Do you know the difference between open-loop and closed-loop prepaid cards? Learn that & more in my interview with CPPO chair David Eason.
Back in October 2017, I did a really crazy thing. I participated in the Money 20/20 Payments Race and it truly was an adventure I’ll never forget. The best part was being able to meet so many amazing people, and one of those people was a woman named Heidi who works for an agency that represents the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO). She was nice enough to offer me a free night’s stay in her home when I was in Denver, and to say thank you, I said I would gladly interview an expert from CPPO to talk about prepaid cards. I mean honestly, I think I won all around because I haven’t done an episode about prepaid cards and I actually really wanted to learn more about them from none other than David Eason, the chair of CPPO.
Here are some of the things we talked about in the episode, and don’t forget to watch my entire Money 20/20 Payments Race vlog series!
What is CPPO?
CPPO stands for the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization, which is a “not-for-profit organization and the collective voice of the open-loop prepaid payments industry in Canada. It is the only association solely focused on this growing industry and includes the major players in open-loop prepaid in Canada.”
Open-Loop vs. Closed-Loop
Having been blogging about personal finance for over 6 years, sometimes I feel like I’ve heard about it all, but apparently not! I had no idea that open-loop and closed-loop cards until recently. But don’t feel bad if you didn’t know what they were either. They are really terms that only people in the prepaid card industry use.
So, what do they mean? It’s very simple. An open-loop prepaid card is either a Visa, Mastercard or AMEX prepaid card. It’s “open-loop” because it’s technically open to use at almost any retailer, as long as that retailer accepts credit cards for payment. A closed-loop prepaid card is a retailer-specific prepaid card, like a Home Depot gift card or a Shoppers Drug Mart credit card. The reason being is that they are comparatively “closed” because you can only use that card at that specific retailer.
You Cannot Build Credit with a Prepaid Card
One reason why the prepaid industry is trying to educate people about prepaid cards, and have moved away from calling open-loop cards “prepaid credit cards” is because they have nothing to do with credit. Open-loop cards work a lot like credit cards, but they will do nothing to help you build up a good credit history or rating.
For full episode show notes: https://jessicamoorhouse.com/147
Don’t think you can afford to live a life you’ve designed yourself? Think again! Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog shares how he risked it all to live a life with more meaning.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I ended up randomly meeting Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog at a party at FinCon this past October. I liked him right away. He was so friendly, funny and full of energy. So when he non-pitched me to be a guest on my show, I couldn’t resist! And what’s even better, I was a guest on his show, the Do You Even Blog Podcast (listen to my episode here).
In this episode, we talk about how Pete made the risky move of leaving his cushy corporate job to do something crazy and start his own online business. Now, you may be thinking, why did he do this? Especially when he has a family? Well, it really came down to him wanting to start living a life that had more purpose and that he designed himself. Up until he made that change in his life, he felt like he was making choices based on what he thought he was supposed to do, not what he wanted to do. And because of that, he felt unfulfilled. Money really doesn’t buy you happiness. It’s a tool, and it’s up to you to use it the way you want. You can either earn money doing something you don’t really like, and then spend that money on stuff you think will make you happy (even if for a limited time). Or, you can take the risk to do something else, earn less, but spend the money you do earn to live a life that’s more intentional.
This idea of intentional living and designing your own life has become a bit of a theme on the podcast, and I think for good reason. The more millennials I talk to, the more I see a big shift happening. We’re realizing that the dream of a white picket fence, two cars and a stable job just isn’t cutting it anymore. We want more. And not more stuff, more out of life.
As Pete mentioned, he has made some special videos for all my listeners at doyouevenblog.com/momoney, so make sure to check them out. We also mentioned Smarter Queue as our new favourite (and cheap!) social media scheduler, so if you’d like to try out a free 30-day trial on me, click here.
For full episode show notes: https://jessicamoorhouse.com/146
For this Listener Series episode, I'm joined once again by past guest Lindsay VanSomeren, also a blogger at Notorious D.E.B.T. Last time we talked she was about to finally get rid of her home from hell. But catching up, that's not exactly what happened (though there is a happy ending!).
For my first "Where Are they Now?" Listener Series episode, I check back with Lindsay VanSomeren who was one of my first Listener Series guests. Lindsay, who also blogs at Notorious D.E.B.T., was featured on episode 57, and shared how her and her husband bought their first home in Alaska together but had nothing but trouble with it. You see, it was built on a foundation of permafrost and they had to shell out $30,000 in repairs (that they couldn't afford). Literally pretty much the same storyline as the movie The Money Pit.
We ended off that episode with some good news though, because she had just received two offers buy the house. One of those offers would help them say goodbye to the home from hell, and stop getting into more and more debt so they could move on with their lives.
Unfortunately, both of those offers fell through. So, they had to make some tough decisions. Either hang on to the home and continue to get into debt, or get some help. They chose the latter and contacted a credit counsellor to weigh their options. In the end, they decided to go with a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Once that was taken care of, they decided to move to Colorado for a fresh start. And now Lindsay is making a full-time living as a freelance writer, her husband is back in school, and they are slowly but surely building up their credit and saving up a downpayment for their next home in the future.
I'm so glad Lindsay was able to share this update, because I think her story is fairly common. It started out with buying a property they thought was great, and taking advantage of a special Veterans loan program they also thought was great. But in the end, the property was not what they thought and a program that let's you buy a home with no money down can also have dangerous consequences.
