Listen to our full episodes10 Impactful Money Decisions We MadeFind our podcasts below (full transcript) or by searchingWhat is all this for?in your favorite podcast player.
Takeaways from 10 Impactful Money Decisions We Made
1. The first impactful money decision: Consolidating our finances
Everyone's relationship is different, but combined with our financial situation, we had to communicate about money early on, and we're glad we made that decision. It helps us agree on spending, future budgets, and overall goals.
2. Create a debt repayment plan together
Instead of letting $124,000 in debt weigh us down or shame us, we came together to create a plan where we decided not to let our debt suffocate us. Anything you can do to put yourself in a state of mind where you are willing to face debt is definitely something you should be focusing on.
3. Start a weekly finance meeting
The only way we were able to pay off all our debt in less than 3 years was to meet weekly and talk about money. Every Friday, we spend 30-60 minutes organizing our spending, categorizing our spending, adjusting our budget, and having an open conversation about our money goals/plans. Eight years later, we still have weekly budget meetings.
4. Hire financial advisors before we have money
A financial advisor can help you create a plan to get out of debt. We already have a debt repayment plan in place, but our financial advisor has given us a bunch of helpful structural advice, one of which is how our money should be moved between businesses and into accounts in our joint family and savings accounts process. This is in ourdebt repayment article.
5. Set up automatic savings, even if we can’t afford it
You may feel like you don't have any extra money to save, but you have to start savingbefore you pay off your debtBecause it makes you a habit. We'd look at saving $50 or $100 a month to start. Then we gradually increased it as we were able to make more money and pay off more debt.
6. Play the Credit Card Points Game
If you're going to play the credit card points game, be careful! we learned a lotNerd Wallet SiteWhich cards to register on. When we started playing the credit card points game, we made absolutely sure to pay off the credit card balance every month (without taking on additional debt to earn points). These points were used for a "honeymoon", a dream vacation after we paid off all our debts.
7. No traditional wedding
A wedding is an incredibly personal decision, but for us, we don't think paying $10,000 to $50,000 a day is worth it (especially after we've just paid off all our debt). Instead, we eloped and we are more than happy!
8. Consolidation of business
We realized we could earn more by working harder, but to do that we had to start from scratch in terms of revenue. These are big money decisions that can feel scary and have a lot of unknowns, but you just have to trust your instincts and instincts.
9. Invest in Money Multipliers: Technology and Convenience (Meals)
Ramit Sethi talked about the concept of "money pan". The term "money multiplier" is just a name we came up with a long time ago, when you spend money on these things, they actually make you more money in the long run. For us, that meant investing in a new laptop/phone and paying for prepared meal service (to save time on cooking, grocery shopping, etc.).
10. Spend more than average on housing and travel
We are born nerds. While we had a great year in 2022, this is a bucket list item we won't be doing again. Instead, we like to invest in 2-3 memorable trips per year. Then, the house we live in, we will always allocate more money because we live and work there 95% of the time. We see paying higher rent as the price of flexibility and less stress (since owning a home has a lot of hidden costs).
Show notes for Episode 167: 10 Impactful Money Decisions We Made
This week, we're talking about money. Specifically, we want to share some of the impactful choices we've made around money and how they've changed our lives and our businesses.
In case you don't know, we were $124,000 in debt in 2013, had no plans, had zero ongoing income, were stressed out, and were overwhelmed. How do we turn our mental state around and pay off 100% of our debt in less than 3 years? You have to tune in to know!
Money is a tricky subject, but after watching Ramit Sethi's new Netflix show, we're inspired to be more transparent and share more conversations about money.
Some links we mentioned:
Watch Ramit Sethi's 'How To Get Rich' Netflix Show -www.netflix.com/title/81410436
Read our 8-step debt repayment planning article (with income stream) -wanderingaimfully.com/debt-free/
The full transcript of Episode 167: 10 Impactful Money Decisions We Made
⬇️You can tooDownload the .TXT file of the transcript
Caroline:Welcome to what the hell is this for? Podcasts designed to help you grow your online business while pursuing a spacious, satisfying life. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, a no-nonsense business mentoring program. Each week, we offer advice and conversations to bring you back to your innermost self and help you examine every aspect of your life and career by asking yourself, What is it all about? Thanks for listening. Now let's get into the show.
Jason:I am here too. Hi everyone, and welcome to our podcast. This is our podcast.
Jason:This is our podcast. Wait a moment. go ahead.
Caroline:make an introduction.
Jason:you are right.
Caroline:Podcasts are cool. dot dot dot.
Jason:OK go back. No, it's great. This is good. Yep, that's exactly what people voted for. I went back to Spotify. Thanks to our Spotify podcast listeners who have been responding. Obviously there are, quote unquote, Q and A. I don't know why they don't call them reviews, because they are. But it's listed as a Q&A. But we didn't ask any questions.
Caroline:It's just an A.
Jason:It's just A's.
Caroline:But maybe you can ask a question.
Jason:Of course you can. But it's like...
Caroline:But you don't.
Jason:The way Spotify does this is pretty weird.
Caroline:But we're always asking for podcast reviews, so it's very exciting.
Jason:It's very exciting. One day, we'll be doing a two-week Apple review blitz.
Caroline:I thought about it. I was like, we really never talked about reviews.
Jason:Like kick it, because we know our show is growing. Like, I can see it in analytics.
Jason:But you listeners...
Caroline:Because who wants to write a review?
Jason:We just never talk about it, either. So it's like people don't think about it. It's the same thing. Like, when I look at...
Caroline:I'm not blaming anyone.
Jason:I blame four of our 27 listeners.
Caroline:You know who you are.
Jason:You know who you are.
Jason:People in pants.
Caroline:Pat on pass.
Jason:You people with hair. you people...
Caroline:Do you have wool pants?
Jason:say something. When I talk about this, we do have some people who like my pants analogy that add all the zippers and the WAIM pants thing, and our prices go up because our WAIM pants have more functionality. Let's talk about the prologue very quickly for the prologue, there wasn't an episode last week, just to be honest.
Caroline:We didn't have an episode last week because one of us was a little bit overwhelmed. I won't tell you who's who.
Jason:Thanks for taking me out to play. oops.
Caroline:Another said, listen.
Jason:If you've been listening to the show long enough, you've heard us do this before. At the end of the day, we are overwhelmed. There are many things going on. You are overwhelmed. There are many things. We are overwhelmed. God. That was just a joke. We are overwhelmed. There are many things going on. Something has to be given. What it is? So for us, podcasts are usually the most important thing because our newsletter is mostly pre-written. So like those people didn't have to pay, and in some cases, they did.
Caroline:Doing this doesn't save us a lot of work.
Jason:It's just that it's a more reactive thing that we do with your audience.
Caroline:But we care deeply about you.
Jason:I want you to know that we had a good discussion, with Caroline on one end of her house and me on the other.
Caroline:We used to be.
Jason:Should we take a break? You're like, I don't want to rest. I thought, we've got two more days... like, no, we're not doing this.
Caroline:Yes, you stood your ground. You say, no, listen, we're going to take a week off. The world will not end. Sometimes what I like is the other way...
Caroline:We have to scale back. It's not the end of the world. So we're a good team in that regard.
Jason:We're going to be talking a lot about team things about money here. But first let's talk about the actual prologue, a small stay in Ericeira.
Caroline:Yeah, what I didn't share is that part of the reason we're overwhelmed is because we're home for the holidays and all our stuff is piling up. but you know what? This is worth it.
Jason:Well, from January 1st to last week, we really kicked off the year with a lot of focused effort.
Caroline:It feels great. but you know.
Jason:It catches up to you. Indeed.
Caroline:It catches up to you.
Jason:No matter how long you've been doing this, how much process you have, how many concept wizards your team has, you'll eventually need to take a break.
Caroline:I told a friend that it might technically be a bad bird's-eye view time wise, it's bad to be on vacation at home, but it's also when you need it the most.
Jason:Because if you don't do that at the time, what you're going to experience is burnout.
Caroline:Exactly. So I'm really glad we took three days away from our laptops and we went to this little town of Ericeira, how far is it from Lisbon? It's like going straight west, isn't it?
Jason:Ericeira is hard to get to because it's on the coast and to the west, but there's really no main road leading to it. But I think with the crow's flight, my guess is 30 kilometers, which is 15 miles, so it's not that far. But it doesn't seem to... it's a coastal road, so...
Caroline:So it's right by the sea, and...
Jason:Possibly more than 30 km.
Caroline:A cool surf town. Like it has a very surf culture, very laid back California vibe, but more populous than a lot of the beach towns near us, we're maybe 45 to 50 minutes north if you don't know.
Jason:Well, the funny thing is we are further from Lisbon than Ericeira, but it takes the same amount of time to get to both.
Jason:Because coastal roads are different from ordinary roads.
Caroline:We did find out that the route from here to Ericeira is actually a beautiful coastal road.
Jason:It's just one of those, like it reminds us of certain parts, route one drive or 101, I can never remember which one it's in California, where are you like in big sur with cliffs and stuff Wind. Like some parts of it. Not exactly. But there is a lagoon with clear blue water which is lovely.
Caroline:So we enjoyed it a lot. The whole contingency of going on this staycation is that we don't use Instagram anymore. But occasionally I continue to tell my friends and family about our life in Portugal or elsewhere. So I'm fed up, like this ad.
Jason:Well, because, interesting thing.
Jason:Another account that you used to be your primary account forever, your @ckelso account on Instagram, you somehow got put in... this has happened to you twice. I believe we've touched on this in the podcast.
Jason:On Hulu, you ever look at the Hulu app and you think, hey baby, have you seen this? You show me, it says, there's dog food in the corner, like a watermark.
Caroline:I'm sort of like...
Jason:You're not watching a dog show either.
Caroline:I somehow joined this weird new Hulu release testing group. They're testing, like, a new interface, I think, because it says, Hulu dog food.
Jason:Again, don't watch pet shows.
Caroline:I'm glad I showed it to you because no one would believe me. So if you're listening and somehow worked at Hulu or something, please email us and let me know.
Jason:None of us tune in from Hulu. It doesn't matter.
Caroline:We don't know, but let me know. Am I in a weird test group? Anyway.
Jason:Does anyone listening to our podcast work for one of the streaming services? Now, I'm curious. Like, any of them? show time? maximum?
Caroline:A side note from Hulu dog food. The reason you mention this is because on my @ckelso public Instagram account, I don't see ads.
Caroline:No feed ads, no story ads. Like, I don't know what special list I'm on. So I just enjoy Instagram as a user. But now I have this little thing that's just personal, like, it's really like, my mom follows.
Jason:And my mom. It's our mother.
Caroline:And your...our mom. I am getting ads on this account. But now I kind of like it, which is cool. As anyone who has ever seen an Instagram ad will tell you, it's not cool.
Jason:It's not cool.
Caroline:But to me it's cool because I feel like it's just feeding me, like.
Jason:Well, here's the difference between our two accounts. When Instagram ads take off, especially when they start listening to your conversations, I mention shorts. I just get all the shorts ads.
Caroline:To be exact, I've always loved, swimsuits, swimsuits, swimsuits.
Jason:You receive an ad from a swimwear company. But anyway, you got the ad for this restaurant.
Caroline:Yeah, I'll also say, I have to be careful because Instagram, if you let it go, it will suck you back. So even if I had, like, followed five people or whatever, it would suck me back. So I was very careful and only stayed there for a short amount of time. But I saw this ad for a restaurant called Capsule Cafe in Ericeira, and they were doing a special tasting menu event, and the chef in the restaurant was actually a Ukrainian chef named Alex. He collaborates with other chefs to host pop-up dinners. Like, I think he did it with a Berlin chef. And then a chef from Lisbon. So this is a Portuguese chef named Chef João. They basically decided to team up and create an eight-course tasting menu, with each chef offering four courses, calling it "Sea and Land." So Chef João from Lisbon brings these seafood dishes prepared with ingredients from the sea. Then Chef Alex does like vegetables. Yep, no meat courses, is there? No, just vegetables. So, you know, if you're listening, we love culinary experiences. We're those Chef's Table geeks through and through.
Jason:Oh yeah. If you've seen the movie "The Menu" we're the ones who are overeager, well, cook, I can see this clam living in rocky terrain here.
