DR 064: How to Manage Your Money Like a CFO–Interview with JD Roth

JD Roth

What can we learn from a man who has blogged about personal finances for over 8 years? Quite a lot as it turns out. JD Roth has much to say on how to make better financial choices, and about what personal development has to do with personal finance.

Topics Covered in the Interview

  • How JD Roth started the Get Rich Slowly blog, and what he’s doing now
  • When She Makes More, a new book by Farnoosh Torabi
  • The new Get Rich Slowly e-course and guide, Be Your Own CFO
  • How mission statements help you get your finances on track
  • Purging, merging, and upgrading your finances

Resources Mentioned in the Interview

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Interview Transcript

In this interview, I talk with JD Roth, founder of Get Rich Slowly, about his new money management e-course, which is a very helpful resource. We talk about creating a mission statement to help manage your money, traveling, and more.

Rob: With that, I want to get to the interview with JD. As I’ve said, I think you will find this interview to be a lot of fun. I think you will find the guide and the year-long course that he has created to be quite helpful.

JD, welcome to the show.

JD Roth: Hey, Rob. Thanks for having me.

Rob: Before we hit the record button, we were actually talking about a pretty interesting topic that I want to start with. But before we get to that, some folks may not know who JD Roth is.

JD Roth: Sure.

Who is JD Roth?

Rob: Why don’t you tell us a little bit of who you are and what you do?

JD Roth: Well, my name is JD Roth and I call myself an accidental personal finance expert because I don’t have any qualifications to be writing or giving financial advice. I’m not a certified financial planner. I don’t have any kind of formal education in finance.

However, I am kind of a self taught guru. I don’t want to call myself a guru. I have self taught knowledge.

Rob: Fair enough.

JD Roth: Basically, I struggled with debt for a long time. I began to read about how to get out of debt. How to apply what I learned to real life. I experiment with what works and what does not as far as getting out of debt and building wealth is concerned.

I started a blog called getrichslowly.org where I share my experiences. That blog, for whatever reason, became very popular and successful, and I was able to quit my day job and write about money full time.

In fact, I eventually sold the blog and was able to set aside a nice nest egg because of that. Since then, I write the ‘Your Money’ column for the Entrepreneur Magazine. I wrote a book called Your Money: The Missing Manual. And just recently, I released a year-long course called Get Rich Slowly that’s based on the premise that if you manage your personal finances the way a business manages its money, you will have a lot more success.

[Some feedback and technical difficulties. . .]

Rob: I’ll edit that out, by the way. You know, maybe I won’t edit it out because sometimes, when thing go wrong, it shows people that we’re all human beings trying to make the most of this technology and things don’t always go according to plan.

JD Roth: Right. You know, I just mentioned my course. I recorded 18 audio interviews for that course, and I was faced with a dilemma. Do I edit these or do I just put them out there raw like they are.

And for a variety of reasons, time being one of them, I chose to put out the interviews raw. Also, I think that showing the actual flubs and whatever, in my opinion, makes them more accessible. It shows that we are real people.

Rob: Yes. And you know, the fact is I sit here and think that I’m not going to edit that out. We will leave it in there. People listening to this, they like to know who JD is. They like to know who Rob is. We’re real people trying to deal with the same financial issues that everyone else is trying to deal with. We make mistakes just like everyone else. And, we talk about those mistakes.

I do want to talk about your new book. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to describe it because it’s really more than that.

JD Roth: Yes. We’re calling it a course. The book component is a guide because it’s an online book. That’s like the cornerstone of it.

Thoughts on When She Makes More

Rob: Right. Before we get to that though… Before I hit record, we were talking about Farnoosh’s new book and some controversy, maybe.

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: Tell me about that.

JD Roth: Farnoosh Torabi has a new book called When She Makes More. It’s specifically about a situation that occurs in about a quarter of US households where the woman earns more than the man and is therefore the primary breadwinner. This is up from about six percent in the 1960s.

Her premise is that obviously, this should not be an issue. We should be okay with that. Why does it matter that a woman makes more than a man. But, even people who are very open-minded and very liberal find that when that situation occurs, it can be emasculating if you’re a man.

If you’re a woman, you can feel resentful, as the man isn’t making more. Both genders can find it troubling. Not that they do but they can find it troubling. Her book is about providing a set of real world tactics. She calls them 10 rules for people in the situation that cope with the issue if it does become an issue in the relationship.

Rob: Yes. The book was just released, right?

JD Roth: Yes. I think today, May 1st, is the publication date.

