[Ep. 160] How to Avoid Student Debt with Scholarships with Jocelyn Paonita

May 23, 2018

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I met Jocelyn Paonita Pearson over 2 years ago at FinCon in San Diego. And ever since that first meeting, I remember thinking that I needed to interview Jocelyn on my podcast.

Well, it took me a while to finally get around to ask her, but I’m so glad I did wait because she has been able to accomplish so much since that first meeting. Now, she’s running her own successful company called The Scholarship System, has a best-selling book (also called The Scholarship System), and has a popular online course focused on helping parents and students find scholarships. As mentioned in our interview together, right up until now her company has helped secure $1,000,000 in scholarships for students. In other words, that’s $1,000,000 of debt those students just avoided. That’s major!

In our interview, we chat a lot about how to prevent getting into debt through student loans by getting scholarships, and I want to share the 3 top tips Jocelyn shared with me about how to up your chances of getting scholarships to pay for college.

Start Local

Don’t start big when it comes to scholarships, start small by researching local scholarships you’re eligible for. The logic with this is that even though these scholarships may not be big money, there is less competition because most people don’t know about them. Jocelyn herself had some great experiences applying (and getting) local scholarships for her own degree. One degree she mentioned only had 4 applicants, and the it was then decided that the scholarship would be divided evenly amongst each applicant so everyone came out ahead!

Pitch Companies to Start their Own Scholarships

If there’s a company you like, pitch them the idea to start their own scholarship. Not only would there be some potential tax benefits, it could also be used as a marketing tool or a way for them to recruit future talent.

All You Need Is One Great Application Kit

Yes, it will take you some to get your materials together to apply to a bunch of different scholarships, but here’s a great tip. Just focus your energy on creating one awesome application kit, that should include things like a personal statement, then tweak those documents just a little bit to customize them for each application.

Most students think they need to create unique documents for each application, but you can actually just duplicate what you’ve got by making small changes to each. That’s what you do when you’re applying for different jobs, so it’s the same thing for scholarship applications.

Learn More About Scholarships

Learn More About Jocelyn & The Scholarship System

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[Ep. 159] How to Become Financially Independent by 35 with Chris Reining

May 16, 2018

Support for this episode comes from Freshbooks, the ridiculously easy to use cloud accounting software. I’ve been personally using Freshbooks for my business for over a year and couldn’t live without it, and since Freshbooks is awesome they are offering a free 30-day trial to all Mo’ Money Podcast listeners! To try it out, visit freshbooks.com/mo and type in Mo’ Money Podcast in the “Where Did You Hear About Us?” section.

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I’ve been chatting to a lot more guests this season who’ve been able to achieve financial independence in their 30s, and wow is it inspiring! Because really, they didn’t do anything crazy to achieve financial independence. They just made that their main goal and went for it!

And Chris Reining, who was able to reach financial independence at 35 and retire at 37, is no different. He didn’t come from wealth, and although near the end of his career his was earning good money, he was by no means “rich”. He worked in cyber security in Madison, Wisconsin and did two main things to reach his goal of saving up $1,000,000 for retirement.

Practice Value-Based Spending

This term “value-based spending” has been popping up a lot more, and for good reason. It’s taking the extreme out of being totally frugal or a shopaholic. It is giving you permission to spend your money (because after all, that’s what it’s for), but also giving you that balance and perspective so you spend it wisely. By practicing value-based spending, not only will you feel more joy when you do spend money, you’ll also find that there’s a lot more money available to save for your future goals.

Chris shares that when he started practicing this, he found it easy to cut out coffee, cable and his expensive hobby of flying planes. They didn’t align with his values, and so he started only spending money on what did, and then making a conscious effort to live below his means so he could continue to save up and invest for his goal of early retirement.

Earn More Money

As Chris says in our interview together, at a certain point, there’s no where else to cut back, and at that point you’ll need to figure out how to earn more money. What Chris did to grow in his career and earn a higher salary was find a mentor, learn some new skills and push himself to take public speaking lessons by joining Toastmasters.

By doing this, he was able to earn more and reach his goal of financial independence that much sooner.

Grab a Copy of Chris’ Top Book Recommendation

Learn More About Chris

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Book Giveaway!

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[Ep. 158] Practical Investing for Canadians with John Robertson

May 9, 2018

Support for this episode comes from Freshbooks, the ridiculously easy to use cloud accounting software. I’ve been personally using Freshbooks for my business for over a year and couldn’t live without it, and since Freshbooks is awesome they are offering a free 30-day trial to all Mo’ Money Podcast listeners! To try it out, visit freshbooks.com/mo and type in Mo’ Money Podcast in the “Where Did You Hear About Us?” section.