Caroline:Isn't the whole point of that movie to parody that person and make fun of them? Yes Yes. We should be made fun of for this.
Caroline:We're immersed in that world, and we love it. So we basically built the whole little staycation idea around that idea. We also have friends we want to meet, such as online and offline friends.
Jason:Haven't seen them in real life.
Caroline:Haven't seen them in real life yet. So it's just this cute little weekend. We went on a Friday. We ate at this charming restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Jason:And then oh well, wait a minute. So to end the dinner at the Capsule Cafe, it was great.
Caroline:I'm going there.
Caroline:I'm Friday, so I'm going there.
Caroline:So we had lunch at this ocean restaurant. We checked into a motel and then that night, we went to dinner and man, what can I say...
Jason:marvelous. Worth every penny. It was a real meal. I mean, this is so much fun. The restaurant is small. For example, imagine the size of your kitchen. Now add six tables where people can sit. That's the size of a restaurant. It was so much fun to have the chefs come out and showcase their dishes and have them talk about it and share their inspiration.
Caroline:Also, we should share the highlights.
Caroline:the meal. It's unbelievable how many votes there are with two crew members. And those workers happen to be quadruped workers.
Jason:covered with fur.
Caroline:They are a dog friendly restaurant. So there are these two dogs. One is kind of like a golden retriever and the other is a corgi.
Jason:There is an undocked tail, I have never seen a corgi with a full tail.
Caroline:So we sat in a booth at the very back of the restaurant, as far back as possible.
Jason:Again, this is the size of your kitchen. It's not very big.
Caroline:Just like the kitchen. So these two dogs, like, periodically, through the meal, would go back and greet each table.
Jason:Like they were looking for food.
Jason:They don't really care about the people.
Caroline:But oh my gosh, for a few minutes I wondered, was this a dream I was having? I'm eating this delicious menu in the country where I live now, I love dogs and a corgi greets me? I'm just, like, living my best life.
Jason:In some ways, the openness to culture here is very different from anything you've ever experienced. As far as I know, you'll never go to the eight course menu in the US. They will allow dogs to roam around.
Caroline:I'm sure it exists in some areas.
Jason:But it's just, like, not at all...
Caroline:This is certainly unusual.
Jason:So it's a really interesting feeling, not experienced before. it's great. This probably made the meal even better because we could pet the dog all the time.
Caroline:So delightful. And some of mine... I won't walk you through each course, but I'll tell you about a highlight, I think the second course was the vegetable tiramisu, which was wild. But chef Alex says it's like a big hit. They change it up every dinner because it's so popular. But imagine the texture and layers of a tiramisu dessert, but with a savory ingredient. So you can have layers of vegetables cooked to perfection. He even added white chocolate, like a white chocolate mousse, I know it sounds weird, but it was like the perfect sweet and savory flavor, like beetroot sprinkled on top. Like, you know how they sprinkle chocolate?
Jason:By the way, your girl is getting near beetroot. and beets in general.
Caroline:I'm cultivating beet flavor. It took me a long time to get here, and I still think it definitely tastes earthy, but I'm kind of...
Jason:But you kind of like it.
Caroline:I kind of enjoy dirt now.
Jason:It's like being an exerciser. Like you hated it in the first place. But now like...
Caroline:Who is this girl?
Jason:So in stark contrast to that dinner, it was amazing. At the hotel, we booked a package that included two things. So we wanted to share a little bit with both of them. I like small hotels. This is a great little beach hotel with massages and a veritable romantic dinner.
Caroline:Yes, their promotions are pretty awesome. You have two nights and the third is free, which comes with a romantic dinner and massage. I was like, yeah, please.
Jason:it's great. So let's have a quick romantic dinner. There is only one restaurant in the hotel, so breakfast is eaten, lunch is eaten, and dinner is eaten.
Caroline:This is a very casual restaurant. I thought there was a different zone. That didn't.
Jason:no no. a restaurant. The best part is the restaurant overlooks the indoor pool and then the seating area outside, you can almost see the water. So I'm already thinking about this. Where would the romantic table be, I thought? I told you, I was like, I bet it's the one by the glass, it's facing the pool. By the way, it's not like a luxury swimming pool. You're going to say, wow, this looks amazing. No, it's like a wet room with water on the floor. Like, that's it.
Caroline:It smells a bit like chlorine.
Jason:It smells a bit like chlorine. Sure enough, where is our table? Right by the window by the pool. Then there was 15 minutes of radio silence. Like, no one came to us.
Caroline:They forgot about us.
Jason:As we sat there, I was thinking, we're just laughing because we think, this is so hilarious. It was an incredible meal compared to the night before. I thought, is that part of it? We need 15 minutes to connect before we get in the mood or whatever.
Caroline:make out? I know.
Jason:Then it's obviously some kind of fixed menu where we can only choose a few different options.
Caroline:So we took advantage of 15 minutes of radio silence to discuss everything on the menu.
Jason:Because we have menus in front of us.
Caroline:They did give us menus. We also didn't get drinks or anything. So we were like, let's decide, what do we really want? So we're talking about every ... we finally got our order and we're going to be ready. The guy shuffled back and was like, oh. He prints it out first, and it definitely doesn't look like a forward-facing document.
Jason:Shouldn't be a page...
Caroline:like our whole...
Caroline:Read out the itinerary of who these people are, what they booked, what came with it, what didn't come with it. I guess, you should definitely not show this to guests, but that's okay. And then he's like, here's the option. They never told us that you can only choose certain options on the menu. This whole time we've been arguing about what we got, and then we're like...
Jason:None of these options are on the menu.
Caroline:Then he left.
Jason:Yes, he just left.
Caroline:And then you and I both feel like, well, now we really want these things that we decided on. So he came back, and I was like, hey, hey, we're just not going to do it. It doesn't matter. We'll pay for it, but...
Jason:We only pay for dinner.
Caroline:We just really want these items on the menu. Then he said, okay. I read that right, because he wasn't expecting that or anything, but he looked taken aback. And then he's like, okay. Then he wouldn't take our order. he's gone. He took our drink order. he's gone. I thought oh no.
Jason:It took about 45 minutes for a morsel of food to arrive. We're just laughing, because some of you may have heard of European cuisine. This can take a long time. We haven't experienced it yet, we've eaten out a lot and didn't get food for 45 minutes. It hasn't happened yet. It's like a perfect storm of funny things.
Caroline:That's why I feel like we're sharing it, because sometimes you book a romantic dinner and there's no part of it that's romantic, but you just have to laugh it off.
Jason:I'll tell you that a nice cocktail with chlorine will hit your nose. It's a great combination.
Caroline:I wouldn't even go in, like, I got the wine list wrong and then I'm fine with it, but then...
Jason:You end up with a dusty drink.
Caroline:But then Jason said, no. So he stopped the waitress. Then she brings the correct wine.
Jason:In a really nice way, let everyone know. I don't like it, sorry Galcon.
Caroline:No, but it's just a comedy of errors anyway. The whole thing is a comedy of errors. When we finally got the food in our mouths I would say the food was delicious.
Jason:The food is great and the portions are definitely huge. We took home a meal for both of us. The second part of our package includes a massage. Now you get a pretty normal massage. The only weird thing is that you don't roll over, which is fine, but they squeeze your muscles and work on your body.
Caroline:Just like a normal massage.
Jason:Just like a normal massage. I get a massage and I know the mic will be able to pick it up. A lot of that, where I slap my head because I was slapped. My hands rubbed against each other, setting my hairy legs on fire, and it didn't feel good. There are only a few different…
Caroline:snap button. Give snapshot.
Jason:Oh yeah. There seems to be (cracking) in my ears. Like, she didn't touch me. She's just making noise. I had, like a full sensory experience. None of these made my muscles rub or move in any way. My favorite one is when she lifts one of my legs and spreads it apart, which is...we've been wearing shorts because they told us to. But it would be so much fun if I didn't. Then she just poked the inside of my leg, which is a really itchy spot for anyone, even non-itchy people. So at that point, I thought, first of all, none of this is relaxing. And then it's like five minutes. Like, you can tell. I turned over. She's like, it's over. She was like patting me on the head. I thought, okay, we're almost done. And then I get, like, five minutes of guided meditation, and I just like, my feet in the sand. I am releasing the sensations in my body. Then she didn't touch my face, but I could feel her hands moving across my face. I'm dying laughing because I'm like...
Caroline:You forgot to tell them about the itchy jaw.
Jason:Oh, and my jaw is itching too. At one point, she just, like, literally imagines walking up to a child and putting her hand under their chin, like you would with your fingers. She did this to me during a massage.
Caroline:Because I'm right next door to you, the experience is completely different. I go out.
Jason:You are getting a massage.
Caroline:I almost fell asleep, I don't usually fall asleep during a massage, but I was tired. So I go out and feel relaxed. I just see this look on Jason's face like he's just been through something.
Jason:Yes, tickling, wiggling, poking, slapping, non-contact contact. Either way, it was an adventure. That's our accommodation. It's very pleasant. We are happy to go back. We definitely want to go back to that restaurant.
Caroline:I will say I love Ericeira, it's really cool... I think it's a really cool town with a lot of cool shops and coffee.
Jason:It's definitely more tourists...
Jason:drive. Feels like a seaside town.
Caroline:I would say that's such a confirmation though, I'm happy with where we live because in this calm and peaceful environment 90% of the time away from the touristy places and then being able to go there for interesting excursions and everything. I have no idea. I think this whole year is a good practice to test out different places so we can go no, still love our favorite places.
Jason:Still love our place. Before we get into this episode, I have one important thing to talk about.
Jason:this is very important. The day this episode aired was the day before the rest of the year was over for me.
Caroline:correct. So no more podcasts because...
Jason:I will not be here. I am leaving our business Wandering Aimfully and Teachery.
Caroline:Going full time as...?
Jason:I will live on the couch. I'm going to keep my controller handy, because as we all know, T-O-T-K, TOTK, will be out the day after this episode goes live. So getting to know everyone was really great. Tenha um bom dia, as we like to say around our house.
Caroline:Have a nice day.
Jason:Have a nice day, as we say in Portuguese. That's it for me. I hope you all enjoy me being here. I won't be here for the rest of the year.
Caroline:you're uncomfortable. discomfort.
Jason:I can't leave this podcast until 2024.
Caroline:I'm so excited for you.
Jason:I am also very excited. Ok, these are our preambles. Now is the time. Also, by the way, if you're a TOTK fan, you're super excited. You can email us and let us know what interests you most. Maybe you're excited about weapon crafting. Maybe the Ascend feature just climbed the hill. I don't know if you're interested in runes and the different things that are going on, you can let me know about any of those things. I really want to know. Okay, let's talk about these ten money decisions, starting with the first one. We're going to dig into it in an interesting way.
Caroline:forgive you. I want to make an introduction.
Jason:There is no introduction listed in our notes.
Caroline:Know my body. When in history did I...
Jason:Just jumped in?
Caroline:It used to be like, from number one. You know, I have to do an insult. Alright, this episode we're going to share with you ten money decisions that were good for us and that we feel contributed to the financial situation we're in right now. This episode is the result of our viewing of the new Netflix series. It's not any kind of ad or promotion or anything, but we're just interested in it. What is it called?
Jason:how to get rich.
Caroline:How to get rich or something? This is Ramit Sethi's show on Netflix. We have……
Jason:How to get rich?
Caroline:How to get rich?
Jason:get rich stuff.
Caroline:Yep, that's all there is to it, right? They bait you with this whole thing, like, how to get rich, and then they're like, hey, but actually being rich doesn't mean being rich.
Jason:If you know Ramit stuff, you'll know it's not about that.
Jason:We've definitely consumed some of his content over the years.
Caroline:Yes. I appreciate that he does try...it's really just about good money habits and defining where you want to spend your money. In my opinion I think he's doing a really good job at that and yes he's a very skilled marketer but I think his educational content is high quality and I don't think he's trying to beat it Too far, you know what I mean? Like just trying to do all the dirty tricks. So anyway, but I haven't consumed his content in a long time. But I did watch an episode of his podcast, which, like a few weeks ago, was recommended to me on YouTube. One of the things that I really love about his podcast is that he's engaging these people who are extremely vulnerable financially and I think he's a really good listener and I think he's helping them with some of the decisions they're making, Like how just it's almost like couples therapy over money.
