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!

00:0000:00
  • Are bi-weekly mortgage programs worth it?
  • Why you don't need to pay a fee to have your mortgage paid off sooner
  • Getting your spouses head out from the sand when it comes to money
  • Why it is important to focus on the why and less on the what
  • Quote of the lesson from Charles A. Jaffe

 

Today we answer a few more questions from that you had for the show. Like the last time we did this in lesson #136, I always appreciate answering your questions on the show.

Question #1

What are your thoughts on biweekly payments on mortgages? I think it will be good for budgeting but have heard many negative things against it.

In short I love the concept of paying off your mortgage early and paying extra on it each month will definitely help it. But I’m against paying a fee to make that happen, especially when it is pretty easy to do it yourself.

A biweekly plan is where your bank has a program that does auto withdrawal from your account every two weeks, instead of once a month.

So if your payment is $1,000 a month, it is going to withdrawal $500 from your account every two weeks. Over the course of a year this equals to making 26 half payments (52/2) or 13 full payments. So basically you are making an extra payment once a year.

This will equate to paying off your mortgage a lot sooner, sometimes up to six years sooner. It does help with budgeting because you know that every two weeks your half payment is going to be sent to the bank.

The thing is that a lot of banks that do this charge a fee for this service. I’m not against paying fees if it helps me reach my goals. However I am against paying fees for things I can do easily myself and bi weekly payment programs are something you can easily do yourself and save the fee.

To make an extra payment a year, simply divide your monthly payment by 12. Take that number and add it to your monthly payment. If you are on a budget this is a simple thing to do, because you have control over your spending. Also over time you’ll start to add more additional money to your payment and pay off your mortgage sooner.

Now I wouldn’t pay extra on my mortgage until I was completely clear of any other debt and have an emergency fund. I want you to pay off your mortgage as much as anyone, but I don’t you to pay needless fees to accomplish that.

Question #2

How does one inspire their spouse to get their head out of the sand and begin to study money?

The age old question-how to get your spouse on board. This topic has been covered before on the show, most recently in lesson #137 but I’m always glad to cover this topic again. Because if you and your spouse agree on your spending, you’ve essential agreed on your life.

The first thing I would try to do is to attempt to answer the questions why do they have their head in the sand? Now this is probably going to take a few conversations to accomplish, but why don’t they want to participate in the finances?

Is it because of a previous bad experience with money? Perhaps a divorce from a previous marriage and/or a bankruptcy?

Is it because they are overwhelmed with your current financial situation? Are they so worried about the debt or lack of savings that they don’t want to think about it?

Or is it because they don’t consider themselves a math person or good with money? Well the good news is that few people are, and it’s something you just need to work on.

But take some time first and instead of hitting them over the head on why you need to work together, focus on their insecurities and why they want to put their head in the sand in the first place. After determining the cause of that then you can attempt to have the other conversations necessary.

The other thing to help with your spouse is to focus less on the what, and more on the why you want to work together.

Share why working together is important to you. Sometimes we can focus so much on the what, getting on a budget, reducing our spending, working extra, selling some of our possessions, etc. But we forget to mention the why a lot of times, and all they heard is the what and how it is going to impact them and they turn off real quick.

Instead share why you want to learn about money together. Is it for your future? Your children? Are you just tired of living the same old life over and over again?

These should be serious discussions, not during a commercial break while you are watching your favorite show or at the dinner table when the kids are running around.

But offer to work together so that you are both on board. This may be reading a personal finance book together, or listening to a podcast, taking a class, and eventually the big one, doing a budget together.

So instead of focusing on the what to do, first take the time to see why your spouse feels about money the way they do and share more of why this is important to you in the first place.

Other resources related to today's lesson

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

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

“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits” ~ Charles A. Jaffe

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.

