Generosity and Financial Independence: 3 Ways to Give Back on your FIRE Journey – with Dave Mason

Financial independence is a great financial goal to pursue. As we try to save more and increase our income, where does giving back fit in? It seems counterintuitive to give away money when the goal is to save as much as possible. 

A recent study by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy predicted an increase in charitable giving in 2020 and 2021, although this was all before our current world crisis. As the pandemic has undoubtedly rocked many Americans’ financial foundations, there’s a good chance that giving could decline in the coming years. 

Author Dave Mason recently joined Andy for a conversation about his new book, his own giving journey, and why being generous with your money works with financial independence, not against it. Dave is the co-author of “The Cash Machine: A Tale of Passion, Persistence, and Financial Independence,” a financial love story weaved together with endless financial and life lessons everyone can apply to their lives.

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Stimulus Checks: 6 Smart Ways to Use Your New Money

We got our stimulus check today! But what should we do with it?

A lot of Americans are asking themselves this same question right now. According to the Treasury Department, 80 million US taxpayers should be expecting their stimulus check this week via direct deposit. This could range from $1,200 if you’re single to $3,400 if you’re married with two kids.

This new found money can mean a great deal to families on their path to financial independence. Also, it could provide some much-needed relief just to make it through the month.

Nicole and I are somewhere in between. Our income has decreased significantly this month. My small business revenue is down and Nicole’s hours have been cut. We’ll be taking our $2,400 and using it to live our typical month of spending, saving, giving and investing.

No, we’re not buying a 90″ TV or some hot stocks. During this time of uncertainty, it feels more comfortable to just stick with our plan.

Wondering what you should do with your check? Here are some options to consider based on your current financial situation.

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How We Can End Hunger in America Together – with Zuani Villarreal

For our “Be The Change” segment this month, we are featuring Feeding America. They are the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Together with individuals, charities, businesses and government, their goal is to end hunger in our country.

I’ve invited the Director of Communications, Zuani Villarreal to tell us more about the organization.  We’re also going to discuss the state of hunger in our country, how this affects our nation’s children and what we can do about it.

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How to Make Charitable Giving a Family Tradition

Charitable giving can feel difficult or even impossible when we’re in debt and barely scraping by. When we’ve lifted ourselves up to a position of financial strength and confidence, giving back feels like the right thing to do.

Sharing the wealth with our neighbors in need is a privilege and an honor. 

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How to Prevent Gun Violence in Schools – with Nicole Hockley

For our “Be The Change” segment this month, we are featuring Sandy Hook Promise. This is an organization dedicated to preventing gun violence in our nation’s schools. I’ve invited the Co-founder and Managing Director, Nicole Hockley to tell us more about the organization. We’re also going to discuss what we can do as parents, neighbors, and community leaders to prevent gun violence where we live.

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Eliminating Child Sexual Abuse From the Internet – with Sarah Potts from Thorn

For our “Be the Change” segment this month, we are featuring Thorn – an organization that is dedicated to eliminating child sex abuse from the internet.

I’ve invited the Lead of Marketing and Partnerships, Sarah Potts, to tell us more about this organization. We’re also going to discuss why this deplorable situation for children is on the rise and a lot of it is here in the United States.

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Improving the Lives of Kids in Foster Care – with Together We Rise

For our “Big Give” segment this month, we are featuring Together We Rise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the way youth navigate through the foster care system in America. I’ve invited the Donor Relations Manager, Steven Macias, to tell us more about the organization.

We’re also going to discuss the state of foster care in our country.

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Why We’re Giving $100 Tips This Holiday Season (And Why We Want You to Join Us)

As we’re out and about enjoying the holidays this year, we will more than likely interact with someone in the service industry. We may be served by a waitress, greeted by a host or checked out by a cashier.

These folks are hustling to pay their bills and hopefully, they will make enough to have a happy holiday with their family. Unfortunately, these positions are some of the lowest paying jobs in the US. The average waiter or waitress in the US makes around $20,000 per year.

While we can’t easily change the landscape of the service industry, we sure can give back to our neighbors who are working hard during the holidays.

As a small gesture of thanks and paying it forward, my wife and I are planning on giving two random $100 tips to someone in the service industry this year. Rockstar Finance has already joined in on the fun by supplying us with $100 for the effort! We’re hoping you will join us too.

We’re calling it #BigTipTuesday! Here’s how it’ll go in 5 easy and fun steps:

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Financial Peace University – Why I Coach It (Even Though I Don’t Believe in All of Dave Ramsey’s Principles)

When Nicole and I got married, we were young, in love and … in debt.

I had a luxury lease car, a mortgage balance more than the value of my home and nearly $30,000 in student loans.

Nicole only had a $20,000 car loan. Yeah, I married up.

Needless to say, we were prime candidates for Financial Peace University (FPU). This course was developed by Dave Ramsey, the best-selling author of the Total Money Makeover. The goal of FPU is to learn how to “dump debt, budget, build wealth and give like never before.”

Dave’s book, the course and daily radio show encouraged Nicole and I to live on a monthly budget for the last 7 years, pay off all of our debt and even eliminate our mortgage by age 35.

I’m very grateful for everything I learned from Dave and his team. For that reason, I wanted to give back and pay it forward to others by coordinating Financial Peace University classes … even though I didn’t exactly agree with all of Dave’s teachings.

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How Much Should I Tip?

Have you ever walked into a Starbucks and seen that tip jar on the front counter and wondered, “How much should I tip? Or do I even need to tip at all?”

Or have you ordered food to your house and the delivery person comes to the door and you think, “What’s a good tip for this person?”

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