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Frugal Friends and Financial Frenemies

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martinis and your money

Frugal Friends and Financial Frenemies

Over the last few months, many of you have asked how you can help me. I’ve always said I would ask when I was ready – well, now I’m ready! Many of you know I founded the company the Financial Gym, and we opened our first gym location in New York City. Earlier this year, I was close to getting some investors to help me open multiple locations; however, that deal fell through, but I continue to search for other investors!

The process is both humbling and frustrating – 97% of venture capital decision-makers are men and many don’t understand my unique business model. It also doesn’t help that 90% of venture capital funds go to male-started businesses versus 10% that go to female-started businesses. Nevertheless, I persist – because I know helping people get financially fit is not only the right thing to do, it’s business model that makes sense! So now for my ask…

In an effort to continue to impress venture capital investors, my Financial Gym team has set an aggressive goal of getting 165 new clients in the next TWO months – and I need YOUR help to do it!

If you’ve ever thought about signing up for the Financial Gym services or know friends or family members who could benefit from another perspective on their finances, NOW is the time to join! We have clients who have started with $200,000 in the bank and we have clients who have started with $200 in the bank. We’re in New York but we work with clients virtually across the country – so we know how to give you the financial guidance you need no matter where you are on your financial journey or where you are physically located!

Go to financialgym.com/friends and get started now!

As a bonus, the listener who refers the most new clients in the next two months will win three free months of financial training with me personally – which is over a $600 value! So send yourself or your friends to financialgym.com/friends either to get started on your road to financial fitness or to get the boost you need on your road to get where you want to go faster.

This is a big goal we set for ourselves, and I KNOW we can accomplish it with your help!

Now onto Happy Hour! 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, we are talking about financial frenemies and how we manage friends into a financially fit lifestyle.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Malbec

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Water infused with lemon as she records this episode with a towel over her head

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Hot cocoa

Shannon — Cavit Pinot Grigio

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon has the conversation about being frugal and keeping friends with her clients ALL the time!
  • She asks the Happy Hour ladies if they have financial frenemies or if they had friends in the past that have pressured them to make poor financial choices.
  • Melanie says she has been definitely been in the situation where she made poor financial choices because of friends.
  • A few years ago while she was still paying off debt, a good friend invited Melanie to her birthday party at a sushi place.
  • Melanie told herself she would only order one roll and that would be fine – but when the bill came around, everyone wanted to split it.
  • She ended up splitting the bill with the group because she didn’t want to be awkward and make a big deal about it.
  • Now, she stands her ground and will initiate the invitation by proposing something frugal and within budget.
  • Shannon says a group dinner is the #1 money trap!
  • Her advice is to just avoid it if you’re not prepared financially or if you don’t want to split the bill.
  • Frugalwoods discusses the time she decided to go to a bachelorette weekend for one of her best friends in Charleston, SC.
  • She made a conscious decision to not stress out and just spend all the money that she wanted to so she could enjoy the weekend.
  • She is so glad she made the decision not to stress about money before each meal.
  • Even though she decided not to act like Mrs. Frugalwoods on that trip, she was able to spend that money the way she did because of her frugal lifestyle.
  • Shannon advises her clients to practice frugality before and after an expensive event so they can prepare for and enjoy the experience.
  • Tonya talks about how she declined an invitation to a bachelorette weekend because has a big trip to Europe coming up.
  • She wants to be less concerned about the money she spends on her trip to Europe which is why she’s saving a lot for it now.
  • One thing that is very challenging for Tonya is seeing her friends traveling and going out to eat a lot – which makes her feel a little left out.
  • She doesn’t feel pressured from her friends, but she does feel like an odd duck by choosing not to do the things her friends are doing.
  • Tonya explains why she doesn’t like the term “you deserve it!”
  • Shannon says if you are one of those friends that tells another friend “you deserve it,” you are a financial frenemy!
  • Frugalwoods agrees and thinks you are also a financial frenemy if you use the term “treat yourself!”
  • Tonya would rather someone say “I know you’ve been saving a lot and I know you’ve worked hard for that.”
  • The ladies discuss the fact that many people are embarrassed about being frugal and do not know how to discuss it with their friends.
  • If you have a friend who is trying to improve their life whether it’s by eating better, working out more, spending less, etc. why wouldn’t you encourage that instead of making fun of their decision?
  • The people that really matter and that you want to keep around for the long-term are the ones that you have fun spending nothing with or doing whatever with.
  • Shannon asks how the ladies handle friends who make poor financial choices and if they ever say anything to them about those choices.
  • Shannon has had light conversations where she offers to do a financial plan for them and very few ever accept her offer.
  • Frugalwoods is happy to talk with anyone about their finances, but she has to look at all of their finances to really help them.
  • She says that is a challenge for a lot of people, and no one has ever taken her up on her offer!
  • Tonya adds that a lot of people are not ready to accept the sacrifices they might have to make or the hard work they will have to put in to make a lifestyle change.
  • It bothers Shannon that people fear living a financially responsible life because they think they will be deprived and live an awful life.
  • You can be financially responsible and still live an amazing life!
  • Frugalwoods says people also believe they can’t do more – they think they don’t make enough to invest or don’t spend enough to save more – and she has never seen that be the case even with herself!
  • She continuously finds new ways to save money, and it makes her sad when people don’t recognize all of the opportunities they have to save!
  • Shannon agrees but also thinks people sometimes need to hear that they need to work harder and make more money either in their current job or from a side hustle to get ahead financially.
  • Tonya asks the ladies if any of their family members have ever made them feel guilty for not attending a family event or for not buying a gift because they didn’t have the money and how they handled that guilt.
  • Don’t get yourself in financial disarray for the people who should love you no matter what!
  • If they want to pay for it, great! But if they don’t, they shouldn’t be mad because you don’t want to pay for it.
  • Shannon adds you can also be brave and suggest a frugal alternative – you might be surprised how many others feel the same way but were too afraid to say anything!
  • The ladies give their tips to anyone struggling with managing a financially-healthy lifestyle and also keeping up with friends.
    • Suggest a frugal alternative plan.
    • Don’t be afraid to say no.
    • Understand people will have to leave your life during your financial journey if their priorities don’t align with yours.
  • Never regret your choice to live a financially healthy life!!
  • TAKEAWAY: If you’re focused on living a financially healthier lifestyle and you lose financially unhealthy friends, don’t fret it! Frugal friends are all around to give you joy and support your life goals!

