United States

Real and uncensored. Hosts Paula Pant and J. Money dive into chasing the dream and creating financial independence. They rap about net worth, investing, real estate, killing debt, budgeting, business, entrepreneurship, saving money and how to be a hustler. Grab a beer, put your spreadsheets away, and get ready to retire early.


#069: Ask Paula - The Real Estate Edition  

So many Afford Anything listeners have great questions about real estate investing. That's why this episode of Ask Paula is dedicated to answering them.

Our first question comes from Ade, who has $25,000 to invest in real estate and lives in the Bay Area. Understandably, he's thinking of investing out-of-state, and wants to know if Atlanta is still a good city to invest in. Where can the best deals be found?

Krystina lives and has four rentals in Vermont, but she's sick of the cold. She's thinking of selling the properties and moving elsewhere. She asks: if you had to start over, where would you buy and what type of property would you buy?

The next question comes from Kayla, who wants to know how to report rental income on your taxes when you also live in the property. Are there any tax implications to be aware of?

Claire is relocating to California, and is curious to know if she's better off renting, or if she should max out her mortgage loan potential and buy a house that has a detached garage she can rent out to cover the increased mortgage.

Our next question comes from a listener with a paid-off rental who also has an Airbnb on her property. Nice! But, she has a $160,000 mortgage on her own house. She has $30,000 in the bank and wants to know: should she put it toward her mortgage, or use it to buy another property?

Our last question comes from Katie, who's eyeing a vacation rental in one of her favorite destinations. Does it sound like a good idea? And how can she estimate the cap rate (and her expenses) without a ton of information on the property?

We dive into these topics - and more - in today's episode. Enjoy!

To be included in Paula's Real Estate Course, click on the link in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode69


#068: Ask Paula - How to Invest Your Tax Refund, Save for College, and Avoid Massive Pitfalls  

My buddy Joe Saul-Sehy, host of the Stacking Benjamins podcast, joins me this week for another episode of "Ask Paula (and Joe!)" -- in which we workshop through questions that came from you, the Afford Anything community.

This week, Joe and I answer questions such as:

- I'm getting a $2,500 tax refund. Should I use this to invest, repay debt, or upgrade my home?
- I'm debt-free (except a reasonable mortgage) and maxing out my retirement accounts. What else should I be doing?
- I've started savings accounts for my two daughters, ages 3 and 6, so that they can access this money for big-ticket expenses when they're young adults. How should I invest this money?
- I'm interested in socially responsible investing. What specific funds should I look at?
- What's your opinion of high-dividend ETFs?
- What's your opinion of using whole life insurance as a 'creative' wealth-building strategy?


-- Paula

P.S. If you'd like to ask a question for a future episode, leave a voicemail here.

#067: Ask Paula -- How to Care for Aging Parents, Buy a Car, and Organize a Business  

It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's time to answer questions from the Afford Anything community.

Our first question comes from a caller in a tough spot: Her mother-in-law is 66 years old. She's divorced, holds no retirement savings, and will only receive a tiny Social Security check. Her health is worsening, and she'll need to step away from work shortly. The caller wants to help her mother-in-law ... but how?

Our second question comes from Erin, a listener who's moving to California and needs to buy a car. She's new to the world of car-buying, and wants to know how she can get a great deal. What red flags should she watch out for?

Our third question comes from Hong, a 32-year-old mother of two who's interested in early retirement. She's thinking about saving money in a 401k until she maximizes her employer match, then switching to a Traditional IRA, and then switching back to saving in her 401k. Should she pursue this strategy? How can she maximize her tax advantages?

Our fourth question comes from John, who wants to know what I've learned from building an online course. He's contemplating creating one of his own.

Finally, I answer a question from Adalia, who wants to know if my online business and real estate business are structured as part of the same company, or operated as two separate entities. She asks if I can talk about how I made my business structuring decisions.

Have a question? Record it from your smartphone or computer. Go to http://affordanything.com/voicemail and leave a short message.

#066: Take Radical Responsibility for Your Life -- a Breakfast Chat with 26-Year-Old Millionaire Emma Pattee  

You know that rare moment when you meet someone with whom you connect *instantly*?

I felt that way when I met Emma Pattee, the 26-year-old millionaire and mini-real-estate-mogul who joins me on today's episode.

Emma and I share similar stories: we're both young female artists and entrepreneurs who figured out that wealth is a tool for creating the freedom that allows us to live on our own terms.

