BiggerPockets Money Podcast 218: Finance Friday: How to Plan for Inconsistent Income as an Entrepreneur

BiggerPockets Money Podcast 218: Finance Friday: How to Plan for Inconsistent Income as an Entrepreneur

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Combining finances can be complicated, but what’s even more complicated is combining one salary with two inconsistent business accounts. How do you manage the household’s budget when you don’t know what will be coming in every month? This is the question Roshan and her husband have for us today.

Roshan works as a teacher making a very steady income and has access to retirement plans like her pension and a 457(b). Her husband, on the other hand, runs a seasonal flower business that brings in $30,000 in only five weeks, and an ecommerce store with a bit more consistent income. Together, they want to develop a formula that will help them plan for early retirement, while also being able to take some risks and reinvest in their businesses.

Scott and Mindy not only walk through the regular finance aspects like spending, retirement planning, and saving, but also more relationship-based financial aspects like having money dates, keeping a shared budget, and having a retirement plan that works with your family’s lifestyle.

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Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, show number 218, Finance Friday Edition where Scott and I help a couple to have their first money date.

Curvin:
And honestly, in just our communication between us, I think it wasn’t clear when I made that switch over. So, there’s definitely, I don’t know, about tension or there’s just confusion there.

Roshan:
Which probably spawned me to this whole love of learning about finances and listening to your podcast and saying we need help.

Mindy:
Hello, hello, hello. My name is Mindy Jensen. And with me, as always, is my does crossword puzzles and Inc. co-host, Scott Trench.

Scott:
And there’s no one-liner response I can come up for that one, Mindy.

Mindy:
It means you’re smart. Scott and I are here to make financial independence less scary, less just for somebody else, to introduce you to every money story because we truly believe that financial independence is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you’re starting.

Scott:
That’s right, whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments in assets like real estate, or start your own business or businesses, we’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so you can launch yourself towards those dreams.

Mindy:
Scott, I love today’s episode of Finance Friday. I think this is a lot of fun, talking to a couple who hasn’t really had their money date yet. They’ve recently become debt-free. They have similar financial goals, I believe, but they haven’t really talked about it. So, we’re talking today to Roshan and Curvin, and helping them work through some of the things that they need to work through so they can set up their money date to talk when they are at their peak performance, as you said.

Scott:
That’s right. Yeah, I thought we had a really good episode today. I think that they’re both in the process of configuring their money philosophy. And I think it was really fun to see them coming together in terms of thinking through those things and maybe a couple of issues or not issues but different philosophies about how to approach wealth building coming out of there. I think they’re both right in terms of how they are approaching money in this.

Scott:
And I think we came up with an interesting potential solution that might help them both contribute to the household’s wealth over the next couple of years.

Mindy:
Yeah, Scott, I’m really excited for their financial journey. And I think that this is a great episode for someone who has maybe finished up or is just about finishing up their debt payoff portion of their journey and wanting to know what’s next. So, before we bring them in, let’s hear a note from today’s show sponsor. Okay, huge thanks to the sponsor of today’s show.

Mindy:
Before we bring in Roshan and Curvin, I have to say that the contents of this podcast are informational in nature and are not legal or tax advice, and neither Scott nor I, nor BiggerPockets is engaged in the provision of legal tax or any other advice. You should seek your own advice from professional advisors, including lawyers and accountants, regarding the legal tax and financial implications of any financial decision you contemplate. Okay. Let’s bring them in.

Mindy:
Roshan and Curvin have recently discovered the concept of financial independence. And they’re excited for the possibilities that phi opens up. With two kids and one more on the way, they’d like to set themselves up for a secure financial future. By day, she’s a math teacher but is eager to explore other options that include part-time hours instead of full-time. She loves the stability and flexibility of the teaching position. But does anybody really love that teacher salary? No.

Mindy:
Roshan has got a lot of questions and we’re here to help her find some answers. Roshan and Curvin, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast.

Roshan:
Thank you.

Curvin:
Yeah. Thank you for having us.

Mindy:
Let’s jump right into it because I think we need to get the numbers out of the way so we can get down to the advice and suggestions that we would make if we were in your position. So, let’s start with the income. What is coming into the home?

Roshan:
Okay. So, off of my own paper, $80,000 salary as a teacher. What is actually coming into the bank account after taxes, pensions, Social Security, all those things, 3,400 per month consistently for me.

Mindy:
Okay. And, Curvin?

Curvin:
Yeah. That’s where we get a little murky because I am a… what am I? I’m a trophy husband/want to be entrepreneur. So, the income is a little bit more inconsistent or I guess just not consistent. Yeah, I guess that’d be inconsistent. Do you want me to say this number?

Roshan:
However you want.

Curvin:
How did you put it? So, in May and June, I have a seasonal business that will bring in north of $30,000 these past couple of years and that will be taxed in later. And I think just this year, she started setting up the estimated tax so it doesn’t all get taken out. So, a little north of 30,000, which will go into our personal accountant. And then, I also operate an ecommerce. Roughly similar, actually anywhere between about 15,000 to 35,000, depending on the year. Usually, I just want all that back into my business account. So, whether or not we-

Mindy:
You make $30,000 in two months?

Curvin:
In five weeks. Yeah.

Mindy:
Okay. We’re going to stop right here and say, what is this business?

Curvin:
Oh, man, I have to divulge it. I’m just kidding. So, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds, but I have a seasonal flower business, where during graduation season, I partner with high schools and colleges around the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area. And we do bouquet sales of graduations. And I’ve only been doing it five-ish years and it built up from five schools. Actually, it built up from, in the beginning, I had flower buckets and I stood on a sidewalk.

Curvin:
And I sold them as people were walking by, and I got tired of that and it wasn’t really a means so much. But then, I’ve contracted with schools now. Before COVID hit anyway, I was up above 30 schools in the metro area here. But yeah, that takes all the five weeks essentially. Yeah.

Mindy:
Whoa. Okay.

Scott:
I’ve never heard that. That’s awesome.

Curvin:
Thank you.

Mindy:
Okay. I’m just going to plant a seed here. Is there any opportunity to expand that to other parts of the year?

Curvin:
I’ve wondered.

Scott:
Is that planting a seed so that his business can blossom, Mindy? Is that where you’re going with that?

Mindy:
Yes. Oh, oh, I didn’t even mean it like that, Scott. This is the second type plant the seed came off.

Scott:
Yeah, other topic, you have a different context.

Roshan:
You did winter graduations for colleges a little bit?

Curvin:
Yeah, I’m not much of a green thumb, but I guess if you wanted to look at a floral event stuff, but I haven’t walked those paths yet, no.

Mindy:
I’m instantly thinking of Valentine’s Day. And do you guys have Sweetest Day that’s kind of a regional holiday? It’s big in Chicago for some reason. Sweetest Day is in October. I don’t know what it’s about. It’s super stupid. But the Valentine’s Day, can you sell flowers on Valentine’s Day or the week before Valentine’s Day at those same high schools so that boys can give their girlfriends flowers and girls can give their boyfriends flowers or secret Santa?

