On today’s evergreen Friday roundtable rewind episode from August 21, 2020, we dive into doing financial fitness exercises to build better money habits with the Financially Savvy Latina herself, Natalie Torres-Haddad. Also joining us is Richard Simmons, showing us all the Financial Fitness exercises, opps no it is the creator of the award-winning blog lenpenzo.com, Len Penzo; and our co-host-with-the-most and CFP, OG. You’ll want to tune in to reinforce the importance of integrating good money habits (aka the financial fitness exercises) in your life. Plus, our friend, the Evil HR Lady Suzanne Lucas joins us to talk about how to use your vacation days guilt-free.
The show originally aired in 2020 so ignore any mention of current events. Check out the original show notes here.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions about all things financial fitness are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.StackingBenjamins.com/201
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Written by: Kevin Bailey
You did it. Congratulations, world’s best cup of coffee. Great job everybody. It’s
great to meet you. Hi, now come over here. Bye.
Live from Joe’s Mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I am Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. You’ve been through Leg day, arm day and cardio. And now it’s time for exercises to make your money grow, to help you grow your stack. Today we welcome the financially savvy Latina herself. It’s Natalie Torres Haddad, and you may have heard of him before. The guy who lives by the phrase suns out, guns out, it’s, oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me.
Did you write this yourself? That is ridiculous, og. Anyway, you may have heard of him before. And finally, the guy building the biggest financial doom and gloom empire on earth. From Len penso.com, it’s Len Penso. And if that’s not enough, how about growing your vacations? The evil HR lady, Suzanne Lucas, is back with some fantastic advice on how to think about your coworkers vacations and
Plus, we’ll magnify Kelvin’s money, who wants to find a way to get over the mental hurdle to enjoy his money more today. And of course, I’ll delight you with some of my incredible trivia. And now a guy whose definition of arm day involves lifting one pint at a time. It’s Joe Saul Sija.
Well, now that I’m here in Vermont, it’s more like three pints at a time. Hey there everybody. Welcome to Friday. I am Joe Saul-Sehy average Joe Money on Twitter. And we have a fantastic end of the week for you today. First of all, because sitting across the table from me as usual, it’s my friend og.
It’s a long, uh, long drive over here to, to the Vermont basement every week, just so you know.
Yeah. But you gotta love it though. All the beer. Come on. Brewery 16 ounce curls. This brewery right around the corner, the Alchemist has this beer called Hop Head, which everybody says is the quote, greatest beer on earth. Oh boy, I have to ask you, how can I not try it? Right? Oh, greatest beer on earth. I’ll pass.
No, thank you.
it’s like the, uh, world’s greatest cup of coffee from Elf. I don’t remember it. You don’t remember that scene? Or he takes, he takes the date to the place, has the, it says the world’s greatest cup of coffee, and he blindfolds her and she says, he says, what do you think? And she says, it tastes like a crappy cup of coffee.
He says, no, it’s the world’s greatest coffee. ’cause that was the marketing slogan or whatever, because he just believes whatever he
reads. Yeah, well, we’ll see about The Alchemist. And here, deep under Los Angeles, the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Sandwich survey himself. Mr. Len Penso. How are you Joe? I’m doing great.
I love it here in Vermont. It’s a nice place this time of year. Have you been here before? Oh yes, I
have been to Vermont. Let’s see, what, what are we at here? We’re, uh, we’re pushing September, aren’t we? It’s almost there. So leaves should, colors should be changing here very
soon. Isn’t that crazy to think it’s a hundred degrees in Texas?
There’s no, there is no like leaf changing ever. It’s. Yeah, same where I lived here alive and dead.
Brown gone. It’s exactly, well,
we have drought, we
have droughts here in la so it’s like always brown.
Well, there you go. Well wait a minute. You can’t go yet. We haven’t introduced you yet, Natalie. Hold on.
She’s so excited. But I do have to say that Ethan Allen, we went to Ethan Allen’s house, the great, uh, American Patriot and the historian said,
I was gonna say, that’s a furniture store, right? I tried to stay out of Ethan Allen. Mocho
Dero. The goal now, goal now is to stay outta there. Right? The goal then was to, uh, have Ethan Allen is your buddy.
’cause man, it fort uh, TaeKwonDo roa, that guy and the Green Mountain men were fantastic. But Ethan Allen, did
flex in all your, all your American history knowledge that you just learned 45 minutes ago? Did you know I did that? Hey, I’ve known that three days. There’s, there’s no way you knew that more than a week ago.
Stay off me. I’m, I’m just brilliant with the American history. But the historian said, he goes, he goes, you know, way back then, the growing season was short because winter was only about 11 and a half months Here in Vermont. Yeah, exactly. And here the woman jumping the gun, she wouldn’t even let us introduce her from the, well, she’s not from, she is the financially savvy Latina herself.
Natalie Torres Hadad joins us. Well,
thank you for having me. I’m just super excited. Of course. How are you
guys? She’s like, I finally get to talk because one thing we do know about Natalie, I’ve known Natalie for a while. She doesn’t like to talk at all.
Not at all. That’s such a trait right now.
Y you talk to lots of groups of young people.
Well, not just young people, to all kinds of different people and teach ’em to do better with their money.
absolutely. Uh, mostly, uh, college grads and early forties. So yeah, it’s interesting. Um, and yes, definitely I, I like to talk and hey, if I get paid to talk, why not?
I know, right. How great is that?
And you also have joined us in the past. Uh, how long has the podcast been around now? About, uh, a year, 18 months maybe? Oh yeah.
Oh my gosh. Yeah, it’s almost been two years.
Yeah. Tell everybody about the show.
My show is basically talking about financial literacy and, and being able to connect people with what you do after college, right.
Balancing money and, and trying to balance your life. And I get to talk to a lot of self-made millionaires, so that always helps. And yeah, it’s, it’s a lot of fun.
Well, and the cool thing about your show, which is called Financially Savvy in 20 Minutes, is that it is, uh, the antithesis of this show. It actually is 20 minutes long.
Right. You know, they say millennials, gen X, they want the, the short stuff.
They want it quick. Yes. We always set out for 20 minutes and it ends up 70, Natalie. So, so, so here we go. On, on that note, by the way, we’ve got a fantastic show today, guys. We’ve got Natalie here, we’ve got Len here, we’ve got og. We’re gonna talk about exercises for your money.
Everybody’s out exercising all day long. How about exercising some good habits? We’ll jump on that right now.
All right. Our headline today comes from The Beyond Your Hammock Blog. It’s written by Eric Roberts. And you know what? Kali Roberts is going to read it for us today. Uh, Eric and Kaley make up the Beyond your Hammock financial planning team, and also they have a fantastic podcast. But here to read today’s piece, Kaylee Roberts.
Improve your finances. Five exercises to use to build better money habits. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally be someone that other people look at and say, wow, you really are great with money. I’m impressed. Do you constantly find yourself wishing you had better money habits, but you just can’t seem to change your day-to-day actions?
Here’s the good news. You can absolutely transform your current habits and become that person. People aren’t inherently good or bad with money, but we do have good and bad habits around our finances, and this is what usually makes a difference between someone who seems to manage money well and someone who tends to consistently struggle.
Instead of feeling like you have to change who you are or beating yourself up for what you feel are weaknesses or shortcomings, you can simply focus on building better money habits. Good money habits do take time and effort to build, and it’s not necessarily easy to change your behavior, but it is possible.
So if you’re interested in learning how to build better money habits in 2020, try some of these activities and exercises that can help you improve how you handle your money and run your financial life. Number one, honestly assess your recent transactions. It’s really hard to build better money habits within necessary actions to do seem like no fun at all.
Take budgeting, for example, or spending less budgeting it as a way of tracking and managing your money and can help with achieving the goal of spending less. But most people associate these two habits with being deprived. Losing out on something are not getting enough of what they want. If you feel that way about a habit, there’s not much motivation there to develop it.
That’s why we often share this exercise with clients to help them mindfully manage their money without feeling deprived or like they can’t spend on what they want. Here’s how to do it. Pull up your banking credit card transactions from the last three months and go through every single line item. Then highlight in green all the spinning that you value or that makes you feel good.
Highlight in yellow things that you somewhat value but you don’t feel extremely excited about. Then highlight in red anything that looking back at it leaves you feeling a little negative or regretful. Now, identify all the purchases that you highlighted in red. These are the things to stop spending on immediately since they don’t bring you value or might have been things that you regret buying.
