Listener Mailbag: Juggling Multiple Goals, Revamping Budgets, and Family Vacation Tips

We’ve brought back the listener's mailbag. Today we’re answering your family and finance questions about saving up for multiple goals, revamping your budget, and travel planning tips!

Family and Finances: Better Budgets and More

One of my favorite parts about Simplify and Enjoy is the community.

While I'm happy to share our journey as a family: the projects that we're taking on, the goals we're trying to reach, it's always fun to get your take on things to hear your questions, stories, and celebrate your wins.

Today, we're going to wrap up this set of episodes by answering three questions from you.

First, we're going to get into how to save from multiple goals. This is a challenge for a lot of families because not only are they trying to save for retirement, maybe put aside something for their kids, college expenses. They also have to make sure there's enough money to replace the cars, take family vacations, get gifts for others and so forth. So, how do you juggle it all?

Next we'll talk about how to adjust or if needed, revamp your budget. We're halfway through the year. So I knew a lot of families are looking at things that are working and what's not.

They want to finish this year strong, so they want to redo their budget. We'll go over some tips on what you need to adjust and surprisingly, some things to avoid when working with your budget.

Finally we'll examine how to plan and budget for family vacations. I think it's something that we all need, and many of us are excited about getting back to. And at the same time, we want to stick with some of our other financial goals and keep that on target.

I'm going to share some tips that have helped us manage family vacations and still stay on budget. We got a lot to cover today. So let's get started!

Resources to Manage Your Money Easier

If you want to chat more about creating better money habits, questions, or share your own tips, please join us at Thriving Families on Facebook.

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! Come check out Coastal today if you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better.

As a credit union, Coastal serves its members first and foremost including an annual loyalty bonus.

We've been members for years and love their service and competitive rates on checking and savings accounts!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit of an IRA is choosing how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start to finish – for FREE and yes that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

Juggling Multiple Goals

First, I want to give a shout out and say, thank you to Adam for sending this question in. Adam emailed me and we were discussing budgets and handling different goals. In particular, he was curious about how we handled our finances with saving up for retirement, car purchases, gifts, college savings, the whole deal.

I think a lot of families are dealing and honestly struggling with this, right? Because we're trying to take care of multiple things simultaneously.

Everyone handles their budget differently so I'm going to share how we handle this and why I think it works for us. Then hopefully it gives you ideas on things to try out and to discuss so you can come up with a plan that makes sense for your family.

Like many people when we first started off budgeting. We used one of those recommended tools online. Where you give your income and it gives you a very basic breakdown based on percentages. Where you cannot spend more than 25 to 30% for housing. Have 10% for giving, certain percentage for utilities, groceries, so forth and so on.

I do believe that those can be a helpful springboard for a conversation and can give you a guideline of where to start. But even within those categories, Things can vary greatly.

For example, housing is a huge expense for families much more than what's recommended. I'm not saying you shouldn't adjust it, but you may be at a point that now currently you're spending more than what is recommended.

At least having those numbers and seeing what's in front of you gives you an idea of what needs to be adjusted down the line.

For many families, I recommend start out with a simple budget. You can use one of those templates. You can use the 50, 20, 30 budget and then test drive that for a month or two. It gives you an idea of specific areas in your budget that you're doing really well in. Maybe you're spending less on groceries than you anticipated, and then areas where you looking at. Okay. We do need to get better with this expense.

By being consistent, we did make progress and we knocked out multiple goals. But we didn't do it at once. The critical thing for us was setting up priorities.

When you're weighing everything you could be doing, saving up for emergencies, family vacations, paying down debt, investing for retirement, setting aside something for the kids' college expenses. Listen. It's easy to spread yourself then so thin that if you're trying to knock them out simultaneously, You're progressing at a snail's pace. Not only are you not seeing the numbers move as fast as you want? You're giving yourself ammunition to quit.

Instead, what we did is we review our goals. Regularly. And then we break them down and there's four things that we look at.

One, the timeline of the goal. Is this something that we want to finish by the end of the year? A few years or something that's 10 years or more.

What are our current needs and concerns? For example, these past couple years, we've been a little more conservative with our financial goals than we had previously just because of the uncertainty of what was going on.

The third factor is discussing how much. For example, with buying a car, how much are we setting aside for that? With debts, we're looking at the amount and add interest rates to.

Finally, is this a reoccurring goal or is this a goal that once it's done, it's done.

When we have those discussions, we can have a clearer idea of the one or two goals we're going to give our attention to.

For example, when we were first married, we had around a little over $30,000 of debt and a little bit of savings. Our priorities at that time were to pay off the car and student loans and then make sure that we build up our financial cushion.

With once we knocked out the car loan, we then reevaluated things. We definitely wanted to focus a bit more on savings, including replacing future cars. That led us to the decision of going cash with our cars. Meaning we haven't had a car loan in over a decade.

We prefer to pay for it ourselves. So we set aside a ballpark range and initially we were looking at the 5,000. Now I say we save about $10,000 for cars.

Focusing on Nissans, Toyotas, and Hondas with good reliability records has meant that we have the money saved up well, before we need it thankfully. My advice to you when it comes to cars is make sure you're as diligent as you can with the essential maintenance.

The benefit of tackling it one goal at a time is we gain traction when we hit a goal. We now have more momentum to work on the next, and it might seem like it's slower because we're only doing one or two goals at a time. But looking back, it really does go fast.

You probably know why, if you're familiar with Dave Ramsey and his baby steps. When you direct your money to fewer goals, it speeds the process up. It also serves as motivation to keep moving forward, which to me is a double win.

Finally, I would say the other key factor is once we had a budget in place, we would then automate it to make things go smoother.

I hope that helps you with figuring out one what goals you want to tackle first. But then to having a system that helps you follow through without stressing you out.