Mindy:
What is secret Valentine’s flowers? Are there any opportunities for Thanksgiving decorations for the table and Christmas decorations and things like that? I’m just planting a seed so it can blossom.

Curvin:
Yeah, that’s a very good idea. Thank you.

Mindy:
Terrible joke. But just think of ways to expand that because it seems like it’s pretty… a short amount of very intense work for a nice giant pile of cash.

Scott:
Yeah. That is very nice. That is a large amount of money to make in five weeks. That’s awesome. And that’s your profit on the business is the cash flow is 30,000?

Curvin:
Correct. It’s before income tax is taken out, yeah.

Scott:
Okay, pretax profit. Great. What is the eCommerce business? Can you walk us through that one?

Curvin:
Yeah. So, I sourced products from overseas and sell them under my own brand. It’s a private label brand. And right now, I just operate on the Amazon platform. And that is the gist of it. I was done, almost ready to stop doing it. I just wasn’t enjoying it much, but I’ve found another, reignited that passion. And yeah, I guess I am going harder and I’m more committed to reinvesting the profits back into it so I can try and scale that up to a bit larger.

Scott:
What do you expect or anticipate that business to do over the next year or so?

Curvin:
That’s a good question. I’m switching product lines. I’ve been operating in office/school supplies niche. And I feel like I’m done with that and now I’m switching into a toys category. And I have a product that will be out in September. From what I’ve estimated and all the numbers, it should be doing, I say should, but it should be doing like a 90,000 to maybe a little above 100,000 in profit, like pretax profit off of the one product.

Curvin:
And revenue, I haven’t looked at that. So, it’d be maybe three times up for revenue, two times up for revenue.

Scott:
Okay. And do you believe that the flower business is sustainable as well because that’s a new business? Essentially, a new business with a new product with that. And the flower business is like what is tried and true and you can rely on an income each year. Is that right?

Curvin:
Yeah, absolutely. As long as COVID doesn’t cancel graduations for the next 10 years. But yes, yeah, that one is definitely a solid one.

Scott:
Okay, great. So, between the two of you guys, you have 3,500 after tax hitting your bank account from Roshan. And, Curvin, you’re bringing in another 30,000 before tax from this business. What is that? That’s about 90, no what I’m doing, $70,000 in cash hitting your bank account. Some of that has to be reserved for taxes here. And what is your spending on that?

Roshan:
Yeah. So, I just started tracking our spending last year right before COVID hit. And that was pretty eye opening. So, I would say COVID, we spent less. We’re starting to spend more again. So, I had tracked 2019, 2020. We’re still not figuring out our complete budget. But I would say we spend about 4,000 per month with our fixed and varying expenses, so total of about 4,000 a month.

Scott:
Okay, great. Where do you live in the country?

Roshan:
We live in a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Scott:
That’s right. Yeah, Minnesota. Okay. And how do you feel about your budget? Do you feel like that we should go searching through the budget for opportunities to save money? Or do you feel like you run a pretty tight ship with that?

Roshan:
I think we’re starting to run a tighter ship. I think we’ve never tracked and looked very closely at it. There are things that I have questions on that maybe seem minuscule, that aren’t important but questions on I don’t know if I got talked into it, but we have cash term life insurance right now. And that I’ve heard I could maybe just go with a 30-year term instead and be saving maybe a 100 a month or something total. So, there might be little things there. I’m not sure.

Roshan:
I feel like that’s the end that I can control and so I’m interested in that. But if there are bigger fish to fry, that is definitely okay as well.

Scott:
Well, let’s come back to that and see if that is the most important thing for that, and we can go hunting. But it sounds like you’re feeling better and better about your budgeting in a general sense. How about the balance sheet? What are your assets and your liabilities look like overall?

Roshan:
Yeah. So, my brother, when I was 18, started a Roth IRA for me. So, mine is around 77. Then, we started Curvin’s just last year and it’s about 12. I’ve been taking my school teaching match program, just 1,000 a year for the last eight years. So, with that, our total in Roth IRAs and index funds is 114,000. What we have right now in checkings and our HSA savings plus his business account, which makes it a lot higher than what I usually look at because I don’t always look at his business account, is 146,000.

Roshan:
And then, our house, we own our house. So, I don’t know if you want that equity here, if you’d rather see that as with the debt on that, but-

Scott:
Yeah, what’s your mortgage and what’s the value?

Roshan:
Yeah. So, our mortgage is at, let’s see, I thought I had the right one, like around 250. I mean, I don’t know. We haven’t had it appraised or anything, but 330 to 350. So, maybe 75 to 90 in equity.

Scott:
Okay, great. You said you have no other debts, besides the mortgage?

Roshan:
Yeah, very, very privileged to have all of that debt paid off now. Our student loans are now taken care of, yeah, with the help of some good family support and decisions.

Curvin:
Her grandparents, yeah.

Roshan:
Grandparents, yeah.

Scott:
Now, we had a sneak peek talking with you a little bit prior to this. And it sounded like you also did a lot of intentional cleanup around bad debts and those types of things in your financial position over the last year. Is that right?

Roshan:
Yeah, definitely. After I got a lot of my student loans forgiven with the teach grant and teacher forgiveness loan, that whole program, there’s a lot of paperwork, but got 17,000 forgiven off of my 30. And then, yeah, I was able to get some support from my family to get the rest of that so we can get rid of that debt. And then, when we sold, we had a condo that we had purchased with my college fund for my grandparents. That equity went into paying off his student loans.

Roshan:
So, yeah, definitely had some nice support there to help us get to this position.

Scott:
Love it. Well, you’ve got a really clean balance sheet here, where you’ve got no debt, you’ve got a lot of cash, you’ve got some investments, you’ve got the home equity, and all that kind of stuff. So, your biggest strategic challenge here is that you are currently on a month to month basis, spending more than you bring in, on average, right? So, you’re bringing in 3,400. And, Curvin, you are bringing in zero, except for when you bring in 30,000 all at once, right?

Curvin:
Right, yeah.

Scott:
Or future income with that kind of stuff. So, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And in order to sustain a position like that, you have to have a lot of cash, which you do. You have a lot of cash. So, you’re comfortable with that. You’re not cash flowing negatively on an annual basis. But your investment approach, I think, requires you to have a much larger emergency fund than most of the folks we’ve talked to here because that’s the nature of your income streams with this.

Scott:
I think that that’s really the million-dollar question here is, it sounds like we’ve got a stable position from a general thing. But really, the financial future that you’ve got here, you’re not able to invest a ton on a regular basis unless your business income, Curvin, comes in at or above that plan. And some of those are new things there with that. And so, I guess where my mind first wanders in thinking about this from a strategic lens is, can you do exactly what you’re doing, but layer in enough sustainable predictable income in some of the other months in some capacity that your formula works?

Scott:
You can just continue to hit whatever your goals are for investing on a regular basis with this. And then, also keep up the intensity that you’re bringing as an entrepreneur to these opportunities that can really drive your financial position to the next level with these businesses that can create the real wealth that, as an entrepreneur, you’re going after it one day. What do you guys think about that? Or where do you think I should start in terms of going after this?

