Afford Anything

by askaffordanything@gmail.com

59m

average length

289

episodes

5

followers

You can afford anything, but not everything. We make daily decisions about how to spend money, time, energy, focus and attention – and ultimately, our life. Every decision is a trade-off against another choice. But how deeply do we contemplate these choices? Are we settling for the default mode? Or are we ruthlessly optimizing around a deliberate life? Host Paula Pant interviews a diverse array of entrepreneurs, early retirees, millionaires, investors, artists, adventurers, scientists, psychologists, productivity experts, world travelers and regular people, exploring the tough work of living a truly excellent life. Want to learn more? Download our free book, Escape, at http://affordanything.com/escape

Best Afford Anything episodes upvoted by the community

Last updated on August 07, 2020, 6:03 am

#5

How to Believe Your Time is Abundant -- with Laura Vanderkam

August 27, 2018 • 64m

#147: Which of the following two attitudes describes you? "I'm crunched for time." -- or -- "I have all the time in the world." I'm guessing your answer is the first, rather than the second. But what if you could feel like your time is expansive and abundant, without drastic changes to your schedule? Most of us want to feel "off the clock," enjoying an existence in which we can linger, without feeling pressure from the demands and stresses on our schedules. According to Laura Vanderkam, even the busiest, most-scheduled people can achieve this feeling. We can live off-the-clock. Laura is a time management expert, but her latest book isn't about *management* in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, it focuses on *time perception* -- getting into the headspace of believing time is abundant, regardless of the demands imposed upon it. The brain stores memories efficiently, which means it vividly recalls novel experiences -- such as the one-week trip to Belize -- while compressing repetitive experiences, like a commute, into a single memory. For that reason, time feels like it passes more quickly when we encounter situations that are routine and familiar, and slows when we experience new situations. That's how a one-week conference feels long, but a routine week at the office flies by. Of course, we can't eschew familiarity; there are many benefits to adopting a routine. But we can slow time by savoring our everyday experiences. The more we engage mindfully in everyday activities -- from savoring each bite of food to noticing the flowers during our commute to work -- the more we're likely to feel relaxed about our time. We create happy memories, rather than compressing our experiences in our minds. Treating our hours with intention can also lengthen our experience of time. We plan and structure our workdays, deciding how to spend our hours between 8 am and 6 pm. But often, we aren't deliberate about how we'll craft the hours from 6 pm to 11 pm, and therefore can feel like we rarely see family, even if we're with them for three to four hours each evening. Deliberately crafting hours doesn't mean jam-packing our schedule in 30-minute increments. Scheduling a two-hour block of time to linger over a long dinner can blend intentionality with the art of savoring. In fact, Laura notes, those who are the most disciplined about their time are also more likely to feel that they enjoy plenty of free time. Structure creates freedom. Today on the podcast, Laura and I talk about how to make time feel abundant. For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode147

