Listen, Money Matters! http://www.listenmoneymatters.com Manage your money like a badass! Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:48:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Honest and uncensored - this is not your father’s boring finance show. This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a generation that hates being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent. Andrew and Matt are relatable, funny, and brash. Their down-to-earth discussions about money are entertaining whether you’re a financial whiz or just starting out. To be a part of the show and get your financial questions answered, send an email to listenmoneymatters@gmail.com ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. listenmoneymatters@gmail.com listenmoneymatters@gmail.com (ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. ) Copyright © ListenMoneyMatters.com ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer since 2013. money, personal finance, money management, investing, debt relief, debt management, how to save money, how to make money Listen, Money Matters! http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/wp-content/themes/LMMv3/images/podcast-art.jpg http://www.listenmoneymatters.com New York Daily How to Deal with Obamacare and HSAs (Ep. 246) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/deal-obamacare-hsas-ep-246/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/deal-obamacare-hsas-ep-246/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:42:04 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6828 Matt and Andrew talk with returning guest Todd Berkley and John Young about The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and HSAs to find out which plan is the right plan for you.

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obamacare

Matt and Andrew talk with returning guest Todd Berkley and John Young about The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and HSAs to find out which plan is the right plan for you.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/deal-obamacare-hsas-ep-246/feed/ 0 Matt and Andrew talk with returning guest Todd Berkley and John Young about The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and HSAs to find out which plan is the right plan for you. Matt and Andrew talk with returning guest Todd Berkley and John Young about The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and HSAs to find out which plan is the right plan for you. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 54:34
Why Net Neutrality Must Be Preserved http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/net-neutrality-must-preserved/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/net-neutrality-must-preserved/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:00:25 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6796 Net neutrality has been in the news a lot recently. Maybe you’re not even sure what it is but it must be preserved.

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net-neutrality

Net neutrality has been in the news a lot recently.  Maybe you’re not even sure what it is but it must be preserved.

Simply put, net neutrality is the idea that all content on the internet should be treated equally.  Your sister in law’s blog about her doll collection should down load just as quickly as your Amazon suggested buying page.

And at the moment, it does.  Obviously Amazon has deeper pockets than your sister in law but there is no for sale fast lane on the internet.  Not yet.

The Big Telecom Companies

Most consumers get their internet service from a handful of providers, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, and Verizon.  Nearly everyone has a horror story about these companies and their crappy service.

Comcast and Time Warner are legendary for it and were voted two of the most hated companies in America.  And they’re trying to merge!  It’s like if Walmart and Halliburton merged.  Evil’s final form.

Because there is so little choice, these big companies have a strangle hold on internet service.  More than 77% of Americans have no choice in ISP, there is only one in their area.   Even if you can switch, it’s like moving out of a cave and into a tent.  Not really the difference you were looking to make.

With net neutrality in place, those companies only job is to move the data.  Not to choose what data they give higher priority to.  What they would like their job to be is to decide which data moves faster, or chillingly, doesn’t move at all.

Imagine the consequences of that.  There has been a lot of back lash against the news that Comcast and Time Warner could merge.  If there was no net neutrality in place, both companies could slow or block websites detailing why this merger is a bad thing.

So you don’t get to read an article arguing that it’s bad enough there are so few ISP’s as it is and decide for yourself if you agree or disagree.  Those companies have already decided not to give you access to that information.  Sure you can find it places other than the net but I get the vast majority of my news on-line.  Many of us do.

These big telecoms are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to eviscerate net neutrality.  So, much like everything else in America, the sanctity of the internet may be for sale to the highest bidder.

The Case For Net Neutrality

In 2013 Time Warner and CBS had a dispute over how much Time Warner could charge CBS to broadcast their content.  For a month, CBS was blacked out to Time Warner customers.  Without net neutrality, the same could happen on the internet.

Imagine if your ISP had a similar dispute with Amazon.  The ISP wants Amazon to pay for “fast lane “service.  Amazon refuses.  So no Amazon for you!  Your ISP has blocked the site.

What if Comcast came out with their own version of Google Maps?  Given their shitty service it would probably be a really terrible map with the street names wrong but without net neutrality, it will be your only option.  Comcast has blocked your access to Google maps.  Not only that, but Comcast could charge you for access to their sub par maps.  Better buy a compass.

ISP’s could block or slow sites that use encrypted data.  Comcast actually did do this in 2007 when it was busted throttling BitTorrent traffic.  What if this had been the case for Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who used encrypted data to communicate?  We’d never know our own government has engaged in mass surveillance on a global scale and considers the average citizen an enemy of the state.

For those who argue that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, that is a child’s argument.  Go ahead and give out your social security number, credit score, salary and  medical records. I have the right to keep those things private, we all do.

ISP’s could engage in political censorship.  In 2007 AT&T was streaming a Pearl Jam concert.  They cut off the sound when Eddie Veddar criticized George Bush.  In 2005, Telus, A Canadian telecom company cut off subscriber access to a web site run by workers who were striking against Telus.

You’ll Pay More For “Tiered” Service

As things stand, internet service is one price.  If we lose net neutrality, then you may have to pay more for faster service.  You won’t be getting any more for what you pay now but you will certainly get less if you can’t afford to pay for “top tier” service.

