How to Consistently Save $85,000 Per Year – with Jamila Souffrant

When a goal-oriented person discovers the excitement and allure of financial independence, there is little that can stop them from reaching this huge milestone.

The intensity and results are multiplied when you have a married couple with a combined six-figure income working toward the same goal. This is a recipe for skyrocketing the net worth and savings.

To demonstrate this type of savings superpower, I’ve invited Jamila Souffrant on the show today. In 2016, she and her husband partnered together to save over $85,000 in just 12 short months.

And then … they did it again in 2017.  

Continue reading “How to Consistently Save $85,000 Per Year – with Jamila Souffrant”

How Do I Find the Best Financial Advisor?

Our question of the month comes in from Ryan from Pittsburgh. He wants to know how to find the best financial advisor:


Ryan:

Hey Andy,

I’ve been listening to your show for the past few months. I like the way that you and Nicole partner together to meet your financial goals. It’s inspiring me and my wife (who is also coincidently also named Nicole) to do the same.

We’ve been following the Dave Ramsey baby steps and recently paid off our last debt. When we got focused, it really only took us about 2 years to pay off our $60,000 in debt. We both had car loans, student loans and a little bit of credit card debt.

Continue reading “How Do I Find the Best Financial Advisor?”

The Life-Changing Benefits of Complete Debt Freedom

Recently, my family became completely debt free.

No student loans, credit card debt, personal loans, car payments and, yes …  no mortgage.

After 7 years of educating myself, diligent planning and partnership with my wife, we officially do not owe a single dollar to anyone. (We do have a late fee for Moana at the library. Does that count?)

We’re incredibly excited about our young family’s future and the opportunities that our debt freedom has opened up for us.

Continue reading “The Life-Changing Benefits of Complete Debt Freedom”

How Early Retirement Can Enhance Your Marriage – with Tanja Hester & Mark Bunge

If you’ve been married and working full-time for a while, you know the importance of quality time spent with your spouse. This is a chance to catch up, to talk about fun memories and make new ones together.

Unfortunately, our busy careers can make these quality get-togethers really difficult most days. There are late nights at work, deadlines and out-of-town trips. But … 

  • What if you woke up on Monday morning and you didn’t have to go into the office?
  • What if there were no more business trips and no more work-related deadlines?
  • How would that enhance your relationship with your spouse?

To answer these questions, I’ve invited Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge on the show today. After 10 years of marriage and 6 years of diligent savings, this young couple decided to retire from their busy careers in late 2017 and give more time to their marriage.

At 38 and 41, Tanja and Mark have regained the best years of their lives. As early retirees, they are pursuing their passion for the outdoors, travel and spending more quality time together.

Continue reading “How Early Retirement Can Enhance Your Marriage – with Tanja Hester & Mark Bunge”

How I Wasted Over $13,000 Refinancing My Mortgage

In 2004, my first mortgage was a 30-year 5/1 ARM at 5.25%. If that information confuses you, don’t worry. I was completely confused too when I signed up for it at 22 years old.

I didn’t care though. After saving up $20,000, I was thrilled to put that money into my first house down payment. I was proud to be a homeowner.

That’s what we’re supposed to do, right? Buy a home so we’re not wasting our money on rent?

Well, homeownership can be a smart move for some, but not the way I did it. I made two mistakes right away with my first home:

  1. Signing up for a mortgage that I didn’t understand
  2. Committing to homeownership costs that I could not afford

Continue reading “How I Wasted Over $13,000 Refinancing My Mortgage”

10 Pillars of Financial Independence – with Jonathan Mendonsa

Popularized by extreme frugality rock stars like Mr. Money Mustache, the Mad Fientist and Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme, the Financial Independence or FIRE community has grown in popularity over the past 5-10 years.

This is a subset of the personal finance world that encourages earning a solid income early in your life, saving a boat load of cash and retiring earlier than most of your peers.

For a frugal guy like me, this concept makes a ton of sense. Work hard, save and invest early so you can enjoy the majority of your life doing what you love.

But what happens when you’ve retired early? You still need something. You need a purpose or a goal to work toward.

Continue reading “10 Pillars of Financial Independence – with Jonathan Mendonsa”

How to Increase Your Net Worth by $700,000 in 7 Years

One fall night in 2010, my wife Nicole and I were watching the Suze Orman Show. (Yes, I used to DVR it). There was this fun segment where someone would call in and Suze would analyze that person’s financial health and give them a grade. It was called How Am I Doing?

One term that we kept seeing over and over again on this segment was “Net Worth”. Since we were personal finance newbies, we had no idea what this meant. Nicole and I were making a combined six-figure income together so we figured our net worth must be HUGE.

After the show was over, we decided to see how rich we really were. There was no doubt in our mind that we’d be better off than most of the jokers that call in to the show and get an “F” grade from Suze!

via GIPHY

We walked upstairs and started to write down all of our numbers on a big white board. By separating our “assets” (what we owned) and our liabilities (what we owed) into two big columns, we started to discover that we weren’t rich.

We were kinda broke.

Continue reading “How to Increase Your Net Worth by $700,000 in 7 Years”

How to Build Your Credit Without a Credit Card – with Whitney Hansen

Without the right discipline, credit cards can cripple our ability to build our cash savings, our retirement savings and our overall wealth. It’s so easy to swipe that little piece of plastic without even thinking twice about how much money we actually have in our checking account.

My guest today, Whitney Hansen, has developed a business that helps people battle the temptations of the all-powerful credit card. After becoming completely debt free early in her life, she now supports others in doing the same.  For most people, that journey to debt freedom starts with their relationship with credit.

Continue reading “How to Build Your Credit Without a Credit Card – with Whitney Hansen”

How to Get Your 5-Year Old to Help Around the House

On a recent Friday evening, I came home from a long day of work and to my surprise I saw my 5-year old daughter Zoey vacuuming our kitchen. I asked my wife what our little one was up to, but she was just as perplexed as I was. We’d been working with Zoey to do her chores every Saturday morning for the past year, but she’s never taken the initiative to do them on her own.

After Zoey finished vacuuming, she asked my wife and I to leave the kitchen while she put away the silverware. She told us that she wanted it to be a surprise.

We let this cleaning frenzy go on for another 15 minutes before we stopped her and asked, “Why are you doing your chores today, Zoey?”

Continue reading “How to Get Your 5-Year Old to Help Around the House”

Is Debt Freedom Impossible in a High Cost of Living Area?

This week’s question comes from Michelle in response to an article I wrote about paying off our mortgage early:


MICHELLE:

Hi Andy,

I find myself in a unique position.  I understand the steps you’ve outlined in your mortgage pay off article. I’ve read a few books on that process by Dave Ramsey.  

What advice would you give to someone who lives in a very high cost area?  

Continue reading “Is Debt Freedom Impossible in a High Cost of Living Area?”