Jason:oh of course.
Caroline:So it turns out that's a lot of the series, and we're watching it like we're pretty much done with the whole thing. We watched it for about two nights, but it opened up all these conversations we hadn't had in a long time about money. In this podcast, we won't be talking about money in a very direct way. Like, we talk about business, we talk about marketing. Money is obviously a part of it. But if you've listened for a long time, you'll know we're not just about the money. That's not our focus. However, I'm watching the show, I'm leaving, and man, I think I do sometimes take for granted how much of these decisions and conversations we had early on that we're just in today's financial situation that we don't have. Don't worry about money like we are used to.
Jason:Oh sure, yes. Just to be clear, for context, we're... not saying we're in a place where we don't need to make money. We didn't sell the business, and...
Caroline:Yes, we just don't have to worry about it.
Jason:Made a ton of money. We still have to work hard to make money. We're in a very predictable place right now. We are very profitable right now.
Caroline:I don't worry about money in the same way.
Jason:Yes, five years ago we were worried about money.
Caroline:I was, certainly not the way I was raised, which was very financially insecure in many ways.
Jason:So yeah, I guess just to further illustrate it, I mean, I think it might be fun for everyone to know that we all grew up low-income, but not that in the larger context of things, it Not 'poor.
Caroline:correct. No, if you might have asked me even five years ago, I would have said we were in the lower class, upper class...upper lower class.
Caroline:is what I am going to say. But now, knowing the full context, I'm like, oh well, we're middle class. But money is always...
Jason:But it's like being in your friend group.
Jason:Of course, like in a social, middle-class context. In the group of friends we grew up with, it felt a bit like upper-lower class, if you will. It's not a criticism of our parents or anything like that. A bit like……
Caroline:But I mean, yeah, there was never no food, but also like, oh, you can't go on this field trip because it's $100 and we don't have money to pay. Or like you can only buy a yearbook for two of your four years in high school because they're so expensive. I think we can all agree that they are too expensive.
Jason:I can't believe my mom made me buy a high school class ring. I don't need that.
Caroline:There's no way I'm getting a class ring, and...
Caroline:Pay for college yourself. Like my parents didn't pay a dime for college. I mean, they did pay... I would say they did Bright Futures, which I think gives you that Florida vibe...
Jason:It's like the Florida scholarship thing.
Caroline:So I guess that's not entirely true, but I still had to take out student loans and pay for everything myself. This gives context.
Jason:Yes. So for me, I'd just say my background grew up like this until the teens and then my family had more money.
Caroline:There's a master switch, right?
Jason:Not that we're very rich or anything, but we do have a lot of money, so I don't have to think about it.
Caroline:It must have been a strange turn of events.
Jason:Of course, this is a very strange transformation. Like all of these things I had to learn as an adult, I couldn't buy the shoes I wanted as a kid. So in college I got into the habit of, I had a job and all the money I made went to shoes. That's it. I had 70 pairs of shoes when I was in college, you don't need that many shoes.
Caroline:But you're like... that's what I think is cool about this show. Again, not an ad, but I just think these things are fun, you see people playing those similar mods, I don't, and now I have, so I want to buy these things, because my brain is still telling me I Never had any of these things.
Jason:Just to complete our backstory. So I started my entrepreneurial journey after working a 9-to-5 job for two and a half years. Basically made a lot of money in the first few years. OK, I mean $100,000. It doesn't seem like it's like crazy money, but it's really good money.
Jason:You start a job that pays $30,000 a year. And then we built up a pile of debt from there, $124,000 of debt. Thank you for the businesses I created before that didn't work out. Then we sort of scrapped for a few years and just did everything we could. Then, we'll look at some of the things we learned that helped change the entire trajectory. And then I'd say 2015 and beyond is our money back on the positive side. Then we started building WAIM, and we didn't really have any predictable revenue at that point.
Jason:And then we spent three years building it up to get to where we are now, where we have very predictable, comfortable revenue and are very profitable. I just want to give the full journey.
Caroline:That's the whole journey.
Caroline:Yeah, I think it's helpful for people who don't know our story, we're going to get into the micro at every step along the way. But again, to open up the conversation, I thought it would be cool to go through ten different ways, I guess you could call them decisions, but just for us personally.
Caroline:I wouldn't call them tips. That's why I don't want to call them tips.
Jason:Yes. No, I see.
Caroline:Because I think it's hard to give financial advice to people when everyone works in such a different environment, it's almost like...
Jason:Yeah, I mean, it's interesting, if you just listen to me tell our macro story, like, you probably fall somewhere in that spectrum.
Jason:correct. So like 15 years ago you might be going through the journey we were on. You could be our journey five years ago. It's hard to know where anyone is, so I'm totally at your mercy. And I just...
Caroline:That's why I think the most helpful thing you can do is have transparent conversations where people can pick things up and go, oh, maybe I should think about this differently. Or maybe it's something I want to pay for, and it's something I don't need to pay for, or something.
Jason:Because we even listen to podcasts from people who are much wealthier than us and they're like, you spend $50,000 a month? Like, that's not for us. But it's like, fine, this is fine for you. It's just that we can take that information and be like, we're not going to deal with that.
Jason:Let's get started now.
Caroline:Let's get it. Now, we have completed the prologue prologue prologue prologue.
Jason:Ok, well done. So first, combined with our financial situation, money decides first.
Caroline:This is a hot topic. Look, I also want to say that I'm not saying the right answer is to combine your financial situation. I think everyone has their own way of doing this. I just said to us, I think the most critical first step is probably after a year of dating, we merged our finances. Do you think this is a bad idea?
Jason:I do not think so. I mean, that's where I give my mom a lot of credit and the way she raised me, like helping her balance our checkbook, helping understand things because we don't have a lot of people around talking about money. So it was like a very open book conversation in a lot of ways, and I think that helped me a lot. So I think when we started dating, even in previous relationships, split your money and listen, I see why it's a thing and there's a lot that goes with it and there's a lot that people bring in childhood Something that can keep money apart from what you have. But I'm just thinking about it for myself, and if I'm going to get a full-time partner, I want to get in and understand our financials as soon as possible.
Caroline:Instead of a half-time partner?
Jason:A quarter time partner, a third time partner. whatever it is.
Caroline:I'm trying to go back to the beginning because I think the reason we split it up is obviously that you don't want to just combine your finances with everyone you casually date.
Caroline:But you and me, we never went through the casual dating phase. Like, we went from zero to 60 so quickly. We just thought, oh no, that's it.
Caroline:It took us a few months to figure this out, and then once we figured it out, we were like, no, that's it. So when I moved back from North Carolina, we had been on a long road trip for about six months. I moved back to Florida. I'm moving in with you, it's kind of like, supposed to be temporary, but soon...
Jason:We'd been dating for six months then?
Caroline:Exactly. And then came that Christmas, no, yes, it was six months. That's when I moved back. Yes, when I lived with you for a month, it was obvious we were all in this together. I think maybe a few months after that we started talking, because the background here is that I took a pay cut and moved back to Jacksonville. So I guess my first starting salary was maybe $35,000 a year and then I took a cut to $32,000 a year but it was to be closer to you and also to make me unhappy in this media planner role but I Make much less money than you.
Caroline:Because I was 22 at the time. You are 27 years old. You still have many years left. You own a house. So I just remember we would go out to dinner.
Jason:Well, it's also the height of my wear your shirt era.
Caroline:I wear your peak shirt. So you have a lot of money. And, anyone who's known Jason through this podcast knows that if we go out to eat, he'll order...he'll order appetizers. He wants a dessert.
Jason:Double dessert, baby.
Caroline:I'm from... First of all, I'm not far from my childhood in the days when you didn't order appetizers. You don't order dessert at a restaurant. It's on the table, like, maybe for a special occasion. But we don't have money for appetizers. Are you kidding me? Rarely eat out. So we'll do these things, and then we'll split the bill, and I'm like, hey, if we split the bill, it's going to be a no-app night. And I think you might feel very limited.
Jason:I wouldn't be without an app, let alone two, I thought.
Caroline:So I think the financial bonding really comes from this place where we're not nearly equal financially, but we try to be equal in our partnership. So it's a decision like, well, let's face it. Back then, I never paid rent or anything. I know some people do that. So it's like, well, we're all splitting up people who just lived together, so let's mix it up. It was an easy decision for us. Maybe it's because we put our hearts and souls into the relationship, which I know isn't the case for everyone.
Jason:Yeah, I mean, I think when we watch Ramit's show or any financial show, you'll see a couple, they've been together for years, and even though they're married, they still have independent finances, the couple That's how it is for us, I don't know how they do it. For us, this will be a point of friction. I'm not saying you can't do it well. If you're listening to this, and you and your partner have separate bank accounts, that's totally fine.
Caroline:I just think it's going to be a challenge not to get into a scoring mindset.
Jason:It's the whole grudge thing, right? Like, oh well, you bought this, you bought this, like, yeah, you have your own money, cite no cite, but we have a home.
Caroline:But you see, now I can see how it works the other way around, if your stuff is shared, that's where it's going to get unfulfilled, because it's now your shared pool. So it's like, but you buy that. But you bought that.
Jason:Yeah, but that's where you agree on your budget matters, which we'll talk about in the next point, you level the playing field for everyone, well, we agree that's the money we're going to spend.
Caroline:Well, that's the real reason I want to share this, because I think it's the beginning of our journey. Combined with our financial situation, it forces us to communicate about money so early on and think, well, why are we doing this? What do we want to pay for? Then again, I know some people who get burned in relationships where they do mix their finances, and then the relationship ends, and that's a very painful part of the process, like trying to separate. So I know there might be some risk there, but for us, I just feel like there's a lot to gain and I'm secure enough in our relationship that I'm like, well, if one day we break up, we I'll figure it out. Do you ever feel like, because I earn so much less than you, when we combine our finances, does it feel like there isn't much for you? Do you think I'm...?
Jason:No, I think that's where my very focused brain is, I already live my life, I own a house, I pay for my meals, I do these things. Bringing in another person doesn't completely remove this. Sure, maybe it will add to the bill at dinner, but it won't change my mortgage. It doesn't change my major living expenses.
Caroline:Yeah, so because you're already operating financially, you're not living beyond your means.
Caroline:It doesn't feel stressful because you just think, oh well, I'm just adding.
Jason:Yes, if anything, like my Chili bill was $20 higher.
Caroline:You never took me to Chili's.
Jason:This is not true. We will definitely go to Chili's without a doubt because we have Presidente Margaritas. 100%. Yes. Back to our early days.
Caroline:Are you kidding me? I would love those crisper boxes.
Jason:Chicken crisper. Yes, no, I don't think I ever thought about it. And, if anything, it was always a weird idea to me, like charging you rent. I understand why people do this, but personally, it's like...
Caroline:Never felt wrong.
Jason:If we were going to a new place together, I might say, well, it might make sense for us to separate in some capacity. But again, I already have a mortgage. I already have a place to live. Charging you money doesn't make any sense to me. Again, I understand why people do that, but it's just for me, just for my brain, it makes sense.
Caroline:Maybe I'm sure, because we had so many conversations, maybe a little bit of understanding too, that I did take a pay cut to go back to Florida so we could live together too. So it's kind of understandable to you, like, I know you earned, and while it wasn't much less, you're still making less money now, and you're doing it for our relationship and to keep it healthy.
Jason:For me, I like simple things. So even when we go out to eat, even…
Jason:Even if I have no money. We went to dinner with friends and I'd rather just pay the bill...
Caroline:I know you will.
Jason:It's better to do the splits and dance. And, like, who has this, I just don't want to do it. I'd rather end the meal. We were like, that's funny. Oh, and the meal is paid for. How did that happen? Then I can figure out how to pay off my credit card later.
Caroline:That's where I think we're all so lucky, because I am, too, right? We're all very practical in the sense that I'm like, isn't this easier? Maybe that's actually a bigger way for us to consolidate our finances. We were like, isn't this easier? We don't have to do that and Venmo and stuff like that. But that actually affects the next decision.
Jason:let's do it. second.