 

April 2, 2017  
00:0000:00
  • What are some small things we can do to have a big impact on our finances
  • Why physical de-cluttering saves us money
  • How much of a refund are you receiving this year?
  • Are you diversified enough
  • Quote of the lesson from Charisse Ward

 

 

 

 

 

Personally, I don’t know about you, but spring cleaning is one of those things that I know I need to do every year and that I will be glad I did once it is over. But in the end I procrastinate doing it and usually don’t get around to doing it.

Truth be told we do similar things our finances. There are some small stuff that we know we should do each year, not major things. But in the end we don’t do them or push them off until when we’ll have “more time”.

Since it is that time of the year to do actual spring cleaning, I thought it would be fun to discuss four things that come to mind when I think about doing spring cleaning with our finances

1. De-Clutter

Yes it can help our finances to do some actual, physical spring cleaning. I’m amazed at how demotivating clutter can be for us.  Currently we have three children under six so I know how it happens. You clean up your house and like 10 minutes later it somehow looks worse than when you originally started. So instead you just put stuff into our “get to later pile” and we never get around to it.

But it is good to take a weekend every once in a while to put stuff away where it belongs or actually to get rid of the unwanted stuff. The benefits are we get to make some money. By selling or donating things off of Craigslist, having a garage sale, or donating toys or clothes to charities.

De-cluttering can also help us by stopping the need to spend money in the future. How much we spend each year on a storage unit or storage bins to use in our home? How much are we paying to store that 3rd car we hardly use or to storage the boat we take out once in a while?

It also helps our energy to give stuff to people who will use it a lot more than we will. In addition to helping our creative energy by simply eliminating the stuff in our lives.

2. Life Insurance

Life insurance is never a fun topic to discuss. But now is as good of a time as ever to review your life insurance needs and current coverage and determine if you need to add or eliminate certain types of coverage.

When it comes to life insurance you need to remember why you need it in the first place. Life insurance is needed if someone depends on you financially. This often is a spouse or if you have children still at home. Also if you aren’t independently wealthy there is a good chance you need some kind of life insurance in place.

You don’t need life insurance as a way to invest for retirement or your children’s education. You also don’t it if you don’t have anyone who depends on your financially for their support. You also may not need it if you are independently wealthy.

As for how much coverage you need, well a good place to start is 10x your income. Some might need more or some might need less depending on your situation. But I would only recommend purchasing term life insurance, as hopefully there will be a point in your life where you get to a point when you won’t need life insurance any longer.

3. Taxes

You know with it being April I had to sneak in a section about taxes. Are you getting a huge refund this year? Do you need to adjust your W-2? The W-2 is where you claim how many dependents you expect to claim on your taxes and that determines how much money is withheld from you paycheck each month. The more dependents you claim, the less $$ is withheld.

The thing is that you don’t need to match the real number of dependents you actually claim. For example we have five dependents in our home that we claim each year on taxes. I claim 20 on my employer paycheck . . . . and we still got a $800 refund for 2016’s taxes.

Now everyone’s situation is different and please consult a tax professional for specific advice in your situation. But I see so many people struggling to make their minimum payments each month but they are still getting a big refund each April. Instead have that amount come to you in your paycheck throughout the year so you can manage it better and not get in the predicament in the first place.

4.) Investments

Investment are not a fun thing for us to do. But take a hour or two and look at what your investments are and how they are performing. You’ll also want to check your fees that you are paying on your investment to see if they aren’t too high relative to their performance.

You’ll also want to see if you are contributing enough. I recommend after you are debt free to work towards contributing 15% of your pay into investing for retirement. If you don’t like to do this stuff on your own or you feel that it is intimidating than I would recommend working with a professional to help teach you the basics and get you comfortable with investing.

Again these are four small things to do and there are other similar smaller things that you can do as well. They aren’t going to be earth shattering moves like starting an emergency fund or becoming debt free, but they will help your finances and you’ll be glad you did them once they are completed. I recommend just taking one of these a week and try to accomplish the task.

 

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

“Clutter causes stress, and clutter is one of the main barriers of productivity” ~ Charisse Ward

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.