Don’t forget to refer your friends and family and help us reach our goal in the next two months!  financialgym.com/friends

Do you have more frugal friends or financial frenemies?

The Accidental Baker

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martinis and your money

The Accidental Baker

March is Women’s History Month, and I’m featuring women who inspire and motivate me on the podcast. On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m talking to Cheryl Smircich. Cheryl and I attended high school together over 20 years ago, but really got closer over social media the last few years. I’ve watched via Facebook as Cheryl went from creating cakes for fun to starting her company, Cherrypie’s Custom Cakes, as a side hustle to leaving her full-time job to make custom cakes for a living – including making the cake for the grand opening of the first Financial Gym in New York City!

Most of us want change in our lives, but we’re not willing to put in the time and energy to do it. Cheryl’s story is a great reminder of just how much work you need to put in to accomplish something big. I am incredibly inspired by Cheryl, and I hope you are as well! Cheers!

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?

Cheryl — A glass of red wine – malbec

Shannon — Financial Gym house wine – also a malbec

Podcast Notes

  • Cheryl broke her ankle and tore the ligament about a month ago and had surgery a week later so she is sitting on the couch recording this episode in her walking boot that is just for show right now!
  • She didn’t start baking until later in life when she made a birthday cake for her son’s first birthday.
  • Someone saw a picture of it on Facebook and asked Cheryl to make them a similar cake!
  • Shannon remembers seeing pictures of Cheryl’s cakes on Facebook and seeing them continuously improve over time.
  • After almost 3 years of baking cakes on the side, Cheryl left her full-time job to build her business.
  • Cheryl says there are lots of sacrifices that happen when achieving your dreams.
  • Her husband has fully supported her decision to build this business and pursue her passion, and she couldn’t have done this without him.
  • After her surgery, her husband followed her around and learned what he needed to learn about baking and decorating and everything else to help her complete 15 orders!
  • Cheryl made the cake for the grand opening of the first Financial Gym in October 2016.
  • She also made the rubik’s cube birthday cake for Shannon’s son Will this past February.
  • Cheryl has not only made birthday cakes but has also made adult cakes for bachelor/bachelorette parties and a strip club.
  • She still decorates and stores the cakes at her home and keeps them in separate refrigerator outside of her house.
  • She had no investors and zero startup capital when she began this business.
  • She found the refrigerator she uses on a buy and sell Facebook group!
  • On average Cheryl bakes about a dozen cakes every weekend.
  • She often takes Mondays and Tuesdays to recover from her weekends and plan her coming week and orders.
  • She tries to bake as close to pickup as she can for freshness.
  • All of her decorating techniques are self-taught.
  • Shannon asks Cheryl how she figured out how to price herself.
  • Cheryl says that has been a big struggle since day one and, for the majority of time she has been in business, she has been underpriced.
  • Shannon says getting paid what you deserve is big struggle among female entrepreneurs.
  • To market herself, Cheryl joined different local moms’ groups on Facebook and searched who was asking for cakes – she found everyone was asking for cakes!
  • She started posting pictures of the cakes she created and receiving great reviews.
  • Now she receives orders from word-of-mouth!
  • TAKEAWAY: Understand the importance of hard work in achieving your financial or career goals!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your biggest business regret?
  2. What is the most favorite cake you have created?
  3. What do you do for downtime?