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised  It Will Be Blogged and Tweeted

Mohamed Bouzizi was a Tunisian fruit seller who immolated himself in December 2010 as a protest against constant harassment by petty government thugs.  The anger over his sacrifice is widely acknowledged as having brought about the resignation of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power, and with having sparked off the wider “Arab Spring.”

"When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire."

These revolutions saw brutal dictators who had held power for decades, fleeing for their lives.  The protests were organized and spread via social media.

There are anonymous bloggers in every corner of the world who write about religious oppression, human trafficking, narco/government corruption, and other human rights abuses that would make you vomit.

These people cannot work in the light of day.  They will be jailed, tortured and executed.  Some of them already have been.  They depend on an internet that is open, affordable and accessible to help foster change in the world.

But… But… Innovation

Opponents of net neutrality love this argument.  They claim that any regulation would hamper innovation.  So let’s look at an example.  Netflix has deep pockets so they could pay for a high speed lane for their service.  Which they would then pass on to the consumer.

What if in a few years a new, better version of Netlix appeared?  But they were a small start up, founded in that most beloved mythical place of so many great innovators, someone’s garage.  The service, the content are better than what Netflix currently offers.  Great, you think.  Sign me up!  Only you can’t sign up.  They don’t have the money that Netflix has so they can’t afford to pay the toll on the fast lane.

So you’re stuck with the same, now mediocre product that you’ve had for years.  No innovation without paying the toll.

Ted Cruz Is Against It

Do you need any reason other than that?  Should I have saved myself the research and just typed that line and dropped the mic?  The biggest wanker in a crowded field with the most punchable face in politics is against it.  Anything he hates is probably a good thing for thinking, compassionate, rational people who’ve read more books than just the Cliff Notes version of the bible.

House of Cards

15644061807_e379ab96df

Indulge me.  Season three will probably come out in February 2015 and if the FCC fucks with my enjoyment of the continuing adventures of Francis Underwood, I will channel him up and they will feel our collective wrath.

What Is Being Done and What You Can Do

By September of 2014 the FCC had received 3.7 million comments on preserving net neutrality.  Comment had been open for five months and had to be extended, due ironically, to frequent issues with the FCC’s  website.  The more intrepid commenters perhaps delivered their comments via window brick to denote priority.

This was, by a wide margin, the most commented on topic in FCC history.  The second highest being Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during her Super Bowl Half Time Show.  So more Americans love unfettered Porn Hub access than Puritans hate nip slips.  Gawd bless America.  That stat makes me feel like a god damn patriot.

Earlier this year President Obama spoke out in favor of net neutralty.  He urged the FCC to reclassify broad band as a Title II common carrier.  This classification would allow the FCC to protect net neutrality by regulating against paid prioritization.

Here is what you can do.  Visit the ACLU’s website and send your comments to the FCC.  3.7 million and counting.  The ACLU has long been the vanguard of protecting free speech and civil liberites.  Send your comments through their link and perhaps make a donation to them when you visit.

We all have a stake in this. I know many of you have small and not so small web based businesses.  We bring everything we do at LMM to you over the web and we don’t have Jeff Bezos type money to make sure that you can still access our content each day.

This is an issue of prime importance.  For us, for you, for the human rights bloggers trying to let the world know about the atrocities they fight against and risk their lives for every time they post.  Let the FCC know that you demand they protect net neutrality.

 

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We need to talk http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/we-need-to-talk/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/we-need-to-talk/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:38:21 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6821 Do you want more Listen Money Matters? If so, I need to ask for your help. I'm only going to ask you to do it one time and that time is now.

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Hey everyone, Andrew here and I have a question for you. Do you want more Listen Money Matters? If so, I need to ask for your help. I’m only going to ask you to do it one time and that time is now. As of right now we’ve existed solely on my savings and an incredible amount of time from Matt, myself and my wife Laura.  We don’t know how much longer we can continue on this path.  Betterment was kind enough to sponsor a few episodes but that still puts Matt in at well under one dollar an hour, I’ve yet to make a single dollar and all of Laura’s time has been donated.

Here is where you come in. If you like the show so far and want more – and we definitely want to do more – please donate whatever you can. $20, $10, $3, $50,000 – all are acceptable numbers.

To donate, head over to http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/donate/, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the yellow Donate button. It’s super easy and quick, I promise.

Are you in your car commuting? Pull over and donate. Running on the treadmill? Just hit pause for a moment and send some love. It would mean the world to us.

You will notice that after November 25th there will be a little break in episodes. That’s just because Matt and I needed a little vacation from recording for the holiday. Since we will miss talking to you on a day of thanks, let me leave you with this:

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Yours sincerely and respectfully, Andrew

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/we-need-to-talk/feed/ 0 Do you want more Listen Money Matters? If so, I need to ask for your help. I'm only going to ask you to do it one time and that time is now. Do you want more Listen Money Matters? If so, I need to ask for your help. I'm only going to ask you to do it one time and that time is now. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 1:47
How to Buy Low on eBay and Sell High on Amazon with Jordan Malik (Ep. 245) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/how-to-buy-low-on-ebay-and-sell-high-on-amazon-with-jordan-malik/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/how-to-buy-low-on-ebay-and-sell-high-on-amazon-with-jordan-malik/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:12 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6736 Want to make a little money on the side? Jordan Malik joins us to discuss how to play eBay and Amazon off each other to pick up some extra cash.

