Each week, we ask a personal finance or business expert for their money pro tips. This week we talked to Warren Robbins, licensed adviser at Policygenius.
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Last thing you resisted buying: The Samsung Galaxy Note10. It’s a beautiful phone.
How did you resist it? Before I make any major purchase, I ask myself three questions: Do I need it? Do I want it? Or both? It’s got to be both for me to buy it — and the phone didn’t past the test.
Last thing you splurged on: A washer and dryer.
Why’d you OK the splurge? Anyone with two kids will understand the importance of having a washer and dryer readily available, and it met my criteria for a major purchase: We needed it and we wanted it.
No. 1 money tip you give to people: Be practical with your money, and always think about purchases in terms of the three questions: Do you need it? Do you want it? Or both? It’s simple but effective.
Money thing you’re most proud of: Paying off my $15,000 credit card balance in full.
Current money goal: Saving for a home!
How you’re working toward it: My wife and I have opened up a Betterment account, and we have set a "major purchase goal" for at least $50,000 for a down payment.
Best financial advice you ever got: It’s simple and short and it’s been my guidepost my whole life: “Know where your money is going.” If you aren’t conscious of your spending, you’re essentially driving blind. You have to know where to make the cuts in your budget and where to increase spending.
Worst financial advice you ever got: “Get a whole life policy.” Whole life insurance isn’t necessarily a bad investment. It’s just not the right investment for most people. There may be other ways to maximize your investments and savings, and a financial professional can help you decide what’s best for you. For me (and for most people), term life insurance is the best life insurance type.
What would you do with a $1 million windfall? Pay off our debt in full. Then I’d meet with a solid financial adviser about how best to invest and grow the rest of the money. It’s always prudent to meet with a financial professional even if you think you know the right answers.
How do you budget? I use two personal financial apps: Mint and Personal Capital.
Money book, podcast or blog you recommend: The first financial book that changed my life was Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke."
Best money you ever spent: My wedding.
Worst money you ever spent: A Nickelback concert.
Image: Nastia Kobzarenko