How to Money | MHFi 026

In this episode, Doug and Carl talk to Joel Larsgaard from the How To Money Podcast. Here are a few highlights of our discussion:

  • Frugal versus cheap! Joel discusses a time when he went cheap and it didn’t garner him any fans
  • How Joel’s childhood (including a car repossession) shaped his money habits
  • Real estate investing (6 rentals with more on the way!)
  • Investing in stocks
  • Working for money legend Clark Howard
  • How To Money
  • Joel’s perfect day



Meet Joel Larsgaard

Joel Larsgaard is a guy who’s living out his dream life and wants to help you live yours, too. He has been in the personal finance and media space for many years. Before starting his own podcast, he worked with Clark Howard on his syndicated radio show, The Clark Howard Show.

Although Clark is now retired from radio, he still puts out a successful podcast, which talks about all things money-related and to empower consumers. And since parting ways with Clark, Joel now runs his own podcast, How to Money, with his best friend, Matt.

Joel and Matt love helping people take control of their finances and, of course, getting to work with each other. Working on the podcast with a half-mile commute each day to his best friend’s house (which he does on bike, of course), is a dream come true for him and gives him the freedom to enjoy life and spend time with his wife and kids.

Our Discussion

We started out discussing the fine line between frugal and cheap. Joel told us a story about a time when he purchased some ceiling fans just because they were inexpensive. They were the wrong size and poor quality, and left Joel frustrated that he would spend more time and money in the long run – eventually having to replace them with ones that actually did the job. Frugal doesn’t always mean spending less money on things!

We then delved into Joel’s backstory with money. Like Carl, Joel grew up with parents who were not great with money. They spent money they believed they’d have as soon as Joel’s dad was promoted. But that promotion never came through, and Joel watched as his parents struggled to afford the things they needed and wanted in life.

A particularly vivid memory for him is watching a new Dodge Durango that his parents had purchased get taken away by “the repo man.” Joel vowed that he would never let himself struggle with money, and became radically frugal in response. Now, he thinks about money as not just something that has to be scrimped and saved but as a powerful tool that can help you bring your dreams into reality.

Joel talked to us about how his own siblings think about money, and how he is working to teach his children now about finances. His philosophy is that just because he has money doesn’t mean he’s spending it on whatever the kids want. He is instilling in them the importance of working hard for the things you want and the power of saving towards bigger purchases.

We then picked Joel’s brain about real estate investing. Joel owns six rental properties right now – all in his home town of Atlanta. He intentionally invests only in properties near where he lives because he knows the area so well and feels confident about the direction of certain neighborhoods. He only buys properties he would live in himself, and has found that being a landlord isn’t nearly the headache it’s cracked up to be if you do it wisely.

He expects to own about 12 properties one day and then call it quits. This led us to the discussion of knowing when enough is enough. Goalposts are always moving  in life. But we all agreed that it’s valuable to have a small handful of things in life that you would always be happy to spend more money on, and to be content with simplicity in everything else.

Joel, for example, owns only one car for his family. And that’s more than enough for them.Even if you gave Joel a giant pile of money, he wouldn’t buy another car or upgrade the one they have. He’s happy with simplicity when it comes to his cars. But he’s always happy to spend a bit more when it comes to things that really make him happy: craft beer, vacations, and folk art.

Finally, Joel told us a little bit about his work with the famous Clark Howard (turns out he’s as nice as he seems on the radio), and his own podcast How to Money. Joel learned a lot in the first 30-50 episodes and talked about how he and Matt found their voice.

We are so grateful Joel shared his insights with us and we hope you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation!


★ Let’s hang out at the EconoMe Conference! ★

Carl is speaking at EconoMe and Doug is attending. You can save 10% by using this coupon code: 1500

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