It’s an easy way to eliminate what isn’t worth the cost. Next, take a look at what you highlighted in yellow. These transactions are a little harder to grapple with because they might be important to you, but they’re probably not the most important line items in your spending. This is why doing this exercise every three to six months can help you get a better understanding of not just your spending habits, but where and how you spend that makes you happy or fulfilled.
As you do this consistently, you might get more clarity on what items in the yellow category could be pushed down into the red, and you might also solidify your understanding of what your priorities are, which can help you make better money decisions moving forward. Finally, doing this even once is a great way to bring more awareness to your spending and awareness is a key step in building better money habits.
Number two, don’t try and willpower your way to success. There are a lot of areas in life that require discipline in order to reach a set goal or accomplishment. Building better money habits is certainly one such area. The people who do succeed in establishing new improved habits are not necessarily the ones who resist the temptations that would cause them to veer off course.
The people who are most disciplined tend to be the same people who simply don’t have as many distractions or temptations to deal with along the way. It’s not that they’re better at turning down dessert when they’re trying to lose weight, it’s that they don’t put themselves in a situation to say no to dessert in the first place.
Maybe by not buying ice cream to keep in the freezer, for example. So there’s nothing to tempt them. It’s not that they’re better at forcing themselves to get through a hard workout at 5:00 AM when they’re trying to get stronger. It’s that they remove as much friction from the process of the get up and go to the gym as possible and automate what they can.
Maybe by laying out their gym clothes the night before or even sleeping in their gym clothes, they can literally get up and just go before they have to think about it. It’s not that they’re better at naturally spending less and saving more, either, it’s that they’re not frequently in a position of having to turn down impulsive buys or say no to things they would really like in the moment, perhaps by unsubscribing to retail email newsletters, and I’m following social media influencers who often post about products, we tend to think we can just will our way through hard things.
But the reality is that willpower only gets us so far because everyone has a limited amount of it, and you can exhaust yours instead of relying on willpower. Try to engineer your environment, your schedule, and your routine so they don’t have to engage directly with so many distractions that can lead you astray.
It’s not about learning to say no more or somehow push yourself to work harder, although a little bit of that can be helpful. It’s more about not putting yourself in that position in the first place. Number three, make better money habits visible and hard to forget. We usually key up our gym shoes by the hall organizer in our entryway.
Why? Because we see ’em every time we walk out the door, and it reminds us of our goal to incorporate a lot of movement into our lives, whether that’s a gym workout or an hour skating at the local ice rink, taking a really long walk or a hike doing some active yoga, some stretching. We have a visual cue to remind us that we want to maintain an exercise habit.
You can do the same thing to help build better money habits. Provide yourself with a visual cue that either reminds you of your goals or your intentions, or makes it really hard to forget the habit you want it to build. For us, the biggest visual cue is a shared budget that we maintain in Google Sheets.
We like to track our spending manually, and we log every purchase that we make when we make it. That might sound tedious and it does take some time and effort. But the payoff is that we both frequently, consistently look at our budget and our spending in real time. We’re very much aware of how much we’ve spent, what we bought, and how much money is left to use throughout the month.
It’s a visual cue that helps us think more critically about our money decisions and supports our efforts to spend in a way that aligns our values and our goals. Here’s some other ideas of what you might do to make the money habit. You wanna build more visual and easier to remember. Get a piece of paper and write down the goal you’re currently working on and how much you need to save on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to achieve it.
Stick it somewhere you can see it. Bonus points if it’s in a place that could prevent you from engaging in a bad habit instead of the actions that will help you accomplish what you want. For example, you might stick your note on your computer screen so you can see it when you’re attempted to do some online shopping.
Or you could fold the note into your purse or wallet so that every time you take out your credit card, you’re reminded of what you’re working toward. If you’re more visual, find an image that represents what you want instead of writing out the numbers, you can even make it complete vision board to capture all the details of the things that you wanna accomplish and how you’re gonna get there.
Number four, go through a no spend week or month. This is a good exercise to try as a pattern interrupt. If you don’t usually think twice about your daily spending, try not spending anything at all. Do it for a day, then a week, see how many days in a row you cannot spend. If you wanna take it to the next level, see if you can go for an entire month without spending on anything beyond the essentials or your fixed expenses like bills, mortgage or rent and groceries.
While some people take this to an extreme and do hardcore, no spend weeks for the exclusive purpose of saving as much money as possible. I think the most important thing here is the idea of breaking the mindless habit, which is spending whenever and whatever you want, and replacing it with a more conscientious decision making around how and why you part with your hard-earned dollars.
A no spend week or alternatives like shopping bans on certain items or categories of goods is a good way to practice planning, discipline, mindfulness, and commitment to a goal, which are all necessary ingredients to building better money habits in general. Number five, automate it. The reason so many people struggle with building better money habits or any kind of behavior change, even when the change tends to lead to beneficial or positive results, is because we’re human.
We’re not perfect. We don’t live like robots and making completely rational best for us decisions every second of every day is not realistic. Often that’s because we’re asked to choose what’s best for us on a broad, overall long-term scale, but we have to choose that in the moment when we’d really much rather prefer something that’s best for us, right that second, that’s why we choose to sleep in rather than get up and early and exercise, or why we select the cheeseburger over the salad, or why we spend what we want now rather than saving for the lifestyle we want in the future.
Ideal decisions are hard to make in moment to moment situations, which often prevents us from building better money habits that we say we want. Knowing this, there’s a pretty straightforward solution. Make less decisions, automate. Instead, anytime you can pre-commit to an action, like having 4 0 1 k contributions automatically withheld from your paycheck.
Or automated decision, like putting a thousand dollars per month into your long-term savings or investment account via an automated transfer that goes through after your direct deposit hits, you make it much easier to stick to the beneficial habit that you wanna maintain. Look for ways to build an automation into your financial life, so the burden isn’t 100% on you to make great decisions
Hey guys, I wanna dive into these individually, but before we do that, by the way, big thanks to Kelly Roberts for joining us. Kelly and her husband Eric, run a heck of a practice. You can find their blog, by the way, at beyond your hammock.com. You’ll also find their podcast where they sit and talk about all things finance on the same place where you’re listening to this one.
It’s called Beyond Finances, so you’ll find, uh, Kaylee and Eric over there. We’ll link to them in the show notes page at Stacking Benjamins dot com. But let’s start off with these. Let’s take ’em in order. Honestly, assess your recent transactions. I don’t know about you guys. I’ve done this before and actually I think Natalie, we’ll start with you.
Have you ever gone through like your recent transactions and just written them all down or gone through and looked at them line by line and said, why the hell did I do that? Why did I do that? Why did I do that?
Yeah, that’s like every month. I actually don’t write ’em down. I go through my actual statements, so like my credit card statement and I have two different pin colors, so I highlight what it’s for, like if it’s food takeout, which are my big expenses.
Uh, especially in la everything’s like deliverable Postmates, so that’s a big one. And so every month I’m like, oh, we’re gonna cut down. We’re gonna spend less. And I think that’s the hard part, but um, yeah, I think that’s really helpful to be able to see it every single month because then you can really track what you’re kind of your, um, What your habits are really, and for us it’s dinner.
We hate cooking dinner or it just takes time. And even now with the covid, it’s like, this is something that we still have to work on, but, um, I think it’s necessary to see it and, and monthly if possible.
Yeah. I wanna ask you about the exercise. Do you try to do that the first day of every month or maybe the first Saturday of every month?
Is there a set schedule?
I, no, not a set schedule per se, but I do it twice a month. So I do it halfway through and then when I get my bill statements, so I keep an eye on my statements anyways online, but I actually get the hard copy, um, when I’m paying my bill. So I have to make sure, because vendors make mistake all the time.
Sometimes there’s, you know, they’re over tipping or, you know, I always check my receipt. So twice a month I think is more than, than doable for most people. For me it is. And it just, one, I just don’t wanna be identity theft or be stuck in, you know, yeah. Having someone pay for their meal. So, um, yeah, just kind of, I, I call it setting a date with myself
that, but that’s great.
And if you found it’s changed your habits,
Absolutely. It was actually scary the first few times doing it. I tell people it kind of gets a little easier, but I also know like the summers used to be are really expensive months because we were out and about. Yeah. Maybe traveling, doing things. And right now it’s been a little bit different, obviously with everything that’s going on, but I always tell people like, brace yourself the first few times you can be like, why am I doing this?
