• Budgeting

    Save Now, Live Later

    “It’s just money, you’ll make more,” is a fairly common phrase used by today’s millennials. In a world of instant gratification and two-day shipping, self-control has become nearly obsolete. We hardly bat an eye to make one click purchases or drop $300 for front row concert tickets, but putting money into a 401k or even a savings account seems like a total waste. At the ripe age of 23 I don’t have too many friends who are planning for retirement or even trying to save at all. While I do realize saving in your early twenties for something that seems like it will never come is hard, confusing, and completely overwhelming. However, being able to discover the importance of saving now versus later can impact many years of your life.

     For starters, let’s take a look at what now vs later actually looks like.  If you were to start saving at age 22 for retirement you probably wouldn’t have a ton of extra money to put in, but a little goes a long way. For example: you are 22 years old making $30,000 a year. If you were to put $225 per month (6% of your paycheck + $0.50 company match) at a 9% annual rate of return, it would give you $1,547,602 by the age of 67. That is not changing your contribution at all and assuming you started with $0 in your 401k account. Now let’s look at a 35-year-old making $60,000 a year. We are going to give them a $5,000 starting 401k balance and contribute amount of $450 a month until age 67. By the time they retire, they will have $1,044,338. In this scenario, the 22-year-old is going to retire with $500,000 more just from starting early! They were making less, contributing less, and starting with less, and still came out on top. Imagine where you could be with an increase in salary and a higher contribution amount each year. For the final scenario, let’s combine these two people. If the 22-year-old saved their $225 per month until age 35 and then their $450 a month until age 67, they would retire with $2,030,350.

    Time truly is money and these scenarios show the importance of beginning now. To run scenarios of your own, Dave Ramsey has a great online calculator which can be found at https://www.daveramsey.com/smartvestor/investment-calculator.

    Now after reading that, I am sure everyone is wanting to retire a millionaire, because… who wouldn’t want that? However, it’s a lot easier said than done. Finding the motivation and discipline can be a tough obstacle to overcome. Here are just a few tips to find your money motivation. The biggest thing is to surround yourself with it. Talk about, think about it, get excited about it. Grab a calendar and write out goals for where you want to be and when. Make short term achievable goals and stick to them. When you fall behind and don’t reach your goals, go back and write them again. Just keep doing this until it becomes a habit. Also, surround yourself with people who are wanting the same things. Being surrounded with friends who spend money as quick as they get it will make it that much harder to stay disciplined. Make sure to take advantage of any resources available to you (for example, everything Face The Fear has to offer!!). The more knowledge you are able to obtain, the better. One of my favorite things to do to motivate myself is to listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcast. Hearing about other people overcoming their debt and saving big is a great way to motivate yourself to do the same. So start now, don’t give up, and get rich.

    Article Written By: Sydney Ford

    Disclosure: The numbers given above are examples and are not guaranteed results and the company match varies by company.

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Mother’s Day Money Talk ft. Becky Rogers & Robin Schuller

    On this special Mother’s Day episode, we do some girl talk with Becky Rogers and Robin Schuller, two of the coolest moms of Millennials that we know! Becky and Robin share the financial secrets they wish they’d known when they were in their 20s and 30s, as well as the advice they’ve given their Millennial children about managing money. If you want to find out how to slay your financial goals, stay tuned!

    And if you like us, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

    Face The Fear Website: https://www.facethefearfw.com

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Matt Erpelding, Estate Planning

    In this episode, we dive into Estate Planning 101 with Matt Erpelding, Director of Advanced Markets at Ash Brokerage. Think that Estate Planning is just something that rich people need to do? FALSE! 

    Here are a few of the questions Matt helps us answer:

    • What is estate planning and why is it important?
    • What are the differences between a trust, will, and estate?
    • What is a Power of Attorney?
    • When should someone start to create an estate plan?
    • How should Millennials start the conversation with their parents and family members about estate planning?
    • Where can someone go for guidance when creating an estate plan or will?

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Chad Tallman, Financial Advisor

    In this episode, we chat with Chad Tallman, Financial Advisor*, about everything from investing, to budgeting, to retirement planning – all from a Millennial point-of-view. Chad debunks some common myths about financial advisors and provides tips for finding the right advisor who will best meet your needs. 

    Here are a few of the questions uncover in this episode:

    • How does someone start investing? 
    • What does “risk tolerance” mean?
    • Why is it important for Millennials to have a financial advisor and to develop a financial plan?
    • What does a holistic financial plan look like for a Millennial?
    • What questions should someone ask a financial advisor to make sure they are the right fit for them?
    • What is one thing you wish you know about finances when you were in your early 20s?