We both hustled harder than words can describe, living and breathing our commitment to breaking free from the trading-time-for-money cycle. We refused to accept the defaults that were handed to us. We viewed our investments as a way to create a more sustainable, meaningful life.

We rejected the limiting belief that a creative, meaningful life is somehow more 'pure' when it's lived in scarcity and deprivation. We embraced abundance. We asked "how can I create this?" We viewed every problem as inherently solve-able. We took responsibility for everything that crossed our paths.

Most critically, we decided that we weren't going to let any excuses hold us back.

We accepted radical responsibility for our own lives. We wouldn't allow ourselves to get trapped in a victim mindset, a comparison ("they-have-it-easier!") mindset, or an external-factors-are-holding-me-back mindset.

I rarely meet people who have committed to the inner work of internalizing these lessons. Emma is one of those rare people.

And that's why I'm excited to share our breakfast conversation with you.

I hope you enjoy this episode. And to paraphrase Seth Godin, more importantly, I hope this episode spurs you to take action.

Lots of love,


#065: How to Improve Your Relationship with Money  

I've always taken an approach to life that puts my freedom first.  My one and only 9-5 lasted only 3 years. Since then I've been self employed and built financial independence through rental real estate.

And while most see this podcast as being about money, it's really about a philosophy around life that is disguised as a finance blog and podcast.

Today I get real about this whole money thing. I hope you follow along the mental journey with me.

#064: Michael Kitces -- Your Mind is More Powerful Than Money  

Your potential is unlimited.

I realize that's the type of cliche that you normally find embossed in cursive script on the side of coffee mugs. It's trite and impersonal and overused.

But it's also true.

Your potential to earn and grow is limitless. But it's not free. You need to invest time and money into developing your potential.

Your time and money are limited, though, and you could also choose to invest in market-based assets, like stocks, bonds or real estate.

How do you make that decision?

Are you going to invest in yourself? Or the market? Or both -- and in what proportion?

How do you make these choices?

When you're buying a few shares of a total stock market index fund, you have a generally clear idea of what you're getting. You've seen the historic returns. You can predict, to a reasonable degree, the consequences of that investment over a multi-decade span.

But when you're investing in yourself -- e.g. learning a new skill, developing a side business, or taking a class -- you can't rely on the same formulas or models. There's no chart mapping the historic returns.

Financial capital is easy to track. Human capital is harder to quantify -- but potentially more rewarding.

Can you compare investing in assets vs. investing in yourself?

How can you make a smarter decision about your own path?

On today's podcast, I talk to Michael Kitces -- a financial planner, entrepreneur, and all-around smart guy -- about this million-dollar decision.

Find more helpful information at http://affordanything.com/episode64


#63: Ask Paula - Travel vs. Passive Income, Proximity in Real Estate Investing and Selling Off Properties  

It's the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means - another Ask Paula episode.

Our first question comes from Richard, who wants to know if he should focus on creating a travel fund or building passive income through real estate.

What did I do, and how did I manage to come back from my world travels and start building a real estate portfolio only a few years later?

The next question comes from Andrew. He's contemplating purchasing two houses on the cul-de-sac he lives on and then renting them out. He only plans on living in his current house for another five years, at which time he also wants to rent it out. Is he crazy? Would proximity give him an advantage?

Jennifer asks the next question. She and her husband owe $150,000 on a rental property in Portland, OR that's worth $350,000. Should they sell the house and buy more properties? What would I do with the equity in the property?

#062: Ask Paula - Q&A Featuring Special Guest Joe Saul-Sehy from Stacking Benjamins  

Joe Saul-Sehy, a former financial advisor and host of the Stacking Benjamins podcast, joins me to answer your questions in this bonus episode of Ask Paula.

Joe and I are goofballs; we tell PG-13 dirty jokes; we disagree on several answers, and we have a grand 'ol time. Hopefully you'll learn something, and you'll probably end up laughing along the way.

For a full list of questions and more about today’s episode, visit http://affordanything.com/episode62


#061: John Lee Dumas - From Small-Town Kid to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur  

Even though John wasn't never an entrepreneur at heart -- even though he didn't (yet) self-identify as an entrepreneur -- he decided to throw himself, full-force, into the one and only business idea he'd ever had.

Listen to John's story, in his own words, as he describes his journey from a small-town college kid to a successful 7-figure business owner.

For resources mentioned in this episode, go to http://affordanything.com/episode61

#060: Andrew Hallam (Part Two): The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School  

Andrew Hallam grew a million-dollar investment portfolio on a schoolteacher's salary by his mid-30's.