Caroline:I think that was a good money decision for us, and that's okay, so we found ourselves...so I put your shirt on and it's all going well.
Jason:I bought too many peppers for dinner.
Caroline:Chili was too much for dinner. And then we found ourselves in a position where the business is now going downhill in terms of revenue. You can see the writing on the wall.
Jason:Too much spending and not enough income.
Caroline:Too much spending, not enough...I think also a big problem in the industry is that the cash flow is very uneven. And then we're at a place where our finances are mixed now, and I don't ride that high anymore. I don't really like this because now, I'm kidding, because by then, I do see all our money as the same money. By then, I was working for a company. So really, our beliefs are tied at that point.
Jason:This is two years later.
Caroline:That was two years later. And then we'll leave out the details for you, like, we're in this position where you're trying to stay in business for as long as possible because there's people's salaries and basically you're paying people with a credit card.
Jason:I tried everything. Like, I used up six credit cards. I borrowed some money from my family. We actually took a small loan from an investor in town. That was a complete piece of crap, like, pretty much all I could do until it got to a place where I liked, well, I've basically racked up $95,000 in debt to keep this business afloat. It's time to give up.
Caroline:Yes. I trust you a lot, because you did try everything, but even if you had this buffer where you said it, it's no longer like that, and now enters the realm of a bad decision. I've got myself stuck in a hole from which I probably won't be able to crawl out. As hard as it is, I see how hard it is for you to let people go, and the anger that comes out of it, people misinterpreting your intentions or whatever, and no one will ever know how hard it is for you but me, Because I am there. But that's what happens when you run a business with people, you have to own it, you have to take responsibility, it doesn't matter how people feel, right? But then we incurred all these debts.
Jason:This is the second point. We are working on it.
Caroline:So I think number two, that's the best thing we've ever done, and instead of letting the debt crush us, or let the debt make you ashamed, and then we just pretend it doesn't exist, we figured out a plan together, We said, we're not going to let this suffocate us. And I think it's also like, well, maybe kind of like, you want to give back to your family because of that feeling of...
Jason:So is it, and anyone who knows this...
Caroline:Is it different from a bank? And it's not like you're crazy about taking $100,000 from your family or anyone else.
Caroline:Mainly banks. But, I still think that's a big part of it, like, if people believe in you and help you, you have more reason to really give back.
Jason:I think anyone with a lot of debt, I would say maybe over $30,000 but also maybe $3,000 is a lot for some people because some people are really allergic to debt and I think it's a good thing. But it's gotten to a point for me where all of this is just too stressful. I was like, I can't take on one more thing. Like, my total debt here is $95,000. This is it. And that doesn't include your student loans. It does not include our car loan. So that's why we always say $124,000, because that's what your student loans are. We don't even include cars in the total debt figure because it's kind of like owning or a house. But yeah, I think when we came up with this debt repayment plan, it was a real turning point because I remember we had a lot of uncomfortable conversations about it, face it. I never want to log into any of these accounts.
Caroline:OMG. Me too.
Jason:Like, set a minimum automatic payment and don't look. Eventually, maybe someone will come along and pay for all of this.
Caroline:BTW, because I do remember a time in my life where you would anxiously log into your bank account because I was going to see another overdraft fee or I was going to see a number I didn't want to see . A big twist for me is ignoring it doesn't make it go away, I think I've told this story before but I'll share it again, I was visiting a friend in Palm Beach for her birthday and I don't watch my bank account. I woke up in the morning and we were supposed to go to brunch and I got a notification that I had an overdraft fee because I had $0 in my bank account and I had to ask my friend to pay for my brunch at hers Birthday brunch. The shame I felt in that moment was like, this is horrible. I was like, I'm not going to let this happen to me again. So I know the only way to never allow this to happen is for me to have to muster up the courage to check my balance more regularly because the only way it's going to happen is if I don't look at it, right? Then I found myself in the worst moment, in the worst balance. So, honestly, its own funding decision itself is starting to look at the numbers, actually.
Jason:I will say I think we have a whole podcast episode but we definitely have a whole article on wanderingaimfully.com/debt that basically outlines the whole debt repayment plan that we come up with and walks you through each One step process we use. I think this is the most important step. And I believe, if I remember correctly, the first step is we see it as a game, because debt comes with all this negativity. Being in debt feels so bad, and if you're in debt right now, I'm sorry for anyone who might have triggered that, because we remember that feeling. I especially remember the insomnia, like, feeling terrible about myself. There was this switch when we thought, no, this is like the original Donkey Kong game. We are Mario. We have all these people who owe us money and they throw buckets at us and they’re like, they want to kill us, we’re not going to have it. We're going to skip those buckets. We're gonna climb the ladder, we're gonna grab the hammer, we're gonna smash this thing. As stupid as it sounds, making games based on this in our heads, it's not the end of the world to take on this debt. Let's make a plan to fix it. This will take years. Like Ramit talks about on this show and I think that's why we're so excited about recording the podcast because we're just talking about money like, every few years in this podcast and our articles it's important to change Your state of mind, don't let it overwhelm you and then do nothing.
Jason:Because when you're in that position, it's the worst thing you can do, because I was specifically in that position myself. I don't want to do anything. I want to curl up into a ball. I just want to be ashamed of the bad decisions I made and then, like, hope that something will pop up and save me. Nothing can save me. What saves us is changing our mindset about it.
Caroline:Anything you can do to put yourself in a state of mind where you are willing to face it is definitely something you should be focusing on. So whether it's taking it as a game or imagining something that you like, like Ramit said on the show, you live a rich life every day and say, this is what I'm going to be able to do when I leave debt. Wherever you get to that spot that excites you and then go and look at your numbers because you want to get closer to your goal, that's where you should put your energy into doing the first step, because mindset is, honestly, the most important thing.
Jason:Well, let's take a look at the third, since it reduces nicely. So one of the things we started doing in our debt repayment plan was having weekly finance meetings.
Jason:Believe it or not, we don't have meetings for finances at all.
Caroline:Yes, I would say we're talking about it, but we don't know.
Jason:When we were at Chili's, we thought, can we afford it, or do we have to pay with a credit card?
Caroline:We don't know where we're spending our money or what our shared financial goals are. But because we all came together and said, the only way we can solve this debt is by working together. The best way to do this is to have a weekly meeting about it, create a budget and look at our expenses. Eight years later, we still have weekly budget meetings.
Jason:I can tell you that I can feel in my bones the discomfort of meeting for the first time.
Jason:I hate admitting to debt. I hate seeing negative numbers. I hate that there is basically no way out of this feeling.
Caroline:I hate being overwhelmed. I feel stuck. My brain does feel stuck when I look at our bank accounts because I'm like, what am I going to do?
Jason:Yep, it's basically like someone dumped a big pile of shit in front of you, a pile that was too big, and figured out how to fix it. You're like, no, I don't want to deal with this. But you know how you start dealing with it, every week you go back to that pile of shit and you start saying, oh let me get a shovel, let me start moving it somewhere else. Let me start doing something with it. Let me see if I can sell some of them. talk to someone who wants to
Caroline:It is turning.
Jason:OK But anyway, it's scary at first, and I'll say I think that's why a lot of people don't want to do it. …
Jason:Budget meetings, don't want to be in financial meetings, especially with their partners, because...
Caroline:you are very busy, right? Life happens around you. You have so much going on and you're like, how am I supposed to make time for this thing that's making me feel bad? It doesn't make sense. But the truth is making time for that, first of all, the more you do it the less scary it is.
Caroline:So maybe after the first two months we went to a weekly rhythm and it felt less jarring because you were desensitized to it.
Jason:There is no more money.
Caroline:There is no more money. I was like, this is... the number is still there. It just doesn't hurt. It doesn't sting as much as we're used to. So I think that's why I also wholeheartedly believe in weekly. Now when life...sometimes we finally get out of debt like last year when we were traveling we would do it once a month because it was like life got in the way of everything.
Jason:Yeah, I think you get there, you've found a system, you've found the process. Again, we have a lot in our debt repayment articles that can help you structure some of this. But I do think you wrote it down here, and I think it's a good point, you can't control what you can't see.
Caroline:You can't control what you can't see.
Jason:This is a very important point, and unfortunately for those listeners who are in debt, the stats just say there are a lot of you, because we were there too. You may not know how much your total debt is. When you don't know how much it is, you don't know how much work you have to do. You don't know how much you need to invest each month.
Caroline:You may not even know how much money you have going toward paying interest. This is the most frustrating thing for me, I know we really have to do something drastic and that's all we do is freeze our cards and the interest payments start getting so expensive that just this rolls over Snowball in the wrong direction. I was like, we have to do something drastic. That's when we froze our card and just said, we'll be living within our means for a while.
Jason:Again, if you want that full debt repayment plan, I'd put a link in the show description and it'll go through, like freeze the card, call the credit card company for the difficult situation. We even heard Ramit talk about this on the show, which I thought was funny because not many people actually know that you can do it. This is a very helpful thing.
Caroline:I still remember that incident. I also remember pacing back and forth in the kitchen with that person on the phone and they didn't even do it.
Jason:I guess I'm begging you to make one of these because I do like six of them.
Caroline:You did it all. I made one and I still...
Jason:I just thought, I can't make another one.
Caroline:Well, this tells you I still remember the one I did, because you're like, they're going to... just say, difficult situations. I did it. She fought me about it and I fought her back because I thought, I've done the hard work of fighting this person.
Jason:through the phone tree.
Caroline:Yes, exactly. So I was like, I'm not giving up on this ship now. So I really had to defend my case in such a way, like, I know you have this, and here I am, like, negotiating the terms. It worked.
Jason:Yes, absolutely. It can save thousands of dollars, just like in the grand scheme of things.
Caroline:Like, I stopped the snowball from rolling, right? Like, at least I can stop it. It's still big and hasn't changed, but at least it's not getting bigger.
Jason:Well, we're in fourth place. We're about 50 minutes into the episode. Let's see if this takes another hour. Number four on this list.
Caroline:Money is a juicy topic.
Jason:So much juice. And, we don't just make juices. We also need fiber to counteract that so our glucose doesn't spike. I've been watching videos about sugar. Fourth, hire financial advisors before we have money. Ha ha. This seemed... I still remember how stupid we felt when we met with our financial advisor.
Caroline:Feeling awkward. I was like, why are you here?
Jason:You said, I have no money, what can you do for me? That's actually when they're most helpful because when they can help you create a plan to get out of debt we already have a plan but they give us a bunch of more helpful structured stuff and One includes this flow of income, this flow of accounts, how our money is supposed to flow between businesses, have money go into household accounts, go into savings accounts. Again, this was in the debt paying article, but I would say seeing that was one of the most impactful things for us because, boy, it felt so casual before that.
Caroline:That was actually the whole catalyst for recording the episode, because I think there was an episode on Ramit's show where a couple was talking about how many accounts they had, but they didn't see how they fit together. That's literally the lightbulb moment where I go, oh my gosh, it's something I take for granted now because we have this account traffic. We know, well, money goes into these accounts, and then we transfer it to this family account. Then we use that to pay off those credit cards. We use it to save. We have traffic. Every month, the process is the same.
Jason:Traffic was really slow at first.
Caroline:Really slow, nothing flows. We connected the pipes and nothing went through the pipes.
Jason:Looking at the pipeline, we were like, hey.
Caroline:Hello Hello hello.
Jason:Is there any money to drop here? No. OK, thanks. We'll be back next week. Tenha um bom diameter.
Caroline:But I was watching that episode and I thought, oh my god, this is something we take for granted. And then if you don't have that setup, it's so overwhelming because you're like, random money going into random accounts, and that's why it's so hard to pool it to pay off your debt, right? So that's definitely a big thing that financial advisors really help us do, just understand the flow of things.
Jason:Yes. I would say, like the tip here, if you think you can't afford financial advisors, some of them do work, like, for a fee. Ramit talks about it on the show like it's the 1% of anything.
Caroline:But he said don't do that.
Jason:But he said don't do that. He said pay someone to be billed by the hour and you may not have money to be billed by the hour. So if you're having to pay just to find someone to help you and you feel completely overwhelmed I'd say go for it because there are a lot of people who could be in the situation we were in 2013 and you're just overwhelmed by everything Being so overwhelmed that someone charges you based on stuff can actually be the catalyst for you to leave. So it's kind of like, you don't have money to pay someone by the hour, so you have to do something about it. So it's ok to do that for the time being.
