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What Should You Do With Your Tax Return (By Financial Situation!)

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re gonna talk about what you should do with your tax return by financial situation.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk about what you should do with your tax return by financial situation.

 

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Transcript:

 

On this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk about what you should do with your tax return by financial situation.

Woo. What's up everybody? And welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. I'm your host Andrew, founder of Master money.co. And today on the Personal Finance Podcast, we are gonna be talking about what to do with your tax return, buy financial situation. If you guys have any questions, make sure you hit us up on Instagram or tick.

Talk at Master Money Co and follow us on Spotify, apple Podcast or whatever podcast player you're listening on right now. And if you guys are getting value outta the show, make sure to leave a five star rating and review on Apple Podcast or Spotify. I cannot thank you guys enough for leaving those five star ratings and reviews.

They truly mean the world to us. And on the Master Money YouTube channel, we just released a couple of new videos. We are doing some deep dives on some investment portfolios. We just released one on the s and p 500 versus the three fund portfolio, and we analyzed what would happen if you invested in a three fund portfolio versus if you just bought the s and p 500, and we're gonna be doing a bunch of different deep dives like that on the Master Money YouTube channel.

In addition, we're gonna be talking about ways. Increase your income through side hustles and stuff like that as well. So make sure you're subscribed to that as well if you're interested in some of those topics, because there are some fresh new topics that we are talking about over there. So today I'm really, really excited to talk to you about what to do with your tax return.

So we got this question from a listener via email who asked, Hey, I would love to hear your thoughts on what to do with your tax return, and I have so many thoughts about this and I have a bunch of thoughts depending on your financial situation that we are gonna be going through, exactly what you can do with your tax return.

Now, obviously this is up to you, but at the same time there are some really, really cool things that you can do when you get this lump sum of money every single year because the majority of people out there do get a tax return. Now, one thing I want you to remember before we dive in here is remember, a tax return is not free money it.

Loan that you gave to the government interest free, and you are now getting this money back. This is money that you earned. You worked hard for this money. This is your hard earned dollars. So you wanna make sure you make the right decision with this money either to improve your life so you can enjoy your life more.

Or so that you can build more wealth. And we're gonna do this by priority. What are your priorities in life? And that's kind of the question you have to ask yourself as you're listening to this episode. What is my priority right now in life? What do I need my dollars to do so that I, either I can get closer to freedom, or what do I need my dollars to do so that I can reduce my stress and anxiety?

All of these different things now. The IRS has already announced that they've already issued 8 million different refunds, and the average refund right now is $1,963. This is down from last year. Last year it was $2,201 at the same exact time last year, and you can actually check. For the status of your refund.

As you're thinking through this, if you've already filed your tax return, you can check on that status of your refund on the IRS to Go app, and we're gonna talk about a couple of things that you can do with that. But there's a section called Where's My Refund? And you can figure out, Hey, how far along is my refund if you've already filed your tax return?

If you haven't filed your tax return yet? At the end of this episode, we're gonna talk about ways that you can get your tax. Faster. So this is an episode that's jam packed with a bunch of information. We're gonna go through a financial situation and what to do with your tax return. We're gonna talk about how this decision has six to seven figure implications, because what most people don't realize is that what you do with this tax return is going to mean that you could have six to seven figures more in retirement depending on what you do with this.

And we're gonna talk about exactly why that is. I'm gonna talk about the investment decisions and we're gonna go through. How much can your tax return grow if you just invested it every year? That's another cool exercise that we're gonna be doing here in this episode. And like we said at the end, we'll talk up a little bit about how you can get your tax returned faster.

So if that's something you're into, let's get into it. Alright, so first let's go through financial situation on what you should be doing with your tax return. If I was in your situation, this is, if I was in your exact situation based on your financial situation, what I would do with the money. So the first.

Is if I had high interest debt, I would put it towards paying that off first. See, high interest debt is a pants on fire. Emergency. It is taking away from your freedom. It is taking away from your wealth building ability. So you need to be able to get rid of this as fast as humanly. Possible. Now, if you don't know what high interest debt is, it is any debt above five to 6% interest rate that you are paying on right now.

