JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #151-Asking ourselves “How Much” instead of “How Much a month”

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  • Question I’ve pondered lately
  • Why do we look at our money on a “per month” basis?
  • What is the right question to ask instead
  • What long term thinking with money does to our actions
  • Quote of the lesson from Dick Bove

When it comes to our finances, a lot of us look at our finances on a “per month” basis. How much is the car payment per month? The student loan? The credit card? The monthly membership dues? Our house payment or rent?

Have you ever stepped back and ask why we do that? On today’s lesson we will discuss why that is and attempt to answer if asking ourselves “How much a month” is the right question to ask

It’ important to discuss this topic because most expenses and debt options are presented through the month payment. This can include things such as our mortgage payment, car payment, credit card statements, store financing options, etc. But there are others things as well that we look at per month, life insurance premiums, phone bills, Netflix/Hulu subscriptions, etc.

These payments are presented on a “per month” basis because it is easier for our minds to digest. We can related to “per month” payments a lot easier than the whole amount. Take for example an automobile. Often when I suggest paying for things in cash, like a car, the pushback I receive is “I wouldn’t pay $25,000 for a car.” However if asked if they could “afford” a $380 car payment the answer is usually something along the lines of “Yeah I could probably do that.”

That’s because we associated a lot of financial “pain” with the $25,000 purchase but as much with a $380 payment. Even though over time those $380 payments include interest and add up to a few thousand over $25,000 payment. When looking at “How much a month?” we rarely look at how long the payments will last.

To me looking at “How much a month?” is not the right question. The right question is simply “How much?” Asking “How much?” forces us to look at the long term and ask ourselves if this purchase fits where we want to be instead of seeing how we can fit this payment into our budget. It’s a really powerful way to look at money.

When I stared to realize this and put this concept into practice my beliefs, attitudes, and my bank account had drastic changes. I had a more long term view on money. When we have a long term view of money, instead of week to week or month to month, we’re less likely to make long term mistakes as well.

What Lisa and I try to do then with our monthly payments is to look at those payment and compare it to our monthly income. Instead a lot of times we look at our annual income and compare our monthly payments against that. But when we look at our monthly payment compared to our monthly income we get a better understanding of what this purchase will cost us.

Other resources mentioned in today’s lesson

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by the JW’s Financial Coaching Newsletter

“It is a kind of way to play games with monthly payment. Stretching out the mortgage maturity is simply a way to lower monthly payments and stimulate sales. ”  ~ Dick Bove

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or Apple Podcasts. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or Apple Podcasts, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #150-Looking at your employee benefits-Other fringe benefits you might want to check out

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  • Wrapping up our series on employee benefits
  • How some employers are helping with adoption costs
  • What health and wellness benefits are and how they can help
  • Save on hotels, car rentals, office supplies, and phone service
  • Quote of the lesson from Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On today’s lesson we are wrapping up our series we’ve done on looking at employee benefits by focusing on some obscure benefits that not every company offers or that you even think about as a benefit.

Child care

Now when it comes to child care there are different federal, state, and local programs out there for child care. But we’re talking about today is child care provided by the employer.

There is a program called the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) that offers tax favored status when your employer either reimburses the employee, pays the provider directly, or offers a day care center on site.

The most common way is money is put into a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) which the employee then uses to pay for dependent care. Currently the tax code is written that employees don’t pay taxes on this money up to $5,000 per year.

Adoption Assistance

The more and more I research this topic, the more I realize that some form of adoption assistance is becoming more common. There are also a growing number of folks who want to adopt, so this seems to be a win-win situation.

Now like all benefits, this will vary by employer but how most adoption assistance plans work is the employer will reimburse, up to a certain dollar amount, for the cost of an adoption. This can include the payment of fees including court cost and legal fees, foreign adoption fee, and medical care for the mother.

There are also programs that help get you in contact with adoption agencies and support groups as well as adoptions for children with special needs.

Health and Wellness programs

There are a lot of different examples that fall under the umbrella of Health and Wellness. They can range from things that encourage exercise and good health such as providing a physical work out center in the office and encouraging employees to joins smoking cessation programs.