Caroline:correct. I would say even start by asking a friend. I know money is a taboo thing sometimes, but the reason we find those financial advisors is through friends. So understand I think one of the really fragile things about working with people to help you make money is also you're never sure who's taking advantage of you or who might be doing something shady or something like that I don't know maybe That's just my own luggage. But I'm always like, I don't want to be screwed, right? So I think working with a friend, it's like going through a friend, so at least you have a little bit of built-in trust that, well, I've been working with this person and I think they're trustworthy. That's how we feel good about it. But I think it's really worth looking into. I even know some banks, I think...
Jason:Oh yes, of course.
Caroline:At least one person you can meet with, or at least have some type of financial literacy programming.
Jason:Again, a lot of these early decisions, like when you're in debt, just take a little bit, like, tuck your tail between your legs and go, I'm not too big to go to my bank and say, I need Talk to a financial advisor. I've brought myself to a place where I need someone to fix this. I need their help because my job is to make beautiful things on the internet. I'm good at this, but I'm not good at all the plumbing and setting up all the money. So let me actually work with someone who can do that.
Caroline:Yes. So move on to number five. So, again, we think ten money decisions is a good move for us. The fifth is to set up automatic savings withdrawals, even if we don't think we can afford them.
Jason:Yes. So that's definitely what we're getting from financial advisors, and it's kind of fun at the time, like, you've got to start saving a little money here or doing something different. We were like, no extra money. They're like, well, you have to deduct the extra money from all your other money, or it's never really going to happen.
Jason:I think it's really helpful because it creates this account we ended up dubbing it a debt squeeze account and it's really just a savings account but it's where we can basically take things like , making as much money as possible. We still pay the minimum amount on the credit card, but we split it up, like $200 here or there, $500 here or there. Random tax rebate of $700, you can put it in this account. Then you get to a place that you like, and six months later you've accumulated $2,000 or $3,000, and then you go, oh, we can pay off one of our credit cards in full. For example, we have a card with $3,000. Let's pay it off. So we'd run these games, I think setting up automatic savings and actually accumulating these things without us having to think about them too much.
Caroline:Well, because yes, now I'm talking specifically about ... because I think you're right, I think that's after we've paid off our debt, but I'm talking specifically about our life insurance account.
Caroline:Because that's basically worth it...
Jason:This is also happening when we are in debt.
Caroline:Well, here's what I'm going to say. So that's what I was talking about specifically, because at the time I thought it was okay, why are we doing this? In order to save this savings, we have to work harder financially. But I can tell you that as someone right now, in the blink of an eye, eight years go by and I don't even think about tens of thousands of dollars in the account, you know what I mean? So I just think your future self will thank you for saving money today. And I know it's like a classic cliché in any financial advice, because of compound interest and stuff like that, you always wish you started doing some of this ten years ago. But it's true.
Jason:Yes, absolutely. However, I do think what I mean is, we do have automatic savings accounts that go into a whole life insurance account that basically generates interest based on the stock market and other things. This is very technical. I'm not going to discuss it. But there...
Caroline:You can borrow money as collateral. Anyway.
Jason:On that automatic savings thing. Like, we have it as an investment account, which also counts as a life insurance policy, which is helpful. But on the other hand, I was referring to this debt squeeze account. Again, it feels like money you don't have to move to these other accounts but you have to, you have to move before you pay off the debt because it makes you a habit so when you start making more money, You don't stop doing it. It's just something that's been working behind the scenes for you because for most of us, you're never going to get a windfall to pay off all your debts. You just use the shovel and trowel to shovel off that big pile of shit, and it will eventually get to where you have a shovel big enough to get rid of the last pile of this that you've now got rid of. Here's how it works.
Caroline:Yes. Even for example, I think that was four or five years ago, we knew we weren't going to have kids right away, but I was like, I want to start saving...again, as someone who started from zero my parents went on College, again, wasn't too much of a shadow for my parents, but it was really hard and it severely limited my options. I'm still very happy with how it all turned out. But we've talked about at least wanting to have something. I still want our kids to have a little financial hardship. I don't want to make it easy for them.
Jason:We will definitely record some episodes in the future.
Caroline:But we set up an account for them.
Jason:Aim for $200 per month. Basically, what we do is reverse engineer and say 20 years or 18 years from now it will actually be like this, when our kids, or at least our first kids, will graduate high school…
Caroline:Only the first child gets the money. The second kid has to figure it out.
Jason:But basically it's like, there's $100,000 waiting for them at that age, how much is it going to cost each month? 18 years? That's $200 per month compounded. That's it. Like $200 a month for 18 years. At that point, they'll have an account waiting for them, and they can decide what to do with it. We will obviously help them.
Caroline:Or we can take it out and do whatever we want with it, because now I'm going to say it out loud.
Caroline:We are going to the Maldives. I think, you know, I think it's character building for them to figure out how to go to college.
Jason:Well, no, the way we think about it is not, oh, here's 100 grand. Do what you want to do. Like, no, put a PowerPoint presentation or a Keynote presentation.
Caroline:If you've listened to a few episodes of Jason's talk about the new podcast setup, you know we love talks.
Jason:And tell me how this new revolutionary AI will do AI in 18 years and how AI will help change the world and how much money you need to take out of your account.
Caroline:I'd like to see a few slides to see how it doesn't wipe out humanity. Thanks.
Jason:Let me know what's going on here. So yeah, it's just some thinking ahead. It's not a lot of money. I know for some of you listening, because this was who we were ten years ago, $200 a month was not money we had. So we didn't start...
Caroline:We didn't start there.
Jason:ten years ago.
Caroline:But there's still a small number of you who might have paid off your debt and now you're kind of like, well, now what?
Jason:Or you're close and you have some kind of predictable income from which you can pull money to open these accounts. So it becomes a separate thing. Now some of you might be saying, well, can't I just take this money out of my full retirement account? And more money can accumulate and create more wealth through more interest. Absolutely, if you want. For us we like things clean so I could actually make a little less money with compound interest to have a separate account, I just know the money is set aside for that and I totally agree. Also, here is A game of diversity because...
Jason:The fund is all about green stocks, so it's not tied to some of the bigger companies in the world. cool. All right, number six.
Jason:Yes. It's one where you have to be very...you have to have a Caroline in your corner, because if you just have a Jason in your corner, it can get out of hand very quickly.
Jason:This is playing the credit card points game.
Jason:Because if it were up to me, I would open 137 credit cards, I would meet the minimum requirements for each credit card so I could get every bonus, and we would have the most credit card points of anyone in their lifetime.
Jason:It's actually not like that. But we did find, with a little research, that when we're paying off our debt and we're getting to the point where we said we could see the end, let's celebrate that we made it. We will eventually pay off the debt in three years with a total debt of $124,000. Then we paid off our car after that. Let's treat ourselves, as we say. So it was a dream trip. So what we don't want to do is go into debt for this trip.
Caroline:Exactly. As a side note, going back to what I said about whatever mindset you need to have in order to get excited about doing all of these things and doing the hard, emotional work of all these financial issues, I think the money moon is like a very Sticky carrots you can dangle when this is all over. Again, don’t put yourself in debt just to go on this trip, but as part of your return strategy, go for it, you know? In the end, I'm taking myself on a very nice trip. So for us, we decided to go to a dream destination and that was Tahiti.
Jason:Yes. I found out we started talking about this and we thought, well, how can we do this if we don't have to spend $10,000 on this trip? Because, again, that puts us back in the debt game that we don't want to be in. So we started looking at credit cards, and we found the Chase Sapphire card, which is like one of the best cards you can still get for travel rewards and credit card points. If we can meet the minimum requirements and we have enough fees to meet, then we will be rewarded with 100,000 points. You can investigate all this. Like Nerd Wallet has tons of articles on this and similar stuff. But we found out, and I started researching different resorts and places with bonuses, and I found out that there was a specific hotel in Tahiti at the time. I don't think this benefit exists anymore, but it's basically like you get 40% off the room rate per night, and you can apply points to the room rate. So eventually we went to Tahiti for 7 days. The entire trip cost us $7,000 just for the hotel. It ended up costing us $1,200. It's like, it's exciting that we can do this. I remember looking at the numbers on it and thinking, wait, is this real?
Caroline:is this real?
Jason:how about this thing Like, I have to find the right hotel, have the right discount, and also claim points. Now there are even more resources that can do this for you. So you can easily find these. But it was very helpful because then the planning for that money moon didn't become like we made a bad financial decision just to celebrate that we paid off all these debts. Like, no, we're taking advantage of these financial things that we've figured out, and now we can treat ourselves and have a good time.
Caroline:It's really tricky though, because you have to know you're living within your means so that when you use a credit card, you pay it off immediately. So I think using credit A is a good thing because you can build your own credit score, but you have to make sure you know you can pay it off at the end of each month. So it's been a real mindset shift for us. I remember even opening a new credit card was scary after we just went through the transition to...
Jason:Half of our cards are in the freezer.
Caroline:Yes, you freeze them, you don't use them. Debt is bad. Bad credit. We had to switch a little bit, well, now we're in control. Now we're in the driver's seat. We can use some of these tools to have these amazing experiences, but it really takes ... the only way we can do this effectively and not put ourselves back in the woods is with those weekly financial meetings. We know where we stand. We know how we use it. We know we can afford, all these things. So I just want to remind everyone.
Caroline:Make sure you are in the right place with some of these tools. But to this day, it's still a bone of contention in our family because if it were up to Jason, he would...
Caroline:He will earn all the points and I give you a lot of credit. When we started our trip to Europe last year, we flew first class.
Jason:First up is business class.
Caroline:Sorry, business class.
Jason:We are not at that level.
Caroline:I still don't quite understand the difference.
Jason:We are not at Ramit level. we are at……
Caroline:our level. We flew business class for free on a trip from San Francisco to Lisbon. So this is incredible.
Jason:Yes. Just sign up for a credit card. I actually thought it would be fun to share when we were at our worst, worst, when we were at our lowest point with finances and debt and all these credit cards. I think we have about 15 credit cards. I think I have 13. you have two
Caroline:Yes. My mother always taught me.
Jason:You have a hidden Best Buy card that we stumbled upon.
Caroline:We did it.
Jason:no shadows. I have about 13 credit cards. not kidding. So basically between us we had a total of 15 cards and we had to stop playing all of them and just focus on one card and rule them for me and one for you and that's it. So we barely use credit cards until we've paid everything off. Of course, sometimes you need to use a credit card to buy something or buy a big ticket or whatever, but we really try not to use credit cards. When we finally paid off our debt, we had all these cards that didn't have any balances. And then it's really looking into, okay, what cards are actually beneficial? Because many are not. Like, Best Buy card. no good. A random Citibank card I signed up for eight years ago. no good. So the next step is to look at the scenery. Again, this is Nerd Wallet, all these other sites are doing a great job of this, and look, okay, okay, what perks are we actually going to use? This is where the Chase card is so good. We actually signed up for four Hilton Amex cards, which helped us pay for our travel expenses in Greece, like our entire stay. But again, all of these cards that we sign up for, we hit a minimum spend that we pay off right away. So there is never a balance on these cards. Just go to the end of the points road, earn points, and play cards.
Caroline:Yes. And there's this idea of, like, these agencies are doing their best to take advantage of a lot of people, so it's like...
Jason:Take advantage of them a little.
Caroline:Fight back a little.
Jason:I do want to say so I actually checked and I think we have four debit cards, but the total number of cards we have now is 19. But it's interesting if you think about it, how many cards do you think we're actually using?
Caroline:Yes, like five.
Jason:But even at most, yes, it's really like, two. But we've used them all for their perks, and now they're just sitting, and sometimes we turn some of them off, and sometimes we leave them on.
Caroline:Yes, we do an audit every year, like a bigger...
Jason:We're going to need to do that this summer.
Caroline:Where do we go for a larger audit of, well, what do we need to close? anyway.
Jason:I do think there are a lot of factors like the credit card, your credit score and all that goes into those decisions. And I think some of it's like, if you've paid off your debt and you're opening and closing cards or whatever, I don't think that's going to change or worry that much. So it's even more important to play the game the right way and make sure you pay off your cards.
