It’s that time of year again. You know, the time to start thinking of getting your taxes done. Most people dread it, I love it (because I’m a weirdo), but as the saying goes taxes is one of the two certainties in life.
To give you a head start this tax season, and to help you change your mindset so you don’t hate it, I’ve got Lisa Zamparo (CPA & founder of The Wellth Company) back on the show. You probably remember her from episode 137 where she joined me to discuss how to be responsible with debt and credit.
Well, she’s back and is sharing some amazing tips on how to do some tax time prep like a pro! Also, as Lisa mentioned, if you want to get one of her tax season self-care kits, sign up to work with Lisa before February 21!
Tax prep is super easy, you just need to give yourself some time and know what to do. Here are 4 steps you can take to get prepared like never before!
Step 1 – Download my tax prep checklist.
Step 2 – Get some stationary, boxes and tools that are pleasing to the eye to get you excited.
Step 3 – Actively try to switch your mindset about tax time. Remember that by taking the time right now to make a system for tax time, you won’t have to do all this heavy lifting next year. Once you’ve got a system in place, it’ll be 10x easier next time!
Step 4 – Start preparing tax return. If you want to do it on your own, use online tax software like SimpleTax, UFile, TurboTax or H&R Block’s Online Tax Software. Make sure to Google for a promo code to save money. If you need some help with your taxes, hire a professional tax accountant to help you (like Lisa!).
Step 5 – If you’re self-employed, make things easier for next year by using some online accounting software like Freshbooks, Quickbooks or Wave.
Step 6 – After you’ve filed your taxes, if you get a tax refund, be smart about it! Don’t just spend it. Use it to pay down debt or invest for your future.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/183
Since it’s launch week for Season 8 of the Mo’ Money Podcast, I’ve got a bonus episode for you!
Last season, CoPower sponsored my podcast. So, I thought it would be fun to bring on Trish Nixon, Managing Director & Head of Capital of CoPower, to discuss impact investing with me.
You may or may not have heard about impact investing before, but that could be because it goes by so many different names: socially responsible investing, green investing, sustainable investing, ethical investing (you get the picture). No matter what the name, what this episode is about is being a more mindful and conscious investor.
You see, with every dollar you invest you are saying you want the companies you’re investing in to become more profitable and successful. There’s nothing wrong with that…unless the companies you’re investing in aren’t actually very ethical or don’t align with your personal values. That’s why we need to be more aware of what companies are in our mutual funds or ETFs. We need to see if there’s something we don’t like, then do something about it.
One thing you can do is negative screening. It’s basically a way to take out the worst offenders in your portfolio, or find a portfolio that doesn’t include them. This is obviously easier if you’re a DIY investor because you have more control with what companies you invest in, but as you’ll see below there are a ton of big banks and robo-advisors that are offering more SRI portfolios now too.
To give you a better sense of what kind of socially responsible investments exist, here’s a quick list of model portfolios and investment products that are considered SRI.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/182
Welcome to Season 8 of the Mo’ Money Podcast y’all! I know, I know…where have I been? For the past 3 years I’ve always started a new season of the show the first week of January. Well, to tell you the truth, I only had this episode recorded before I took off to Vancouver to enjoy Christmas with my family. In other words, I wasn’t ready! And I didn’t just want to put a season together quick, I wanted to make sure this season is one of my best yet! I believe it is, starting with having the amazing Melissa Leong on the show for my first episode.
You probably are already familiar with Melissa. She was my favourite financial journalist at the Financial Post for years, then transitioned into an entrepreneur herself as a speaker, host, TV personality on The Social and now personal finance author with her new book Happy Go Money.
This book has been a decade in the works because although Melissa shares some great advice and research in it, it is also very personal. What inspired this book was her husband’s depression that got her exploring the world of happiness.
I think it’s no surprise that we’re dealing with a major happiness problem today. So many of us (myself included) are dealing with depression, anxiety and feelings of failure and unfulfillment. But that doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and give in. We need to get our happy back! Especially when it comes to our money.