Curvin:
I’m just trying to make sure I interpret it correctly. I wasn’t sure if you were saying get another job or funneling some of that business income into our personal accounts so that it’s either weighing out with our expenses or whether we have a surplus that we could invest in another way. Am I interpreting that right?

Scott:
Well, I don’t know if you need to get another job. It sounds like your first business, let’s say, it’s producing $36,000 a year. I’m making that number up, right? And that’s what you can expect next year. That’s 3,000 a month. Can you set up some of that business so that it distributes $3,000 a month to the household-

Curvin:
Got you.

Scott:
… over the course of the year so you’ve got predictable income? Or do you want to just continue what you’re doing and time it and lump sums around that? But I think what I would feel very uncomfortable with in your financial position is the fact that you’ve got this very disparate set of… on a month to month basis, you’re bleeding. Your cash position is being reduced on average.

Scott:
And that, to me, would be a potential area to fix from a mental health standpoint. That would drive me nuts to a certain extent, personally, with this. And if you can set up your business in such a way that you’re just giving a steady income, that you can predict over for a year with that, that might be one way to think about it. And that would give you the ability, okay, now I know I’m going to invest this much.

Scott:
And if that, for some reason, doesn’t work out next year, then I know it’s time to start working on the next thing or trying to pile up more money so that I’m contributing this amount so that we’re cash flow positive and continuing to march towards our goal, but then freeing up the rest of the time with that. That would be one potential thought I’d have on that. And I don’t know but I think that’s the central problem here that I’m struggling with from a cash flow perspective.

Scott:
If things don’t work out, you’re starting to run out of money with this. Now, you have years of savings, so it’s not really that big of a problem. But that would be challenging for me from a formulaic process going down towards that long-term wealth. Mindy, what are you thinking? I see you looking thoughtfully here.

Mindy:
Well, I’m looking at the expenses we totaled to be about $4,140 and times 12. That’s 49,000 and change. And there is an emergency high yield savings account that has slightly more than 12 months of annual spending in there. So, I’m wondering if that is where some of the money is coming like the monthly. Are you drawing down from that?

Mindy:
So, what I can see happening is you’re drawing down from that monthly to cover what isn’t coming in from Roshan and then putting it back in there in that five-week burst. Is that how that works? Or does that fund always just have that much money in it? Because that’s a great emergency fund. Twelve months is fantastic.

Roshan:
That’s pretty new. I think you guys are right on with my mental health that I’ve been struggling with, how to look at the finances and understand them with that big surge of income in those months and then the depletion and then now this buildup of this cash. And I’m not sure what to do with it. The high yields only earning like point four or point five at this point.

Roshan:
So, yeah, I love the idea of creating some kind of system where that’s still our personal money but is in some account that we can just draw from monthly to help me manage. Yeah, that sounds great to me. I’m not exactly sure how to do that in the best way. But yeah, it’s been all over the place.

Scott:
Yeah, I’m getting the sense from your overall position that you have. That is a lot of cash. So, that cash makes sense, Curvin, if you’re thinking about investing in the next business venture, or if you have some capital that you need in order to buy product, or those types of things. But once you’ve figured that out, six to 12 months makes sense.

Scott:
And if you can just rig your business so that it distributes in a timely manner, or that you’re just pumping the emergency fund on those types of basis, you can plan around that. How do you guys think about the cash management? Why do you have the 146 or whatever it is in cash there?

Curvin:
Yeah. I would say about 75 of it is what would be coming from my business. I don’t know if that’s what you have written down.

Roshan:
Yeah. Actually, yeah.

Curvin:
Yeah. So, roughly half of it is in my business account, which with this upcoming product, I have a couple of deposits on inventory right now. With the amount, I’ll have cash tied up for four or five months just in inventory. So, that’s been my argument for needing that cash. And then, by the quarter four, I’ll need most of that for Christmas orders and whatnot. But yeah, you’re spot on with the rest of it.

Curvin:
Our bank account definitely dwindles for 11 months and then gets a nice injection or a boost at that time, and it drives her crazy.

Scott:
Yeah. I don’t know about you, but that would be very uncomfortable for me, just the way I personally think about my finances, just to see it dwindle with that kind of stuff with this. Even though you probably have plenty in there, it’s just a little disconcerting to see it drop on those types of things to a certain extent. How do you think about the business in terms of its role in the family finances with that?

Curvin:
When I was up in the air about whether or not I would continue with it, I looked at it as if, hey, we’re doing great because if we ever gotten a pinch, we can pull on all of this. And for the longest time, I think my business account wasn’t linked to mint or whatever. You’ll learn that I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to our finances, and Roshan is the one that’s on top of it. So, that wasn’t linked to what she was seeing for a long time.

Curvin:
So, she’d have these moments where it seemed like, “Oh, my gosh, we need to do something.” And I would say, “Hey, hold on. We got all this cash over here.” But now, my mindset has flipped a bit to where I am wanting to use this and utilize this business fund for all of this. So, now, I’m viewing it as something separate from our personal account. And honestly, in just our communication between us, I think it wasn’t clear when I made that switch over.

Curvin:
So, there’s definitely, I don’t know, about tension or there’s just confusion there.

Roshan:
Which probably spawned me to this whole love of learning about finances and listening to your podcast and saying we need help. Yes.

Mindy:
So, that’s a good thing.

Roshan:
Yeah, that’s why we’re here.

Scott:
Yeah. And I think whatever you guys are doing, you’re doing a pretty good job with this. Your position makes a lot of sense, given what you just described here. The way you manage your cash and your finances makes a lot of sense here. But I am interested, it seems like there’s something to unpack here about the role, like how much income you need to hit your… when I think about building wealth, there’s two parts to it.

Scott:
There’s a formula and then there’s the upside, right? And you have to have both, and they’re never in harmony. And so, the formula for me is, I save this much for my income, I invested in index funds. And over 25 years, that’s going to generate a substantial amount of wealth, 10%, 15%, 20%. And you have to take your pot shots. And this is not everybody, but I’m imagining where you are, Curvin, from your mindset where it’s like, yeah, I can invest in the stock market and earn 10%.

Scott:
But I can also start a business or house hack or whatever, or write a book, right? I have a book with that, right? And one of those initiatives may generate a substantial amount of income with that. And the way I look at it is, I’ve got to have my formula where I’m saving X amount every month and putting it in. And I’m also regularly taking my shot with the appropriate amount of capital and risk with that. And my belief is that you’re both probably right, I’m gathering, Roshan, that you want the stable formula.

Scott:
And, Curvin, you want to take the shots with that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but I think the problem right now that I’m seeing is your formula is not going to work, right? Because the flower business is great, but that is tough to see your bank account dwindle and then hope… not hope. I’m sure you have five years running, but expect that the five weeks are going to produce the 30,000 that are going to do that for the next year.