In his bestselling book, Millionaire Teacher, he describes these nine lessons in detail.

He shares these nine rules on this podcast, and his ideas are so substantive that -- for the first time -- I decided to release his interview as a two-part series.

In last week's episode, Andrew shared the first three rules of building wealth. This week, Andrew dives into the final six rules that can turn middle-class people into millionaires.

Here's a sneak peek:

    •    #1: Learn how to think and spend like a millionaire.
    •    #2: Start investing early. Time is your greatest investment ally.
    •    #3: Choose low-cost index funds. Small fees pack big punches.
    •    #4: Understand your inner psychology. Conquer the enemy in the mirror.
    •    #5: Learn how to build a balanced, responsible portfolio.
    •    #6: Create an indexed account, no matter where you live.
    •    #7: Don't resign yourself to taking this journey alone.
    •    #8: Inoculate yourself against slick sales rhetoric.
    •    #9: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

These rules may sound simple, but our discussion took an advanced turn. Andrew and I dive deep into thorny topics like hedge funds, casinos, and human psychology.

Enjoy this two-part series, and don't forget to check out Andrew's excellent book, Millionaire Teacher.

#059: Andrew Hallam: How I Became a Millionaire on a Teacher's Salary  

By his mid-30's, Andrew Hallam became a millionaire on a teacher's salary. He began by investing $100 a month upon advice given by a mechanic. Then he began saving nearly half his $28,000 teacher’s salary.

Andrew rode a bicycle 35 miles to work, found ways to avoid paying rent, and regularly ate pasta and potatoes as well as clams he picked himself for added protein.

In today's interview, Andrew shares that story.

Find more comprehensive details at http://affordanything.com/episode59

#058: Ask Paula -- Death, Taxes, Crushing Debt and Moving in with Mom  

Ashley is a single mom saving diligently for her 2-year-old son. What alternatives are there to 529s and brokerage accounts?

Julie and her husband invest quarterly. Should she try buying European equities when they are much cheaper due to Brexit?

Nicholas and his wife make too much money for a Roth IRA. Should hey do a backdoor Roth?

Melissa has money to save, invest, or pay down rentals. What’s her best option?


Find more in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode58

#057: Philip Taylor - Top 5 Financial Lessons PT Learned in the Past Decade  

Philip Taylor, aka PT, is one of the most well-connected guys in the personal finance world. He’s spent the past half-dozen years building tight relationships with some of the most influential authors and speakers in this space. Today he shares his top five money lessons learned over the past decade.

PT shared several tactical tips, including:

    •    Buy term life insurance, rather than whole life.
    •    Focus on low-cost investing, such as passively-managed index funds.
    •    Automate your savings.
    •    Focus on income growth.
    •    View frugality as a discipline. It’s not a means to an end; it’s a lifestyle and a core value.

For a full explanation of PT’s 5 takeaways, visit http://affordanything.com/episode57

#056: Billy Murphy - Expected Value, or What Professional Poker Taught Me About Running a 7-Figure Business  
Former professional Poker player Billy Murphy has an intriguing story.

He achieved financial independence at age 29, and he did this by applying a concept known as "expected value" to his online businesses.

In this episode, I chat with Billy about how expected value is more than just a formula; it’s a framework for how to evaluate your options; how to assess risk, reward, probability, and variance.

Let's back up a little. What is expected value? It’s the sum of all possible values for a variable, with each value multiplied by its probability of occurrence.

“Whaaaa? What does that mean?”

Here’s a simple example:
Imagine that you have a full-time job. You’ve also built a side business that’s earning $20,000 per year.

You’re trying to decide whether to stay in your full-time job vs. quit your job and focus on growing your side hustle into a full-time business.

You ask your two best friends for their opinion. One says, “that’s risky! What if you fail?” The other says, “you could become a millionaire! Whoa!”

You realize that both of those remarks are fueled by emotion and speculation. You want to make a more informed decision, so you decide to compare the ‘expected value’ (EV) of both options in Year One.

After assessing the market (e.g. studying customer demand, etc.) you determine that in your first year of running the business full-time, under best-case-scenario conditions, you could earn $250,000. There’s a lot of promise within your field; you calculate a one in four chance of this happening.

In worst-case-scenario conditions, you don’t make a dime of additional money; your business stagnates at its current income. There’s a lot of competition within your field; you assess that there’s also a one in four chance of this situation unfolding.

In middle-case-scenario conditions, you’d make around $100,000 per year. This is the most likely outcome, and you give it 50% odds.

