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Find Your Financial Safety School

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martinis and your money

Find Your Financial Safety School

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m talking to Melissa Sotudeh, a financial planner with Halpern Financial, about her latest book, Find Your Financial Safety School. Melissa is the mother of a college grad and a Vanderbilt freshman so she knows what it takes to prepare for college – both as the person paying and as the parent raising students to be ready for college. Her book will help you select a school that is more appropriate for your student, understand the true cost of college education, and how to lower those costs.

As a side note: the first Financial Gym location has opened in New York City at 226 5th Avenue, 5th Floor. Please stop by and have a drink with us if you are in the area or check out The Financial Gym online for its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life! We’ll kick your assets into shape!

What are we drinking?

Melissa — Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka

Shannon — Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka with Club Soda

Podcast Notes

  • After her son started college 5 years ago, Melissa partnered with a private college counselor to talk with families about the college testing and application process as well as the financial aspect of it.
  • College financial aid does not adjust for higher costs of living based on your geographical location.
  • The cost of college 20-30 years ago was like buying a car. Now, it is like buying a house.
  • Shannon says the financial commitment of a college education is so extreme that the decision to actually attend college needs to be considered very carefully.
  • Melissa advises families to begin discussing the financial aspects of college with their children around 10th or 11th
  • If you are a student or a parent of a student who could attend an ivy league school, considering the return on investment by attending that school is extremely important as other schools likely would pay for your child to attend there.
  • Melissa learned that during the application process there are a lot of non-binding, early deadlines that, if met, add the applicant into a merit-based pool for financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
  • Always take every opportunity available because you never know what could come from it!
  • Melissa’s ebook has a choose-your-own-adventure structure, comes with a lot of helpful resources, and is available for FREE!
  • TAKEAWAY: Start talking about the college process early and often with your future college students so they do not accumulate unnecessary student loan debt and so you don’t have to delay your retirement goals!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite show to binge-watch?
  2. Are you an appetizer or a dessert person?
  3. What is your favorite family vacation you’ve been on?

Connect with Melissa:

Free ebook

Do you think that parents should pay for college or should kids take out student loan debt? Did you attend a financial safety school or a financial reach school?

The Happy Lawyer Project

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martinis and your money

The Happy Lawyer Project

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m talking to Okeoma Moronu, an attorney and host of the new podcast, The Happy Lawyer Project, about how she is helping young attorneys find meaning and joy while also earning the income that they sometimes need to earn. Okeoma and I actually have a very interesting past that we share on the show! I think this is a great conversation for anyone who is looking for happiness while in pursuit of your career, no matter what your career is. Cheers!

At the end of this episode we are starting a new segment called Live! at The Financial Gym where we will answer questions, highlight success stories, and more! Today you will meet Financial Gym trainer, Bridget, and find out why she joined the gym and became a financial trainer!

As a side note: the first Financial Gym location has opened in New York City at 226 5th Avenue, 5th Floor. Please stop by and have a drink with us if you are in the area or check out The Financial Gym online for its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life! We’ll kick your assets into shape!

What are we drinking?

Okeoma — Michelada? (beer with tomato juice)

Shannon — Cava + grape fruit San Pellegrino

Podcast Notes

  • Okeoma and Shannon actually met three years ago when Okeoma became interested in personal finance blogging and reached out to Shannon.
  • They ran into each other at FinCon this year and reconnected!
  • Okeoma got the idea for the Happy Lawyer Project after she developed anxiety around trying to make money and pay off her debts.
  • She wanted to craft a life that wasn’t so stressful!
  • Okeoma eventually found happiness in the job she already had by doing more of the things in her job she actually enjoyed like mentoring and project management.
  • The Happy Lawyer Project is meant to highlight other lawyers who have found their happiness in law and help others to find happiness in their careers!
  • Shannon says there are a lot of occupations with a high pay trajectory without a high happiness trajectory.
  • Okeoma has found people to interview for the podcast through people she has already interviewed and not all are attorneys – some are financial planners and one is a relationship coach!
  • Shannon discusses how she was not happy in her career at one point and hired a life coach, which helped her rediscover her happiness.
  • She says it is how you work through it that is the game changer, and how you work through it is all in your own head.
  • Don’t wait for the “if, then” situation, start your happiness journey now!
  • Shannon and Okeoma discuss the book Happiness by Matthieu Ricard, which Shannon’s life coach had suggested she read.

