Money isn't just about the numbers. And having money struggles doesn't mean you're lazy or "bad" with money. Money is about habits, experiences and what tools we're working with. One of the ways to fix our struggles and become less stressed out about money is adding mindfulness into the mix. Being intentional with your money can make all the difference in your life, and that's what I discuss with my guest Patrick Ens, VP of Strategy & Brand at Capital One Canada.
Capital One Canada is one of the sponsors for this year’s sponsors of Credit Education Week from Nov. 13-16. There are tons of free financial literacy events happening for Credit Education Week, so visit cewc.ca to find out what’s happening in your city!
Like I mentioned in the intro of this episode, I was 100% living my best life this past weekend. Not only did I attend the Canadian Personal Finance Conference (I’ve gone to this conference every year since 2013!), but I also got to moderate the fireside chat sponsored by Capital One Canada, with Laurie Campbell (CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions) and Patrick Ens (VP, Strategy and Brand at Capital One Canada).
This was definitely my ideal situation because although I loved getting the chance to do a full-on presentation at last year’s conference, I’ve gotta admit that I was in my element moderating this chat. To me, it was basically like a podcast episode with two incredibly intelligent and experienced guests, and there just so happened to be a live audience watching.
But yes, I know, this wasn’t really a podcast episode. So, in case you weren’t able to catch our talk at the conference, luckily I was able to interview Patrick for the podcast!
We discuss at length (and in-depth) this year’s theme for Credit Education Week — money mindfulness. If you’re a longtime listener of the show, you may have listened to a few episodes I’ve done in the past about this topic.
But what is so great about my interview with Patrick is he comes from a very different background. He’s not a mindfulness guru or your typical money expert. He comes from the brand side of things and helps clients directly with the financial products offered by Capital One Canada. Because of that, he has a very interesting perspective on what it means to be intentional with your money and thus smart and responsible with credit use.
Credit Education Week
Credit Education Week is in its 12th year, and Capital One Canada is one of the sponsors alongside Credit Canada Debt Solutions. The theme for this year is money mindfulness, because we all need to be more mindful with our money habits, our spending and especially our credit use. To learn more about all the free events going on for Credit Education Week, visit cewc.ca.
Get Your Credit Score for Free
If you don’t know your credit score, what are you waiting for? Capital One Canada let’s you check your Transunion credit score for free without dinging your credit score in the process. Click here to get started.
Do you have a f*** off fund? You know, a bit of money you've got in a savings account for emergencies. But I'm not just talking about when your car breaks down or you lose your job. I'm talking about when you need to quit your job because you're being harassed by your boss. Or when you need to leave your abusive boyfriend and need a place to stay. I talk with the woman who coined the term for this episode, and you are definitely going to want to set up a f*** off fund after this.
Before you even listen to this episode of the show, please read my guest Paulette Perhach’s article that went mega-viral — A Story of a Fuck Off Fund. As I mention in this episode, I had a very emotional reaction to her article. It was just such an amazing visual story of why we all need to take care of ourselves by having an emergency fund, so I highly recommend you read it, then listen to our chat together. I know myself and any other personal finance experts out there talk about the importance of having an emergency fund all the time, but her story really can show you how it can be a life-changer.
Besides having an article that went viral, Paulette is also the new author of the book Welcome to the Writer’s Life. She writes for all kinds of major publications like the New York Times, Elle and Cosmo, and she knows first-hand how difficult it is to crack into this business as a new writer. So, if you’ve ever thought about being a professional writer, this is literally the playbook on how to get started!
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/174.
Jessi Fearon was able to pay off $55,000 in debt in 2 years! Yes, I know, we've all seen headlines like this before, and usually you find out after reading the full news article that they were able to pay off that debt because they got a windfall, their parents helped them, or they earn over 6 figures at their job. Well, that's no Jessi' story. Her and her husband were able to pay that debt off by making some major sacrifices and hustling to make it happen. Now Jessi is a financial coach on mission to help others conquer their finances too!
For this episode of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I chat with another Jessica who is also a financial coach! I’m talking about Jessi Fearon, who was able to pay off $55,000 in 2 years with her husband, while raising a family of 3 little ones. After being a stay-at-home more for a few years, Jessi now spends her days coaching others how they too can build a solid financial foundation and kick their debt to the curb (for good!) just like her family was able to.
What I love about this episode, and Jessi for that matter, is that she is an open book when it comes to her numbers. Most of the time when you see some headline about someone who paid a big amount of debt in a short amount of time, you eventually find out it’s because they got a big windfall, their parents helped them out, or they earn a high salary. That’s not Jessi’ story at all. For her, it came down to making some tough choices, such as taking on some extra jobs like being a server or dog walker to earn some extra money, or having to trade in her dream truck for a more cost-efficient car to put the difference onto her debt.
Basically, if you’re dealing with debt and need some motivation, this episode is going to make you want to get to work right away and start living a better life!
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/173
Want to earn 5-figures per month as a virtual assistant? No, this isn't a scam. This is the true story of how Kayla Sloan, a former personal finance blogger, started a side hustle as a virtual assistant that led her to earn $10,000/month. Now, she trains others how to become virtual assistants so they can earn extra money on top of their day jobs to reach their financial goals sooner.
As a sort of companion episode to last week’s interview with Amanda Abella (sales coach & CEO of Make Money Your Honey), in which we talked in-depth about how to get over feeling guilty about earning money, this week I’m chatting with Kayla Sloan, a virtual assistant coach. And guess what, the topic of earning guilt pops up yet again. To be fair, I’m the one who brings it up. I’m pretty sure I recorded these episodes close together and it was something I was thinking about a lot.
In any case, I’m excited to share this episode with you because I really want to emphasize the message that earning money is good, not bad. Especially as women, who are still paid less for the same work as men, we need to stop the shame game and empower ourselves to reach our full financial potential!
Just take Kayla’s story for instance. She finished university, got a job, then realized she was always flirting with a $0 balance in her account. She had $8,000 in student debt and $10,000 in credit card debt, not to mention a $110,000 mortgage. She wanted to live a better life, but she didn’t have a business background or even felt like she deserved to earn more.
I think a lot of us who were raised in low to middle income families feel like this. We are taught to be smart, go to school, get a job at a company, and accept whatever salary we get (we should be so lucky we even have a job when so many people don’t!).
The thing is, we’re limited when we work for someone else. That’s why Kayla started blogging (she ran a blog called Shoeaholic No More), then started doing some freelance writing on the side to earn some extra money. She then started getting offers for virtual assistant work, and realized she had a talent for creating systems and project management.
After a year of basically juggling two full-time jobs, she was at a crossroads. She had to give either her day job or her virtual assistant side hustle up, or risk burning out completely. Looking at the numbers, she was earning just as much as a virtual assistant as she was at her full-time job. Believing that virtual assistant work was her calling, she took a big risk (since she was still in debt) and left her day job in 2015.
Since then, she’s actually stopped most of her virtual assistant work and runs her own business as a virtual assistant coach and instructor with her 10K VA online course. Now, she dedicates her days to training others how to become virtual assistants so they can earn extra money at home in their free time.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/172
Do you feel bad or guilty about making money? You're not alone. This is a very common feeling that myself and my guest Amanda Abella (CEO & founder of Make Money Your Honey) have had to confront head-on in our financial lives. Here's the thing, earning money isn't bad. It's actually an amazing, empowering thing! Learn why in this very raw episode with Amanda and myself.
