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Episode 16 with Karen Ford, Author and Master Financial Coach

Paying off debt was one of the longest and hardest things I have ever worked to accomplish. If only I had started this podcast and crossed paths with Karen Ford a few years ago!

In today’s episode, we sit down with Karen Ford.

Karen is a Master Financial Coach, Author of two books and an avid real estate investor who loves to buy, flip, and sell houses.

We’re diving into the steps and tips to pay off debt, as well as how to begin creating wealth. We also touch on tips for writing your first book, as she is currently writing her third book, soon to be released!

Grab a cup of coffee, press play, and let’s get started!

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Show Notes

The Common Problem with Debt (1:24)

“I helped people get healthy physically. Now, I help them get healthy financially.”

  • Karen was previously a Registered Nurse, before switching 7 years ago into Finance Coaching
  • Completely stopped being a Nurse before going into Financial Coaching
  • Common problem Karen has seen with people in debt up to the age of 72: “Nobody taught me how to budget!”

Begin with a Budget (3:26)

“People act like ‘budget’ is a four letter word. It’s six letters.”

  • Begin with a Budget
  • Tell your money what you want it to do, rather than wondering where it all went.
  • Creating a budget should take 10-20 minutes, not several hours.
  • Tip: Customize your budget for each month based on the events occurring that month and put every anticipated expense into the month, including wedding presents or special event costs.

Pay Off Debt First, then Build Wealth? Or, Both at the Same Time? (6:08)

  • Depends on your age.
    • Later years in life, then you may have to do both at the same time.
    • If you are in your 20s or 30s:
      1. First, focus on paying off debt.
      2. Maintain an emergency fund of at least 3 months living expenses.
      3. Any extra money, throw at paying down debt.
      4. Use the Snowball method to pay down debt.
  • The Snowball Debt Pay Off Method.
    • Focus on paying down the smallest account first.
    • Say you have a payment of $50 per month to the smallest debt account. Any extra money you have goes toward paying extra toward the balance remaining to pay off on that account. Once you pay off that entire account, reallocate that regular $50 payment and any extra money you may have to the next smallest debt account in line.
  • Building Wealth
    • Make sure to take advantage of work investment 401K/403B company retirement account matching programs!
    • Invest in Real Estate  Great money maker if you know what you are doing!
      • Start with 1 house
      • Do your due-diligence of the house cost plus all repairs and maintenance needed, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.
      • Karen targets roughly a $30,000 profit on her homes when all said is done, to make sure there is substantial profit for the efforts.

Money Matters (12:30)

“I haven’t met anyone yet that they don’t need more money, or want more money.”

The key to amounting wealth is budgeting, cutting costs where possible, and knowing where your money goes. In Karen’s book Money Matters, you’ll learn:

  • How to create and manage a budget.
  • How to retire wealthy, with information on several retirement plans.
  • Different investing opportunities, including information on flipping houses.

Tips on Writing a Book from Karen (15:30)

  • Decide what you are going to write.
  • List out the chapters you want to write.
  • Take 20-30 minute sessions at a time to write, unless you truly can pound out the hours – but it is not needed!
  • Promotion is key!
    • Amazon is worldwide and easily offers paperback and Kindle formats.
    • Make posts on Social Media.
    • Look to interview on podcasts!
  • To make life easier after writing is complete, consider hiring someone to format, edit, get the ISBN and everything else done, so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Her first book took 3 months to write. The second book we discussed today, Money Matters, only took 8 weeks!

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I’ll see you next week!

– Chris