So for a lot of people, and the majority of people, you may have something like credit card debt. If you have credit card debt, that is considered a pan on fire emergency. In fact, credit card debt, interest rates have risen to record levels right now. So they're between. 15 to 25%. And some retail cards, say for example, you have like a Macy's card or something like that, have risen above 30%.

This is something where you have to get rid of this as fast as you possibly can. It is absolutely eating away in your ability to build wealth. And what does wealth do? Wealth gives you freedom in your life. It reduces your stress, reduces your anxiety. So you definitely wanna do this as fast as you possibly can Now.

All your debts. See, if you have student loan debt, then you wanna try to get rid of that if it's above five to 6% interest rate. If you have a really high interest rate on maybe a personal loan, I've heard of people having personal and business loans that are above 10%. I want you to understand this right now as you navigate your financial life.

Any debt that becomes available to you that has an interest rate, Anywhere above eight to 10%. If it's like above 10%, that is predatory towards you. Do not ever take debt anywhere above that interest rate. Now, low interest debt is a totally different story. If you have a mortgage, say it's 3%, 4%, that's a totally different story, but we're talking about high interest debt here.

When you have this really high interest debt, you wanna get rid of that as fast as possible. So let's say you get your tax return in and it's a few thousand dollars and you can reduce the amount of that debt. This is extremely powerful for you to be able to do because once you start to attack that debt, then all of a sudden you have momentum in play and you can really start to amp it up with some of your additional income.

Now, you should be doing this with your extra income as well, and you should not be increasing that balance. Listen, if times are hard, I understand times are hard, but there are better ways to go about this than to increase your debt with that interest. 15 to 25%. So making sure you're getting rid of high interest debt is incredibly important.

Now, we created a free debt course for you. If you do not know how to do this, if you don't know how to put together a debt payoff plan, we have a free debt course. If you could do a master money.co/debt course, this is going to take you to r v. Free debt course. I've seen a bunch of other people out there who have debt courses where they charge you for it, but you're already in debt, so that's not helping you whatsoever.

So we made this free so that you can go through this course in the our system that we have here, and that's only eight modules that you can do this in less than an hour. I made it short for a reason, cause I want you to just get in, get out, have a plan in place so that you can get after getting rid of your.

The second thing to do with your money, if you do not have any high interest debt, but you do not have an emergency fund, then the emergency fund is the second thing. So what is your emergency fund? Emergency fund protects you against life. Now remember this. This is how I want you to remember what Emergency fund does.

Things in life are gonna happen. It's not if they're going to happen, it's when are they going to happen? Things in life will happen. Your car is going to break down, but when your car breaks down, you're gonna say, whoops. And then you're gonna say, oh, I have the money there. Whoops, there it is. Maybe your house has an issue.

Whoops, there it is. You have your money there available to you that is going to reduce your stress. Now, when I first had my emergency fund, I was building my emergency fund in my early twenties. My very first time I did this, and I remember my car broke. Just as I finished my emergency fund, it was a $2,500 bill, and at that time it was a lot of money to me.

So that $2,500 bill came up and all of a sudden I had zero stress about it because the money was just there. It was already there for me to be able to take care of that situation. I didn't even have to think twice about it because that's what your emergency fund is there to do. Now, the main purpose of your emergency fund is to take care of those unexpected life events and what's the biggest one that could happen to you?

Loss of jobs. So that's how we figure out how much emergency fund we actually need. So, Can get a job really quick. Maybe you're in an industry where you can find a job very, very fast. If you're a nurse or maybe you're a software engineer or something like that, you can probably find a job very fast. So really you can save up to three months of your monthly expenses, your net monthly expenses that you spend every single month, and you can take out all the fluff if you want to, and but your bare bones, monthly expenses, three months of those, and you'll be okay there.

If it's gonna take you a little longer to find a job, then maybe you want to put six months of expenses. And for me, I always opt to six months of expenses no matter what. And then I wanna increase that as time goes on. Why? Because I think cash is security now. Cash loses value every single month. I understand that.