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buy-ebay-sell-amazon

Want to make a little money on the side?  Jordan Malik joins us to discuss how to play eBay and Amazon off each other to pick up some extra cash.

Forty percent of Amazon sales come from third party sellers.  Their merchandise in Amazon’s warehouses.  So clearly there is money to be made.  Jordan is an award winning Amazon seller and a best selling author on how to make Amazon and eBay work for you.

Jordan and sellers like him practice “on-line arbitrage,” which is a fancy way of saying buy low, sell high.  They get their merchandise from a variety of places, Walmart, holiday clearance sales, garage and estate sales.

Last year Jordan netted $76,000.  He spends on average, ten to fifteen hours a week on this business.  The majority of that time is spent prepping and properly packing items for shipment.

Because books are such a big seller, Jordan suggests hitting up libraries that sometimes sell books for pennies or even give them away.  At one time he was making $2000 a week on books.

Jordan recommends not falling in love with one category.  You love books but so do a lot of other people.  Be diversified in what items you sell.

Jordan doesn’t use wholesalers.  It can tie up a lot of your money and unless you find a relatively unknown one or negotiate an exclusive contract with one, there is too much competition to make it worth his while.

There are a lot of mistakes that eBay sellers make that you as an Amazon seller can capitalize on.  They don’t take enough photos or offer a long enough description.  That makes a personal use buyer skip it but for a re-seller, they already know what the item is and can score it cheaply.

You don’t need to set up an actual business with a Tax ID for either site.  All you need to become a professional seller on Amazon are a social security number, a credit card, and a US bank account.

You probably won’t be making $76,000 in your first year but if you’re savvy, you can start a pretty good business buying and selling on-line.

Show Notes

War Horse Gunny Mac:  An American black lager.

Jordan Malik:  A best selling e-commerce author.

Betterment:  The easy way to invest.

Amazon Seller App:  To scan merchandise.

 

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/how-to-buy-low-on-ebay-and-sell-high-on-amazon-with-jordan-malik/feed/ 0 Want to make a little money on the side? Jordan Malik joins us to discuss how to play eBay and Amazon off each other to pick up some extra cash. Want to make a little money on the side? Jordan Malik joins us to discuss how to play eBay and Amazon off each other to pick up some extra cash. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 44:34
Finding Your Financial Weak Spots (Ep. 244) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/finding-your-financial-weak-spots/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/finding-your-financial-weak-spots/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:00:45 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6733 We all have them. Dinners out, the newest gadgets, clothes. Our financial weak spot, our Achilles' heel. Find out what we can do to strengthen them.

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financial-weak-spot

We all have them.  Dinners out, the newest gadgets, clothes.  Our financial weak spot, our Achilles’ heel.  Find out what we can do to strengthen them.

It might not be just a spending problem though.  Maybe you’re afraid to invest because it seems so intimidating.  Maybe you have the money to pay all of your bills but you aren’t organized and always pay late.

Andrew is willing to take a leap that some people wouldn’t and it has gotten him in trouble in the past, failed business ventures, risky investments that didn’t pan out.  He also spends too much on food and booze.

Matt spends too much on food and booze as well.  Books too but I share that addiction so I approve. He has fallen into a common trap.  He didn’t have a lot of cash for a long time.  Now that he does, he’s been a little undisciplined with his spending.

"Droppin the big bills."

It’s easy to justify over spending when you’re spending on experiences rather than things.  We preach this philosophy a lot because experiences bring more happiness than things.  But if you’re spending too much, it doesn’t matter philosophically what you’re spending on.  You still have to stop.

Maybe your weak spot is asking for money whether that means asking for a raise, charging what you’re worth to clients, or asking someone who owes you money to finally pay it back.

You might suspect your weak spot but not know how bad it is.  Check your Mint account.  You’ll see how much you’re spending on Seamless writ large.  Feels bad man.

We want you to spend some time reflecting and identifying the weak spots.  Once you’re done navel gazing over the situation, you need to start making a change.  The formula is not complicated.  Stop spending money.

Maybe your lack of planning costs you.  Booking a flight the week before a trip will almost always cost more than if it had been booked several weeks ahead.  You know when and where you want to go.  Just book the flight when you decide!

Maybe lack of goals holds you back.  If you don’t have a goal, you don’t know what steps to take to achieve that goal.

Sometimes you think you’ve patched your weak spot only to keep falling back into the same trap.  That’s ok, as long as the time it takes you to realize you’re doing it again gets shorter each time, you’re making progress.

Show Notes

War Horse Royal Kilt Inspector:  A Scottish ale.

Mint:  The easy way to track your spending.

