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!

June 18, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • Wrapping up our series on employee benefits
  • How some employers are helping with adoption costs
  • What health and wellness benefits are and how they can help
  • Save on hotels, car rentals, office supplies, and phone service
  • Quote of the lesson from Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On today’s lesson we are wrapping up our series we’ve done on looking at employee benefits by focusing on some obscure benefits that not every company offers or that you even think about as a benefit.

Child care

Now when it comes to child care there are different federal, state, and local programs out there for child care. But we’re talking about today is child care provided by the employer.

There is a program called the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) that offers tax favored status when your employer either reimburses the employee, pays the provider directly, or offers a day care center on site.

The most common way is money is put into a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) which the employee then uses to pay for dependent care. Currently the tax code is written that employees don’t pay taxes on this money up to $5,000 per year.

Adoption Assistance

The more and more I research this topic, the more I realize that some form of adoption assistance is becoming more common. There are also a growing number of folks who want to adopt, so this seems to be a win-win situation.

Now like all benefits, this will vary by employer but how most adoption assistance plans work is the employer will reimburse, up to a certain dollar amount, for the cost of an adoption. This can include the payment of fees including court cost and legal fees, foreign adoption fee, and medical care for the mother.

There are also programs that help get you in contact with adoption agencies and support groups as well as adoptions for children with special needs.

Health and Wellness programs

There are a lot of different examples that fall under the umbrella of Health and Wellness. They can range from things that encourage exercise and good health such as providing a physical work out center in the office and encouraging employees to joins smoking cessation programs.

Or it can also including providing programs for health monitoring, alternative modes of transportation to work, to getting in touch with a counselor.
The thing is to look and see if any of these programs work for you or fit a need and they might be able to encouraging you to join an activity that promotes your health or wellness.

Employee discounts for services

This is something you might not think of as an employee benefit, but employers, especially large ones work with a lot of other vendors to provide services. That leads to these vendors giving the employees some discounts on some of those services.

So check and see if your employer partners with any other business. Some of these discount services include discounts on

  • Hotels,
  • Car rental
  • Airline travel
  • New car purchase
  • Phone provider

I know through my employer, we receive a 20% discount off of our data on our phone plan each month.

I also got a discount on the closing cost of my mortgage through an employee program.

These things aren’t going to make you a millionaire but they are ways to save money on stuff you are already consuming or are going to consume in the future.

Overall my hope with this series is to encourage you to take the time and look through your employer benefits and see if there is anything you are missing out on that can either save you money or enrich your life.

Depending on your situation you might be leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table by simply not taking the time to look at your benefits.

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by Jeff Goins' new book titled Real Artists Don't Starve

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

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.

May 15, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • In research for my upcoming book, been looking at statistics on credit card debt
  • Why credit card debt is not just an income or age issue
  • 3 ways to avoid credit card debt
  • Why I don't own a credit card
  • Quote of the lesson from Mark Cuban

In doing some research for my upcoming book, on how debt free people think, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on debt statistics. Recently I did some research on credit card debt and the recent surveys and statistics coming out in regards to credit cards and their usage are quite startling.

