Welcome to Face the Fear!
We are Nicole Ellsworth and Kaitlyn Duchien, two motivated millennials on a journey to face the fear of our financial future.
We created this safe space where we will dive into topics like retirement, budgeting, student loans, investing, insurance, financial terms, etc. We are passionate about educating ourselves and others in the process. Join us as we change the conversation around finances and approach our future with confidence.
If you like us, follow us here, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to our podcast: Face the Fear. (Social media links are on the top right of this page.)
*Disclaimer: We are not here to give legal financial advice. We highly encourage you to bring the topics we discuss to a financial professional, who is qualified to address your specific financial goals.*
It’s time for some real talk, and we are so excited that you are here to join us!
Until next time – Face the Fear!
–Nicole and Kaitlyn
Jordan Bell joins us again on this episode of Face The Fear, along with Steve Gansey, head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA G League)! We talk about sports, money, life lessons, and of course…basketball.
Jordan Bell: @jbgoodpeople
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According to The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study, the national average cost of a wedding is $33,931. YIKES!
How do you plan a wedding without going broke? How do you talk to your parents, fiancé, and future-in-laws about a wedding budget? How do you start your marriage with a solid financial foundation?
Our Face The Fear Bridal Series is here to tackle all of these questions AND MORE!
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Podcast: Face the Fear (on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play)
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What is your WHY behind your financial goals? Leave a comment down below!
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In this week’s episode, we chat with Jamal Robinson and Justin Davis. Both are active in the Fort Wayne community and are entrepreneurs. We talk about inspiration, leaving a legacy, Believe In A Dream, starting an eye wear business, making connections/networking and a bit about sports.
Jamal’s contact information is below:
- Personal Instagram: @jamalarobinson
- Business: Desiar Eyewear
- Business: CEV Collection
- NonprofitWeb: www.biadinc.org
Justin Davis Instagrams:
Face The Fear:
In this episode, we welcome back Erin Martin, Retirement Plan Adviser at Phillips Financial to talk about 401(k)’s, retirement accounts, vesting and withdrawing money from your 401(k) and how that can impact your long term goals.
Joining us in this episode is Nick Lucas and Nick Shoemaker, students at the University of St. Francis!
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XOXO – Nicole and Kaitlyn
Do you talk finances with your spouse? No? Well, you should. As awkward as it maybe, it is so important to have regular discussions over your financial situation.
Now, I know this might be tough if there is a dark cloud over your finances, and may cause disagreements, but sweeping it under the rug only makes it worse. I assume there is some sort of discussion related to this subject, but is it a quick “honey, did you pay the rent?” or is it a full-on conversation related to goal setting, where you are at, where you want to be, and the steps you are taking to get there? There is a HUGE difference. Don’t get me wrong, you can still ask if the rent is paid but having the actual in-depth discussion behind that question is what is so important.
Finances are one of the biggest causes of divorce in the US. I don’t mean to be a Debby downer, but it is a fact. By having these discussions and putting the work into creating a successful financial future, this can help you to avoid being in that statistic.
To make this a little less awkward, I have some tips to help lighten the load:
- Icebreaker: That initial conversation is probably going to be the toughest to start. Make it comfortable. Schedule a time to sit down to a nice dinner or get in your pjs and talk money with pizza. Anything to make the situation more relaxed. Try to start by discussing the positives of your finances. Maybe you saved an extra $300 this month, or you raised your 401k contribution, literally anything positive. Doing this can help get you both in a good mood. If there is nothing positive to start off with, maybe bring in a solution to an issue. Say you have a massive medical bill due this month, instead of just looking at the fact that you are going to spend a ton of money that maybe you do not have, look on the bright side that at least after this month you won’t have that bill and you can put that money into savings next month. Get creative and try to keep the mood light. The discussion will be more productive if you are both happy.
- Do not lie: This is probably THE most important tip I can share. Hiding items related to money is the easiest way to cause an argument and create issues. It is so much better to get everything out into the open so together you can take the steps to make it right. No matter how embarrassing it is, or how big of a burden it may be, you are in this together. In my opinion, I would much rather hear the bad news up front and work through it than be lied to about it as the problem is getting much bigger. Be open and communicate the issues. This is so important.
- Use tools: There are so many resources out there to help you reach your financial goals. From budgeting websites, spreadsheets, templates, books, the list goes on and on. Find a tool that works best for you and your spouse. If you budget monthly and like apps there are sites such as Mint or Everydollar. If you budget weekly and like to have a paper copy, maybe you find a spreadsheet that you can fill in. Anything to help make it easier. This can also help make future conversations a breeze to get through. On top of that, you will visually be able to see how you are doing and stay on track.
- Make goals: By setting financial goals you and your spouse will have something to work towards. Instead of waiting for the next paycheck to blow on food- guilty, say you made a goal to pay off your car 1 year quicker, now you have a purpose for the money that betters your future. These goals can be short term or long term, or even better a mix of both. Consider writing these down somewhere, your phone, computer, notebook, etc. Being able to see them will help make it harder to give up on them. Make sure they are goals you both agree on and benefit you both.