Scott:
That’s a tough formula to feel really, really confident in over a 10, 15-year outlook with that. And you know you can win that way. You know you can build a million-dollar net worth if you can get another, I don’t know, 30. If you can invest 20,000 a year, on top of your… around 50,000 in spending, you’re probably going to be in great shape in 10 years with a pretty substantial net worth as your home equity appreciates and your retirement accounts grow.

Scott:
And you’d think that with that level of contribution, there’s also plenty leftover to run the business. But am I may be on to something here? Am I articulating perhaps part of the problem or part of the opportunity here?

Curvin:
Yeah, without knowing us, it’s like you know us.

Roshan:
Yeah, I don’t know how you got that.

Curvin:
You spot on, yeah.

Scott:
We talked to a lot of people about this. Mindy and I love talking about this. So, anyways, maybe I can frame the goal then based on that is, Curvin, how do we have your business contribute the minimum that is necessary to making sure that the bank account does not dwindle throughout the course of the year, and that you’re able to sustain a positive cash flow? And then, everything else beyond that is yours to go run with from an entrepreneurial perspective.

Scott:
You seem like an entrepreneur. You’re willing to try crazy new things like a flower business for graduation and you’re willing to pivot your business model 100% to a new product when things aren’t working or not scalable with that. That’s great, right? Nine out of 10 businesses fail. So, you start 10 businesses is the idea. So, I think that seems right, but would that be a potential middle ground there to think about like, hey, we’ve got a minimum amount of contribution needed from Curvin in the business?

Scott:
And if the business is lean, maybe that is where you go and get a job for a little bit or part time just to contribute whatever is needed to sustain the formula. But when the business is going strong, now you can begin reinvesting the profits and driving towards that future growth. But that would be one potential framework and I’d love to get your reaction to that.

Curvin:
Yeah. So, you’re staying at a minimum to where we’re not losing money each month. Is that right, ideally more?

Scott:
I think you have to figure out that one together with that. There’s a formula for building wealth that many BiggerPockets Money guests come on with, which is I’m going to save, I’m going to invest, and I’m going to do that either in real estate or in stocks. You’re choosing a different formula and that makes perfect sense. But some component of that, maybe you say, “Hey, it would take us 15, 20 years at this level of investing to retire,” right?

Scott:
But we’re also going to bet with a big chunk elsewhere on your business because that could potentially get us there in five years with that. I think you just need to discuss, like what is that good amount? What do you want that formulaic thing to be? We want to keep our savings on a monthly basis growing so that consistently, I’m taking… let’s say forget your business funds, your 35,000 in cash.

Scott:
Let’s say that we want to have one year of emergency fund, which is 50 grand. The remaining 25 gets invested. And every month, we want to invest $1,000 or $2,000, or whatever that is, in our index fund or in a real estate fund that we’re going to buy next rental property with, or whatever investment path you guys choose. Everything after that is then what is reinvested, potentially, in the business with that.

Scott:
The business’s job to one degree is to produce this level of income at minimum for the family, even in the growth stage here. And maybe it’s less, maybe it’s just, hey, we’re just going to break even for a couple months. And our investment profile is the business. But I think that’s the key framework to think through is what is that minimum contribution that we’re comfortable with as a couple from Curvin’s business to the household finances. And how does that fit in with our investing approach?

Scott:
And I don’t think there’s a right answer. I think it’s an art because the returns on your business could be 100%. It could be zero, but it’s probably… you’d think that it’s going to be much better than the stock market or real estate investment if you’re going to give your full attention and energy to it, would be the guess, right?

Curvin:
Yeah. I definitely think that’s been the tripping point. I was trying to explain to Roshan and even I stumble over my words, but it’s a very cash intensive business where cash flow is strapped. So, I could take it slower and perhaps grow the business at a slower pace and put more into our personal accounts investments and grow slower. And I guess up to this point, I’ve had a mindset and a goal, a pretty aggressive approach to growing it to where it’s growing much quicker.

Curvin:
But that would require similar to what is now, just reinvesting everything back into it. Yeah. So, that’s definitely-

Scott:
Okay. Fair enough. That’s an interesting art to figure that out, is how much to reinvest and how much of that to put in. One option for you is, if you feel like you’ve got a really good… let’s say you want put in 50 grand into inventory, right? And you believe that that’s the maximum amount you can put in, given your cash position for the business right now and that you’ll get a great return on that inventory.

Scott:
But let’s just say that you wouldn’t get that same return with 150 grand of inventory. If that’s true and if 50 is better than 10, and 150 is better than 50, why not go out and think about pitching that to an angel investor or a venture investor and splitting some of the equity to turbocharge returns with that upfront? So that way you can capitalize your business and go after the opportunity to a certain degree, while also being able to contribute what you need from the business here.

Curvin:
I’ve definitely been thinking in that vein, not necessarily angel investor but along the lines of utilizing debt. But that word, an angel investor, I’m sure would really freak her out. So, she’s quite a risk averse, even if I feel confident in it.

Roshan:
Angel investor sounds better than debt. I don’t know-

Curvin:
I’m still taking on someone’s money, though.

Scott:
I agree. I think if you take on debt, you’re not going to be able get much debt on the business, right? Because your inventory will be the collateral or your personal finances will be the collateral for a debt on this type of thing. So, you might think about an equity partner on that. But if it’s uncertain enough where you’d feel like you can’t raise capital for it, then that gives me the sense that you might want to consider putting in less of your own capital on it as well with that, potentially. I don’t know your business very well, you know it, so.

Curvin:
Yeah. I guess personally, my mindset is where it’s on the first part where I feel confident in it. However, switching into a new niche and a new product, I want to prove the concept to myself first. Gosh, I have at least a $60,000 order for quarter four in product. And then, I don’t know if people who aren’t in the business not aware, but freight shipping is just insane right now. I think it’s an all-time record for how expensive some of it.

Curvin:
Yeah, anyway, I’m putting the vast majority of what I have in my business savings into it right now. And once I prove that concept to myself is where I did was thinking already in the stages of next year, not being averse to whether you said maybe not taking on debt but finding investors for it.

Scott:
Well, if that’s needed to scale with that, you would use cash. But ideally, if you’re putting 60,000 in inventory, you’re going to be able to move the inventory and you’ll be left with much more than $60,000 in cash at the end of that, or if things go poorly, you’ll be left with slightly less than $60,000 but you won’t lose the investment overall.

Curvin:
I think that’s where I need to come to the compromise because where I was looking at, as you said, if I put that money in and then it went well and I had a bunch more to come out, I’ve already got the product line lined up. And so, the idea was to invest back into the next part of the product line. But I’m sensing that’s where the balance needs to come in.

Scott:
Yeah, I think that’s the key. Am I pronouncing that right, Roshan?

Roshan:
Yup.

Scott:
Yup, okay. If I’m in your shoes, I’m thinking like, “Well, this is a little scary for some of those things because of the fact that every month, the bank account is dwindling. And that cash in the business is not going to come in with that. And so, it’s not like you’re in danger. The worst-case scenario is you lose all the money in the business, which is never going to happen with this. And then, your savings account goes down to 40,000 for the family, and then you get a job, right?