I’ve been in some of the same circles as my next guest, Amanda Abella (CEO and founder of Make Money Your Honey), for the past 7 years. Still, I hadn’t gotten to know her properly until we officially met at a party at FinCon in 2017, and then went to the same retreat back in the spring.
Once I got to know her, I just loved her! Her personality is infectious, she’s so positive and energetic, and she makes you feel like you can reach any goal you set your sights on. That could be why after I had her on the podcast, she convinced me to hire her for some sales training. Yeah, she’s that good.
To be fair, I had actually been looking for someone to help me with my sales. I started getting enquiries about my financial counselling services as soon as I became an Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada in January, but over the course of 6 months I still hadn’t locked down any clients. I knew that it wasn’t me not being good enough. I got my accreditation, I worked with some clients for free before offering my paid program, I knew I had the ability to really help people. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get anyone to say “Yes” to working with me.
Well, as I discovered when working with Amanda, it had everything to do with my negative mindset about earning money. It’s something I’ve had for a while, and something I still struggle with. I want to earn money. Actually, I want to earn a lot of money. But whenever I try to do something to raise myself up and reach that next level, I let the nay-sayers and my own self-doubt get the best of me.
It’s not easy being called a sell-out or being shamed for earning money (and yes, this happens to me all the time). But the thing is, they aren’t the people I want to work with anyway. Those people are detractors who have their own issues they’re projecting. For me, I want to earn money, but it’s not out of greed or a desire to be rich just for the sake of being rich. I want to help people. I also want to earn a living, pay my bills, and be able to continue to work for myself.
Long story short, after working with Amanda, I worked hard at shifting my mindset, and since then have been working with financial counselling clients one-on-one and loving every minute of it.
Enough about me though, because that’s only part of what we discuss in this episode. In my chat with Amanda, we talk about how she also had this mindset where she felt bad about earning money and also was afraid to spend it.
What we all need to realize is we’re only limited by the limitations we put on ourselves. If we don’t think we can earn more, we won’t. If we don’t think we can afford something, then we won’t find a way to change that reality. If we’re always afraid that there won’t be enough money, so don’t spend any of it, that money will control us instead of us controlling our money.
This episode is really about empowerment. I never thought I’d be where I’m at right now. Two years ago I would have said you were crazy! But here I am. And a lot of it has to do with shifting my mindset so I feel empowered about making more than I ever have, feel good about spending money on things that I value, and also make a point of giving back more money to the community or charity because I’m earning more.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/171
ETFs, index funds...oh my! I talk with Vanguard Canada Investments Managing Director Atul Tiwari about all things passive investing. If you want to dive into a great conversation with an investing pro, this is the episode for you!
For this episode of the podcast, I chat with Atul Tiwari, the managing director of Vanguard Investments Canada. He seriously has such a wealth of knowledge, it was such a treat to ask him pretty much anything and everything about Vanguard, passive investing and some key things us Canadians need to know about how to invest for our futures.
To give you a little background on Atul, he joined Vanguard in 2011, but before that was the senior vice president of BMO Asset Management and founding president of BMO Exchange Traded Funds. Before that, he was president of BMO’s U.S. subsidiary mutual fund business, Harris Insight Funds. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he used to practice law.
Why Low Fees Are So Important
This is a subject that comes up no matter who I’m talking to about investing. Probably because absolutely no one likes to pay high fees! Why would they? As Atul said in the podcast, “The best predictor of your investments’ performance is the cost of them.” In other words, no one can predict the outcome of your investments, but you can control one thing — the fees you pay. The lower the fees, the more money in your pocket.
The thing is, most people have no idea how much they are paying in fees. Typically, if you’re invested in actively-managed mutual funds, you could be paying 2-2.5% on your investments. If you earn a 6% return on your investments, that leaves you with only 3.5-4% after fees. That may sound like nothing, but after decades of investing, that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That’s why I’m personally a big fan of low fee index mutual funds and index-based ETFs. They offer the same diversification as actively-managed mutual funds, they track the index, and they have way lower fees.
Index Funds in Canada vs. the U.S.
This is something I swear no Canadian really knows about. I only figured out the difference when I started doing research about it and talked to a rep at Vanguard for my blog post on investing with Vanguard. They would be the people to ask since Vanguard developed the first ever index mutual fund in 1975.
So, when people are talking about index funds in Canada, more times than not they are actually referring to index-based ETFs. In Canada, there are actually only two providers of index mutual funds, Tangerine and TD E-Series. All the big banks offer actively-managed mutual funds, and all the robo-advisors offer index-based ETFs. Then there are the self-directed brokerages like Questrade, though almost all the big banks have their own self-directed brokerages as well. Using those brokerages, you can essentially buy any type of investment product like ETFs, actively-managed mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc. You cannot however buy index mutual funds. Those can only be bought through those two providers I previously mentioned. Confusing right?
Well, the reason I think we Canadians get confused about some of this is because we get a lot of our information from the U.S. In the U.S., index mutual funds are much more popular, and you can even buy them directly from Vanguard. In Canada, you have to go through a brokerage, robo-advisor or financial institution to buy any of Vanguard’s products.
This is all to say that the next you’re talking with someone and they mention index funds, ask them whether they mean index-based ETFs, and then feel free to share this episode with them.
The Vanguard Effect
Atul mentioned in the episode a thing called “The Vanguard Effect” which was originally coined by Morningstar. What this effect means is that when Vanguard enters a new market, like Canada (though it was originally coined when it entered the U.K.), because it offers such low fee products, it causes other investment product providers to also lower their fees.
It’s a good thing for us Canadians especially since we have some of the highest fees in the world. Let’s hope things continue down this path in the future!
Vanguard Investor Questionnaire
Vanguard has a number of great free resources on their website, but my personal favourite is the Investor Questionnaire. It’s a great example of how to determine your risk tolerance and ideal asset mix. This is just a great thing to try out if you want to see how it compares to the investor questionnaires provided by the robo-advisors in Canada, or if you plan on becoming a DIY investor and need a starting point when building your own portfolio.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/170
Want to find a way to automatically donate money to charity without affecting the rest of your budget? Check out my interview with Coin Up founder & CEO Leena Patidar all about how you can make big change with your spare change.
The other week, a member of my Facebook group asked how people automate (or try to automate) their charitable giving. Well, talk about good timing because for my latest podcast interview I have Leena Patidar on the show, and she’s the founder and CEO of Coin Up. It’s literally an app to help you automatically give money to charity without you having to put much effort in, but still giving you those handy charitable tax receipts and making you feel like you’re doing some good in the world!
As you’ll find out in the interview, Leena is a serial entrepreneur with a killer resume. She could honestly have continued her career and become a very successful and high paid CEO if she wanted to, but giving back was always something that she was passionate about. So, she eventually developed Coin Up, the merging of her passion for giving back to those in need and her entrepreneurial skills.
When I heard about Coin Up and Leena’s story, I was so excited to have her on the show. Giving back and donating to charity are often overlooked when talking about the elements of personal finance, but giving back really should be a line item in your budget.
You don’t have to donate a lot either. Although many people follow the tradition of donating 10% of their income to charity, I’ve always believed that you should just give whatever you can afford. It can be $50/month, or $5/month. Giving anything is better than not giving anything at all, so I challenge you to take a look at what charities are out there that speak to you, and make room in your budget to donate a sum to help them with their services.
How Does Coin Up Work?