What’s the expected value of diving full-time into this business?

EV of biz =

25% chance of earning $250k = $62,500
50% chance of earning $100k = $50,000
25% chance of earning $20k = $5,000

EV = $117,500

Okay, great. Next, what’s the expected value of staying at your current job?

EV of job = Salary + $20,000 in additional income

Of course, this is an over-simplified example, for the sake of illustration. Obviously, the decision gets more complex, because you need to account for future growth of your business — the 5-year outlook, the 10-year outlook — as well as future career growth potential within your 9-to-5 job. You’d also need to assess revenues vs. profit margins, etc., etc.

But this simple example illustrates the concept of using the expected value formula to inform your decision-making. Rather than just saying, “oh, that’s risky!” without any data, you can use EV as a starting point for a conversation about probability and risk.
The point is, when you're making a decision, your emotions and other people's opinions often override any rational thought you might have. Those emotions don't take risk or variance into consideration. Expected value does.

By running the numbers and identifying the worst-, mid-, and best-case scenarios, you can take calculated risks that have a higher likelihood of paying off.

Find out how Billy built a seven-figure business by applying this one incredible rule to his decision making process in this episode.


-- Paula

Resources Mentioned:
Billy's site, Forever Jobless
 Wikipedia - Expected Value


Find more about Billy Murphy and his podcast, Forever Jobless, in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/session56

#055: From Money Moron to Millionaire, with Scott Alan Turner  

Scott Alan Turner used to be a money moron. (In his words.)

He traded a Jeep for a Porsche in his 20s, purchased a 3,000 sq. ft. house with two mortgages, and bought luxury furniture on credit.

The Porsche cost him $800 per month. The house cost $200,000. The furniture? Who knows.

Scott didn't have a budget and never tracked his spending. He only knew that he could afford the monthly payments on these luxuries ... until one day he realized his mortgage was due in a few weeks.

And his bank account was rather empty.

And he didn't have an emergency fund.


Scott realized he was drowning in debt. So he decided to make a change.

He sold the Porsche and paid $6,500 cash for a truck.

He paid off his credit card.

He aggressively attacked the mortgage on his house.

Step-by-step, he made strides toward improving his financial future. After listening to Clark Howard on the radio, he realized it was important to free his money from the grip of debt and put it toward savings and retirement.
Once he got married, he sold his house and downsized to his wife's town home. They then downsized to a 1,000 sq. ft. rented house, and downsized once more to a 300 sq. ft. bedroom with his in-laws.

Throughout all of this downsizing, Scott kept saving money. He eventually saved enough to become a millionaire at age 35. Today he writes and speaks about personal finance full-time. He hosts the Financial Rock Star podcast. And he's stayed debt-free -- including mortgage-free -- since 2009.

How did he go from money moron - buying expensive cars and furniture - to disciplined saver?

He can answer that question in one word:

He doesn't need to buy more, because he's happy with what he already has.

Scott credits his frugality to feeling satisfied with his possessions, rather than running on a hedonistic treadmill of always wanting more.

While he still appreciates fine craftsmanship -- a gorgeous house, a designer car -- he realizes that he doesn't need to own luxury items. He can appreciate art and design without making a purchase. He prioritizes spending on his values: more time with friends and family; more life experiences. He doesn't spend to impress others, which is a losing game.

Discover Scott's fascinating philosophy on the link between frugality and contentment (and learn from his money mistakes!) in this episode.


-- Paula

For a full list of resources, or to leave a comment, visit http://affordanything.com/episode55

#054: Ask Paula - Automating Savings, Starting a Blog, Emergency Funds, Investing in Real Estate Confidently, and More  

It's the first Monday of the month, which means I'm fielding questions from the audience.

We start with a question from Nicole.

She's a new listener, and she's stuck in a confusing situation.

You see, Nicole is self-employed. She'd like to save a percentage of her income -- but she doesn't get regular paychecks. How can she automate her savings, when she doesn't know how much she'll make each month?

She asks a second question, as well.

Nicole has $15,000 in savings and wants to buy her first rental property. However, she's intimidated by the unknown market. What should her first steps be?

Next, we move to a question from podcast listener David. Should he invest his emergency fund?

David is contemplating putting his emergency savings in the Vanguard Immediate-Term Investment Grade Fund (VFICX). Is this a good idea?

Saul, another podcast listener interested in real estate investing, recently sold his home and has a decent chunk of change. Should he buy a 3 bed / 2 bath townhome with a small commercial space on the first floor? Or should he buy a duplex?