  • Gallup found in 2014 that 71% of Americans own at least one credit card [1]
  • As of March 2016 38.1% of households that have a credit card have a balance at the end of each month with an average debt of $16,000 [2]
  • Among all US households the average credit card debt as of 2016 is $6,184.16 [3]
  • Among those who carry a credit card balance the average household will pay $1,292 in interest [4]
  • Total Outstanding US Credit Card is $762 billion[5]
  • Credit card ownership by Age:
    Age Range    Percent that own a credit card
    18-24               67%
    25-34               83%
    35-49               76%
    50+                  78%
  • 56% of Undergraduate students owned a credit card in 2016
  • Credit Card Debt by Age as of 2016
    Age Range    Average Credit Card Debt
    18-34               $5,808
    35-44               $8,235
    45-54               $9,096
    55-64               $8,158
    65+                  $6,351
  • Average Credit Card Debt by Income as of 2016
    Income Range           Average Credit Card Debt
    < $25,000                    $3,000
    $25,000 to $44,999    $3,900
    $45,000 to $69,999    $4,900
    $70,000 to $114,999  $5,800
    $115,000 to $159,999 $8,300
    $160,000+                   $11,200
  • Average annual credit card interest cost by household income in 2016
    Annual Income Range    Average annual interest paid
    Less than $21,432                   $677.43
    $21,432-$41,186                     $839.60
    $41,187-$68,212                     $1,135.91
    $68,213-$112,262                   $1,303.76
    $112,263-$157,479                 $1,882.85
    More than $157,490                $2,515.05
  • Annual credit interest paid by employment status in 2016
    Employment Status        Average annual interest paid
    Employee                                $1,210.58
    Self-employed                        $1,630.84
    Retired                                    $1,321.84
    Other, not working                  $1,554.57
  • Average Credit Card Debt by Gender
    Gender        Average Credit Card Debt
    Male            $7,407
    Female        $5,245

What does this information tells us? What I noticed was that credit card debt isn’t just a thing for those who don’t make a lot of money or are young. There are people in their 50’s and 60’s and those make well over six figures that have credit card debt.

The fact that we as a nation have $762 Billion in credit card debt is absurd. So today’s show I share ways to avoid credit card debt in the first place. On the surface they might seem basic, but a lot of times when it comes to personal finance, basic is usually the best answer.

  1. Don’t have a credit card in the first place.
  2. Do a monthly budget
  3. Have an Emergency Fund

We break down each of those ways further and share why whether or not you carry a balance on your credit card is not a good measure of whether it is wise for your to use one.

Other resources mentioned on today’s show

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

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

“Credit Cards are the WORST investment you can make” ~ Mark Cuban

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.

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/168668/americans-rely-less-credit-cards-previous-years.aspx

[2] https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt

[3] https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/average-credit-card-debt-household/

[4] https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/average-credit-card-debt-household/

[5] https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt

December 11, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • Ways to spice up savings
  • The Pay Yourself First mentality of savings
  • How to realize that savings is actually future spending
  • Challenge yourself to save
  • Quote of the lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savings vs. Spending. We can tackle this subject through a variety of lenses and as mentioned in the show we have. But today we are going to talk about it through a unique way that was helped inspired by a client I was working with a few months back.

The client wanted to save more money but wasn’t able to save as much as they wanted and instead was spending it on other areas. We tried to focus on ways to spend less in those areas, but for whatever reason it didn’t seem to work. So instead of focusing on where to spend less, we instead focused on where to “spend” more, and that happened to be “spending” more on savings.

To “spend” more on savings we had the client transfer money out of their main account into their savings account each day they got paid. That way the money wasn’t floating around in the main account looking to be spent.

It might seem like a psychological ploy but by having a “spending” goal of savings allowed the client to reach their savings goal and was able to feel more empowered with their finances.

In addition we also share some other good ways that you can employ to start to save more in 2017. Hard to believe that a new year is right around the corner, but this time of the year is always a good time to start to write down some your financial goals.

Other resources mentioned in the show

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

“Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they are rich." – Unknown

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.

August 7, 2016  
00:0000:00
  • How to balance enjoying money now vs. enjoying it later
  • The three questions Lisa and I ask when making a purchase
  • Why the amount in your bank account doesn't tell you what you SHOULD do, it tells you what you CAN do.
  • Should I be spending on luxuries when I'm in debt?
  • Quote of the lesson from Warren Buffett

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_116

One of the most common issues that I encounter when I’m working with an individual or a couple is how to balance long term goals like saving, investing, or paying off debt vs. making a big purchase such as a car or a fancy vacation.

It’s a great question, because while we do our monthly budget and perhaps do set aside money for big purchases, the budget can’t tell us whether or not we *SHOULD* do it, it really can just tell us if we *CAN* do it.

On today's lesson of the podcast I'm going to share the process that Lisa and I use when making a big spending decision and whether or not we should do it now or later.