Revamping Your Budget Mid-Year

With this year being just over the halfway mark, the second question makes total sense. How do we revamp our budget?

To a degree, our budgets reflect what's going on with our day to day. A lot of families right now are seeing certain areas of their budget increase with inflation. They're trying to keep things under control and they're trying to juggle things well, if I'm paying more for groceries or if I'm living in an area where rent is jumping. Hi, how can I adjust my budget so that I'm still making progress on my goals? How do I keep that momentum going?

One of the best ways that you can pivot and update freshen up your finances, whatever you want to call it. Is by creating a roadmap for your money. Yes. That definitely includes having some kind of budget in place. Like we discussed with the first question. But more importantly, it's looking at the big picture.

Before we assess and adjust the numbers, we do need to go back to talk about those goals. When you have multiple goals going on. It is especially important to learn, to prioritize them and make an adjustment if the circumstances have changed enough.

Let's talk about a goal that I think a lot of families are worried about. They had been planning on buying a house. But depending on the area you live in, the market might be a sellers market right now. Prices might be jumping for even a fixer-upper. And then on top of that, you have higher interest rates.

What should you do? Well, there are a few questions that you need to sit down and really figure out before, you know what your next move is.

You may decide that now is not a good time to buy a house. You ran the numbers and if you purchase a house now, you would now be house poor and financially vulnerable. So you may decide to push out the timeline and build up your down payment and finances in a way that you would feel more comfortable buying a house, then.

Or you may decide that no, this is a priority for us. We want to get this done. You can then discuss what are some things we're willing to forgo with our smaller or less urgent goals so that we can reach this.

Depending on your circumstances, the market you're in and your finances either choice could be valid for your family. The important thing is that you're discussing this and you're weighing the pros and cons of revamping your budget towards that priority.

Finally, there's something else that you might want to consider and this might make you feel better. Chances are, if you are listening to a podcast like this, which talks about finances. You're probably doing better than you expected. In fact, you may not have to completely revamp your budget or reprioritize things.

It could simply be a matter of adjusting some of your smaller, less important expenses. And redirecting it to your bigger, more urgent goals. And that's the great thing about having a budget. It is supposed to be flexible and supposed to be reflecting on the things that matter to you.

Dealing with everything in the past couple years, all of us. I have probably had to make some significant changes. So give yourself some credit with the progress you're making.

Just focus on being consistent and having a regular time to review your numbers. For us it's around that monthly mark. It helps us stay on target. Because yes, some things do come up. But when we catch it, then it's usually a small adjustment.

Then we can focus on relaxing and enjoying the time we have together. So I hope these tips help take the stress out. If you do need to revamp your budget, it might not be as drastic as you imagine it. Or if you do have something that you're trying to knock out this year, a priority that's important to you. You know how you can discuss work on it as a team and knock it out.

Family Vacation Planning Tips

Alright; our last question is fun. It's about how we plan for vacations. We actually just got back from our summer trip. We went outside of Asheville, spent a week out there at an incredible Airbnb. We could just see the mountains from it had a beautiful large deck.

It was a great time to just decompress and explore the parks around there with the kids. We find getaways necessary, not just during the summer, but throughout the year.

There are a few things we do to make that happen and still stick with our budget. First off, here in Raleigh, they offer traditional and year round schooling. Our kids are in the year round program. They're in school for about like nine weeks and then they get three weeks off.

Over here, they call them track outs each season. For our girls there in October, the big one is in the winter with five weeks off in December and January, a couple of weeks off in April, and then in July.

What I love about that is it gives us some off season time to travel and that itself can save us some significant amount of money.

Our big family vacation tends to be around October. That's in between the summer crowds and the families going out for holiday trips leader in the year, we can usually get a great deal. So time of year is definitely a big factor.

Then also the types of vacations or trips we take do matter and help us to stay on budget. We try to use that schedule and take a trip every season, but it's not always a long trip. Sometimes we do what we called the small getaways . Being in North Carolina, we feel really grateful because we can do road trips. That include going down to the beach. Or we can go to Asheville and get that mountain experience.

We really enjoy. Both of those vibes. What we found is by timing those trips and how long we go. We can get a lot more vacation time. Without really seeing a jump in our budget. If we want to go, for example, to the beach in the summer, we're going to go but we're going to do it maybe for an overnight or a short stay.

It's going to be during the week. That is great because it's a little less crowded and we can usually find a deal on Airbnb. If we're going to go for longer getaways at a certain point, like five to seven days. I would go for the week because some hosts offer a discount for renting it out for a week.

That's also something to consider when you're planning out your vacation. If you remember, I did an interview with Justin who right now is in the middle of Europe.

One of the tips he offered was looking for those longer stays. In his case it was the same price to stay four weeks in The Bahamas then, just two weeks because of that longer stay discount.

Look for those opportunities. Don't automatically assume that if you stay longer, it's going to cost much more. You might find an opportunity where it's a huge win-win for your family.

With remote work, being a possibility for some, this can open up opportunities to take vacations off season. I'm really happy that we ended this round of episodes with tips on vacations. If you have any more questions, please reach out to me. And also I will put some of my favorite travel resources in the show notes.

I hope you have a great summer break!

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and become financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on Apple or Stitcher.
  • Grab a copy of Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money

Photos by Torsten Dettlaff and Suzy Hazelwood

Understanding Crypto: Should We Get Into Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DeFi, seem like they're quickly becoming part of our conversations, but what's behind it all? Today we’ll look at how crypto works!

Should We Get Into Crypto?

In the last episode, I mentioned that I did a money experiment. If you're subscribed to the newsletter, you got a sneak peek of what we're talking about: cryptocurrencies.

While crypto isn't anything new. In the last few years, especially within the last year. I've just noticed a dramatic shift in promoting them. I've also noticed that there's been a lot more noise and big promises and not much in the way of education.