But cash is also security. Now, one cool thing that I want to note here is right now where do you put this emergency fund? You could put it in a high yield savings account, but at the time, recording this, Treasury bills are at almost 5% right now. This just came out today. At the time recording. This T bills are almost at 5%.

What is a T bill? It's guaranteed money. You buy the T bill from the government, and the government is gonna give you 5% based on the maturity date. So you can get one month, three month, six month. The six month one right now currently is at 5%. So that's another consideration if you don't need the money right away.

But you can do something like a TBI ladder, which means that you buy the first month with one month expenses, you buy a two. With one month expenses, you buy a three month with one month of expenses. And what that does is those are gonna mature over time if you need them. And you just continue that cycle over and over again, and you can really get a high interest rate right now in T-bills.

So that's another great place to put them if you do a TBI ladder. So those are two great places, but you gotta have that emergency fund in place. That is number two. Number three, if you are not hitting your investment goals and you have your emergency fund in place, you have no high interest debt, but you want to be able to start investing your dollars, then you want to start investing your dollars with this tax refund.

So this is a fantastic way to do it. We're gonna talk about the implications If you invested every single month here in a second. Hey, if your refund is $1,000, how much can it grow over 30 years? If your refund is $2,000, how much can it grow over 30 years, all the way up to 10 grand? We're gonna talk about that in a second as well.

But if you're not hitting your investment goals, this is the order that I would look at right here. So the first thing I would do is look at a Roth four ohk. If your company offers a Roth 401k, you gotta ask what they offer this, but this is the Roth ira, but you can get more money into it. $22,500. Number two is the.

Ira, that is the second place I would look to invest my dollars. Number three is the hsa. Now, all three of these, I have them pretty much at the same level. I like the Roth 401k most because you can get more dollars into it. And so the cool thing about the Roth 401k is that you can get $22,500 every single year.

If you're under the age of 50, you can get another 7,500 in the year. 2023 right now at the time, recording this. If you are over the age of 50 with that catch up contribution. So the Roth 401K is amazing. It is what I start with and I prioritize every single year. And the Roth I r a, they have the same exact tax strategy.

So between the two of them, if you can get both of 'em, that's absolutely amazing as well. And the H S A has triple tax benefits, meaning you put money in. Tax free. The money grows tax free, and you could pull the money out tax free with a qualified medical expense. And we have entire episodes on the Roth IRA and the HSA as well that we can up down below.

Next would be the 401K or the equivalent, so your 4 0 3 , your ira, those types of things. And then lastly, you got your taxable brokerage as well. So that's the order I would look at when I'm looking at these investment accounts. We have something called the Stairway to Wealth, if you wanna see some deep dives of us talking about this.

But we also deep dive into this with our investor's. C. Inside of Index Fund Pro. So Index Fund Pro is our investing course, 99 bucks. And inside of Index Fund Pro, we have an investor's checklist that will kind of walk you through this. So if this is something that you are interested in, make sure you check that out.

Number four, if you. Are only hitting part of your investment goals, then you can use this as a supplement to complete your investment goals. Now, how do you figure out what your investment goals are? When you start to invest, you wanna figure out how much money do I need to retire on? That is one of the biggest keys when we start to pursue financial independence and pursue wealth building.

Well, how much money do I need per year in retirement? So how do you figure this out? You say, Hey, I spend. $60,000 per year, and then you're gonna take that $60,000 per year and you're gonna multiply that by 25. So if you do the math on that, for example, that's gonna be 1.5 million. So that means you need to get to 1.5 million so that you can spend $60,000 per year.

If you need $80,000 per year, it's 2 million. If you need $40,000 per year, it's 1 million, but that's how you figure out how to get to that point. Then you work backwards. How long will it take me to get there? And you do some math, so you can use an investment calculator to do that, or anything along those lines.

So if you're only hitting part of this investment goals, maybe you wanna max out your Roth I r a. Every single year with $6,500, and you're only putting $4,500 per year into your Roth IRA right now. So you want to have another $2,000 to get into that Roth ira. Well, you can take $2,000 of your tax return, put it towards that Roth ira, and then use the rest for whatever else you want so you can hit that investment goal and then you can move on with life.

