Which Way is Up?

This is the fourteen day in our 31-Day Money Challenge. Over 31 days we’ll publish 31 podcasts, each designed to help you move closer to financial freedom. Yesterday we looked at the debt snowball. In today’s podcast, we look at how to tackle multiple financial goals at the same time.

Sponsors: The 31-Day Money Podcast is sponsored by Betterment and Personal Capital. Betterment and Personal Capital are two tools I use to make investing easier, less expensive, and more effective.

Topics Covered

  • The two types of financial emergencies: (1) the hit and run, and (2) prolonged agony.
  • How to determine how big of an emergency fund you really need.
  • The 7 factors to consider in prioritizing your financial goals.
  • Is it ever ok to rely on credit for emergencies?
  • How a 401k employer match should affect your financial priorities.
  • How my wife and I ordered our financial priorities while paying off our debt.
  • Should you pay your mortgage off early?


Listener Question

Q (Barbara): with online banks, how do I deposit and withdraw? Is there a limited number of times you are able to do so?

Day 15: Interview with Carl Richards

Published or Updated: May 24, 2015
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.


  1. Kenneth says:

    Rob, DoughRoller is fast becoming one of my favorite Personal Finance websites. The site is very well organized and content is excellent. I found you by way of Podcasts. Keep up the good work.

    My only remaining debt is a temporary HECL loan. I’m paying it down about $1,500/mo, and it’s at $58,000 right now. YNAB has my pre-YNAB HECL at $58,000, but my actual HECL balance is $50,128. That’s because YNAB has set aside category balances for my current spending categories, as well as annual categories such as property taxes and insurance. I keep my checking account balance right around $1,000, and have NO SAVINGS (other than the equity in my two homes, and my retirement account balances). The reason I’m laying this out, is I just listened to Podcast 20, the Debt Snowball. So I’m using my HECL as Springy Debt (a term MMM coined), and until I need the money to pay that insurance bill, it is used to pay down my HECL more than I actually could. Why keep $7,000 in Savings, when it could be lent at 4% to my HECL until the day I actually need it?

    • Rob Berger says:

      Kenneth, thanks for the comment. I really like the term “Springy Debt.” It’s exactly what I did, I just didn’t have a nifty name for it!

  2. andrea says:

    I am deaf. I cannot hear to listen to recording. Is it possible that those sessions provided in transcripts?

    Thank you.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Andrea, I’m working on it!

  3. LIMH says:

    These podcasts are excellent. I’m traveling between states and it’s great to be able to listen to these podcasts as I drive. They are a great use of my time.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying them!

  4. Md. Taslimuzzaman Fakir says:

    Hi Rob. I’m at Day 14 in your 31 day money challenge podcast. Thank you, thank you, thank you! a comprehensive guide can change my life.

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