I see companies spreading the word about crypto focused on how revolutionary it is and how we can close the wealth gap. But I don't see enough discussion about the underlying technology behind it, and how it actually works.

I'm a big believer in educating yourself and understanding things before you go invest in them.

Based on the feedback I've been seeing with you guys in the community. I see that some of you are dabbling in crypto, but you wanna know more.

I decided I was going to do six-month experiment to learn a little bit more about the ins and outs of crypto.

This isn't the first time I learned about cryptocurrency. But it is the first time I dedicated myself to sitting down reading the articles, and talking within the community to understand how the technology works itself.

I wanted to learn how easy was it to buy, sell and mine the crypto coins.

Man, what a time I jumped in! Just in the past six months, we've seen:

So there were a lot of things happening, but for me, this was an opportunity to understand the pros and cons up close.

Even with everything down and people questioning whether crypto is here to stay, there are plenty of people who are saying now is a great time to get into it because it's so cheap. But is that really true or is it just hype?

That's why I made this episode. It's not a deep dive into crypto but instead, it's meant to give you a lay of the land. So you can decide if it's something that you want to explore further.

In today’s episode, we’ll get into:

  • How  exactly do cryptocurrencies work
  • Decoding crypto terms that are thrown about
  • How you can buy, sell, and yes, mine some

I hope you enjoy!

Resources to Understand Crypto

If you're looking to explore crypto and the tech behind it, here are some really helpful resources to learn and stay on top of your money!

If you’d like to chat more about your money system, please join us in our private and free Facebook group – Thriving Families

We’re families looking to support and help one another out.

Hope to see you there!

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

See how Coastal can help you with your mortgage needs!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit with an IRA is you get to choose how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start to finish – for FREE and yes that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

How Does Crypto Currency Work?

Before we get into the different cryptocurrencies and how to buy, sell, or mine them, let’s go over how they work. 

Since we’re using this word currency, I’ll start there. 

With crypto, it’s not owned by an individual or a particular company. No bank or government is issuing it. It’s decentralized, hence the term DeFi. 

Its value of it is determined by the community, supply, and demand. There’s no gold or government backing it up. 

Some key components and technology with cryptocurrencies are blockchain. 

Think of the blockchain as a public record or ledger where every transaction is recorded. The community all has a copy. 

It’s append-only, meaning you undo a transaction. Instead, you would document the transfer and then the ‘refund’.

It’s designed so two strangers can exchange without getting approval from a bank or a merchant like Paypal or Venmo. 

Wallet and Key

Just like you probably have a wallet with your cards and cash, you have one with crypto. Because there’s no central power regulating it, it’s even more important for you to keep your wallet secure. 

You can have your wallet online, called a hot wallet or you can have an offline or cold wallet. 

There are two keys for your wallet, a public and a private one. Your public key is kind of like your bank account. That’s what’s included in the edger when you make a transaction. 

Your private is then like a password/PIN so you can access your wallet. You want to keep your private key in a safe spot because if you don’t, you can’t get that money. 

More Than Bitcoin

Even though bitcoin has the biggest market cap and is one of the most well-known currencies, the crypto market space has vast options. If you go to CoinMarketCap you’d find just under 10,000 coins being tracked. 

Some other big ones include Ethereum, Tether, Cardano, Solana, and dogecoin. 

Decoding Crypto Terms

All right, so we covered a high level review of how crypto works. As you can see even going over the essentials and fundamentals. There's a lot of terms that are used that are very specific to this space. Right now, I want to hone in a bit on the coins and how they work.

We mentioned this briefly when we were talking about high energy usage. With coins, you can lump them into two groups based on the method on how they validate those transactions that are made.

Remember, everything is on that blockchain it's on that ledger, but how do you validate it since we don't have a central unit verifying things?

The verification is done through the community and the two main systems coins use are proof of work and proof of stake.

With proof of work, this is what the older coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, the. 1.0 and dogecoin use.

A miner or a person with a computer and the hardware runs algorithms to validate that transaction and in return, they can earn more coins. It is secure, but it uses a lot of energy and it is slower.

With proof of stake system, the validators actually would put in a token. Kind of like collateral and they would validate those transactions.

And as a reward. They would get more of that coin. Coins using proof of stake include Ethereum 2.0, car Dano and BNB.

Wait a minute. I just mentioned token and I just met, mentioned coin. So, let me just break that down a little bit further.

With that proof of stake system, the coin is the actual, let's just say the actual currency, the one that has the value is being exchanged.

In this case, the token, it gives you that right to validate the transaction. So that is not a part of the blockchain. It's kind of a system that's built on top of that.

Hopefully, I didn't lose you there.

Finally, I want to talk about stablecoins. These are cryptocurrencies that are actually kind of almost like a hybrid because they're cryptocurrencies, but they're tied to an asset. One popular one is the us dollar. And the idea behind it is to minimize the volatility.

Many platforms actually also offer competitive interest rates if you invest in hold stable coins. Now this doesn't mean that it's completely safe. We've seen recently with Tara. That there is risk involved and you may lose your money with that.

Now, hopefully that gives you a better idea of the different types of coins that are out there and how they work.

There are so many topics that we can get into because they're connected to crypto. But I'm not going to cover them because they're outside the scope of what we're talking about.

But I definitely want to recommend that you research into, web 3.0 and NFTs. They deserve their own episodes because it can get really complicated, very fast. And there's a lot of people that are hyping it up but not really explaining the technology.

How to Buy, Sell, and Mine Crypto

Let's say you're interested in learning more about crypto and you're thinking about doing your own money experiment. Where do you start? How do you buy trade in mind the crypto?

Well, I have some good news for you. It is much easier to get into the crypto space, try things out and learn a lot more.

Buying, Trading, and Selling Crypto

Let's start off with buying trading and selling. You can work directly with each coin, but now there are different exchanges like:

They almost make it as easy as logging into your bank or logging into your investment company.