Here are some of my favourite gems from this episode.
One of my favourite parts of the podcast was when Melissa shares her tip for keeping accountable when trying to focus on the positive, instead of complain about the negative. I find I get especially down during the winter months, so I’m going to practice this whenever I, or my husband, catch myself complaining for no real reason.
How does it work? If you find yourself or someone you know focusing on the negative, say “Give me 3!” and share 3 good things about your life, your day, or whatever you want!
Focusing on the positive takes practice, so start practicing with me today!
I find this a lot with people who I deem “negative”. You know who I mean. Those people that no matter what, everything is always the worst and nothing is ever their fault. Life just happens to them, and they sure are unlucky. Umm…no! The only way to change your life for the better is to stop acting like a victim. You need to take control of your life, your circumstances and your future. The only way to do that is to stop being a victim, take responsibility, and then take action!
This is 100% true, and not just because it’s a claim backed by research. I know so many people who swear that meditation has been the fix they’ve been looking for. I myself have even experimented with it, and when I do it regularly, I do find myself so much more happy with my present.
There are some great apps you can use to get started too like Calm and Headspace, or you can simply practice on your own. But try it out and see if you start to feel a change.
If you want to continue learning about happiness, money or both, here are some book recommendations mentioned in this episode:
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/181
For my 5th Millennial Money Meetup (and my only event for 2018), I hosted the event in downtown Toronto selling out tickets in only a few weeks to 50 attendees.
This event was sponsored by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to celebrate Financial Literacy Month. I was joined by technical consultant and pensions expert Tim Thomson of FSCO, and we dived deep into the topics of retirement planning and pensions in Canada.
This is the live recording of Tim and I’s discussion on the subject, but as we’ve mentioned throughout the event, make sure to learn more at fsco.gov.on.ca/retirement.
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/180
Well, we’re almost at the end of another podcast season! Just like last year, for my second to last episode I wanted to do a special solo episode. I wanted to just chat one-on-one with you about some of the things I’ve been up to and have realized this year. Then, I wanted share some of the biggest money takeaways from both Season 6 and 7 of the Mo’ Money Podcast.
My Personal Realizations from 2018
Let’s first start with some of my personal realizations this year. This year has been truly amazing. I’ll do a longer blog post closer to the end of the year really reflecting on all that happened, but two keys things I’ve realized this year: my mission/purpose is to help others, and the only way to do that is to talk to real people like you (meaning, don’t get stuck in my little personal finance bubble).
Going back to when I was a missionary in Africa at 18 (you can learn more in Ep. 20), I’ve been looking for a way to have a career that isn’t just personally meaningful, but also impactful on other people’s lives in a positive way. In short, I’ve felt for a very long time that I’ve been put on this Earth to help people. When I was in my 20s, I thought maybe the way to do that was to become a filmmaker and make documentaries that educated others, or films that lifted people’s spirits.
Then, real life happened and I just needed a job to earn a living. My dream of having a job that helped others went by the wayside, until I got the idea to start my personal finance blog. Even though it was just a hobby at the time, I finally felt like I had a creative outlet and a means to help others by sharing my own personal finance journey.
It’s crazy to think that by starting my blog over 7 years ago, I would eventually end up running my own business and helping others with their personal finances full-time. Life is unpredictable, but for the first time since I became self-employed (almost 2 years now), I finally feel like I’ve been able to accomplish that big goal of having a job that helps others too.
And honestly the big reason I feel like that is this year I’ve had more opportunities to talk to real people. Sometimes they are people like you who listen to my podcast, read my blog, watch my videos, or follow me on social media. Sometimes they have no idea who I am, but I meet them at events or through friends and we strike up a conversation about money. It is seriously so cool to be able to find out what people do with their money, and what they struggle with. For years I was pretty much in this echo-chamber of just talking with other personal finance content creators or reading articles by finance journalists.
