082. Wallet Activism with Tanja Hester

Podcast

Tanja Hester joins The 411k to discuss her new book Wallet Activism which teaches all of us how to be more intentional with our money. Wallet Activism, sometimes referred to as “vote with your dollars,” touches on all the different ways that we can align our money with our values – how to identify the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys when it comes to spending. But also how we donate our money and even where we invest or bank it.

079. Tax Season with Atiya Brown

Podcast
Atiya S. Brown, aka The Savvy Accountant, is a CPA in Canada and a Certified Financial Educator Instructor. She joins Katie and Katherine to answer questions about tax planning and tax preparation. Tax season can cause many people anxiety. What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction? What is a standard deduction? How can I get a bigger tax refund? Why do I owe money? In this episode, Atiya makes these confusing concepts approachable and easy to understand.

077. Divorce Funding

Podcast

Nicole Noonan, CEO of New Chapter Capital Inc., joins The 411k to discuss divorce funding. Nicole is a nationally recognized divorce expert and shares her experience helping families solve financial disputes.

In the United States, we hear that more than half of all marriages end in divorce. With second marriages in the U.S., the divorce rate rises to 65% and for third marriages, the divorce rate climbs to 75%.

Many people save for a wedding but they rarely save for a divorce. Instead they can turn to credit cards, friends, family gifts or divorce funding to help them afford a divorce.

076. Finding Purpose with Miracle Olatunji

Podcast

Miracle Olatunji is a public speaker, content creator, entrepreneur, and author of Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact. She is the founder of OpportuniMe, a mission-driven company which helps people and organizations to realize and reach their full potential. She is also building Her Wallet Media, an inclusive and shame-free coaching and financial education platform to help women build their net worth, network, and self-worth. Miracle joins The 411k to share her personal money story and inspire her Gen Z peers to find their purpose!

Money Dates

Relationships

Pour the wine, light the fire, get the dessert… it’s time for a money date! For a lot of couples, money isn’t exactly romantic. For many, it’s uncomfortable. Even scary. But money dates are important for couples to align their values and goals.

When should you start talking money? Is it the first date? When you move in together? Once you’re engaged? Married? There is no right answer.

Even before you start really talking about money your date is showing you their values (where the money goes). Do they take you out to fancy dinners with champagne and candlelight? Do they order the steak or just eat the tableside bread? Or maybe you get takeout and watch a movie at home? Do they splurge on a sushi spread and rent the newest release? Or do you split a cheese pizza and watch a movie on his sister’s Netflix account? On your next date, see how your date shows their values. What are they telling you without telling you? How are you talking money without talking about money?

Where do we start? Starting with “does going out to dinner work with our budget? can lead to “should we start saving for that dream vacation?” which can lead to conversations like investing for a future together – a wedding, a home, a family, retirement, etc.

Here are some conversation starts that you can use on any date to get the money talk flowing:

  1. If you won $1 million dollars, what would you do with it?
  2. Are you a spender or a saver?
  3. Do you like to spend money on experiences or things?
  4. What are you saving for right now?
  5. What are our financial goals? (How can we reach them together?)
  6. Did your family talk about money growing up?
  7. What are our priorities?
  8. If you are comfortable, what is your salary?
  9. Are there any big purchases you/we have coming up?
  10. Do you invest?
  11. How do you picture your retirement?

Practice makes perfect… Habits! Now that you both are talking money, let’s make this a regular thing! Deciding how to manage your finances will be one of the first and most important decisions about your financial future as a couple. And the way in which you talk about money may evolve over time. There is no “one size fits all” approach here. Find the cadence and style that works best for you and your partner.

Money dates shouldn’t be a shame or stress inducing evening. So make your money date something that you both look forward to. Check out our episode with Aditi Shekar, founder of Zeta, to learn about how to talk money with your partner on your next money date!

Yours, Mine & Ours?

Relationships

We’ve interviewed many experts who agree that it’s important to talk money with your partner. One of the top sources of stress in a marriage is money so taking the time to focus on this before marriage can strengthen your financial partnership with your spouse. Getting married means sharing your money with your spouse. And when you’re used to managing your own money, even the thought of sharing it with someone else can be confusing, stressful — even scary. Banking with your spouse doesn’t have to mean entering into a world of conflict. Power couples bank together in a way that allows them independence while operating as a team. 

Before you start combining money, it’s lay all your cards on the table. Shannon McLay, founder of The Financial Gym, calls this “getting financially naked” with one another. Talking money is personal and getting to this level with a partner is intimate. Everyone is bringing baggage to the table. It can be stressful and uncomfortable but ultimately helps better align your goals as a couple. What do you want to save for? Where do we see this money going in our future?