Betterment:  The easy way to invest.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/finding-your-financial-weak-spots/feed/ 0 We all have them. Dinners out, the newest gadgets, clothes. Our financial weak spot, our Achilles' heel. Find out what we can do to strengthen them. We all have them. Dinners out, the newest gadgets, clothes. Our financial weak spot, our Achilles' heel. Find out what we can do to strengthen them. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 44:00
What to Expect Before, During, and After You Purchase a Home (Ep. 243) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/what-to-expect-before-during-and-after-you-purchase-a-home/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/what-to-expect-before-during-and-after-you-purchase-a-home/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:53 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6730 Buying a home is uncharted territory for many of us. Both Matt and Andrew have done it and will tell us what to expect during each step of the process.

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before-during-after-home

Buying a home is uncharted territory for many of us. Both Matt and Andrew have done it and will tell us what to expect during each step of the process.

We’ll break this down into three parts, before, during and after.

Before

Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 30% of your take home salary.  Don’t buy a home with a person you are not married to.  Property is hard enough to untangle when you have some legal protections, it’s much worse when you don’t.

The bank wants to see more than your down payment liquid in your checking account.  They want a buffer.  If you’re putting 20% down, you need more than 20% in your account.

You will be paying property tax.  You will need home owner’s insurance.  You will have closing costs unless you negotiate for the seller to pay that.  You may need an appraisal and an inspection.

"I bought a home like a normal, upstanding citizen."

During

Being very optimistic, this process will take at least thirty days.  You will fax a rain forest worth of paper.  This will be the most paper work intensive under taking of your life.

You will negotiate.  Don’t let yourself fall so in love with a place that it clouds your ability to negotiate.  When you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, $5000 doesn’t seem like much, but it is.

After

You will have to pay moving costs.  You will have to pay utilities you didn’t even know were a thing like water and sewage.  You might need to renovate.  You might find a nasty surprise once you start renovating, mold, foundation cracks.  It all means more money than what you had planned on.

Buying a house is a hassle and it may or may not be worth it.  Consider it carefully.  A home is not the guaranteed investment it once was.

Show Notes

Gunny Mac American Black Ale:  A smooth, full bodied black ale.

Betterment:  The better way to invest.

LMM Survey:  We ask for some demographic information to help get sponsors for the show.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/what-to-expect-before-during-and-after-you-purchase-a-home/feed/ 1 Buying a home is uncharted territory for many of us. Both Matt and Andrew have done it and will tell us what to expect during each step of the process. Buying a home is uncharted territory for many of us. Both Matt and Andrew have done it and will tell us what to expect during each step of the process. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 38:04
This Financial Life: Jeff Wilson (Ep. 242) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/this-financial-life-jeff-wilson/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/this-financial-life-jeff-wilson/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:31 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6727 A listener joins us for a financial check up in our This Financial Life episode. Jeff Wilson finds out what he's doing well and what he could do better.

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financial-life-jeff-wilson

 A  listener joins us for a financial check up in our This Financial Life episode.  Jeff Wilson finds out what he’s doing well and what he could do better.

Jeff lives in the Midwest where he works for the Department of Natural Resources, it’s an outside job where he helps care for wild life sites.  He burns down stuff for a living!

Jeff is 26, he has $24,000 in student loans.  He’s paid off about $12,000 so far.  His rent is $300 a month.  His loan payment is $400 a month.  He’s making about $1600 a month with some fluctuation.

He has avoided credit card debt, a big plus.  But he’s paying the minimum on the loans.  Even still, they could be paid off in about six years.  His cost of living is very, very low and Jeff hopes to retire early.

He has about $24,000 in cash saved, the same amount he has in loan debt.  It’s daunting though, to wipe out your savings in one fell swoop.  At the very least, Jeff has to get that money out of a crap interest savings account.

"I see that large number and it's scary to wipe it down to zero."

This is the ideal time for Jeff to pay off those loans.  He has a low cost of living, no credit card debt, a good line of credit if there were an emergency.  Kill the loans!

Jeff has an IRA with $10,000.  He also has a Betterment account.  The spanner in the works is that Jeff is laid off for three months of the year.  During that time he’s receiving unemployment but it’s not a lot.

Jeff is doing well and he knows what he needs to do.  He just needs a little convincing.  He could potentially be retired at 40.

All of our This Financial Life guests are savvy and doing pretty well and Jeff is no exception.  At just 26 years old, he’s already on the path to financial freedom.

Show Notes

Betterment:  Investing made better.

Mint:  The better way to budget.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/this-financial-life-jeff-wilson/feed/ 2 A listener joins us for a financial check up in our This Financial Life episode. Jeff Wilson finds out what he's doing well and what he could do better. A listener joins us for a financial check up in our This Financial Life episode. Jeff Wilson finds out what he's doing well and what he could do better. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 44:12
Inside CommonBond with David Klein (Ep. 241) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-commonbond-with-david-klein/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-commonbond-with-david-klein/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6724 You know we at LMM want to help you any way we can to reduce your student loan debt. David Klein joins us to discuss refinancing to save you money.

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david-klein

 You know we at LMM want to help you any way we can to reduce your student loan debt.  David Klein joins us to discuss refinancing to save you money.

CommonBond is a student loan lending platform that provides lower cost financing to graduate students and graduates.  They started out as a pilot program at one school and now they have expanded to over 109 programs.