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#8

Life After Financial Independence - with millionaire investor Emma Pattee

August 03, 2018 • 52m

#143: Emma Pattee became a millionaire at age 26. But she hates it when I describe her like that. Here are other ways that Emma would prefer to be known: She's thoughtful. She's hilarious. She's kind. Emma is the child of hippies. She grew up in a tent in Oregon, at least for a portion of her childhood. She has a BFA in writing from Emerson College. She bought her first house at age 21. At the time, Emma was juggling a demanding full-time job with her ambitions of becoming a writer. This balancing act felt too tough. She felt motivated to quit her job as quickly as possible, so that she could devote her time to writing. She moved in with her boyfriend's parents, saved 70 percent of her income, and contemplated what to do next. She decided to "buy a small house in a not-so-nice neighborhood, and live for free by renting out enough rooms to cover my mortgage and make a little money on the side." But then she developed an addiction to real estate. She kept buying houses and converting them into rental properties. She DIY'ed some projects and hired contractors for other projects. She improved the homes and raised the rents. She reinvested the cash flow into buying more houses. She borrowed against the equity and bought even more houses. And that's how Emma, by age 26, became a millionaire. Her seven-figure net worth -- and more importantly, the cash flow that accompanied it -- allowed Emma to reach financial independence. She could stop trading her time for a paycheck. Emma quit her job at age 26 and dove into the world of self-employment, starting a lucrative one-woman enterprise as a professional ghostwriter. She writes books and articles, for which her clients receive authorship credit. In exchange for this effort, Emma makes a substantial amount of money. So who is Emma Pattee? She's a financially independent millionaire real estate investor who started a lucrative self-employment business as a writer. (Sound familiar?) Among the many words in that sentence, the most important word, to Emma, is the word "writer." That's why she started down this path. She wasn't trying to become wealthy. She wanted to become a self-funded artist. She wanted, simply, to write. __ Emma is a close friend. She was my guest of honor, my Plus One, when I delivered my keynote speech at the World Domination Summit last month. She's my travel buddy and real estate investing companion; we visited Alabama last year to check out potential investments in Birmingham and Montgomery. She and I have talked about meeting occasionally for writing retreats. In today's episode, Emma and I sit down at her dining room table, plug in a microphone, and hit "record." In the 30-minute conversation that follows, we talk about how and why we reached financial independence -- and what comes next. Enjoy.

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#10

What Chess Taught Me About Making Smarter Life Moves -- with Steve Gossett

April 17, 2017 • 68m

#73: Last January, I went to a party at a trailer park that featured a huge bonfire, a few llamas, and a member of Public Enemy. (I realize that sounds like the setup to a joke. Welcome to my life.) While I was there, I met a former competitive chess player named Steve Gossett. Steve is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who creates Princess Rap Battle videos for a YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers. But that's not why I invited Steve onto the show. I asked him to join me on the podcast to discuss the lessons that chess taught him about money, work and life. On this fascinating episode, Steve and I discuss:  - Opening Theory: At the start of the game, you have a limited selection of moves. Yet you can quickly lose the game if you choose the wrong moves. Don't lose at the outset. - Muddled Midgame: While the first few moves are (relatively) simple, even the experts don't quite understand the complexities of the mid-game. - Gambit: Sometimes, you need to be willing to give up a piece on the board for the sake of getting another strategic win. - Eliminate options: You'll fatigue yourself if you try to consider every move. Learn how to quickly eliminate options so that you can focus on choosing between a small handful of optimal moves. - Think ahead: Don't just think about the consequences of the next move. Think many, many moves ahead on the board. Also, realize that every move carries an opportunity cost: once you move a piece on the board, it's not in that same position anymore -- for better or for worse. - Study/practice/knowledge can reduce time pressure: Chess is a timed game with a ticking clock. You can make smarter, faster decisions through study and practice. Knowledge is your competitive advantage. I hope you find this conversation as fascinating as I did. Enjoy!  - Paula Links to the Princess Rap Battle and Whitney Avalon's YouTube channel can be found in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode73  

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#13

From Money Moron to Millionaire, with Scott Alan Turner

December 12, 2016 • 53m

#55: Scott Alan Turner used to be a money moron. (In his words.) He traded a Jeep for a Porsche in his 20s, purchased a 3,000 sq. ft. house with two mortgages, and bought luxury furniture on credit. The Porsche cost him $800 per month. The house cost $200,000. The furniture? Who knows.
 Scott didn't have a budget and never tracked his spending. He only knew that he could afford the monthly payments on these luxuries ... until one day he realized his mortgage was due in a few weeks. And his bank account was rather empty. And he didn't have an emergency fund. Oops. Scott realized he was drowning in debt. So he decided to make a change. He sold the Porsche and paid $6,500 cash for a truck. He paid off his credit card. He aggressively attacked the mortgage on his house. Step-by-step, he made strides toward improving his financial future. After listening to Clark Howard on the radio, he realized it was important to free his money from the grip of debt and put it toward savings and retirement. Once he got married, he sold his house and downsized to his wife's town home. They then downsized to a 1,000 sq. ft. rented house, and downsized once more to a 300 sq. ft. bedroom with his in-laws.
 Throughout all of this downsizing, Scott kept saving money. He eventually saved enough to become a millionaire at age 35. Today he writes and speaks about personal finance full-time. He hosts the Financial Rock Star podcast. And he's stayed debt-free -- including mortgage-free -- since 2009. How did he go from money moron - buying expensive cars and furniture - to disciplined saver? He can answer that question in one word: Contentment. He doesn't need to buy more, because he's happy with what he already has. Scott credits his frugality to feeling satisfied with his possessions, rather than running on a hedonistic treadmill of always wanting more. While he still appreciates fine craftsmanship -- a gorgeous house, a designer car -- he realizes that he doesn't need to own luxury items. He can appreciate art and design without making a purchase. He prioritizes spending on his values: more time with friends and family; more life experiences. He doesn't spend to impress others, which is a losing game. Discover Scott's fascinating philosophy on the link between frugality and contentment (and learn from his money mistakes!) in this episode. Enjoy! -- Paula For a full list of resources, or to leave a comment, visit http://affordanything.com/episode55