You’ve probably heard of apps that help you add small additional amounts of money onto your debt or into your investments? Usually how those apps work is every time you make a purchase with your credit or debit card, a percentage of that amount you spent will also be taken out of your savings or chequing account and put onto your debt or investments. It’s basically a way to automatically accelerate your financial goals without you really noticing.
That’s similar to how Coin Up works too. When you sign up with Coin Up, it will round up your everyday credit or debit card transactions and will donate that spare change to your selected charity every month.
For more info on how to set it up, check out Coin Up’s FAQs.
Who Can Use Coin Up?
Currently the app it’s only available in the U.S., but Leena mentions in the episode that they hope it will be available in other countries like Canada very soon.
How Do I Download Coin Up?
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/169
We all pay into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), but most of us have no idea what the heck it is! I talk with CPPIB spokesperson Mei Maven to get the facts.
We all pay into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), but most of us have no idea what it is, who manages it, or if it will even exist by the time we retire in the next 40+ years.
That’s why for this episode I talk with Mei Maven, the Director of Global Communications for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). I ask her all the important questions we all should know about CPP so we can understand how this pension plan can (and should) work into our individual retirement savings plans.
So…Will CPP Still Exist in the Future?
Since I was a young adult, I remember hearing conversations from my parents about how CPP wouldn’t be around by the time I would retire. I think that’s a big reason why I was so set on saving and investing for retirement as soon as I got a full-time job.
This is actually a fairly common worry amongst Canadians, so I wanted to make sure I got to the bottom of it. Well, the short answer is YES, CPP will be around by the time you retire. As Mei mentioned in the interview, it is almost guaranteed to be around for the next 80 years. It will probably (and hopefully) be around for longer than that, but I don’t think CPPIB can make assumptions further into the future than that.
Does This Mean I Don’t Need to Save for Retirement?
As Mei also mentioned in our interview, CPP is meant to supplement your retirement savings, not replace it. You still need to save for your own retirement, but it’s important to consider CPP when doing your calculations for how much you actually need to save up to retire comfortably.
One great tool to play around with is government’s free Canadian Retirement Income Calculator.
What Is CPP Invested In?
This was a fun question to ask, and it was quite nice to get a straight up answer. All the funds that CPP is invested in is made public on their website under the Our Investments tab.
What Has CPP’s Portfolio Performance Been Like?
To see what returns the CPP’s investment portfolio has been earning, check out the Our Performance tab on the CPPIB website. As shown clearly on their website, their 5-year annualized return has been 12.3% and their 10-year annualized return has been 8%.
Open Submissions for Guest Posts
Hello lovely podcast listener, do you have a money story to share? Well, first and foremost, you are always welcome to email me about being a guest on the Listener Series of my podcast. I’m always looking for new listeners to interview, so feel free to email me directly with your money story to apply to be on the show.
Does the idea of being recorded on the podcast freak you out? Maybe you’d be more comfortable writing a guest post on my blog. I’m currently accepting submissions from my podcast listeners (and blog readers, of course!) for guest posts. What I’m looking for is raw and real money stories that include failures, successes, lessons and advice and tips readers can absorb and learn from.
To apply, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/listenerguestpost
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/168
I chat with Financial Grownup best-selling author & podcast host Bobbi Rebell about what it means to be a financial grownup, the difference between high achievers and dreamers, and her story of going from journalist to entrepreneur focused on educating others about finance and success.
Back in the spring, I had the opportunity to attend a women in business retreat called Statement that was organized by money expert Stefanie O’Connell and writer Emma Pattee. It was held in the Catskills and was 3 days of intense workshopping with other women entrepreneurs. It was honestly one of the best things I’ve experienced all year, especially since it gave me the chance to meet so many amazing women (many of whom will be on the podcast this season)
One of those women is Bobbi Rebell. Bobbi is a CFP® and host of the Financial Grownup podcast. She is also the author of the best-selling self-help/personal finance book How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also a keynote speaker and an award-winning TV anchor and personal finance columnist who has worked at Thomson Reuters, PBS (Nightly Business Report) CNN and CNBC.
In this episode, we talk about how Bobbi Rebell went from traditional journalist to becoming an entrepreneur herself, starting with her book then launching a podcast. We also talk about how she’s able to get so many big celebrities on her show through the power of networking and just being ballsy and straight up asking them.
I hope you feel motivated after this episode to get out there and stop thinking about doing something, but actually doing it. I know, doing is the hardest part, but without taking that next step, you’ll never be able to reach your full potential and you’ll never truly become a financial grownup.
For full show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/167
To kick off Season 7 of the Mo' Money Podcast, I chat with Teen Mom star & entrepreneur Farrah Abraham about success, overcoming obstacles & balancing work with being a single mom.
It’s the first episode in Season 7 (yes, 7!!!) of the Mo’ Money Podcast, and boy do I have a treat for you!
This episode has been a long time coming. If you know me, then you know I’m a huge reality TV junkie. And one of the shows I’ve watched from the beginning is MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and its subsequent spin-off series Teen Mom. I’ve followed the cast members over so many years, I feel like I practically know them. Since I have been such a long-time fan, when I first started this podcast over 3 years ago, I made a list of dream guests. These were guests I hoped to have on the show once I hit a level of popularity that I could realistically get them to come on.
Well, one of those dream guests was Teen Mom‘s Farrah Abraham. If you’re watched the show, or read celebrity news, you may know she’s a bit of a controversial figure. She’s outspoken, she’s worked in the adult industry, and she isn’t your typical Teen Mom reality star. What I mean by that last bit is that most of the cast members on Teen Mom (and Teen Mom 2 for that matter), seem to mainly earn their bread and butter from the show and being a social media influencer. A few of them have started clothing lines, but in general, none of them have shown as much entrepreneurial spirit as Farrah.
There’s a reason for that, which we get into in the episode. Basically, Farrah has always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start her own businesses, even before being on the show. And despite what I thought, in that the show helped her get to where she is today, it actually hindered her in a lot of ways with lots of doors closing on her.
Nonetheless, she sure has more drive than most 27 year-olds. That’s why I wanted to focus on that for this episode, because from all the episodes of Teen Mom and articles I’ve read about her, I kind of felt like no one really asks her about her entrepreneurial journey or how she was able to build up a net worth in the millions at such a young age.
Personally, I don’t really care what’s said about her in the news or that she has businesses within the adult industry. I don’t judge people for how they earn their money. What I do judge people on are how they treat others, how professional they are, and how dependable they are. Farrah ticked all of those boxes, being nothing but pleasant during our interview, and being professional enough to reschedule our interview after our first interview date was cancelled due since it was on the day of the whole Beverly Hills Hotel situation.
One of the things I found fascinating when talking to Farrah was that she considers herself above all else an entrepreneur, not a reality star. She’s definitely a reality star, considering she’s been on 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom, Couples Therapy, Botched, Celebrity Big Brother UK and Million Dollar Matchmaker just to name a few. But, it was actually refreshing to hear that she didn’t choose to do 16 & Pregnant and then Teen Mom as a way to propel her career. Instead, she wanted to prove to young girls that it is possible to finish school and have a successful career, even if you are a teen mom.
More than that, it also shows she doesn’t want to be famous just to be famous. Now, she uses her fame to create new opportunities and build up her portfolio of businesses. This is to help her create a solid financial backing for herself, but also for her daughter when she grows up and wants to join the family business.
I also think it’s super admirable that Farrah didn’t just go down the easy route of being an Instagram star. You can make a ton of money partnering with brand and doing sponsored posts (and I would know), but she decided to not make that her main focus, but instead open three different brick-and-mortar businesses in Texas. That is not easy to do! I run my own business, but it’s completely online and I’m the only employee. I have such respect for people who run physical businesses with staff!