Scott:
It’s not like the end state here is really that bad of a situation. But you do lose that progress and formulaically, moving towards your retirement goals and building the wealth that is more predictable and we can get more comfortable with, at least if you’re wired like me with those types of things with that. And so, I do think that’s where the balance comes in is like what is that? And the balance is probably going to be something about how much do we want to invest every month.

Scott:
And the way you can get to that point much faster is with two things, one getting income from your business, Curvin, and two, reducing your overall household spending so that less is needed from the business on that front. I think I just don’t understand enough about your business, and you know much better to think through how you guys want to talk through what that might look like. But we can reduce whatever that requirement might be from the business or from you or other businesses.

Scott:
It could be from both of your businesses and that input from all the businesses or whatever, I’m sure, but just some income going in with that. But the other way is the household spending with this. And so, do you want to go into that area at all and looking for ways to reduce that? Because right now, you’re bringing in 3,400 a month and you’re contributing to retirement accounts, I believe, Roshan. Is that right?

Roshan:
Yeah. And I love the formulaic approach. I would love to be investing more. I have a 457, and I’ve been hearing you guys talking about it. I just learned about it. Would love to start putting money in there and just in the back of my mind have thought, “Okay, but I want him to dream. I want him to do his business.” I see the potential in that. I’m really stuck in my salary. There’s not much growth there. My financial independence number on my path would be right when I retire at 60 or whatever.

Roshan:
I’m understanding more. My perspective is opening up and so now is, yeah, how do we balance my formula and his dreams and that big burst potential? Yes, Mindy.

Mindy:
I am not wired like Scott at all, so I have a different viewpoint. And you’re bringing in 34 and what’s going out is 4140. So, the difference is, well, I don’t know how that works, 780. The difference is 760. I don’t know how to do math. So, the difference is about $800. Is there a way, Curvin, that your company can set up to pay you $800 a month so that the bank accounts don’t dwindle? I mean, is that just taking from one and putting it into something else?

Mindy:
Is there a way to set that up? Because that’s not a ton of money. I see you making a face, Scott. I’m ignoring you. Again, I don’t know what this toy is, but we’re in Q3. Q4 is the toy quarter. That’s when all the sales are made. Ideally, let’s just say that you’re going to sell every single one of these widget toys and it’s going to be fabulously profitable. Is there a way to bring more money into… instead of 800, now you’re sending $1,000 into the family?

Mindy:
And then, that takes care of Roshan’s I don’t want to say anxiety but I can see a little bit of anxiety and just uncertainty. And if that’s coming in and now all of your expenses are covered, take the rest of the money and do business stuff with that. And I do agree with Scott that the business accounts should be completely separate from the personal accounts and don’t consider those when you’re talking about your net worth at this time.

Mindy:
If that helps relieve some of the stress, then there’s ways to… it seems like that’s where the balance could be for mental health wise. Does that make sense? Am I just rambling? I saw you interrupting me, Scott.

Scott:
Yeah, I completely agree with that. Yeah, I completely agree. What do you want to invest on a regular basis? What is that goal for you, Roshan?

Roshan:
Yeah. Well, the Roth for both of us maxing that out each year, I feel like is important with what I’ve seen. I think I have a really good pension plan from what I’ve learned about it as a teacher. I don’t know exactly if I did retire, like tried to end early. That is a very new concept to me, so I don’t know what the consequences of if I quit teaching early. But yeah, I just want to be smart with our money. I don’t want it to just sit there and cash and be wasted.

Roshan:
And so, I would like to invest more if we can. I just don’t know how much more we can put away in a 457 or the HSA things like that.

Scott:
Love it. I mean, the answer is always more, right? I want to invest 10, 50, 100,000 a month if I can with that. But I think that’s where some spreadsheet work and some modeling and some sitting down and thinking through it might be helpful with that. Right now, what is happening is you’re contributing to a Roth IRA, is that right, every year?

Roshan:
Yep. Both of us now.

Scott:
Yeah. We’ve got 14% going to retirement portion to the pension.

Roshan:
Yes. That’s automatic from my paycheck. Yeah. That’s 7% of my income and then my school matches 7% with the pension. That’s before that 3,400 that was from my salary and the Social Security. I was just putting those notes in there for myself too to keep in mind that I am automatically investing into retirement through the pension. And then, yeah, I have that goal of maxing out the Roth IRA. So, I don’t know if more needs to be done with 457’s or our kids’ Roth IRAs.

Roshan:
There’s so many ideas out there and things to do with the money. It’s just I don’t know what direction to go if more is needed.

Scott:
Okay. And so, this is for retirement. This is not for tomorrow, right? You’re thinking about building towards traditional retirement in a general sense. And then, using Curvin’s business to jumpstart the wealth in the event that when it takes off, it can drive you much farther towards retirement, early retirement and those types of things. And you’re just trying to plan for a traditional retirement in a general sense while that’s going on in the background. Is that a good way to frame it?

Roshan:
Yeah. I think yeah. I didn’t have that picture of retiring early, but I would love to if possible. So, if his business can take us there and if smart planning can take us there, yeah, I don’t need to work my whole life. That would be wonderful.

Scott:
Great. Go ahead, Curvin.

Curvin:
I feel like I’m interjecting at the wrong time. So, maybe let’s go.

Scott:
No, this is perfect. Go ahead. I’m taken over here. I’m sorry.

Curvin:
This is how naive I am. Is that 3,400 just from you, just from Roshan per month? Or is that our combined monthly income.

Roshan:
Yeah. After everything is taken out of my paycheck, that’s what I get.

Curvin:
Okay. So, a very simple remedy going way back to the beginning with my flower business would be to pay instead of putting that big chunk of money in there in June, would be to hold it in a high yield savings account. And then, as you said, pay myself monthly. Is that right? Because I have absolutely no problem doing that. And that would more than cover our monthly expenses and then also allow for investing. Is that correct?

Scott:
I think that’s a great first step. The problem that I’m running into next is that a formulaic investor, like myself in some of these cases, what I want to do is… that’s the starting point because that’s how much you need to spend to maintain your household. You’re not investing with any of that outside of that. That money is going to a pension and that kind of stuff. But if I think about like an investment program, I would think, “Hey, the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to take my 401(k) match.

Scott:
You guys don’t have that because you’re a teacher, you have a 403(b) plan and a pension. So, you’re getting something different with that. So, I have the pension first, which makes sense because you have to do it. You don’t have a choice. Then, you have the Roth IRA as the second step or the HSA if you have that access to that. That’s always a great retirement vehicle. Then, you have the Roth IRA, where you can contribute up to 6,000 each into a Roth each year.

Scott:
If you have the pension that’s already gone, but if you have the Roth IRAs that’s $12,000 per year, you’d want to invest in both of those Roth’s, plus 3,600 each in an HSA potentially, which is another… now you’re at about 20,000 invest in. And then, you have any after tax investments after that, and you can go down the list forever. You can’t do all of those things if you’re a normal human being because there’s a resource allocation constraint.