Rob: I haven’t read it yet. I do want to read it. My wife and I discuss this. I think we both come from traditional backgrounds. I don’t know if that’s even the right way to describe it.

One of the related topics that we talk about is the situation where there is a stay at home dad. Obviously, the wife is making more but it’s not just making more because the dad is not generating income. We talk about the kind of issues that situation creates. I think it’s probably similar to what she addresses in her book so I’ll be interested to read that.

JD Roth: Just to add on the stay at home dad thing… Actually, on my review of the book, I called my friend who is a stay at home dad. His wife is a pathologist. He used to be a school teacher.

She was earning something like five to ten times as much as he would make, so the choice was obvious. He was going to be a stay at home dad. He’s fine with it. She’s fine with it. It works for them. But in some cases, people have issues.

Rob: Do they have any struggles with it at all or is it just 100% fine?

JD Roth: They are on the same team. He’s happy. They approach it from a logical perspective. He doesn’t have any issues at all. On the other hand, there are people who end up in the situation and are not okay with it. I think Torabi addresses some issues in her book.

Rob: Okay. Good. I will definitely read that. I’m sure it will be a topic for future podcasts as well.

JD Roth: Yes.

The Get Rich Slowly Course

Rob: So, let’s talk about your new course. I bought the course.

JD Roth: Oh, thank you.

Rob: I read through what really is a very comprehensive PDF or the book portion, of you will. I keep going back to the book.

JD Roth: I’m supposed to call it a guide.

Rob: A guide. I like that.

JD Roth: It’s called Be Your Own CFO.

Rob:  Okay. As you’ve mentioned, you have already written a book.

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: Money: The Missing Manual, right?

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: Why did you write this guide?

JD Roth: For one thing, when I wrote Your Money: The Missing Manual, that was about almost five years ago. That did a good job of capturing what I knew about personal finance at that time. But, my thinking has evolved and I’ve learned more.

That first book was meant to be comprehensive. I didn’t tell people what to do. I just basically said, “Okay, here are the things out there that are available to you.”

While I am proud of that book, it’s very much meant for beginners. It’s like of a dictionary or a reference, whereas the Be Your Own CFO Guide, as part of the Get Rich Slowly Course, is much more directed at people who want to master their money.

The guide is for people who say, “I’m willing to accept responsibility for my financial situation, whether it’s getting out of debt or saving for retirement.” Whatever the goals are, they want some actual direction in achieving their financial aims.

So, I incorporate a lot of my latest thinking on personal finance in there. I also use this metaphor that I came up with about managing your personal finances as if you’re managing a business. To be honest Rob, I think that almost everyone understands that a business needs to make money in order to survive. Making money may not be the purpose of that business.

For example, Apple. Apple often talks about that saying, “Our purpose isn’t to make money; it is to provide products that people want. When we do that, we make money.” Steve Jobs was very vocal about this.

But a business can’t survive without money. I want people to understand that the same principle applies to their personal lives. If you start thinking about your personal finances as if you need to make a profit, I think it will be easier to manage your money in a way that’s productive.

Rob: I really like the idea. You’re talking about saving money. How much of your income can you save— 5%, 10%? In your book you referred to it at times, as profit.

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: I really like that idea. It really does give a different angle on what is otherwise a familiar concept. It really is profit. I think it’s a great way to look at it, borrowing it from the business world.

JD Roth: Yes. I think sometimes people who are just existing day to day think of saving and say, “Why the heck do I want to save? I want to spend this money now.”

If you look at it as profit, you can make yourself understand that a business needs profit in order for it to do the things it wants to do – to grow and so on. I can see why I would want a profit, too.

Rob: Now, I went into the book—I’m sorry, into the guide. I’m sorry, I going to have to keep correcting myself.

JD Roth: Let’s call it a book.

Rob: That’s actually my question. As you were thinking about this project, how did it come to be that it was part of the unconventional guides as opposed to just a traditional book like your first one or maybe an Amazon book? Why did you choose a guide method or the guide way?

JD Roth: Last spring, I began to think about writing a second book. I actually talked to a couple of agents, but neither of them was enthused about what I wanted to do with the book.

I hadn’t seized on this idea of managing your money like you’re managing your business yet. I wanted to write something that was very psychological and talked about the mental aspect of managing your money. I think that’s the most important thing. Publishers just aren’t interested in that. I know that from talking to publishers. They just don’t seem to be interested.