    Chad’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chadtallman/

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

    *(Securities offered through Sigma Financial Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Sigma Planning Corporation, A Registered Investment Advisor. CLN Financial is independent of Sigma Financial Corporation and Sigma Planning)

  • Budgeting

    Budgeting: 5 Tips & Tricks to Make the Budget Stick

    Have you ever spent an obscene amount of time researching and crafting the perfect budget, only to give up on it a week later like a poorly executed diet plan? Do you find yourself trying to stick to your budget but your inner Donna Meagle just won’t let you?

    If the answer is yes, you’re not alone! Only about a third of Americans actually make and maintain a budget (Yikes!). Being a college student newly introduced to the world of ‘adulting,’ I have tried countless methods in an attempt to set myself financially free. Here are some tips and tricks that have made my life easier (and hopefully yours, too).

    • Find an app or budgeting system that works for you.

    Mint and EveryDollar are great apps that allow you to budget and track your expenses. BUT, in case you want more options, Buzzfeed has already found, rated, and summarized 17 other apps to help you stay accountable. Other ways you can budget include Excel Spreadsheets, good old fashion pen and paper on templates like this template, journals, whiteboards, and more. You’ll want to make your budget before the month starts and adapt the budget to each month. Whether you’re picking up a side hustle in summer time or celebrating birthdays, you’ll need to account for everything! At the end of each month, see where you overspent and try to improve your budget for the next month ahead.

    • Get a calendar, find a place to hang it where you’ll see it, and fill in the boxes.

    Add your bills, the due dates, pricier events like birthdays, etc. to help you organize your expenses. It takes some time, but it’s totally worth it! If you have a fluctuating income, you could even add your day-to-day earnings on the calendar. This will help you visualize your month ahead and show you how much you need to have in your account by the next bill. Not to mention the satisfaction you’ll have when you get to cross out that bill for the month! If you want a more private alternative to this, create events with this information in your phone’s calendar and set reminders for yourself.

    • If you can, try to pay cash!

    I’m not suggesting you carry your entire life savings on you but try to keep only what you budgeted to spend for the day. This will force you to stay on target, and you won’t have to deal with credit card interests if you use cash! People tend to spend more money when they use a debit or credit card compared to when they use cash. With cash, you can look directly at what you have left and adjust your spending habits accordingly.

    Another reason why paying with cash can be helpful is all the loose change you’ll accumulate! You can keep these coins to yourself and cash them in at a later time for cash, or gift cards if you want to avoid fees. If you choose the cash option, you can turn that coin fund into an extra savings fund for your personal goals. You’ll be surprised how quickly coins add up.

    • Find a way to organize your cash.

    Some people like Dave Ramsey’s method of using envelops, but that’s not the only way. Another easy way to organize cash is by purchasing a hanging shoe organizer and put labels on each pocket with different budget categories such as groceries, gas, rent, clothing, etc. You could hang this in your closet, your office, or anywhere you feel would be safe. This cash should be for short-term purchases, not for your emergency fund or savings goals. For that money, I recommend a safe savings account. You can find a good savings account here.

    • Lastly, don’t be afraid to say no.

    In the beginning, budgeting will be difficult because you’ll have to tell yourself no more often—especially compared to your friends that don’t budget. Does this mean you have stay home all day and watch re-runs of the Office instead of hanging out with your friends?

    Of course not! There are plenty of free-to-low-cost ways to have fun. If you’re running low on your recreational fund, try some of these. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it will challenge you to do something different. Also, saying no lets you say yes later. Instead of spending money on late night trips to Taco Bell, you can put that money towards a short-term savings goal like a road trip!

    These tips have made me perfect my budgeting habits, and they may help you conquer the budget! If you need more ideas, Pinterest and Google will be your best friends. Just remember that the hardest part about budgeting is keeping yourself accountable and accepting that you’ll make mistakes. You will fail. You will adapt. You will overcome. Be patient and find a system that works for you. Your current self and future self will thank you!

    Article Contributed By: Kianna Dalton

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Podcast

    Face The Fear Podcast – Chad Eyrich, Long Term Care

    In this episode, we sit down with Chad Eyrich, a Long Term Care Professional, to talk about what Long Term Care is, why it matters, and how to make sure you and your family have a plan in place if a Long Term Care event occurs. 