Bank Accounts with Benefits? Don’t be afraid to start small! Some couples who are living together, engaged or married consider setting up an “ours” bucket for finances. This could be a shared account or shared credit card. Determine how much each is contributing and set up a monthly transfer to the account.

This works really well when the individuals want to maintain independence while still easily managing shared expenses. It helps the couple to manage the shared budget for things like rent, household items, eating out together, etc. And most importantly, it keeps pre-marital money separate for things like student debt, if one partner isn’t prepared to take that on just yet.

We love talking about money and relationships! Check out our episodes on aligning financial goals with Lindsay Bryan Podvin and talking money like a power couple with Casey Rose Shevin.

Prenup?

Relationships

If you’re in a serious relationship and thinking about marriage, or you might already be engaged, take some time before you get married to talk money. You might find out that a prenup is right for you!

We will admit that the word “prenup” is very taboo word especially when it comes to love and marriage. As such, we wrongly assumed prenups are just for Kardashians or the Real Housewives. In our episode with Casey Rose Shevin, she explained why some couples opt for a prenuptial agreement.

88% percent of Americans think it’s important to have financial conversations before saying “I do”, yet only 51% actually discuss how to handle finances as a team before getting married. Even more shocking, only 41% of married couples disclosed their annual salaries before getting married and only 36% disclosed their debt! The millennial generation is taking their turn getting hitched and, like so many other things, upending the status quo by opting for premarital financial disclosures. Holla we want PRENUPS!


A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a legally binding contract you sign before you get married. If you get divorced, your prenup outlines how you’ll divide assets and debts. You can sign a prenup that is pretty much all encompassing, leaving little to be negotiated at the time of divorce, or you can limit the prenup to address only a single asset or circumstance. For example, if one partner is coming into the marriage with a significant amount of student loans, a prenup can outline that in the event of a divorce, that debt remains 100% with the partner that took out the debt.

Marriage can be the biggest legal binding contract that people enter into. Prenups are created during a time of love, with a focus on the future. A prenup can actually prevent a contentious split because it forces you to think ahead about one of the top sources of stress in a marriage – money. Financial conflict is the leading cause of divorce, and taking the time to focus on this before marriage can strengthen your financial partnership with your spouse. 

For more information, check out our episode with Casey Rose Shevin, a family law attorney and mediator.

Expense Ratio

WTF is

An expense ratio (ER) or management expense ratio (MER) is the cost or the amount charged by a mutual fund or an ETF (exchange-traded fund). Funds have to pay for portfolio management, administration, marketing, and distribution, and other expenses. The cost is always expressed as a percentage of the fund’s average net assets (instead of a flat dollar amount).

HUH? An expense ratio measures how much you’ll pay over the course of a year to own a fund. For example, a fund may charge 0.2 percent. That means you’ll pay $20 per year for every $10,000 you have invested in that fund. 

Funds can be actively managed (meaning a person or team are actively picking which stocks, bonds, etc are in the portfolio) or passively managed (meaning they mirror the market or existing benchmark like the S&P 500). Actively managed funds cost more because someone is actively trying to beat market returns. 

SO WHAT’S LOW COST? A reasonable expense ratio for an actively managed portfolio is about 0.5% to 0.75%, while an expense ratio greater than 1.5% is high. For passive or index funds, the typical ratio is about 0.2% but can be as low as 0.02% or less in some cases. Robo-advisors typically invest in low-cost ETFs with much lower expense ratios, ranging from 0.05% to 0.20% in most cases. Or you can do it yourself! The cheapest option would be to open an account and invest in low cost index funds or ETFs.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Expense ratios significantly affect a fund’s return and an investor’s profit, especially over time. 1% doesn’t sound like a lot but it is!

Check out our episode with Amanda Holden to learn more about the importance of low cost investments.

075. A Year in Review

Podcast

What a difference a year makes! Katie and Katherine discuss the life events and big financial moves they’ve made over the last year. As a reminder, our hosts are not know-it-all experts. They are living and learning as they go. In this episode, they share some successes, some strange turns, and a few mistakes that got them through this year.

074. Next Generation Investor

Podcast
Kelly Lannan, Vice President of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments, join The 411k to discuss the next generation of investors. Millennials and Gen Z are doing things differently than those generations before them – getting married later, renting longer, having families later, etc. These generations do not subscribe do the same timeline as their parents or grandparents. However, it’s critical to not put off investing! Kelly Lannan is responsible for educating and inspiring young adults to get more engaged with their finances.