The federal government holds over 90% of student loans.  They set the same rate which inflates them for credit worthy borrowers.  When David went back to school in 2011, his rate was 8%.  He saw an opportunity and with his two partners started CommonBond.

CommonBond works a bit like Lending Club.  Borrowers save money when they refinance, on average, $10,000 over the life of the loan and investors have access to a kind of investing that was largely closed to them in the past.

What should you look at before deciding on grad school?  First, the median salary for the field you’ll be studying.  Then look at your loan options.  You want a low interest rate but also calculate what your monthly payment would be.

CommonBond offers a hybrid loan, the first of it’s kind on a national scale.  It’s a fixed rate loan for the first five years and variable thereafter. There is a cap on the variable rate of 10.99%.

CommonBond also offers forbearance for three months at a time, up to twelve months in cases of economic hardship.  They will also help you find a job within their community.  They also offer paid consulting work.

There is no reason not to refinance other than the hassle.  CommonBond has streamlined the process to make it as quick and easy as possible.

CommonBond has partnered with Pencils of Promise to help fund education for students who would otherwise not be able to afford it.  More Millenials doing good things in the world!

What can you do if you’re having problems paying your loans?  Call your lender directly and inform them of your situation.  They should be able to help you out.  If they won’t, refinance with CommonBond because they will.  

Show Notes

CommonBond:  Refinance your graduate school loans.

Betterment:  The easy way to invest.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-commonbond-with-david-klein/feed/ 0 You know we at LMM want to help you any way we can to reduce your student loan debt. David Klein joins us to discuss refinancing to save you money. You know we at LMM want to help you any way we can to reduce your student loan debt. David Klein joins us to discuss refinancing to save you money. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 41:20
5 Questions: Stack vs Snowball, College Wisdom, Comcast ETF Ep. 240) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/5-questions-stack-vs-snowball-college-wisdom-comcast-etf/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/5-questions-stack-vs-snowball-college-wisdom-comcast-etf/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6721 It's the episode devoted to your questions. Today we talk about the stack vs snowball methods of debt reduction, college wisdom, and Comcast ETF.

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5questions-stackvssnowball-collegewisdom-comcast

It’s the episode devoted to your questions.  Today we talk about the stack vs snowball methods of debt reduction, college wisdom, and Comcast ETF.

1.  What is your advice for an 18 year old with a part time job about to start college?  College Info Geek is a great resource for college kids.  Make as many connections as you can, join clubs, get to know your professors, join a fraternity.  Apply to every scholarship known to student kind.  We did an episode about that.

2.  If you have one student loan at 7.15% do you attack that first or pay across both loans? If you want the emotional win, pay the smaller one first and then use that payment towards the larger one.  Mathematically though it makes more sense to attack the loan with the higher interest rate.

3.  I have $50,000 in cash in a savings account earning .85% interest.  Leave it, move it to Betterment, or pay loans?  Oooh, I felt you all cringe.  I cringed too.  Someone jump him in.  You’re paying 7.15% on your loans, pay that off first!  Then invest.  Then close the savings account.

4.  I know the stack method is superior to snow ball but I have a small debt of $500.  Should I continue to stack or just pay it off?  For something that small, just pay it off and then throw the payment at the higher interest debt.  Unless your interest rate is very high on the other loan.  But since you just have two debts, getting rid of one would simplify things.

5.  I want to dump Comcast but they want to charge me $300 for early termination.  Should I just eat it?  If you have more than two months left, eat the fee.  If you can pay on a credit card, cancel the card and screw Comcast! They’re evil so fuck them.

Show Notes

Betterment:  The easy way to invest.  Sign up here and get up to six months free investing.

War Horse Royal Kilt Inspector:  A dark hued ale.

Flying Fish Red Fish:  A hoppy red ale.

Betterment:  Sign up here and get up to six months free investing.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/5-questions-stack-vs-snowball-college-wisdom-comcast-etf/feed/ 0 It's the episode devoted to your questions. Today we talk about the stack vs snowball methods of debt reduction, college wisdom, and Comcast ETF. It's the episode devoted to your questions. Today we talk about the stack vs snowball methods of debt reduction, college wisdom, and Comcast ETF. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 37:50
The High Cost of Poor Health Care http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/high-cost-poor-health-care/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/high-cost-poor-health-care/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:00:43 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6709 It’s no secret that even with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, it’s costly to be healthy in America. But the high cost of poor health care is even more costly.

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poor-healthcare

It’s no secret that even with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, it’s costly to be healthy in America. But the high cost of poor health care is even more costly.

 How We Compare

America spends $2.8 trillion a year on health care, amounting to 1/6 of the total economy.  Broken down per person, that is $8500 a year each of us would spend on health care.

The US spends 17.7% of it’s economy on health care.  Compare that to France at 11.6%, Canada at 11.2%, the UK at 9.4%, and Australia at 8.9%.  A lot of this spending can be explained because of lack of price controls.

In most Western countries, the government negotiates price with drug and device makers.  America does not.  That’s why the heart burn drug Nexium, for example, costs $215 in the States and $23 in the Netherlands.

Free market advocates will argue that this encourages innovation but what it really means is that Americans subsidize drugs and medical devices for the rest of the world.