Caroline:number seven. OK Another controversial one.
Jason:oh wow. OK Which one is debatable? Joint account?
Jason:OK, got it. So this one is relevant.
Caroline:related. So Seven decided not to have a wedding.
Caroline:We did it. It's not exactly financial, but I'd say a lot. So we decided to get married right from the start...we made our decision in early 2017. We finally got married in March 2017. So one advantage of not having a wedding is that it only took three months to plan the elopement.
Jason:To be honest, it really didn't take that long.
Caroline:Not even that. But I remember. so……
Jason:There are many.
Caroline:There are many here.
Caroline:OK We are involved in many things with hosting a wedding. Those things are, number one, we all have an instinct to say no to things just because you think you should. Number two, in our financial situation, spending $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 on a party is a smart move for us.
Jason:In particular, once you get out of debt, you start to realize, why would I spend $30,000 when I could be spending $30,000 on so many other things? I see. This is the most memorable day of your life.
Caroline:Well, that's another thing I'm going to say, for us, I know a lot of people choose it because it's worth it to them, because the pros outweigh the cost, right?
Caroline:For us the cost was too high and the pros weren't there as we don't like to party with lots of people. I don't want to be stressed, like I just found out... I think most people love weddings because it's like everyone. You care about and your family...
Jason:It's all dynamic.
Caroline:I was like, are you kidding me? I couldn't even focus on myself because I'd be like, are those uncles talking to that person and those friends? Where is that man sitting? HSP, you'll get this. It's a nightmare to manage the energy of all these people, not only strangers, but people you care deeply about. It's just a bad idea. Third, I hate when all the attention is on me. Walking down the aisle where people are looking at me and me trying to smile gives me real goosebumps on my skin. I hate it. So it doesn't hold any appeal for me. I don't want to be stressed. I don't want you and me arguing about it. Nothing fancy. And then financially, we've only just gotten to where we are... I don't remember how. We definitely paid it off, but we...
Jason:Oh yeah. No, in 2017 we were profitable because we were just starting to do buy our future which is where my buy my future project was in 2015 and it did pay off our debt .
Caroline:So things really turned a corner.
Jason:So we're actually, like this, we're backed up again in a macro sense of our revenue.
Caroline:But we're just getting fit, so I think we probably went to Tahiti at the end of 2016, right?
Jason:No, we went to Tahiti in 2017.
Caroline:I don't think that's right.
Jason:Well, we can go back and look at the receipt.
Caroline:You may be right. I have no confidence. 50% confidence. But the point is, we just got back to where we were normal again. The last thing I want to do is not be okay.
Jason:I think a wedding is a personal decision that everyone can make. But I know that when we start to get really serious about our relationship, it's always looming over me because it's something that's always been in my life and I've been like, I don't want this. I'm not interested in this kind of big party. I've been to a lot. None of them look as good as they look in photos after the fact. And, like, I get it. That's fine, but I don't want this. I want something else. I want something different. I want something to feel like, what is my dream? It's like going back to Ramit Sethi. What is your life of abundance? My version of a rich wedding is like standing on a cliff, drinking tequila, eating donuts with the ones I love, zero stress.
Caroline:It's zero stress.
Jason:Absolutely. And that's exactly what we did.
Jason:It’s amazing looking back, we’ve talked to a lot of married couples and I wish I could have done it your way. Again, that's not to say the way we're doing it is the best way. I'm just saying, I think, there's just too much social pressure to get married, have a wedding and do these things that way.
Caroline:My ring is $200.
Jason:Yes. I mean, even those individual decisions, right? Like, we picked out our wedding rings together, and I found this guy on Etsy, and he made these, like, half wood.
Caroline:Yes, your ring is from Etsy. Mine is a local from San Diego. I will say one thing, I wish I could spend more money, and I've told you before, I wish I had actually allowed myself to spend money on a dress that I love with all my heart.
Jason:I like that dress though.
Jason:I know you don't know, but I... yes.
Caroline:No, I don't hate it at all. I like it. There are a lot of things I like about it, but I don't like it. For someone I've never really allowed myself to buy clothes that were a little bit expensive.
Caroline:I wish I had allowed myself to wear that dress, especially since it didn't seem like there were any other parts, and when I look back at the pictures it doesn't look like, I don't like the dress. I like the way I look. What's more important to me is our experience and I love everything about it. I just wish I could let myself indulge a bit, and if you're not going to pay anything for it, give yourself a splurge. I just want to feel in that moment, man, I love this dress, I will keep it forever. I mean, it turns out I'm better off not doing it because we moved and sold our stuff and such, but I'm just sharing this because there are two sides to the coin. It's like they're saving money, but there are times in your life when you're like that too, man I really wish I could give myself more freedom to spend my money on things I actually care about.
Jason:Yes, well, that's the only decision you can make.
Caroline:Yes. And I think if we've ever done a kind of... I don't see us doing, like... I can see us doing another kind of, like, vow renewal, elopement or something. I don't think we'll ever have a big party, but if I do in the future, I can see giving myself a real gift...
Caroline:Not extravagant, just, like, something that feels really special, unique, one-of-a-kind. The dress I bought was at Nordstrom, I think. That's not against Nordstrom at all. Like, nothing special.
Jason:You can go to Marshalls, Marshalls is fine.
Caroline:I could have gone to Marshalls.
Jason:All right, number eight here. We have three left. Decision to Merge Businesses.
Caroline:Yes. OK So, I also like this setup. I think I also heard Remit say this on the podcast, like, when it comes to money, you need three skills. One is to spend money. That is a skill. One is to make money. That is a skill. One is financial management. That is a skill. I really like this framework because I think all the decisions we make here affect every single one, but this one is about making money. So the decisions we make fall into the category of making money.
Jason:Yes, which one do you think I am best at?
Jason:Yes, what are you best at?
Jason:great. Yes, very cool. Yes. I mean, I remember in 2017, so again, everything was going well. You still have Made Vibrant. I have Jason Does Stuff. But I had my Buy My Future project, which became a Buy Our Future project, where we created this combined thing, and it's been going well financially for us. But I'm just a little itchy because there are so many crossovers. Things get easier if we combine everything.
Caroline:Honestly, it feels kind of silly because I also hit this ceiling of what makes me feel comfortable, which is enough and great, but kind of like I can see my own ceiling and just want to do everything myself.
Caroline:You see we're actually doing a lot of the same things, building an audience, writing content, talking... the things we're going to talk about even overlap, like, you'll talk about business issues and then I'll talk about some personal growth stuff and creativity, and then you'll talk about creativity and marketing, and then I'll talk about marketing. Soon, it's like, we're doing the same thing. We're talking about the same thing, just with different voices. And then you see the writing on the wall and we're like, I think this is one of those rare cases where one plus one equals three. We should come together and create something greater than ourselves and use our voices and our audiences. And I think it's going to raise the ceiling that both of us are constrained to make it bigger. you are right.
Jason:Yes. I mean, if you look back at it from a top-level financial standpoint, in 2017, as a family, can I say we're probably making money?
Jason:As a family, two separate businesses, a lot of juggling all the tasks, we probably made a total of $300,000, and now we're making roughly double that. It didn't start that way. correct. Pricing starts at $1,500 per month. That's what we did when we merged our businesses and started from scratch.
Caroline:Yes, exactly. So imagine going from $300 to and then going, like...
Jason:$1,500 per month.
Jason:And the extra money, like, the teachers are still there, it's still what you have.
Caroline:But the most important thing I want to say is that we have to drop significantly to get above the ceiling.
Jason:Yes. I do think these are money decisions that you can sometimes scare you off, they feel like there are so many unknowns. But you just have to trust your gut and your intuition, and you also have to know, well, yes, we're starting over, but we're starting over, and there's a lot of useful stuff we could use. So we merged the two email audiences into one. Granted, a lot of people unsubscribed in the first place because they just didn't want our voices in the newsletter. It doesn't matter. We shut down other products, we stopped selling and focused on those products. We're making money, but we don't want to focus on that anymore. So it took that risk, that opportunity. This is what entrepreneurship does to me. It's these moments when you're gone, and I just have this hunch it's going to get better. But I also have a long-term vision that it won't happen overnight.
Caroline:correct. And I'm going to have to ... a short-term squeeze on what we call long-term relief. I'm going to have to squeeze in a year, and maybe I'm adjusting my audience, or maybe even you're listening to this, and you're like, I need a career change. Like, I'm leaving the industry and even going back to school so I can make more money. correct. Or, whatever that is. I'm leaving this big, safe company to start my own business, taking a pay cut at first, but knowing my potential is much greater. Sometimes it's those decisions that let you know you're taking a step backwards, but you know the potential is so much greater that way. I'm glad you saw it. I'm so glad I'm on an adventure with you.
Jason:Yes. About 183 steps.
Caroline:Well, you should show me a presentation.
Jason:I should. I didn't do Keynote back then.
Caroline:You didn't do the keynote, but that would have been very effective.
Jason:Well, it's still nice to go for a walk though.
Caroline:Very nice walks.
Jason:I'm passionate about it too, but I have my concerns. Well, number nine on our list of money decisions is the money multiplier.
Caroline:Yes. So I think Ramit talked about the money pan idea, I don't know if it's the same thing but it's just a name we came up with a long time ago and it's these things if you spend money on them to make money, in the long run, They will actually make you more money. So for us, it's something that gives us time and convenience. The biggest example I can think of, I don't know how we knew it so early on, but a big one is meals. So we’ve been serving prepared meals in some capacity since…?
Caroline:Year 2014. I don't mean like a meal box, the ingredients... definitely help. I mean, literally a hot meal.
Caroline:Fully cooked. Maybe we've talked about this before, but it works really well for our lifestyle for a number of reasons. First of all, we love our jobs, we don't like going to the grocery store and spending time meal planning, prepping and making all those meals. That took a lot of time and broke the day. It's not our kind of activity. Therefore, we are looking for a solution to this problem. And then we never do it because we don't like it. Then we'll eat out more, then we'll spend more money, and then we'll eat more crap. So it's an investment in our health and our time, getting our time back so we can actually put it back into the business and ultimately make you more money.
Jason:Yes, I remember doing the math on this, basically we saved 8 hours a week by preparing meals. So it's like, okay, how much is our time worth? So you start thinking, and you're like, well, we've got an exponential return on time. Those 8 hours we invest in making food, going to the grocery store, thinking about food and decision fatigue, and then making bad decisions are a negative net return on our time. This is not a luxury. I know I said prices before, but basically what we're paying for meals now is about $150 a week. So our prepared meals ended up costing us $600 a month. This processes 90% of our food every week. That means we go to the grocery store. Now, we go to the grocery store more in Portugal because the food expires so much faster here. Like cucumbers that last two days in the fridge, this is wild. So we go to the grocery store a little more, but a lot less often. And even before that, a trip just to stock up on something to pay for other meals is much smaller. So I will say that some of you listening to this show are probably spending less than $600 a month on food for the whole family just by going to the grocery store. Maybe you like to cook, maybe you like to spend time cooking with your family and do all of that, then by all means do it. But for those of you who might be like us, you love food, but you don't like the hustle and bustle of home cooking, lunch, dinner and breakfast and all those things. Maybe consider making 30 or 50 percent of your meals pre-made, it just saves you time. It seems like, oh, I increased my food budget a little bit, but in terms of what else can you do during that time, if nothing else? do nothing. So it's just getting the time back without worrying about it.
Caroline:Because it's not even right to work. For other things in your life that you want to devote your energy and time to. How many years have we been doing this? We still regularly sit at the dinner table with a delicious meal that takes 10 seconds to heat up, and we usually do it in a frying pan. Sometimes we do the microwave.
Jason:The microwave was ok. Listened to an entire episode of the podcast.
Caroline:I know, but I like to do it in a pan because it gives me the illusion that I cooked it, which I didn't. But we sat down and I went, and it was the best decision we ever made.
Jason:Yes. So the meals are really good. Also, if you're wondering how to find these, for those of you in the US. Keep shouting. Search, prepare meals. The way to find them is very simple. Over the years, we've tried a lot of different services that have also popped up outside of Yelp. For those not in the US, maybe search Google Maps. That's how we found it in Portugal. They are actually in Lisbon. They are the only prepared meal company I have found. But they delivered it to where we are, and they were fantastic. They are one of the best flavors we have ever had.