So this is something where it's great to supplement it if you're not hitting your investment goals, and then the rest of it you can spin on yourself. Treat. That is a great thing to do with your tax return on part of it, but we're gonna talk about how you can build some massive wealth with your tax return if you don't wanna do that, and how impactful that decision can be.

Number five is if you are hitting all your investment goals, you're doing everything you want in life and you're on path to pursue financial independence, or you're already financially free, there's a bunch of things that you can do. You can, number one, invest it to reach financial independence faster.

Number two, you can spend part of it and save part of it, which is what a lot of people who reach financial independence do. For example, you can spend 40% of it and save 60%, invest 60% of it. You can use it for a home remodel. You can use it to have a vacation or life experience. If you're really stressed out about work right now, that's a great option as well.

To reduce your stress and anxiety, you can pay off low interest debt, so if you have a mortgage out there that you are still paying on and you really wanna get rid of that mortgage, you can use it for low interest. You can invest it in like a cash flowing asset, for example. So maybe you wanna get into rental properties or you want to buy ice machines or something like that.

Then you can go out there and put it in a cash flowing asset. Or you can also donate it as well. If you really have been reaching all of your goals, you can donate, or I always donate a percentage of it no matter what. But you can always donate it, portion of it as well. So this is some of the cool stuff that you can do with your tax return up front.

That is something where you can look at your financial situation and say, where am I right now? And what do I need to be doing with this tax return? So the first thing I always opt to doing right now at the stage that I'm in, Is I save a portion of it and invest a portion of it, and then the rest of it a small percentage, then I will spend on whatever we want.

So that's kind of how we think through it. Right now, we wanna do a bunch of house projects so that we would probably allocate it towards some house projects, but at the same time, you can do whatever you want and I'm gonna show you the implications of if you invest this tax return, how much wealth you can.

Actually build, depending on how much time that you have. So this is a really cool section I don't want you to miss, and we're gonna talk about that next. Alright. So the next key thing that we wanna look at is what would happen if we invested our tax return instead of having our tax return and just sp spending it and blowing it every year.

Because what most people do is they get their tax return, they think it's free money and they blow up. But let me show you why that's a six to seven figure decision just by investing it instead. So, We're gonna go from $2,000 all the way up to $10,000 out of investing This. In addition, I'm gonna go with a 7% rate of return all the way up to a 10% rate of return and increments of 1% so that you can see what kind of implication does this have?

So $2,000. We're gonna start with $2,000 over the course of 30 years. If you got a 7% rate of return, you took that $2,000 and you just invested it into something like an index fund, what would happen to it? A 7% rate of return. If you got $2,000 over the course of 30 years, so every year you're just putting that $2,000 tax return into this investment account, it would turn into 202.

Thousand $146. If you got an 8% rate of return, it would turn to $244,691. If you got a 9% rate of return, it would turn into $297,150, and at a 10% rate of return, $297,150. So you could have. Up to $300,000 more in your retirement account over the course of 30 years by investing this money if you got $2,000 per year.

Now let's look at $3,000. So if we look at $3,000. We can see here that with a 7% rate of return, $303,219 with an 8% rate of return, $367,037, with a 9% rate of return, $445,725. You can see this is gonna grow a lot as we go on here and with a 10% rate of return, $445,725, with $3,000 invested every single year over 30.

You could have almost half a million dollars if you got a $3,000 tax return every single year, $4,000 over 30 years. Let's see what happens here. So with 7% rate of return with $4,000, $404,000, $4,000 every single year, $489,000. With an 8% rate of return, then we have $594,300 with a 9% rate of return, and we have $723,773 with a 10% rate of return.

Here's the amazing part about that is that with that 10%. Rate of return. For example, you would've only invested $120,000 over those 30 years, and the money that your money would've made would've been $603,000. This is the power of investing and the power of compound interest over time. Let's look at $5,000, $5,000 with a 7% rate of return.