The bad news is you definitely have to be informed before you do, because there is a lot of hype out there.

Whatever platform you decide to use, though, you definitely wanna do your homework because this is not centrally regulated. You're kind of on your own.

Please don't put a significant amount of money in until you educate yourself about the risk. Read those reviews carefully and talk with their customers to see which one would be the best fit for you.

For this money experiment, I went with Coinbase. It was a combination of things. I liked that they had access to more than 150 cryptocurrencies. It was fairly easy to set up and use. Plus you can actually earn some crypto for free by watching video lessons and taking quizzes.

I signed up verified by the identification and also linked my bank account. Because this was an experiment I focused on just two coins. I went with Ethereum and Solana, but I did take advantage of their learn and earn opportunity.

I have about a dozen cryptocurrencies that I'm currently in, but most of them with the learn and earn aren't significant amounts, but just enough to understand the different technologies that are there.

While I do like having something like Coinbase, I find it ironic that for many people, that's the easiest way to enter because it's introducing a middle man.

One of the things with the cryptocurrency space is it's trying to be more direct. I think we're still in the early stages and there's a lot of issues that have to get worked out. But if you are considering getting a little bit into cryptocurrencies and learning more using a platform like this is probably the most convenient way to go.

Now with mining you can actually earn some cryptocurrencies with your computer and, there are three key components to this.

You have your wallet, which we've mentioned before, your hardware, which is your computer and then your mining software.

With mining cryptocurrencies, you have to have a software program. Honestly, I thought this would be one of the easier parts of the process, but it turned out to be quite hard.

The reason was I was trying to find a software I was comfortable with and really you're downloading a program that unless you're a programmer or have experience with software, you don't know what you're putting on your computer.

There are different options out there. I was looking at reviews. Some of the popular ones I saw were multi, minor CG, minor, easy, minor BFG minor.

The one I ended up with for my experiment was nice hash. I did like that they owned every piece of the software and they had a good reputation and it was very simple to use.

The last part of that was the hardware for crypto. I think many people think, oh, because I'm mining it, it's free, but there's two costs that are associated with that.

You need to consider one the electrical use, but then to the hardware itself for the computer.

If you're mining, Bitcoin, your computer needs to be able to perform intensive equations. And that means that you're probably gonna have to buy specialized hardware unless you have top of the model series.

Mine is an Nvidia RTX 30, 70 T. T I, which is retailing now between 600 to around $900. It's not cheap.

So is mining profitable? Can you make some money off of it? Well, right now I would say no. That's because the value of the crypto market has dropped considerably. So if you're looking for a quick win, this is not the way to go. But if you do believe that the value will go back up, you can mine it now and hopefully see that as investment for the future.

All right. So that is the basics of buying, selling, and mining. You probably have some more questions about it. If you're a newsletter subscriber hit reply and send your questions in, or go to our free Facebook group called thriving families, where we talk about that intersection of family finances.

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and becoming financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on AppleSpotify, or Audible.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee!

Photos by Alesia Kozik and RODNAE Productions

Investment Portfolio Review: What to Do When It’s a Bear Market

Worried about how your investments are doing right now? We'll look at how to do a investment portfolio review so that you'll not only feel less stressed but take productive steps to help you invest better!

Why Investment Portfolio Reviews Are a Smart Move

If you've been following the news, especially finances. It can be pretty scary right now. It seems like all the headlines are focused on high gas prices, how inflation is affecting basic goods, and how volatile the market is right now.

We're in a bear market, which if you're not familiar with the term means that there's been a decline of 20% or more from recent highs.

While staying on top of the big threads of what's going on is good, being too tuned into the news can backfire. Look, I've been writing about personal finance for almost a decade and a half and I can still get a bit anxious about it.

This is where doing a portfolio review can help. When we're doing our monthly reviews for our money dates, we get a snapshot of what's going on with our accounts to make sure everything's moving along well. But a few times a year. Around once a quarter for us. We'll also look at our investments more closely.

It's like a financial checkup. That's beneficial for finances for sure, but believe it or not, our marriage. For us, this is an opportunity to hit pause. Just sit down and really talk about what's been working and what's not working with our family finances.

We can also take a step back and discuss the big picture about what we want to do in the near future and then longterm. It's a low key, but productive way for us to stay on top of things.

And I want to show you how you can do it too.

In this episode, we'll dive into:

  • why less is more when it comes to portfolio reviews
  • what questions to ask to make sure you're on track
  • things you can do to improve your portfolio

We have a lot to cover. So let's get started!

Resources to Stay on Top of Your Investments

Whether you're new to investing or looking to level up, here are some resources to get your there faster!

Don't forget you can always send your questions in either through private voicemail or the form here for an upcoming episode!

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

As a credit union, Coastal serves its members first including an annual loyalty bonus.

We've been members for years and love their service and competitive rates on checking and savings accounts!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit with an IRA is you get to choose how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start to finish – for FREE. Yes, that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and becoming financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on AppleSpotify, or Audible.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee!

Cashing Out: Creating a Flexible Financial Plan That Fits Your Family

Looking to pursue financial freedom on your terms? See how Rich and Regular's Kiersten and Julien Saunder's book Cashing Out can help you lay out a path!

Why Your Family Needs a Financial Plan

When I mention this idea of having a financial plan, people tend to imagine is only for those who already have some money. But that’s not true.

Many families can benefit from creating a financial plan. 

Here are a few that come to my mind:

  • you’re feeling under-appreciated and underpaid at work
  • you want to have flexibility, leverage, and options when it comes to how you work
  • the pandemic really threw your finances for a loop and you’re looking to get back on track
  • you’re sick and tired of the opportunities (or really the lack of them) that are out there for your family
  • the idea of financial freedom and independence is something that excites you because it means you’ll have more time for the people and projects that matter most to you

These are all situations where having a flexible financial plan makes sense. The trouble is that financial plans seem complicated, unattainable, and well, boring. 

