“Start early, the earlier you start the better!” With Jason Hartman & Kelan Kline

Invest early — The earlier you get started investing the better. Our biggest asset in life is our time and same goes for your investments. Compound interest needs time to work it’s magic. By delaying your start to investing you could be costing yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in growth. As a part of […]

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Invest early — The earlier you get started investing the better. Our biggest asset in life is our time and same goes for your investments. Compound interest needs time to work it’s magic. By delaying your start to investing you could be costing yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in growth.

As a part of my series about the The 5 Essentials of Smart Investing, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelan Kline. Kelan and his wife Brittany started their blog as a side hustle and quickly turned it into a $10,000/month online business. They recently were able to pay off $25,000 worth of debt in only 5 months primarily using the income earned from their blog. At the age of 29 they have over $100,000 invested in the market. They have helped thousands of families from all over the world organize their finances, take control of their lives, and find their freedom.

Thank you for doing this with us! Our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?

I was brought up in a middle-class family in Rochester, N.Y. I was extremely blessed and I had the most incredible supportive parents ever. From a young age personal finance, budgeting, and investing were talked about openly.

My dad had a chore chart for my sister, brother, and I that he followed religiously. Any money we would earn he would take 10% out and deposit it directly into our savings account. It was a great lesson in learning how to automate our savings and investing to plan for our future.

I have always been in love with numbers and that carried over into my entrepreneurship journey in high school, college, and beyond. In college I studied Business and Finance. I graduated from SUNY Brockport the State University of New York with my Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in finance.

I knew eventually I wanted to run my own business. So I picked the personal finance niche as I am super passionate about helping others create better habits around money. My wife Brittany and I started our personal finance blog The Savvy Couple with the mission of helping families find financial freedom.

Since starting our blog we have helped millions of readers create more time and money in their lives to unlock the freedom to do more of the things they love.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

The most memorable moment in our career so far is running a $1,000 debt payoff grant for our readers. It was incredible to be able to give back to our readers and bless a family with $1,000 to help jump start their debt payoff journey.

The biggest lesson from this was when you can transition from surviving within your family to thriving and helping others true happiness, purpose, and fulfillment happens.

Over the next couple of months we plan on doing a savings challenge with our readers to help them learn savvy ways to save on their utilities bills. At the end of the challenge we plan on sending the winner a check to pay off a month of their gas and electric bill.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes! We have a shop where we sell printables to help families learn how to budget, payoff debt, and organize their entire life. By the start of 2020 we will have a Financial Freedom Bundle which will include a few of our printable organizational binders along with some exclusive personal finance eBooks. This is going to be an amazing product to help people really transform their lives and start their journey into financial freedom.

Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers?

It’s so very unfortunate that much of our society does not have the financial literacy they need to thrive and end the horrible cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. There are a few reasons that these numbers are so alarming. The main reason is there is an overall lack of education on personal finance as a whole. This includes grade school, colleges, and parents. It’s not a topic that is talked about nearly enough. Which means at the end of the day it’s our own personal responsibility to educate ourselves which many will choose to ignore and not see the importance in.

Working a 9–5 you hate, living in debt, and trying to keep up with the Joneses has become the norm.

It’s scary the amount of people who don’t know how to keep a simple budget. It’s one of the first things we teach in learning how to take control of your finances. You either give your money a plan or it will make its own plan and disappear quickly.

If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?

I think a general personal finance class in grade school should be a requirement. A class that teaches the importance of budgeting, saving, investing, and living a frugal life. I believe a class like this would have a huge impact on the future generations financial literacy.

One of the reasons we started our blog is to be a free resource for people to find and education themselves on personal finance. I believe us and other personal finance bloggers are making a huge impact on improving financial literacy as a whole.

Lastly the media is horrible for making us feel like we need the latest iPhone, watch, car, etc. It’s a system built to keep us spending, taking out loans, and having the banks in control of our money. Less media and marketing pushing us to live in debt would help this problem significantly.

Ok, thank you! Now to the main question of our interview: You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.

Invest early — The earlier you get started investing the better. Our biggest asset in life is our time and same goes for your investments. Compound interest needs time to work it’s magic. By delaying your start to investing you could be costing yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in growth.

Start small — The best thing to do it just get started! Start small and get going, take action. Too many people let fear stop them in their tracks. If you only have $50/month to start investing that’s fine just get started.

Automate it — Automation is your best friend when it comes to personal finance. Just like a slow cooker the set it and forget it method works wonders. Whether it’s money to grow your emergency fund, savings account, or investment account automate it.

Keep it simple — Don’t overcomplicate things and try to create your own investment portfolio with individual stocks. Stick to well-known mutual funds and index funds. Robo investors might cost a little more but if they simplify things and keep you moving forward on your investing then use them. Our favorite is Betterment. If you are looking for a cheap well diversified index fund I highly recommend Vanguards VTSAX.

Remove your emotions — Watching your investments every day is a dangerous game. There will be ups and downs in the market and it’s important to ride your investments for the long-haul. Only invest in things you are willing to keep for at least 10 years. It’s a good practice to only check your investments every quarter any more will make you more emotional and possibly lead you to making a bad decision.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Again my parents were extremely supportive and made it a responsibility for them to teach us about all things personal finance. They were the spark for me to go to school to learn about business and personal finance.

Others who have influenced my journey are Dave Ramsey, Jeff Rose, and Remit Seith.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like. — Will Rogers

This quote has always hit home with me. One of the biggest problems our society faces (because of social media) is trying to impress others. This leads to spending money on things we don’t really need that bring us temporary happiness and years of regret trying to pay for them. Buying a new cars is a perfect example of this.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement I would want to start is helping families understand you don’t have to be stuck at a 9–5 job you hate to pay the bills and build wealth.

There are so many new opportunities out there to make money online in today’s society. If you want to work from home, spend more time with your family, and spend more time pursuing your passions, you can!

Thank you for the interview. We wish you continued success!

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