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!

February 13, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Answering listeners questions
  • How to ask for a balance transfer
  • What the biggest issue is with your debt
  • Should you take vacations while in debt?
  • Quote of the lesson from Rory Vaden

When I first started the show back in 2010 one of the things I set out to do was to answer listener’s questions on personal finance issues.

It’s part of why I got into coaching in the first place, to teach and help people in their situation. Well on today’s lesson I get back to that a little as I’ve been looking around on Facebook and on other money forms and have found a few questions from real life people I’d like to answer. I want to answer them today because they are questions I receive often when coaching or talking with people about their money.

First Question-Balance Transfers

The other day I decided to do a balance transfer to a 0% card. My card I am transferring from has a balance of $2048 the new card only approved me for $1000 @ 0% for 15 months. Any suggestions on how to proceed with the payoff since I will still have a balance on the old card? Is it possible to contact the new card and request a balance transfer increase? What are the odds that would work?

Balance transfers are quite popular when trying to get out of credit card debt. For those who don’t know, balance transfers are when you transfer part or all of a balance on an already existing credit card to another card via another company.
This is done because credit card companies typically offer low introductory interest rates which allows you to pay off the credit card faster, in theory. Credit card companies offer these to 1.) Get your future business 2.) Get your money by you hopefully not paying off the balance.

You can always call the credit card companies and ask to increase your limit on a balance transfer as it never hurts to ask. You might need to make multiple phone calls until they bend however. Another option is to do another balance transfer with another credit card company.

As to how to pay these off, assuming these are your lowest debt on your debt snowball, you have gone from one credit card with a $2,000 balance to two credit cards with a $1,000 balance each. I would pay off the credit card with the interest rate first, before going ahead and attacking the other one.

I say attack, because the problem I see often with balance transfers is that by moving your credit card debt to a zero percent interest credit card, people often feel a sense of accomplishment. They shouldn’t!

The debt still exists though! You really didn’t do anything, and that is the problem with debt. Interest rate is *NOT* the problem. The actual debt is the problem! As I’ve mentioned before I’m not against balance transfers in general, but I’m against them as a way to get out of debt. Because simply moving your debt to a lower interest rate is not removing the debt.

Other resources I’ve done about balance transfers

Second Question-Taking a vacation while in debt

When paying off debt what's recommended for taking vacations?

This question comes up a lot in different varieties when I work with clients. The premises of this question is do I have to wait to be debt free before I can have fun? Or can I have some fun now?

Let’s be clear hear, there is no clear cut *right* answer to this question. It all comes down to what are your real priorities? What do you value more, a vacation or anniversary gift? Or getting out of debt?

From my point of view, vacations aren’t a right, they are a luxury. For some of you, you might not agree, but because I have this view point I’m can’t recommend taking a trip while in debt. I believe this because I’ve been debt free myself for many years and have seen and talked with others who have been the same and I see what being debt free means to your life, not just your finances.

The sacrifice is worth it, I know the feeling of being debt free is better than the feeling of going on a vacation, and the short term pain is worth it for the long term gain.

Another way to answer this question is to ask yourself the following question-would I borrow money to go on this vacation? If the answer is no, then what are you essential doing by going on vacation while in debt? You are borrowing to travel.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, and it depends on a variety of things including debt level, income, and what you are prioritizing. But I would only consider doing this if I could save the money to do so. No way would I recommend traveling on a credit card, home equity loan, stop contributing to retirement, or depletion of emergency savings.

Other Resources mentioned in the show on this topic:

If you would like your questions answered on air, please send them to me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“One thing that is always more expensive than a good system is not having a system at all." ~ Rory Vaden

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

February 6, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • What financial risk is . . . and isn't
  • How we took a risk with our health insurance
  • Why we were able to take that risk
  • Reasons to get your financial house in order
  • Quote of the lesson from Tony Robbins

When I use the word "risk" associated with your finances what comes to mind?

Do you think of putting all your money into one investment that could go boom . . . or bust?