Here’s the thing – you can create one that reflects you. Your situation, your priorities, and your goals.

Kiersten and Julien from Rich and Regular are on the show to share some thoughtful points and stories from their new book Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away.

It offers a framework and path based on key principles in financial independence and retiring early on how to build your family’s finances in a way that opens up options.

In today’s episode, we get into:

  • Why money matters and how to use it in a meaningful way for your family
  • The challenges and triumphs of changing financial habits and mindset
  • Aligning your finances to your priorities

You can listen to or download the episode here or read the edited transcript below.

Hope you enjoy!

Resources for Families Interested in Financial Independence

If you're looking to get ahead with your finances as a family, here are some resources to check out!

Join Our Thriving Families Community on Facebook to chat with other families and swap tips and stories about working towards financial independence.

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

As a credit union, Coastal serves its members first including an annual loyalty bonus.

We've been members for years and love their service and competitive rates on checking and savings accounts!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit with an IRA is you get to choose how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start to finish – for FREE. Yes, that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

Financial Freedom By Cashing Out

Elle Martinez: Last time I chatted with Kiersten Julian on the podcast, we talked about real estate investing. One of the things I immediately appreciated was how they gave an honest account about the pros and cons of managing a property.

One of my goals on this podcast is to be honest about family finances so you can be better prepared.

With their book cashing out. Julian and Kiersten take a similar approach. Yes, it does address the mechanics of financial independence and freedom. But they don't discuss finance in a vacuum. There are a lot of ties into the real world. And that struggle of juggling all your different goals, taking care of your kids. And in some cases, helping out your parents.

That's actually how the book begins. Both of them had a parent get hit with a health crisis. That opened up their perspective about so many things including believe it or not money.

Kiersten and Julien Saunders: Those particular stories that we share are not just personal, but I think there's stories that a lot of people, especially working professionals deal with. I also think, unfortunately as one of those things that just continues to catch people by surprise.

Especially when you're parents, you are so like head down focused on your children. You kind of forget to think that your parents are aging, as well. As the age, they tend to have these health challenges that don't just disrupt their lives. They disrupt your life as well. Depending on their situation, you could impact how you spend your money, right?

It was really just a wake up call for us. In Kirsten's case, it was her father being a hit with cancer. In my case, it was my mom facing some pretty intense blood pressure issue and she wasn't quite able to kind of solve it. The good news is they both have got over the hump.

As we started thinking about that and asking them questions, what we really learned was that like, they come to what to do, right? Like they weren't surprised by any of this stuff. And it's not to say that they're bad people or that they irresponsible. I think what it really does is it just highlights that this is kind of, part of the human experience is certainly a part of American culture.

In many cases, we know what to do when it comes to money. We know that we're actually spending more. We know we should probably be asking certain questions, but all of the other parts of life kind of get in the way. And as a result, you kind of end up in a sticky situation. We just thought that there was an interesting parallel and something that a lot of people could actually identify with.

And so sharing that story we hope that people can kind of see themselves in that situation as well.

Family Finances Is More than Just the Numbers

Elle Martinez: I know reading it. I definitely connected with what they were saying. I mentioned before that during the pandemic, my mom moved Raleigh.

She wanted to be closer to the grand babies and us. Because she has respiratory and other health issues. I was the one physically out there with her real estate agent house hunting.

Thankfully we found the place within her budget not far from us. This decision in turn affects us and that we can drop off the girls for overnight stays with her. So again, Uh, family and finances are so much more connected than we realize. That's what I loved about the book.

It does take you through how to create a financial plan and have this vision. But the reality is finances, it's all in context. What's going on with your kids? What's going on with your parents. You have to have a certain amount of flexibility. 'cause you never know when you're going to get thrown a curve ball.

Another big moment I had while reading. Was seeing how their parents made significant changes with their habits. With both cases, a health issue was the motivation to get them to what they already knew they should be doing. With finances. It can be a bit of the same mentality. Change can be hard, especially if you're doing something significant, like working towards financial freedom or independence.

I was curious about how Julien and Kiersten themselves handled it.

Kiersten Saunders: I think for me, it was two of them because I'm in the camp of people who have always focused on income. And so earning money has never really been my challenge where I encountered challenges where some of them. That you're talking about now and then just the overall financial habits that I had.

My first one was unlearning the habit of always looking for validation from my friends and family. I would decide that something was a good idea. I would feel confident about and something like index funds or setting up a 529 for my son.

Then I go and tell people and I'd be really excited about it and they would come and express their doubts. I would take that as the idea of being less credible. So I had to unlearn the habit of seeking validation. Now I can share, and I really don't care if they agree or not, because I've already put this what I'm doing.

The second habit that I had to unlearn was my endless optimism. Not allowing me to save for things that I know inevitably would happen in the future. So it was more of a savings mindset. I think I thought of savings as like the absence of income. And so I was a good with an emergency fund, but I wasn't saving for things that would inevitably happen.

Needing new tires, needing to replace a refrigerator needing, like all the bad things that you can just don't account for that your goods and products don't last forever. You're going to need to replace these things.

As I started thinking about saving as money that I'm going to spend later, it became much easier to actually set aside for the things that I know I want to do. Take vacations. Update my wardrobe. So that's been hard for me to change, but that I've worked on.

Pursuing Financial Freedom in a Broken System

Julien Saunders: I'm in a similar boat. I actually had to confront my own issues with optimism. But mine wasn't necessarily around a habits. It was really around the workplace. I was very optimistic. You know, feel really good about the company or the department or company culture kind of based on some of these big splashy diversity messages.

I would always feel like change was coming. And I always felt like, things were just on the up and up and we were not going to be our parents' generation.