And we don’t get much for our money.  Americans are fatter and die younger than their Western counterparts.  In a study that ranked American health care against ten other Western, industrialized nations, we came dead last, pun intended.

 What We Can Do

Things aren’t likely to change anytime soon.  The Democrats got killed in the mid-term elections and the Republicans are beating the same, tired drum about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

So like many things in America, we will have to take matters into our own hands.  People love to claim that being healthy is more costly but it’s not true when you average out the cost of ill health over a lifetime.

 Eating Healthy Is Expensive

I hate this one.  I cook a few times a week and take the leftovers to work for lunch.  I spend about $50 a week for groceries which I could get lower if there was really any reason to.  But I have plenty of room in my budget for $50 a week.  That includes non-food items like paper towels and cleaning products.

There are hundreds of blogs and cook books devoted to cooking good, healthy meals on a budget.  Budget Bytes is my favorite.  Beth breaks each recipe down by cost per ingredient and cost per meal.  She also includes step by step instructions complete with photos of each step.

I don’t eat only the purest, most locally sourced organic food although I do make room for some of that, particularly in the summer when the farmer’s market has all the best stuff.  I eat protein, vegetables and some fruit. If your diet includes more starches like rice, pasta and potatoes, you can do it for less.  I don’t snack between meals much.

But the biggest difference is that I cook.  I don’t always feel like it after work so I have contingency plans for those nights.  A piece of fish and some steamed vegetables can be on the table in less than thirty minutes.  If I’m not even feeling up to that, I have frozen meals that I’ve cooked previously waiting.

The Harvard School of Public Health did the math for us.  It costs $1.50 per day to eat healthy food as opposed to junk food.  That will be a little to some and a lot to others.  But it has such a big impact on your health and future earning power, that you need to find that money in the budget.

 I Don’t Have Time To Exercise

Time is a big excuse for why people don’t work out.  News flash: we’re all busy.  The difference is some of us are running and lifting weights and some of us are busy sat on our asses watching Netflix or looking at cat pictures on Reddit.

Americans spend an average of five hours per day watching television, one hour on the internet, and an hour and seven minutes on a smartphone.  So assuming we’re working eight hours and sleeping eight hours, we’re spending the rest of the day doing one of those three things.

You can’t take one of those hours go for a run, take a yoga class, join a soccer league?  Is that what you want for your life?  You go to work, come home, microwave yourself a Hot Pocket for dinner and sit around trolling people on Tumblr?  You deserve more.

None of these half measures though please.  As Americans, we’re a fat ass people.  Parking farther away from Wal-Mart and taking one flight of stairs a day is not the difference we’re looking to make.

Walking is free.  A lot of suburban America is oddly side walk free but there is surely a high school running track or a park you could drive to.  Use part of your lunch hour if you don’t feel like working out once you get home.  Or just go to bed and get up earlier and do it first thing.  This is the only thing that seems to work for me.  I know I’ll never exercise if I leave it to the end of the day.

 An Ounce of Prevention

America has the best triage system in the world.  If you get shot or get into a car accident, an American trauma center is your best chance at survival.  And if you’ve been shot, you’re in luck!  Most likely it happened in America.

What we aren’t good at is preventative medicine even though it would save us all time, money, and suffering.

Many of us don’t take control of our health care and rely on doctors to do what’s best for us.  But not all doctors are created equal.  And if it’s a doctor that takes insurance, they may not spend a lot of time with you.  In order to pay overhead and make a living, they need to see as many patients a day as possible.

Because America allows drugs to be advertised, many people will go to the doctor and ask for a prescription, and many doctors are happy to oblige.  It shuts the patient up, requires no educating, and gets them out of the office fast to make room for the next co-pay.

If you can find an integrative or functional medical doctor and can afford to pay for visits out of pocket, you will get much higher quality health care.  If you can find one who takes insurance, you’ve found a unicorn.  These doctors are more interested in preventative care than most conventional medicine doctors.

A good doctor will run blood work beyond the basics like cholesterol.  They’ll check for vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances.  They’ll discuss your sleep, exercise, and eating habits.  And their first line of defense won’t be a drug with a laundry list of side effects.

If you can partner with a good doctor, you can prevent a lot of the chronic, preventable diseases that plague Americans and are a drain on the health care system like Type II diabetes and heart disease.  You will save years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars on health care and missed work.

Ok, you get it.  The system sucks, it’s broken.  But you don’t have to get sucked into it.  Eat well, sleep well, exercise well and partner with a good doctor so you  can avoid it.

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My Road to Minimalism with Tammy Strobel (Ep. 239) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/my-road-to-minimalism-with-tammy-strobel/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/my-road-to-minimalism-with-tammy-strobel/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:00:50 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6718 Tammy Strobel is an author, teacher, and photographer. She joins us to discuss her recent book on minimalism and sustainable living.

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tammy-strobel

 Tammy Strobel is an author, teacher, and photographer.  She joins us to discuss her recent book on minimalism and sustainable living.

Tammy and her husband were living the typical middle class life in 2003. They started talking about downsizing everything from their home to their debt.  Seven years later they moved into a 128 foot square tiny house on wheels.

Tammy didn’t have an “aha moment” and decide to change her life.  It was a series of events.  She was unhappy working in the investing field, she had a long commute, she never had any money despite being a dual income family.