That’s not real life. The only way to understand how to help people with their money is to talk to them. It’s been an education, but it’s definitely been helpful in me having a better sense of direction in terms of what I can do in the future to spread the word and help even more people.
8 Money Takeaways from 2018
I’ve interviewed 41 people on the podcast this year. That’s almost one person per week! I’ve loved every single interview, but there are a 8 interviews in particular that stuck out to me because of the tips and takeaways they shared.
[Ep. 139] Perez Hilton – Hustle Hard to Make More Money
I’m a huge fan of Perez Hilton (I’ve been reading his blog for a decade), so it was seriously such a thrill to interview him on my show.
And he did not disappoint as a guest. He was very open and honest about how he made a ton of money mistakes which forced him to file for bankruptcy. But he learned from those mistakes, and is now very conscious of all of his money decisions.
Still, the biggest takeaway from his interview was to hustle hard and focus on earning more. Yes, there is value in living simply and frugally, but that shouldn’t deter you from trying new things, working hard, and striving to always earn more money.
[Ep. 148] J.D. Roth – Take Charge of Your Finances (No One Else Will)
J.D. Roth is one of the OG personal finance bloggers, who started the blog Get Rich Slowly, sold it for a hefty profit, then bought it back to run it again.
The biggest takeaway from his episode was you need to be the CFO of your own life. If you want to be financially successful, don’t just hand off your finances to someone else to deal with and hope they do what they’re supposed to. No one cares more about your money than you do, so you need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for your own financial life.
[Ep. 151] Shannnon Lee Simmons – Money Is a Tool for Good
Shannon Lee Simmons released her first book Worry-Free Money last year, and I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to grab a copy ever since I finished reading it. It is one of the few personal finance books around that has a positive spin on finance. It makes you feel good about your money, not ashamed or judged.
The biggest takeaway from her book was that money is a tool for good. You should feel good about your money. If you’re not happy with your current financial situation, it’s not too late. You can fix it!
[Ep. 161] Laurie J. Cameron – Be Mindful with Your Money
Laurie J. Cameron is the author of The Mindful Day, and teachers others how to practice mindfulness in their daily lives. Wouldn’t you know it, mindfulness is becoming a bigger part of the personal finance space, and for good reason. As I’ve been recognizing by working with my financial counselling clients, money is about the numbers. It’s about psychology. The only way to change your financial situation is to change your mindset and to be more mindful with every single one of your financial decisions.
[Ep. 144] Cait Flanders – Minimalism Could Help with Your Spending Problem
Along the same lines, in my interview with Cait Flanders, author of The Year of Less, living a more simple and minimal life may be the life change you’ve been looking for. Especially if you’re dealing with a spending problem and are looking to create a different type of relationship with your money.
Practising minimalism helped Cait stay out of debt and live a more fulfilled life. Maybe it’s something you’ll want to try out next year too!
[Ep. 165] Kathlyn Hart – You Deserve to Be Paid Your Worth
This was one of my most downloaded episodes, and I’m not surprised. Kathlyn Hart, a negotiation coach, shares tips on how to ask for more money, either in the interview stage or when asking for a promotion.
This is something, especially us women, need to do more of. Whenever I talk to women about this topic, most of the time they tell me they’ve never negotiated a salary or pay raise, they just accepted what was offered. Well, if you want to earn more, you need to ask for more and not be afraid to ask in the first place!
[Ep. 171] Amanda Abella – Don’t Be Ashamed for Wanting to Earn More Money
I loved chatting with Amanda Abella for this episode because I’ve known her for years from the FinCon community, and I also worked with her as a sales coach for my business too.
For this episode, she shares how so many of us (again, mainly women) have a hard time feeling good about earning money. We associate it with negative ideas of greed and unworthiness. But that’s not how we’re going to change the wage gap. We need to ask for what we deserve, we need to feel good about earning, and we need to ignore anyone who shames us for feeling good about making money.