Then, life happens right? Really no different. It happens both outside of work and happens inside of work. And he starts to see and get confronted with things that you really have to do. I think for me, it was a huge reconciliation of uncomfortable truths.

The uncomfortable truth was that we'll be looking at the broader set of economic factors that were impacting the black community many of the those have not changed since the 1960s. So with respect to home ownership rates, like the same percentage of black people in the United States own a home today as they did in 19, in 1968.

There were studies that were coming out in the late 2010s that were talking about the pace of black wealth or median black wealth, which was actually slated to be zero by the year 2053.

Again, these were numbers that were slated prior to the pandemic. When you factor in the loss of homes, loss of income and all of these other things, it's pretty safe to assume at this rate, that things are actually going to accelerate that median wealth will be zero for the typical black family far sooner than 2053.

Very few people, wake up, wanting to talk about those things, but we really had to confront those things and say, all right, what does that mean for us? What are the likelihood that corporate America will continue to fail miserably at creating equality at paying people fairly for the work that they do and so on.

The effort for us, kind of all culminated Figuring out a way to ensure that we protect our finance to wellbeing and figuring out the way that we protect our relationship and our family in the event that history repeats itself.

Elle Martinez: Yeah. Honestly, it's frustrating in sad. This past spring, I was invited to speak on an online panel for mothers working to improve their family finances. And I looked at some similar data that Julian had mentioned. And I think this brings up a good point.

When we're talking about money. We cannot just focus on our immediate needs or immediate family, but look at the bigger picture in context.

This can help us to have more meaningful conversations about things that do need to change, but then also, how do we need to adjust our family finances to deal with the reality of the situation?

Why You Need Your Own Financial Plan

Elle Martinez: Every family is going to be different with what you're dealing with, what challenges you face. That's why personal finance isn't a one size fits all approach.

It's great to get information online and in books and podcasts like this, but just understand that this is just one piece of the puzzle. You really have to tailor it for your specific circumstances.

For example, in our family, we have two different cultures. Initially we didn't even consider this. But from there, we have different expectations about certain circumstances. For example, when our parents get older, what's going to happen.

And these are ongoing discussions. We try to be respectful and understand where each other's coming from, but that doesn't mean there aren't moments of some tension, some friction. That we have to work on until we find a compromise we're both happy with.

And we shouldn't feel like we need to avoid or kind of tiptoe around these difficult and maybe awkward conversations. In fact, this is an opportunity for real growth.

With our marriage and finances, they both improved. We were more honest and open about money and how we feel about certain things in the situation.

And yes, it does take time to work out a solution that you're both happy with. But it makes it more meaningful and it keeps both of you on the same page and on the same side.

I'm always curious about how other families handle their finances. So I had to ask Kiersten in Julian, how they approach their finances and talk about it.

Kiersten Saunders: I would say we're probably on a monthly cadence. Depends on the month. Sometimes as bi-weekly, when we're talking about the numbers associated with them.

A lot of times we're talking around money, we're talking about the larger factors that contribute to the way that we earn or the way that we spend. Those conversations are happening almost daily. We're talking about, the ads that we're seeing, we're talking about how credit cards are now positioning debt and new and innovative ways and how these new financial institutions are creating. Concepts that are really just old concepts you know, change names.

And so we're always talking about money and then we probably look at our personal finances bi-weekly or monthly on a regular basis.

I'll say we've never been lazier with respect to budgeting the name. I feel like that's a bit of an earned privilege. You just reach a certain point where so many of these things become Muslim or just flat out on a wearable.

I'm sure there's some, there are savings opportunities that we could uncover if we were to dive back into the budget, but to Kirsten's point, we're very fortunate in that a lot of these problems or challenges that we face are whatever my pop-up can be solved through income.

And so the business that we have and the position has allowed us to to tackle that problem by focusing in, on another part of the equation.

Yeah, it's an interesting, I'd never really thought about it. So you asked that question, but it is a by-product of not being under the fixed cadence of every other week.

I get a paycheck and it's the same amount. And I got to figure out how to pay the bills that I have within this month, within this fixed amount. We now understand that our upside, our earning potential is basically unlimited.

When we anticipate that there will be higher expenses, we've been turn up the income dial. When we anticipate that the income dial isn't doing what it's supposed to do, then we can turn down the expenses, but it's a very fluid relationship. I would argue to Julie's point. It is an earned privilege of being a business owner.

Better Conversations Around Money

Elle Martinez: Yeah; And if there was a time or reason to pay attention to your finances, I think these past two years were it. If you were making great progress with your finances before the pandemic hit. You were typically in a better position to have more leverage and make decisions that were best for your family.

Unfortunately, if you were just starting off your financial journey. From conversations with friends, family, and some of you in the community. It really was difficult. You almost felt like you were forced into these situations.

It literally was a matter of we're living paycheck to paycheck, and I need to take care of the necessities and take care of my family.

Many times on the podcast I say money is not the goal, but it's a useful tool. And I hope you see it that way. We shouldn't be chasing a particular number, but really looking at, ‘Okay. If I have my finances in a good spot. What are the options that I have to help me make better choices for my family?

Again, it loops back to having better conversations about money, making them more meaningful and deeper, focusing on your values and priorities and also consider what's going on with your day to day.

Julien Saunders: It's something that we actually talk about pretty regularly. Even within the black community, there's a lot of diversity that a lot of. I think people don't even really acknowledge this.

What I mean by that is while I do identify as black culturally identify as Caribbean and specifically I'm from Jamaica, which brings it's entirely different set of nuance conversations and beliefs.

And in some cases, even languages and approaches to managing money and respect and caring for elders and all of those things that Kiersten proves family is mostly from the south, from Texas. She didn't have any of those challenges. Right.

