Economics:  The study of what constitutes rational human behavior in the endeavor to fulfill needs and wants given a world with scarce resources.      
   
     “ There is an infinite amount of choices, but a limited amount of resources. ” 
   
   — Ron Blue 
 
     Marginal Utility  Whenever you have more of something its value to you diminishes.     A $100 would be more valuable when you earn $1000/month than when you earn $1Million/month.    It’s very easy for us to get used to a higher standard of living, it’s easy to up, but very hard to go down.    When you don’t recognize that the more you add, the less value it adds to your life. You begin chasing more and more, with diminishing returns.     Something that used to satisfy doesn’t fulfill you the same way, used to be excited about going to McDonalds, used to be excited for a McDonald's Sundae, then Dairy Queen Blizzard, then Hagen Daaz… where does it end.       Inflation  Inflation is the increase in the overall prices of products and services in our economy. Each dollar buys less as inflation grows. A low, stable rate of inflation is normal and healthy.  The key to financial health is to be able to not just keep up with inflation but to beat it!    If you are afraid to start investing money, then you’re actually losing money each year just holding onto it. If inflation is 2-3% a year, you are losing that much each year. You have to be invested in something that will gain you more than 2-3% a year.    You don’t have to be an expert on economics, but you have to be aware that this affects you.    Unless you can lower your lifestyle by 2-3% a year, which is most likely not sustainable, you’ll need to invest in order to beat inflation and not decrease but increase.        If your money is going toward depreciating assets instead of appreciating assets, over time you’re going to get killed by inflation.      Vehicle go down in value.    Homes typically go up in value.    Investments go up over time (if you make wise choices).    If the inflation rate is 2% per year and a gallon of milk costs $2 today, it will cost $2.04 a year from now.  Since it will require more money to purchase the milk a year from now the $2.00 is worth less than it did a year ago. Whenever goods and services require more money to purchase the implicit value of money goes down.   Inflation Impact on Savings    $1,000 today will be worth $903.92 after 5 years and $817.07 after 10 years, if you’re earning no interest on the account.     That’s why stuffing cash into a mattress is a bad idea. Investing your money in some form of equity or bond investment is arguably a better way to go.     Recession   A recession is a significant decline in economic activity that goes on for more than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, employment, real income and wholesale-retail trade.    Making, selling, and buying of goods and services.    Companies make less, so they lay people off.    Less jobs means less spending, then less things are made, leading to a hard cycle to break.     Just because a recession occurs, doesn’t mean it’s going to destroy your life.  You must be prepared for recessions because they will come.  You must prepare for recessions, because they will come and you will be impacted in different ways. May be due to a job issues or just a decrease in investments.   Things to focus on before a recession comes:    Emergency fund.    Career insurance - networking, be a top employee.    Margin in the budget.    Investment money ready to take advantage of buying opportunities.    Buy a business.    Buying real estate.    Investing in the market.       

Episode 51
We hear a lot about the economy and how it’s fluctuating and impacting our buying choices, but what do you really know how economics are really affecting your personal finances? In this second episode we continue discussing certain economic terms and phrases that have a significant impact in the way we make financial decisions. Having the knowledge and insight into these terms and phrases will help you better manage your own personal finances.

     

 
 
      Episode 50  We hear a lot about the economy and how it’s fluctuating and impacting our buying power, but do you really understand how economics is affecting your personal finances?  In this episode we discuss certain economic terms that have a significant impact in the way we think and make financial decisions.  Having knowledge and insight about these terms will help you better manage your finances.   SHOW NOTES     Economics:  The study of what constitutes rational human behavior in the endeavor to fulfill needs and wants given a world with scarce resources.      
   