    Here are a few of the questions we get answered:

    • What is Long Term Care?
    • How does Long Term Care coverage work? What kind of options are available for Long Term Care coverage?
    • Why should Millennials be concerned about Long Term Care, especially when they are still so young and years away from needing this kind of service?
    • How can a Millennial start a conversation with their parents or grandparents about Long Term Care?

    Here are some quick Long Term Care Stats:

    • 52% percent of people turning age 65 today will need some type of long-term care services in their lifetimes
    • Average annual cost of private room in a nursing home (2017): $97,455
    • 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult 50 or over in the past 12 months
    • (https://bit.ly/2Mn8oL7

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

    Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! XOXO

  • The Market: 101

    Compound Interest: How To Earn $ On Your Money

    Have you ever had a terrible day that just seemed to keep getting worse? You didn’t hear your alarm go off, so you woke up 20 minutes late. When you jumped out of bed in a panic, you stubbed your toe on the nightstand (who put that there?!). At least you still had time to make yourself a fresh, steaming-hot cup of coffee! Unfortunately, on your way to work, an idiot cut you off in traffic and that steaming-hot cup of coffee flew out of your hand and on to your favorite white shirt.

    Nice. Huffing and puffing, you barely make it into the office when a coworker stops you and says, “Are you ready for your presentation in the meeting this morning?” (Oh, sh*t. I thought that meeting was tomorrow!) Later on, you realized that you packed a can of cat food instead of chicken salad for your lunch (ew), gave your crush a fist bump in return to a high-five (awkward), dropped a stack of important documents everywhere, and ripped your pants when you bent down to pick them up (tragic). It’s 4:58pm. You’ve almost made it through the day (thank goodness), but you decide to send one last email before you head home. You need to send your coworker, Danielle, a spreadsheet she requested, and decide to mention how annoying your boss has been lately. Sent! Then your heart stops. That email didn’t go to Danielle. It went to Daniel…your boss.

    We’ve all had one of those days. But, what makes a day like this so bad? It’s not because just one little thing went wrong. Oh no. It’s because one bad experience seemed to lead to another, which led to another and another, compounding into a terrible day overall.

    While this example of a bad day demonstrates how compounding can work against you, compounding interest is a financial tool that can actually work for you in a very positive way, even on a crappy day. Holla!

    First of all, what is compound interest? Compound interest is a basic financial concept where interest is not only calculated on your initial investment (simple interest), but is calculated on your initial investment PLUS any interest you have earned previously. Your money is earning money on its money.

    *Mind blowing, I know*

    Let’s break it down:

    Say you put $1,000 into an account that is earning 5% simple interest for 10 years. At the end of the 10 years, you would have a total of $1,500. ($1,000 x .05 = $50 x 10 Years = $500). However, let’s also say that you put $1,000 into an account that is earning 5% compound interest for 10 years. In this case, at the end of 10 years, you would have a total of $1,628.89. How did you end up with more money using compounding interest vs. simple interest? Let’s break it down even further:

    For the DIY-ers out there, here’s the formula used to calculate compound interest:

    P [(1 + i)n – 1]

    P= Principal (Original Investment)

    i = Annual Interest

    n = Number of Compounding Periods

    So, to plug in the numbers from above:

    $1,000 [(1 + .05)10 – 1] = $628.89

    And here’s a comparison between simple and compound interest over time:

    If you’re like me, you probably just glazed over that last section like a Krispy Kreme donut. (I donut blame you). So, we see how the numbers work. Why does it matter?

    Compound interest could be the single most important factor either making or breaking your bank account over time. You could either be using compounding interest to your advantage by putting funds into a retirement or investment account and allowing it to compound (grow) more quickly over time. Or, compounding interest could be your worst nightmare if you’ve got high interest credit card or student loan debt, which would compound just as quickly, but in the wrong direction. (Yikes!)

    As we can see in the chart above, compounding interest produces a greater return (grows faster) than simple interest over the same period of time. And the key word here is TIME. The concept of compounding interest is pretty spectacular on its own. However, without the crucial ingredient of time (no, not thyme, sorry G’ma), your compound interest will produce very bland results. The longer you wait to withdrawal any of your funds, the more powerful – and flavorful – the compounding effect will be. (Can you tell I’m hungry? Did someone say pizza??)

    If you put $1,000 in a retirement account that grows through compounding interest, congratulations! You’re #winning at this game of life. But, if you become impatient and decide to take out $10 here or $20 there, you’ll quickly undermine all the positive benefits of compounding, while likely getting slapped with some hefty tax penalties as well (if you’re under 59 ½). Ouch – Game Over.