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#14

Ask Paula - Retirement Savings in Your 50's, Starting a Side Hustle, Buying Health Insurance, Home Warranties, and More

November 07, 2016 • 46m

#50: Mark, a 55-year-old listener, has no savings. He's been listening to personal finance podcasts. He recently read Tony Robbins' Money: Master the Game. He called this podcast to tell us that he's feeling overwhelmed by the scope of what's ahead of him. Mark doesn't know how to apply this information -- and he's afraid of needing to work in fast food when he's 80 years old. What can he do? We tackle his question first on today's Ask Paula episode. Next, we take a call from Adalia. Adalia, another podcast listener, wants to earn extra money on the side. She's intrigued by the idea of becoming a virtual assistant -- a side hustle that allows her to work from home, setting her own hours. How should she start? Where can she find clients? Tyler, a podcast listener and fellow FinConner, is carrying $20,000 in credit card debt, with interest rates ranging from 11% - 23%. He also runs a side business on Amazon, making  43-50% returns for every dollar he puts in. Should he focus on reinvesting money back into his lucrative business, or should he pay his credit card debt off? Podcast listener Carlos just purchased his first rental property, and wants to know: are home warranties are worth the money? Todd, another listener, is curious to know if he and his wife should go without health insurance as the cost of premiums increase. He has an HSA, emergency fund, makes a good living, is in good health, and saves everything he can. Could going without insurance really save him money? Our last question comes from listener Lynsey, who has her sights set on financial independence. She works a second job during the cold Minnesota winters, which pays $25/hr. However, she wonders if she should use that time to invest in her future earning potential, by starting a business or getting an advanced degree. Should she go after the immediate cash, or focus on her future? All of these questions are answered in this episode of Ask Paula! Enjoy! -- Paula _____________________ I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors for this episode. First, huge thanks to Nerdwallet. Their new app lets you have one-on-one conversations with financial advisors. You can chat about anything related to money, such as retirement, investing, insurance, or paying off debt. You'll get personalized, one-on-one advice -- available at no cost to you. Check it out at no cost to you by visiting nerd.me/paula. _____________________ If you've been listening for a while, you've heard me interview many best-selling authors. Before I interview these guests, I need to read or refresh my memory of their books. Sitting down to physically read the books can take a long time. That's why I listen to their audiobooks, thanks to my subscription to an audiobook service called Audible. If you want to give them a try for free, head to audible.com/trynow for a free 30-day trial. _____________________ Want more "Ask Paula" episodes? Head on over the the website and binge all you want: Show Notes and other Ask Paula episodes