Right. That it’s, it’s important to be able to go through those statements and um, especially if you’re married too, if you have other people that live with you because you start to see, oh my gosh, they’re spending more on these days. Or, you know, maybe they prefer lunch over dinner, or maybe they’re buying those extra drinks that, hey, we just have water at home.
It’s cheaper. So, yeah, it’s a little scary sometimes.
Does that, does that cause fights though?
A little bit, but not really because, well on my, on our experience, like I like to cook, but right now with my lovely broken hand wrist, I can’t, uh, do that. So it’s kind of like a, a nice treat for ourselves. Um, but we also have to be honest with ourselves and say, you know what?
We have to budget. So there’s at least one or two meals for sure. Like breakfast we always have at home, so we know we’re not spending there. Um, but in the beginning it was kind of like us talking to each other saying, uh, we need to cut back on some of these meals because it
does add up. Yeah. Og I know you go through the credit card statement regularly ’cause I get texts from you going, man, why did you spend money on this?
because I only go through your credit card receipts. I never go through any of mine. So, so, uh, you know, just trying to be a good steward of the, uh, all the podcast revenue that we get. If you look at your, uh, spending and, and I’m a big believer of, you know, just kind of trying to save what you need to save and then being okay with spending the rest.
Like, if you can accomplish that goal, then it really doesn’t matter. But if you’re looking at your budget and you say, oh, my budget’s $3,000 a month, and then this month you go, but this month was four because we had this one thing, and the next month you go, but this month it was four because we had this one thing and this one this month it was four because we had this one thing.
Guess what, your budget isn’t 3000, it’s 4,000. You just have a whole bunch of $1,000 extras and, and it’s okay to have, you know, the month or you know, the couple week period where you got a little crazy holiday season or whatever. But if it happens over and over and over again, you just have to recognize that’s not a one-off.
That is just how you are now. I think a lot of times people look at their spending from the standpoint of like, what’s the recurring stuff? Well, my water bill’s this, my electric bill’s that HC is this or whatever. Then don’t count for the fact that every so often I’m gonna spend $5,000 on vacation. Well, guess what?
That’s $400 a month. That’s a budget item. It’s like, well, once in a while. No, you do it every year. It’s a budget item. You have to kind of count all of that stuff.
Yeah. And this is a key to OG that people might be listening to this and they hear Natalie talk about tracking expenses and they go, well, I do that too.
That’s a budget. That’s not a budget. That’s just what you did, what you did in a budget or two. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re both important, but this is not a budget that Eric’s talking
about. Yeah. Budget’s the plan that you have for the day. Then reconciling that is the activity that he is talking about here, which is going through and saying, did your budget match the outcome?
And sometimes that’s not true.
Len, I wanted to come to you last on purpose because, and if you noticed I did this in order of age, but the reason the reason isn’t so I can get an old guy Uncle Len’s story. It’s because from conversations you and I have had in the past, You’ve done really well with your money, and I think part of it was that you used to do this.
I’m fairly certain that you don’t do this anymore, but I think you used to do this all the time.
Yeah, correct. I don’t do it anymore. I, I don’t need to. Uh, but what I used to do in the beginning, what I was evaluating, ’cause I really didn’t, I’ll be honest with you. There was very few things I paid for when I was younger that I didn’t feel regretful for.
I was very careful with my money, but what I did monitor for was, was I saving enough? So when I first started out and I was earning money, I wasn’t putting in the max to my 4 0 1 k and I wasn’t saving enough or saving as much as I. Do now. Now I’m maxed out on everything. I mean, every last penny that’s that I can, I still put towards my retirement.
But back when I was younger I didn’t, I was, ’cause I didn’t make as much money. So I would go through, I would review what I was spending and I was saying, did I really need that? Is there somewhere I could cut and live with putting more towards my future retirement instead of taking, you know, instead of going out for that extra meal that month, maybe instead of two meals a month out at a restaurant, I would do one meal a month or, you know, and back then it was actually going to the bar and drinking Right, right.
And hanging out. Right. So maybe cut my bar tab by half every weekend or something like that. That’s what I was evaluating for. But I really didn’t have anything I ever felt regretful for. I was just, I, but I was measuring against, hey, could I be saving more? And if I could, would this be an area where I could pull from here and put in towards savings?
Yeah. Ned, you’re nodding.
Yeah, I, I, unfortunately, I’ve had many regrets and I think it’s, and I think it’s you maybe, yeah. Starting out, kinda like in college and right outta college, it was like the norm to socialize at networking events, especially if you wanted to move up at work. And, um, so I, there’s moments where I’m like, why is happy hours so expensive?
Or why was, you know, he just said it like, oh, I have to look at my tab. And it’s kind of like, you feel like you’re forced to socialize because you know, it’s, Good for, for your work. But yeah, those are some of the regrets. Unfortunately, I’ve had too many,
man. I would remember those days though, when I was first on my own and I’m like, okay, either the bar’s gotta go or the restaurant.
I’m like, okay, looks like the restaurant’s gone ’cause I gotta keep going, going to the bar. But if, but, but if I could find a bar that had popcorn or had, you know, back then would have peanuts, Hey, that’s fantastic. I get all my, all my basic food groups. The, the barley, the hops, and the peanuts. Uh, second on here, it, it’s, it’s funny because Eric has this as an exercise, but I think this is more like the anti exercise.
I remember. When I first went into running, doing some stretches and then finding out later from professional trainers going, yeah, that’s just, you’re, you’re really just stretching out ligaments. You’re not, there’s no, there’s no muscle being worked out there, so don’t do this. So when he says, don’t try to willpower your way to success, I think too often Natalie, people think, Hey, I can just muscle through this.
And he’s saying, there’s no way you can just muscle through it. You have to have systems. Absolutely.
I think that’s one of the hardest part is getting past that denial of it. Right? It’s kind of that I could do it all on my own. It’s like, no, I, I have to en enlist some of my friends. I have to enlist those people that I’m probably spending more money with.
And I think it’s kind of that whole, you’re implementing something completely new, right? So, yeah. Yeah. I think that’s kind of a, a, a difficult thing not
to say. Because you talk about that Len, kind of about in some ways, I think when I read your blog, I think that you talk about the importance of willpower, but really it, it often comes down to logic much more than willpower that you’re talking about.
Yeah. It’s knowing where you’re at and then knowing, adjusting to reach a goal that you’re looking for. Right. Because let’s think about it, probably half of everybody out there, there’s no way they could probably willpower because they’re just naturally, they’re just natural spenders. They don’t have that natural desire to put controls on themselves so much so.
Yes, that willpower can be guided as discipline. It’s just discipline, you know, know your income, know your outgo, know where you’re spending your money, and then figure out, you know, where you have to cut to stay within your live, within your means. And of course, that also includes, part of that spending includes your savings, right?
Yeah. So, no, you know, you have to set that aside too. So it, it, you’re right, it, it’s knowing where you’re at
and that overpowers the willpower. Yeah. Having an actual dashboard, it sounds like. Yep. Yeah. Oh gee. I want to go to the number three on Eric’s list here with you. Make better money habits visible and hard to forget.
We’ve joked a lot about the time that I actually was, uh, staying at your house, but you very visibly in your bedroom, like in a spot where you almost trip over. It’s the Peloton, and I feel like you put the peloton there, so you walk by it a number of times. Sooner or later you’re gonna get on that thing.
and I think when it comes to anything to do with money or systems or process or whatever, making things, like you said, kinda hard to forget. It’s not about the perfection side of things, it’s just about doing the first step. You know, I don’t ever ride my Peloton ever. I just put the shoes on, like that’s my only goal.
Put on shoes, sit on bike. That’s it. Like if I do those things, then there’s a really good chance I’ll move my legs or maybe I’ll click the thing. But there honestly has been a time where I’ve sat there for like 10 minutes and gone, yeah, it’s not happening. That’s okay. You know, you’re just like not feeling it.
For whatever reason, we’ve done the thermometers, you know, where you’re trying to save money for our house down payment. When we first bought our house a long time ago, I remember we had the big, the little thing that you to fill up, you know, try to save the $10,000. Uh, and a lot of that stuff is mind over matter type of thing.
