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The Best Cars for Frugal Folks #089

How much are you spending on your car? Aside from housing, Americans spend more money on cars and transportation costs than any other category, accounting for 14% of the average budget. That’s $9,000 annually according to the US Consumer Expenditure Survey but it could be a lot less! Luckily, some cars cost WAY less than others to purchase and maintain, and in this episode we make some car recommendations for frugal folks. During this episode we enjoyed a Bitter by FORM Fermentery and...


Ask HTM - Side Hustle Apps, Multiple Roth IRAs, and Collecting Rent #088

This week on the pod we’re answering your questions! 1 - Is it possible to create a side hustle using the different grocery or exercise apps that promise to pay? 2 - Should I diversify and have more than one Roth IRA account? 3 - As a highschool teacher preparing my students for the real world, what personal finance topics should I be sure to include? 4 - What are the best methods for accepting rent? 5 - What are some ways to cut the cost of cosmetics? And if you have a question for us,...


Slashing Your Monthly Utility Bills #087

Every month we waste a lot of money on utility bills that could be back in our pockets if we would only be more intentional about making our homes more energy efficient. Not only could we save more money now, but there is massive potential for what that money could grow into if we invested it every month - don’t forget the rule of 173! Regardless of whether you’re renting an apartment or living in your own house, listen as we discuss lots of different ways that you can cut your water, gas,...


Elevating the Everyday and Paying Off 200k with Kiersten and Julien Saunders #086

Is it possible to pay down $200,000 of debt while living in a big city, and still find enjoyment in everyday life? Yes! In this episode we’re lucky enough to sit down with Kiersten and Julien Saunders who blog at where they document their journey to financial independence. During this episode we hear from Kiersten and Julien about the unique struggles of African Americans in the corporate world, how they stayed motivated to pay down debt, their approach to effective...


Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche Approach To Paying Down Debt #085

What is the best way to pay down debt? Americans are in tremendous amounts of debt (think over 400 billion on just credit cards alone)! Not only is this debt keeping folks from reaching their financial goals, but it’s also taking a toll on the mental health of borrowers. Knowing the best strategy to get out of this debt is a big deal and could be the difference between living paycheck to paycheck or achieving financial freedom. Listen as we cover both approaches so you can decide which is...


Ask HTM - Annuities vs. Life Insurance, Improving Credit Scores, and Robo Advisors #084

This week on the pod we’re answering your questions! 1 - What’s the difference between annuities and life insurance? 2 - Ways to improve my credit score after a chapter 7 bankruptcy? 3 - Robo advisors: are they too good to be true? 4 - Should I open a college savings account for my toddler? 5 - What kind of equipment do you use to record the podcast? And if you have a question for us, we’d love for you to submit your own via During this episode we enjoyed a Bio-Rhythm by...


The Beauty of the Roth IRA #083

We think it’s a great decision for almost everyone to invest in a Roth IRA. Second only to an employer matched 401k, a Roth IRA is very often the best retirement savings vehicle due to tax advantages and flexibility within that account. Listen as we cover some of the reasons we’re huge fans of the Roth IRA. During this episode we enjoyed a Superior BarleyLime by tripelroot - a big thanks to Heather for donating this delicious beer to the show! And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to...


Overcoming Poverty, Achieving Financial Independence, and Intentional Living with Jillian Johnsrud #082

It’s time to dispel the myth that you need to have a huge salary, or that you need to work and save for decades, in order to eventually retire. This week we’re excited to hear from Jillian Johnsrud as she shares with us how she became financially independent at the age of 32, despite her and her husband never making more than 60k a year. We cover how they paid cash for their first house, how they continue to save and invest with 5 kids at home, as well as the importance of their "quit list"...


Saving Big on Car and Home Insurance #081

For most people car and home insurance policies are expected, necessary costs of owning those things. Because we automatically set up these policies, we tend to forget to continually shop them around- which may mean we’re significantly overpaying! Loyalty with a particular insurer doesn’t save you money over the years so continually shopping your provider is one of the best ways to get your rates down. Listen as we cover several other ways to save big on car and home insurance, plus we...


Ask HTM - Saving For Real Estate, Legit Car Wrapping, And Investing With Student Loans #080

This week on the pod we’re answering your questions! 1 - Where should I keep money that I’m saving for a down payment for real estate? 2 - Should I be investing in my retirement while I still have student loan debt? 3 - When should I consider selling my clunker and buying a ‘new’ car? 4 - Is wrapping your car in ads a legit way to make money? 5 - What are some ways to save money while on the road touring with my band? And if you have a question for us, we’d love for you to submit your own...