Do you think of quitting your day job on a whim to start a business with no money in savings?

Those are indeed risk, but risk in our finances doesn't mean all or nothing. We face risk each day when we invest in the stock market. The stock market could lose value tomorrow.

When we buy a home, their is risk in the house dropping in value or becoming a money pit. (For more info on how to buy a home the right way please check out the book I wrote A Tale of Two Houses.)

The thing is that it is almost impossible to avoid any kind of risk with our finances. Yes there is the possibility of losing money when it comes to taking risk, but there should also be a chance at reward as well.

On today's lesson I share why our family took a "risk" with our health insurance this year and share how we are able to do it in the first place.

Health Insurance enrollment

Like most of you, our open enrollment for our health insurance benefits at my company occurred in late October/early November. Typically when it comes to that time, I usually just go in, select the same coverage we had last year and see how much the coverage increased.

Instead though I looked through all of our health care plans options and an interesting situation arouse. Typically we have gone with a high deductible plan which has a Health Savings Account (HSA) attached to it. The deductible is $3,000 with a 80/20 co-pay after that up to a maximum out of pocket amount of $6,000. The monthly premium was $274.96 or $3,299.52 a year.

However I noticed that there was another high deductible option with a $5,000 deductible with a 80/20 co-pay after that with a $10,000 maximum out of pocket. But the monthly premiums for this plan was only $63.55 a month or $762.60 for a whole year. The difference in monthly premiums was over $211.41 a month, which translated to a savings of $2,500 on an annual basis!

But of course that also involved more risk. So what did I do? I ran the number of course. In addition to the premium difference, my employer also contributes an amount into our HSA each January. The amount was $800 for the $3,000 deductible plan and $300 for the $5,000 plan. I counted that as a deduction to annual premium because that money covers the first medical expenses you have for the year.

 

 

 

That was the upside, but what about the downside? Well taking the numbers above, I then ran some scenarios on our medical expenses for the year. Below is what I came up with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basically as long as we didn't have $20,185 in medical expenses for the year we would come out ahead and our total exposure to loss was only $1,963 and that is if we had the medical expense year from hell. But on the plus side if he had our normal medical expenses per year (non counting labor and delivery years) we could come out ahead $2,000 a year.

Ultimately we decided to take the risk and go with the $5,000 plan and take the difference in premium and put it away in our HSA that way we were paying ourselves the difference instead of the insurance company.

Why we took the risk

But the point on today's show isn't about changing your health insurance coverage. It's about why we were able to take the risk. We were able to take the calculated risk because we're debt free, we have an emergency fund, we have money already in our HSA in case we had a medical emergency, and we know what our money is doing.

Ultimately we're taking a slight risk. Yes we could have multiple emergency rooms visits or one of us might need surgery this year. But odds are we won't and the reward is worth the risk.

The bottom line is that winning with money allows you to take more calculated risks in health care, investing, and in our career. It's just simply another reason to get our financial houses in order.

Other Resources mentioned in the show

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW's Financial Coaching Newsletter

“Don't think in terms of taking huge risks to get rewards. Think about the least amount of risk for the greatest reward, and be extremely disciplined in that." ~ Tony Robbins

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

January 16, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Why goals work
  • How to create SMART goals
  • The power of writing your goals down
  • Where to determine what your goals are in the first place
  • Quote of the lesson from Earl Nightingale

Goal setting is something we’ve discussed on the show before around this time of the year. It’s a good time to talk about financial goals because usually at the end of the year most of us are reflecting on what we’ve accomplished the previous year and look ahead to what lies ahead in the next one.

With that being said you might not be a big goal setter and you start to roll your eyes whenever you read or hear someone talk about goals. But I believe in setting goals because for me they have

  • Helped Lisa and I achieve what we’ve wanted to financially
  • Allowed us to dream together
  • Propel us to things we didn’t think were possible!