Or it can also including providing programs for health monitoring, alternative modes of transportation to work, to getting in touch with a counselor.
The thing is to look and see if any of these programs work for you or fit a need and they might be able to encouraging you to join an activity that promotes your health or wellness.

Employee discounts for services

This is something you might not think of as an employee benefit, but employers, especially large ones work with a lot of other vendors to provide services. That leads to these vendors giving the employees some discounts on some of those services.

So check and see if your employer partners with any other business. Some of these discount services include discounts on

  • Hotels,
  • Car rental
  • Airline travel
  • New car purchase
  • Phone provider

I know through my employer, we receive a 20% discount off of our data on our phone plan each month.

I also got a discount on the closing cost of my mortgage through an employee program.

These things aren’t going to make you a millionaire but they are ways to save money on stuff you are already consuming or are going to consume in the future.

Overall my hope with this series is to encourage you to take the time and look through your employer benefits and see if there is anything you are missing out on that can either save you money or enrich your life.

Depending on your situation you might be leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table by simply not taking the time to look at your benefits.

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Jeff Goins’ new book titled Real Artists Don’t Starve

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

 

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #149-Jumpstart Your Marriage & Your Money with guest Elle Martinez

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  • Elle Martinez joins Jon to discuss her book “Jumpstart Your Marriage & Your Money”
  • Why she is passionate about helping couples with their money
  • The importance of knowing your “Why” when it comes to money
  • How to have the hard conversations with your spouse
  • Quote of the lesson from Dave Ramsey

I have the privilege of welcoming guest Elle Martinez to the show to discuss her new book titled Jumpstart Your Marriage & Your Money.

I wanted to have Elle on the show because her podcast is great and I couldn’t wait to pick her mine on a topic that most of will face at some point in our life, if we haven’t done so already, and that is money and marriage.

It was a blast interviewing Elle and I could have asked her questions all night, but some of the topics we discuss included

  • How Elle and her husband got on the same page financially
  • Why couples struggle with money so often
  • The importance of focusing on your “Why” and not the “What”
  • What Money Dates are and why they are important to take
  • How to have the hard conversations with your spouse on money
  • What motivated to write her book
  • What she learned about couples and money through years of podcasting and writing the book

Elle’s book, Jumpstart Your Marriage & Your Money, will be released on June 13th and can be found on Amazon.

In addition I recommend you subscribe to Elle’s podcast, Couples Money, if you haven’t done so already.

Other resources related to today’s lesson:

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“Money is an opportunity to reach unity in marriage. When couples work together, they can do anything.” ~ Dave Ramsey

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #148-Looking at your employee benefits-Tuition Reimbursement and Student Loan Repayment Programs

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  • With college tuition prices skyrocketing, tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment programs are great ways to attract talent
  • What a tuition reimbursement can do for you
  • What a student loan repayment plan can do for you
  • Things to consider before doing either once
  • Quote of the lesson from Arthur Ashe

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the ongoing burden that student loan debt has become in our country employee tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment programs are a great way to either increase you education while paying nothing or a fraction of the cost, or reduce your current outstanding loan balance.

Today we continue our series we started last lesson looking at employee benefits that you are missing out on. While they might seem similar tuition reimbursement programs and student loan repayment programs are two different things.

Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement programs work like this: you go to school to further your education and knowledge in a particular subject. After you prove that you passed the class, your employer will pay for some or all of the tuition.

This can be a great way to increase your value in the market place for a lot less than what it would cost you if you did it on your own. It also ties you closer to your employer as they are investing money in not only your future success but the company’s future success as well.

Before you consider going back to school because of tuition reimbursement consider the following things:

  • How much does the company cover?-Not all plans are 100% covered. Some are a lot less than that and others are tied to the grade that you get.
  • What will be the method you pay?-Your company will reimburse you once you can prove that you passed the course, but it is usually up to you to pay the institution upfront for the class. How will you come up with the money to pay? I would never recommend a student loan but what can you do to come up with the cash up front?
  • Is this something you want a degree in?-You can’t just get any old degree that you want. It has to be a degree that your company deems as beneficial to the role you are in. So if you aren’t really excited about what you are doing now, how is a degree or certification going to change that?
  • Is there are time period you have to work at the company after the reimbursement?-Your company is going to be investing a lot of money in your pursuit of this degree, and often there is a time period in which you need to stay with the company or you will have to pay back all or a portion of the tuition reimbursement. So do you like the company? Do you plan to be there regardless of whether you get a degree there or not?
  • If the tuition is not 100% covered, is this still a good deal for you?-Just because you are getting a tuition discount, it doesn’t necessarily mean it might still be a good deal for you. Again if you don’t want to stay with the company or are thinking about a career change to another field, spending the money and time to get the degree might not yield a proper payoff.