I mean, you’re just, you’re just trying to trick yourself. That’s all it is. You’re just trying to trick yourself, play the game and set it up
to win. But, but studies have shown Natalie, when it comes to tricking yourself, having that vision board in front of you really works. Have you done that with goals?
I actually do it every year in November. I’m that nerd that I have my vision board. I’m actually, I could see it from here, but I actually used to put it in on my dashboard of my car visor. Especially in la we drive everywhere. And just seeing that picture, especially when I had a lot of student debt, I was.
Uh, I didn’t wanna, I, there’s days that I didn’t wanna work ’cause I was like, Ugh, I’m gonna have to work to pay off more debt. But then I’d see that picture, I’m like, hold on. My point was, ’cause I wanted to travel and I had a picture of that next destination. So that was actually really helpful. It’s kind of like the thermometer, like, like Josh was saying, but it’s like, I think for me it was seeing that visual, like it’s gonna get there and then when I accomplish it I put it, you know, on the side.
It was awesome.
Well, can I ask you, since you can see it right now, what one thing is on your vision board right now?
Yes, some, I’m not big on shoes, but there’s these boots that are artistically designed, so I have to actually get them made. And so, you know, you know designers usually that they ask you a few, a few months.
So my goal is some cute boots. They’re just like art all over it and yeah, I’m looking forward
to that. That’s so funny you say that. ’cause len’s got some cute boots on his vision board too. No, no.
I’ve got some pink leotards though. Perfect
dancer here. Number four. I was wondering, Len, sticking with you, Kelly talked about going through a no spend week or a month.
Have you tried one of these before? You know, lately, the
last few months, it’s almost been so easy to, to not have to, I mean, honest to goodness, just the restaurant bills alone. I mean, we used to go out once a week to, you know, have a nice. Restaurant meal and that’s gone. And I was just talking to the honeybee about this.
I, you know, we’re, we’re probably saving $400 a a month just because there’s nowhere to go.
It’s kind of sad. I have been sad since we’ve been here that we haven’t been able to do a meetup and we’re not gonna do one with all the stuff going on. I have a people from Vermont write me and say, Hey, let’s get together.
And, and that’s just not gonna happen with this stuff. But we did, when we went to Burlington, we sat outside at this, uh, wine bar. And to your point, Len, Cheryl and I both had one glass of rose. We had two appetizers. One was a really good butter that you put on sliced radishes that were fresh. They were really fresh.
And then the other one I love OGs look like rad, you lost me at radishes. And then,
and then we some radishes at my grandma’s house all the time. Pickled radishes like. Talk about the like the worst, the worst treat ever. Like, hey, who’s hungry? Like, oh, we got cookies, grandma. Nope. Pickled
radishes. Like, Ooh, nobody’s hungry.
Isn’t that weird? Delicious. And then the last thing that we got was a little cheese tray with three different cheeses. So three cheeses, radishes and butter, two drinks. What do you think the bill was? Len? Uh, say it
again. Radishes. Two drinks. And what
else? The radishes and butter. Two drinks cheese and the three cheese tray.
god. I bet you they’re trying to make up for loss. So I would say the drinks were, these were alcoholic
drinks, right? They were roses. Okay.
So I’ll say two girl drinks. Basically, I’m gonna say $55,
Yeah. That, that was without tip Before Tip. Without,
without tip. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
Joe’s known for at least being a five percenter.
Right, right. That
was another $3
came out a 63 50. ’cause she was nice to me. OG threw in the extra 50. No, that’s put ’em all in quarters too, didn’t you? But it’s wild that you go back to a restaurant with a few times you go and you’re like, man, to your point, it is so, so, so expensive. Uh, Natalie, have you done one of these No.
Spend weeks or months?
Yes. We actually did a week. We tried the month and within the week we already had broken it and it’s the avocado toast or something that we really like at brunch. Um, we were that cliche, but it’s, it was, you know what it was, I think after a couple weeks it was just, we felt so limited and I think we, we just had to decide like, where do we need to cut back on other areas to make it a little bit easier, but.
It’s definitely not easy when you’re going out. And now that we’re home, it’s, we’re becoming a little pickier ’cause we have a lot more options.
Yeah. But these no spend challenges really are fun even when they don’t work out. I mean, I’m sure until that happened you still saved a bunch of money and determined some priorities.
Yeah, even just a few days. Like that’s why I was like, we tried it. Like I said, the second week it just wasn’t working. We’re like, can we do it two, three days outta the week? Made a big difference.
And the last one on here, og, I think we’ll go to you partly because you and I talk about how this is magic so often, but automate it.
Automate it. How big is this one? Yeah,
I mean, again, it’s just back to that whole thing about trying to trick yourself. If you can figure out a way to set the game up to win, you’re more likely to win it. And this is increasing your 4 0 1 K contributions by 1% every six months. It’s unnoticeable to your paycheck.
You will not notice it. It’s been another six months since the last time you did it, you should do it again. It’s making sure that the money gets taken out of your check and goes into your H Ss a or goes into your savings account or your investment account before it goes to your checking account.
Because all that stuff is just, our lives are gonna expand into the money that’s there. And if you can trick yourself along the way and use technology to help it, um, you’ll be better
off for it. Let’s do our takeaways from this piece and money exercises in general. And, uh, Natalie is the guest. We’ll give you the last word.
So, Len, you want to kick it off? What’s our takeaway here? Oh gosh.
Uh, on this one, I guess I’d say there’s lots of tricks out there for you to help yourself if you’re having trouble with your finances. It’s just, it’s just, you’ve gotta look at things differently. But, uh, you know, don’t give up hope. There’s lots of ideas out
Oh, gee, trick
yourself. That’s, uh,
I think he said it 47 times now. Yeah,
I think if you think about this like a game and think about it, like, how would you cheat to win? That’s what you wanna do. Cheat to win.
Spoken like an OG Natalie, you’ve got the last word. Ah,
make it visible. Just making it visible.
Having that, like whether it is the vision board or taking out a few, you know, cut the costs of going out once a week or something. But yeah, make it visible.
Normally, this is where we have a Friday FinTech segment. If you’re new to the show, that’s where we take a look at some new cool thing that may appear on your phone or on your computer that, uh, can help you reach your financial goals more successfully than maybe you could without it. But from time to time, we talk about health with our friend Angelo Poey from Met Pro or, and this is what we’re gonna do today.
We’re gonna talk about the world of work and our friend Suzanne Lucas, the evil HR lady joining us. You’ll find her email@example.com, and you’ll also find her writing at Inc. Which is where we found her today. We were very curious about a piece that she just wrote about vacations and about taking vacations, and she lives now in Switzerland, and so we wanna get, uh, the scoop on that.
We, we cut up with Suzanne just before we started recording today’s show. Uh, and she’s out and about. And so let’s see on dad’s shortwave where Suzanne Lucas is right now, but I’ll bet it isn’t at home in front of the computer. Suzanne Lucas evil HR lady, let’s say Hi.
And I’m my dad’s shortwave from an undisclosed location where she’s on her portable shortwave radio in Switzerland. It’s our good friend, the evil HR lady, Suzanne Lucas is back. How are you? I
am great and my undisclosed location is next to sheep. So how much
better can you get? Well, if this gets boring, you know, just, uh, having a sheep, uh, blot every once in a while, I think that really spices up the show.
What more can you want in life? Hey, I gotta ask you something, uh, that is very funny. I follow you on social media. It is so fun following you. But you, you had this Swiss candy, I think it was, that had just the worst name, but I don’t remember the name. It was something like Barie.
Yeah, it was Barie, Barie Sweetss.
It’s not Swiss, it’s Indian, but there is in my town an area called Barfoot Plots, which means barefoot, um, place. It was where monks used to live. There’s an old church there, and next to it there is a cafe called Cafe Bar Fee. And I don’t care how good it’s reviews are, I am not going
out there. Something Suzanne gets lost in translation there.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the funny thing is that everybody speaks English, so they should know better, but
there you go. Yeah. Speaking of something that gets lost in translation when it comes to different cultures, different cultures take vacations differently. You wrote a great piece at Inc. Recently that’s about vacations and about how Europeans take vacations.
De describe to me that vacation culture, Suzanne. Well, it’s
so different from the US first of all, because people have a lot more vacation time than in the us. I mean, by law here in Switzerland, you have a minimum of four weeks of vacation plus holidays, and a lot of people have five and six weeks of vacation, so you can take the time to go somewhere big or do something.