What Every Renter Needs To Know #079

There are a host of reasons why renting a place instead of buying might be a great idea for you (we even dedicated an entire episode to the topic!). But when it comes to renting and entering into a lease agreement with a landlord, you want to make sure that you’re prepared and taking the proper steps to protect yourself. Listen as we cover everything from Wall Street landlords to negotiating leases to the low cost of renters insurance. During this episode we both enjoyed a Russell Kelly...


Money, Van Life, and Alternative Living with Life Opted Out #078

What kind of life do you really want to lead? Does consumption and stuff dictate your life more than you’d like? It is so important to examine your own life to discover the small changes you can make right now to give you more freedom to do the things that truly matter most to you. For this interview, we sat down with Chris and Cristi from Life Opted Out to talk about how and why they chose to leave a life they loved in NYC for a much simpler, more affordable life traveling the country in...


The Truth About Debt Consolidation #077

US households owe a total of $420 billion in credit card debt so it’s no surprise that everyone is looking for an easy solution. Debt consolidation (and debt settlement) companies offer a quick fix but they often cost you a lot, wreck your credit score, and they may even completely scam you without performing any of the promised work. Rather than consolidation and settlement companies, consider the sure route- ‘manually’ consolidating your own debt and, if needed, utilizing loan companies...


Making Working More Optional with $Pro Tanja Hester #076

Do you feel comfortable with the expectations of your job and the number of hours you work? Or do you sense impending burnout with the constant demands and grueling schedule required of you? This week's $Pro, Tanja Hester, is here to talk about how to begin making your job a smaller part of your life. Her first step to achieve this is saving up just enough money to shift that power imbalance that you may feel with your boss, and give you confidence and bargaining power. We will also cover...


How Much Do Kids Really Cost? #075

Even though the federal government published a report that determined the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $233,000- that doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend that much! When calculating how much YOU will spend on a child, start by asking yourself: what are my current expenses? Because really the best indicator of how much you’ll spend on your kids is how much money you are already spending on yourself. The cost of children will be an extension of your values and what you’re...


Front Loading the Sacrifice with $Pro Doc G #074

It's always encouraging to be reminded that the hard work you're putting in and the sacrifices you're making now can mean a much smoother ride in the future when it comes to your personal finances. Our $Pro this week, Doc G, is here to discuss the compounding effects of extra work, saving, and investing early on. Even if you're not so young, this episode is a call to get started now- not next month or next year- get your money in order today! During this episode we each enjoyed an...


Escape Living Paycheck To Paycheck #073

Nearly 80% of Americans wouldn’t be able to pay their bills if they missed a paycheck. When you’re used to living paycheck to paycheck, the idea of setting aside some extra money is almost laughable. How do you even consider setting financial goals when every dollar you make is already going somewhere necessary? In this episode we talk through how to choose to set goals regardless of your financial situation. The goal of an emergency fund for some breathing room and financial cushion is the...


Stop Buying New Stuff with $Pro Katy Wolk-Stanley #072

Rampant consumerism and consumption is becoming the norm, and this is partly due to the fact that it is so easy to make purchases online. $Pro Katy Wolk-Stanley is challenging that notion by refusing to buy new stuff, and instead, she’s prioritizing her goals and values when it comes to consumption. Free piles of stuff on the sidewalk and your local Buy Nothing group can be great, but they’re not the only way to drastically cut back. Listen as we’re challenged by Katy and as we seek to save...


Getting Great Customer Service #071

Working hard for money isn't a foreign concept, but working hard to receive good customer service often is- we so rarely advocate for ourselves! The first step when you're looking for great customer service is to be sure to do business with a reputable company. After that, there are plenty of additional elements to consider to not only save you money, but allow you to walk away from a transaction completely satisfied and raving about how great of an experience you had when you needed...


Cutting College Costs with $Pro Cody Berman #070

The cost of college is higher than ever. On average, students today are paying 213% more to go to college than their parents paid 30 years ago (and that includes adjustment for inflation!). $Pro Cody Berman is with us this week to discuss finding smart and creative ways to cut college costs, so that graduates can launch their professional careers unhampered by massive student loans. So whether you're in school, considering going back, or have kids - listen to hear some advice on ways to cut...