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It’s crazy to see how fast time flies…like when I interviewed John Robertson, author of The Value of Simple and personal finance blogger at HolyPotato.net, for the first time for episode 25 of the Mo’ Money Podcast back in Nov. 2015. That was almost 3 years ago! And that was also back when I got my guests to come over to my tiny apartment in Toronto to record with me in person. How is it already May 2018 and I’m at episode 158? HOW?!

A lot has changed since that first interview. Not only has my own life and career changed significantly, but my investing knowledge too. When I first interviewed John, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little I understood about investing. But then again, that was the whole point of interviewing him! So I could learn more about it and help others do the same.

You see, everyone starts from investing knowledge 0, but no one ever talks about that, do they? When the topic of investing comes up, it always seems like everyone in the room knows what everyone else is talking about, and the ones who don’t, well, they just keep that to themselves and presumably google what “index fund” and “diversified portfolio” mean later (like I used to do).

That’s why I really loved talking to John for episode 25. He explained investing, and more specifically index investing, in a very understandable and simple way. Which is a big reason why I’m always recommending his book The Value of Simple and his Practical Index Investing for Canadians course to anyone who wants to broaden their investing knowledge and be able to take action with confidence afterwards.

That’s also why I wanted to bring him back on the show, because in the 2.5 years that have passed since our first interview, not only am I much more knowledgeable and confident when it comes to investing, I’m now an Accredited Financial Counselor-Canada® (which just means I studied investing in-depth to get my certification).

If there’s one thing I hope you take away from this new interview with John, it’s that investing is for everyone. It’s not reserved for the already wealthy. It’s not just something people who love stock picking do. And it’s not something you need a lot of money or time to get started.

Remember, if this girl who literally didn’t know what an index fund was 3 years ago can figure it out and become an empowered investor, so can you!

Listen to My First Interview with John

I mentioned John Robertson’s course called Practical Index Investing for Canadians in the show, and that’s because it’s such a great resource if you want to learn more about how to become an empowered (and passive) investor in Canada.

I personally think it’s a great stand-alone course, but also the perfect companion to his book The Value of Simple.

To learn more or to enrol, click here.

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[Ep. 157] Building Confidence to Live Your Best Life with Lauren Ferraro

May 2, 2018

Support for this episode comes from Freshbooks, the ridiculously easy to use cloud accounting software. I’ve been personally using Freshbooks for my business for over a year and couldn’t live without it, and since Freshbooks is awesome they are offering a free 30-day trial to all Mo’ Money Podcast listeners! To try it out, visit freshbooks.com/mo and type in Mo’ Money Podcast in the “Where Did You Hear About Us?” section.

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The minute I met speaking coach Lauren Ferraro for our first lesson together, I new I needed to have her on the podcast. And not just because she’s an expert speaker (a podcaster’s dream!), but because she just exudes confidence. I’m not talking about puff out your chest, hold your head up high kind of confidence. I’m talking about genuine confidence in yourself. Something I think most of us wish we had more of.

So, for this episode of the show, she joins me to chat about confidence, or in her case, being comfortable on stage, in a room or in yourself. The reason why it’s so important to have that confidence is because by being comfortable in yourself, you’ll feel more inclined to take risks that will inevitable have financial benefits. I’m talking negotiating your salary for a new job, getting a promotion and raise, pitching yourself as a freelancer, pitching your products and services as an entrepreneur or business owner (you get the idea).

I know that after listening to this interview, you’ll immediately want to start putting some of her tips into practice. For instance, her advice on how to network but practicing what you’re going to say ahead of time is invaluable! Also, make sure to check out the links below for more info about Lauren and her speaking business (which in my opinion, is so worth the money!).

Learn More About Lauren

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I Just Launched My First Personal Finance Course – Announcing Rich & Fit: Financial Foundations

May 1, 2018
Hey y’all! First off, I’ve got to admit that I’m not the best at time management or scheduling. Case in point, I planned to launch not one, but two new courses today…even though today I am on a plane to New York City, then in a car driving to the Catskills for a blogger retreat. I’m running on like 5 hours sleep right now…BUT I’M FEELING GREAT! Because today is the day I can finally share that I’ve got an amazing personal finance course called Rich & Fit: Financial Foundations that is officially open for registration! Continue Reading