But goals aren’t magic, you still have to do the work to achieve them. A lot of times we don’t reach our goals because they are too vague. Goals like I want to do better with money, I want to save more, I want to spend less, contribute more to retirement, reduce debt, aren’t likely to get achieved.

So instead of doing that this year, today we discuss how to create goals that are S.M.A.R.T. I didn’t come up with the acronym but making S.M.A.R.T goals for our family has really helped out.

S-Specific. Goals needs to be precise and leave no doubt. Instead of saying “I want to lower my spending in 2016” change it to “I want to lower my spending on groceries, eating out, and utilities in 2016”

M-Measurable. Goals need to be quantifiable to succeed. Instead of saying “I want to save more in 2016” change that to “I want to save $100 a paycheck in 2016.”

A-Actionable. This is always a tricky one. You have to create a goal that is reachable but also a stretch. If you make it too easy, you’ll more than likely procrastinate on it and then barely achieve your low goal.

R-Realistic-You have to be willing to do the work. If your goal is to pay off all your debt his year, but to do that you’ll have to work 100 hours a week, live in the dark, and eat two meals a day you won’t accomplish that go. Because you won’t see it through. There is a level of sacrifice of either time, energy, or money when it comes to reaching your goals however.

T-Timeline. Expected results need to have a timeline. We don’t like to have deadlines but for most of us we work better when we do. Instead of saying “I want to pay off my student loans in 2017” change it to “I want to pay off my Salie Mae Loan #1 by the end of February.” That will force you to put your energy and money into Salie Mae #1 and you are more likely to pay it off in February.

In addition to having goals that are S.M.A.R.T it’s important to write them down as well. Don’t ask me why but when I write things down they are more likely to happen then not. I’ve also created an easy to use worksheet that has you write down your goals, determine the cost, and develop the action steps needed to accomplish them.

Also if you need help determining what your goals should be in the first place check out this short 10 video series I put together a few years back on taking control of your finances. The video are supposed to be consumed daily and feature small actionable steps to take to gain control of your money. They were designed for the year 2015 but apply to any year you do them in.

But what if you are listening to this after the beginning of the year. Can you still use these strategies? Of course you can, goal setting can happen at any time! It’s easier at the beginning of the year as January 1 is a good starting point for a fresh start. But it doesn’t have to be a certain date, you can start your goal journey at any time.

Below are some more resources on goal setting

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“People with goals succeed because they know where they're going" ~ Earl Nightingale

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

December 18, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • How Lisa and I spent more than we made in 2016
  • Why I felt that we were throwing money away left in right this summer
  • Why Savings is our future goal
  • What are goals are for 2017
  • Quote of the lesson from John Maxwell

 

 

As a financial coach and mentor, one of the main things I teach and show clients is the importance of living on less then you make. Yes it is a simple concept in theory, but in practice very few of us actually do it.

But there it was on our net worth statement for the end of November.

A decrease of over $10,000 in cash from January 1 through the end of November!

Today we discuss how that happened, why it happened, and most importantly why Lisa and I are actually ok with us spending more than we made in 2016.

We also breakdown why we are making savings a bigger goal in 2017.

But the encouragement today is that if you are a saver, you have the money saved, and the time comes to spend the savings on whatever . . . . don’t hesitate in spending the money, DO IT! It’s why you ultimately saved in the first place.

If you want to learn how to determine and ultimately reach your goals in 2017 please signup to receive the Goal Setting Spreadsheet that I will be sending out later this month.

Other Resources mentioned in this lesson:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went" ~ John Maxwell

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

November 6, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • Anyone else sick of the election and ready for it to be over?
  • Why Washington won't and can't change your finances
  • The importance of focusing on your economy
  • What you can spend your time focusing on instead
  • Quote of the lesson from Rory Vaden

the-jws-financial-coaching-podcast_127

Unless you are living under a rock, you know that the 2016 Presidential Election will all come to ahead this Tuesday when we will elect the 45th President of the United States of America. With that being said I think I speak for most Americans when I say that I’m ready for the election to be over.

