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001: Just Be Helpful and the Money Will Follow with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist

The Masters of Money Podcast is finally here! This is episode one.

Remember, my goal with this show is to help you improve your financial life by bringing you deep, revealing conversations around the taboo topic of money with my money nerd friends who aren’t afraid to share.

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Who is Joshua Becker?

joshua-beckerAlright, let’s meet today’s Master of Money.

Joshua Becker is the founder and editor of Becoming Minimalist, a website that inspires millions around the world to own fewer possessions and find greater fulfillment in life.

His latest book is The More of Less. He and his young family live in Peoria, Arizona.

Minimalism and Money

Around my household the minimalism concept has taken hold.

Mrs PT is fired up about helping us become more minimalist and so we’ve read Joshua’s books, listened to him on other podcasts, and now we’re taking part in Joshua’s latest online course.

But you know, I wanted this interview to be different than others we’ve heard, and so we don’t focus on cleaning out closets, we talk about how the minimalism approach affects how Joshua handles his money and maybe more importantly, thinks about money.

I think you’ll find Joshua story both useful and inspiring. So let’s dig in. Let’s meet today’s Master of Money…

Listen to This Episode with Joshua Becker

I hope you enjoyed that. A big thank you to Joshua for giving us the gold today.

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Show Notes

[01:55] Interview with Joshua starts & his view on financial success.
[03:15] How Joshua spends within his means using minimalism.
[04:30] Spending and saving on a limited income.
[07:00] Joshua’s minimalism story – towards intentional finance.
[09:30] Transitioning from service in the Church to full-time blogger.
[12:00] How he prepared his finances, including investing, for entrepreneurship.
[17:00] Health insurance when moving to self-employment and what he uses now.
[24:00] Joshua’s thoughts on saving for the future vs current needs (and financial independence vs early retirement).
[35:00] Joshua’s non-profit, The Hope Effect.
[37:15] How minimalism affects his daily finances (checking, saving, credit cards, etc).
[39:00] Using a spending plan vs a budget.
[43:20] How a smaller house keeps his lifestyle in check.
[46:30] How Joshua feels about his financial journey.

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Links from the Show  Just Be Helpful and the Money Will Follow with Joshua Becker

3 Big Takeaways from My Interview with Joshua Becker

1. Avoid these 3 three things and avoid debt.

Joshua mentioned a saying/quote that’s really stuck with him through the years: the big reasons we go into debt:

  1. buy too much house
  2. buy too much car, or
  3. spend too much dining out.

The good thing about the first two items is that if you get them right once they can have a lasting impact. Learn to buy a house the right way and buy a used car vs a new car.

Whereas the third item is more of an ongoing behavioral requirement. Joshua mentioned the spending plan (i.e. discretionary budget) concept which he uses to control this. But he said his family still battles it on occasion.


I just found this chart (h/t LenPenzo.com) showing the spending trends in the U.S. and it perfectly represents this quote.

The world we live in, our media, our friends, our family, and the businesses and institutions who end up profiting off of your overspending in these areas aren’t going to be the one’s to help. You need to take it upon yourself to control these three things.

2. Make the leap before you’ve got the income.

When Joshua was talking about his entrepreneurial leap, he mentioned that he’d only replaced about $2,000 of his $5,000 monthly expenses. He still chose to leave and go for it and he’s glad he did.

He credits this expense gap for pushing him to perform better with the business early on. I can relate. When I became a full-time blogger myself I had to supplement my income with a few side hustles.

It’s important to note that even though he had the expense gap, Joshua still had significant emergency savings to give him enough time to build up the business.

3. What are you doing for the future at the expense of current needs?

I asked Joshua what he’d do with his extra income from the business this year: save more for retirement, pay off his mortgage, invest, give more to charity?

His response was to point out that he’d weigh this decision against a belief that what he’d be doing for the future might be at the expense of current needs around him.

This is the part from the interview that I will probably wrestle with the longest. I didn’t end the conversation with Joshua with an answer or game plan for taking action on this.

I do think, however, Mrs. PT and I will explore this topic a little further this year end as we look at our excess funds, savings opportunities, and charitable options.

Full Transcript

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What’s Next?

Have a question? Leave a comment below or use my contact form.

Thanks for listening to this first full episode. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to the show on iTunes. I want to improve the show, so please leave a rating. Tell me what you like and how I could improve.

This show is part of the FinCon Podcast Network and was produced by Steve Stewart.

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  1. Avatar Mrs. Groovy says:

    Thanks for publishing this and providing the transcript which is very helpful. I’m queuing up the podcast for tomorrow’s walk and looking forward to it. Mr. Groovy and I just recently watched the Minimalism documentary on Netflix in which Joshua appeared and we enjoyed it very much.

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      You’re welcome, Mrs. Groovy. Honored that you’d include the show in your next walk. That’s when I listen too! Oh yeah, the documentary. Mrs. PT and I watched that last week. Loved it. https://minimalismfilm.com/

  2. Avatar Ari Fellman says:

    I have looked for this podcast using overcast, but have not found it…

    1. Avatar Philip Taylor says:

      Ari, thanks for checking out the show. There may have just been a delay. I just searched Overcast for “masters of money” and we were first in the results.

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