JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast-A show devoted to answering your personal financial questions and covering current events in personal finance. Giving people a new perspective on their money!

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Highlights of today's show:

  • Is strategic foreclosure ethical?
  • Can technology help out your finances?
  • Combining finances in marriage or keeping them seperate
  • The best investment you can make is in yourself
  • Now taking requests to have guest posters on the blog

We wrap up Financial Literacy Month today by answering a few common questions that I receive when I am among family, friends, and co-workers. The first question is about strategic foreclose. Foreclosure is not a fun topic to discuss, although it does happen, but strategic foreclosure is a whole different topic. Losing the home or having to sell the house because you are behind on bills is one thing, but just walking away from your home because it is inconvenient is another thing. Strategic foreclose has become quite popular in some financial circles, but I highly recommend people not go that route. It might seem easier in the short term, but in the long run you are only hurting yourself.

The second question I get is what financial software should I use to help my finances? There are a lot of good ones out there, but I caution people in using them and thinking that your finances will take care of themselves. They won’t because software cannot force you to follow your budget, only you can! Nothing against software as it can be a good aide in helping you track certain items, but personal finance is PERSONAL. It is about you making decisions to improve your life, not some computer program.

Finally, we wrap up Financial Literacy Month by talking about combining finances in marriage. There might not be any greater controversy in the personal finance world than this question. To me it is pretty simple; I have never coached any couple that is succeeding with money with separate finances. How can you if you aren’t on the same page financially? When you get married “His” and “Hers” becomes “Ours” and that includes your finances. By combining your finances you are working together and having constant discussions with your money which will get you on the same page. Remember, when you agree on your spending, you are agreeing on your life.

If you would like to contribute a guest post to the site you can fill out this form. The only rules for writing a guest post on the site is that it has to be original content and that it has to do with personal finance.

You can now find the podcast on Stitcher SmartRadio! Stitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and beyond. So if you have a smart phone and want to stream the podcast from your phone, please download the app from their website.

You can subscribe to future Podcasts either through Feedburner or iTunes. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page. In addition, if you have enjoyed the show for a while now, please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you have any comments, questions, or ideas for future shows you can send them to me and I will integrate them into a future show. Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air.

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Angie Six from justlikethenumber.com joins us on today’s show to share how her family paid off $100,000 in debt in 6 and half years! Their debt was made up of student loans from both her and her husband as well as two nice new cars. To get their debt payoff accelerated, they made some temporary sacrifices by selling not one, but BOTH of their new cars. While the sacrifices were not always easy, Angie says she and her husband still had a great time getting out of debt.

Some of the keys for them getting out of debt included being around like minded people to keep them motivated and remembering their goals. Other things that helped them stay focused were a budget, taking Financial Peace University, and being on the same path with each other. Now that they are debt free they have been able to travel more, have started to save for retirement, and are able to send their son to pre-school.

Angie started justlikethenumber.com in 2006 shortly after they paid off their debt. The original goal of the blog was to keep in touch with friends and family when they moved from Tennessee to Indianapolis. To anybody wanting to start blogging, her advice is to just start blogging. It won’t be perfect at first, but just start to write. You can find her on both Facebook and Twitter.

You can subscribe to the Debt Free Living Podcast either through Feedburner, iTunes, or Stitcher SmartRadio! The podcast can be found in iTunes under the JW's Financial Coaching Podcast. If you subscribe you will receive both the JW's Financial Coaching Podcast on Mondays and the Debt Free Living Podcast on Thursdays.

If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review in iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you would like to take the steps necessary to start living debt free, I would love to be a part of your journey. Here's how I can help.

April 22, 2012  
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Highlights of today's show:

  • 0% Credit Card Transfer offers
  • Can help you get out of debt
  • Figure out the transfer fees and APR first
  • Must learn how to live on less and stop using credit cards first
  • Interest rate, however, is not your big problem

Since the month of April is National Financial Literacy Month, I thought I would answer a question I get from time to time when working with clients about 0% credit card balance transfers. You know my opinions on credit card usage and how I want you to pay off any outstanding balance, but I am not against using a 0% credit card transfer offer if you look into a few details and have some other things squared away first.