Luckily Lindsay and her husband have moved on, learned from their mistakes, and are on a better path now. So hopefully the lesson from this episode is that even if you feel like you are in an impossible financial situation, there is always a way out. There is a solution for every financial problem out there, but sometimes it means reaching out for help.
For full episode show notes visit: https://jessicamoorhouse.com/145
How can a year of less change your life? Just listen to my episode with The Year of Less author Cait Flanders to learn how a shopping ban, getting rid of most of her belongings & being more mindful with her money helped her regain focus and control of her present and future.
She was my first ever guest (excluding my husband) on the podcast when I launched it almost 3 years ago, and now my friend and blogger pal Cait Flanders is back to chat about what has happened since Episode 3 of the podcast.
Well, a lot! For starters, she’s a full on author now, having just published her first book The Year of Less. And she’s not just a first-time author, her book is a hit. As she mentions in the episode, it’s still hard to find a copy at most book stores because they ran out of copies, so if you do still want to buy a copy, check Amazon first.
When we sat down for Episode 3 of the show, Cait was just about to finish her one-year shopping ban. I still remember her sharing that she wasn’t sure what to do after it finished. She eventually decided to continue it for another year, and although now she’s no longer on a shopping ban, she’s integrated the lessons she learned into her daily life.
The biggest lessons being to be more mindful when it comes to spending. It’s okay to spend money, but it’s about being more intentional with our spending and making sure we are spending money in alignment with our values that’s important. And when you do that, you’ll find that you can stick to a budget, you aren’t overspending as often (or anymore), and you don’t worry as much about your money.
This is a big lesson I also took away from her book and something I’ve been actively trying to integrate into my own life.
In this episode we also dive into other stories she shares in the book beyond the shopping ban, such as addiction and indulgence. Cait is now sober, but she used to have a problem with drinking, something she eventually realized was something she would do to fill a void or overcome other struggles in her life. It’s something I can relate to in that I definitely turn to certain things, like food or wine or even spending, to either deal with stress, unhappiness or hardship.
If you haven’t already grabbed your copy of the book, I highly recommend. And like I mentioned in the episode, I’m not recommending it because Cait’s my friend, I’m recommending it because it’s really good! I literally whipped through it in a day (no lie!), and I can’t stop thinking about it or telling other friends about it.
It's not easy to become a professional beauty blogger, but it's not impossible. And it doesn't mean you have to spend all of your money on beauty products to do it. Just take it from Jessica Desjardins, the founder of popular beauty website Beautezine.
I’ve always been fascinated by beauty bloggers and vloggers, and not just because I have no clue how they transform their faces into beautiful masterpieces (and I can barely do my own mascara without smudging), but because the beauty space is so competitive! Believe me, every time I meet a new hair stylist or makeup artist, they usually share that they have their own blog or YouTube channel. I sometimes find it competitive in the personal finance community, I couldn’t imagine trying to build an online business in the beauty industry.
But, there are people out there like Jessica Desjardins, founder of Beautezine, who are proof that it is in fact possible to make a good living and have a broad reach as a full-time beauty blogger and content creator. You just have to be really good at it, and hustle until you make a name for yourself. And that’s exactly what Jessica did.
Before quitting her job to focus on her online business full-time, she was actually headed to medical school to pursue a career as a doctor (no joke, she went so far as to do the MCAT). But at a certain point in her studies, she realized that her true passion was beauty, and instead of always wondering “What if?”, she decided to take a big leap of faith and start her own online beauty magazine called Beautezine. It took her 6 years to make it the go-to beauty resource for Canadians, but now she’s able to do what she loves and be her own boss.
In this episode, we chat about how she was able to build her business into what it is today, how she manages her business finances and personal finances, and why no matter what she puts a high priority on staying out of debt and investing for her future.
Top Posts You’ll Want to Check Out on Beautezine
Learn More About Jessica & Beautezine
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/143
Ever dreamed of becoming a digital nomad, able to work from anywhere and travel on your off time? That’s what my listener Grace was able to do, and she explains how in this Listener Series episode.
One of my big aspirations in life is to become completely location independent and to travel abroad more. So when my next guest, podcast listener Grace (who also runs the blog Gracefully Expat) emailed me about being on the show, I knew I needed to talk to her to find out how she was able to leave Canada, set up shop in Ireland and run her own business.
What’s funny is Grace is also from Vancouver (like me), but she didn’t move to Ireland directly. She first went to the US for university, then when she got a job opportunity that would take her to Ireland, she lept at the chance to live somewhere new. After a few years working the corporate life, Grace starting making plans to leave and start her own online business as a tax consultant for expats like herself.
Now, she’s living it up, able to explore the rest of Europe quite easily since it’s so close, and live that digital nomad life like I, and so many of us dream of. It just goes to show, becoming location independent doesn’t mean you have to become an Instagram star or a famous beauty YouTuber. You can do a number of things as a business that don’t require you to have an office, like a tax consultant for instance.
My dream is that within 5 years I’ll be able to have enough saved up and a business that earns enough passive income that I can focus my efforts on developing more content, create more online courses and do financial counselling from anywhere in the world. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but if Grace can do it, why not me (or you!).
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/142