And this summer, you know, people aren’t going as far afield of course, because you can’t. But people are still taking their three, four week summer vacations, whether they’re just sitting home or they’re going somewhere, people go and that’s pretty much European culture and a lot of places, things just shut down in August,
they just completely shut down you there.
completely shut down. You know, small businesses, this is the craziest thing to me. I will see like a restaurant, they’ll be like, we are closed. And they’re like, this is high tour season, but that’s their vacation time too.
So off they go. Well, but this is a good look because what I thought, and the reason I wanted to talk to you about this is that often, especially if we’re somebody working with coworkers or we own a business, we tend to have this idea, we get a little judgy of other people, right?
Why aren’t they more like us? And I think your piece here makes a really good point that maybe somebody’s culture is a little different than yours, and maybe we need to sit back and look at maybe this is actually a good thing. I
think it’s an excellent thing, and not just because I love vacation and love to travel, which I do, but you really can get a break.
I mean, so much of American culture is, I’m on vacation, but I’ll be checking my email every morning and I’ll call into any meetings and I will stay caught up. And while my kids are playing in the pool, I’m sitting on the side with my laptop and. European and we’ll qualify that. Europe, it’s a huge diverse place, but the European culture is far more.
I’m on vacation, I’ll see you in a month. Bye. Love it. And off the go. And people are accepting of that, which is
amazing. And I think a big aha there is that when, when you look at, at companies though, you don’t see people actually lose, uh, a lot of productivity because of that. Suzanne, it seems to me like telling your employees to just go and get away actually helps ’em be more useful when they’re there.
I absolutely think
that’s true because you have this ability to step back and to refresh. Um, one of the things that we really saw during the shutdown is that everybody was working from home, which sounds fabulous, but if you’re not used to that, you don’t have good boundaries. And people were just working all of the time because they couldn’t get away from it and they were burning out.
And it’s far, far better to be like, I am done and now I’m going and go on your vacation, relax. I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not as important as you think it is. And businesses continue to exist even without everybody there all the time.
It is one thing for you to say that and for me to hear it, it’s another thing for me working for a boss to tell my boss, Hey, I probably don’t need to be checking my email.
All the way through my vacation, even though I know my boss thinks that’s what I need to do. As an HR person, how would you propose that somebody listening to this, Suzanne, bridges that gap? If I’ve got a boss that wants me to check in constantly during my vacation, is there a right way to tell them that I probably don’t wanna do that?
Well, the thing is, is that for some bosses, there’s never gonna be a right way. And I wish I could say that there was, but there’s just some bosses that will never accept that, and that’s just all you can do. And in that case, it’s time to find a new boss. If this is something that’s important to you, might be amenable to it.
You can talk about a couple of different things of the benefits of taking a long vacation. One is, like we’ve talked about, is it’s this huge relaxation thing and when you come back, you’re not stressed out and you’re ready. To go, you’ve had true time off. Another thing, which is not necessarily something the boss, your boss, but you can get the HR lady to bring up, is that having people go and be disconnected from the company for a week or two at a time is a huge fraud prevention activity.
Mm. Because most fraud requires you to monitor it constantly. And if you’re not checking your email, you’re not logging into any of your systems and somebody else is taking over your responsibilities. It’s gonna prevent fraud or catch it if you’re doing it, that’s not really a good thing to say to your boss, like, Hey, if I go on vacation, I’m less likely to commit fraud.
But that’s a great argument for your HR department to make.
Uh, that’s awesome. Don’t say that. Yeah. Yeah. Not if you like your job. Please, please, please don’t say that. I wanna ask you a different question, Suzanne, about something else that you wrote about at the Evil HR Lady, because there’s taking a vacation and how cathartic that is.
But there are also stiller companies. In fact, we did a, a story recently on our Money With Friend show about the number of restaurants that shut down because of Covid that have permanently now shut down. If you think that you’re gonna lose your job, that you might be laid off. You got this great question about should you quit before a layoff.
And I was wondering, we’ve got more people listening to this that might be in that situation than ever before. What do you tell somebody about quitting versus being laid off?
Here’s the deal with that. You don’t want to quit until you have a new job. And some people, depending on whether you’re gonna get severance or not, and severance is not legally required in the United States, except in some specific cases like a union contract
or um, they’re shutting the whole
thing down with less than 60 days notice.
But in most cases, the US isn’t required to give severance. So you may wanna hold out for severance if they’re gonna give it, but then you have to start looking for a job immediately anyway. My advice is always the same, which is keep going and look at it for a job. At the same time. Best case scenario is you find a new job that starts the day after the official layoff, and you get a severance package and a new job, and then you get a boat.
Um, you pay
down your student loans, right? One of them.
So that’s the best thing to do. You don’t want to quit. A lot of people will say to you, oh, it’s far better to have a resignation than a termination on your record. And there is a little bit of truth to that, but especially in this climate where so many people have been laid off for covid reasons, nobody’s gonna bat an eyelash about you having been laid off.
And then the other thing is, if you quit without another job lined up, they’re still gonna ask you, why did you leave your job without another job lined up? It doesn’t make you look spectacular that you did that. Sometimes it can make you look a little bit
So definitely do not think that you owe the company that you’re with a long service period.
Just, you know, it didn’t so good to me. I’m gonna stay till the bitter end. If you find something else, leave they, they don’t care about you. I’m sorry to say, but they don’t. And as soon as you’re not valuable to them, you are gone. So as soon as they’re not valuable to you, you need to go to. So look for the new job.
Hopefully you’ll be able to find one and ’cause if you wait until you’ve actually lost the job, it’s gonna also take longer to find it. Plus, you’re competing against your
coworkers that have also been laid off. This seems like a great time. I mean, don’t get me wrong, every time’s a great time to keep your resume and your LinkedIn profile up to date.
But man, Suzanne, this seems like if there ever was a time to make sure your LinkedIn profile’s up to date, it’s flipping now. It’s flipping
now. And the other thing that’s really good to do is to bump up that networking before you’re desperate for a job. Um, because people don’t like it as much. When you’re like, Hey, Bob, haven’t seen you in seven years.
Are you hiring? They’d much prefer you saying, Hey, I was thinking about you. Today and then in a month you are like, Hey, I, you know, I suddenly found myself without work or I’ve decided to change paths. I mean, I’m always gonna help my friends out with jobs and my former coworkers if I possibly can, but some people aren’t as
nice as I am.
Well, Suzanne, I have to say great advice is always, that’s number one. But number two is we also know it’s great advice ’cause we didn’t have to go to the sheep, which, which means it was a successful segment.
It was. And they didn’t make any noise. So there you go.
See, they’re boring. Anyway, so people can find firstname.lastname@example.org and, uh, you’ve got another fun piece about if you’ve 80 internship candidates and not one’s good enough.
You’re the problem. I would say that might be true too. That’s a good one. Go read that one. Well, Suzanne, I’m glad that we could catch up with you while you’re out and about in Switzerland. I feel so bad that you’re, you know, eating a beautiful barie can.
Yeah, my Barbie candy,
have a great day. Thanks for hanging out with us anytime.
Hey, trivia fans, I’m Joe’s mom’s very tired, very pissed off neighbor duck. So get this stackers. How am I supposed to know that the freedom and unity state is Vermont? Who knows that? Of course, Joe just throws all the blame on me. Hey, Doug, why’d you drive all the way to Texas, Georgia in North Carolina?
You should have just texted me, Doug. I would’ve told you, Doug that we’ve moved to Vermont Doug. Well, Joe, I’ll tell you that I found a new friend who told me straight out what the freedom and Unity state is, and her name is Wikipedia. I think that’s how you pronounce it. I need to just go back on the road and keep driving to Cool down.
I think I’m recording in Kentucky or some place right now. Anyway, they got the best fried chicken here. But before I get back to the road, here’s uh, today’s trivia question. We’ll just move along. Did you know the Mona Lisa was stolen on this date in 1911? Of course, it was recovered, but this raises a good question.
Back in 1962, the Mona Lisa was valued so that they could put an insurance on it. So the question is this, in today’s dollars, how much was the Mona Lisa valued back in 1962? I’ll be back with your answer faster than you can tell a friend not to drive to Texas.
Still not my problem. Doug dude. Never listens at the team meetings.