Jason:in nine years. Another money multiplier I want to mention is the laptop.
Caroline:Yes. Technical equipment.
Jason:Yes. It's just computers, iPads, phones. I think there is a big difference between just upgrading and upgrading knowing that it will make you more productive with your time. So for me as a current guy it's just editing our monthly tutorials but I'm upgrading laptops from a previous version and this is your upgrade to the M1 max when it comes out it does cut A quarter of my time was spent replaying time for our tutoring sessions. So I went from having to spend 10 hours to two and a half hours.
Caroline:Now, tell people why. Is it because of uploading material and rendering?
Jason:It's rendering, all rendering. So it does bring in all the footage, and it does it all about 75 percent faster. So this in itself is fantastic for me, but it applies to everything else as well. I know some of you have some sort of older machine where you have to wait for things to load or it feels really slow. Like, I know you probably can't afford your next device or upgrade it. In that case, it's like you need to deposit $50 a month to accumulate capital, because that's what we started doing.
Caroline:Or that's the beauty of making money. You go, how much will it cost?
Caroline:Can I make an advisory call and try to cover it? Get creative, like, okay.
Jason:Flash sale of my online courses.
Caroline:Exactly. Then all the money is going to be invested now this money multiplier that will only give your time back. That's the type of creative thinking that I love, and going back to the beginning of this podcast, the day we decided we were going to treat debt crush like a game, it started to open up this whole new way of thinking, well, everything is a game now. Everything is a creative exercise now. what do i need Where am I going? How can I make more money with the skills I have? How can I provide value to people in exchange for money? You start to see these opportunities everywhere.
Jason:I just remember when you said how this whole upscaling tech thing started for me. In my 9-to-5 job, I was given a laptop. When I first started, I was a graphic designer. It was an IBM ThinkPad with the little red knob in the middle. One little thing I remember, I remember going to see my boss one week. I worked there for a week and thought, I can't work on this machine. I need you to buy me a MacBook Pro.
Jason:They were like, $4,000. Especially at that time, they were very expensive. He was like, no way. I was like, I promise you I can do 100 times as much work as this crappy machine can do on that machine. If not, I think, I'll pay with my salary. I can't solve this problem.
Caroline:You'd be surprised how much I make.
Jason:I remember the amount of output I was able to do and the comfort I felt when I got it. I didn't even have a Mac back then. Like, I don't have one at home. I remember meeting him a month later and he said, you're right. They literally end up buying Macs for them, like every designer around.
Caroline:Pay for them.
Jason:Because I'm the guy who basically ushered in better technology than what we do now because it takes ten minutes to open Photoshop. This is not an exaggeration. It's too slow on those machines.
Caroline:Well, that's a good point, it's an Illustrator, it's a money multiplier, right? Yes, you spend this now, but you get so much more out of it.
Jason:completely. Like the number of people listening to this, they're probably frustrated with the device you're currently using to get work done. Imagine not having that frustration, replaced by the joy of taking care of your stuff because you can actually get it done faster, which makes you do more of it. Again, I know it's coming from a very privileged position, like, oh well, you go get a new laptop. But it's about making a plan, you might buy one in a year, but at least you have a plan now to be able to save up to do it, or within a month, by setting up a flash sale of a thing or whatever.
Caroline:Well, this actually brings us to our last point, which is related. And this small amount is related to spending money, not for making more money. It's more about spending money on things that enrich your life. This ties in some way to the whole philosophy of Ramit's show, which is to create your abundant life. What does being rich mean to you? It doesn't mean how much money is in your bank account. It means living life with the experiences you want, the feelings you want, and the values you care about. So for us, spending more money on where we live and traveling than I can say are two things that I still remember. I remember having lunch with a friend of mine when we left Florida, and we had just decided to move to California with another couple. Our rent in that place is definitely more than our mortgage in Florida. That was more than I would have spent in a place that seemed absolute...I told her how much and with the look on her face, I thought she was paying maybe $600 a month for a shared apartment at the time. The look on her face was like, are you sure you know what you're doing? This doesn't seem like a good idea. I've accepted... that look is like searing into my memory. And I still think it's probably how people perceive what we spend on housing and rent. But I'm just smiling to myself, because to me, there's nothing we spend money on more than where we live, except travel. That's because we've learned a long time ago, I think we first learned when we moved from Florida to California, that for those of us who work from home and are there 95 percent of the time, where we live is very important.
Caroline:In fact, there are now studies showing that even geographically, where you live matters a lot for how long you live because of the choices of people around you, the people around you, the amount of fresh vegetables you have access to, the choices you have Dining room. Research shows this. So it's not just the geographic area, it's the area and the house itself. We always pay more for it because it brings us joy.
Jason:Yeah we've had a lot of conversations over the years hey should we downsize and use it super cheap for two years and then bank all the extra money and add to our savings like a ton and so on Whatever. We go back and forth, we go back and forth, no. I really don't want to give up two years of happiness to live in a place I don't like because I don't know if I'm going to die tomorrow. I know that's a very short-term way of thinking about life, but it's one of the areas of money that I love, and if I were to die tomorrow I'd say, great, in my last days I've chosen one wonderful home. I'm just saying we made that decision when we could barely afford it, and we had a plan so we knew we could afford it.
Caroline:It's a warning, right? It's not like you're living out of bounds, it's like you're probably spending a higher percentage of your take-home pay on housing than the average person.
Jason:Yes. Now we come to this place again and again as part of moving to a country like Portugal. Things are much cheaper here than in Southern California. So it's like we're spending a lot more money here than we're going there. We now live in a place where we can easily afford it. It happens to be an amazing place that brings us a lot of joy. But we wouldn't be here if we didn't move from Florida to California and then from California to here.
Caroline:But that's also where I think a lot of self-awareness is needed, because different people might actually decide they're worth living in a place that's worth a short-term sacrifice because it doesn't affect them a lot.
Caroline:But for us, it affects us too much. And then I would also say, because we're in a position where there's infinite upside on the money making side of the equation, right?
Jason:That's just entrepreneurship.
Caroline:This is entrepreneurship. You don't get paid. You are only bound by your ability to build your business. So, because there's this potential, I said to myself, let's quantify it. For every level of happiness I drop, my ability to capitalize on that potential also drops.
Caroline:So I look at it almost from a very practical point of view, well, if I prioritize my environmental well-being, it's also an investment in my own productivity, and not all investments have to be so dull. I'm not trying to do that, just walk in here with me and look at it in this very practical way. For every grade, I'm happy that I've decided to move into a place that might be three quarters the price instead of what we are now.
Jason:There are no windows.
Caroline:Yes. Like Fewer Views or Like...
Jason:No, just no windows.
Caroline:Oh, and no windows. It also reduces my potential to earn more income. So is math really useful? do you understand me? For me, math is more important and I like where I live. I'll pay a little more for it because, for example, for every extra dollar I spend on a senior house, I get ten times the potential of what I can create, because I'm happier.
Jason:Yes. And I think it's a hard question to quantify, which is why we put it last, like...again, we couldn't have done it 10 years ago. So the reason we're sharing this now is that it gets to where we have a debt repayment plan. We keep everything moving. We froze all our credit cards, we restructured our business, we worked everything out with a financial advisor, reduced our debt for two years, then saw an opportunity to move to California, well, we're not paying off debt , but we have a good plan. We can afford a higher rent and this could be our chance to start a new life. Really, that's it.
Jason:We spend money to start a new life.
Caroline:It changes our lives.
Jason:It changes everything. And I do believe that coming to Portugal is also another version. Truth be told, last year, full-time travel was where it all started.
Jason:These are different chapters of our lives. But I think there's a really interesting trajectory looking at our aggregate income over our lifetimes, where we started and where we're going now, based on the decisions we make to follow some of these curiosities and push a little bit of the boundaries of spending. Again, we're not talking $10,000 a month in rent here. This is a reasonable amount. It's on the high end of reason, but it's an amount we can afford, it provides us with value, and then come up with ideas, love where we live, and wake up happy every day. I just want to share this, Because ten years ago we didn't feel that way. We don't like where we live. We don't like the small town we live in. We don't like going to Chili's anymore.
Caroline:President Margarita did not do that.
Jason:They run out. But that's just... the idea didn't come. Everything has come to a standstill and we need to start over. So using money as leverage to create new beginnings is a long-term vision that we've just seen being able to do that. So yeah, I hope these ten things helped you, maybe as much as you took away from them.
Caroline:Or just for fun. I mean, I don't think we talk about money enough. Honestly, I was really scared to do this episode because even I... when you share your thoughts on money or the way you spend it, it makes you judged, it makes you critiqued. I was just thinking, well, do I want to live in a world where more people talk about money, or less? So I hope that through transparency, even if only a few people go, gosh, it's possible. It is possible to change your relationship with money. possible. When I watch this show, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, but also a responsibility to go, wow, I can't believe it..we're not going to get this far in life..
Jason:We live rich lives, like, if we're just being honest.
Caroline:I just thought, I wish everyone could do this. I wish everyone didn't have to worry about going out to eat, or buying clothes for their kids, or not worrying. So like, I just want to share some of the turning points along the way, and some of the decisions we made, and I feel like they really started to snowball in our direction, and now it's a snowball.
Jason:Yes. I hope one of our audience of 24 listens to this article because they are in debt. They do our ETAC exercise, which is our expense tracking. They start a weekly budget meeting. They build income streams. They have a full debt repayment plan that takes three to five to seven years. Three to five to seven years later, that person has paid off all their debts, and they're making the decisions we're talking about now.
Caroline:They went to Tahiti.
Jason:They went to Tahiti.
Caroline:About credit card points.
Jason:They moved to Portugal. Like, whatever that version is. I just wish someone heard this feels like their debt is overwhelming, but right now it feels like a must win game that will take years to play again. You'll lose me to TOTK for the rest of the year. We talked about this. I'm going to play Tears of Kingdoms on the couch. But in the silly metaphorical game of paying off debt, it does take years. You hear this on the show. You'll hear this from real people like us who've gotten out of the way, but that's all it takes. So if you can opt in to that game and see it as something that takes a while...
Caroline:Also, as someone who's been out of it for years now, and I go back and forth, was three years of our life worth it in order to live the life we have today? A million, a trillion times.
Jason:Yes. What do we really need to do during that time? We made some sacrifices. We don't eat at Chili's anymore. We didn't go to the movies much.
Caroline:I did go to Marshall.
Jason:You did go to Marshall.
Caroline:I found so many lovely things.
Jason:Yes. All our spending comes to a screeching halt, we live as strictly as possible, setting a budget and sticking to it, and making short-term sacrifices for it. But it's all worth it. It's 100% worth it. So, yeah, that's our episode about these money decisions. We really hope you enjoy it.
Caroline:If you have any follow up questions please email us as maybe we will do a money episode in the future. I have no idea.
Jason:Yeah, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the way we invest because we do have an article on that...
Caroline:I don't want to talk about that.
Jason:on our website.
Caroline:Because I don't know what the hell I'm doing.
Jason:Well, yes, but I think we have some interesting ways of thinking about teachers and things like that, like long-term thinking that's a little bit different than normal social things. But anyway, hope you enjoy this episode. We thank you for listening to this. It's a long e, but that's a good thing.
Caroline:A longie but a goodie.
Jason:Dragon E is nothing but a good thing. You know, feel free to leave it in the Apple Podcasts comments. Love this podcast.
Caroline:It's a long e, but it's a good thing.
Jason:OK Podcasts are cool.
Caroline:dot dot dot.
Jason:Well done baby.
- Save at least 25% of income. ...
- Reverse Budgeting. ...
- Create a good philosophy around competing goals. ...
- Figure out what is best: renting or buying your home. ...
- Take the stress out of finances. ...
- Max out retirement plans. ...
- Protect your assets. ...
- Follow and stick to investment principles.