The two of them sat down and discussed what was important, how they wanted to spend their time and with whom.  Their first step was clever.  The cleared out their second bedroom and pretended they didn’t have it.  It proved they could make do in a smaller space without fully committing.

They continued to move into smaller places and eventually went car-less and commuted everywhere by bike.  Over the seven years the couple gave away probably 90% of their belongings a little at a time.

"You can bike anywhere with appropriate gear."

Tammy started her blog in 2007 while working full time and doing some free lance work.  In 2010 with the student loan debt paid off, Tammy took the leap and began writing full time.  She also teaches photography and writing.

Leading a minimalist life doesn’t have to happen in one leap.  You can take small steps as Tammy and Logan did until you get to a place that is comfortable for you.

Show Notes

War Horse Royal Kilt Inspector:  A dark hued ale

Rowdy Kittens: Go small, think big, and be happy.

You Can Buy Happiness and It’s Cheap:  Tammy’s book on sustainable living.

My Morning View:  Tammy’s book on gratitude, grief and coffee.

The 100 Thing Challenge:  Living with only 100 things.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/my-road-to-minimalism-with-tammy-strobel/feed/ 1 Tammy Strobel is an author, teacher, and photographer. She joins us to discuss her recent book on minimalism and sustainable living. Tammy Strobel is an author, teacher, and photographer. She joins us to discuss her recent book on minimalism and sustainable living. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 39:15
The Miracle Morning with Hal Elrod (Ep. 238) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/the-miracle-morning-with-hal-elrod/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/the-miracle-morning-with-hal-elrod/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6715 Hal Elrod is a key note speaker and best selling author. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning. This book may change your life!

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hal-elrod

 Hal Elrod is a key note speaker and best selling author.  He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning.  This book may change your life!

Hal had two rock bottoms.  The first was being nearly killed by a drunk driver when he was 20.  The second was the economic collapse in 2007.  Hal had been a successful business and sales coach and was building a business as a paid speaker.  His first book was #1 on Amazon.

He lost half of his clients and income and his book publisher absconded with the profits from his book.  He lost his house and control of his health.  He was nearly suicidal.  Hal considers this worse than the first rock bottom.

"It's ok to be negative but not for more than five minutes."

Hal started to turn things around with help from a close friend.  His first piece of advice was to start exercising again.  That first run was the catalyst to change.  See, exercise makes everything better.

Hal’s secret is that your level of personal development will match your level of success.  He began devoting an hour a day to personal development.  He researched the six most powerful methods of personal development and vowed to do all six each day.

Silence:  This could be meditation or prayer.

Affirmation:  a written statement articulating what you want and how to get it.

Visualization:  visualize the end result and then what you need to do that day to achieve it.

Exercise:  You can’t deny the benefits, physical, emotional, and mental.

Reading:  The fastest way to increase your personal development.

Scribing:  Journaling your thoughts.

How can this help us in the realm of personal finance?  Eben Pagan, a very successful entrepreneur believes his success is due to his morning routine.  Hal recommends taking your number one goal and filtering it through the six steps.

Hal confirms what we’ve discussed previously.  Being mindful improves your life financially and other wise.

 Show Notes

Hal Elrod:  Hal’s site including links to his best selling books.

Betterment:  The smart way to invest.  Use this link to get up to six months free investing.

Gunny Mac:  An American black lager.

The Miracle Morning:  Hal’s latest book.

7 Minute Workout:  A quick, full body work out.

5 Minute Journal:  A guided journalling app.

Deepak Chopra:  A to Z steps of Creating Affluence

The Millionaire Fast Lane:  Crack the code to wealth

 

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/the-miracle-morning-with-hal-elrod/feed/ 1 Hal Elrod is a key note speaker and best selling author. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning. This book may change your life! Hal Elrod is a key note speaker and best selling author. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning. This book may change your life! ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 59:44
This Financial Life with Zina Kumok (Ep. 237) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/financial-life-zina-kumok/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/financial-life-zina-kumok/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 11:00:45 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6695 We have a listener guest today! Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better.

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zina-kumok

 We have a listener guest today!  Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better.

LMM met Zina at Fincon.  She vowed to pay her student loan debt off in three years and started a blog to document her progress.

She did it too.  As of this month, she has paid off her entire loan balance.  She put any extra money, free lance money, birthday money, towards the debt.

Like many of us, Zina had very little finance education.  Whatever she made, she spent.  At one point, she ate out three meals a day!  When she had to borrow money for a security deposit on an apartment, she realized she had nothing to show for the pretty good money she was making.

Zina’s parents were fans of Dave Ramsey and that was her introduction to personal finance. Get Rich Slowly was another big influence as it was for a lot of us.

Student loan debt was the only debt Zina had.  No credit card or mortgage debt.  She is engaged to be married and is planning on joining finances with her fiance soon.  Now that she has some breathing room, she can be less strict on her budgeting.  Her fiance is as money savvy as Zina and is also debt free.

Both partners have an emergency fund but want to build it up to six months for of expenses.  They have a dog that may need surgery in the future.  Pet insurance may be something to consider for Zina.

