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169 Past Due – The Financial Plan For The Non-Conformist Family

by Derek Sisterhen on August 19, 2011


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Past Due: Radio 169 – The Financial Plan For The Non-Conformist Family

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Josh and Sarah Gordon of have agreed to be guinea pigs in the PDR lab! In their effort to avoid mediocrity, they’re seeking direction on some huge financial goals in their new world of self-employment.

Today we assessed their goals for the next 12 months, their income and expenses, and I issued a 30-day action plan for them. Here’s what we know about them:


  • In the next 12 months, they’d like to pay off $10,000 in student loans and save an emergency fund of $2,500
  • They want to give away three $1,000 awards to people creatively addressing social concerns
  • They intend to live unconventionally (in tents, cabins, or vehicles) and travel extensively in North America

Income & Expenses:

  • Income – $2,904
  • Expenses – $2,012
  • Net Income/(Loss) – $892

30-Day Action Plan:

Over the next 30 days, The Non-Conformist Family needs to focus on two initial goals:

1) Tracking every dollar they spend to determine the accuracy of their planned spending (and cash flow potential)

2) Funnel every bit of extra cash flow into their emergency fund

In the days ahead, we’ll be revisiting The Non-Conformist Family to see how they’re progressing, answer questions as they arise, and provide guidance for them on their journey.

If you have a specific question, I’d be happy to answer it and further cultivate the wisdom of the Past Due Radio masses. The experiences of our listener base provide plenty of insight we all can learn from; don’t hesitate to ask – I’m happy to help!

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  • Tony Wheeler

    Looking forward to watching this lab experiment. Needing to ramp up my own! 

  • Matt Langdon (@theherocc)

    I’m going to meet these guys next week and am looking forward to discussing these goals and plans.

  • Derek Sisterhen

    I hope you have a great time with them, Matt!  I love their energy and enthusiasm to do the very best they can to live the life they’re called to.

    It’s going to be a blast to see them work toward their goals!

  • Derek Sisterhen

    Hey Tony – it’s funny how, when we watch someone else trying to make positive change, we ourselves begin to desire it.  I think that’s why I’ve stopped eating ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser.

    Baby steps, right?  Thanks for your comment!

  • Joshua Gordon

    I’m excited to hang out with you, Matt, and I’ll be interested to hear your perspective on some of this stuff! Thanks to Derek’s great insights, Sar and I have already made decisions to sacrifice some trips that we were going to take during September – we’ll be funnelling the cash into a beefy emergency fund.

    This is going to be hard – and really, really awesome.

  • Joshua Gordon

    Your own lab experiments, or your own finances? I think both are appropriate (cue ominous laugh). I’m excited to see how other people are inspired as a result of our guinea-pig status.

    You’re awesome, Tony.

    – Josh

  • Derek Sisterhen

    Josh – if you guys are already re-evaluating some trips and such, then you’re going to be pretty cool customers!

    Over the last year I’ve spoken a lot about opportunity cost with the people I’ve helped or taught.  When we get sucked into being gratified in the moment, we totally miss all the other things we could’ve done with our money, time, resources, energy, etc.  But, when taking a measured, systematic approach, you start to see more clearly that delaying one experience (like a trip) gets you to a whole different place (financially), and leads to a different set of experiences (like joy, jubilation, freedom, peace of mind, etc.).

    If that doesn’t get you going, you’re go-er’s broke.

  • Tony Wheeler

    Both, really. Using a bit of reverse budgeting to figure out how to make the leap from employee to free agent. Basically killing me! 

    Keep it up!

  • Tony Wheeler

    Yeah, eating Ice Cream during Biggest Loser is tough…hah! 

    Birds of a feather flock together can be good or bad, glad to be flying with y’all. 

  • Derek Sisterhen

    Glad to have you with us, too, Tony!

  • Don’t Get Too Intense.

    […] Sar and I took a day off. Found a babysitter last minute. Went on a wine tour. It was inexpensive (and unbudgeted – I’m sorry, Derek!!), but super fun. We hung with my bro and his wife for the day, and absolutely enjoyed […]

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