A long-time Republic customer and advocate, Cash Cow Couple is one of our must read personal finance blogs for its straightforward financial advice. The site, founded and run by Ph.D. candidate Jacob Lumby, provides expert content and research-based financial recommendations.
I am lucky because my job entails following smart people like the Cash Cow Couple, who provide up-to-date personal finance recommendations. Just when I thought I had it all straightened out, they share valuable content like this – recently the IRS is no longer forcing you to tell them if you had health insurance coverage in 2016. That’s crucial information in my book.
Cherie, aka Republic’s PR lady, got a few minutes with Jacob Lumby, the founder of Cash Cow Couple. Check out the interview below.
Talk about guts to change direction from dentistry school and school loans to a Ph.D. in personal finance … tell us more …
I liked the business side of dentistry much more than actually working in mouths every day. Once I got to dental school, I knew it wasn’t for me. I left after one semester of perfect grades and never looked back.
I had always enjoyed learning about personal finance, and I had become fascinated by the world of early retirement and financial independence, reading about it in all my free time. Once I began researching career paths relating to personal finance, I decided to attend Texas Tech University to pursue my Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning. Once I became involved with research there, I knew I had found my niche. I now use those skills to help our readers build and protect their financial resources.
The Guide to Financial Freedom … tell us a bit about this project.
Financial freedom is a simple concept – The ability to make life decisions without worrying about financial constraints.
Achieving financial freedom requires enough income to cover all expenses. Typically, an investment portfolio produces the required income through a combination of interest, dividends, and capital appreciation. As a result, individuals can design a life of freedom that does not require labor income.
The size of the portfolio determines the available income. As annual expenses increase, a larger portfolio is required to produce more income. As such, it’s much easier to achieve financial freedom by limiting expenses. If you can limit expenses while working, you can increase your savings rate and build a bigger portfolio.
Our approach is twofold. First, we try to be savvy shoppers, reducing our expenses and maintaining a very high savings rate. Second, we try to increase our income. In combination, this allows our savings rate to continue trending upward, allowing us to build a bigger portfolio each year.
The project’s aim is to help our readers understand and get started on their own journey to financial freedom.
If you could offer three pieces of financial advice applicable to anyone, what would they be?
- Understanding your financial goals is your first priority. Focus on defining the goals and dreams that matter to you. Then, you can use your money to fund those goals and design a lifestyle that works for you.
- You have to create financial margin in your life. That simply means spending less money than you earn. While this seems basic, the majority of Americans struggle to save enough of their paycheck each month. If you aren’t saving anything at the moment, start small. Try to save 5% of each paycheck. If you aren’t sure where that money will come from, and essentially where your money is going each month, use an app like Mint or Personal Capital to track your spending. Then, you’ll easily see excess spending and can convert it to savings.
- Keep your investments simple. Studies show that investing in low-cost index funds provides the investor with the greatest opportunity for stock market success. We recommend a low-cost robo advisor like Wealthfront or Betterment.
What’s the one way your blog is unique from other blogs in your niche?
We feel our blog is unique in two ways. First, our blog is run by a couple in their 20s. Although we made our fair share of financial mistakes, we’ve recovered quickly and are in a solid financial position at a young age. Neither of us came from money, so we’re a great example of what a married couple is capable of if they’re dedicated to living well below their means while simultaneously increasing their income.
Second, and more importantly, the content on our blog is backed by academic research. As I’ve gained more degrees and certifications in personal finance, my writing has become more technical, and therefore more helpful to the reader. I write about the same topics I teach to students at the university where I teach part-time. I believe this adds great value to the reader at home who usually has not studied personal finance at a university level
And finally, a few questions we ask everyone …
What have you done with your Republic savings?
We use the money we save on our phone plan with Republic to invest in our future. We currently invest in commercial real estate from the comfort of our home with Fundrise, a pioneer in the real estate crowdfunding sector. We believe it is important to put our savings to work, gaining more money for us in the long run.
Who do you stay connected with the most?
We’re located in Lubbock, TX and most of our family lives in Springfield, MO, so we text and call our families frequently. It is important to us to stay connected since we don’t live close to our loved ones.
What’s the next item on your bucket list?
Vanessa and I love to travel. We’ve been to Thailand and the Caribbean and are looking forward to our next adventure.
We’ve recently become fascinated with travel destinations in the USA and Canada, and are planning a road trip across the National Parks of both countries. We feel very fortunate to travel, and we want our readers to be able to use their financial resources to fund their dreams, just like we do now.
To learn more from the CashCowCouple be sure to visit their blog.
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