Episode 10: A shame-free, blame-free approach to debt – The Worth Project

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This week on the podcast we’re talking with Shannon Lee Simmons about creating a shame-free, blame-free debt repayment plan so we can all live debt free.

You can download this episode from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, and Spotify – or listen to it below! Welcome to the Show Notes! Check out this page for any links, notes, or photos we referenced in the podcast.

But first, a little life update…

Something’s gotta go

When we first moved out here, we were walking down the street in Chelsea. We saw this cute little vintage car with a baby seat fitted snuggly in the back, and we said, “if we’re ever parents, we want to be those parents.”

Every time the sun would come out, this car would pop out for a London joyride with the ragtop down and in bright pastel colors. She was a Nissan Figaro. It’s a Japanese car — obviously — but the Figaro is different. They were made by a famous Nissan designer, they were never sold by Nissan outside of Japan, even though Nissan sold out instantly in Japan they only made 20,000 in 1991. New York Times calls the Figaro “the heigh of post-modernism and unabashedly retro.” To top it all off, Nissan made them in four colors based on the seasons: topaz mist (autumn), emerald green (spring), pale aqua (summer), and lapis grey (winter).

We didn’t need a car in London but once we moved out to the countryside we decided it was time to buy one so we could explore a little more of what this country has to offer. Jordan didn’t hesitate and bought one of the 3,000 Figaros that have been imported to England. He also joined the Figaro Car Club, and went to a Figaro rally were people get dressed up like their cars. Yes, Jordan went to one in a tweed outfit. I decided I was a little too busy to make that event…

It’s really a cute car. We are so in love with zipping around the English countryside in this classic that we never thought we would sell her. We even went as far as to get quotes for shipping her back to the states. It wasn’t cheap but we justified it as an arbitrage opportunity. These sell for a lot in the US due to their rarity.

But we were delusional.

We did the life planning 3 questions and realized that spending money to ship this car wasn’t what we wanted to do. It’s funny how you hold so tightly to some possessions for no real, rational reason.

Now we can’t wait to get rid of it. The maintenance bills keep piling up and every time we need to get it repaired it’s just another reminder that selling it is the right thing to do. But stay tuned for more obnoxious pictures of our dear Figaro because we will be capturing the memories with her in the coming weeks (she really shines on a sunny day).

The student debt discussion continues

This week is a bit of a related podcast to our show from last week, which was all about my student debt and the lessons we learned in paying it off. We talked about our experience, but we were really just giving one viewpoint. So, I figured it was a good idea to have someone with more debt experience on the show. Debt is one of the big hurdles that can keep you stuck in a negative mindset and it’s a real struggle for anyone to figure out how to live a great life today, while you’re still paying for something that happened in the past.

And American’s are no strangers to debt. The average American has $38,000 of debt, excluding their household mortgage.

This week we’re talking with Shannon Lee Simmons, a CFP and founder of The New School of Finance. She’s the author of two books: Worry-Free Money and Living Debt Free. We wanted to have her on because her approach to debt is so realistic. She doesn’t want to punish you for past mistakes and she doesn’t think that you have to give up everything you love to get out of debt. Her approach is balanced and fun (kind of like her personality).

In this episode, you’ll hear

  • How Shannon started her financial planning company by bartering her services with over 300 women. An exercise that helped her test the waters and sees that this was the right step for her, but it also landed her in debt.
  • How to stop the shame spiral that comes with debt because if you believe that you’re bad with money for long enough, you’ll actually become it.
  • The major reasons that land people into debt (and it’s really not what we think).
  • Why sometimes paying off your zero interest debt first, rather than the high-interest debt, may actually be a good idea.
  • How you can pay off your debt without taking extreme measures depriving yourself of the things you love. It’s ok to live your life while still paying off debt.

You can find Shannon Lee Simmons at The New School of Finance.

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