Podcast listener Albert is wondering: should he buy a home for himself, and rent it out a few years later? He'd like to travel and work remotely. What are the downsides to this idea? It can't be that easy ... right?

Finally, Abbey started a personal finance blog, and wants to know:

    When should she start promoting her blog?
    How much content should she write?
    Does she have to share her blog with her friends and family, or can she stay anonymous?
    Should she write about other things besides money and travel?

I tackle these questions in this month's edition of Ask Paula.


-- Paula

P.S.  Trying to make a decision? Ask your question at http://affordanything.com/voicemail

Resources Mentioned:

    Renting is Throwing Money Away...Right?
    Everything I Know About Blogging Condensed Into One Post
    Should You Invest in This Rental Property?


To view this information online, visit http://affordanything.com/episode54

#053: Live Q&A with Paula on Real Estate and Travel  

This episode is a little different.

Instead of interviewing a guest, this podcast episode is a recording of a recent talk I gave in Equador.

The audience wanted to know more about the context surrounding the decisions I've made regarding business, investing, and money.

In other words, why I've only spent three years of my life in a 9-5 job, and why I've dedicated so much of my time to travel.

There is a lot of real estate talk as I take Q&A from the audience, but the idea behind releasing this talk is for you to see how any investment can help you design your life around your values.

Money and investments are just tools that you can use to craft a certain lifestyle.

Here are some of the highlights from the talk:
•    How I was introduced to the concept of freelancing, and how it helped me quit my job and buy real estate
•    My real estate investing strategy in a nutshell - buy what no one else wants to buy
•    The risk of being too excessive with renovations as an investor, and how I've managed renovations
•    How I use the One Percent Rule when running numbers on a property
•    My original goal for owning rental properties (and why I don't want 100's of units)
•    The surprise deal that came about because of my blog
•    The opportunity cost of investing in real estate instead of the stock market
•    Why the next rental won't be in Vegas (where I live)
•    Why I'm not in any hurry to buy another property
•    Why I would buy apartment complexes in cash if I had a billion dollars
•    The benefit of diversifying into a different city and how to do it
•    Retailers I recommend buying from when it comes to kitchen materials
•    Financing without W2 income
•    Why I'm against high-leverage
•    The other projects I'm working on (why my focus isn't on real estate investing right now)
•    "Pearls of wisdom" from traveling
•    My favorite travel destinations
•    Why I started a blog and my thoughts on monetizing
•    Real estate isn't a passion - it's a tool


-- Paula

Resources Mentioned:
•    Cash Flow Reports for Rental Properties
•    The course I'm working on - VIP List
•    HUD Home Store

I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.

First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.

You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting http://nerd.me/paula

If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.

Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to http://audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.


To see the slides from Paula's presentation, go to http://affordanything.com/53

#052: How to Combat Lifestyle Inflation, with Julia Kelly  

Imagine transitioning from making $8.50 per hour and sharing a crammed apartment with 5 people, to becoming a six-figure business owner doing what you love.
That's the journey that Julia Kelly, caricature artist and founder of JK Expressions, took.
Sounds great, right?
Well, as they say, more money = more problems.
When Julia earned $25,000 - $30,000 per year, she had fantastic money management skills. She had no debt and plenty of savings.
But when her business started making six figures, she began ignoring her finances, stopped saving money .... and racked up thousands in personal credit card debt.
Some of us write this off as life getting more expensive as we get older, but it's actually a classic case of lifestyle inflation -- when you make more, you spend more.
After Julia began earning six figures, she decided she was no longer happy with $12 haircuts from Supercuts. She happily splurged for $75 salon style cuts instead.
She started paying for convenience. One-click Amazon order? Check. Ordering an Uber or Lyft so she didn't have to deal with parking at the airport? Check. Eating out? Check.
She became lazy about saving money, assuming that she could always earn more. Money was coming into her bank accounts at an unprecedented pace – so her finances would take care of themselves, right?
As Julia discovered, when you "upgrade" certain aspects of your life, you may find it difficult to downgrade. You keep spending more and more, trapped on a consumer treadmill. You’re forced to work to fuel your spending addiction.
Left unchecked, this saps every ounce of freedom from your life. 
In this episode, you'll learn:
· Why you shouldn't take lifestyle inflation lightly
· How to stop lifestyle inflation before it happens
· What Julia regrets buying … and what she doesn’t
· The easiest, most effective antidote to lifestyle inflation
· How Julia differentiates between saving time vs. wasteful convenience spending
· What Julia's advice is to those who are increasing their income, but don't want to succumb to lifestyle inflation

-- Paula
Resources Mentioned:
    •    Gretchen Rubin's episode, The Power of Habit Formation
    •    Julia's story on the Afford Anything blog

    •    Cal Newport's episode, The Incredible Value of Deep Work, Instead of Distraction
    •    Julia's site, JKExpressions.com

I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.
First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.
You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting nerd.me/paula.

