3 Smart Alternatives to Loaning Family Money

Lately, I’ve been taking Uber and Lyft to the airport for my work travel. It gives me 40 free minutes to relax, work or have random conversations with the drivers. One recent chat with a Lyft driver reminded me that loaning family money can cause more harm than good.

Continue reading “3 Smart Alternatives to Loaning Family Money”

How to Get $126,000 in College Scholarships – with Jocelyn Paonita

When my daughter Zoey was born we met with a financial advisor to discuss her future college needs. He advised us that for Zoey to attend an in-state college like Michigan State University, we’d be looking at a price tag of about $200,000. 4 years of college would cost us $200,000!

Since then, we’ve been diligently saving in our state sponsored 529 plan through low-cost index funds. But honestly we don’t feel like there is any way we’re going to be able to save that much money by the time she’s 18. And quite frankly, Nicole and I want to make sure we’re set for our retirement before Zoey and Calvin get a free ride to college. Sorry kids!

Continue reading “How to Get $126,000 in College Scholarships – with Jocelyn Paonita”

These 5 Books Will Skyrocket Your Net Worth

Earlier this year, I set a goal of having a net worth of $1,000,000 by the time I turn 40. What seemed like a lofty goal at one point in my life now seems decently feasible. I owe a lot of that success to the investment I’ve made in my education. And no, I’m not talking about college degrees (Go Green!). I’m talking about the small investments I’ve made in purchasing some of the most inspirational, eye-opening and motivating books out there on business, personal finance and professional growth.

Continue reading “These 5 Books Will Skyrocket Your Net Worth”

If I Could Do It Again – 9 Pieces of Financial Advice For Me in My 20’s

The other day I was emailing with Heath, a listener of the podcast. Heath commented that my show has a family-focused tone to it, but it can really be enjoyed by single guys (like Heath) who don’t quite yet have a family as well. The compliment was extremely appreciated – thank you Heath – and it got me thinking. What advice would I have for myself 10 or so years ago before I met Nicole before I had kids and before I knew anything about money?

Continue reading “If I Could Do It Again – 9 Pieces of Financial Advice For Me in My 20’s”

How We Paid off $48,032 of Debt in 1 Year

In May 2010, I married my dream girl. She was funny, beautiful and chock-full of 90’s TV trivia. Our first couple of dates consisted of a lot of Saved by the Bell and Seinfeld jokes.

Outside of knowing the Soup Nazi episode verbatim, Nicole and I both came into the marriage knowing the general basics of personal finance. You know, advice like:

  • “Don’t carry a credit card balance”
  • “Always have some savings for a rainy day”
  • “Good debt is okay to have”

Continue reading “How We Paid off $48,032 of Debt in 1 Year”

Budget Your Way to Financial Freedom in 5 Steps

When my wife Nicole and I started our marriage, we were $50,000 in debt and spending money like it was our full-time job.  I, for one, had no issue going on vacations, driving cars and updating our home all on credit.

When we started thinking about having kids, Nicole and I knew it was time to break our addiction to debt.  We knew we needed a plan to master our money.

We had heard that developing a monthly budget could help us in eliminating debt, saving more money and reaching our goals.  So, we gave it a go.  It was rocky at first, but soon it became habit.

Fast forward six years later, we’re debt-free, our net worth has increased by $800,000 and we are mortgage free. We’ve never been happier.   

The catalyst for this major change in our lives was creating and sticking to a monthly budget.   

Continue reading “Budget Your Way to Financial Freedom in 5 Steps”

How to Live with Intention in the New Year

For the new year holiday weekend, my family drove up to Marquette, Michigan to spend some quality time with my sister and her family.  A winter trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan might not sound like the thrill of a lifetime to some, but for us Marquette is our family’s little slice of heaven.

Continue reading “How to Live with Intention in the New Year”

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Money – with Elle Martinez

Building wealth is a lot like building a strong marriage.

Both require determination, passion and the ability to communicate effectively.

Determination

Continue reading “How to Talk to Your Spouse About Money – with Elle Martinez”

2017 Goals: Marathon, Mortgage, Millionaire

2017 is right around the corner!  

I’ve made some exciting and challenging goals for myself for the new year.  Some are short-term and some are long term.  I like to dream big with my goals, but also infuse some reality into the process.

2017 is my “M&M&M” year … Marathon, Mortgage and Millionaire.

Goal 1:  Marathon

Continue reading “2017 Goals: Marathon, Mortgage, Millionaire”

15-Year Mortgage Paid Off in 5 Years

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 OLE MORTGAGE to pay for it!

Continue reading “15-Year Mortgage Paid Off in 5 Years”