Now much like most thing in personal finance, the decision is a personal one that all depend on your situation and financial goals. But when it comes to making big purchases decisions below is the process that Lisa and I do when we look to make a big purchase.

We always like to ask ourselves the following three questions first

  • How much is it going to cost?
  • How are we going to pay for it?
  • If we have to budget for it, what will we need to change in our budget?

It’s important first to determine how much the purchase is going to cost. Doing so will help give you a clearer picture and will assist in determining whether or not it is something to do now or wait for another time.

After you know how much it costs, it’s then time to figure out how you will pay for it. Is it going to come out of savings? Will you have to adjust your budget for a few months to save enough cash? Is there something in your home that you can sell on EBay or Craigslist to get a cash infusion?

If you already budget for it, such as a car replacement fund, do you have enough time to save the correct amount between now and when you would like to make the purchase? If not, what will you need to change in your budget to have enough saved by then?

Some other things to consider as well is, if I make this purchase, what else is this going to prevent me from doing financially in the next few months? Save for my emergency fund? Not going out with my friends on the weekend? Postpone my debt repayment plan? You then have to weigh that loss against the gain of the purchase.

As for me, my #1 goal would be to have my $1,000 emergency fund funded first. Because if I don’t have my emergency fund fully funded and I make this purchase it’s like I’m spending my emergency fund on a luxury and a luxury is not an emergency. There’s nothing wrong with spending on luxury, but not at the expense of an emergency.

In addition, I personally wouldn’t be going on trips or spending big purchases on wants if I’m still in debt. I just think it is unwise. Often though I hear back from young adults in their 20’s and early 30’s who are looking at huge student loan balances, lower incomes, and don’t feel like they are ever going to get to spend their money on something nice so they want to go on a trip to be with friends.

While I might not agree with the purchase, I’m OK with it as long as it is paid for in cash and credit isn’t being used to fund a purchase. I’m never going recommend borrowing money to travel for luxury for example, but if someone can save up the money then going on the trip isn’t a “bad” or “un-wise” financial decision necessarily. It’s just different from what I do and teach.

However there needs to be a point where we focus and are more serious on paying off our debt then on travel. If the travel is a once in a few years type of deal that’s ok, but if it is a once a year thing I think I you might need to reevaluate how much getting out of debt is important to you.

To me this example it is a great opportunity to ponder on what your goals and priorities are. Yes you can go on vacations or buy a new car, but that is probably going to slow down the acceleration of getting out of debt, postpone your investing, or subtract money from your ability to do something else. Is that worth it to you? There isn’t a wrong or right answer but a question to ponder.

Hopefully that is enough information for you to make the best decision next time you are in this position. I think going through this exercise, whether you make the purchase or not, is a good real life example of how to handle money. You aren’t just acting on a whim and just making an impulse purchase, rather you are thinking critically whether or not to go and I’m sure you’ll make a wise decision.

Other resources mentioned in today's lesson

Today's quote of the lesson is brought to you by book on our experience of buying and selling a house titled "A Tale of Two Houses"

"Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving” ~ Warren Buffett

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.

00:0000:00
  • Different format to the show today
  • Sharing my thoughts from doing 100 lessons of the show
  • Doing the podcast has taught me a lot about money
  • How you can help show your support for the show
  • How you can buy a copy of "A Tale of Two Houses"

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_100

For the 100th lesson of the JW's Financial Coaching Podcast, we're going to do something different. I'm sharing 100 different money thoughts I've learned since I started the show.

If you have been a listener to the show for a long period of time you know that there have been more than 100 lessons of the show. I originally started the show back in 2010 and only started to number the lessons in 2012.