If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.

Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.


For a full list of show notes, visit http://podcast.affordanything.com/52-how-to-combat-lifestyle-inflation-with-julia-kelly

#051: Six Types of Financial Frenemies, with Mary Beth Storjohann  

Today's guest is Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP®, Founder of Workable Wealth, and author of the book Work Your Wealth.

As I was reading through her book, one thing stuck out to me: the financial frenemies we all have, and how to deal with them in a constructive way.

What's a financial frenemy? They're the people in your life that are sabotaging your efforts to improve your net worth.

Sometimes they're friends, sometimes they're family, and other times, they might just be people that have no business asking about your financial situation in the first place. 

Whoever they are, we've all known one at some point or another.

In fact, I bet one of these sounds familiar:

1. The Entitled Frenemy: "Can you spot me? I'll get you next time!"
2. The Budget-Buster: "You deserve it, you should buy it!"
3. The One-Upper: "You got a $1,000 bonus? Nice. I got a $10,000 bonus."
4. The Priers: "How much do you make?" "How much did you spend on that?"
5. The Green-Eyed Monster: "Must be nice that you can afford such a big house."
6. The FOMO Frenemy: "You can spend your money just this once!"

Navigating conversations with these financial frenemies can be tough, but Mary Beth has some awesome advice on how to do it and not feel bad about your words.

Even though it might sound scary, honesty is the best policy.

While saying, "I don't feel comfortable answering that" means enduring a few moments of awkwardness, the alternative is answering truthfully and proceeding to wonder if your "friends" are judging you...every single time you interact with them.

Finally, we need to realize that what they're saying isn't a reflection on us - it's a reflection on them. If they're jealous, feel the need to one-up you, or discourage you from your financial goals, that's on them, not you.

Mary Beth offers other great tips on how to deal with financial frenemies in this episode, and we even role-played a scenario to give you a script to follow.

Resources Mentioned:

• Workable Wealth

• “Work Your Wealth" on Amazon
• Mary Beth's Twitter & Instagram


-- Paula

#50: Ask Paula - Retirement Savings in Your 50's, Starting a Side Hustle, Buying Health Insurance, Home Warranties, and More  

Mark, a 55-year-old listener, has no savings.

He's been listening to personal finance podcasts. He recently read Tony Robbins' Money: Master the Game. He called this podcast to tell us that he's feeling overwhelmed by the scope of what's ahead of him. He doesn't know how to apply this information -- and he's afraid of needing to work in fast food when he's 80 years old. What can he do?

We tackle his question first on today's Ask Paula episode.

Next, we take a call from Adalia.

Adalia, another podcast listener, wants to earn extra money on the side. She's intrigued by the idea of becoming a virtual assistant -- a side hustle that allows her to work from home, setting her own hours. How should she start? Where can she find clients?

Tyler, a podcast listener and fellow FinConner, is carrying $20,000 in credit card debt, with interest rates ranging from 11% - 23%. He also runs a side business on Amazon, making  43-50% returns for every dollar he puts in. Should he focus on reinvesting money back into his lucrative business, or should he pay his credit card debt off?

Podcast listener Carlos just purchased his first rental property, and wants to know: are home warranties are worth the money?

Todd, another listener, is curious to know if he and his wife should go without health insurance as the cost of premiums increase. He has an HSA, emergency fund, makes a good living, is in good health, and saves everything he can. Could going without insurance really save him money?

Our last question comes from listener Lynsey, who has her sights set on financial independence. She works a second job during the cold Minnesota winters, which pays $25/hr. However, she wonders if she should use that time to invest in her future earning potential, by starting a business or getting an advanced degree. Should she go after the immediate cash, or focus on her future?

All of these questions are answered in this episode of Ask Paula!


-- Paula


I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode.

First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt.

You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting nerd.me/paula.


If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books.

Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial.


Want more "Ask Paula" episodes? Head on over the the website and binge all you want: http://podcast.affordanything.com/tag/ask-paula


Video player is in betaClose