But with that being said, voting for our leaders and issues on a national, state, and local level is an important part of democracy.

Today’s lesson though is about why Washington, or even your state for that matter, won’t and can’t change your finances. It’s nothing against them, but politicians can only adopt policy changes that can encourage you to make wise financial decisions, but it CAN’T force you to be smart with money.

You are the only one who can force you to

  • Develop a budget
  • Identify areas that you are weak that will cause over spending
  • Pay down your debt
  • Save for your retirement
  • Teach your children about

So whatever the result of Tuesday’s election is remember that it’s up to you to make wise financial decisions and even if you’ve been the problem, the good news is that you can become part of the solution.

Resources mentioned in today’s show

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by A Tale of Two Houses 

Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day” ~ Rory Vaden Take the Stairs

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

September 11, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • What knowing our finances means
  • Why most of us don't know or understand our financial situation
  • What understanding our finances does for us
  • How to start knowing and understanding our finances
  • Quote of the lesson from Charles Kettering

the-jws-financial-coaching-podcast_120

How well do you know your finances?

Even better, do you understand your finances?

Most of us don’t know our finances, and even less of us understand our finances.

What’s the difference you might ask, well it turns out there is a big difference and on today’s show we’ll discuss what both are and why they important to winning with money.

Knowing our finances means we are aware or are informed about our money. This means we know things such as

Understanding our finances means we are comprehending our decisions on money and are aware of how these decisions impacts us. Things we can do to understand our finances better include:

Understanding our finances allows us to look at the big picture when making financial decisions instead of having the mindset of week to week or paycheck to paycheck. This lets us make wise financial decisions, frees us to become more creative and take “risks”, lets us determine what we need to do to life the lifestyle we choose to, and ultimately allows allow us to make our financial dreams a reality.

In short it allows us to take on short term pleasure for long term treasure.

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“Knowing is not understanding. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it. ” ~Charles Kettering

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

April 24, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • Personal Finance is more than just the numbers
  • What is Mindset?
  • What Mindset on money do you have that is a hindrance?
  • How our mindset impacts our finances
  • Quote of the lesson from Adam Braun

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_103

A lot of us are scared to look at and manage our finances. Often because the thought of dealing with numbers is a scary proposition. But the more and more I study and learn about personal finance, the more I realize that the numbers are actually a small part of the process and that behavior is actually more important.

I think Dave Ramsey says it best that "Personal Finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge." So today we're focusing on the behavior aspect our finances. But we're going deeper then just behavior, we're actually going to talk about the mindset that allows that behavior to happen.

To me mindset is actually even more important than behavior. That's because the behavior is important, but the mindset that allows us to change our behavior is even more important than the behavior ourselves. In today's lesson we try to prove that out by using the following three examples:

  1. Our mindset in paying off debt
  2. Our mindset in saving for a down payment for a house
  3. Our mindset on how we actually view money

What is the point of today's lesson? The point is to challenge you how you view your finances and look at your own mindset when it comes to money. Do you have a negative mindset towards money? What about debt, budgeting, saving, investing, etc.? Mindset alone won't pay off you debt, save for emergencies, or start to give more. But it will keep you motivated and grounded as you move towards you goal.

Below are other podcasts and blog posts mentioned in the show:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

"Big waves start with small ripples.”Adam Braun

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

March 20, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • What we learned when purchasing a new vehicle
  • Why our opinion of car payments was reinforced
  • How paying for cars in cash is worth the price
  • "A Tale of Two Houses" Webinar replay
  • Quote of the lesson from Dave Ramsey

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_99

Today's lesson we share a recent personal story of how we paid cash for our latest vehicle purchase. Paying for a new vehicle in cash felt amazing, but also left me in a little bit of a haze. Find out what put me in the haze, and how I snapped out of it.

Just for fun I decided to determine what our payment would have been had we took out a loan. I then compared it to our budget and tried to determine what we would have had to cut out of the budget to make our car payment fit and the options weren't pretty.