Farrah has had more than her fair share of obstacles to overcome. Starting with the father of her child passing away suddenly when she was a teen mom, to dealing with family rifts, to having constant negative media attention, to MTV deciding to fire her from the show. Most people wouldn’t be able to handle all that, especially not when in the public eye. I know I couldn’t! My feelings get hurt every time I see a mean comment from someone on my social profiles or blog!
So, I had to ask Farrah how the heck she can overcome, move on and not let all that stuff get her down. She had a few great answers. One, she’s very spiritual. I don’t really talk about this much, but spirituality and believing in a higher power is also very important to me. It grounds me and reminds me that I’m not the centre of the universe. This is what also grounds Farrah, helps her move passed obstacles, and feel like she has a purpose on Earth.
Another answer Farrah gave was that it’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and have positive energy. You can be tough as nails and ignore negative people, but it still can chip away at you. Instead, remove all those negative people or situations from your life, so you can focus on the positive. It’s definitely something I’ve done. In my lifetime, I’ve definitely had to quit jobs or remove friends from my circle who weren’t adding to my life, only detracting from it.
She’s got three 2 year-old brick-and-mortar businesses. She’s got a best-selling book. She’s got millions of fans on social media. From the outside looking in, it looks like she’s got a pretty cushy set-up and could easily retire early. But, that’s not what she wants to do. Instead, she hopes to develop her book about her life story into a movie, and become a director and producer in the film & TV industry. She also has plans to write her first business book. And I can’t wait to have her back on the show to talk about it!
For full episode show notes, visit: https://jessicamoorhouse.com/166
For my Season 6 finale episode, I chat with Kathlyn Hart, podcast host of The Big Leap Show and salary negotiation coach. We talk about earning what you deserve, practical ways to ask for a promotion and/or raise, and recognizing when it's time to jump ship for the chance at a higher salary with a different company.
As I mentioned in this episode, I'll be taking the next two months off for a much needed break, but I'll be back for Season 7 in September!
It’s the Season 6 finale episode, but I’m ending things off with one hell of an inspiring and motivating episode! I chat with salary negotiation coach Kathlyn Hart about what to do (and not to do) to negotiate a higher salary so you can be paid your worth.
It’s actually pretty funny timing this episode because this time 2 years ago is when I asked my boss for a promotion and a raise. I thought I took all the right steps to level up my job and income, but little did I know I actually made a ton of mistakes. So many in fact that I ended up quitting that job.
Obviously, I don’t regret how things turned out. It gave me the push I needed to leave a job that wasn’t fulfilling to run my own business. And now, I’m a year and a half in to being an entrepreneur and I’m so thankful for it.
But, that being said, I sure wish I knew some of the tips and tactics Kathlyn shares in this episode when I was back working a 9 to 5. I wonder how things would have been different.
To sum up some of Kathlyn top tips, I’ve compiled them below in case you want to be brave and get paid better than you are now.
Salary Negotiation Beings in the Job Search
This was a big mistake I made early on. I always chose jobs and industries that were on the downturn or didn’t have any growth potential. Because of this, for most of my corporate life, I earned really low salaries and never got promotions or raises.
Well, what you’re supposed to do is pick a job and industry that are the opposite of that. As Kathlyn mentions, a project manager for a non-profit is going to be paid substantially less than a project manager for a Fortune 500 company. This is something you need to consider before applying for jobs, because it could be the difference of earning $50,000 or $150,000 per year.
Be Confident When Talking Salaries in Interviews
I always dreaded when the interviewer would ask me my salary expectations. Most of the time I was so desperate for the job, I always gave them my lowest possible number, and would always kick myself a few months later when I was in a role making less than I deserved.
Do not do this. Kathlyn has a strategy that focuses on your wish, your want and your walk. Those three numbers are your dream salary, the salary you’d be satisfied with, and the salary that would make you walk away from the job offer because it’s too low. Instead of starting with your lowest offer, ask for your dream salary. Of course, it’s important to back that number up with research, comparables from other jobs in similar sectors, and your skillset. But, if you present your ask with confidence and certainty, the interviewer will be more likely to see your value and want to lock you down for the job.
Be Okay with Walking Away
If you don’t feel like you’re earning enough at your current job, and you feel like you’ve done everything to bump up your salary but nothing’s working, it might be time to walk away. It’s no secret that the easiest way to increase your salary is by jumping ship to another company. Just make sure you’re prepared to ask for the salary you really want before accepting your next job offer.
Download Salary Negotiation Scripts
Download Kathlyn’s free scripts to practice with my texting earnmore to 44222
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/165
One of the most common questions I get from people when it comes to investing is "Am I even doing it right?" It was also a question that my next guest Pauline Shum Nolan (Finance Professor) also gets, which is why she co-created Wealthscope, a website that helps investors understand their investments so they can feel more confident about what they're doing.
It’s not every day I get to chat with a professor of finance! But that’s exactly why I sometimes have to pinch myself because my job as a podcast host can sometimes be so unfairly fun.
For this episode of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I sit down with Pauline Shum Nolan, Professor of Finance at the Schulich School of Business at York University and the co-founder and CEO of Wealthscope.
Basically, when it comes to investing, she really is an expert. She not only teaches finance at York University, she also manages the school’s pension program. And if she wasn’t busy enough, she developed an website called Wealthscope to educate and empower investors.
We talk a lot about investing strategies in this episode, and big point we both keep bringing up is the lack of confidence so many people have when it comes to investing. That’s why so many of us just want to hand everything over to an advisor to deal with it, even if that might actually be the worst thing we could do with our finances.
You see, investing isn’t that complicated when you break it down. And once you truly understand the basics, it’s easy to slowly build up your investing knowledge to a point where you feel completely comfortable managing your own investment portfolio, buying and selling stocks, and knowing when to call out someone for spreading misinformation.
Here are a few key points we discussed in our interview together.
Stay Diversified & Ditch High Fees
Investing doesn’t just mean dumping your money in stocks and hoping for the best. It also shouldn’t mean handing over your money to an advisor and praying they manage your money properly. The best way to invest is to be an informed investor, staying diversified (investing in multiple investment products), and saying no to high fees.
Let’s first start with staying diversified. There’s nothing wrong with investing in individual stocks, real estate or cryptocurrency. But you would be making a mistake if that was the only thing you’re invested in. A better way to invest would be to invest in index funds or index-based ETFs, then some individual stocks and/or real estate. And if you really wanted to dabble in something highly speculative, throw some money at cryptocurrency. Basically, following the rule of thumb to not put all of your eggs in one basket is the best way to do it.
As for fees, the less fees you pay, the more money in your pocket. That’s why a lot of people are moving away from actively managed mutual funds in favour of low fee ETFs or index funds. You could be saving 1-2% in fees, which over a few decades could equal to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Keep It Simple When Rebalancing Your Portfolio
Now, if you’re on board with becoming a DIY investor (which I think is awesome!), this is actually one of the top questions I get asked after what ETFs should I invest in (which I usually suggest checking out the Canadian Couch Potato’s model portfolios for a start).
Rebalancing your portfolio isn’t something you should fret over. As mentioned countless times in Andrew Hallam’s amazing book Millionaire Teacher, you only need to rebalance your portfolio once per year, or when there is a big market correction.
All rebalancing means is either sell/buying some of your equities or fixed income so it goes back to your initial asset allocation goal (ie. 80% equities, 20% fixed income), or buying more equities or fixed income to balance things out.