Then on top of that, you have the fact that we both come from two different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So she comes from an upper middle class, a dual household earning family. Whereas I come from a working class, borderline working poor single income family. I was raised by my mom for the most part. And so there's a lot of backstory there that obviously influences how we are in how we think about our lives.

But when we even look at our lives today we financially support my mom. She's sort of built into the budget. We've gone to the extent of bringing her closer to us so that she could have a better quality of life and such now. I see our son, her best friend only grandson. As often as she wants, she can pick them up from daycare.

She can come back for dinner, she can hang out with us on the weekends and she's literally just five minutes away. But that doesn't mean that it's always rosy, right?

Like it very much, it's still a part, a point of tension, just being honest. It's something that I struggle with because again, We know that we would just pull back just a little bit, right, and invest that money. We could expedite potential plan. So we could really put that money to, to other uses.

But having had a lot of conversations with people elders, mentors, it's one of those things that I think is truly priceless. So right now we categorize it as giving our son, the benefit of building experiences with his grandparents, which is something that we did not have.

I have entire sets of grandparents that I'd never even met, whereas our son has met his great-grandmother. We have video of that. We have video of his, Grandmother and great-grandmother being there at the moment he was born.

So all of these different things to take trips and, you know there are financial implications to it now, but I think in our book of our family, it's considered money well spent.

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and becoming financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on AppleSpotify, or Audible.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee!

Kids and Money: How to Teach Them About Bank and Investing Accounts

Want to help your kids get comfortable and confident with managing their money? Today we’ll talk about giving them a head start by opening up bank and investing accounts with them!

Helping Your Teen Open a Bank Account and Invest

Do you remember your first bank account? I think I was in 6th grade and there was a program with a local bank where they would come in every two weeks or so and open up a school branch in the library. 

Different grades were assigned a time slot and if your parents had opened an account for you, you could go in to deposit, withdraw, or just check the balance. 

It was super basic, but let me tell you, everyone was excited. Why? Because it was their money. 

Later when I started working, my mom and I went to her credit union – she’s a teacher – and I opened my checking account. 

Each paycheck, I set aside something for savings, something for my checking, and kept the rest for fun. 

These early lessons didn’t involve a ton of money or anything complicated, but they gave me confidence when it came to finances. 

Earlier this year we had an episode about essential financial lessons to pass on to your kids. 

This time I want to move a bit forward from those initial conversations to giving them tools to practice their financial skills such as having a bank and investing account. 

Today we’ll dive into how to help your kids become financially savvy.

In this episode, we’ll dive into:

  • Why your kid should have a bank account and when to get them started
  • Three types of accounts you can use to help your kid get started with investing
  • Essential investment lessons to pass on

Hope you enjoy it!

Resources to Teach Your Kids About Money

If you're looking for ideas and resources to prepare your kids to be money-savvy, here are some to check out! 

If you want to chat some more about creating better money habits, questions, or share your own tips please join us over at Thriving Families on Facebook.

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

As a credit union, Coastal serves its members first including an annual loyalty bonus.

We've been members for years and love their service and competitive rates on checking and savings accounts!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit with an IRA is you get to choose how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start-to-finish – for FREE. They handle the process from start-to-finish, and yes that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and becoming financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on AppleSpotify, or Audible.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee!

Photos by mentatdgt and Monstera

House Hunting: Tips to Buy a Home in a Seller’s Market

It's house hunting season, which can be an exciting and yes, stressful time. Living in a sellers market, it can seem like an incredible challenge.

Today we'll go over how to financially prepare and give you a map on finding a place that you love that's still within your budget!

Home Buying Tips for a Hot Market

If you’re thinking of buying a house, you have to be prepared. Besides being a huge purchase, you have rising interest rates and hot markets that can make it difficult to find a place you love that’s still affordable.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or it’s been awhile since you’ve had to house hunt, I want to lift some of the burden.

Today I’ll give you a high-level view of the buying process so you’ll have an idea of what to expect along with some tips and resources to keep you on track with your big financial picture. 

In this episode, we’ll dive into:

  • Ways you can prepare your finances 
  • What to look for during the house hunt so you’re finding a hidden gem and not a money pit
  • Explain what to consider with your offer and the closing process

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started! 

Resources on Buying a House

If you’re looking to buy, here are some resources to help you find an affordable place you love!

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

See how Coastal can help you with your mortgage needs!

Rollover Your 401(k) Easily with Capitalize

We’re grateful for wonderful partners like Capitalize. Not only do they support the podcast, but they help make managing your money so much easier. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that there are currently over 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts? In fact, the average American changes jobs every 4 years

And because of the Great Resignation, you or someone you know might be changing jobs even more 

It’s an extreme case of out of sight and out of mind. Is your old 401(k) in there somewhere, left behind at a job you're no longer with?

One huge benefit with an IRA is you get to choose how your money is invested, not your old employer. 

If you want to consolidate your old 401(k) and have more options with how you invest, it may be time to roll them over into an IRA.  

With Capitalize, they handle the process from start-to-finish – for FREE. They handle the process from start-to-finish, and yes that includes calling the 401(k) provider on your behalf. 

Find out how and get started today

Before You House Hunt, Get Your Finances in a Good Spot

Even before you start shopping around for a lender or real estate agent. Take some time to run the numbers and review your finances. Verify that you can handle this transition to homeownership.

I know interest rates are rising, so there's this temptation to jump in and get started as fast as possible, but it really does pay off for you to sit down and use those mortgage calculators online to get an idea of what you can comfortably afford.

Budget Beyond the Mortgage

Besides the mortgage, you need to include in your budget home insurance, property tax, and maintenance costs. Knowing those numbers puts you in a better spot when you do shop around for lenders.

So, how do you find lenders? The first time we bought a house, we used a mortgage broker who compared different lenders.

The second time we did a little more legwork on our own scouring online and we went with our credit union Coastal since they not only had great rates but they offered some discounts with their Daymark Realty team.