And so I was just sitting on the idea. Last May or June, Chris Guillebeau who’s a friend of mine approached me and said, “Hey. I have this series of unconventional guides, and in 2014 I want to do more of them. I would love it if you did an unconventional guide about money.”

I had a few months to cogitate on that before I began writing in the fall. I kicked around a lot of different ideas. I knew, going into it that I wanted to write about achieving financial independence and taking control of your personal finances and being proactive.

I feel very strongly that the mistake a lot of people make is they’re not proactive. They’re very reactive. They respond to things that happen to them rather than preparing in advance and taking charge of their lives.

I had three false starts on this project before I finally hit on the idea. We kept coming back to it.  I mentioned the fact that you should manage your money like your business over and over again on my three false starts.

Finally, I said, “This is the core idea. Let’s go with this.” Once I fixed on that, it became clear.

Rob: The one thing that the way you’ve published this as a guide – and you’ve eluded to this – is for example, there are audio interviews that are available and that wouldn’t be available on the traditional book platform.

Those who buy the guide have different options. They get access to different resources that are available to them. I’ve only just begun to go through all of those. In that sense, I think what you’ve created is significantly different. As bloggers, we’ve read a ton of personal finance books. I know that you’ve read countless…

JD Roth: Yes. I’m looking at my shelf over here.

Rob: Right. And we’re video Skyping. I know the folks listening to the podcast obviously can’t see it, but behind JD is a mountain of books. I’ll be honest with you.

When I opened up the PDF and started reading it, I thought, “Is this going to be just another personal finance book that I’ve read a thousand times before?” I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading it. It may sound goofy but I think when you’ve read so many…

I started at the beginning. First of all, I noted a handful of quotes that are just gems in the book. One of them I love is, “Your circumstances may not be your fault but they are your responsibility.”

I think that is a fabulous way to think about it. A lot of times circumstances that are just beyond our control happen in our lives. We have health issues that drive us into debt. They’re not your fault but you can’t stop there because you have to take responsibility.

JD Roth: Exactly.

Why You Need a Mission Statement

Rob: That gets me to the first part of your book when you say, “It’s not just good enough to know what you should do or how you should do it. You should also know the why.”

You also talk about a mission statement. Why is the mission statement and understanding the ‘why’ important to you?

JD Roth: Remember this question because I think I’m about ready to go in a tangent.

Rob: Okay.

JD Roth: I want to say that when I write about personal finance, I’m almost never writing about money, and I don’t think anybody really is. We’re writing about deeper things.

Money is just a tool to achieve the things that we really want in life. I have a psychology background. I have a psychology degree. I read self help books all the time. I have one shelf of personal finance books here and over there are two shelves of self help books.

You just brought up the “It may not be your fault  but it’s your responsibility.” That idea comes from reading books like The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. These books talk about getting to the heart of what motivates us personally.

One of the classics in discovering what your meaning and purpose in life is, is a book called Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a psychologist who was imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps in World War II, and he survived largely due to chance, obviously, because that was how it worked, but also because he kept the positive attitude. Even in the bleakest possible conditions, he was able to find meaning in his day to day existence.

Thinking about that and reading about a lot of stuff recently after my divorce made me realize having a purpose and a direction allows us to channel our efforts in a way that’s productive and helps us achieve our goals. The way I think of it is if you don’t have a direction, then you wander aimlessly. You don’t have an end in mind.

This is true with your money. If you don’t have a goal in life, you’re just going to spend aimlessly. But as soon as you achieve some sort of purpose and direction, then you know when you spend in a way that doesn’t support his direction.

Like if my purpose is to travel and I’m spending $120 a month on a digital HDTV cable package, then that does not support my goal to travel. I don’t give a rat’s ass about TV. For me, personally, that’s not a good expenditure. Getting clear on what your purpose and goals are can really help people direct their spending.

Rob: Yes. One of the things you do is convey that in your guide through telling stories.

JD Roth: Right.

Rob: One thing that comes to mind when it comes to traveling is Paula Pant’s story.

JD Roth: Yes, correct.

Rob: She wants to travel and that really shaped how she handled her money.

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: I think that it’s a powerful way to communicate a very profound idea. That comes back to your book. You recommend that everyone should prepare a mission statement. Folks who buy the guide can obviously read through it and you give a lot of details.

But, at a high level, what should a mission statement look like, and how can it help folks?

JD Roth: A mission statement is going to be different for each person. What I recommend is setting aside some time when you actually think about what your values and priorities are and what it is that you really want to accomplish in life three or thirty years down the road.