Either way for today I started out by coming up 100 short thoughts I have come to believe while doing the show. These 100 then were grouped in 14 different categories.  They are:

  1. Money is . . .
  2. Debt
  3. Owning a home
  4. Giving
  5. Budgeting
  6. Spending
  7. Joint Finances
  8. Investing
  9. Saving
  10. Credit Scores
  11. Education
  12. Taxes
  13. Emergency Fund
  14. Podcasting

Hopefully you enjoy the show, I'd love to hear feedback on whether or not you enjoyed it. Ultimately thought I couldn't do it without you. I know I always say that, but I say it because it is true. Thank you for being a listener to the show, I am excited to share with you some big things I have for the show later on this year.

Also "A Tale of Two Houses-Our journey of buying a home the right way after buying one the wrong way" is now available for pre-sale. The book releases April 12th but order now to get the lowest price you'll find it and receive two exclusive bonuses for pre-ordering the book.

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 5, 2014  
00:0000:00
  • Is their a link between amount spent on your wedding and the quality of the marriage?
  • What the research tells us
  • Why bigger isn't always better
  • Why the rich aren't afraid to ask for a deal
  • Quote of the week

Lesson79

On today's lesson of the show we discuss an article I found titled "Expensive Rings Linked to Higher Divorce Rate". The article points to a recent study which found that their is a correlation money spent on an engagement ring and a wedding and the chances of your marriage succeeding.

Now this isn't a lesson about how much one should be or not be spending on an engagement ring or on their wedding. Rather it is a lesson discussing what we can take away from the research and how that applies not only to our marriage but to our finances as a whole.

We live in a culture today of consumerism and we are judged by our character or what we do for others. But rather how nice of a ring, wedding, car, vacation, house we have. How dangerous of a mindset is that for us? Bigger isn't always better and the desire to impress those on an artificial level leads to stress not only with our finances and quality of life, but in our marriages as well.

Check out the following past shows that go well with today's lesson:

This lesson’s quote comes to us from anonymous:

"You can always tell a rich man because he’s not afraid to ask for something cheaper”.

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking five 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 FeedburnerStitcher SmartRadioiTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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. There are two ways to get in touch with me: 1.) Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air. 2.) Simply fill out the form on the contact page. Please fill out your name, email, and your question/comment/suggestion and we will read it on air.

You can find prior editions of the podcast at the podcast archive page.

September 15, 2014  
00:0000:00
  • Can a saver learn to spend money if it is not their natural tendency?
  • How saving can be taken too far
  • Why it is important to spend and not just save
  • Ways to help a saver loosen up their spending
  • Quote of the week

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_77On the last lesson of the podcast we shared how it was possible for a spender to learn to save. Well on this week’s lesson we flip the script and share how a saver can loosen up their spending. Saving money in of itself is not a bad thing; however it is possible to take saving money too far. Spending money is a healthy exercise, if done properly, but it is not natural for a saver. Today we discuss three ways to help savers loosen up their spending. In addition we discuss the different between being cheap and being frugal and why it is important to spend money.

For more resources on related to today's lesson check out the following:

This lesson’s quote comes to us from the legendary Bob Hope

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking five 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 FeedburnerStitcher SmartRadioiTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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. There are two ways to get in touch with me: 1.) Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air. 2.) Simply fill out the form on the contact page. Please fill out your name, email, and your question/comment/suggestion and we will read it on air.

You can find prior editions of the podcast at the podcast archive page.

August 18, 2014  
00:0000:00
  • Can a spender learn to save money if it is not their natural tendency?
  • Why being a spender is not a bad thing
  • What keeps us from saving money
  • Ways to help us save more money
  • Quote of the week

Can a spender learn to save their money? I hear all the time from people, "I'm a spender, so I can't possibly be expected to live on a budget or save money?"

But is that a valid reason to not save money? On today's lesson we discuss why being a spender is not a bad thing, but rather it is the over spending that gets us. We also discuss what three things that keeps us from saving money, how to change those three things into our favor, and give three practical ways to increase your saving each month.

This lesson's quote come from Dan Miller of 48days.com.  This quote comes from Dan's latest book, that he co-authored with his son Jared Angaza, titled Wisdom Meets Passion.