Just, just saying. It’s not even there. It’s, it’s just incredible. So for those of you new to this show, we every week have a competition on Fridays between our three competitors and Paula, today you’re playing on behalf of our friend Paula Pant and the score after the last two weeks of not knowing what the score is.
Karen, our producers finally done moving. So we finally got an update on the score. ’cause you can’t trust us with it in the official score right now. Is OG 11, Len 10, and Paula 10. So we kind of thought it was different than that, but we’re going with the official scorekeeper. What, uh, can’t
it’s science, what Karen had.
So, Natalie, you’re the guest, which means because you and Len are tied, you’re gonna get to decide. Do you wanna take a crack at this first? In the middle or, last? Last. She wants to go last. Len, would you like to try the middle or do you wanna get this thing over with and go first? No, we’re gonna
put OG on the spot here.
We’re gonna make him commit to some number
here. By the way, is it weird OG before you do your guests that this thing was stolen in 2011, took ’em 51 years to go, you know what? Maybe we should get insurance on this. Yeah,
it’s like a 1911 long, I think is what you mean. But yeah.
But uh, did I say 2011?
Same, same. Um, a little different, but same. A little slightly. Yeah. Maybe they just didn’t make insurance for paintings of people who are quite surly when you look at them.
Yes. Very, very, very, uh, stoic. Not too happy. It’s not necessarily sad. Yeah, you’re right. Melancholy. Have you been there, by the way, Natalie?
Have you been to see the Mona Lisa? I
actually have, I’ve lived in, uh, France, smoke there for a while, so I got to see it in, well, they said it’s the real thing inside the lube, but yeah. What wa It’s pretty cool.
What wa Yeah, but what was your first thought? ’cause I’ll tell you my first thought after I hear yours.
I thought the frame was too small. I was expecting like this whole wall. I was kind of like, oh, that’s it. That was,
that was exactly mine too. That was my initial, yes, you, you go down that long last hallway, it’s way in the back and you get down to the end of that and you turn and here’s this little tiny postage stamp picture on this big white wall.
And it’s covered by plastic too, right? Like another Yes. Trade behind in front of it. So yeah. Wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.
No, not at all. And I had to stand way back ’cause there were crowds of people just crowds and crowds of people. So anyway, og, back to you man.
All right, so lemme just understand this.
So this is what is the today value based on 1960 fours value? Correct. But not the value of it today, nor the value. Okay. So in today’s dollars, but in 1962,
yes. Applying on 1962, basic inflation from 1962. Got it.
So 1962 till now has been at least 20 years. Uh, 30, 40, 50 ish years. Well, you were born in about 1962, right, Joe?
So it makes you almost 60 years. So just regular inflation doubles that number twice, give or take. Maybe a little more than, but it’s not the value of it today. It’s the value, what they thought it was worth in 1962. That’s right. Plus inflation. So what was a lot of money in 1962? So like $5 million in 1962.
’cause it’s now probably worth like a hundred million or something. 500 million.
Well, let’s put it this way, A millionaire was actually impressive back in 1962. Wait, it’s not
Not that impressive. Oh.
Oh, wait a minute. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Yeah, hold on. Nope, not that one. Hold on.
I was gonna say, I’ve got that little button too. I can push it. Uh, all right, let me think about this. So I’m gonna say it was worth a lot of money. 5 million. I’m gonna say that in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation. Uh, my, I’m gonna say, uh, 31 and a half million.
31 and a half million dollars today.
Today, Len, what are you thinking? Man?
I have no freaking clue. None whatsoever. Wasn’t that Steel rabbit? What was that artist’s name? He made that steel rabbit that sold for, I think it was the biggest art piece. It was the biggest selling art piece ever. Uh, that was only like last year. Do you know what I’m talking about?
What’s that guy’s name? You know, the big, like a titanium rabbit? Looks like a
balloon. Jeff Koons. Do you remember? That’s Jeff Koons. Yeah. Jeff
Koons. Yeah. Remember that? And, and what, let’s see, what the heck
did that thing sell for?
I thought that was like $125 million or something. So that’s today, roughly.
Now, is the Mona Lisa more valuable than that? I would say absolutely. I’m gonna say $750
million, 750 million. So just a slight difference from what OG had a wide birth there. Yeah. Yes. So Natalie, you’ve got a wide range there between, uh, Len and og. What do you think? I
wish I was more into arts to be like, yes, that’s exactly how much I’d pay.
But you know, I hear it so referenced in so many movies and books and since 1962, I think that would definitely bring up that value. So I’m gonna go with 250 million. Yeah, let’s go with that.
$250 million in today’s value. All right. We’d love to tell you exactly, uh, who’s closest, but of course, we have to make you wait.
So we will tell you in just a minute, we hear a lot in the news about Greece being in debt. But actually when you think about it, we’re all in eternal debt to Greece for inventing Greek yogurt. When you try an Aristophanes’s yogurt, just like the Acropolis, you’ll lose your marbles over that smooth Greek taste every time.
Aristophanes’s yogurts keep it Greek. All right, OG, you kicked off things with 31 and a half million dollars based on what Natalie and Len said. You may be, you may be slightly low here, buddy.
Just a bit outside. Yeah,
maybe. And, uh, Natalie, or I’ll be right on the number. Or you be Natalie, you’re at 250 million.
You feeling at all confident about that? Not at all. And, and Len, you are the complete other side up there at $750 million. What are you thinking?
I have, I really have no idea. Uh, I mean, this is, I’m gonna learn
something today. Uh, by the way. Well, you know what? I’m gonna save it. Uh, let’s, uh, call Doug up and uh, ’cause he’s the guy with the answer.
Hey, trivia fans. Looks like I’m actually not in Kentucky. I’m, uh, in this place called the Buckeye State. Which brings up a question, why do they call it Kentucky Fried Chicken? But I’m recording this from their parking lot in Cincinnati, Ohio. I don’t get it. But anyway, things are good here in the Buckeye State or wherever the hell I am now that I’m just over halfway into my 27 hour drive.
I just might have to start rooting for Ohio State after this week that Joe’s put me through. Never, can’t do it. I’ve put about a million miles on the El Camino this week. How’s it supposed to hold its value, Joe, now that I have only 12 hours left on my trek across the continental United States. Let’s get you Today’s trivia answer question was, in today’s dollars, how much was the Mona Lisa valued at back in 1962?
Well, back in 62, the Mona Lisa assessed the highest ever insurance value for a painting a whopping $100 million. In today’s dollars after inflation, that’d be 850 million. That’s a nice little chunk of change for a lady who doesn’t even actually know how to smile. On that note, it’s time to force a smile through the rest of this road trip.
I’m pretty frosted here, Joe. Yes.
Yeah. A hundred million dollars for a little teeny tiny picture. I’m in the wrong business.
I mean, how big is that thing for really? You said it was small. I
was like, what do you think? Because I’ve never seen it. I
pictured it as being a huge picture. 30 by 20 Len.
by 20. That’s
nothing. Yeah, it is truly small, and the fact, the fact, Natalie, that they have it by itself on that huge wall as well, makes it even look smaller. Right.
Yeah. Right. And you’re so far away. ’cause you probably have at least a hundred people in front of you
too. And I don’t know about you, I didn’t feel like pushing and shoving to get up closer.
I was like, oh, okay. I was like moving on side. Exactly. Yeah. So Len takes the day, moves into a tie, and, uh, the battle’s heating up here as we get ready for fall. Very, very interesting. Wow. So big congratulations to Mr. Penso. Can’t wait to see where this game goes next week. But for now, guys, let’s take out the magnifying glass and help somebody do better with their money.
Today’s hotline call comes to us courtesy of magnifying money.com. Natalie, you know what happens when you had to stack your Benjamins dot com slash magnify money? What happens? Get this. You find out that those financial products people use at the brick and mortar bank, nowhere near the best in class.
There’s so many online banks and products out there, over 92% of them all. Online rated head-to-head against each other at Magnify money. I like the fact by the way, that uh, regardless of whether they’re affiliated with magnify money or not, they rate them all. And you can see the four point rating system they use.
It’s very straightforward. Uh, you can make great decisions. You can also see online reviews. So whether it’s a checking account, savings account, credit cards, consolidation loans, student loans, whatever it might be, head to Stacking Benjamins dot com slash magnify money. Today we’re gonna help our new friend Kelvin magnify his money, say Hi Kelvin.