The things you first need to consider are; what is the initial transfer fee, what is the APR on the card after the 0% offer expires, and are you going to use the card for purchases. The transfer fees are important because sometimes you can actually pay more in the transfer fees than you would in interest. The APR is important because you might be paying more in interest if you cannot pay off the balance before the 0% rate expires. Finally, if you are not serious about getting out of credit card debt and instead keep using the card to make purchases, then I would not make the deal because you are getting caught up in the vicious cycle of credit card debt.

With all this being said, remember that the interest rate on your credit card is only 10% of the problem. The actual DEBT on your credit card is the other 90%. We can spend so much time trying to reduce our interest rate and think that we actually accomplished something, but if you never pay off the debt then you really have not made much progress. So before you do a 0% transfer, please ensure that you are living on less than you make, make the commitment to stop using credit cards and instead use debit or cash, and finally figure out ways to put more money each month on your debt snowball. If you get those areas under control first, then I would consider going ahead with the transfer.

In addition, we also discuss an article I wrote for the blog this past week asking the question “Is your mortgage really a tax advantage?” This question was inspired by The Debt Free Living interview with Crystal and the post breaks down scenarios where a mortgage might have little or even no tax advantage at all. My challenge to you this week is to figure out how much your mortgage is saving you in taxes. Chances are it is saving you a lot less than you think.

You can now find the podcast on Stitcher SmartRadio! Stitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and beyond. So if you have a smart phone and want to stream the podcast from your phone, please download the app from their website.

You can subscribe to future Podcasts either through Feedburner or iTunes. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page. In addition, if you have enjoyed the show for a while now, please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you have any comments, questions, or ideas for future shows you can send them to me and I will integrate them into a future show. Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air.

April 15, 2012  
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Highlights of today's show:

  • Should you retire?
  • Just because you are retired does not mean you should retire from life
  • Don't wait until you are 65 to do what you enjoy doing
  • If you have skills you are valuable, no matter how old you are
  • Are you envious of other people's success?

Last week we talked about Investing 101 and gave some general tips on retirement funding. Today we again discuss the topic of retirement, but in a totally different way. Currently in our culture, retirement is a stage in life and is now considered a right whether or not you have the money.

But why is that? If you love what you do and are in good health, why would you want to retire? Today we tackle the question of whether or not you should retire. Personally, I don't plan on retiring from life. I will always be using my talents and gifts in some way.

You can now find the podcast on Stitcher SmartRadio! Stitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and beyond. So if you have a smart phone and want to stream the podcast from your phone, please download the app from their website.

You can subscribe to future Podcasts either through Feedburner or iTunes. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page. In addition, if you have enjoyed the show for a while now, please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you have any comments, questions, or ideas for future shows you can send them to me and I will integrate them into a future show. Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air.

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Crystal Stemberger from budgetinginthefunstuff.com and howimakemoneyblogging.com joins us today to share how she and her husband paid off $39K in student loan and car debt. In addition, they are on pace to have the cash saved up to pay off their mortgage this May! Crystal never really like debt growing up, and the idea of having to owe somebody money was never her idea of fun. But she got the idea to get out of debt by reading personal finance blogs. Eventually, after a few months, she convinced her husband to get on board and they worked together to knock out their debt.

The whole process ended up being easy for them because they knew what they wanted. “Once you know what you want, then it’s not work to do it.” The key to getting her husband on board was having the "fun money" category in their budget as well as seeing their debt go down each month.

Crystal started her first blog Budgeting in the Fun Stuff in February 2010. On her blogs she posts information such as her budget, net worth, site visits, and even her own weight. Doing that has motivated her to go harder and stay honest. She started makemoneyblogging.com over a year ago right after she quit her day job to pursue self-employment through her blogs. She has found her niche in negotiating ad deals for blogs. Her customers exploded from 1 to 300 customers in only a little over 6 months. Additionally, she makes over 5 times the annual income she was making at her previous job! Not bad for somebody who got into blogging just as a hobby.