Connect with Cheryl:

Facebook

Instagram

email

If you could start a business, what type of business would you start?

Money Types and Your Worth

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martinis and your money

Money Types and Your Worth

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Amanda Steinberg of DailyWorth about her new book, Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms.

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?

Amanda — Coffee

Shannon — Coffee

Podcast Notes

  • Amanda is a 39-year-old single mom, and she was raised by a single mom.
  • She discovered software programming at a young age and that she had a brain for it.
  • At the same time, she did everything she could to meet the one and did so by age 23.
  • While that relationship didn’t work out, now 8 years later she runs a company that helps women gain control of their finances and discover what it means to have “agency.”
  • Shannon asks Amanda why she thinks larger companies can’t figure out how to target women.
  • Shannon and Amanda discuss how finance is often emotional for women and not as emotional for men.
  • Amanda wrote her book Worth It because she believed financial services used confusing language, and she wanted to make finance easy to understand.
  • Both Amanda and Shannon are fans of entrepreneurship.
  • Amanda discusses her “roots and wings” philosophy about women and investing.
  • She discusses the MoneyType assessment and advises Shannon and others to take it.
  • This assessment reveals how your values impact your money and gives you insights into how you think about and manage money.
  • It reveals your strengths and your sabotage patterns.
  • Amanda advises anyone financially confused to start with their net worth and start with the idea of moving it positive.
  • Shannon asks Amanda what she thinks about the evolution of money types.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your biggest money regret?
  2. What is your favorite show to binge-watch?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Connect with Amanda:

DailyWorth

Book – Worth It

MoneyType Assessment

 What’s your money type?

Food Stamps to Financial Freedom

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martinis and your money

Food Stamps to Financial Freedom

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to founder of Adaptive Nourishment, entrepreneur, and side hustler, Shanah Bell, about her journey from feeding her family of 3 on $800 a month and food stamps to fulfilling her dream of traveling the world. I found Shanah’s story especially inspiring given a few of my friends and I have hit some tough times recently.

It’s times like these that makes me think of the quote from General Custer – “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.” I hope Shanah’s story inspires you as much as it inspired me! She also shares a new cocktail recipe with us! Cheers!

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?

The Shitty Week (or Blushing Bride) which Shanah created while she was bartending and having a shitty week. Here’s the ingredients:

  • Tanqueray Rangpur Gin (regular gin works too)
  • Malibu Rum
  • Triple Sec
  • Lime juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Blood Orange Soda
  • Pineapple sage (optional)