"Money is like fire: it can burn you and leave you disfigured, or it can keep you warm and safe." ~ Dan Miller-Wisdom Meets Passion

If you are interested in downloading the audio version Wisdom Meets Passion for free please visit the podcast sponsor Audible.com

Enjoyed this lesson? If so please consider taking five 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 FeedburnerStitcher SmartRadioiTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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. There are two ways to get in touch with me: 1.) Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air. 2.) Simply fill out the form on the contact page. Please fill out your name, email, and your question/comment/suggestion and we will read it on air.

You can find prior editions of the podcast at the podcast archive page.

August 11, 2014  
00:0000:00
  • What is "fun" money" and why it is important to have it in our budget
  • How to do "fun" money the right way
  • Why "fun" money is not an allowance
  • What the difference is between "fun" money and stopping at the ATM when you are low on cash
  • Quote of the week

Enjoyed this lesson? If so please consider taking five 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 FeedburnerStitcher SmartRadioiTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW's Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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. There are two ways to get in touch with me: 1.) Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air. 2.) Simply fill out the form on the contact page. Please fill out your name, email, and your question/comment/suggestion and we will read it on air.

You can find prior editions of the podcast at the podcast archive page.

00:0000:00

Highlights of today's show:

  • Answering  listeners' questions on personal finance
  • Can money in an HSA count towards your emergency fund?
  • How to decided between going on vacation and paying down your mortgage
  • It's all about ratios when deciding between spending and saving
  • How grocery shopping with credit cards can make you fat

One of the biggest reasons I started this podcast three years ago was to help answer listeners' questions on money. Today we answer two questions sent in by the listening audience.

The first question is regarding Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and emergency funds. Should you count your money saved up in an HSA as part of your emergency fund? First of all I love HSA's and have used them for over five years now. In short, HSA's are savings accounts that you can contribute tax free money to help pay for medical expenses. The best thing about them is that you can roll over the balance you have left at the end of each year so you can build up quite a bit in the account.

While medical expenses are one of the most common expenses that you would use your emergency fund for, it's not the only possible emergency. Job losses, repairs to homes or cars, and emergency travel are others that you might have to use your emergency fund for and there is a penalty for taking money out of an HSA to use for non-medical expenses. Therefore while I think you can count your HSA towards the 3 to 6 months worth of expenses that I recommend having in an emergency fund, I still want you to have at least 3 months worth of liquid cash in your emergency fund, to take care of the non-medical emergencies.

Below are some posts and a podcast I have done before on HSA's:

The second question is how to determine when to save and when to spend. Andy has been paying extra towards his mortgage each month but wants to take a nice vacation with his wife next year. Should he take a year off from paying extra on the mortgage to save up for the vacation?

This is a great question that unfortunately I don't have a definite answer for. Ultimately I think you need to save for the vacation. When you are debt free except the house and have your emergency fund, that is the time for you to enjoy all your hard work in getting to this point. With that said, would it be wise to take a nice vacation every year and not pay extra on your mortgage? Probably not. Likewise I don't want you to pay extra on your mortgage and never enjoy what life has to offer either. There needs to be a balance in what you do. The best thing to do when you are in these situations is to talk it over with your spouse, if you're married, and agree on what you will do with your extra cash for this upcoming year. Some years might be a "Vacation" year and others might be a "Mortgage" year and therefore over time you will be saving and spending in good ratios.

Finally I also highlight an article I found from MSN Money citing a study that found that people who pay with a credit or debit card for their groceries spend on average 40% more on junk food then those who pay with cash. I found this to be interesting and share why this is another example of how our financial habits impact our life, and in this case our health.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through FeedburnerStitcher SmartRadio, 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.

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. There are two ways to get in touch with me: 1.) Email me at JWFinancialcoaching@gmail.com - Please put “podcast” in the subject line and keep your questions brief so they are readable on air. 2.) Simply fill out the form on the contact page. Please fill out your name, email, and your question/comment/suggestion and we will read it on air.

You can find prior editions of the podcast at the podcast archive page.

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