Giving Back with Harlan Landes

martinis and your money

Giving Back with Harlan Landes

On this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am once again talking to Harlan Landes, blogger, podcaster and founder of both the Plutus Awards and the Plutus Foundation. Harlan is here to answer MAYM listener Jen Dane’s question about how you can give back by sharing his story of why he started the Plutus Foundation and what it means to run a charitable foundation. This conversation covers several different ways you can give back both before and after you achieve your personal financial goals. Cheers!

Don’t forget to help my financial gym team achieve our big goal of 165 new clients in two months. We have until the end of June to reach this goal and I can’t wait to share with you our results at that point. No matter where you are, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to to sign up today!

What are we drinking?

Harlan — Barefoot Riesling

Shannon — Schweppes Black Cherry Seltzer & vodka

Podcast Notes

  • Harlan started one of the first personal finance blogs – Consumerism Commentary – about 14 years ago.
  • He ultimately sold his blog and invested what he made from the sale.
  • He had the idea for starting a foundation on his mind since he was young and involved in the arts.
  • The first thing Harlan did was create a mission for the foundation – “Helping citizens of the world take control of their finances and to eliminate poverty.”
  • He says setting up the nonprofit foundation was probably the easiest part – maintaining it and making sure it is compliant is the hard part.
  • A lot of the initial work can begin as soon as you have an idea!
  • Shannon thought establishing a nonprofit would be the hardest part.
  • Harlan set up the Plutus Foundation as a charity and funded it with his own money in the beginning.
  • Shannon asks if he considered crowdfunding and he says crowdfunding is not always the best source of revenue and donations for charity.
  • The Plutus Foundation’s mission today is to provide grants to provide opportunities for the financial media to create, develop, and administer community-based programs that enhance financial literacy, education, and empowerment.
  • One project supported by the Plutus Foundation is Free, Ongoing Personal Finance Class for Teens by Eva Baker from Teens Got Cents
  • Harlan says if you can’t contribute financially, volunteer and help an organization you support.
  • You don’t have to have a million dollars to create an impact and give back!
  • TAKEAWAY: There are many ways you can give back to the universe and creating a foundation is one.

Random Three Questions

  1. What is a show you like to binge watch?
  2. What do you like to do for downtime?
  3. What do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?

Connect with Harlan:

Plutus Foundation


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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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