Hello Joan og. My wife and I are
very blessed and have with a great poet, biggie Smalls
called a mo Money mo problems type problem. We’re 36, own our own home. Don’t have any debt. Make an excess of 200 a year. Max out. Our 4 0 1 Ks saving for college have a large cash balance and regularly contribute to our brokerage account and we still save every month.
Per our financial planner, we are well on our way to early retirement if we choose to do do so. So my
question is this, when you reach a point financially where you feel secure,
what do people do with their money? How do I get over the mental hurdle of spending money and enjoying it more? No, og. This is not a flex.
I’ll do that once I get my medium t-shirt. Say hi to mom in the rest of the bridge club on Thanks. Thanks for that Calvin and og. Just to be clear, it’s not a flex. Not a
flex. Yeah. What do I do with all my money?
Yeah, but it is, I love the fact, like he said, it’s a great problem to have. So congratulations, Calvin, on being there and being able to do that.
But now it’s the other hurdle. It’s the hurdle that frustrated me when I was a financial planner. Natalie, what would you tell Kelvin? A good
problem to have indeed. But just kind of like maybe setting up some new goals. Right. Just having a, a daily, I like gratitude journals. Like, I like writing down kind of those things that what is it that I want to do, spend the next type of money.
And if he’s not coming from a place to sacrifice anymore, that’s a great thing to have. But I think that’s kind of the big, the, the next step that he could start looking at is more like, what are the new goals? What are the new things that they wanna set out to do? And, and just being grateful for what they do have now.
Just which he sounds like he is.
Well, that’s what, that was my question. Do you think that, that having that journal would help him be more grateful?
Absolutely. I think many of us hit plateaus when, at the beginning, maybe when we did have debt, and then when we don’t, it’s kind of all of a sudden you don’t know what to do next.
And I think kind of having that reminder every single day, like, can you list five things that, that you have now that you didn’t have before? And then also maybe start maybe writing two things down that you want to accomplish. You know, with the next, uh, certain amount of money, maybe you will. Hopefully he wants to keep growing, which it sounds like he does.
And so I think that’s extremely helpful. And especially if you ever come across those moments where you’re kind of like, all right, what next? Right. We wanna have more, more, more, more money, more problems as, as he said it. Well,
oh gee, I wanna turn to you next, because this is why I used to tell people that the getting outta debt wasn’t a goal.
Because every time somebody would get outta debt, they’d have no idea what to do next. So what they’d do is go buy something big and they were back in debt again. Right. But there’s, that’s the one thing. There’s gotta be some real goal there.
I was gonna say, ’cause that’s the one thing that you know how to do well, right?
I know how to get outta debt, so if I get myself back in,
I can get back out. Speaking of flex, right? Watch this.
The, uh, the challenge with, once, you know, you start checking off financial goals and you go, well, I’m on track for retirement, I’m on track for college savings. I’m on track for debt payoff. I, you know, and you go, well, and I still have money.
Now what? Now? I just aimlessly put it into a brokerage account. Yes and no. I think you have to have a purpose for it. So make the goal a little bit more challenging if you’re on track for early retirement. Ladi da. So what is that 50? Try to retire by 45 Now. What do you have to do? Well, it’s a little bit more challenging.
You’re able to pay for your kids’ college. That’s wonderful. Pay for your niece’s college as well. If you have something that’s important to you. Think about ways that you can, uh, help that organization or those organizations, whether financially or through your time or, or, uh, energy or efforts. So like start
thinking about a legacy.
Yeah, there’s always ways to expand that goal, but you have to have the next thing long before you get the first thing done, because otherwise you’re right. You get to the point where you’re like, all right, I did all that. And especially for people that are achievers, you know, who are successful in life and business and their careers and their families and stuff, you’re always kinda looking for the next thing.
And there’s that phrase, the idle hands are a devil’s workshop and you’re bored with money. You start buying things like vacation houses and motorcycles. So it’s always important to have the next thing that you’re working on after this goal’s
done well. And not that there’s anything wrong with a vacation house or a motorcycle.
Not at all. If if put that on the list. Yeah, if that’s your goal. If it’s on Natalie’s vision board that she wants the Harley next, she goes and gets it. Exactly. Yeah. Harley. Harley doesn’t appear on there, Natalie.
No, but I’m, I think I’m gonna add it now when I have, when I have those problems, I’m like, you know what?
I have extra money,
I have way too much money. What else can I buy?
Right. I’ll buy you guys a Harley. How about
that? She’s already here first folks. She’s gonna get the cute boots first. And the Harley second. And then the Harley. Yes, yes. That’s the deal. Len, I wanted to come to you last specifically on this because I feel like you’re at a similar inflection point, not the same one that Kelvin’s at, but you’re at this point where the goals are kind of changing, right?
I mean, everything’s changing. ’cause you’re talking about retirement now. So what advice would you have for Kelvin to keep moving in the right direction?
Well, sounds like he’s got all his ducks in a row. I mean, if you think you’re ready to spend money, you know, to just, you have free money. I mean, make a mad money account if you’re worried and let it build up.
And whenever you see something you want, the rule is whatever’s in that mad money account, there’s no guilt, there’s no rules. There’s no restrictions. There’s no anything. That’s your mad money. And the rule is if you wanna spend it, you can spend it. And that’s what we’ve done too. We have, you know, we’ll have a mad money account in addition to all other specialized accounts on this, you know, off to the side.
But yeah, just make a mad money account if you’re worried that you’re not gonna be able to spend it, or you’re afraid to spend some of the, the fruits of your labor.
Just make that mad money count. And the rule is, there’s no guilt. It’s your money. It’s mad money, you’ve earned it. I mean, what is life if you can’t spend money?
Right? I mean, that’s why part of life is you’re here, right? I mean, I mean, you can’t, you work hard. I mean, a lot of people get in that hole. They, they get in that, that rutt where I’ve gotta save, I’ve gotta, you know. Yeah. I’ve gotta keep myself, I mean, life is meant to be lived, so, I mean, you’ve earned it.
Congratulations, by the way. Well, that’s kind of to len’s point, uh, Natalie, that’s what you’re doing with the money for the boots, right? You’re saving up for that. But how are you doing that in a guilt-free way? Is it, do you feel bad, the boots versus retirement?
I think you have to have a balance.
I, I do feel a little guilty, and I think it’s part of, ’cause it’s just the conditioning behind it. You know, you get to a, a place where before it used to be like, Nope, I can’t have this because I have to deal with that. But yeah, I think it, it’s, it’s still a challenge, but I feel less guilty when I realize, oh, you know what?
It’s having a balance between
all of it. Thanks for the question, Kelvin. If you’ve got a question for us, it’s really easy. Head to stacky Benjamins dot com slash voicemail. And you know what? There’s just a recorder right there. You hit the record button. As long as your device has a microphone, you’re all set.
No special setup required. Stacky Benjamins dot com slash voicemail and our friend Gertrude, because you’re brave, will send you a greatest money show on Earth T-shirt, maybe like Kelvin, where it’s a medium and then he gets to flex or, or, or, or whatever. I love how everybody tells us the size. Even though we really don’t care, we just send you a code.
And they’re rounding, I’m sure. Yeah, that’s right. Well, he really means small. He really wants it to be a small, so those guns look just huge. That’s gonna do it for today, everybody. Uh, we’re gonna let our guest of honor go last, so, oh gee. What do you got coming up this weekend, man? Oh,
we just finished the first partial week of school for my kids, so, uh,
so covid iss on its way to your house?
No, we don’t believe in it, so it doesn’t happen to us. So it’s, uh, thankfully not a thing anymore. I don’t know if you knew that, so. Oh, anyways, it’s, it’s just, just another weekend. It’s like a school weekend now. We have nothing to do as just get ready for the school week. Nothing.
Here it is playing golf, maybe.
Yeah. And all those early football games, you’re watching all those right. Oh
wait, oh wait. A lot of football going on.
Maybe, maybe not. First week of August. What’s going on at, uh, len penso.com? Mr. Penso, you’re not gonna believe this.
We’ve always got the deep email@example.com and this week I’ve posed to my readers, I gave them a bill, a restaurant bill.
We were kind of touching on this earlier. It was a, it was a restaurant bill, and I asked the
readers to calculate the tip
for the bill. So it’s, are you smarter than a fifth grader? And there’s about 90 responses so far, and, uh, you’d be interested to see, I don’t think there’s two, two tips that are the same.