Also find out how our beliefs about debt were reinforced during the process and ultimately why we don't have a car payment.

If you are working towards paying off your car loan and want to pay cash for your next vehicle, let this lesson be an encouragement to you. The price to pay to make this happen is steep, especially for your first cash car. But the pain is worth it. The feeling of not having a car payment and the flexibility to give, invest, and pay extra on our mortgage trumps any need to drive a better car.

Other lesson's mention in today's lesson:

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by my new book A Tale of Two Houses

"'The worst car accidents happen on the showroom floor.”Dave Ramsey

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

January 17, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • Paying too much in cable or satellite tv costs?
  • Is Sling TV an attractive alternative to cable
  • My review of Sling TV
  • Why it is a good option if you are looking to cut costs
  • Quote of the lesson from Thomas Jefferson

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_93

Last week I did a written review of Sling TV and on today's lesson of the podcast I'm doing an oral review of Sling TV. Is Sling TV a viable alternative to cable TV? What are the advantages of Sling TV? The disadvantages? I try to answer all of those questions on today's podcast.

Overall I think it is a good alternative to cable, as long as you are just looking to watch basic cable channels (ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, etc). The app is easy to use, the picture quality is clear, and at $20 a month, it won't break your budget.

It's also the future of TV in my opinion. With services such as Sling as well as Hulu and Netflix, the traditional business model of cable and satellite TV is coming to an end. Streaming video and TV services are the future so it will be interesting to see how Sling TV evolves in the coming years.

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com.

"Never spend your money before you have it ” – Thomas Jefferson

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

November 19, 2015  
00:0000:00
  • How being healthy improves our bottom line
  • Eating healthy improves our waist line and our wallet
  • It sounds obvious but being healthy saves you money at the doctor
  • Want to make more money? Try resting more
  • Quote of the lesson

The JW's Financial Coaching Podcast_89

One of the things that I have really been trying to be conscious of this year is my health. It's been a process and I am by no means perfect, but I've come to grips with the fact that how I treat my body impacts how I feel at that moment. I used to eat whatever I felt like, sleep whenever, and exercise when I had the time, but now that doesn't work well with me.

Becoming more health conscious has many benefits, including helping our finances. On today's lesson I cover four benefits that living a healthy lifestyle has on our finances. They are below:

  • Save money on food. This applies to both the grocery store and eating out. We hear about how much more expensive it is to eat more healthily and there is some truth to that. But when you start to eat healthy you realize how much it costs to eat fast food, ice cream, and Oreos.
  • Save money on insurance. This sounds pretty obvious but when we are healthier we tend to get sick less. This then costs us less to insure and saves us tons in deductibles and co-payments. It also lessens our chances of certain long term diseases which then in turn costs us less in life insurance.
  • Eliminates idle spending. Eating well, sleeping more, and exercising takes a lot of time and effort, time and effort that perhaps we would have spent instead on idle spending at stores or online retailers. Idle spending is the worst because after one month we have hardly used the item we bought and can't tell anyone why we bought it in the first place but if you have less idle time you have less time to spend.
  • Help our performance at work. How many of us are dragging at work? It might be because we don't like where we work, which is another lesson in and of itself. But being healthier gives us more energy to perform at our job or in our business. Often the work environment isn't always healthy as we might be sitting at our desk all day staring at a computer screen and eating sweets. That makes it hard to perform when you aren't feeling your best. But what if you are performing at your best? Wouldn't that tend to making more money in the long run?

This lesson isn't a direct one on finances but an indirect lesson on how living healthy helps our finances. Again I still have a long way to go, but one of the big steps for me was realizing that what I was doing was impacting my life. Therefore I needed to do something about it.

Remember, money is an important part of life, but not the most important thing. It's important to be well rounded in our faith, family, career, and health in addition to our money.

This lesson’s quote is brought to you by Audible.com.

"It is one thing to record what you spend, it is another to plan how you are going to spend things before it happens ”Russ Carroll

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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