Would be $505,000. So if you got a $5,000 tax return every single year and you blew it on something that you don't even remember doing, you're gonna regret that because it's half a million dollars that you could have additional in your investment account. That means half a million dollars, for example, at a 7% rate of return, which is extremely conservative, would mean that you can draw it on 20,000 additional dollars per year in retirement.

That's how powerful that is. An 8% rate of return with $5,000 would be $611,729. At a 9% rate of return, it would be $742,876 over 30 years, and at a 10% rate of return, it'd be $904,717. So if you got a $5,000 tax return, you'd almost have a million dollars. You're getting close to $904,000. If you've got a 10% rate of return.

Let's look at $6,000. So at $6,000. We are looking at a 7% rate of return. You'd have $606,000 at an 8% rate of return. You'd have $734,075 at a 9% rate of return, $891,451 at a 10% rate of return. Our first million here, $1,085,000. So if you got that $6,000 tax return, it'd be a million dollars by the time you retired in 30 years.

If you got a 10% rate of return, a million dollars is $40,000 per year in retirement. Additional that you could be living off of in retirement. So imagine you took one vacation. Or you bought frivolous things with that $6,000 tax return, or you could have an additional million dollars in your retirement account.

So all I'm doing to show you here, and we're gonna go all the way up to $10,000 in a second here, but all I'm doing this for is so that you can see the implications of decisions. Making the right decision is extremely powerful. Maybe you get a $10,000 tax return, for example, but 7,000 you decide to invest and $3,000 you decide to spend on yourself for now.

And that is a perfect system and something you gotta think. Hey, how much more do I want in retirement and will this really help me? For $7,000, we're gonna go through $7,000. Now if you got $7,000 per year and in a tax return, your balance would be $707,511 at a 7% rate of return at an 8% rate of return, $856,421 at a 9% rate of return, 1 million.

$40,000 and at a 10% rate of return, $1,266,000. So $7,000 over the course of 30 years at a 10% rate of return is 1.26 million. Let's go to $8,000 now. So with $8,000, if you went, took that money and you invested that money and you got a 7% rate of return, 808,584. An 8% rate of return, $978,766 at a 9% rate of return, $1.188 million, and at a 10% rate of return, $1,447,547 at 9007% rate of return, $909,000.

8% rate of return, 1 million, a 9% rate of return, $1,337,176, and at a 10% rate of return, $1,628,490. Now let's go to $10,000 is the last one we're doing. At $10,000 over the course of 30 years with a 7% rate of return is already a million dollars, $1,010,000 at an 8% rate of return, $1,223,000 at a 9% rate of return, $1,429,000, and at a 10% rate of return, 1,809,430.

$4. This is the amazing power that you have at your fingertips with your tax return. And so I don't want you to take this lightly, and the reason why I spent so much time on that for you to listen through this, and if you're watching on YouTube, we can put these on the screen as well. But the reason why I spent so much time on that is because, I want you to understand the power of these tax returns and what your money can do if you have a long enough time horizon to allow this to compound.

Now, if you only have 15 years, doesn't matter. This is still really powerful stuff that you could be putting towards retirement. I mean, this is something that can truly change your life. If you take these tax returns and you put them towards things that can compound over time. So you know what I would want you to do with your tax return as the best thing you can do is buy your freedom.

It's to buy your time back, and this is going to help you do that if you got this 10% rate of return with a tax return and say you got $10,000 back, for example. With 1.8 million. This is just a four savings that you're giving a free loan to the government, obviously, but the money comes back to you. It's just four savings, and all of a sudden you just invest that lump sum once a year.

Every single, you're gonna have 1.8 million in that account you're living on close to $70,000 a year just by having that in place. An additional $70,000 per year in retirement is pretty sweet to have. And so having this available to you, making the right decision is incredibly powerful. So next, before we wrap up the show, I'm gonna talk about real quickly how you can get your tax refund faster.

All right? So before we wrap it up here, we're gonna talk about how to get your tax refund. And the fastest way to do this obviously, is filing electronically. If you don't file electronically and you still send it in with via. I would change the way I would do that if you want to get your refund faster.