Zina started an  IRA while in college.  She now does matching in her 401K.  The money that no longer needs to go towards the loan will go towards the emergency fund and retirement.  The emergency fund is now stashed in the savings account but Zina realizes this needs to change.

Zina uses Mint and an Excel spread sheet to budget.  New tech and old school.  The idea of buying a house is not really on her radar right now.  Her parents had three offers in four years when they tried to sell their house.  That would put anyone off.

Good luck to Zina and her fiance on their wedding and combining their finances.  Zina hopes to start a podcast soon so check her site for updates.

Show Notes

Abbey Ale:  A golden, Belgian style ale.

Flying Fish Hop Fish:  An English style IPA.

Debt Free After Three:  Zina’s story of paying of her student loans in three years.

Mint:  The easy way to budget.

Betterment:  The easy way to invest.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/financial-life-zina-kumok/feed/ 1 We have a listener guest today! Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better. We have a listener guest today! Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 36:39
Inside Final Card with Matt Rothstein (Ep. 236) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-final-card-with-matt-rothstein/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-final-card-with-matt-rothstein/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 11:00:38 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6692 Matt Rothstein of Get Final will discuss a new kind of credit card for the 21st Century designed to be a consumer ally rather than a consumer predator.

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matt-rothstein (1)

 Matt Rothstein of Get Final will discuss a new kind of credit card for the 21st Century designed to be a consumer ally rather than a consumer predator.

The card will go Beta soon with a wait list of over 30,000 people.  It’s a physical credit card that assigns a different number to each merchant, giving you more control over your account.

And it’s chip and pin, at last!  There is still a magnetic stripe because not all retailers are set up for chip and pin yet.

You can assign a dollar amount limit to each merchant.  So if your gym charges $100 a month, no more can be charged.  This way if there is a data breech, not only can the charge not exceed your limit, but it can’t be used at any other merchant.  The transaction would automatically decline.

Because you are setting a dollar limit, this can also be a helpful budgeting tool.

Final was founded due to data breaches the founders suffered.  They realized credit cards haven’t changed for decades and wanted to design a credit card for the internet age.  Banks and credit card companies are terrible at communicating vital information such as cutting off your card while you’re on vacation abroad.

Final plans to start a rewards program soon, most likely a cash back system.  So many of the really good rewards are only available with type tier cards and Final would like to make rewards more democratic.

"What drives business is not always what drives people."

Final expects to go live around mid 2015 in Beta. Final want your feedback.  E-mail at info@getfinal.com and let them know what you want and don’t want in a credit card.

Show Notes

Betterment:  The smart way to invest.  Get up to six months free.

Get Final:  A credit card for the 21st Century.

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/inside-final-card-with-matt-rothstein/feed/ 0 Matt Rothstein of Get Final will discuss a new kind of credit card for the 21st Century designed to be a consumer ally rather than a consumer predator. Matt Rothstein of Get Final will discuss a new kind of credit card for the 21st Century designed to be a consumer ally rather than a consumer predator. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 31:30
Sharing the Gift of Financial Knowledge (Ep. 235) http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/sharing-gift-financial-knowledge-ep-235/ http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/sharing-gift-financial-knowledge-ep-235/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/?p=6689 When you learn something new, you can't wait to share it. Money matters should be the same. Spread your knowledge to the less financially savvy among us.

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financial-knowledge

 When you learn something new, you can’t wait to share it.  Money matters should be the same.  Spread your knowledge to the less financially savvy among us.

It doesn’t just have to be something good you’ve learned.  Some bank or company screw you over?  Let everyone know that too so they can avoid the same fate.

We encourage you to surround yourself with financial friends but you don’t have to ditch the friends who are bad with money.  You can be the financial friend that helps them improve their habits.

"Your bank shouldn't charge you fees. They should send you flowers."

Money is such a taboo subject though.  How do you bring it up?  Lead by bleeding first.  Tell your friends all the dumb mistakes you made and how you fixed them.  It will make them feel less judged when they share their mistakes.

It doesn’t matter if you learn something by reading it from a bathroom wall or Stephen Hawking told it to you over cocktails.  The important thing is that you know it.  So if you learned from our podcast or another, a book, a blog, share your source of knowledge with those around you.

And be sure to follow up.  Ask if they listened or read the book.  Then you will have a jumping off point and you can show them all kinds of cool stuff like Mint, Betterment, and Acorns.  Once they’re a little more savvy, you can introduce them to Vanguard if they haven’t already discovered it.

Do you have a story on how you helped a friend or family member improve their finances?  Share your story in the comments.

Show Notes

Mint:  Mint will tell you when your bank screws you with bullshit fees.

Betterment:  Investing for beginners.

Acorns:  Invest your nickels and dimes.

 

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http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/sharing-gift-financial-knowledge-ep-235/feed/ 1 When you learn something new, you can't wait to share it. Money matters should be the same. Spread your knowledge to the less financially savvy among us. When you learn something new, you can't wait to share it. Money matters should be the same. Spread your knowledge to the less financially savvy among us. ListenMoneyMatters.com | Running laps around The Dave Ramsey Show, Suze Orman and Jim Cramer’s Mad Money since 2013. yes 37:00