It is a bit of work upfront. But you can significantly save money.

As you're shopping around, make sure you're not just looking at the lenders, but that you also are looking at the right mortgage option for you. If you don't have a significant down payment.

There are different loan programs like FHA, VA, and USDA that can make it easier to buy. Weigh the pros and cons of each of these to make sure that you qualify for them and that they work for you.

Pre-approved Versus Getting Pre-qualified

I do want to clarify two terms. You want to get pre-approved versus getting pre-qualified. Pre-approval means the lender went over your numbers and told you how much you qualify for with borrowing. Versus a prequalification was, is just an estimate.

If you're in a seller's market where you have to move fast, you definitely want to have that preapproval letter.

As you talk with your lender, they're going to give you their rates and numbers. But you still want to make sure that what they say you qualify for is what you feel comfortable with.

You can also start shopping around for a real estate agent. Ask for recommendations from people who not only bought a home, but they're happy with it. Also interview your agents, see how knowledgeable they are about the area, the market, and how effective they've been for their clients.

Now, with those pieces in place, you have a lender. And you have your agent. You can now go house hunting, feeling comfortable that your finances are in a good spot.

The House Hunt

While you're working with your lender on getting pre-approved and you're trying to find a real estate agent. This is also a good time to sit down and figure out. What are your priorities for the house that you want to buy?

What type of house, first of all, are you looking for. Are you going with a single-family, condo, or townhouse?

Do you want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA? What size house would make you most comfortable? If you have a yard, how big do you want it? Or do you even want a yard and have that maintenance?

What distance from work are you looking for? Or if you have kids, how far away do you want to be from their school?

Talking about and defining your must-haves is incredibly helpful for your real estate agent because then they can tailor their search for what you need. They can also temper your expectations about what you can find in the area for your budget. We have an entire episode where I interviewed Coastal's vice president of real estate, Louis gamma.

And he broke down how to go about your house hunt so that you can find neighborhoods that are hidden gems. And that checkoff a lot of things on your list while still keeping you on your budget. I'll include a link in the show notes.

As you're going through this house hunt. I just want to tell you. Sometimes that is an apt description, especially if you're in a hot market. It can be chaotic with other buyers competing for a limited amount of homes. As you're going through the houses and places and taking these tours. You'll start noticing. That certain things on your list are going to get adjusted.

There may be priorities you felt were must-haves. That moved down on that list and vice versa. Where there's something you thought that wasn't such a big deal, but when you're in that space, in that house, you realize that it's very important to you. That's normal.

This actually happened with my mom when she was buying a house here in Raleigh in 2020. She had a list. She had prepared her must haves and want to have, but as we were looking at different properties in the area, Things got adjusted and shifted.

It seemed a little stressful at the time, making these adjustments. But it worked out to her favor because now she's in a home that she loves and it has all the main features that she wanted.

Just make sure you're not sacrificing too much just to buy a house. I would hate for you to be in a home that you don't like with the 15 or 30 year mortgage. Ideally, you want to find a place that has all your must haves in a neighborhood that you love.

When you do find that spot. You can then put in your offer.

Putting In Your Offer and The Closing

All right. Let's talk a bit about the offer. You may include contingencies with your offer. Meaning certain things have to be fulfilled such as a home inspection. Financing selling your existing home or appraisal.

Depending on the market, you may decide to waive some of those contingencies, but please be aware of the potential downsides of that.

Personally with how large a purchase. This is, I'd keep the inspection and appraisal.

How much should you offer? This is where you want to work with your real estate agent and why it's so important to interview them beforehand. You want someone knowledgeable so that they'll have the information about what's selling in the area and give you recommendations on what's more likely to be accepted.

In a competitive market, it can be emotionally exhausting because you have so many sellers. Making multiple offers on a few homes. When I was helping my mom out with buying her house, that was the situation. We saw quite a bit of homes we put in offers and yes, there was a temptation at one point to break the budget because of the timing.

Of her going back to work in the fall. But with some patience and diligence, she thankfully found a wonderful home in a fantastic neighborhood. So if you're buying any sellers market, Please don't get discouraged. If your first offers aren't accepted.

When you put in an offer. You're also going to be putting in some money upfront. It's known as earnest money deposit. Some people call it good faith deposit.

Basically, you're signaling to the seller that you're serious about buying this money will be held in an escrow account and we'll go towards your down payment or closing costs.

It's there as a protection. If the buyer falls through on their end. The seller gets to keep that money. However, if one of the contingencies in your offer happens, let's say the home inspection failed. You'd get that earnest money back.

Now let's say the seller accepted your offer. Now, what? Typically, this is where things like your home inspection and appraisals happen.

A home inspection lets you see if there are any major issues with the house and an appraisal is for your lender to verify that home is worth the loan.

Some needed repairs may come up during inspection. Depending on that market and whether or not you waive those contingencies. You may or may not be able to negotiate on the price.

In the meantime, your agent's going to be assisting in getting the paperwork prepared for closing. This can include things like checking the property title. So make sure you're in contact with them. So if they need anything from you, you can quickly get that to them.

Assuming everything goes smoothly, you'll get a closing disclosure from your lender, telling you how much you need to have ready. You and your agent will do a final walkthrough of the house you're buying. Then it's closing day.

Just a heads up, expect a lot of paperwork. The good news though, is that your agent and the attorney there should be able to walk you through step-by-step with everything. Ask any questions you need to and have before you sign.

Finally, we get to the best part. Getting your keys and moving into your new home. There you have it.

If you're a first-time home buyer, it might seem a lot. But once you have a place that you love. You know, what's worth it.

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, here are some ways to support it.

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and becoming financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on AppleSpotify, or Audible.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee!

Photo by Daniel Frank

Helping families with kids find the right path and pace to financial independence that fits them

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