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Afford Anything

Brought to you by, Paula Pant | Cumulus Podcast Network

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Afford Anything

You can afford anything, but not everything. We make daily decisions about how to spend money, time, energy, focus and attention – and ultimately, our life.How do we make smarter decisions? How do we think from first principles?On the surface, Afford Anything seems like a podcast about money and investing.But under the hood, this is a show about how to think critically, recognize our behavioral blind spots, and make smarter choices. We’re into the psychology of money, and we love metacognition: thinking about how to think.In some episodes, we interview world-class experts: professors, researchers, scientists, authors. In o...

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Recent Episodes of Afford Anything


Don't Let One Big Bill Blow Up Your Budget (Here's How)

Don't Let One Big Bill Blow Up Your Budget (Here's How)

#512: An anonymous caller who received a large inheritance feels paralyzed by all the investment philosophies he’s read about. How does he pick a winning strategy he can stick with?


Josh is an expectant dad looking to buy a bigger house but doesn’t know how much everything will cost. Should he save more or invest more?


Another anonymous caller worries that large expenditures like buying a new car or replacing her home’s roof will blow up her budget in retirement. How does she plan for unexpected expenses?

<...

Episode 513 7 June 2024 1h, 3m and 13s


Q&A: "I'm Scared of Running Out of Money in Retirement!"

Q&A: "I'm Scared of Running Out of Money in Retirement!"

#511: Sara is five years from retirement with a paid-off house. But she’s worried that her money will run out before she turns 80. What does she need to do now to protect her future self? 


Lauren is a personal finance nerd who gets it. But one question perplexes her: When should she should choose an ETF over an index mutual fund? What about vice versa? Paula and Joe explain.


An anonymous caller plans to sell her house and live a “slow-madic” lifestyle. But she’s on disability and needs to keep h...

Episode 511 4 June 2024 53m and 12s


How to Master the Psychology of Persuasion, with Michael McQueen

How to Master the Psychology of Persuasion, with Michael McQueen

#510: Maybe you’re trying to convince:

– Your spouse | to embrace the FIRE movement.

– Your teenage kids | to invest some of their summer job money in stocks.

– Your neighbor | to sell you their house in a private, off-market deal.

– Your boss | to give you more vacation time.

– Your client | to pay you more.

Today’s episode is about how to change minds, build trust, navigate conversations, and influence and persuade others.

We chat with Michael McQueen, a social researcher, strategist, and the author of 10 books.

He’s spoken...

Episode 510 31 May 2024 53m and 44s


I’m Retiring at Age 34 and a Half!

I’m Retiring at Age 34 and a Half!

#509: Rob wants to retire early, but a real estate investment led to $30,000 of credit card debt. Should he take on more debt to pay it off?


An anonymous return caller took Paula’s advice and ran with it, doubling her income within a few years. Should she update her investment strategy now that she’s in a higher tax bracket?


Humaira is tired of paying rent with nothing to show for. Can she leverage some benefits by using her credit card to pay the bills?


Fo...

Episode 509 28 May 2024 44m and 24s


Stanford Researcher Dr. Mary Murphy on How to Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Stanford Researcher Dr. Mary Murphy on How to Cultivate a Growth Mindset

#508: Recently I chatted with Stanford researcher Dr. Mary Murphy, a renowned expert in the field of psychological and brain sciences.


Dr. Murphy, who is a Professor at Indiana University and conducts research at Stanford University, shared insights into the concepts of fixed mindset and growth mindset.


We deep dived into her extensive research on how these mindsets impact motivation, performance, and relationships at work and home.


She conducted research alongside legendary psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck, who created the original studies around fixed vs. growth...

Episode 508 24 May 2024 54m and 48s


How One Ex-Inmate is Building a Better Future

How One Ex-Inmate is Building a Better Future

#507: Robert was recently released from prison and wants to start his life on the right foot. What’s Joe and Paula’s advice for him?


Suzy is excited to deploy her first corporate bonus but scared to invest everything in a lump sum. Should she stick with what’s worked in the past and just dollar cost-average?


Meghan doesn’t understand how stock pricing affects capital appreciation. Is it always better to buy when share prices are low?


Former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy and I tackle...

Episode 507 21 May 2024 1h, 1m and 2s


MadFientist: Life is Too Short to Wait for Someday

MadFientist: Life is Too Short to Wait for Someday

#506: "Today's guest, Brandon Ganch, also known as the MadFientist, reached Financial Independence (FI) and quit his job as a software developer at 34. But then he faced a vexing question: what should he do with the rest of his life?


In this episode, Brandon shares his journey with FI, revealing the gap between the ideal life you envision on spreadsheets and the reality that unfolds. He talks about reaching FI sooner than planned, having more money than anticipated, and the adjustments he had to make to his lifestyle. It's a refreshingly honest look at FI...

Episode 506 17 May 2024 1h, 3m and 7s


Harvard Dropout Builds Nation’s First Car-Free Utopia, with Ryan Johnson and JD Roth

Harvard Dropout Builds Nation’s First Car-Free Utopia, with Ryan Johnson and JD Roth

#505: Ryan Johnson isn't your average CEO. He's a visionary reimagining city life, one car-free community at a time.

In this episode, we chat with Ryan, the co-founder of Culdesac, about building walkable neighborhoods designed for human connection, not just traffic.

We'll dive into his experience with Opendoor, his passion for electric bikes (he owns over 60!), and his audacious plan to revolutionize urban living.

Buckle up (or maybe don't) for a conversation about the future of cities, the power of community, and why you might not need a car ever again.


<...

Episode 505 14 May 2024 58m and 41s


The Points Guy: Growing a Side Hustle into a 140-Person Business

The Points Guy: Growing a Side Hustle into a 140-Person Business

#504: Brian Kelly faced a harsh reality during the Great Recession – $65,000 in income and crushing credit card debt. 


He started a simple side hustle, a website called The Points Guy, as an attempt to earn a few hundred dollars a month.  


Fast forward to today: The Points Guy boasts 11 million monthly visitors and a thriving team of 140 employees.  


In this episode, Brian pulls back the curtain on his incredible journey, transforming a fledgling side hustle into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. 


He also sha...

Episode 504 10 May 2024 1h, 5m and 35s


Q&A: “My Husband is Not Reliable with Money. Should We Split Finances?

Q&A: “My Husband is Not Reliable with Money. Should We Split Finances?

#503: Lindsay’s husband struggles with a mental disability. She’s worried about the impact on her family’s finances. How does she maintain harmony in her marriage and protect her kids’ future?


An anonymous caller is stoked about her young nephew’s interest in saving for retirement. What’s Paula and Joe’s advice for a teenage saver?


Another anonymous caller wants to get personal about Paula’s personal finances.


Following up on a discussion from episode 494, Melanie has exciting news to share about automating ETF i...

Episode 503 7 May 2024 1h, 26m and 30s

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