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#15

How to Create an Authentic Life

July 07, 2018 • 51m

#138: There’s a famous quote that’s attributed to Henry Ford. The quote says, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”⠀ ⠀ There’s no proof that Henry Ford actually said this. But whether or not that quote is historically accurate, the point remains. If Elon Musk had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a car with better gas mileage.⠀ ⠀ But Elon never bothered asking. Because he knows you cannot change history from the middle of the bell curve. And he knows that design by consensus, by definition, leads to average results.⠀ ⠀ He may ask for input on the details. But he will never ask the crowd to guide his vision.⠀ ⠀ True innovation comes from vision. We see this in technology. We see this an art, music, writing. But often, we fail to see this in ourselves. We allow the crowd to dictate who we are: what our dreams are, what our goals are, what our fears are. We crowdsource our vision and live a life of “should.”⠀ ⠀ Authenticity is the art of not giving a sh*t about should.⠀ ⠀ This sounds fine on the surface, when we’re pontificating about our lives. But it’s much scarier in the real world, when you face the reality that people will judge you. They will criticize you. They will tell you that you’re wrong. ⠀ ⠀ The more you try to step away from should, the more shoulds they throw at you. You should be married. You should have kids. You should have a job.⠀ ⠀ The thing is, they may be talking about you, but it’s not really about you. Your decisions are triggering to them, and they’re reacting to that.⠀ ⠀ Authenticity means accepting that if other people get triggered, that’s not your responsibility. You may be the catalyst, but you’re not responsible for their emotions.⠀ ⠀ And in that regard, authenticity is also the art of setting boundaries.⠀ ⠀ That doesn’t mean you exclude people from your life. But it does mean that you set healthy emotional boundaries, such that their thoughts and feelings do not become internalized as your own.⠀ ⠀ _____ This is a snippet from a speech I delivered at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon last week. I'm sharing the speech for this July 2018 First Friday bonus episode. We broadcast one podcast episode per week, and on the first Friday of each month, we roll out a special bonus episode. Today's episode is July's special bonus episode, and I've divided it into two sections: during the first half, I share the speech that I delivered, and during the second half, I discuss how and why I wrote this speech -- and the key takeaway that I hope people learn from it. Enjoy! _______________________________________ For more ways to interact or listen to the show, go to http://affordanything.com/episode138

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#17

Ask Paula - How to Convince a Spouse to Invest in Low-fee Index Funds?

January 15, 2018 • 49m

#112: How can I convince my spouse to invest in low-fee index funds? How should my fiancé and I combine our finances? If I'd like to invest in rental properties, should I also buy stocks? Former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy joins me to tackle these audience questions and more. Thomas asks: My wife is suspicious of Vanguard. She questions how they could stay in business while charging low fees -- isn't there a catch? She's also reluctant about investing the majority of our money in a broad-market index fund like VTSAX. She'd prefer more diversification. Recently, we met with a major brokerage firm that charges a 1.75 percent management fee. How can I get my wife to see the detrimental effects of choosing this high-fee broker? Shy asks: My fiancé and I are getting married soon. We both live with our families at the moment; we'll form a new household after our wedding. Neither of us has ever lived independently before. How should we budget for this, given that we're not sure what expenses to expect? Also, any tips on how to commingle finances? Paris asks: I'd like to invest in rental properties. Should I still make stock market investments? Should I contribute to a 401k? Kristin asks: I've been DIY'ing my household's finances and taxes. So far, our situation has been simple. However, in a few years, my husband is going to retire. When this happens, we'd like to sell our home, perhaps invest in rental properties, and move either out-of-state or out-of-country. Our financial and tax situation is about to become a lot more complicated. I'd like to talk to a financial professional ... but whom should I choose? Should I hire a financial coach? a financial planner? an accountant? an investment advisor? someone else? We tackle these four questions on today's show. Enjoy! ______ Resources Mentioned: Thomas: Calculator - How do expenses impact fund returns? https://www.calcxml.com/do/inv12 Article - How a 1% fee could cost $590,000 in retirement savings https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/millennial-retirement-fees-one-percent-half-million-savings-impact/ Article - The Impact of Investment Costs https://investor.vanguard.com/investing/how-to-invest/impact-of-costs Shy: Article - The Anti-Budget http://affordanything.com/2013/03/05/anti-budget-or-80-20-budge/ Article - Three Methods for Co-Mingling a Couple's Finances https://www.thebalance.com/three-methods-for-co-mingling-a-couple-s-finances-453849 Kristin: FINRA Broker Check website CFP.net Guidevine (website) XY Planning Network

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