To learn more about how to rebalance your portfolio, read this article from Investopedia.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/164
For this episode, I talk with Gwen Merz, the blogger behind Fiery Millennials and the co-host of FIRE Drill Podcast. As you may have guessed, we go in-depth about FIRE, chat about Gwen achieving financial independence in her 20s, and some terms you may not have her of from the FIRE community.
For this episode of the podcast, I chat with a new friend I made recently at an event called Statement. It was a women in business retreat for women in the financial blogging space, and I can’t even tell you how life changing it’s been. But that’s not what I want to share anyway. I want to share that at this event, I got to meet the amazing Gwen Merz who was able to achieve something not many 20-year-olds can! I’m talking about achieving financial independence.
We chat in-depth about what that actually means, and no, it doesn’t mean she’s retired. For her, it means she saved up enough money to afford to leave her corporate job, move cities and then focus on her blog (Fiery Millennials) and podcast (FIRE Drill Podcast) full-time. It also means she saved up enough money that by retirement age, it will have grown to an amount she could easily retire on.
So I know I’ve had a lot of guests on the show in the FIRE community that have been able to achieve financial independence and retire early, but Gwen’s story might actually be a bit related. She didn’t save up a million dollars and is now living an easy life. She was able to save up $200,000, bought an income property for about $80,000, but still intends to work to earn a living.
She’s set things up so in the future she will earn passive income from your property and her $200,000 will have compounded into a way bigger amount she can live off of in retirement. But, she still needs to earn money for her present needs. Which is why now she’s exploring some different entrepreneurial avenues such as making stained glass art and selling it, selling courses on how to start an Etsy store, and monetizing her popular blog and podcast.
You see, FIRE isn’t a straight road. You can actually apply the principles in any way you want. There’s no right or wrong way to FIRE!
Here are a couple other things we talked about when talking FIRE.
Lean FIRE vs. Fat FIRE
These are terms I recently learned about when I was actually at a FIRE meetup in New York City last month. Lean FIRE is when you’ve saved up enough to live on for the foreseeable future, but you’d be living a fairly frugal life. You’re living in a low cost of living area, your expenses are minimal, and you don’t need that much to live off of. It’s sounds fine if you’re more of a minimalist, but obviously it’s a bit restricting
Fat FIRE is when you’ve saved up enough to live the life you really want with little to no restrictions. For instance, I met a woman at the meetup who was on her way to achieving Fat FIRE and she told me her goal was to save up $7 million. Albeit, she wanted to continue living in New York and travel a lot, but it’s a big difference when compared to Lean FIRE.
Why the FIRE Community is Exploding
My only comparison to the FIRE community is the debt-payoff community. Two communities that are massive and members are diehards for. With FIRE, to me at least, it’s a bit more exciting. The end goal is to have enough money to live whatever life you want. And that’s exactly why Gwen also thinks the FIRE community is exploding right now. It gives people purpose with their money. Instead of just being responsible with your money so you can eventually afford to buy that car, that house or some trips in the future, it’s way more exciting to save up for early retirement or the freedom to quit your job to start your own business!
That’s sort of why I consider myself a bit financially independent. I don’t have enough to retire on or anything like that, but I did have the financial security to be able to leave my job to focus all my energy on my own business.
FIRE Resources You May Want to Check Out
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/163
It's been a few years since I had Jen Hemphill on the show (episode 48, check it out!). And a lot has happened since that first interview. Jen is now an author, having recently published her first book entitled Her Money Matters, and we discuss three big components in her book for this episode: finding your "Why", financial confidence and practicing value-based spending.
For this episode, I’m bringing back a guest who hasn’t been on the show since 2016 (episode 48 if you want to check it out), and boy has a lot happened since then. I’m talking about the wonderful Jen Hemphill, who is a money confidence coach and Accredited Financial Counselor®, as well as the podcast host of Her Money Matters.
But she also has a new title she just added, and that’s author. She recently published her first book, also called Her Money Matters, and we dig in to some of the big topics she discusses in her book in this episode.
Finding Your “Why” Is Key for Your Money
I am a big believer that money isn’t just about money. It’s so much more than that. Money is also about your hopes, dreams and goals. And the only way to achieve any of those is by figuring out your why. We all know we shouldn’t spend too much, should save and invest, and should get or stay out of debt. But without a clear why for doing any of these things, we don’t do any of them. That’s why determining your “Why” is key for financial success. It’s a huge motivator and will keep you on track and grounded.
Financial Confidence Is Something We Need to Work More On
This may not be a big issue with men, but it’s a big issue with women. I talk to so many amazing women that from the outside look like they are doing so well! And then they explain how they don’t have that much confidence when it comes to managing their own money or asking for a raise. This is a big problem, and something we all (men and women) need to work on. If we’re all confident in ourselves, we’ll naturally make better decisions and be able to live lives that are more joyful and fulfilling.
Value-Based Spending Is a Better Way to Spend
For years (and sometimes even still), it felt like every book or newspaper article I read, the advice was the same: “Stop spending your money!” or “Stop buying expensive lattes!” Well, when you keep hearing those things over and over, you start to feel bad about spending anything at all, and that’s just ridiculous! Money is meant to be spent. The money you’re currently saving up? You’ll eventually spend it. That’s the purpose of money. But, it doesn’t mean you should overspend. It’s important to practice value-based spending, so you are spending on things that align with your values and bring you joy, while staying conscious of your budget.
For full episode show notes, visit: https://jessicamoorhouse.com/162
If we're not mindful with our money, that's when mistakes happen. Stupid mistakes. Mistakes that are 100% avoidable. Mindfulness plays a bit role in our financial lives, which is why for this episode I interview Laurie J. Cameron, author of The Mindful Day, to explore this topic in-depth.
It was such a treat to have Laurie J. Cameron on the show to talk in-depth about mindfulness, and what role it plays in our financial lives, and our lives in general.
Mindfulness, as you may already know, has become a sort of buzz word lately. Millennials especially are desperate for a solution to their digital anxiety, and mindfulness practice is being adopted at a very high rate (for a very good reason).
I myself have been trying to practice mindfulness. As I mentioned in this episode, I sometimes feel like I’m always chain to a computer, my phone and there are just a million things to do. What’s worse is because I feel perpetually busy, most of the time I’m just working on auto-pilot, without really taking a moment to consider what I’m doing. And when it comes to money, you don’t want to be on auto-pilot. You want to be mindful of every decision you make, so you know you’re making the right decision, not the just easiest one.
I know I’m not alone, and I know that this is no way to live. It’s not sustainable and it just leads to more stress and anxiety, and who wants that? This is why I wanted to have Laurie on the show. To share her wisdom with us and to provide some helpful practices we can all start doing right now in our daily lives.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/161
You don't have to get into debt to go to school. Even though it looks as if everyone has student debt these days, there are actually people out there that go to go to school for free! And no, it's not because they are trust-fund kids, it's because they applied to scholarships and were able to secure enough funding to pay for their tuition. I was able to get my first year paid because of scholarships, and Jocelyn Paonita, founder of The Scholarship System, was able to get her degree paid from scholarships too. Now, she's on a mission to help others prevent themselves from getting into student debt by teaching others about scholarships through her online community, courses and book.
I met Jocelyn Paonita Pearson over 2 years ago at FinCon in San Diego. And ever since that first meeting, I remember thinking that I needed to interview Jocelyn on my podcast.