[Ep. 174] Paulette Perhach – An Emergency Fund Should Be Everyone’s Top Priority
If you need some major motivation for starting an emergency fund, this episode is it. Paulette Perhach, an acclaimed writer whose F** Off Fund article went viral, shares why she wanted to write about the importance of having an emergency fund in a new way. Instead of thinking of it in the traditional sense, think of it as a stash of cash you can use in case you need to get the hell out of a really bad situation (like leave your boyfriend or quit your toxic job).
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/179
For this episode I chat with Brynne Conroy, the blogger behind Femme Frugality and the new author of The Feminist Financial Handbook, about women, money, the wage gap, financial confidence and what we can all do as a society to make the future a more financially equal one.
I hope you’re ready for a deep dive into women, oppression, victim blaming, leaning in, financial confidence and the wage gap, because that’s exactly what my next guest and I discuss for this episode of the Mo’ Money Podcast.
I’m joined by Brynne Conroy, the blogger behind Femme Frugality and the new author of The Feminist Financial Handbook. And as you can guess from the title of her book, instead of writing another how-to finance book, Brynne decided to look at some of the big problems women face when it comes to finance and what we can do about it.
I love this interview so much (as you can tell from my many tangents), because I obviously can relate a ton to the content of Brynne’s book. I’m a woman, and growing up I had no idea that I’d be treated differently, or paid less, when I entered the workforce. It’s the 21st century after all! Haven’t we moved past all that? Unfortunately, no we haven’t.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and the issues of financial confidence and the wage gap aren’t just women’s problems. They are societal problems that we need to fix together. Women can’t fix the fact that they are paid less without the support of men as their allies. The only way we can make a different future for young girls is to work together now. It’s certainly something I’ve passionate about, and it’s honestly a big reason I was so drawn to personal finance in the first place. All of the books and personal finance experts I saw were men. I want to see more women represented. Luckily, I’m already seeing more women enter the personal finance space compared to 10 years ago, and that makes me incredibly happy and hopeful.
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/178
I don't know how I've had this podcast for over 3 years and haven't had one of the OG Canadian personal finance bloggers on the show yet, but here he is! The one and only Tom Drake, blogger and podcaster at Maple Money! He's been in the game for almost 10 years, and he's dropping all types of knowledge bombs in this podcast on investing, making money and budget like a pro!
My next guest was supposed to be on my podcast 3 years ago! That’s when myself and Tom Drake from Maple Money first talked about him getting on my show. Well, I don’t know what happened, but at least I got my act together and finally got him on the show. And honestly, he was worth the wait!
A lot has changed for Tom in the past 3 years. He has been blogging for almost a decade, and recently rebranded his blog to Maple Money and started his own podcast called the Maple Money Show.
As I mention at the beginning of this episode, Tom is literally the nicest guy. Which could be why he’s one of my personal favourite finance bloggers and I am so thrilled with all of his success. What’s even crazier is he blogs and podcasts on the side! He still has a day job and somehow manages to get it all done. Oh, he also has a family. How he does it all, I have no idea. But luckily for me, he does share lots of his finance wisdom when it comes to investing, making money and budgeting on the show.
Investing: Get Out of Mutual Funds
As Tom shares in the episode, he got out of high-fee actively-managed mutual funds as soon as he got a better understanding of what he got himself into. Now, there’s technically nothing wrong with these type of investment products, but the thing is there are better products out there. Namely index funds and ETFs. Since moving out of mutual funds, Tom has been managing his own portfolio of ETFs using a Questrade account, but he’s actually thinking of switching to a robo-advisor to lessen his work-load which I thought was pretty interesting. There’s definitely benefits to both, so it was refreshing to hear a DIY investor actually express interest in using a robo-advisor instead.
Making Money: Why Not Earn Money with Your Hobby?