073. Scrappy Investing with Amanda Holden

Podcast

Amanda Holden, aka Dumpster Doggy, joins The 411k to get real about investing. Starting at 21, everyone is telling you to start putting money into a retirement account. Yes, we know that we are in a retirement crisis but there is so much more that we can learn about how to make our investments work for us. Amanda makes money fun and relatable so tune in to learn more about how to better understand how investing works.

072. Modern Frugal Living

Podcast

Jen Smith, creator of ModernFrugality.com, joins The 411k to talk about what it means to live a frugal life in the modern world. Yes, being frugal can mean saving $5 at the grocery store by shopping sale item but this conversation centers around the big frugal moves like moving to a more affordable city, buying a more modest house on one income, saving an old kitchen table instead of buying a new one. Big frugal moves can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You won’t want to miss this conversation on the benefits of a frugal life.

070. Get Funded with Ashley Yesayan

Podcast

Ashley Yesayan joins The 411k to talk venture capital! She’s been on both sides of the money. Ashley spent 15 years building and scaling high-growth venture backed technology companies and now, she is the entrepreneur getting funded! Today, Ashley is the founder and CEO of OneVillage, a marketplace connecting cancer patients and their supporters with the content, tools, products, and services they need to make life easier before, during, and after treatment. In this episode, she shares how she started her company and what it takes to get venture capital money needed to scale her business.

065. Mastering Mortgages

Podcast

Britny Lawhorn joins The 411k to teach us how to make informed decisions throughout the home-buying process. Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision that a person makes and so it’s important to understand as much as you can about the factors that impact that purchase. In this episode, we are talking specifically about what a first-time buyer should know about mortgages.

062. Start Here with Melody Wright

Podcast

Melody Wright understands that a financial plan isn’t one size fits all! In this live episode with Ithaca College’s Women in Finance and POC in Finance groups, she talks about her new book, Start Here, a personal finance guide to move past living paycheck to paycheck. When faced with $212K of debt that didn’t include their mortgage, Melody used the analytical skills learned from her time in science to develop a framework that helped her family pay off over $100,000 in debt in less than three years. Now she’s living her version of a Rich Life! Through bold conversations, coaching, and the creation of strategic money management systems, she has helped thousands of people stop being Aimlessly Broke and transform their mindset, behaviors, and practices related to money.

061. Each One, Teach One with Naseema McElroy

Podcast

Naseema McElroy is the founder of Financially Intentional, a platform about personal finance and living life intentionally, as well as the host of the podcast, Nurses on FIRE. Naseema joins to share her personal money story. Like many health professionals, Naseema found herself with a lot of student loans and even though she got a great job, she was still living paycheck to paycheck. In this episode, she shares how she break the cycle, paid off over $1 million in debt, and grew a six-figure net worth in just 3 years without living in deprivation.

059. The Rocket Years with Elizabeth Segran

Podcast

Elizabeth Segran, author of The Rocket Years, joined us to talk about the chaos that comes with a person’s twenties. Some call it “the defining decade.” There is pressure in your twenties to launch your life and it is a period when there are a lot of big decisions – careers, hobbies, marriage, fitness, family, friends, politics, faith, etc. It’s a lot of pressure to make the right choices but Elizabeth says the most important part is learning who you are and what you value. Understanding yourself will help inform all those other decisions. This live episode was recorded for a virtual audience from Bentley Women’s Network.

058. Financial Abuse with Kim Pentico

Podcast

Kim Pentico has been working with and on behalf of survivors of sexual and domestic violence since 1990. She first spent over seven years working for a local domestic violence program in Kansas and another seven years at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. She has also worked for the S.T.O.P. Technical Assistance Project in Washington, D.C. Kim is currently the Director of the Economic Justice Program for the Nation Network to End Domestic Violence, working to further assist survivors in moving from short-term safety to long-term security.

In this episode, we talk about domestic violence, and specifically financial abuse, which is a difficult topic, however, it affects millions of men and women of every race, religion, culture, and status. Parts of this conversation may be triggering for people, so please be aware of this before listening to this episode. We hope that having more conversations like this can inspire change and help anyone impacted by domestic violence.

If you have questions about what is available in your community, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 800-799-7233. You have a state domestic violence coalition and you can Google your state plus “domestic violence coalition” to find out what is available to you.

056. Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell

Podcast

In this episode, Bobbi Rebell, a Certified Financial Planner and host of the Financial Grownup podcast, joined us to talk about what it means to be “a financial grownup.” Bobbi shares her money story and the money mistakes that made her financially fragile in her 20s. Now, she is talking money and helping others achieve financial freedom. We recorded this episode with a virtual audience, the BC Women Innovators Network.