Podcast Notes

  • Shanah separated from her ex-husband almost 7 years ago and had to stay home with her two small children.
  • Her ex was so angry when she left him that he refused to provide them any financial assistance.
  • He refused to move out of the home Shanah owned before she met him, so she took the kids and her dog and moved in with her parents.
  • After a few months, he finally moved out and they were able to move back in to their home meaning Shanah had to take back over the mortgage of $512/month with her escrow accounts.
  • Shanah luckily purchased a home she could still afford incase she ever got laid off instead of purchasing a home for the full amount she was approved for.
  • Shannon and Shanah agree you shouldn’t be living to pay your mortgage.
  • After moving back into the home, Shanah was only working one day a week when her mom could watch the kids and earned $800/month.
  • There was only about $25 left for gas and food after paying the mortgage and utilities.
  • She started asking friends what they thought she should do and one friend who worked for Health and Human Services suggested food stamps.
  • Shanah explains the difference between food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and why she ultimately chose food stamps.
  • She says applying for food stamps was an incredibly humbling experience that took all day to complete.
  • A case worker provided them with emergency food stamps, and Shanah took the card to Whole Foods where she got weird looks.
  • She eventually found if you went to the local farmer’s market at the end of the day they would fire-sell any produce left.
  • Her food stamps monthly allowance was $526/month.
  • Shanah managed to feed her family a healthy diet with that allowance, but she admits some months were very tough.
  • She describes a significant moment that she considers the lowest point of her tough experience.
  • During her marriage, Shanah and her ex-husband accumulated $35,000 of debt.
  • When her daughter went to preschool, she was able to start working two days a week to earn more to put towards their debt.
  • She also received a medical payout from a car crash she was in and used that to payoff the rest of her marital debt.
  • After all of that, she started working full-time at Microsoft and was able to completely pull her family out of the situation they were in.
  • Shannon says when you’re down you need to work hard and get out of it and be an example for your children or your friends or whoever.
  • It is so important to get real with yourself even though it’s not enjoyable.
  • Shanah and Shannon agree you need to check in with your finances monthly to know exactly where you are.
  • Now, Shanah works from home as a nutritionist and blogs at Adaptive Nourishment about nutrition and food.
  • She also blogs about personal finance at Debt RoundUp, the blog her brother runs!
  • She loves to travel and try new food when she travels.
  • Shannon and Shanah agree you can live a healthy lifestyle on a budget, you just have to be smart about it.
  • Shanah says she works with her clients about creating fast, easy meals that are cost-effective.
  • Her current food budget for her family of 7 is $600/month.
  • They discuss the cost of living in North Carolina compared to New York – a martini is $8-$10 in NC and close to $15 in NY!
  • TAKEAWAY: Tough times are usually only temporary although at the time they may seem like an eternity. You may be knocked down now, but you’re still in the ring, so get back up and keep fighting!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your most productive time of day?
  2. What is your most recent money splurge?
  3. If you were to win a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Connect with Shanah:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Have you ever used food stamps? What’s the lowest monthly budget you’ve survived on?

Time Is More Than Money – Happy Hour

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martinis and your money

Time is More Than Money – Happy Hour

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, we’re talking about the most precious commodity we all have: time. The ladies joined me for some drinks to share their thoughts on time and how they manage it best. Listen and enjoy! Cheers!

As a side note: the first week in March, I will be recording a ­special listeners’ only Happy Hour with three lucky listeners! If you’d like to be selected, you must:

  1. Enjoy a good Happy Hour
  2. Be a member of the Martinis and Your Money Facebook group
  3. Today – February 24th – you need to post in the Facebook group something you’ve learned or thought about differently since listening to this show.

I will pick the top three responses and schedule a Happy Hour call to record the podcast! The winners will be notified next week!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Vodka martini

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Chardonnay

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Boxed white wine

Shannon — Beringer Cabernet

Podcast Notes

  • The most important asset we all have is time.
  • The better we manage time, the better we manage everything else.
  • Melanie is a freelancer and she uses:
    • Asana to keep track of her projects
    • RescueTime to track her time online – she says it’s like Mint.com but for your time.
    • SelfControl (a Mac-specific app) to manage her social media distractions
  • Melanie says managing time and managing energy go hand-in-hand.
  • She knows she is night owl and she tries to avoid early meetings and scheduling things early in the morning.
  • One change she has made in the mornings is giving herself one hour in the morning and at night to not look at her phone.
  • A quote that really resonated with Melanie was “do you want to be a consumer or a creator?”
  • As a working mom, Mrs. Frugalwoods manages her time by following her daughter’s schedule.
  • When Babywoods goes down for a nap, Mrs. Frugalwoods is writing.
  • She is very slow to reply to emails and text messages because she is laser-focused when she sits down to write.
  • Following her daughter’s schedule has made her a very fast writer.
  • She says a routine schedule helps her the most with managing time.
  • Tonya says she is a combination of a free spirit and Mrs. Frugalwoods.
  • The key for her is saying no to doing a lot of things.
  • She has a routine for some parts of the day like when she wakes up (5:30am!) and the rituals she does in the morning.
  • She enjoys a slow morning and easing into her day.
  • On the weekends she sleeps in until 6:00am – 6:30am and then tries to workout around 9:00am.
  • She says she needs to be more efficient about finishing her tasks.
  • She read Essentialism by Greg McKeown and highly recommends it.
  • Her biggest takeaway from it was if you’re not prioritizing your own life, someone will prioritize it for you!
  • Shannon says the ultimate thing about managing time is knowing yourself.
  • Allowing downtime is very important to keep her from getting burned out.
  • Understanding how you function during certain periods of time is extremely important!
  • Shannon doesn’t use a lot of apps but she is obsessed with using her Google Calendar.
  • It is really important for her to put her son Will on the bus to school every morning because her evening schedules are always so hectic.
  • Tonya went from freelancing back to a 9 to 5 and she hasn’t found many challenges besides not being able to workout in the mornings at her optimal time like she used to.
  • Frugalwoods doesn’t think she could ever go back to a 9 to 5 job.
  • Tonya says napping for 20 minutes really helps her during the day.
  • Shannon says napping destroys the rest of her days.
  • The ladies all agree that multi-tasking decreases productivity.
  • Find what works best for you – whether it is an app or a schedule – and manage your time so it aligns with your priorities!
  • TAKEAWAY: Think about time as you think about your money. It’s precious and we need to manage it accordingly because it’s not infinite.