Well, it took me a while to finally get around to ask her, but I’m so glad I did wait because she has been able to accomplish so much since that first meeting. Now, she’s running her own successful company called The Scholarship System, has a best-selling book (also called The Scholarship System), and has a popular online course focused on helping parents and students find scholarships. As mentioned in our interview together, right up until now her company has helped secure $1,000,000 in scholarships for students. In other words, that’s $1,000,000 of debt those students just avoided. That’s major!
In our interview, we chat a lot about how to prevent getting into debt through student loans by getting scholarships, and I want to share the 3 top tips Jocelyn shared with me about how to up your chances of getting scholarships to pay for college.
Don’t start big when it comes to scholarships, start small by researching local scholarships you’re eligible for. The logic with this is that even though these scholarships may not be big money, there is less competition because most people don’t know about them. Jocelyn herself had some great experiences applying (and getting) local scholarships for her own degree. One degree she mentioned only had 4 applicants, and the it was then decided that the scholarship would be divided evenly amongst each applicant so everyone came out ahead!
Pitch Companies to Start their Own Scholarships
If there’s a company you like, pitch them the idea to start their own scholarship. Not only would there be some potential tax benefits, it could also be used as a marketing tool or a way for them to recruit future talent.
All You Need Is One Great Application Kit
Yes, it will take you some to get your materials together to apply to a bunch of different scholarships, but here’s a great tip. Just focus your energy on creating one awesome application kit, that should include things like a personal statement, then tweak those documents just a little bit to customize them for each application.
Most students think they need to create unique documents for each application, but you can actually just duplicate what you’ve got by making small changes to each. That’s what you do when you’re applying for different jobs, so it’s the same thing for scholarship applications.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/160
Another inspiring interview to get you excited about FIRE! I interview Chris Reining in this episode, who was able to achieve financial independence by 35 (meaning he saved up $1million), and retire comfortably at 37. Now, he spends his days working out, doing yoga and meditating, and writing on his blog at ChrisReining.com. So, how did he do it? He shares how in this interview, so check it out!
I’ve been chatting to a lot more guests this season who’ve been able to achieve financial independence in their 30s, and wow is it inspiring! Because really, they didn’t do anything crazy to achieve financial independence. They just made that their main goal and went for it!
And Chris Reining, who was able to reach financial independence at 35 and retire at 37, is no different. He didn’t come from wealth, and although near the end of his career his was earning money, he was by no means “rich”. He worked in cyber security in Madison, Wisconsin and did two main things to reach his goal of saving up $1,000,000 for retirement.
Practice Value-Based Spending
This term “value-based spending” has been popping up a lot more, and for good reason. It’s taking the extreme out of being totally frugal or a shopaholic. It is giving you permission to spend your money (because after all, that’s what it’s for), but also giving you that balance and perspective so you spend it wisely. By practicing value-based spending, not only will you feel more joy when you do spend money, you’ll also find that there’s a lot more money available to save for your future goals.
Chris shares that when he started practicing this, he found it easy to cut out coffee, cable and his expensive hobby of flying planes. They didn’t align with his values, and so he started only spending money on what did, and then making a conscious effort to live below his means so he could continue to save up and invest for his goal of early retirement.
Earn More Money
As Chris says in our interview together, at a certain point, there’s no where else to cut back, and at that point you’ll need to figure out how to earn more money. What Chris did to grow in his career and earn a higher salary was find a mentor, learn some new skills and push himself to take public speaking lessons by joining Toastmasters.
By doing this, he was able to earn more and reach his goal of financial independence that much sooner.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/159
For the second time on the podcast (I had him on the show in 2015, episode 25 if you want to check that out after), I chat with The Value of Simple author John Robertson about his tips for practical investing for Canadians.
It’s crazy to see how fast time flies…like when I interviewed John Robertson, author of The Value of Simple and personal finance blogger at HolyPotato.net, for the first time for episode 25 of the Mo’ Money Podcast back in Nov. 2015. That was almost 3 years ago! And that was also back when I got my guests to come over to my tiny apartment in Toronto to record with me in person. How is it already May 2018 and I’m at episode 158? HOW?!
A lot has changed since that first interview. Not only has my own life and career changed significantly, but my investing knowledge too. When I first interviewed John, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little I understood about investing. But then again, that was the whole point of interviewing him! So I could learn more about it and help others do the same.
You see, everyone starts from investing knowledge 0, but no one ever talks about that, do they? When the topic of investing comes up, it always seems like everyone in the room knows what everyone else is talking about, and the ones who don’t, well, they just keep that to themselves and presumably google what “index fund” and “diversified portfolio” mean later (like I used to do).
That’s why I really loved talking to John for episode 25. He explained investing, and more specifically index investing, in a very understandable and simple way. Which is a big reason why I’m always recommending his book The Value of Simple and his Practical Index Investing for Canadians course to anyone who wants to broaden their investing knowledge and be able to take action with confidence afterwards.
That’s also why I wanted to bring him back on the show, because in the 2.5 years that have passed since our first interview, not only am I much more knowledgeable and confident when it comes to investing, I’m now an Accredited Financial Counselor-Canada® (which just means I studied investing in-depth to get my certification).
If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this new interview with John, it’s that investing is for everyone. It’s not reserved for the already wealthy. It’s not just something people who love stock picking do. And it’s not something you need a lot of money or time to get started.
Remember, if this girl who literally didn’t know what an index fund was 3 years ago can figure it out and become an empowered investor, so can you!
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/158
Confidence doesn't just mean walking in the room and feeling powerful. It's what can help us get that job on the first interview, get that raise or promotion, network more authentically, or even start your own money-making venture. For this episode of the podcast, I chat with Lauren Ferraro, a speaking coach and instructor in Toronto (and also my speaking coach), about how to be more comfortable on stage, how to lean in and not be afraid to make your voice heard, and be the best version of you that you can be.
The minute I met speaking coach Lauren Ferraro for our first lesson together, I new I needed to have her on the podcast. And not just because she’s an expert speaker (a podcaster’s dream!), but because she just exudes confidence. I’m not talking about puff out your chest, hold your head up high kind of confidence. I’m talking about genuine confidence in yourself. Something I think most of us wish we had more of.
So, for this episode of the show, she joins me to chat about confidence, or in her case, being comfortable on stage, in a room or in yourself. The reason why it’s so important to have that confidence is because by being comfortable in yourself, you’ll feel more inclined to take risks that will inevitable have financial benefits. I’m talking negotiating your salary for a new job, getting a promotion and raise, pitching yourself as a freelancer, pitching your products and services as an entrepreneur or business owner (you get the idea).
I know that after listening to this interview, you’ll immediately want to start putting some of her tips into practice. For instance, her advice on how to network but practicing what you’re going to say ahead of time is invaluable! Also, make sure to check out the links below for more info about Lauren and her speaking business (which in my opinion, is so worth the money!).
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/157
Ever wondered what it's like to work on Wall Street? Then you'll love this episode! I chat with former investment banker Alex Grodnik who worked in the finance industry for almost 10 years, but eventually left to pursue an MBA then become an entrepreneur to live life on his terms.
Beyond sharing what life is like as an investment banker, Alex also shares some great tips on how to invest your money and how to be your authentic self.
I’ve always been curious what it’s like to be an investment banker. I mean, is it really like Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short or the classic Wall Street? Or is that all dramatized and it’s really just another office job?
