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177 Past Due – Confessions Of A Financial Coach (Part 2)

by Derek Sisterhen on October 21, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 177 – Confessions Of A Financial Coach (Part 2)

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Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many people who are trying to handle their finances with purpose and intention. Our background – our personal history – has a tremendous influence on our lives. It also has a tremendous influence on our use of money. Over the years, I’ve seen where the “norms” created in the homes where we’ve been raised and our experiences on our own can catapult us to positive change, or be the only thing holding us back.

Today we discussed:

1) Internal vows – the commitments we make to ourselves (for better or worse) that we convince ourselves must come to fruition for us to be happy

2) Our true identity – where we use our money reveals everything about our belief system, how we value others, and what we believe we can accomplish with our lives

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173 Past Due – Our Daughter Needs A Car, We Can’t Get A Loan

by Derek Sisterhen on September 16, 2011

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Past Due: Radio 173 – Our Daughter Needs A Car, We Can’t Get A Loan

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Robert and his wife Patricia are reaping a harvest of, admittedly, poorly sown financial decisions. They have a college-age daughter who is splitting the family vehicle with Patricia to get to and from classes, then to and from her part-time job. The family needs a car in the worst way, but no one is qualifying for a car loan.

In his submission, Robert acknowledged that they’ve been late on mortgage payments in the past, and are trying to clean up their finances, but now they feel limited with this incredibly inconvenient transportation situation.

Today we discussed:

1) How the pressure of inconvenience often drives us to rushed, unwise financial decisions. We must assess the true cost of paying interest on a used car (and likely subprime interest at that) in the context of the hassle-factor of sharing a vehicle.

2) The importance of Robert and Patricia openly confronting their financial situation for their children to see. It’s time for them to lead their kids – two generations of healthy money managers hang in the balance.

3) How sometimes the best course of action isn’t the most obvious. Robert’s daughter has already saved $3,000 toward the purchase of a vehicle and has the potential to save more than her parents.

This show exposed a lot of the systemic financial issues we’re seeing in American households with regularity: paycheck-to-paycheck living, financially unprepared children, the perpetuation of the “Sandwich Generation”, and knee-jerk decision-making in financial discomfort.

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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3 Lessons On Pregnancy & Money

by Derek Sisterhen on August 23, 2011

Jon White is not only talking the talk, he’s walking the walk. It’s so exciting to think that he and his wife Lisa are welcoming their first child into a financially healthy home. For many families, the onset of children exposes cracks in the financial foundation.  If nothing else, these three simple ways to prepare for baby will get your wheels turning. ~D.S.

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My wife Lisa and I welcomed our first child into the world on July 10th. Joshua Daniel has been a tremendous blessing in our lives. Besides not getting a whole lot of sleep, things are coming along great. Everybody says that having children is a huge financial burden. While there are some financial adjustments that need to be made, if you plan ahead accordingly and stay under control, they are very manageable. Below are three lessons my wife and I learned as we prepared financially for our baby’s life on the outside.

Pile up cash during the pregnancy

Yes, getting out of debt is nice, but during a pregnancy there’s no greater feeling than having a nice pile of cash saved in the bank in case of emergency. My wife and I already had about 4 months worth of expenses saved in our emergency fund when we found out we were pregnant. Yet we still cut back on our 401(K) contributions and stopped paying extra on our mortgage each month.

Sure, it pained me to make the minimum mortgage payment and watch my projected amortization schedule increase by a few months. But there was nothing better than that feeling of security our emergency fund provided. We also had more than our annual deductible in our Health Savings Account (HSA). This allowed us to enjoy the pregnancy and not worry instead about how we were going to pay for the baby.

Stick to your budget on baby “stuff”

When I talk about baby “stuff” I’m not talking about health needs. I am referring to everything that’s in a Babies “R” Us store. Lisa and I created a list of needs and wants. Now, granted, men and women have different feelings on this. When women find out they’re pregnant, they meet with other women and talk about baby outfits, toys, accessories, etc. But when men find out their wives are pregnant they think of one thing: DOLLAR SIGNS! Because of our needs and wants list my wife and I were both on the same page with this.

If you’ve never been into a Babies “R” Us store, prepare to be intimidated! After our first walk-through, we both left with our eyes glazed over. You can easily spend some money in that store if you aren’t careful, but remember you can still be a great parent without buying one of everything. Know your limits, then stick to them.

Have health insurance

This might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t think they can afford health insurance if their employer doesn’t provide for it. This includes the self-employed and the unemployed. The monthly premiums might hurt, but you really can’t afford not to have health insurance, especially during a pregnancy. We are starting to get some of the bills in the mail already and that total amount will be well over $15,000. Thankfully, we have health insurance with an HSA policy and have more than met our decidable.

It’s also important to make sure you have the right kind of insurance. If you have choices through your employer, run the numbers and see what would be best for your situation. For us we found the HSA with its high deductible but lower monthly premiums was the best for us.

So, that’s what we did to prepare financially during a pregnancy. If you are thinking of having children, but are not quite sure if you can afford it, it’s important to realize that children are not that expensive as long as you plan accordingly. Remember you have nine months to get ready; your child’s birth shouldn’t sneak up on you.

If you have had a child, what are some other things that you did or did not do to prepare for the birth of your child?

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Jon White is the owner of JW’s Financial Coaching. He enjoys giving people hope with their finances by giving them a new perspective on their money and by teaching them to focus on their economy. Jon also is the host of the JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast devoted to answering listeners’ questions on personal finance as well as cover current events in the personal finance world. For fun Jon enjoys taking walks with his wife and watching college football. You can interact with Jon on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Past Due: Radio 166 – Preparing Financially For Life Outside The Nest

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I took another Facebook question today from my friend Ashley. She’s a little concerned for a friend of hers who is just now leaving the safety and comfort of her parent’s nest for the wide open real world.

Ashley asked, “I have a friend that just moved out of her parents’ house. She’s never had a budget, never really had to worry about how to pay for life, retirement, etc? What can she do to get settled successfully?”

While this doesn’t appear to be a “failure to launch” situation, I couldn’t help but think of the 2006 film with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey.

Today we discussed:

1) What parents of adult children can do to guide them toward independence, as well as the social change that has occurred since the Great Recession resulting 60% of college grads returning to live at home.

2) What Ashley needs to do, as this young woman’s friend, to encourage her and hold her accountable in the midst of spreading her wings.

3) The first two steps any newly-independent person should take to understand their financial position, lifestyle expenses, and to plan for the risks of life.

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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156 Past Due – Mother’s Day: My Mom the Money Maestro

May 8, 2011

Past Due: Radio 156 – Mother’s Day: My Mom the Money Maestro Right-click to download Send me your feedback or leave me a voice mail: (919) 374-0501 Leave a review on iTunes This is a special Mother’s Day edition of Past Due Radio! In an effort to honor the moms out there, I decided to […]

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