The rule states that you should spend up to 50% of your after-tax income on needs and obligations that you must-have or must-do. The remaining half should be split up between 20% savings and debt repayment and 30% to everything else that you might want.What are 3 mistakes Americans often make when it comes to money? ›
Describe some of the mistakes Americans often make when it comes to money. Getting loans. Buying things they can't afford. Going into debt.What are two decisions you can make right now with your money that will affect your future? ›
- Building an Emergency Fund. ...
- Investing for Retirement. ...
- Create A Debt Payoff Strategy. ...
- Improving Your Credit History. ...
- Track Spending & Net Worth. ...
- Continuing Your Financial Literacy. ...
- What Further Education Will You Pursue.
Pay Your Bills on Time Every Month. A single missed payment — on credit cards, mortgage loans, auto loans, and other debts — can drop your three-digit FICO credit score by 100 points. That missed payment will also stay on your credit report for seven years. Decide today to never make a late payment again.What is an example of a financial decision? ›
A firm has to decide the method of funding by assessing its financial situation and the characteristics of the source of finance. For example, interest on borrowed funds have to be paid whether or not a firm has made a profit. Likewise, borrowed funds have to be repaid at a fixed time.What are the three rules of saving money? ›
- Save before you spend.
- Save a specific percentage of your income.
- Save for the unexpected.
Simplify Budgeting – The 75/15/10 Rule
75% of your income goes to expenses. 15% goes to investing. 10% goes to saving — that is, again, until you reach the 6-months worth of expenses threshold.
50 - Consider allocating no more than 50 percent of take-home pay to essential expenses. 15 - Try to save 15 percent of pretax income (including employer contributions) for retirement. 5 - Save for the unexpected by keeping 5 percent of take-home pay in short-term savings for unplanned expenses.What is Americans biggest financial regret? ›
In 2022, Americans who experienced financial regrets cite not saving more money (56%), spending above their means (37%) and taking on too much credit card debt (29%) as their top three misgivings.
Let's look at 10 of the most common financial mistakes to avoid and how to steer away from them. Going Without a Plan (or a Budget) Leaving Money on the Table. Foregoing Life Insurance. Making Major Purchases Without Comparison Shopping.What are five reasons it is difficult to save money? ›
- Spending too much on housing.
- No defined budget.
- The “I'll save when I make more money” mindset.
- Lack of measurable savings goals.
- Student loan payments.
- Your comfort zone.
- Overusing credit cards.
- #1: Web-Based Freelance Writing. Millions of websites exist, and all of them require content. ...
- #2: Virtual Assistant. ...
- #3: Amazon Store Owner. ...
- #4: Online Surveys. ...
- #5: Pet Sitter. ...
- #6: House Sitter. ...
- #7: Blogging. ...
- #8: TaskRabbit.
- Family Structure. Marital status and dependents, such as children, parents, or siblings, determine whether you are planning only for yourself or for others as well. ...
- Health. ...
- Career Choice.
- Deciding what to wear.
- Deciding what to eat for lunch.
- Choosing which book to read.
- Deciding what task to do next.
Pay Off Debt and Stay Out of Debt
One of the best things you can do for your finances is to pay off all of your debt. To get started, focus on your most expensive debt—the credit cards and loans that charge you the highest interest. Once you have paid off all of these debts, focus on paying off your mortgage.
Banking, budgeting, saving, credit, debt, and investing are the pillars that support most of the financial decisions that we'll make in our lives. At Investopedia, we have more than 30,000 articles, terms, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and videos that explore these topics.What are basic financial decisions? ›
There are three decisions that financial managers have to take: Investment Decision. Financing Decision and. Dividend Decision.What are personal financial decisions? ›
According to Investopedia, “Personal finance defines all financial decisions and activities of an individual or household, including budgeting, insurance, mortgage planning, savings and retirement planning.” Understanding these terms can help you better control your funds and prepare for future financial success.What are examples of decisions? ›
Deciding to eat better. Deciding to research an interest. Choosing to marry. Choosing to have a family.
Golden Rule #1: Save more, spend less
One of his most famous pieces of advice on managing your money is “Don't save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving." In other words, save before you spend - pay yourself first.
- Eliminate Your Debt. ...
- Set Savings Goals. ...
- Pay Yourself First. ...
- Stop Smoking. ...
- Take a "Staycation" ...
- Spend to Save. ...
- Utility Savings. ...
- Pack Your Lunch.
The 10% rule is a savings tip that suggests you set aside 10% of your gross monthly income for retirement or emergencies. If you still need to start a savings account, this is a great way to build up your savings. You should create a monthly budget before starting your savings journey.What is the 70 20 10 rule money? ›
The biggest chunk, 70%, goes towards living expenses while 20% goes towards repaying any debt, or to savings if all your debt is covered. The remaining 10% is your 'fun bucket', money set aside for the things you want after your essentials, debt and savings goals are taken care of.What is Rule of 72 and 69 in time value of money? ›
For continuous compounding interest, you'll get more accurate results by using 69.3 instead of 72. The Rule of 72 is an estimate, and 69.3 is harder for mental math than 72, which divides easily by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 12. If you have a calculator, however, use 69.3 for slightly more accurate results.What is the 70 20 10 rule? ›
The 70-20-10 rule reveals that individuals tend to learn 70% of their knowledge from challenging experiences and assignments, 20% from developmental relationships, and 10% from coursework and training.What is the 40 50 10 rule money? ›
that doesn't involve detailed budgeting categories. Instead, you spend 50% of your after-tax pay on needs, 40% on wants, and 10% on savings or paying off debt.What is the 50-30-20 rule biweekly? ›
The basic rule of thumb is 50% for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings or paying off debt. From here you can adjust your spending habits to be smarter and put money in the right places!What is the 5x spending rule? ›
It's Fidelity's simple rule of thumb for saving and spending: Aim to allocate no more than 50% of take-home pay to essential expenses, save 15% of pretax income for retirement savings, and keep 5% of take-home pay for short-term savings.What is the biggest financial mistake people make? ›
- Excessive and Frivolous Spending.
- Never-Ending Payments.
- Living on Borrowed Money.
- Buying a New Car.
- Spending Too Much on Your House.
- Using Home Equity Like a Piggy Bank.
- Living Paycheck to Paycheck.
- Not Investing in Retirement.
In 2022, Americans reported saving an average of $5,011, with millennials reporting the greatest overall savings of $6,043. In fact, 54% of adults met or exceeded their 2022 savings goals, a recent Wealth Watch survey conducted by New York Life found.Is money the #1 stressor in America? ›
According to the American Psychological Association, 65 percent of adults say that money is a significant source of stress for them.What are the 5 biggest financial mistakes? ›
- Not having an emergency fund. ...
- Paying off the wrong debt first. ...
- Missing out on employer matching contributions. ...
- Not having credit monitoring or an alert service set up. ...
- Allowing 'lifestyle creep' to occur.
Impulse spending is often a challenge, but the number one form of overspending is paying too much for something. Many forms of overpaying are obvious; if you buy something at a convenience store that you could get much cheaper at the grocery store, you're overpaying.What not to do with your money? ›
- Never Cash Your Paycheck Right Away. ...
- Never Fall For 'Special' Finance Deals You Can't Afford. ...
- Never Co-Sign a Loan You Can't Afford. ...
- Never Live Above Your Means. ...
- Never Rely Only on Cash When Traveling. ...
- Never Donate Money Over the Phone. ...
- Never Spend Money on Gifts That No One Needs.
- Financial independence. Financial independence gives you the ability to live without depending on others for financial support. ...
- Emergency funds. ...
- Debt Free Living. ...
- Better Retirement. ...
- Leave a legacy for loved ones. ...
- Achieve long-term financial goals. ...
- Investing. ...
- Irregular or recurring expenses.
- High-yield savings accounts.
- Series I savings bonds.
- Short-term certificates of deposit.
- Money market funds.
- Treasury bills, notes, bonds and TIPS.
- Corporate bonds.
- Dividend-paying stocks.
- Preferred stocks.
- Avoid Immediate Disasters. ...
- Review Credit Card Payments and Due Dates. ...
- Prioritizing Bills. ...
- Ignore the 10% Savings Rule, For Now. ...
- Review Your Past Month's Spending. ...
- Negotiate Credit Card Interest Rates. ...
- Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses. ...
- Journal New Budget for One Month.
- Getting a Sound Education. ...
- Having a Close Mentor. ...
- Working With Well-Informed Organizations. ...
- Utilizing Community and Government Resources. ...
- Changing Your Money Mindset. ...
- Setting Financial Goals. ...
- Cutting Expenses and Spending Wisely. ...
- Paying Down Your Debt.
- Step 1: Identify the decision. You realize that you need to make a decision. ...
- Step 2: Gather relevant information. ...
- Step 3: Identify the alternatives. ...
- 7 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE.
- Step 4: Weigh the evidence. ...
- Step 5: Choose among alternatives. ...
- Step 6: Take action. ...
- Step 7: Review your decision & its consequences.
- Identify your important financial decisions.
- Identify your risk tolerance.
- Leverage the right digital tools.
- Study the systems of great investors.
- Revisit your system over time.
- Social Welfare.
- Financial Inclusion.
- Financial Literacy.
- Mastering Personal Finance.
- Factors that Influence Financial Planning.
- Step 1: Assess your financial foothold. ...
- Step 2: Define your financial goals. ...
- Step 3: Research financial strategies. ...
- Step 4: Put your financial plan into action. ...
- Step 5: Monitor and evolve your financial plan.
- Investment Decisions. Investment decisions refer to the decisions regarding where to invest so as to earn the highest possible returns on investment. ...
- Financial Decisions. ...
- Dividend Decisions.
Thus, the most important ones are related to money. The decisions related to money are called 'Financing Decisions.
The most important financial statement for the majority of users is likely to be the income statement, since it reveals the ability of a business to generate a profit. Also, the information listed on the income statement is mostly in relatively current dollars, and so represents a reasonable degree of accuracy.What are the important financial decisions? ›
There are four main financial decisions- Capital Budgeting or Long term Investment decision (Application of funds), Capital Structure or Financing decision (Procurement of funds), Dividend decision (Distribution of funds) and Working Capital Management Decision in order to accomplish goal of the firm viz., to maximize ...What are the 6 steps of financial decision-making? ›
- 1) Identify your Financial Situation. ...
- 2) Determine Financial Goals. ...
- 3) Identify Alternatives for Investment. ...
- 4) Evaluate Alternatives. ...
- 5) Put Together a Financial Plan and Implement. ...
- 6) Review, Re-evaluate and Monitor The Plan.
- Step 1: Assess your financial foothold. ...
- Step 2: Define your financial goals. ...
- Step 3: Research financial strategies. ...
- Step 4: Put your financial plan into action. ...
- Step 5: Monitor and evolve your financial plan.
- Career-related decisions (e.g. starting a new job)
- Education-related decisions (e.g. choosing a major)
- Family-related decisions (e.g. having a child)
- Finance-related decisions (e.g. buying a car)
- Relationship-related decisions (e.g. getting married)
The primary goals of long-term financial choices are to select viable investment initiatives, generate funds for these projects, and manage the capital structure of the organization. Investment and finance decisions are the most crucial long-term financial decisions.What are the 4 most important financial statements? ›
But if you're looking for investors for your business, or want to apply for credit, you'll find that four types of financial statements—the balance sheet, the income statement, the cash flow statement, and the statement of owner's equity—can be crucial in helping you meet your financing goals.What is a strong financial statement? ›
What Does It All Mean? Having a strong balance sheet means that you have ample cash, healthy assets, and an appropriate amount of debt. If all of these things are true, then you will have the resources you need to remain financially stable in any economy and to take advantage of opportunities that arise.What are golden rules of accounting? ›
The golden rules of accounting also revolve around debits and credits. Take a look at the three main rules of accounting: Debit the receiver and credit the giver. Debit what comes in and credit what goes out. Debit expenses and losses, credit income and gains.What 4 factors may influence financial decisions? ›
- Cost: The cost of raising finance from various sources is different and finance managers always prefer the source with minimum cost.
- Risk: ...
- Cash Flow Position: ...
- Control Considerations: ...
- Floatation Cost:
The biggest long-term financial goal for most people is saving enough money to retire. The common rule of thumb that you should save 10% to 15% of every paycheck in a tax-advantaged retirement account like a 401(k) or 403(b), if you have access to one, or a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.