After talking with Alex Grodnik, host of the Wall Street Oasis podcast, I feel like it might be a mix. Alex worked in investment banking for just under a decade, and left to pursue an MBA and start his own business, a fintech startup in LA called Payclub. But before he transitioned into entrepreneurship, he was an analyst at JPMorgan, then moved onto an advising role at Houlihan Lokey. He pursued a career in investing because he was always interested in investing and finance from an early age. But after working in the industry for several years, he realized it wasn’t something that got him excited anymore.
Luckily, he was one of the smart investment bankers and just saved everything he earned (instead of falling victim to lifestyle inflation). Because he lived fairly frugally and saved the majority of his income, he was able to quit, go back to school and have the financial freedom to become an entrepreneur.
In this episode we talk about what life is like for an investment banker and what some of his tips for investing are for regular people like us. Here are some of my favourite tips he shared.
Buy & Never Sell
This isn’t exactly his, tip, it’s one from Warren Buffet, but he shared it and I liked it. Basically, for anyone who is too afraid to invest because they are really risk averse, this is the secret sauce to not losing all your money in the stock market. Buy and hold. As Alex mentioned, you can’t time the market and you’ll probably never buy at the bottom or sell at the top of the market. But, if you buy and hold onto your investments for the longterm, you really can’t go wrong. It’s only when you sell in a panic because you see the markets dipping that you’ll lose money.
Don’t Borrow Money to Invest
I can’t stand articles out there that encourage people to borrow money to invest with because debt is cheap and it’s a bull market. Hey, if you want to take that chance, go ahead. I hope things work out for you. But for the average investor, the smartest thing to do is invest money you actually have, and invest any excess savings or money that comes your way. You got a tax refund? Awesome, invest it. You got an inheritance? Fabulous, invest it. You got a side hustle and don’t know what to do with that extra cash? Invest it!
Answer Truthfully “When Do You Feel Like You Are Your Most Authentic Self?”
I’m not sure if I got the wording on that exact, but this is something Alex asked himself when he felt like he wanted to make a change in his career. I loved how he put it, because I did the same thing when I was considering leaving my job. I asked myself when I felt the most proud and confident in myself, and the answer wasn’t sitting in a cubicle being told what to do by my boss. It was when I was doing my own thing with the podcast, blog and speaking that I felt I was being the me I always wanted to be. So, if you’re in a rut, ask yourself the same thing. When do you feel you are your most authentic self?
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/156
Want to learn how to become debt-free and financially independent? It doesn’t have to be one or the other, you can dig yourself out of debt and retire early. Just take it from Deacon Hayes from Well Kept Wallet who was able to pay of $52,000 in debt in only 18 months, then become financially independent and retire early with his family. If he can do it, why not you?
Deacon Hayes, the blogger and podcaster behind Well Kept Wallet, was knee deep in debt to the tune of $52,000 in 2010. But instead of digging himself further and further into the whole, he decided to take responsibility and dig himself out.
He started by looking to the experts, other bloggers and authors that offered personal finance advice, and was able to implement their strategies to become debt-free in only 18 months!
Now, he’s all about educating others to do the same. But he doesn’t just focus on helping others become debt-free, he also wants to share how they can become financially independent and retire early too.
That’s certainly never something he thought he’d be able to accomplish, but now, in 2018, he is financially independent and technically an early retiree. But instead of drinking Pina Coladas on the beach somewhere, early retirement to him means being able to afford to do what he wants with each day. And what he wants to do is educate and inspire others to take control of their finances so they can live the lives they really want.
How to Become Debt-Free
So, in this episode we talk about a lot of things, but first let’s talk about debt repayment. Honestly, at the end of the day, to get a handle on your spending and debt, there are two simple things you need to do.
If you actually implement both things, you’ll be able to become solvent once again. It may take some time (longer than 18 months), but even if it takes a few years, these two things are key and they work!
Deacon also recommends the cash envelope system for reigning in spending, and having monthly money meetings with yourself or your partner to talk about your budget, your spending and net worth, and your future goals you’re working towards (and I totally agree!).
How to Become Financially Independent
Now, let’s talk early retirement. In order to achieve financial independence, there are three paths you can follow (though technically you don’t have to pick just one, you can do a combination or all three):
And to help guide you and give you examples on how to do this, Deacon share real-life case studies on his website.
Get His Course for Free
Want to take Deacon’s “Debt Free in 18 Months” course for free? It’s valued at $97, but you can sign up for free by going to: wellkeptwallet.com/retire
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/155
For this episode of the podcast, I talk with veteran personal finance blogger Jim Wang about how he was able to sell his first blog (Bargaineering) for 6-figures after having it for just 5 years, and what some of his best wallet hacks are that he shares on his current blog, the aptly named Wallet Hacks.
For this episode of the podcast, I talk with veteran personal finance blogger Jim Wang about how he was able to sell his first blog (Bargaineering) for 6-figures after having it for just 5 years, then we dive into some of his top wallet hacks that he now shares on his current website, Wallet Hacks.
First, let’s go back to the part where he shares that he was able to sell his first blog for a million dollars. There aren’t too many bloggers out there that I know have who have been able to do this (aside from JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly), so this is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is how frickin’ humble Jim is! You would never know that he’s financially independent and pretty much just living that best life from talking to him. He just comes off as a normal guy who write about money hacks for living at home. Which I guess he is, but still, sold his blog for 6-figures, I still can’t get over that!
Anywho, after selling that blog, he started up a new one called Wallet Hacks, which as you can guess is all about tips, hacks and strategies to optimize your dollars, be smart with your money, and become financial secure. Here are some of the hacks he shared with me in this episode.
The Secret Santa Hack
You may already know about doing a Secret Santa hack. It’s fairly popular in the office during the holidays (also in The Office, one of my favourite shows). This is something I’ve actually been able to take out of the workplace and integrate into my family life. All it requires is instead of buying gifts for everyone, you get assigned a person (in secret), buy them a gift, and then gift it to them on Christmas. Someone else is assigned you, and someone else is assigned that person and so on.
My family has been doing this gift exchange for two years now, and I’ve got to say, it’s amazing. We don’t have any young kids in our family anymore, which makes it easier, but it really is a big financial relief each Christmas. The holidays are an expensive, even without gifts, so this is a huge life saver.
Jim doesn’t just have one hack for Amazon.com, he has 16! But, if you’re Canadian, I can’t confirm if all the hacks work for Amazon.ca, but you never know. You can read about all 16 Amazon hacks on his website, but here are just a few of them:
Track Your Net Worth
This isn’t really a hack, but man is it a good thing to do. I’ve been tracking my net worth as well as my spending for over a year now, and it’s changed the game for me. Jim has been doing it for more than a decade, and he says it’s a big reason he’s been able to stay on track financially all these years. If you want to start tracking your net worth, here’s my free net worth spreadsheet to get started.
Get Credit Card Payment Notifications
Another thing Jim does to curb his spending is getting notifications or emails directly to his phone whenever he makes a credit card purchase. Not only does this help him know instantly if any fraudulent purchases are being made with his card, but it also reminds him of how much he’s spending. This is something I’m going to set up right now, because the one thing I hate about using my credit card is it’s just way to easy to tap and pay and forget about what you just bought.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/154
I chat with HGTV star & host of Buyers Bootcamp Scott McGillivray about how to become a real estate investor in Canada, and how to go against the grain, take risks and go after what you truly want in life.