Are you good at managing your time? What helps you do it best?

This Teen’s Got Cents!

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martinis and your money

This Teen’s Got Cents

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I’m enjoying a mocktail with 20-year-old entrepreneur and creator of the blog site Teens Got Cents, Eva Baker. She started the site while she was in high school, and it has now grown into a business. Her goal for the site is to inspire other teens to reach for and accomplish more in their lives, and she has done just that. It is unbelievable and inspiring to see what Eva has done before she can even legally drink! Listen and enjoy – cheers!

As a side note: the first week in March, I will be recording a ­special listeners’ only Happy Hour with three lucky listeners! If you’d like to be selected, you must:

  1. Enjoy a good Happy Hour
  2. Be a member of the Martinis and Your Money Facebookgroup
  3. Between now and February 24, you need to post in the Facebook group something you’ve learned or thought about differently since listening to this show.

I will pick the top three responses and schedule a Happy Hour call to record the podcast!

What are we drinking?

Eva — Virgin Paloma

Shannon — Virgin Paloma

Podcast Notes

  • Eva started her site, Teens Got Cents, when she was just 16 thanks to her mom and a high school project.
  • She says she was very fortunate while growing up because her parents were very open about money with her and her brothers.
  • After listening to the audio version of The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, she realized most people grow up never learning anything about money at all and accumulate massive amounts of debt!
  • She started doing research online and found lots of great resources about how to get out of debt but couldn’t find anything about how to not get into debt in the first place.
  • 4 years later and she’s still blogging at Teens Got Cents and just had her first teen conference, The Teenpreneur Conference!
  • She modeled it after her experience at FinCon because she wanted the same type of comradery with other entrepreneurs her own age.
  • Eva advises parents of teens to realize if they want to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in them, it’s going to cost them money or time.
  • Shannon says parents have to do a lot of work as parents anyway, so why not spend that time and energy helping and inspiring their entrepreneur spirit!
  • Finding that balance between helping your child with their business and not taking over is extremely important.
  • Learning from mistakes and ultimately failure is what helps teens grow the most!
  • One business Eva is very impressed with is a maple syrup company owned by a teen from New York who started his business when he was 12!
  • Shannon and Eva agree the internet helps teens come up with business ideas.
  • Eva believes the value of what you learn from owning your own business is more valuable than a college education.
  • TAKEAWAY: Don’t let age determine your goals in life. Young or old, we’re all on unique journeys. When inspiration hits us, we need to pursue it with passion no matter what stage of life we’re in!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your biggest regret or failure as you’ve been building your business?
  2. What is a show that you like to binge-watch?
  3. What do you do with your downtime?

Connect with Eva:

Website

The Teenpreneur Conference

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

What was your biggest accomplishment by the time you were 20?

Paying Off $109,000 of Credit Card Debt

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martinis and your money

Paying off $109,000 of Credit Card Debt

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Brian Brandow from Debt Discipline about his experience with credit card debt. He thought making the minimum payments on their credit cards was doing good with money. Then he woke up when they couldn’t go on summer vacation because all the cards were maxed out. After 4 years, they paid it off – all of it! They celebrated by taking that vacation – but with cash! Now he works with their local Board of Education committees on financial literacy for students. Listen and enjoy!

As a side note: the first week in March, I will be recording a ­special listeners’ only Happy Hour with three lucky listeners! If you’d like to be selected, you must:

  1. Enjoy a good Happy Hour
  2. Be a member of the Martinis and Your Money Facebook group
  3. Between now and February 24, you need to post in the Facebook group something you’ve learned or thought about differently since listening to this show.