Crystal's advice to young couples is to sit down and write everything that you spend money on during an entire month. Then prioritize your spending, eliminating the spending that is not important to you.

You can subscribe to the Debt Free Living Podcast either through Feedburner, iTunes, or Stitcher SmartRadio! The podcast can be found in iTunes under the JW's Financial Coaching Podcast. If you subscribe you will receive both the JW's Financial Coaching Podcast on Mondays and the Debt Free Living Podcast on Thursdays.

If you enjoyed this episode please leave a review in iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you would like to take the steps necessary to start living debt free I would love to be a part of your journey. Here's how I can help

April 8, 2012  
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Highlights of today's show:

  • Why Financial Literacy Month is important
  • General tips on investing
  • Invest in products that you understand
  • What to look for in an investment professional
  • What to look for in a mutual fund

A couple of weeks back I asked all the listeners to fill out a brief survey about the podcast to help improve the show. One of the questions I asked was, "What topics would you like to see covered more on the show?" Well, the results are in and one of the most requested topics was investing. Investing is not one of my strong areas and I am NOT a professional in investing, but there are some things you need to consider before starting to invest.

Today we cover investing 101 by giving you some general advice on investing. Topics covered on the show include: what do we mean when we use the phrase "investing," whether or not to use an investment professional, what is the right mix of stocks, bonds, and cash to have, the importance of having a long term mindset when we invest, and what to look for in a mutual fund.

For more information and tips on investing please read the following blog posts or listen to the following podcasts:

You can now find the podcast on Stitcher SmartRadio! Stitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and beyond. So if you have a smart phone and want to stream the podcast from your phone, please download the app from their website.

You can subscribe to future Podcasts either through Feedburner or iTunes. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page. In addition if you have enjoyed the show for a while now, please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you have any comments, questions, or ideas for future shows you can send them to me and I will integrate them into a future show. Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air.

April 1, 2012  
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Highlights of today's show:

  • My take on the student loan forgiveness act of 2012
  • Busting the myth that if you get a college degree you will be successful
  • Education is important, but you can get education outside of college
  • Can we end the "student loans are good debt" myth?
  • The lottery provides false hope

Student loans have been a topic on the show more than just once and I have seen firsthand as a coach the detrimental impact student loans can have on people. In fact with outstanding student loans approaching $1.0 trillion, I have called student loan debt the next ‘bubble’ to burst. With that being said, I came upon an article from my friend Deacon Bradley about the Student Loan Forgiveness act of 2012.

Steve Stewart of Moneyplansos.com had me, along with others, as a guest on his show to discuss the proposed bill and share our thoughts on it. Today I am not going to rehash my thoughts on the whole bill but there are some things I do want to talk about that have come up from this proposed bill.

The first is the myth that if you go to college you will be successful. There was this belief when I was growing up that it was important to get a college education and you would be set for life. Well, this has been harmful to many people as we are finding out that just because you went to college does not mean you will be successful.

The second myth that we can put to rest is the myth that college debt is “good” debt. I’ve talked before about the whole “Good” debt vs. “Bad” debt debate. But if we are considering forgiving student loans can we now just admit that student loans aren’t all they are cracked up to be?

You can now find the podcast on Stitcher SmartRadio! Stitcher allows you to listen to your favorite shows directly from your iPhone, Android Phone, Kindle Fire and beyond. So if you have a smart phone and want to stream the podcast from your phone, please download the app from their website.

You can subscribe to future Podcasts either through Feedburner or iTunes. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page. In addition, if you have enjoyed the show for a while now, please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes. Big thanks to my friend Glen Steinson for helping me create the video.

If you have any comments, questions, or ideas for future shows you can send them to me and I will integrate them into a future show. Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air.