I talk with vlogger, blogger and entrepreneur Anthony Ongaro about how he climbed out of a mountain of debt and came out of the experience stronger by living life with more intention and integrating minimalism into his daily life.
Long episode description:
I was introduced to Anthony by my good pal Cait Flanders from Blonde on a Budget after I asked her if she knew of any guests who would be great for my show. She was right in pointing me to Anthony because he is seriously such a genuine, smart and inspirational guy. If you need some motivation to pay down your debt, declutter your house and live life to the fullest — Anthony is your guy.
In this episode, we discuss some of Anthony’s key philosophies that he often writes about on his blog Break the Twitch and talks about on his YouTube channel.
What Does it Mean to Break the Twitch?
When I think of twitch, I think of someone who has a weird eye twitch they can’t control. And that’s sort of the same thing that Anthony is referring to, but instead of an uncontrollable eye twitch it’s that uncontrollable twitch that makes you buy, buy, BUY! Anthony shares his story of his Amazon shopping addiction and how he eventually turned things around and broke the consumerist cycle to live a more meaningful life. Now his mission is to help others like him break the twitch too. It’s not uncommon to fall into a never ending shopping spree, but it’s not impossible to get out and make it right.
The Dark Side of Convenience
It’s rare that we ever complain about anything being too convenient, but that’s exactly what gets lots of us into financial trouble. When things like Uber, Amazon and iTunes are at our finger tips, it can be hard not to spend money like it’s not even real. But it is real and we need to be more conscious of how we’re spending it. This may mean deleting some apps on your phone or unplugging at night to prevent any late night boredom shopping. The key thing is to be aware and not always do the most convenient thing if it’ll cost you in the long run.
This was a big topic on the episode because we talked about it in two different ways. First, minimalism in terms of getting rid of material possessions to live a less cluttered life. Second, minimalism in respect to relationships and only maintaining relationships that add value to your life. As I mentioned near the end of the episode, after talking with Anthony I had a huge urge to go through my whole apartment and get rid of everything. And I did actually purge a few things from my closet and some of my junk drawers. It felt so freeing, so I hope you choose to try it out too, or better yet, do a minimalism challenge!
I discuss the biggest money matters for millennials, such as student loan debt, unemployment, going back to school, and buying a house with personal finance columnist Rob Carrick from The Globe and Mail.
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I was incredibly nervous to interview Rob Carrick from The Globe and Mail for this podcast episode. I’ve been reading his words for years and when it comes to personal finance, he really knows his stuff. But since Rob is such an awesome guy, when I cornered him at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference this past fall and begged him to be on my podcast, he was kind enough to say yes.
Highlights from this Episode
I love this episode so much because we talked about one of my favourite topics — millennial money matters. As a millennial who’s mission it is to help other millennials understand the core concepts of personal finance so they can take control of their lives and prosper, well it was more than a treat to talk to someone as passionate about educating Generation Y as I am.
We start off with discussing two of the biggest downfalls of post-secondary students: budgeting and taking on student loans. The facts are that students don’t budget (hey, I didn’t even know what a budget was when I was in university) and they take on student loans without truly understanding what it means to be indebted. It’s no surprise that most university grads are drowning in debt and don’t know how to manage their money.
On top of that, many students are going to university because they believe that’s the right step to take in order to have a successful career down the road. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case anymore, and many graduates are having a hard time finding a job in their field and have to get a professional certificate for an applied skill just to get their foot in the door (myself included).
Another big topic we discussed was housing. I wrote a lot about my experience house hunting in Toronto last year, but in the end I backed off and chose to continue renting instead because it just didn’t look like a good investment. It may have been 10 years ago, maybe even 5, but that just isn’t the case anymore. It was for Generation X and the Baby Boomers, but I agree with Rob in believing that more millennials need to proceed with caution when it comes to investing in property.
I talk with financial consultant, public speaker and author Robin Taub about her book "A Parent's Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids" and what advice she would give to parents about teaching their kids about personal finance at any age.
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I was lucky enough to meet Robin Taub at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference in Toronto this fall, and I’m so glad I did. She spoke at the conference about how she penned and published her best-selling book A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids and how she went from chartered accountant to public speaker, author and personal finance media spokesperson.
Although I don’t have kids (and don’t plan on starting a family for a few years yet), raising money-smart kids is one topic I knew I needed to cover on the podcast. I think for all of us to become smarter with our money, we need to be educated about it. And the sooner we learn the fundamentals of personal finance in life, the better chance we have at becoming successful and financially stable adults. I know for a fact then when I do have kids, I don’t want money to be a taboo subject. I want us to talk about it openly so they will have all the facts before they head off to college.
We talked a lot about Robin’s book in this episode, largely because she outlined how to teach your kids about money so well. She talks about what to talk about to your kids at different ages and how this personal finance education can truly empower your kids and give them confidence. Like I said at the start of this episode, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a parent or is planning to be. You can buy the book online or check it out at your local library.
For my first Mo' Money Podcast episode of 2016, I interview fitness coach and champion bodybuilder Jaclyn Phillips about how she turned her love for fitness into her side hustle and how she saves money when preparing for fitness shows.
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In this episode, Jaclyn and I discuss how she got into the fitness world and how she eventually turned her love of fitness and competing into a part-time business.
For my first Mo’ Money Podcast episode of 2016, I interview my friend, and co-creator of the Rich & Fit 21-Day Challenge, Jaclyn Phillips. Jaclyn is awesome. And yes, I may be biased, but she really is. The reason we first connected was because we are equally passionate about helping others when it comes to finance or fitness. She loves fitness and wants to share everything she’s learned with people who want to improve their health. I love finance and want to share everything I’ve learned with people who want to improve their financial lives. When we met and started talking about what we do outside of work — well, it wasn’t long until we came up with our idea for the Rich & Fit program.
In this episode, Jaclyn and I discuss how she got into the fitness world and how she eventually turned her love of fitness and competing into a part-time business. To give you an idea of what she does, here’s a look (she’s the brunette on the left):
Yup, she knows fitness. She also does her own hair and make-up for shows to save on money (frugal too!).
To learn more about Jaclyn Phillips, I highly suggest you check out her website and her Instagram. Her Instagram is seriously my daily motivation to get up and move off the couch.
And as another special treat, I found this awesome recipe of her’s for Birthday Cake Protein Waffles with French Vanilla Glaze. I am definitely going to make these this weekend.