To be honest Rob, I can’t give you just at the top of my head how a person should craft it because it’s a very personal thing. In my case, when I was writing the guide, I realized that I don’t have a written mission statement. In my head, I know what I want to do but I don’t have a written one.

So, I spent an entire afternoon, about two or three hours, sitting down and crafting my mission statement. Let me see if I have it handy.

My purpose is to live the best life I can while helping others do the same plus I want to explore the world. That’s a brief summary of it. I realized that I really enjoy talking to people about money, self-development and about ways on how they can live better lives. Those are my purposes. In my guide, I talked about figuring out the overall things that you want to accomplish and then setting-up some sub-goals that will help you pursue that purpose.

Rob: Yes. And again, the folks who get the guide see this but you will still walk them through how to craft a mission statement. Do you give them examples?

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: Are the goals short, intermediate, and long term?

JD Roth: Yes.

Rob: You even talk about— some of them I think are very critical— habits.

JD Roth: Yes, absolutely. I think those are missed a lot of times when people set goals. To me, those are on-going goals. That is what habits are.

My goal isn’t to learn to play the guitar. My goal is to practice the guitar everyday so I can become better at it. I want that to be a habit. I just think it’s important that we build habits and encourage the behavior that we want.

Rob: Yes. To me, habits are goals that we don’t think about.

JD Roth: I like that!

Rob: They can be good goals or they can be bad goals. The thing about the mission statement is…

To me, I don’t have a written mission statement. After reading your guide, I’m going to prepare one. When you think about money, we spend them on a daily basis.

Sometimes, we think, “Should I go out to eat or not?” Or, as you said, “Should I spend $120 on a cable package or not?” It almost seems painful to deny ourselves some of those things. And we ask, “What good is it going to do? If I save $50 here, it’s not going to make a difference.”

However, if repeated over and over again, it does. I think if you have a mission statement, in your case, it’s travel. You can see the immediate benefit. If I make these sacrifices, it will allow me to fulfill the more important things to me.

Mindful Spending

JD Roth: Exactly. I think you’re hitting on a number of points here. One thing is when you choose to save instead of spending today, that saving is not a sacrifice. You’re not giving things up. Well, actually you are, but we’ll get into that in a minute. It’s not a sacrifice in a way that you’re depriving yourself. What you’re doing is you’re choosing to spend on the future instead of spending on today.

Money saved is still money that’s going to be spent. It’s just money that’s going to be spent on things that are more important to you than some of the lesser things today. This gets to the notion of what I call “conscious spending” or “mindful spending.”

It’s something that I learned from Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich. Paula Pant also writes about it at Afford Anything. It’s basically this idea that you need to be very deliberate with the spending that you do.

Rather than spending to try to keep up with people or because everyone else is doing it or because you think it’s expected of you, you should spend based on what your values are. Make a conscious choice instead of spending out of habit. I have a short chapter in the guide that talks about opportunity cost and conscious spending. That chapter is my favorite part of the guide, to be honest.

Rob: How do you spend consciously? How does that work in day to day practice?

JD Roth: Each person has to develop habits that allow them to be more deliberate with their spending. When I was first struggling to get out of debt, one of the things I did, for example, is I had the 30 Day List.

If I was at the store and I saw something I wanted, what I would do is I would write it down on a piece of paper, go home, and put the list on the refrigerator instead of just purchasing it because I wanted it right then. I put the item on the list. I wrote down where I saw it, how much it cost and what the date was.

If a month later I still really wanted it, then I would consider purchasing it. I didn’t always purchase it but sometimes I did. This forced me to be much more mindful about the choices I was making with my money. Before that, I would just go buy whatever I wanted. This is an example of a way to become a little bit more deliberate.

Rob: In doing that, did you find yourself not buying a lot of things written on your list?

JD Roth: Absolutely. And you know, I still do this to this day. This is kind of a dangerous thing to do but that’s what I use my Amazon wish list for. It used be that I would just buy whatever I wanted on Amazon when I saw it.

Now, if I see something on Amazon that I want, it goes on the wish list. And about three or four times a year, I go through the wish list and I remove all of the things that I no longer want. Now, the problem is of course, I will see some things and say, “Oh yes, I do want that.”

Maybe it’s not a problem because if I still want it three or four months later and it’s something that matches my values, then I don’t have a problem buying it. I have… Oh, I took them out of the room. I was going to show you a couple of books that I have just ordered from Amazon. They’re books about money. They match with what I am writing about, and they’re going to help me, so I don’t have a problem that I spend money on them.

