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Make smart choices about your money, time and productivity

Apr 10, 2017

#72: Spaghetti is a major part of my life.

I eat it, of course, as many people do. I also spill it all over my pants, despite the fact that I’m 33 and should’ve learned the rules of gravity by now.

But most importantly, I use spaghetti as a metaphor for my business. If I’m not sure if something will work or not, but I want to experiment with an idea, I tell myself that I’m just “throwing spaghetti at the wall.” Maybe it’ll stick; maybe it won’t. Either way, I have permission to try, permission to fail, and permission to get pasta stains all over my drywall.

This week, I’m starting a new spaghetti-throwing-experiment on the podcast: I’m going to broadcast “Ask Paula” episodes every-other-week, followed by interviews with guests every-other-week. This allows me to handle the awesome volume of questions that are flowing in (which I LOVE), while still enjoying intriguing conversations with fascinating people.

This every-other-week thing is just an experiment; I’d love to hear what you think. Do you want more “Ask Paula” episodes? Or should I return that segment back to its original once-a-month placement? Or am I overthinking this and I should really just get on with the show notes for this week’s episode?

Assuming you’re like, “Option C, Paula — get on with the show notes!,” here they are.


Our first question comes from David, who asks: Could you ever find yourself in a situation in which you could justify helping a friend by paying off their credit card, and in exchange, they pay you a modest but respectable interest rate?

Here’s his situation:

His friend holds $6,000 in credit card debt, with carries an interest rate ranging between 11 to 17 percent. This friend also holds $30,000 in student loans. Yikes!

David, however, is debt-free, maxes out his retirement accounts, and holds cash savings of $56,000. He’s thinking of loaning his friend around $3,000 of this money, which she could use to pay off the 17 percent loan. In exchange, David would get a decent-but-not-outrageous return, perhaps in the neighborhood of 7 percent-ish.

Should he do this? If so, how? Should he sit down with a lawyer?

Next, Amy asks:
We’re carrying debt, although fortunately it's low-interest. We're paying it off, and we're doing the best we can; this debt will be gone in a few years. How do you stay patient and calm, when progress is happening at a snail's pace?

Later, Alexa says:
I’ve realized that I haven’t followed my true passions, which are travel and dance. I’d like to save money for a few years, and then pursue these twin goals. What should I do with the money that I’m saving for travel? Should I keep it liquid or in stocks? Should I put it in a taxable account or a retirement account?

Lyra asks:
I have 5 goals: repay debt, save an emergency fund, help my son pay for college, save for retirement, and buy a rental property. How do I split my money between these five goals?

Next, Kim asks:
What are the pro's and con's of portfolio lending for an investment property? I keep getting hung up on the "balloon payment," in which you need to repay the full loan after a particular period of time. How would you qualify for a refinance, given that you need a portfolio loan in the first place?

Finally, Daan wants to know:
I’m a Dutch citizen who moves to a different country every 2-3 years. Is real estate a viable option for me?


For more information, visit the show notes at