Random Three Questions with Okeoma

  1. What do you do in your down time?
  2. What is your favorite season?
  3. What is a book that has inspired you?

Connect with Okeoma:

Podcast on iTunes

Random Three Questions with Bridget

  1. Are you an appetizer or dessert person?
  2. What is your favorite movie to watch over and over again?
  3. If you won a million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with it?

What do you do to find happiness in your career? 

Real Estate Investing to Financial Independence

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martinis and your money

Real Estate Investing to Financial Independence

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m talking to Chad “Coach” Carson about how he built a real estate portfolio from scratch – with no background in real estate whatsoever – and about how this portfolio has afforded him the dream of financial independence. Chad’s story of hard work and determination was inspiring to me, and I hope it inspires you to achieve your own financial goals! Cheers!

What are we drinking?

Chad — Sam Adams Bonfire Blonde

Shannon — Mimosa with Cava

Podcast Notes

  • In college, Chad was actually a biology major, not a business major.
  • When he was 22, he chose to take some business classes and then decided to invest in real estate and acquire some rental properties.
  • One of his business professors was the person who put up the money for Chad’s first property.
  • He learned how to find good real estate deals, and that is one reason investors wanted to invest in him.
  • 14 years later, Chad, along with his business partner, now have 90 property units in Clemson, South Carolina.
  • His big picture goal from the very beginning was to purchase long-term hold properties.
  • The first few years of being in business, he lived very frugally and saved most of the money he earned.
  • He and his business partner also established personal relationships with their lenders.
  • After purchasing 30 properties this year, they hired a 3rd-party management company to manage their 90 units.
  • Chad’s ultimate goal for building his real estate portfolio was to achieve financial independence.
  • In 2009, Chad took a mini-retirement and traveled with his wife for a few months before returning to work.
  • Now he has decided to take another sabbatical and live in Ecuador with his wife and two children for an entire year starting January 2017.
  • He plans to work remotely while in South America.
  • Shannon says the clients she sees get results are the ones that put in the time and energy and work to achieve their goals.
  • Chad put in the work and now, at 36, has the opportunity to travel with his family for an entire year.
  • TAKEAWAY: Remember the importance of hard work in achieving your financial goals. If you dedicate the time and energy into learning, the same success is achievable for you!

Random Three Questions

  1. What’s your biggest financial indulgence?
  2. What is a movie that you could watch over and over again?
  3. What is one of your favorite TV shows from when you were growing up?

Connect with Chad:

MAYM Resource Page

Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Do you invest in real estate or have you thought of investing in real estate?

Financial Grown-Up Moments

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martinis and your money

Financial Grown-Up Moments

I have a special bonus episode this week to share with you a great new financial resource. Joining me on the podcast to talk about her new book, “How to be a Financial Grownup,” is award-winning journalist and author, Bobbi Rebell. I not only enjoyed chatting with Bobbi about her book, but I also enjoyed the cocktails she created as part of the promotion.

What are we drinking?

Bobbi — The #Sidehustler

Shannon — The #FinancialGrownup

Other Financial Grownup Cocktails:

Podcast Notes

  • Bobbi’s book – which is her side hustle – is a mix of crazy money stories from high achievers and advice/action steps you can do.
  • She chose to ask the contributors just two questions: 1. What their financial grownup moment was & 2. A lesson to share
  • She admits the book is a journalism experiment gone right.
  • Bobbi explains the concept she created for saving money when dating called “date stacking” – which is Shannon’s favorite tip!
  • Shannon often has to advise clients about dealing with finances and friends – which is a chapter in Bobbi’s book.
  • Bobbi says the biggest shock in the book came from Sallie Krawcheck.
  • In the book, Drew Barrymore says she had her financial grownup moment at the age of 7.
  • On Bobbi’s website she has a page called the “Bookshelf” with books she recommends.
  • Every chapter in the book ends with a checklist that highlights the main points of the chapter.
  • Shannon’s financial grownup moment came early on when she was 14 and walked into a bagel store with a help wanted sign in the window; she got the job – the 6am to 2pm shift – and declares it is the underlying story of her life.
  • Bobbi & Shannon agree it’s more fun to have more income than to just cut spending.
  • TAKEAWAY: Take the time and reflect on whether or not if you’ve had your financial grownup moment and what that says about your financial journey so far!