Rob: Good. You know, in the guide, you referenced a lot of online tools that folks can use. You also mentioned a lot of rules of thumb. One of those I referenced myself a couple of podcasts ago on the price-to-rent ratio and deciding whether you should rent or buy. Folks listening should be familiar with that.

I like the way you talk about how much I will be giving up in retirement if I spend a dollar now. And you just said, “Let’s simplify it and you do what you call the Ten-X Rule where you basically say that if I spend a dollar now, I’m losing $10 in retirement. I think it is a good way to internalize the actual cost of something to your future self.

JD Roth: Yes, correct. I like the notion of a future self. I’ve written about present you and future you before.

Rob: Tell us about that.

JD Roth: The present you and future you?

Rob: Yes. How does that work?

JD Roth: This comes from a talk by Daniel Gilbert who is a psychologist on the east coast who teaches about happiness and how we derive happiness. I think this is a TED Talk, actually. His point is that the present you thinks it knows what the future you will want. But in reality, you’re piss-poor at actually knowing what the future you is going to want.

And so, we make these decisions based on what we think we want in the future, and we’re very often wrong. I can’t remember what his moral is from that but my morals are a couple of things. First of all, we may be bad about predicting what we want in the future, but we don’t have anything better to go on.

For example, we’re talking about a mission statement and setting goals. You need to move in that direction even though you have to be aware that your mission statement and goals may change as you go along. But at the same time, when possible, you shouldn’t commit yourself to big expenses or big life circumstances, especially when you suspect there’s a chance that things might change.

An example of that is I really thought for a long time that I wanted a big, old farmhouse on a lot of land. About a decade ago, my ex-wife and I bought a big, old farmhouse on a lot of land. It seemed great for a while but then the reality of funding this farmhouse came into being and especially did the work on two-thirds of an acre… This isn’t going to sound like a lot of land but to those in Portland, two-thirds of an acre is quite a bit.

Having two-thirds of an acre to maintain was a pain in the ass. I hated going out and trimming the shrubs and mowing the lawn. The reality was that younger JD had no idea what the older JD was going to like and want in value.

Blogging Can Be Life Changing

Rob: Yes. I’m right there with you. We deal with half an acre, and before our interview, I had a gutter repair guy come over to look into a mess we have right now and it’s going to cost us $1,000 to fix. I’m with you. I wouldn’t have felt that way 10 years ago.

But you do change. I suspect, too, that you change if your circumstances remain the same. That’s the other part of it. As our circumstances change, I’m guessing that when you started Get Rich Slowly in 2006, you probably had no idea what was in store for you?

JD Roth: I had no clue.

Rob: Is it fair to say that starting that blog was life changing for you?

JD Roth: Oh yes, absolutely.

Rob: And you know, starting Dough Roller in 2007 was life changing for me. Our paths haven’t gone exactly the same direction, but there’s just no way to predict what the next five or ten years are going to look like.

JD Roth: People ask me from time to time how my life is right now compared to when I started Get Rich Slowly. It’s night and day. I couldn’t have predicted what would happen financially and with my relationship with my wife. It’s just all sorts of things. Ten years ago, I had not been outside the country. Now, I have visited 20 different countries. I’ve learned to travel.

Rob: Wow. What’s been your favorite destination?

JD Roth: My girlfriend and I went to Scotland last year. Maybe it’s because I had no expectations, but Scotland was an amazing place. It was beautiful. The people were friendly. The food was good, even the Haggis. I really enjoyed it.

I also love portions of South America, especially the Andes, like Peru and Ecuador. I feel a real attachment to the land when I’m up in the Andes.

Rob: Wow. What time of the year did you go to Scotland?

JD Roth: It was cold. It was Easter—  like March 31st or April 1st of 2013.

Rob: Okay. Good. Our favorite trip was probably Guatemala, which is where our children are from. It was just beautiful. I was surprised at how beautiful the country is. I don’t know why I was surprised. I didn’t really have any expectations, I guess.  But I certainly have not traveled as much as you have. Okay. I have one last question on the guide.

JD Roth: Sure. Yes.

Purge, Merge, and Upgrade Your Accounts

Rob: There is so much in the guide. You know, I’m only scratching the surface. But, there’s a concept you mentioned that I think folks can really benefit from, and that’s the purge, merge, and upgrade. Please describe that for those who are listening.