Student Loan Repayment

But what if you already went to school, and got your degree or not, and ended up with any kind of student loans? There are a small but growing number of firms that are offering that are trying to attract employees by offering to repay part of their student loans directly to the student loan servicer.

Now before you get too excited, realize that as of now the amount they are offering to pay is very small, often between $1,000 to $2,000 a year with a lifetime limit. So if you are drowning in student loan debt, working for one of these companies will not take you totally 100% off the hook.

But here are some other things to consider as well:

  • This is basically another form of compensation-This just takes the place of some other kind of benefit including momentary compensation, 401(K) contributions, health insurance premiums, etc. In fact any money that they put towards your student loans is actually considered taxable income for you. So if you get an offer of $40,000 with a student loan repayment of up to $2,000 a year, it is the exact equivalent of getting $42,000 from another offer. Except you are guarantee to use the $2,000 towards student loan repayment.
  • You still have to pay your minimum payment-The money they pay towards your student loan won’t get you out of making your monthly minimum payment. This is actually a good thing in that it will help to pay your loans off sooner, but it won’t free up any more money in your monthly budget, at least in the short term.
  • Lifetime limits-A lot, but not all companies that I researched who offer this benefit, have lifetime maximums on how much you can payoff through this program. Most were around a $10,000 maximum cap. But some companies had no cap, but only paid off about $1,000 max a year. Which means you really can’t count of this program to pay off a significant amount of student loan debt. Only you can do that.

I think that these are a great benefit for employers to offer to their employee’s, however I don’t feel that it is a long term plan to pay off your student loans as mentioned earlier. But I think it can be helpful and we’ll see this becoming more and more popular as many college graduates continue to graduate with large amounts of student loans.

Other resources mentioned in today’s lesson:

To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Jeff Goins’ new book titled Real Artists Don’t Starve

“When bright young Americans can’t afford college, America pays the price” ~ Arthur Ashe

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, Google Play or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #147-Looking at your employee benefits-Employee Stock Purchase Program

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  • New series on looking at your employee benefits
  • What is an Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • How I use mine as a way to earn some quick cash
  • What to consider before you participate in your companies plan
  • Quote of the lesson from Warren Buffett

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #146-Why we end up with so much credit card debt

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  • In research for my upcoming book, been looking at statistics on credit card debt
  • Why credit card debt is not just an income or age issue
  • 3 ways to avoid credit card debt
  • Why I don’t own a credit card
  • Quote of the lesson from Mark Cuban

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #145-Are you worshiping money?

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  • Three signs that you are worshiping at the altar of money
  • Why the worship of money is not a physical worship
  • How we can worship money no matter what our financial situation is
  • Money just makes us more of what we already are
  • Quote of the lesson from Andrew Carnegie

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #144-Answering your questions on bi-weekly mortgage plans and how to encourage your spouse to care

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  • Are bi-weekly mortgage programs worth it?
  • Why you don’t need to pay a fee to have your mortgage paid off sooner
  • Getting your spouses head out from the sand when it comes to money
  • Why it is important to focus on the why and less on the what
  • Quote of the lesson from Charles A. Jaffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #143-Spring cleaning with our finances

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  • What are some small things we can do to have a big impact on our finances
  • Why physical de-cluttering saves us money
  • How much of a refund are you receiving this year?
  • Are you diversified enough
  • Quote of the lesson from Charisse Ward

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #142-The 5 Day Money Challenge with Guest Greg Pare

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  • Coach Greg Pare is back on the show
  • Why he is doing a 5 Day Money Challenge
  • Who will benefit from the program
  • The common money issues Greg sees when he is speaking and coaching
  • Quote of the lesson

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