    If you’re someone who struggles with delayed gratification (aka ME), here’s a life hack to make you think twice about taking money out of your compounding accounts. It’s called the Rule of 72, and it’s a fast calculation to show how quickly your money can double inside a compounding account (without taking withdrawals – no touchy).

    Simply divide 72 by the annual interest percentage to see how many years it will take for your money to double. For example, if you’re earning an average of 8% annually in an investment account, your money will double in 9 years (72 / 8 = 9). You put in $1,000 today and you’ll have $2,000 in 9 years. Cha-ching! Obviously, the more money you can invest early on, and the longer you can let it grow, the better your outcome will be.

    This is exactly why the best time to start saving is today. Like, NOW. (Actually, the best time to start saving was yesterday…but there’s no time like the present!)
    If you want to see for yourself how compound interest works, check out this, this, and this. You’re welcome.

    Written By: Kaitlyn Duchien

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Insurance

    Disability Insurance: The Base of Your Life Event Planning Strategy

    It’s reported that 40% of millennials would buy this product if they knew about it. No, it’s not the newest iPhone or even the latest Yeezy’s. It’s disability income insurance. Easily considered one of the most important insurance products available to your life event planning financial strategy. Trust me, I know what you are thinking. *Oh, great… another insurance policy that I need to buy but I’d probably be fine without.*


    I’ll tell you right now, you aren’t fine without it.

    Now what exactly is disability income insurance? Disability insurance is the foundation to all financial plans, as it protects and typically replaces about 60% your income in the event of an injury or an illness that prevents you from being able to work at your job and collect a paycheck. There are a two main types of disability insurance; Long Term and Short Term. Both are offered either on an individual basis or group basis offered through an employer. People insure their homes, cars and personal property yet they fail to insure the one thing that makes all of that a reality: their income! Here are some facts that might surprise you:

    • 1 in 4 Twenty-Year Old’s will have a disability event before they retire.
    • Most disability events last an average of 31.6 months.
    • More than 67% of Millennials have less than $1,000 in their savings account to cover any kind of emergency.

    Surprised? I know I was when I heard those statistics. Now with those numbers in front of you, you can easily see how a savings account with less than $1,000 wouldn’t sustain your Starbucks addiction, let alone pay your rent, car payment, or student loans for an extended period when dealing with an injury or illness that prevents you from working and collecting a paycheck.

    Many Millennials have a difficult enough time paying bills on time and not paying those bills with a credit card. Now imagine how a disability event could amplify your already difficult financial situation.

    While many employers do offer group disability insurance, those policies will only cover a portion of the income you typically receive as they are capped at certain benefit amounts, usually around 60% with a strict capped dollar amount. Some employers have disability insurance that you can elect in or out of, while other employers automatically include this coverage in their benefit package and is typically employer paid. Disability insurance on an individual basis tends to be much stronger and is built around your unique parameters, such as age, occupation, annual income, and medical history. As stated previously, the typical replacement of your income is around 60%, as insurance providers need to give you some incentive to return to work when healthy and able to do so. With that said, there is also the option of supplementing your group disability coverage with an individual policy to get the income replacement percentage past 60%, but keep in mind your income will never be 100% fully replaced through a disability income insurance policy.

    An individual disability insurance policy can be tailored around your specific financial needs. The typical design of a disability insurance policy includes an elimination period, along with a benefit period, and a specified definition of disability that determines how the insurance carrier considers you disabled. The elimination period is the beginning period of a disability claim that must be satisfied before disability benefits can be paid out on a claim, typically 90 days. Once that elimination period has been satisfied, the specified benefit amount (income) would be paid out for however long you are deemed disabled, which is determined by the definition of disability outlined in the policy. Or, if you were permanently disabled, the specified benefit amount (income) would pay out for the whole benefit period, which can range between 2 years and all the way to age 67 (Long Term Disability Insurance). There are several different definitions of disability available to disability insurance policies and the need for each is determined by a couple of different factors. The 3 main definitions of disability include: a not-engaged definition, a reasonable definition and a true/pure own occupation definition. Depending on your doctor’s prognosis of the disability and treatment plan, these definitions of disability are the determining factors that will either pay out a monthly disability benefit…or not.

    To sum it all up, you should be protecting your income, the thing that makes life happen! Obtaining disability income insurance on an individual basis is quite easy. Get in contact with a licensed financial professional and start the conversation by stating you would like disability income insurance to set the foundation of your life event planning financial strategy!

    Article Contributed By: Cameron Hull

    Contact Us: facethefearfw@gmail.com

  • Real Estate,  Videos

    First Time Home Buyer? What You NEED To Know!