Scott:
You don’t have enough income to do that, so you have to make an allocation decision to say, where along that spectrum do I stop and then divert the rest of the cash back into the business, which I think is the discussion that you guys have to have is say how far down? What is the priority list of accounts and investments that we want to make? And how far down do I want to go? And what’s that point? I don’t think 800 is enough because you got to cover your expenses and household.

Scott:
But you also need to invest, I think, in something beyond that, maybe the Roth IRA, for example. So, am I hitting that where you’d be thinking about it, Roshan?

Roshan:
Yes, yeah. And I think I’ve been jumping and doing those without really knowing, yeah, am I taking too much? Can I use all this? We’ve already maxed out the Roth this year just because of my uncertainty of the income. I’m like, “I want to stash that away.” And I learned that you can pull it out in an emergency, the contributions. I’ve had mine for five years, the account, so that felt comfortable. And yeah, I have an HSA. I didn’t know he could also have an HSA account.

Roshan:
We haven’t been maxing that out yet. But yeah, I was wondering about the 457 account, if his business does go well and we wanted money stashed away there. So, yeah, I definitely like the idea of looking at goals in that way. I think it’s going to take a lot more learning and research to figure out exactly what to do, but-

Scott:
Absolutely. I think some research here, getting comfortable with all the terms and jargon that we just threw out with all the different plan, names and all that, that wacky world of that will be really helpful with that. And then, writing down a list, here’s the order in which I want to go down. And if we had unlimited resources, we go in this order. But we’re going to stop here because that makes more sense for us.

Scott:
And it does make sense, I think, to stop at a certain point and move it all into the business down to the uncertain but potentially high upside world that Curvin lives in. But after you’ve hit some level that you can agree on for the more certain or the more predictable formulaic approach with that and so I don’t think 800 covers it. Eight hundred covers it if you reduce your expenses. That’s the other way we can get to it is, if the household spends less and you only need 3,400, then the 800 might cover it because hey, I just dropped spending the 3,400.

Scott:
And now, I only need 800 to really fund all those… that’s 10,000 a year in investments. Eight hundred times 12 is 96, right? So, that’d be close to 10,000 per year in investments. That’s great. Everything else were good to go on. So, you can also solve this problem by tightening your budget, rather than requiring more distributions from the business, for example, with that. And so, that’s why I want to say the personal finances impact to the business, just as the business impacts the personal finances with that.

Scott:
And so, if you think you’ve got that room, for example, by cutting $100 out of the life insurance here and then $200 out of the grocery budget there and $300 out of the miscellaneous category there, you could potentially get there in a parallel path.

Roshan:
Yeah, that makes sense.

Scott:
So, I would love to ask, do you feel like the budget is another place to go hunting for this to minimize any drain that might happen on the business if you want to go down that route?

Roshan:
Yeah, possibly. I’m very new to all this, so.

Mindy:
Okay. Well, I’m not so let me tell you all about what I do. I track my spending. I have a mobile spending tracker on my phone right here. It is a Google form. Show everybody. You can’t see.

Scott:
We can’t see that, Mindy.

Mindy:
It says no internet. Okay. Well, that’s because my phone is turned off. But I have a spending tracker. So, when I’m out, my phone is with me. I go to the grocery store, I make my payment. I walk away from the thing and I type in how much I spent, what I bought, and where I bought it. And that’s every single place I go. So, I go to the hardware store, I put that on. I go to Target, what did I buy? Well, I went in for a bottle of shampoo and now I have a cart full of crap.

Mindy:
I started out tracking my spending with no judgment, just what am I spending money on. And I didn’t even do it on that. I did it on a notebook right when I came into the house on the countertop. And watching it grow every single day became very apparent that what I thought I was spending was nowhere near what I was actually spending. My downfall was the grocery store. I would go to the gym every day.

Mindy:
And on the way home, I’d stop at the grocery store for one thing, and I would pick up six things. And what’s five more things? It’s no big deal. Every single day, every single day, I was going to the grocery store for just one thing, but getting more things. So, for me that was so eye-opening, and having just the old school notebook right there so I could see the totals. Because now when I track it, I’m not looking at the totals. My husband looks at the totals.

Mindy:
He looks at the spreadsheets every single day and he’s like, “Hey, why are you going to the grocery store every day?” Oh, yeah, I should really cut that back. I love grocery shopping. So, tracking your spending is huge. And just track it with no judgment. Here’s what I spent. Here’s what I spent every single day for a week, and then review it. Oh, huh, we do go out to dinner every single night and I didn’t think we were doing that.

Mindy:
So, my $150 eating out budget is actually $600. That’s a really easy thing to cut out. You can still go out to eat. Go out to eat once a week instead of seven times a week. And that’s a huge savings. Or groceries, what are you really buying at the grocery store? Are you buying all organic? You don’t need an organic coconut. Nobody is putting any pesticides on a coconut. It is surrounded by wood and it grows 90-

Scott:
Can we make that into one of those like 32nd Instagram clips?

Mindy:
Yes.

Scott:
Nobody needs an organic coconut. That’d be perfect. Yeah.

Mindy:
There’s no bugs in the coconut. Strawberries and peaches, you’re supposed to buy organic and then bananas. Do you need an organic banana? You don’t need the outside. Anyway, there are things that you can look at, that keep what’s important to you, but get rid of the things that really don’t matter. We want to retire early. What can you cut out of your life that isn’t going to have a big impact that will allow you to retire early? I just throw out that number-

Scott:
We want to keep money invested in the business so that we don’t have to put it into the household or to the other stuff. How do we cut the money out of the budget with that, right? That’s another way of looking at it because that’s the more immediate pressing problem, it seems like, right?

Mindy:
Yeah. So, now, I’m going to throw out a bunch of episode numbers at you. You had mentioned life insurance, and we talked to Joe Saul-Sehy on Episode 139. And he went through how life insurance is built, which when he was first talking, I’m like, “Where is this going, Joe? This doesn’t make any sense.” But after he explains how it’s built, then you can choose the plan that works best for you, or realize that maybe I don’t need all of this, or maybe I only need some of this.

Mindy:
So, that’s a really great episode, 139. Episode 124, we talked to the millionaire educator.

Roshan:
Yeah, I heard that one.

Mindy:
He is the one who is so fanatic about the 457 plan. Ideally, I would love to see Curvin’s business making so much money that every penny that Roshan brings in first goes to the 457 and the 403(b). And there’s a couple of dollars less so you throw that into the Roth IRA. Because when you separate from service, you have access to all of your 457 funds without paying a penalty. You still pay taxes on it, but you’re not paying a penalty.

Mindy:
So, it’s just like the 401(k) or the 403(b), the same 19,500 contribution limits. You’ve got that you’re reducing your taxable income by that amount. So, Curvin can bring in that amount and it’s kind of awash. So, that’s a great plan but again, I don’t think we’re quite there yet. Let’s learn about the 457 plan. And the millionaire educator is fanatical about the 457 plan. And Scott has thrown out a bunch of things.