- Make a plan and stick to it: Whether this is a budget, or a 5- year plan, make a plan. Discussing what you want to achieve and talking about how to get there is a great step, but really getting down deep and planning everything out will help you realize what you have to look forward to, what you can do right now, or where you are making mistakes. If you do not have a basic household budget yet, that might be a good place to start. Find a way that works best with your pay schedules and stick to the budget. From there, start making a longer-term plan. For example: In 5 years you and your spouse are going to build a house and to get there, year 1 you are going to cut the amount you eat out in half every month and put that money into savings, year 2 you are going to do so and so…and year 3 and 4 and so on until you build the house. Hang your plan on your fridge and talk about it frequently. Keep your budget, or plan in front of you so you can keep each other accountable if one of you starts to fall of track. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Hopefully these tips help you and your spouse start the conversation for your financial future. Talking about money does not have to be awkward. If you take the time to create a more relaxed environment and discuss the positive things you have or can do, in my experience, it helps so much. This is the person you are stuck with forever, make sure you are both on the right page to have a successful future!
Author: Dakota Otis
Let’s take a poll. Do you have an iPhone (or other smartphone if you’ve somehow survived without biting into the Apple)? Do you want to make more money? I hope you’ve answered yes to both of these questions. (If not, who are you and ARE YOU OKAY?) Here are 5 apps to help you make (and save) a few extra cents:
Stash is an app built for investing newbies. In fact, 86% of the app’s users are first-time investors. Stash is basically the Planet Fitness of investing platforms — a Judgement-Free Zone where users are provided basic investing education in an easy-to-understand way without some of the complexities of other robo-advising platforms. The app allows you to create an account and begin investing with as little as $5. Investment choices include individual stocks and ETFs, categorized by features like market capitalization or social responsibility. Currently, three different subscription plan options are available, based on your investing goals: Beginner, Growth, and Stash Plus. The Beginner Plan ($1/month) allows you to open your own taxable brokerage account, receive financial education, and use the Stash debit card with Stock-Back (earn stock as a reward for shopping at certain companies, like Amazon or Starbucks). The Growth Plan ($3/month) offers all previous benefits, plus tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as a Traditional or Roth IRA. Finally, the Stash Plus plan ($9/month) adds the features of a UTMA/UGMA accounts (savings for children), double Stock-Back rewards, and monthly market insight reports. (Disclaimer: Stash is an investing platform. If you choose to invest, you will be subject to market risk and could lose money. Also, Face The Fear is not sponsored by Stash. We just genuinely like the app and think you will, too).
Ever find yourself binging Netflix with ice cream tub in hand, wondering when you lost your motivation to workout and where you’re going to find it again? Achievement is here to help. For some people (aka me), the idea of strutting my “beach body” next summer isn’t enough to get me off the couch. Achievement knows money is a big motivator for many people, so it rewards you in cash for being active. The app synchronizes with various fitness apps you may already have on your phone, such as Apple Health, My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, Garmin, and even Twitter. You’ll earn points by completing exercises, logging food, measuring your heart rate, tweeting about your health, and reading health-related articles. Once you reach 10,000 points, you can “cash in” your points for a $10 reward sent to your PayPal, personal bank account, or a charity of your choice. Good for your health. Good for your wallet.
You spend money. I spend money. We all spend money. That’s a fact of life. Why not earn cash back on the money you’re already spending? Add an extra “drop” or two to the savings bucket, per say? Meet Drop – the cash back app. Drop allows you to link your credit or debit cards to the app, then gives you cash back points on purchases you make everyday at retailers such as Target, Starbucks, Lyft, AT&T, Apple, and more. You can also shop at certain retailers through the app to receive additional discounts on purchases you make and earn “boosted” cash back points. Once you’ve collected at least 5,000 cash back points, you can redeem them for gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters, clothing stores, airlines, and more. It’s an easy way to put some money back in your pocket without even thinking about it. (P.S. Drop is my personal favorite cash back app, due to ease of use and retailer options. However, if Drop doesn’t tickle your fancy, here are a few other highly-rated cash back apps you might enjoy: Rakuten, Ibotta, and Dosh).
Have you ever spent hours online trying to book a flight, searching for the cheapest option available, and finally purchased the tickets – only to find out prices decreased a few days or weeks later? Same. That’s when I found Hopper. Hopper is a free app designed to solve this problem and – from personal experience – it works wonders. The app allows you to choose a departure and destination location, as well as preferred dates for your travels. It then tracks those flights, analyzes travel trends, and tells you the best time to buy the tickets at the cheapest price possible. When I recently used Hopper to book a flight to Bogota, Colombia, it suggested that I wait to purchase the tickets, because it predicted a better price in the future. In the meantime, Hopper tracked the flight over several weeks, notifying me when the prices increased or decreased. However, even when there was a decrease in ticket price, Hopper would tell me if the prices were expected to continue decreasing in the coming weeks (so I should keep waiting) or if this is the lowest predicted price (so I should purchase the flights now). I followed Hopper’s advice and secured the cheapest tickets possible before they jumped up in price again. If you’re a frequent flyer, Hopper will easily save you hundreds of dollars (and hours of stress) a year.