     “ There is an infinite amount of choices, but a limited amount of resources. ” 
   
   — Ron Blue 
 
     Free  It doesn’t exist. Even the brightest economists will tell you, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” meaning nothing is entirely free of cost. One speculation of where the phrase originated is when saloons would give free lunch to anyone who bought a beer. They’d serve the men the saltiest foods so they’d end up buying more beer, thus making the meal cost something. Today, the concept isn’t too much different. If you think you’re getting something for free, you’re probably paying for it through hidden costs or costs that are distributed to someone else or society.     0% Interest  Trading up in car when you don’t need to because of the 0% interest appealing offer.  Truth: no business can stay in business without making money.  One way or another, a car dealership will make money on the car whether you have a 0% loan or not.    Need excellent credit to qualify.    Only cars on the lot qualify.    Shorter term loan and higher payments.    Less negotiating on the price with % percent financing.    Often have to choose between cash rebates or 0% offer.      Electric Vehicles     Low cost energy    Low maintenance cost    High price of car    High price of battery    There will be a break even in 2020’s      Opportunity Costs  The opportunity to do one thing, costs you the opportunity to do something else.  A resource can’t be used in two different places.    Education    Money    Relationship    Small Business vs Job     Investing    Etc       Education:  Take a job out of high school earning $30K VS go to college, gain higher level of employment with a $50K starting income.   Investing : 401(k) loan, IRA loan….sold as a good easy loan that you pay yourself back with. You lose out on the returns. You also lose out on the pain that causes you to actually change your habits. Most important, you miss out on compound interest.   Example:     $20,000 401k loan… at 10% interest over 30yrs, would’ve been $350,000 if you hadn’t taken it out.     Paying yourself back the 4% interest rate, means you’d have $2,100 at the end of 5yrs… for a total of $22,100.    $22,100 for 25 years… at 10% equals $240,000    Paying off the card, you’d pay $8,000 interest over five years, but you never drain your 401(k). So you pay the bank $8,000 instead of losing $110,000 in earned interest. Plus you maintain the intensity of attacking debt and gain frustration with debt that causes you to never go into debt again.       

Episode 50
We hear a lot about the economy and how it’s fluctuating and impacting our buying power, but do you really understand how economics is affecting your personal finances? In this episode we discuss certain economic terms that have a significant impact in the way we think and make financial decisions. Having knowledge and insight about these terms will help you better manage your finances.

     

 
 
      EPISODE 49  Living a happy and satisfying life is the pursuit of most people. We all want a good lifestyle.  However, choosing the wrong lifestyle for you can have significant financial consequences. On this episode we look at two couples who chose slightly different lifestyles, even though they made the same income, and then compare their financial position after 10 and 30 years.  The difference will surprise you!     SHOW NOTES     Lifestyle Choices    How do you match your lifestyle for your income?    You can only afford a lifestyle that fits into your income.    Many people actually create a lifestyle beyond their income, and use debt to fund that lifestyle, but then it’s not sustainable and they end up going through extreme emotional hardship fighting that debt and lowering their lifestyle. The hard part is that it often requires three times as much effort to fight your way out of debt, than to live within your income in the first place.   Overspending Example:     Earn $50,000    Spend $51,000    10 years later - Debt $10,000    Interest 10% = $1,000    How Much Do They Have to Cut Lifestyle?     Yearly obligations and costs after 10 years of overspending:     Interest $1,000 per year    Principal $1,000 per year    Reduced Lifestyle $1,000 per year     They were spending $51,000 per year and now must spend $48,000 per year for 10 years to get out of debt.    Lifestyle Choices: Fishers Vs Burks     Both married in 1999    Bill and Tom had similar jobs at Wilson Financial    Sally and Sue were both elementary school teachers    Same family incomes    Both couples owned a home    Both drove two cars    Both took annual vacations    Both ate out every Friday night for “date night”        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Ten Years Later … Fishers saved $0 while the Burks saved $117,000.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Resources   Spending Guideline

Living a happy and satisfying life is the pursuit of most people. We all want a good lifestyle. However, choosing the wrong lifestyle for you can have significant financial consequences. On this episode we look at two couples who chose slightly different lifestyles, even though they made the same income, and then compare their financial position after 10 and 30 years. The difference will surprise you!