Podcast: Want Better Financial Health? See If Your Money Questions Are Answered In This Listener Q&A

Podcast: Want Better Financial Health? See If Your Money Questions Are Answered In This Listener Q&A

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Does it feel like the financial system is stacked against you? For many of us, it is. Especially if you’re Black or Brown, a woman, or single. In Diversifying, we explore why the traditional rules of money management no longer apply to new generations. Hosted by Delyanne Barros, better known as Delyanne The Money Coach, Diversifying demystifies and humanizes money by examining the culture we make it in and how to make it work for you.

Your Money Questions Answered

Diversifying Jun 6, 2022

24 minsWhere do you go with your burning money questions? The Money Coach, of course! From hustle culture to medical debt, Delyanne Barros answers listener questions in this week’s episode.

If you enjoy Diversifying, CNN would love to hear from you. Please visit https://cnn.com/financepod to take a brief survey.

Hi, I’m Laurie. I am 33 years old, and I’m from North Carolina.

Hey, Delyanne. My name is Ben. I’m 31 and living in Philadelphia.

Can I tell you guys how much I love hearing from you on our voicemail? I record this podcast alone in my office with my producers on the phone and my dog Oliver at my feet. When you call, it’s such a nice reminder that it’s not just me and the microphone. We’re actually talking to each other. It’s always my goal to talk about things you’ll actually find useful when you’re thinking about your money and planning for your future. But you know yourself best. So today we’re taking your questions.

My question for you is, do you have any pointers on how to manage the student loans?

I’m calling in to ask about money as it relates to relationships. Specifically, I’m getting married next year.

I had a question about convincing yourself you deserve to be rich.

These scenarios are all personal, but I think you’ll find them relatable too. They were all great questions. So let’s dive in. I’m Delyanne Barros and this is Diversifying. First up, we’re hearing from Melissa who sent in a question I see pretty frequently in my DM’s.

Hi, my name’s Melissa. I’m 29 and I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I loved your first episode, but I also find myself sitting here wondering how in the world do I start investing when I can’t even keep my head above water? Like, what do I need to push to the side in order to invest, even though like few dollars that are in my bank account right now? Where do I start?

Melissa, thank you so much for calling in with that voicemail. And I’m so glad you brought this up because a lot of people are struggling, living paycheck to paycheck and thinking, how am I supposed to start investing, living this way? And the first thing I want to tell you is that your priority should be on bulking up that emergency fund that is in your savings account. I don’t want you jumping straight into investing and throwing the little money that you have into the stock market. So the first thing I want to make sure is that you have a solid safety net. 2 to 3 months of expenses saved in a savings account that you’re not going to invest once that is set aside. Then you can start your investing journey. And really, I want you to focus on education, learning about investing, learning the terminology, the vocabulary. That all takes time and you don’t have to dove in right away. And then we’re going to decide, okay, do I need to look at my budget? Do I need to cut expenses or do I need to increase my income? Maybe you need to do both. Maybe it’s not an either or thing, right? So I want you to think about not just cutting expenses, because that is no way to live. I don’t want people to be miserable cutting expenses and then not enjoying their life. That’s not the point of investing. I want you to also be thinking of creative ways to increase your income. So do you need to negotiate your pay at work? Do you need to ask for promotion? Do you need to change jobs? Start a side hustle. Start thinking of creative ways to increase that income because that is how you’re really going to make investing work for you instead of having to cut out every single dollar from your budget. And again, making your life miserable and not making this a sustainable process over the long term. The next question is on a hot topic right now, student loans.

Hey, Delyanne. My name is Ben. I’m 31, living in Philadelphia, and I’m about to go back to school for nursing. My question for you will be, do you have any tips on how to manage those student loans? Thanks in advance.

Hey, Ben, thank you so much for calling in. Student loans is definitely one of those issues that people are always thinking about, especially if they’re about to return to school, so I feel that. I want to first refer you to the first two episodes that we recorded. It’s all about student loans, so I highly recommend you go back and listen to those. And I know that forgiveness is on everybody’s mind and that’s the big topic, but it sounds like you’re about to take out more loans. So I want to highlight for you the fact that you should be trying to take out as little as possible, right? You really only want to take out as much as you need. So really focus on that. Also, look into nursing loan forgiveness programs. Once you are down the line and you’ve taken out those loans, there are a lot of programs out there for that field. I want you to look into scholarships. I want you to look into grants. Anything that’s going to lessen the burden of taking out loans. Right. So really look into that, understand what those options are and avoid them, if at all possible, because they can really cause your interest rate to stack up over time. Those years really matter and I don’t want compound interest to work against you. This next question comes from Laurie in North Carolina.

Hi, I’m Laurie. I am 33 years old, currently living in Raleigh. And right now I’m really struggling with medical bills. A year ago, I had to have shoulder surgery because I injured my shoulder. And now 11 months later, I get a bill for another $500 for another piece of the surgery that I thought I was done with. I hit my deductible by the 15th of January this year. And for every time I turn around, I can’t make any progress on savings or paying down credit cards or loans because there’s always a medical bill and how am I ever going to get ahead? I’ve looked into financial assistance with the hospital that I work with and I’m poor, but I’m just a few thousand dollars a year, not poor enough to get assistance. And so, like, where do I go? I am struggling to make it to day to day and I, I just don’t know how to get these bills reduced or at least know what the bill is so that I can make a plan to pay on it. Right. Because every time I turn around, there’s a new one and I just don’t know how to keep it together. And because I don’t have enough income and I’m working so many jobs that I just work or sleep or eat, there is not a whole lot of other things and I’m still short on income. I also appreciate your podcast and your advice and I look forward to hearing more.

Hey Laurie, thank you so much for calling in with that. I hear the frustration in your voice. I can feel the stress that you’re feeling. And this is the big issue that a lot of people are facing right now, like our health care system is just not providing the safety nets that we need in order for us to get the care that we need. And it’s so frustrating and I feel like whatever answer I give you is going to be painfully inadequate because this is such a massive problem, you know, nationwide. But to try to give you some actionable tips here, the first thing you need to do is get some clarity around these bills, because it sounds like they’re giving you a bit of the runaround, sending you these unexpected bills from time to time. And like you said, you never know how much you owe. And when is another bill going to be coming in the mail? So the first thing you need to do is contact these hospitals wherever it is that you went for health care and get a clear response from them. How much do I owe? How much is left? I keep getting these bills in the mail and I don’t know where they’re coming from. The second thing you need to do is understand that all of these bills are negotiable. So even though the bill says you owe $500, you don’t necessarily need to pay the full amount. So you need to

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