Several years ago, I saw Tom speak on a panel of bloggers at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. One of the questions they were asked was what they thought of monetizing their blogs? Most of the panel said they didn’t monetize their blogs and were more focused on just creating good content, but I remember Tom distinctly share that he’d do anything to make money. Obviously he was kidding, but I loved how he was so honest about how it shouldn’t be a bad thing for bloggers to want to earn money from their blogs and work with brands. As someone who does this, and is thus able to create a bunch of free content for my audience, I totally agree! Why not earn money from your hobby, and why not turn your hobby into a business?
Budgeting: Micro-Budgeting Doesn’t Work
Micro-budgeting, or having specific categories in your budget you need to try to stick to, just doesn’t work. Another point that Tom and I share. He shares that he manages his family’s finances and they allocate money to savings and fixed expenses, then have a specific number they want to stay within for their variable expenses. It’s just a simpler way to budget since in most cases it’s impossible to stick to a hard $400 for groceries or $100 for entertainment each month.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/177
Want to start investing, but not sure how? Or maybe you are investing, but aren't completely sure if you're doing it right? You're in luck, because I've got the king of ETFs Som Seif on the show to discuss how to build wealth by investing in ETFs and following a few of important rules of thumb too.
I hope you’re ready to get your investing knowledge on, because for this episode I’m joined by the king of ETFs Som Seif! To give you some background on Som in case you’re unfamiliar with his importance in the investing world, he is currently the founder and CEO of Purpose Investments Inc., which he formed after he sold his first company Claymore Investments to Blackrock Inc. in March 2012. You may be familiar with Blackrock as they offer a number of great ETFs you’re probably already invested in, and the same goes for Som’s new company Purpose Investments.
Now, Som started his Claymore Investments in 2005 because although he had been an investment banker with RBC Capital Markets since 1999, he wanted to be able to really help individual investors by making low-cost ETFs more accessible. And he continues to do so with his new company Purpose Investments, and shares more helpful tips to investors of all ages in this episode.
How Much You Should Invest
If you’re just starting out, meaning you’ve recently finished school and are working full-time, Som suggests investing 15-20% of your net income. You’re at such a great stage in life where your cost of living is low (even if your salary is too), but the money you invest this early in life will have a huge, positive impact on your future. If you wait to invest later in life, then make sure to boost that percentage to hit your target end goal.
How to Invest
It’s great knowing how much to invest, but a better question is how to invest? Luckily there are some great options now with all the robo-advisors out there, which is one way Som suggests can be a great way to invest your money. He really does believe in robo-advisors since he was one of the founders of Wealthsimple, and believes in making investing in low-cost ETFs simple for every type of investor.
Or, if you’d rather work with an investment advisor, you may need to have a greater some of money to do so, but it may be what you’re looking for in terms of getting specific guidance and management.
Then again, you may want to be fully in control, which means you’ll want to go the self-directed route and pick your own portfolio and manage it using a discount brokerage.
Don’t Be Scared off by Investing
We dive into some deep subjects like crypto, blockchain and the future of investing, and honestly it was even intimidating to talk about with Som myself, but that’s something that Som wants to make sure doesn’t happen. Investing isn’t hard and you shouldn’t be scared off by new technologies and new strategies emerging.
You need to arm yourself with information, because as you and I both know, the best way to rid yourself of fear and worry is to educate yourself. One way to do that is to follow his suggestion by reading books by Benjamin Graham to have a better foundational understanding of investing.
3 Key Things You Need to Do to Be a Smart Investor
As Som mentioned, investing isn’t hard. Here are the 3 key things he suggests for any investor’s success:
Start Investing Now
The biggest take-away from this episode is that investing is incredibly important to take part in. It shouldn’t be something you delay until your 30s or 40s. The sooner you start investing in life, the better off you’ll be in the future. Moreover, you’ll also become more confident and feel more secure with your finances my having a solid plan for retirement and your other financial goals.
So if you just got your first job out of school, make sure to invest some of that first paycheque. If you’re further along than that in your career, there’s no better time to start than today!
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/176
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