    This week, the DeVisser Real Estate Group is our special guest on Face The Fear! Brendin DeVisser, a Millennial real estate agent, answers some of your most common questions about the home-buying process. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and leave a comment! The DeVisser Group with Five Star Lakeshore is a hardworking team of real estate agents in West Michigan who work hard to inform and educate people on the home buying process, especially when it’s their first time buying a home! From credit scores to pre-approval, we can help you better understand these big transactions that can change your life. With helpful guidance and preparation, you’re on your way to owning your own property! If you have any questions, you can find us on social media (links below) or give us a call!

    DeVisser Group:

    Website: http://brendin.seewestmichiganhomes.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brendinfives…

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bd5starreal…

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdevissfivestar?l…

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendin-d…

    Snapchat: @bdvrealestate

  • Real Estate

    First Time Home Buyer? What You NEED To Know!

    Feel free to watch the video here!

    Hey guys! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Brendin DeVisser, a real estate agent in West Michigan! I’m 25 and I’m the founder of The DeVisser Group with Five Star Lakeshore which consists of other real estate agents and my marketer.

    My goal here is to quickly and simply, help you through the process of buying your first home! I know it can sound intimidating and stressful, however, if you surround yourself with professionals you can trust, that stress and intimidation will disappear

    I was 19 when I first invested in real estate. Crazy right? Was I scared? Nah. I’m a big tough man and I can handle all this stressful money stuff. I’m kidding. Of course, I was scared!I was putting a lot of money into something that would eventually be mine, but right now felt like it was burning a hole in my wallet. However, with the right guidance from experts I trusted, I was able to purchase a duplex, rent it out and start paying it off. 

    You’re buying your first home, or you’re thinking about it. Well, now is the time to do it! The real estate market is still hot but it won’t be forever. Interest rates will rise and so will the prices of homes. 

    So, where do you start? 

    You contact someone like us. A real estate team you can trust to guide you and prepare you for what is ahead. If they’re anything like us, they will be there to answer any questions you have, anytime. You want to prevent as many conflicts from arising as possible and that is the agent’s job. 

    They can refer you to a bank or lender they rely on to check your credit score to see if you’re capable of getting a loan and eventually approval to buy a home. 

    What’s a credit score?

    Ahh, the dreaded credit score. If you’re afraid of it, it’s for one of three reasons.

    1. You don’t know what it is, therefore you’re afraid of the unknown. 
    2. You don’t have one.
    3. You have a bad one.

     First of all, what is a credit score?

    Simply put, a credit score is something you receive and earn by making a payment on time and for a period of time. (Examples: Phone, car, rent etc.)

    Secondly, how do I improve my credit score?

    • Increase your points by paying in full and on time
    • 850 is a perfect score 
    • Earning a perfect score gives you the best possible interest rate for purchasing your home 
    • Accomplishing this proves to a lender/bank you’re responsible
    • If you have zero credit it will be very difficult in most instances to get an approved loan for a home
    • This process is similar to a car loan if you’ve had one, but we are generally talking a bigger loan, which means more requirements. 
    • Consistent payments for at least 6 months is what lenders are looking for

    Keeping this up and being responsible with your money and payments will offer an easier time buying a home later on.

    Do you have to be Pre-Approved to buy a home?

    Yes, unless you’re paying in cash. 

    The preapproval letter tells us you are ready to buy a home

    To Rent or to Buy? 

    This is the question I get all the time.

    If you plan on staying where you are for a short period of time, renting could be your best option. However, if you plan on settling down in the area for several years, investing in a home, in my opinion, is the best way to go. Then you can add equity (or real property value) instead of paying rent for something you don’t (and won’t) own.

     It’s different for everyone, so make sure you’re talking to a professional you trust to figure out what’s best for you and your situation!

    Some Challenges I Ran Into Buying My First Home

    As I mentioned before, I was 19 when I first bought my duplex. I was taught to use cash for everything so, if you were paying attention, you know what that means. My credit score was NOT perfect, which made it difficult to take out a loan and buy my first home. Learn from my uneducated 19-year-old self and start working on that credit score! Find people you trust and search for a worthy investment!

    These simple steps are crucial as a first time home buyer! I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions feel free to contact us. You can find us on almost every social media platform to learn more about real estate.

    Article Contributed By: Brendin DeVisser

    DeVisser Group:
    Website: http://brendin.seewestmichiganhomes.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brendinfivestarealestate/?ref=settings
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bd5starrealtor/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdevissfivestar?lang=en
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendin-devisser-877a09118/
    Snapchat: @bdvrealestate