I will pick the top three responses and schedule a Happy Hour call to record the podcast!

What are we drinking?

Brian — English Breakfast Tea

Shannon — Coffee

Podcast Notes

  • Brian and his wife started their debt repayment journey in 2010 after ten years of accumulating debt.
  • He attempted to raise his credit limits on his maxed out cards to finance his family’s summer vacation.
  • When he was denied, he realized they needed to change something.
  • Brian found Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and used it as a resource.
  • It took them 4 years to pay down their $109,000 debt.
  • He says the first couple of months were really tough as they were breaking bad habits and adjusting their routines.
  • After 3-4 months, things started to smooth out and become easier.
  • Once they didn’t have their debt payments, they began to build an emergency fund and save for their children’s college.
  • Thankfully they did because after 21 years at his job, he was let go.
  • Shannon says if you are financially healthy, you are able to handle those types of situations.
  • Brian and his wife have been very open with their children about their debt repayment journey and money in general.
  • Two of their children will be attending college this Fall, and they want them to graduate college debt-free.
  • Brian says his views now on credit cards are positive.
  • They utilize credit card rewards and payoff their balances in full every month!
  • Now Brian works with local Board of Education committees about the financial aspects of college education.
  • TAKEAWAY: Remember the importance of making a plan and sticking to it!

Random Three Questions

  1. What was your best debt-free purchase you made?
  2. What is a show you like to binge-watch?
  3. If you were to win a free vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?

Connect with Brian:

Debt Discipline

Twitter

 Have you struggled with paying down debt?

Get Financially Fit with a New Money Challenge

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martinis and your money

Get Financially Fit with a New Money Challenge

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, we are talking about creating challenges to help you stay on track and achieve the goals you set for this year. Many of you who set goals or resolutions for 2017 are probably struggling with them right now, so the ladies and I share some of our favorite money challenges to help motivate you and make the process more fun!

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 — Ginger Turmeric Tea à check out her post about using turmeric for teeth whitening!

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Charles Shaw “Two-Buck-Chuck” Cabernet

Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com — Oak Leaf Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Shannon — Cavit Pinot Grigio

Podcast Notes

  • Frugalwoods is hosting an ongoing Uber Frugal Month Challenge with over 9,900 participants that began January 1, 2017, but you can start it on your own whenever you’d like!
  • The Uber Frugal Month Challenge is meant to help you save money and to restructure your consumer mindset.
  • Check out the Frugalwoods’ Uber Frugal Month: The Ultimate Guide to Saving More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible.
  • Shannon says you need to focus on your mindset more than anything else if you want to make a serious change.
  • No matter what stage you are in, everyone’s money journey could ALWAYS stand refreshing or improvements and enhancing.
  • Frugalwoods admits she still struggles with impulse spending and believes the Uber Frugal Month Challenge gives you the tools needed to combat that.
  • One of Melanie’s favorite money challenges is having a no-spend day.
  • Shannon says she gives the no-spend day challenge as homework to several of her clients.
  • Frugalwoods found a fantastic compounding interest calculator online that has you input an expense you have (like cable) and then calculates how much you would have in 30 years if you invested the cost of that expense instead.
  • The ladies agree that sometimes it takes more time than you expect to reach your goal but keep working towards it and it will happen!
  • Tonya says she is not good at challenges in general and relies on self-discipline to achieve her goals.
  • She took a quiz created by author Gretchen Rubin that helped her understand her personality and why she responds to expectations the way she does.
  • She advises other rebels/anti-challengers to figure out your personality and experiment with different things to find what works best for you.
  • Shannon says one of the number one ways to save money is to decrease your variable expenses like food.
  • One challenge she suggests is the “clear the pantry” challenge where you have to use whatever is in your fridge and freezer to create meals.
  • If food is very important to you, find other areas in your life you are willing to sacrifice and attempt challenges meant for those areas.
  • Another challenge Shannon likes is the cash-only challenge.
  • You can attempt the cash-only challenge for just one day, one week, one month, or even for an entire year!
  • Frugalwoods and Tonya agree that the cash-only challenge doesn’t work for them.
  • All the ladies agree that if you estimate your spending, you always end up underestimating it.
  • Another challenge you can try is automating your savings.
  • There are so many different types of challenges to help you improve your finances – you just need to find what works for you and follow through!
  • TAKEAWAY: Find new ways to challenge yourself to do and achieve more financially!

Resources

Uber Frugal Month Signup

Uber Frugal Month Guide

Response to Expectations Quiz

What money challenges do you like?