Mindy:
Oh, you guys should talk about this and you should discuss that. Episode 157 is Scott and I talking about how to have a money date. And it’s a judgment-free zone. This is what I would like to do. I would like to have this toy in Q4 2021. And then, if it goes well, next year, Q4 2022, I want to have 15 in this product line. Great. How can we make that happen? Oh, I really need the security of having my bills covered every month.

Mindy:
Great. Let’s do that, too. So, just lay it all out and it’s not something that you’re like, “Okay, kids are asleep. Let’s have it right now.” It’s something that you need to plan. Plan for a couple of weeks down the road after the kids are in bed, when the kids sleep over at grandma’s house. Have a nice dinner and spread out all your numbers and your thoughts and dreams and just have a conversation.

Mindy:
And you don’t have to come up with everything all right then and there. It’s just starting to talk about money frequently. I’m sorry, Scott. I see you trying to interrupt me.

Scott:
No, I’m just a big zealot about that, and I agree with Mindy on that. What I like to think is, because I’m such a nerd on this, that date, the money date has to be done in what I call a peak state. I have to be feel like my best for it to be a good thing. For me, that’s about 10 a.m. in the morning after I’ve worked out and had a coffee, and I’m raring to go. That’s what I’m ready to think big and feeling good about that stuff.

Curvin:
It’s not after putting the kids to bed.

Scott:
What’s that? What did you say?

Curvin:
I said, yeah, it’s not after putting the kids to bed, that’s for sure.

Scott:
That’s right. Yeah, yeah. If you can facilitate that environment, that will make that session go way better because you’ll be thinking about your life from a position of feeling really good about your day and all that kind of stuff. And that’s a good spot to have those kinds of discussions, so.

Mindy:
Yeah. And it’s just an introduction to further conversations. Some of the most successful couples that we have talked to on the show have a money date regularly, every month. Some do it every week. I think that’s a little too much. And some people do it every quarter, which-

Scott:
I do it every quarter.

Mindy:
… I don’t think is frequent enough, but I like every month, personally. But this isn’t my relationship. This is your relationship, so what works for you is what you need to do. And it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work for me because I’m not going to be there. But I’m really excited about this. I think that there’s a lot of opportunity. Curvin, I’m going to leave you with one last suggestion. I would love to see you grow that five-week business.

Mindy:
Can you expand it so that five weeks brings in more money? And at what point can you no longer handle it? Do you have somebody that helps you for those five weeks or you said that you started off with-

Curvin:
No, I hire part time sometimes, people to run the flower stands. But it’s usually me when there’s not a conflict at the same time. And I can definitely look into doing it more. I’m also, I guess, the primary caregiver of the kids for the rest of the year. So, I am the stay-at-home dad with the seasonal flower business and then the online eCommerce.

Scott:
That’s huge. That’s a big thing. That changes a lot of your expense profile for the household right there with that. So, I think that’s awesome. Again, that business is just how can you get that cash flow into the business and then keep the rest or get that enough cash flow into the house to meet the needs. And then, the rest putting into what you think is the right scalable or opportunity, whatever that comes out to from agreement between the two of you guys.

Curvin:
Yeah. And what Mindy was asking is definitely not too much because if we’re talking seasonal or like a one week and Valentine’s thing, that’s obviously very doable.

Mindy:
You already have 30 schools that know you. Reach back out to them and say, “Hey, I’d like to do this for Valentine’s Day. Or now that there’s 30 schools that know you, can you expand that to 45? Can you grow this in such a way that the 30,000 is now 60,000? That’s another way to invest. You take that money. You’ve got your annual expenses covered. And then, you throw that into the toy business, or continue to keep them separate. It just seems like I wish I thought of that. I love that idea.

Scott:
Well, is there anything else that we should cover today for you guys? Or has this been helpful so far? Do you want us to go and dive into any other areas? Or what are you guys thinking?

Curvin:
Yeah, I think it’s been helpful, for sure. I’m pretty honest. Again, I’ve said it, this is the third time. I’m ignorant when it comes to our finances. So, if there’s more that we need to have that money date, so I’m not quite as willfully ignorant. But, Roshan, if you have other questions.

Roshan:
Yeah, I have lots of little questions and big questions, but I feel like you tackled a lot of the big ones. Just some of the misunderstanding or how to get on the same page, how to make goals and formulas so that I feel secure but that also that he can, yeah, pursue this business confidently.

Curvin:
Yeah. I think it’s super important for us because she, as you hit it on the nail, Scott, was Roshan was like, “If we invest into our Roth IRA, we’re going to be millionaire when we’re 60.” And for me, I’m like, “Dang, that’s cool,” but I’m not trying to wait 27 years to do that. I’d rather get that done quicker, whether it’s a pipe dream or not. I’d want to pursue that route. But right, anyway, I think it’s good that we have altering perspectives, but then combining them is what seems like needs to happen.

Scott:
Yeah. I think that they’re both important perspectives, and it’s how I live my life is trying to squeeze them both together with that. The formula ensures that you don’t go broke and have a miserable time with it. But the formula also guarantees you a moderate outcome over that type of period. And it’s perfectly fine and I think good to dream for a lot more than that. And so, that’s where as long as you can cover that formula, go big.

Scott:
I love it with that. And I don’t think you’re irresponsible from your financial position to do that at all. You’ve got a ton of cash. You’re capitalizing your situation perfectly for this. If you were here and you had a bunch of debt and stuff to clean up, we’d have a different conversation where it’s like, the business is great, but we got to clean this up. I don’t think that’s your situation because you’re not in debt. You don’t have problems with this.

Scott:
You have cash. You have investments. You’re building a pension, Roshan. You’re in perfectly financial position in this. There just needs to be a minimum contribution coming in that meets that threshold.

Roshan:
I think that’s the big takeaway for us. Yeah, just for me to have the confidence that like, okay, we’re doing good, it’s working. And here’s how to make it work more peacefully, maybe. And then, I can maybe feel a little more free to yeah, plan a vacation, give more to our family when needed, things like that.

Scott:
Yeah. And like I said, we didn’t go in there, but you can always just cut the expenses way down and that will solve your problem right there as well. So, that’ll be a joint venture as well. That might be less fun than contributing a little from the business, but that is another option for you. That solves your cash flow issue right away.

Curvin:
Okay. I’m not looking at this stuff but I’m looking at our miscellaneous, which is the most. And we had 1,484 last month. But our next highest month out of the last five months was 400, so.

Roshan:
In that category. So, yeah, I have been tracking. And I haven’t been tracking daily like you, Mindy. So, that’s maybe a goal and a takeaway for me is to try to maybe get in the habit of daily. But I was really proud of us because this is new for us in the tracking. It’s the end of June now and I was like, “Let’s go for breakfast.” And he’s like, “Well, where are we at in our budget?” And I was like, “Ah, I haven’t done it in the last two weeks.”

Roshan:
And so, I went and I put in our numbers from our bank accounts. And like, “Okay, we’ve already spent 1,900, which is around what we’d like to spend overall in the month. So, okay, we’ll make some eggs and call it a day.