Random Three Questions

  1. When was the last time you cried?
  2. What is your biggest financial regret?
  3. What is a movie that you can watch over and over again?

Connect with Bobbi:

How to Be a Financial Grownup

Financial Grownup Cocktail Menu

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Have you had your financial grown-up moment yet? If so, what does it say about your financial journey so far?

Happy Hour Listener Questions Answered

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martinis and your money

Happy Hour Listener Questions Answered

Today is the last Friday of the month and in case you are new to this blog or my podcast, on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour on my podcast where the happy hour ladies and I talk about various money topics while drinking cheap drinks! Today is our 22nd Happy Hour episode, and we are answering listeners’ questions

Don’t forget to check out The Financial Gym and its tools and resources to help you break free from your financial challenges and live a financially healthier life!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Merlot

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Three Wishes Cabernet

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Vine Vault Malbec

Shannon — Cavit Pinot Grigio

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon responds to negative feedback she received about last month’s Happy Hour at High Noon episode.
  • Listener questions answered by the ladies:
    • Where all are you recording from right now?
    • How did you keep going when paying off debt felt overwhelming?
    • What are your financial-oriented goals for 2017?
    • What is your favorite drink?
    • When do you know when you are side hustling too hard?
  • The ladies then answer some of the random three questions Shannon has asked her previous podcast guests:
    • What is your favorite movie?
    • If you could live anywhere else in the world other than where you live now, where would you live and why?
    • What do you like to do in your down time?

If you have any questions for the ladies, or just want to reach out, please email shannon@finblonde.com

What do you like to do in your down time?

Millennial Parents

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martinis and your money

Millennial Parents

This week is Millennial Money Week on the podcast; and I am ending the week talking about what it’s like to be a Millennial parent. Joining me to discuss this is Paul Golden from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) who recently released a study in partnership with Parents Magazine about this topic.

What are we drinking?

Paul — Grey Goose martini

Shannon — Gin martini

Podcast Notes

  • NEFE did a recent study with Parents Magazine about millennial-aged parents and the challenges they are facing once they have children.
  • The study shows that, because of debt, millennials are delaying the “traditional” life goals previous generations had.
  • It costs $304,480 to raise a child until the age of 18 – this does NOT include college.
  • 51% of the survey respondents said they would trade a year of their life for greater financial security.
  • Not saving enough is the #1 concern of millennial parents.
  • Shannon believes there is not enough financial preparation to become parents because nobody really tells you how to prepare for that.
  • As soon as you pass a pregnancy test, you need to start saving!
  • Paul says he doesn’t want this study to scare people about the cost of raising a child, he wants it to get people planning for the cost of raising a child.
  • Shannon says the numbers in the study are definitely scary, but remember those numbers are over 18-22 years.
  • She advises to start living like you have a kid, even when you don’t actually have one yet.
  • For those who already have kids, it is really important to watch your expenses and find resources to help keep you accountable.
  • Shannon says with her clients she often sees that one parent emotionally spends on the children more than the other parent.
  • 1 in 4 people are concerned with their partners’ spending behaviors.
  • Paul says between paying for home expenses and paying for childcare expenses, saving for an emergency fund is not as common anymore.
  • Shannon is not surprised that a lot of millennials are choosing not to become parents.
  • She advises you to make time for your money and your finances, don’t let them spiral out of control.
  • Paul says Smart About Money has a LifeValues quiz to help you understand what’s behind your financial decisions.
  • You can’t expect your money situation to change if you don’t put any time and effort into changing it.
  • If you are a parent right now, stay positive!
  • If you are not yet a parent, do the research and get educated before you have a child!
  • TAKEAWAY: Try to plan as much as you can before you make the decision to become a parent – both emotionally and financially. If you are already a parent, work with your partner or your financial professional to get a hold of your finances – not only for your future, but the future of your children as well.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is a bucket list item you’d like to accomplish sooner than later?
  2. What is one of your all-time favorite movies?
  3. What is your biggest financial indulgence?