JD Roth: The notion of purging, merging and upgrading is that we go through life and for the most part, nobody really wants us to do a lot of work. I get it. We just accumulate stuff, as in physical stuff, but you also accumulate accounts. You accumulate credit card accounts, bank accounts, utility accounts or what have you. They accumulate and eventually, you’re carrying a lot of baggage. It’s like a ship sailing to the sea with barnacles attached.

With purge, merge and upgrade, what I recommend you to do is set aside some time and actively purge the things that no longer work for you or don’t fit your needs anymore. At the same time that you’re purging these, try to merge accounts or merge whatever it is that you’re working with. For example you might have three different Roth IRAs – or 401ks, more likely – that you’ve established over the years. Find a way to merge those so you only have one account that you have to worry about and manage.

The final part of this is to upgrade your accounts or whatever you’re working with. After you’ve purged, and after you’ve merged, then go through and see if you can find some better options. The popular one on personal finance blogs is talking about savings accounts or maybe credit cards.

After you arrange your accounts the best way they can be, go out and look to see if there are other options available that are better than the things that you already have. I think this process is very effective in optimizing your life. You only have to do it once every couple of years.

Rob: Yes. I guess you can apply that not only to investment accounts or bank accounts, but also to your monthly expenses. Go through them all and purge what you don’t need. If you don’t need that 200-channel cable package because you watch everything on Netflix (and I’m speaking for myself here), that’s a great one to purge.

JD Roth: Yes. You know, for a long time, I continued to carry my Netflix account after the divorce, even though I wasn’t watching DVDs and I hadn’t done streaming stuff yet. I carried that for several months and eventually, I cut it. I only reinstated it once I already discovered the beauty that is Apple TV where I could stream everything through that.

Rob: You know, we did the same thing. We were paying not only to stream but also to get the DVDs. And one day I said to my wife, “When was the last time we actually watched a DVD?” So we got rid of that and got the streaming which costs $8 a month.

JD Roth: Last night, Kim and I were talking and we were watching the Portland Trailblazers. I have a basic cable package right now, just for situations like this because there’s no way to stream that game. I’m sure there is if I want to go find an illegal method. Sometimes I do that, I’ll admit.

But in this case, I’m not that industrious so I’m fine paying a few dollars a month to have this basic cable package. Anyway, Kim was talking last night about how she almost feels like it would be worth it to pay for HDTV to have certain sporting events or certain programs in HD. I got to thinking that in a couple of years, I bet we won’t even have to consider that.

Maybe cable will be around. Comcast is sure going to try it to make sure cable’s still around. But, I will bet that it will get to a point when I can watch my Portland Trailblazers or my Portland Timbers on TV through streaming means like Apple TV or something similar.

Rob: Yes, I hope so because that’s a particular problem with sports. I remember watching Ohio State Football. I’m a Buckeye fan growing up in Central Ohio. It was their bowl game just last year, and we had gotten rid of cable. I eventually found a free and legal way to stream it, but the broadcast was in Spanish.

So for me, I had no commentary but I could watch the game. You think it’s like there’s a stranglehold on all this by the cable companies and it just drives you crazy.

JD Roth: You know, we hit upon a solution during college football season last year where we could just go down to the pub and watch some games. But the nearest pub doesn’t have a TV and right now, Kim and I are both trying not to drink so that kind of defeats the purpose. Plus, we have to go out of the house. Last night was a Wednesday night and neither of us wanted to do that.

Rob: Yes. Well, I appreciate your time. I’m going to finish with another favorite quote of mine in your guide because of how practical it is. I mean, I love the theory of finance and that’s fine. There’s a place for that, I suppose.

But at the end of the day, if it didn’t help your life, then what’s the point? You cover everything. You cover investing, the importance of low cost index funds, and getting out of debt. All of these things are in your guide.

On getting out of debt, you talk about the debt snowball, right? Do you pay off the high interest rate debt first or do you pay off the small balance first. I think you mentioned that Adam from Man vs. Debt has his own hybrid approach which eliminates the debt he hates the most, right?

JD Roth: I love that.

Rob: I never thought about which debt I hate the most, but that’s an interesting concept. Here’s the quote that I love. You kind of summed it all up by saying this, “The most important thing when paying off your debt is to pay off your debts.” And I thought that that’s perfect. It’s a great advice.

JD Roth: People get so hung-up on trying to find out the best way or the right way to do something. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The best way is to weigh the words.

Rob: Yes, that was great. Hey JD, I really appreciate your time. I’ll leave links to your guide at the show notes. I really appreciate your time today.

JD Roth: Yes, thank you so much. It’s been fun.

Published or Updated: May 12, 2014
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.

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