Mindy:
Yes, yes, yes, yes. That’s the way it goes.

Roshan:
Small improvements, yeah.

Mindy:
That’s exactly it. It’s small improvements. You are not going to go from I spend so much money and I’m in a lot of debt to I am rice and beans, and peanut butter and jelly, and never going out and never enjoying my life. It doesn’t work like that. I mean, you can do that, but you’re going to hate every bit of your life. And what is the point of hating every bit of your life? So, small, little changes and you’ll see big improvements down the road.

Mindy:
And you guys are doing great. We’re sitting here talking about all the things you could be doing differently. But you’re doing really, really well. I don’t think we’ve focused enough on that, Scott. So, yay for both of you. You’re doing great.

Roshan:
Thank you.

Mindy:
You really are.

Curvin:
Thank you.

Mindy:
I mean, you’re in your 30s with no debt. Do you know how many people are in their 30s with no debt? Not so many.

Scott:
Yeah, I agree with Mindy and I want to emphasize that. I think we’ve mentioned a couple times, but you guys are capitalizing your position responsibly here. You’ve got the investment accounts. You got the home. Everything about this seems perfectly reasonable with this. You’re not spending crazily for a family of four with this. This is an overall good thing. You need to figure out how much cash is going to come in from there, and those are the opportunities for this.

Scott:
And like, hey, this idea or the next one, or whatever it is, or the flower business begins taking off. That’s going to just compound everything that you’re doing here in a really exciting way. So, I love it. I have the entrepreneurial bug as well.

Roshan:
This might be like a really technical question, but is there advice for that account, like that business stashing account? Or is that high yield savings account really our best option?

Scott:
So, mathematically, the best thing to do is just to deposit all the funds from the business that you’re not going to need the business right into your cash account and dwindle it. It’s not a math problem, it’s an emotional one for me. The way I would run my life with that is I need to have a stable income covering my expenses to a certain extent. And it sounds like you might feel better with that as well, Roshan. So, mathematically, you just dump in the account and dwindle.

Scott:
That’s hard, so I would say you just put it into a high yield savings account maybe with ally or something if you wanted to do that and just set up an auto pay from that to your personal bank account on a regular basis and that comes out with a business. That’d be one way to do it from that perspective. And that’ll give you a lot more timing. And I would remove that from your statement of net worth.

Scott:
Here’s how I think about it if I have two businesses and household finances. But each business is a separately valued entity inside of mint or whatever and it’s valued at 30 grand, wherever the cash is in there. Maybe a little bit of intellectual property. And then, I’m only seeing the money when it comes into the household account in terms of my budget. I can always log into my bank account and all those types of things.

Scott:
But my real estate business, completely separate. I just have real estate business valued at this number, showing up on my net worth statement. And then, every once in a while, I distribute the dividends out of there. And that’s when I actually see it hit my bank account with that. And that way, you can set it up to feel really confident in how that’s being set up. So, is it the right mathematical approach?

Scott:
No. But I think that could be a really good way for you guys to think about the business because that will give you tons of control. That will help you feel really good about the situation, Roshan. And it will help, Curvin, you keep more cash in the business in a general sense with that and feel like you know exactly how much you have to play with at any given time.

Roshan:
Sounds good.

Mindy:
Okay. Well, I think this was really fun. I think that this is going to be helpful to a lot of people who are also starting their journey and wondering what to do next. Right now, you’re in a bit of the slog, just the saving and investing and figuring it all out. But I think we gave you a lot of things to go and do research on. And I would love to check back in with you in about six to 12 months and see where you’ve gone, how that toy went, how your flower business went.

Mindy:
Did they have graduations this year? I think they did.

Curvin:
I had a small, a handful. Yeah.

Mindy:
Okay, so next year.

Curvin:
Next year.

Mindy:
Go away Delta variant next year. I’m going to put that on my calendar to check back in with you in six to 12 months and see where you’re at and what has happened. I think this will be a fun catch up video.

Roshan:
That’d be great. Thank you.

Curvin:
Cool. Yeah, thank you.

Mindy:
Okay, awesome. Well, thank you for your time today. And we’ll talk to you guys soon.

Roshan:
Bye, thanks you.

Curvin:
Thanks so much. Thank you.

Mindy:
Okay, that was Roshan and Curvin. Scott, what did you think of the show?

Scott:
I thought it was really interesting. I sensed that there was a little bit of worry, or uncertainty, or lack of knowledge, or lack of framework, or not a 100% sure and exactly the direction they want to go with some of those things. Yet, they have such a clean financial position. Yes, it sounds like there was some help from some family and some of that. You don’t get to a position where you have no debt, besides the mortgage, that kind of cash and the Roth IRA and that kind of stuff.

Scott:
They’re doing a lot of things right with this. And I think they’re very close to putting together, I think, a really good winning formula for building wealth here. And like I mentioned in the show, I really love the fact that there’s the entrepreneurial side to their story because you can win when you’re playing an entrepreneurial game in a way you just can’t if both spouses are employees. You can win. You can still win and you can still get become wealthy very quickly.

Scott:
But they have the chance of building something bigger if one of these businesses takes off or they can systematize it or those types of things and having interesting creative options and life options that aren’t there. So, I love both perspectives in this and I thought it was a good conversation.

Mindy:
Yeah. And I think that they are a lot closer to really coming together. And this is what I need, this is what I need. Well, we can have both of those things and still propel ourselves forward. So, it was exciting to talk to them today.

Scott:
And I thought your advice on the money date on a recurring basis was spot on. That is the number one thing that I think will propel them forward because I got all the stuff going for them. They don’t have to both be experts on that. There can be a quarterback in this. But if they can both be on the same page about what they’re trying to do and come to those agreements and get those things set up, they’re going to be off to the races.

Mindy:
They really are. It’s just starting the conversation. So, if you’re listening to this, and you have not had a money date with your partner, what are you waiting for? Go back and listen to Episode 157. Scott and I give you a pretty step by step way to sit down and have the conversation. It takes a little bit of planning. You don’t just sit down and say, “Hey, let’s talk about our money.”

Mindy:
You have to prepare and be ready to have the numbers and have your dreams and goals and all of those things together. But it doesn’t have to be this daunting task either. You’re both in this together. It’s not you against your partner. It’s both of you together against the world. And having that mentality, I think, will take you very far.

Scott:
Absolutely.

Mindy:
Okay. Scott, we get out of here?

Scott:
Let’s do it.

Mindy:
From Episode 218 of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, he is Scott Trench and I am Mindy Jensen saying peace out, Girl Scout.

 

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In This Episode We Cover

  • What to do if you have inconsistent business income 
  • Budgeting to cut down on items like eating out and random shopping
  • Creating “distributions” from your business and giving yourself a salary
  • Investing in retirement accounts like your Roth IRA, 457(b), 403(b), and more
  • Creating a “financial formula” that will lead to you to (early) retirement
  • Having money dates and staying on top of finances as a couple
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show