Connect with Paul:

NEFE

Smart About Money

Family Finances Survey

Do you know Millennials who are delaying having kids because of student loan debt? Do you think it’s become cost prohibitive to have a child now?

Millennial Home Ownership

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martinis and your money

Millennial Home Ownership

I’m continuing Millennial Money Week on the podcast today by talking about millennial homeownership with my friend Lauren Bowling of L Bee and the Moneytree. Home ownership, no matter how old you are and when you achieve it, is a huge decision to make. You don’t want to base decisions solely on emotions but also measure them against your goals and other dreams.

Lauren purchased a home at age 26 with the expectation that she and her then-fiancé would live in it after they got married. She put a nice down payment on the purchase and began a $68,000 renovation three months before their breakup. While her situation didn’t turn out so bad – she nets about $400 a month in renting it out to tenants – Lauren realizes some mistakes were made and wrote a book about it, The Millennial Homeowner: A Guide to Successfully Navigating Your First Home Purchase.

 

What are we drinking?

Lauren — Red wine

Shannon — Malbec

Podcast Notes

  • Lauren says her book takes you through the thought-process of becoming a homeowner.
  • Shannon says people often don’t think about the extras of homeownership besides the down payment.
  • Lauren recommends that first-time buyers not renovate their home.
  • You can go through the home-buying process and not learn a thing.
  • If the bank and a realtor are the only two sources you have for buying a home, find a different resource.
  • Shannon tells all her clients to have a $10,000 contingency fund for their home because you never know what will popup and those unexpected costs add up!
  • 5 years, which is the recommended amount of time to stay in a home, is a very long time.
  • Lauren advises to buy a home for the situation you are in right now, not the situation you think you will be in in the future.
  • Shannon & Lauren agree that student loan debt is deterring millennials from purchasing a home.
  • If you are going to spend money, Lauren believes purchasing a home is a good investment.
  • She likes the security homeownership provides her as a single woman.
  • Shannon says if you pick a smart property and make all the right decisions in advance, you have flexibility down the road to make creative choices with your home.
  • Lauren says her biggest mistakes with purchasing her first home include taking on a $68,000 renovation (the cost of the home!) and not having enough saved for unexpected costs.
  • TAKEAWAY: Homeownership, at any age, is a huge decision to make. Take the time to review your situation and your options and use resources, like Lauren’s book, to help you analyze if it’s the best decision for you!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite show to binge watch right now?
  2. What is your biggest spending weakness?
  3. If you didn’t live in Atlanta, where else would you live in the world?

Connect with Lauren:

Website

The Millennial Homeowner eBook

The Millennial Homeowner Book/Workbook bundle

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Do you own a home? Do you wish you didn’t own home? Do you want to own a home?

Driving a Bus and Other Fun Millennial Jobs

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martinis and your money

Driving a Bus and Other Fun Millennial Jobs

I am continuing Millennial Money Week on the podcast today, and talking about jobs. Joining me for this topic is Amber Berry from the blog Feel Good Finances. I recently met Amber in person. When she mentioned her job of driving a city bus – I just had to have her on the show. Amber shares the ups and downs of a millennial trying to find work she loves, a problem for a number of people not just millennials.

What are we drinking?

Amber — Lemon-lime Gatorade

Shannon — Earl grey tea

Podcast Notes

  • Amber began her string of odd jobs when she was a freshman in college.
  • She has been a city bus driver for 6 years now.
  • Since she graduated college, she became a trainer for bus drivers.
  • She graduated with a biology degree and tried some jobs related to her degree, like DNA research, but she decided that wasn’t for her.
  • Amber thinks she has had so many jobs because her job as a bus driver allowed her so much freedom and the opportunity to grow as an individual and the other jobs she has tried have not.
  • Shannon thinks there is now a degree of pickiness among millennials when finding a job.
  • Amber thinks she would be different about choosing a job if she had children and a dog, but since it is just her right now, she knows she can take care of herself.
  • Shannon says job turnover is a lot more common among millennials than not.
  • TAKEAWAY: Sometimes a job is just a job. Even if you hate it, remember you are learning along the way. Eventually you will find a job that is meaningful to you!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  2. What is a book that changed your life?
  3. What is a website that you spend a lot of time on?

Connect with Amber:

Website

Facebook

What is the craziest job you’ve ever had?