Now, the average person gets their refund back in about 21 days. That's what the IRS states right now is. It takes about 21 days if you have zero issues. So the first thing you wanna do is make sure you're filing correctly. There's a couple ways to do this. You can use a software like TurboTax or h and r Block.

Or you can go out and you can get a tax strategist or an accountant. So I've always opted to having an accountant. I used to do it on TurboTax and then realized very quickly, I'm not maximizing my results by utilizing this. Instead, I went to an accountant and they looked at my specific strategy and said, This is some of the things that you can do to reduce the amount of taxes you paid, and we'll get your refund back as fast as we possibly can.

So that is one of the best dollars that I spend every single year is getting an accountant. And it is one of the best ways to invest your money, in my opinion. So I have my accountant fill it out and then go through the whole process. But you wanna make sure that you fill it out and you have zero errors and making sure you have zero errors and making sure you go through the software process on your.

Correctly, or an accountant will make sure that you have those zero errors. In addition, you wanna make sure that you get your refund direct deposited instead of getting a check because you get it via direct deposit. It will get there so much faster than it would if you got a physical check. We wanna automate everything with our money.

Including our tax refund. Everything should be audited as well. So those are some of the tips that you can get it faster. And the fastest way to do it, obviously, is to fill it out correctly. Make sure you do it online and make sure you get direct deposit. And you should see that come in within 21 days from you filing.

And when you get that money already, start thinking about it now. If you haven't filed your tax returner, you haven't gotten your refund yet, start thinking about this now. What am I gonna do with this money? Plan it out because you can see this. Six figure, if not a million dollar implication on your life if you make the correct decision.

So start thinking through, what am I going to do with my tax refund and have that ready to go. Listen, hope you guys enjoyed this episode on what to do with your tax refund. I truly appreciate each and every single one of you. All we wanna do with this podcast is bring you as much value as we possibly can so that you can build wealth.

That's my entire goal, is to teach as many of you as possible how to build wealth. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. If you got value outta this episode, share it. Family member or a friend, and don't forget to leave those five star rating and reviews. I truly appreciate each and every one of you that do that.

Thank you again for listening to the Personal Finance Podcast and we will see ya on the next episode.

 

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Never Too Late, And Here’s Why!

Andrew is positive, engaging, and straightforward. As someone who saw little light at the end of the tunnel, due to poor saving/spending habits, I believed I would be entirely too dependent on Social Security. Andrew shows how it’s possible to secure financial freedom, even if you’ve wasted the opportunities presented in your youth. Listened daily on drives too and from work and got through 93 episodes in theee weeks.

Bradley DH
5/5
Just What I Have Been Searching For!

This podcast has been exactly what I have been looking for. Not only does it solidify some of my current practices but helps me to understand the why and the ins-and-outs to what does work and what doesn’t work! Easy to listen to and Andrew does a great job and putting everything in context that is applicable to everyone.

M. Marlene
5/5
Simply Excellent!!!

Excellent content, practical, straight to the point, easy to follow and easy to apply! Andrew takes the confusion, complexity and fear as a result (often the biggest deterrent for most folks) out of investing and overall money matters in general, and provides valuable advice that anyone can follow and put into practice. Exactly what I’ve been looking for for quite some time and so happy that I came across this podcast. Thank you, Andrew!

Katica_KateKate
5/5
Great Information In An Understandable Way

Absolutely a must listen for anyone at any age. A+ work.

GiantsFan518
5/5
Wealth Building Magician

Absolutely love listening to this guy! He has taken all of my thoughts and questions I’ve ever had about budgeting, investing, and wealth building and slapped onto this podcast! Can’t thank him enough for what I’ve learned!

Dmoney7777
5/5
Fun Financial Literacy Experience

I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago and wanted I am learning SO MUCH! Finance is an area of my life that I’ve always overlooked and this year I am determined to make progress! I am so grateful for this podcast and wish there was something like this 18 years ago! Andrew’s work is life changing and he makes the topic fun!

mariasarchi
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