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In season 2 of Your Questions Answered, Jillian answers 5 questions about money management.

Listen here at Lisbyn, Apple, Castbox, or your favorite player.

Challenges in Growing Your Savings. Grow the Gap, Guard the Gap.

Sunny wrote in to ask a question about savings. Whenever they transfer something to their savings, something always comes up. Jillian’s advice is to go back to the big idea and root of the issue: there’s not a big enough gap between income and expenses. Go back to your expenses and see if there’s anything you can reduce, pause, or cut in order to increase the gap; or, increasing your income in some way, you can grow the gap and have extra money to save. 

Finding a Trustworthy Financial Advisor.

Michael asked how you can find a credible financial advisor and what qualities to look for. Jillian recommends asking them how they get paid. What’s tricky is that they may get commissions based on what product they’re recommending, so that’s why it’s important to understand how they’re compensated. 

Saving and Investing After Retirement

Alicia is a retired widow, and her only income is social security. She used her savings to pay off debts, and she’s in the process of creating an emergency fund. Should she continue to save what she has, or should she start investing? First off, Jillian strongly recommends having an accessible emergency fund. Next, even if you’re in your 60’s, you can invest and have money that you can use at, say, 85, so investing wouldn’t be a bad idea. 

Mind Over Money

Lisa grew up in a household living paycheck to paycheck, and now, not wanting that to happen in her own life, she has a hard time spending anything—things that most adults purchase, like furniture or clothes for work. How can she create a better, more confident relationship with her money? 

“It is important to not let money stress us out, because sometimes we do need to spend money, and sometimes it is enjoyable and adds so much value to our life.”

Jillian’s advice to people struggling with this is to identify core expenses and create a discretionary fund. Whenever you spend on something, jot down what about that thing you enjoy, and journal the things that you value when it comes to spending. 

Food and Dining Budget for Families

The last question is from Holly, and she wanted to know how to reduce grocery spendings and how to eat out with several kids on a budget.

For groceries, Jillian’s best tip is to find ingredients that are more affordable. Start with a recipe that’s enjoyable, easy, healthy, and uses cheap ingredients, and then build your cheap recipe portfolio from there. When it comes to eating out with kids, evaluate if it’s enjoyable/worth it, assess your options, and then decide on what will be convenient or work for your budget. 

Here’s a breakdown of the episode:

[00:48] Sunny has been able to pay down debt, but they struggle with saving money. Something always comes up. Jillian recommends going to and trying to fix the core issue: there’s not a big enough gap.

[02:24] How can you find a good financial advisor? By asking them how they get compensated. Some advisors get compensated based on what package they sell, so it’s important to know how they’re selling and if they’re comfortable talking about it with you.

[04:57] Alicia, a retired widow, asked if she should save for emergencies or invest. An emergency fund comes first, but even if you’re in your 60s or 70s, investing can be a great idea. 

[06:47] For those who struggle with spending any money, It’s important to realize that spending on the things we value and enjoy can bring richness to our lives. Jillian recommends journaling your purchases and writing down the things that you enjoy from them to maintain a healthy, confident relationship with your money.

[09:50] Groceries and eating out with several kids can be a struggle on a budget. For groceries, Jillian recommends finding cheap ingredients and recipes that you enjoy, and adding to that collection. Eating out with kids comes down to budget, convenience, and assessing whether or not it’s worth it. 

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