So it’s just very interesting to see how people would tip a specific bill.
How much is the bill?
I can’t remember right off the, you want me to, I can’t remember what it was. Oji. Don’t ask
me these hard questions. I was gonna tell you the right answer so you could, I don’t know if you, do you have the answer key already or do you need me to tell too?
I, I’m not, I’m not gonna give it away. You’re gonna have to stop on by. I give the, I give, you know, I say, Hey, the service was good and, but everything’s there. The, all of the different things. There’s a little deal in there where, uh, you had to send something back and you got comped something. So, I mean, it’s not just against the bill with the Oh, okay.
So there’s lots of, there’s lots of variables here. And obviously people are gonna all come up with a, a different number. So it’s, it’s very interesting actually. So stop on by len penso.com or it’s sister, uh, the per the persistent itch.
No, don’t go to the persistent itch. Just go to len
penso com. I like, I like the look your, I like the look on Natalie’s face, the persistent itch. Natalie, thanks for saving the show. I appreciate it. My pleasure. My pleasure. So, so what’s happening at the financially Savvy Latina and on the podcast by the way?
Yay. A lot. Uh, September’s just around the corner, so our game is coming out. It’s, uh, it’s like a bingo, but in Spanish with financial literacy. So I’m gonna get together virtually with a few other financially savvy people, and that’ll be fun. Something new to try.
That’s awesome. You’re playing financially savvy, uh, bingo.
In Spanish, bingo. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. We call it illa, which is like lottery basically, but it’s
bingo. Yeah. So what do
you win in love how you say that? I love how you say that, Natalie. Say it one more time.
Ria. You know, it’s the RS that make it, what do you win? Well, some free financial literacy that you’re gonna learn.
And I don’t know, I, I have to think about a, a fun giveaway. I, I like that. You’re making me think about that now, so I’ll have to get back
to you on that. You’re welcome. That’s why I’m here, Natalie. That’s why we’re friends. I learned, I learned from you. Hey, NA.
Natalie, Natalie, I gotta say this too. I, I, I told the honeybee, you know, she missed her calling.
She should have trademarked the financially savvy Latina, my wife. So, but you, you beat her to the punch, so. Yep. Ah, well,
I’d love to get to know her either. Well, either way.
Well, you’re in la we’re not
far apart, so, oh,
yay. That’s how we connect. Thanks
Joe Abs. Absolutely. See me? I’m a connector. That’s this whole thing.
All we’re gonna let you guys connect later, though. We’re out of here. Doug, you’ve got it from here, man. What should we have learned today?
Mona? Lisa. Mona Lisa. Yeah, I Sure thing, Joe. Yeah. I’ll tell everybody what they should have learned. First, take a lesson from our round table, the best way to exercise your money habits.
Keep at ’em. Review what you spend, make plans for the future. Do these actively, and you’ll be winning with money before you know it. Second, take a lesson from the evil HR lady, Suzanne Lucas Vacations versus Working More Life’s a marathon and you’ll need breaks to keep going if you’re gonna win. Embrace the breaks and stop thinking about the work all the time.
But the big takeaway, Joe just told me that they’re only in Vermont like another week. What the hell? Don’t leave. Before I get there guys, I gotta get some of that Vermont beer. Special thanks to Natalie for joining us on the Round Table today. You can find her podcast Financially Savvy in 20 minutes anywhere you find your finer podcasts, which pretty much means everywhere else besides where we are.
Also, we’ll have a link to her website on our show notes page at Stacking Benjamins dot com. Also, thanks to evil HR lady Suzanne Lucas for joining us again to discuss how it really is good to take a vacation. Yeah, she didn’t say anything about an unending road trip, Joe Len Penso appears courtesy of len penso.com and the angel of darkness.com.
This show is created by Joe Saul-Sehy, produced by Karen Rapine, and engineered by the amazing Steve Stewart online. Visit us on Twitter at SS Benjamins Cast, or on our Facebook page. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. It appears I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. SB podcasts may receive payment on the show from sponsors and guests in the form of books, giveaway items, discounts or other remunerations.
That’s a big word. There’s no way you take advice from these dorks, but like Joe’s mom always says, don’t take advice from people you don’t know. This show is for entertainment purposes only, and before making any financial decisions, consult with a real financial advisor.
Oh, and Doug, you forgot one. Big thanks to comedian Benjamin Partridge and the Beef and Dairy Network for letting us use their comedy commercial today. For Aristophanes’s Yogurt. Check out the Beef and Dairy Network podcast for our type of humor. I.
I was late to meet Len to record the sandwich survey, and I had the most bss reason why I was late. I felt so lame. I’m like, Hey, I, I really shouldn’t tell you why I’m late for this recording. I. I got stuck in a long line at Ben and Jerry’s headquarters getting nice grief.
I think that’s the best. Hey, that’s a great excuse, man.
Like, I’m a chunky monkey lover. So, you know, I, I would’ve done
the same thing. They don’t have, they don’t have it open for tours, but they do have open to get ice cream. So I got the New York super fudge chunk. I was gonna say
New York Super fudge Chunk. Yep.
That’s yours too, too. Yes.
That’s what, how about Cherry Garcia?
That’s a good one too. You like Cherry
Garcia? You know, last week was the anniversary of the death of Jerry Garcia, by the way. Len, is
that right too? But we don’t have Paula here, so we could, uh, ask her if she knew. Who knows who, uh, Jerry Garcia was.
Yes. Natalie, did you
watch any of the, uh, P G A championship and all the outros?
For the, on the commercials were all, like, all, all the music from San Francisco, from like the fifties through the eighties.
Oh my God, would that be cool? And they’re like,
they’re like, whoa. And like all those guys are just jamming on like, this is, this is the greatest Janice Joplin song ever. And people are like, yeah, dude, you’re super old.
It was really good. It was cool. Like they had, uh, I think grateful. It was Grateful. Deads outta San Francisco. Yeah. Oh yeah. They might had, yeah. Oh, we might’ve had
them. Sorry. Yeah, sure. Natalie, what’s your favorite? Uh, Ben and Jerry’s flavor.
Ooh. You know, I like the classics. The Rocky Road, um, Manchi, the funny one is the peanut butter.
Oh, I can’t remember the name of it. But they’re also good. And I did go to Vermont and I remember going to their headquarters like the best
anything. It’s, it is, it’s gonna be a problem, Natalie. ’cause it’s like five miles down the road. So I told, told it doesn’t sound like a problem to me. Well I told Len, you have to support, I know.
My mom says when you’re on vacation, if you don’t come back a little heavier, that means you didn’t have a good time eating good food. So.
Well that’s bad when I’m living here for a month. That’s not good. Between that, what?
Shout out to Benninger. They still maintain a pint. Right. They still have a pint ice cream.
They don’t cut it down to 15 ounces or
whatever. Yeah. They’re not, uh uh, sissies like the rest of them. Hey, like ho dust. Yeah. Step up and do the pint. Come on. It’s all about the pie. And of course, whenever I get a pint at the grocery store, I think to myself, I’m like, you know what? I’m just gonna have half of this
one serving. And then that’s like the half gallons for Bluebell
half gallon. You get Well, no, they are,
they’re the, they’re still half gallon ice
creams. Yeah. But you get done with a whole half gallon of, uh, what’s the great divide? My favorite Bluebell. Yeah. You get done with a half gallon of that at one sitting.
You’re just full of shame. Just, just
a bad, I don’t think you need a half gallon of ice cream at one sitting.
Can you just a bad day, day. Maybe you can. Hey, I’m not a quitter man. I am not a, by the way, between that, it must get really damn cold here. Because also the amount of beer they have here, it’s ice cream and beer, like every place.
It’s ice cream and beer. Like I craft beer ev every two miles down the road. I think every person who lives here, like to get in the state, you have to brew your own craft beer. Like you gotta show the fact that, Hey, can you brew beer? I’m sorry you can’t get in. I dunno. Yes,
I remember. I remember them having like the best sandwiches.
Um, just the little delis. But yeah, you’re, you’re in a and thrift, thrift shopping that was like the big, especially in Vermont, so you’re, you’re in for a good month at least. You’ll keep yourself
busy. I, I will keep myself busy, but I might also be super duper fat and broke.