It’s not every day you get to talk someone you’ve binge-watched on TV before. And man have I binged (okay, now it sounds like I’m a stalker). It’s just that I’m such a huge HGTV fan and have 100% watched every single episode of Scott McGillivray’s Income Property. As I mentioned at the end of the episode, I loved that show so much I even bookmarked a webpage application to be on the show. But I never applied. Partially because I was way too much of a scaredy cat, and partially because I didn’t own a house to transform into an income property (that’s probably the main reason actually).
Although that dream may have gone by the wayside, the dream of one day talking to the one and only host of Income Property, and now Buyers Bootcamp, Scott McGillivray certainly came true! And who better to talk to on the podcast about becoming a real estate investor in Canada.
I know I’ve mentioned a few times on the podcast how I’ve always had dreams of owning a few properties to rent out so I could have some passive income to fall back on in retirement. Well, I’m on my way slowly with owning my first property (my townhouse). Though that’s not really an income property as I currently live in it. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. As for adding on actual income properties, or trying my hand at flipping properties, I unfortunately have to wait a few more years. Since I’ve only been self-employed a year, my mortgage broker informed me I would need at least 3 years of self-employment records on hand when applying for another mortgage. So, I’ve just got a few more years ahead of me, but I’m hoping that in the meantime I can grow my income so my husband and I won’t have as hard of a time getting a good mortgage rate.
But enough about me, let’s talk about Scott, because he’s amazing! Not only did he buy his first income property in his 20s as a university student, he was able to grow his real estate portfolio exponentially in just a few years after that. And fast forward to now, he’s one of the most popular faces on HGTV.
If you wondering how that all happened, it wasn’t luck. It was a ton of hard work and finding people to say “Yes” when everyone around him was saying “No.” That’s the message I think I love the most from this episode. The message that the only way to succeed is just not giving up. As Scott mentioned, we’re trained to be workers in university, not leaders. Which is a big reason I believe that so many of us have trouble fitting in because we’re meant to be leaders or entrepreneurs. That’s definitely my experience, so it was pretty cool hearing Scott’s take on that.
Scott also mentioned three key steps for success that I wanted to reiterate here. They can be used for real estate investing specifically, or achieving any type of goal really.
3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals
1. Gather Information
This means taking the time to gather information for yourself so you have the tools and information to move forward. It could mean reading books or articles about the subject, watching informational shows like those on HGTV, or going to events or conferences.
Once you’ve gathered the information you need, it’s time to educate yourself. You can do this by doing case studies, finding a mentor or instructor, or shadowing someone who is an expert in that field.
Last but not least, you need to take action. As Scott mentioned, this is the step that most people fail at because they expect instant results or don’t fully see it through. You need to try, then try again. And if it’s not working and you keep failing, you need to go back to the first two steps to see what you’re getting wrong, then pivot.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/153
Do know how to get money (as in earn), and do you truly get money (as in understand)? I talk with Kristin Wong, financial journalist and new author of the book Get Money about all things getting money! We talk about why people have such a hard time taking action on bettering their financial situation, setting financial goals, money and relationships, and being in the driver's seat of your investments.
2018 is the year of the woman personal finance author, and I’m all about it! Just to recap, for season 6 of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’ve interviewed the following fabulous female authors who’ve published books this year: Shannon Lee Simmons (author of Worry-Free Money), Elizabeth Willard Thames (author of Meet the Frugalwoods), and Cait Flanders (author of The Year of Less).
And for my latest episode, I’m interviewing first-time author Kristin Wong of Get Money. You may already be familiar with her YouTube channel or maybe you’ve see some of your articles in the New York Times, LifeHacker, or New York Magazine’s The Cut. She has been talking and writing about money for a while now, so it was only natural for her to write a book about how to live the life you want, not just the life you can afford.
Honestly, in addition to Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry, I think Kristin Wong’s book is the perfect for anyone just starting out in their personal finance journey and is looking for some actionable steps to take. And I really do mean actionable, because Kristin wrote her book in a way that will get you thinking and then doing!
What I love is that she breaks up her book into stages. Just like life has stages, so does you money. First, you need to power up, then optimize, then grow. I know that sounds simple, but she goes into way more detail in the book.
And we chat about a few of those things in this episode. Specifically, why people don’t take action. A lot of us know what we’re supposed to do, but it’s hard to change how we’ve always done things. One of Kristin’s hopes is that her book will be that trigger to help you get moving.
Next, we talk about goals. I never really knew financial goals were a thing when I was in my 20s, but I was always working towards something when I was starting to save and invest my money. If only I had made some of those goals more specific, I wonder where I’d be now in my financial life.
Then, we talk about something we’ve all dealt with in one way or another: money and relationships. I know first-hand everyone has an opinion about how you and your partner should manage your money, but honestly, those people need to stay in their lane in my opinion. There is no right or wrong way to manage your money, no matter if you’re single or in a partnership. It’s all about what makes the most sense for you and who you’re managing your money with.
Last but not least, we talking about investing. Something that way to many people believe is harder than it actually is. The thing is, you don’t need some fancy investment advisor in an expensive suit to tell you how to grow your money. You can actually do it yourself, or use a robo-advisor to make sure your investments are on track, as long as you get more comfortable with the lingo and some of the best practices out there.
I sincerely loved chatting with Kristin, and 100% recommend her book. I know as soon as I my younger sister moves out on her own, it’s gonna be one of the first books I hand her.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/152
At the end of the day, money shouldn't be something you worry about, or feel guilty about, or don't even want to think about. We all deal with money. We all earn it. We all spend it. But it shouldn't be something we're ashamed of or hate talking about. Which is why I loved reading Shannon Lee Simmons' new book Worry-Free Money, which takes a unique and refreshingly positive approach to how to manage your money and feel good about it.
I know I say this for almost every episode, but this seriously is one of my favourite interviews. And it could be because when I met Shannon Lee Simmons, author of Worry-Free Money and founder of The New School of Finance, for the first time, I immediately clicked with her. There aren’t too many financial planners out there who make money fun and cool, but she does and I’m so glad she was able to share her wisdom and personality on the podcast!
We talk about a lot of different topics in this episode, but there are two main points that we touch on. First, that budgeting doesn’t have to be boring or restricting, especially if you try out her method of not categorizing all of your variable expenses. I know for me, that’s what I used to do, and I would always end up kicking myself for overspending on groceries one month or spending too much on eating out the next.
Instead, just set aside an amount of money you can spend, and spend it until it reaches zero (and not more than that). If you do that, you’ll free yourself from the guilty of not matching your budget perfectly, but you’ll still won’t be spending more than you want. It’s simple really. So simple that I have no idea why we all over-complicate budgeting!
Another big topic we tackle is the idea of comparing our financial situation to those of our peers. This is something that is absolutely normal and not something to be ashamed up. We want to keep up with our peers (who doesn’t?) and we want to do whatever it takes so we don’t fall behind.
That being said, we don’t have all the information. We don’t know how much our peers earn, how much they spend, or what their net worth is. So really, we shouldn’t try to keep up with the Jones’ because we actually have no idea what’s going on with the Jones’ financials. Maybe they got a big inheritance which is why they could afford to buy a house. Maybe they are actually really frugal in their day-to-day lives which lets them afford those fancy vacations. Maybe they just have different values than us and are just really good at showing that good life on Instagram.
The important thing to remember is we should put the focus back on ourselves. Are we happy with where we’re at? Are we spending on things that match our values? Are we meeting our financial goals?
I probably could have talked to Shannon for another hour, but I called it at the 45-minute mark. That being said, I highly recommend her book Worry-Free Money (I seriously loved it!) and I also suggest you check out her online courses linked in the show notes.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/151