If you’ve been a Face The Fear follower for a while, you KNOW how we feel about Mint. Budgeting is tough. Keeping track of every penny that leaves your wallet can be tedious and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a little accountant living in your phone, keeping track of your budget for you, cheering you on when your credit score increases, and letting you know when you need to cool it on your spending habits? Say hello to Mint – the free budgeting app that keeps tabs on your cash money all in one place. Mint allows you to sync your accounts to the app – everything from your checking and savings, credit cards, 401(k) and HSA, internet service, car payment, investments, and more. By consolidating all of your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe) in one place, it becomes much easier to assess your complete financial picture and determine if you are on track to reach your financial goals. You can create your own custom monthly budget, and Mint will let you know if you’re close to exceeding your budget in a particular category. It will also remind you when you have a bill due soon, and it will congratulate you when you’ve paid off debt. While Mint is really a one-stop-shop budgeting tool, it is most effective when credit/debit cards are your primary payment methods (vs. cash) and when you actually sync as many accounts as possible to provide a holistic financial picture. If you still frequently use cash for purchases or don’t want to bother connecting all of your accounts, Mint might not be the best fit for you. Overall, however, it’s an excellent resource to keep track of your finances in the palm of your hand (without becoming an Excel budgeting wizard – unless that’s your thing – then, you do you booboo).
We hope you’ll find these 5 apps helpful to budget, save, and grow your cash money. Let us know your favorite money-saving or money-making apps in the comments below!
Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien
Are you a person that has a traditional savings account with your current bank? You know, the typical savings account that is paired with your checking account? Are you a person without a savings account at all? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please read on. If you have never heard of one, I am here to tell you a little bit about high yield savings accounts. It is essentially a normal savings account, only you get a higher interest rate. What is an interest rate? It is a percentage of your money that a bank will pay you just for having your funds housed with them. Free money — who doesn’t want that? Traditional savings accounts usually have a very low interest rate. For example, my interest rate through Chase bank is 0.01%. This is a common rate based on studies from Credit Karma. On my high yield savings account though, I have a 2.15% interest rate. This is a difference of 2.14%. Now, I am not here to tell you to get a high yield savings account, but I do think you should do some research into the benefits of opening one. NerdWallet is a great resource to research as well as find a bank that you are interested.
I know this might sound too good to be true, like what’s the catch? And there are some potential downfalls of a high yield savings account if you do not research. One of the biggest is service fees. These can sneak up on you and really bite you from behind if you are not aware of them. You also want to make sure that if there are service fees, they do not outweigh the interest you are receiving. There are plenty of banks that do not have fees on their accounts, but you just have to make sure you find the right one. You can also run into banks that require high minimum amounts that you must start with and not go below. If you are just starting your journey in savings this may not be practical for you. Another potential issue with this account is the transfers between accounts. If you are opening an account in a separate bank from your normal everyday bank, and an emergency arises, there may be an issue with getting your money in time. These are all items that you can avoid if you are paying attention to what money you are holding where and the banks you are going through. Talking to a representative is a great way to find out any hidden potentials that may not fit into your goals.
If you are still interested in one of these accounts, make sure before you open one you research, research, research. There are so many to choose from and they all may offer different incentives, fees, and options. Don’t just pick the one with the highest rate. I have had an amazing experience with one of these savings accounts, and it is potentially an easy step to make a huge difference in your long term financial goals.
Article Contributed By: Dakota Otis
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Does financial planning really work? Abby Sullivan, Guest Contributor and Associate Account Executive at Allego, puts Estate Planning to the test! Inspired by our Face The Fear podcast about Estate Planning with Matt Erpelding, Abby decides to apply our content to her own life. Abby describes the process of creating a will, choosing a health care proxy, and designating a power of attorney. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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To Rent or To Buy? Millennials wrestle with this decision more than any past generation, especially as student loans and stagnant wages have delayed the home-buying process substantially. In this episode, we tackle this question and many others with the help of three Real Estate Mavens: Leslie Ferguson, Heather Regan, and Tiffany McIntosh.
- What differences have you seen between Millennials looking for housing vs. Gen X or Baby Boomers looking for housing when they were in their 20s-30s? How has the housing market changed over time?
- How does your credit score play into the home buying or apartment renting process?
- Where should a Millennial start when it comes to purchasing a home? What are a few key first steps and pitfalls to avoid?
- How do taxes factor in to owning a home?
- What are hidden costs/fees that a first-time home buyer might not know about?
- What questions should someone ask a real estate agent to make sure they’ll be a good fit?
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Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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