During late 2013 while I was traveling out-of-town for work, my wife Nicole found our “forever house”.
This home had everything she was looking for including an attached garage, open floor plan, updated kitchen, walk-in closet and a big backyard on a half-acre lot. She told me that this was THE ONE and as soon as I got home from out-of-town, I had to see it.
My wife has excellent taste and the majority of the time we are in sync. I wasn’t worried about liking it. I was worried about getting a BIG MORTGAGE to pay for it!
Honestly, I had been burned before. My first home purchase was a disaster.
I bought more home than I could afford in 2004 and when the housing market tanked in metro Detroit around 2009, I owed more on the house than it was worth. I did not want to be in that position again.
Surprisingly, when I got a look at the house Nicole found, I loved it too. It felt like home instantaneously. Even the neighbors were perfect.
We decided to go for it.
BUT… I had a few rules that we discussed to ensure we would pay off our mortgage in 5 years:
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders, more than half of Americans would consider living in a home that’s less than 600 square feet. And when you ask millennials the same question, that number jumps to 63%. So what’s fueling this interest?
Today, I’ve invited somebody on the show who lives in a 170 square foot tiny home with her husband and absolutely loves it.
Jill Sirianni is my guest today. She is a professional social worker and loves all things minimalism, tiny home living and debt freedom. She’s also the host of the Frugal Friends Podcast, which was nominated this year as the “Best New Personal Finance Podcast” by Plutus.
Her frugal advice and story has been featured in multiple popular podcasts, and recently, the Wall Street Journal.
Our first question of the month comes in from Julie. Well, it’s really a half question/half statement but nevertheless, here we go …
Try this on: $92,000 income family with one baby.
We live in a crummy small 2 bedroom rental with poor heat and cracks in the walls. It’s on the edge of the city, the best balance of travel time to work vs price we could find.
My field (international aid/development) is generally in major cities and we like our secure jobs so not ideal to leave.
My round trip to work is 1.5hrs with driving our baby to daycare then transiting myself to work. If I transit all the way, it’s 2.5 hrs each way. If I drive all the way it’s $300+ in parking/month. There is no transit to my husband’s work so we need 2 cars.
There’s a moment in people’s lives when they decide it’s time to become debt-free. For me and my wife, Nicole, it was when we learned we were going to be parents. For some, it’s when they get married, and for others, it’s just when they simply get fed up with owing people money.
Today, I’ve invited a couple who recently eliminated debt from their lives once and for all. Ryan and Regan Whitlock recently paid off $40,000 of debt in 8 short months. We’re going to find out their motivation for crushing this debt, so others can find their moment and their reason for becoming debt-free.
The future cost of college is no joke. According to Vanguard, the average rate of inflation for college costs has been about 5% in recent years.
As an example, my alma mater, Michigan State University in 2019 costs $25,046 per year for an in-state student. This includes tuition, fees, room, and board. That’s around $100,000 for 4-years of in-state tuition if my son or daughter were to be going to school today.
Fast forward to the year 2030 when my daughter starts her freshman year of college, 5% inflation on that $100,000 in 2030 comes to $184,000! Oh, and then you add in my son who will be attending college in 2032 and he’ll need around $203,000.
That means I’m looking at around $387,000 for my two children to eat, sleep and learn during 4 years of college. AHHHHH!!!!
I don’t know about you, but that number makes my head hurt. So much so that I want to throw my hands up in the air and just quit.
Over the 3 years on my podcast, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a collection of millionaire entrepreneurs, early retirees and personal finance experts. These conversations have allowed me to learn, grow and inspire others to win with their finances and create a better future for their family.
After each episode, I share a quote that motivates me and the listeners of the podcast to take action.
According to Bankrate, 29% of Americans have more credit card debt than they have in an emergency fund. That is some scary, scary stuff.
Today, I have a guest that accumulated quite a bit of credit card debt right around the time he got married. We’re going to talk about how he got out of that mess.
Chris Browning is the creator and the host of the award-winning short-form podcast, Popcorn Finance. His topics range from understanding the basics of investing all the way to his love of tiny homes. Chris’s advice has been featured in major publications like NerdWallet, Yahoo Finance, and CNBC.
Our first question of the month comes in from Daniel from Texas who wrote to me on my Facebook Page:
My wife and I have been married for 3 years. We are currently trying to pay down approximately $103,000 of debt. We initially started with $190,000 of debt when we got married. So we are progressing.
What’s the best approach to talking about debt and tackling it together?
We’ve taken the Dave Ramsey course and are currently doing the Debt Snowball, but at times we get into little arguments on our approach on how to tackle this debt. Any advice on how to handle that?
And what did you guys do to stay gazelle intense while on your debt-free journey? We are starting to get pressure from family about having kids and she feels like we are stagnant in our lives due to this debt.
Have you ever thought about refinancing your home? Most homeowners I know have entertained the thought at one time or another. They think it’s probably a good idea, but don’t know if it makes sense for them or not. Mortgages are confusing already. Refinancing adds to the confusion and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can cost you big time. Let’s look at when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage and when it’s a bad idea.