Figuring it Out with Darla Bishop

When it comes to your finances, are you capable of figuring it out? Darla Bishop thinks you are and talks about how to make it happen!

Jun 23, 2024 | Blogs, Podcast

About the Episode

We focused on the value and importance of time in the market versus timing the market, how to focus on what matters and overcome damaging behaviors, whether or not passive investing makes sense, and how to think long-term, with Darla Bishop, Financial Consultant, speaker, and author.      

Listen to hear a difference-making tip on why you’ve got what you need to find the success you want!

You can learn more about Darla at DarlaBishop.com, YouTube, X, and Instagram.

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Host

Darla Bishop

Darla Bishop

Guest

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Darla, to get us started. Give me two truths and a lie, please.

Darla Bishop 0:06
Well, I am fluent in English, Spanish and Japanese. I spent eight years in graduate school in one of the most expensive universities in the US George Washington University and left with $0 of new debt. And I have moved 11 times in the last eight years.

george grombacher 0:31
Those are excellent moved 11 times and last eight years English, Spanish and Japanese spent eight years at George Washington with no debt. Hmm. I don’t think you speak three languages.

Darla Bishop 0:45
I do, but Japanese is not one of them. Oh, okay. Oh, so you’re right. That is the lie.

george grombacher 0:52
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, great job spending eight years at George Washington and not not incurring any debt. That’s, that’s amazing. And do you like travel? Or do you enjoy moving or?

Darla Bishop 1:03
I am a military spouse. And so I enjoy it because I enjoy being married to the person I’m married to.

george grombacher 1:12
Well, thanks to thanks to them for their service, obviously. And are you going to keep moving? Or how does that work at some point,

Darla Bishop 1:21
so maybe so my husband is about 11 year into what is likely to be a 23 year career at least. So we’re at the halfway point. And so we will likely move by my count at least three, maybe four more times, depending on how the assignments stack up over the next 11 to 13 years.

george grombacher 1:44
Got it nice. All right. And what are the what other languages do you speak?

Darla Bishop 1:50
I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese, and English,

george grombacher 1:53
Spanish and Portuguese. All right, very cool. How did you come to learn Spanish and Portuguese?

Darla Bishop 1:59
So I actually did learn Japanese as my first foreign language thanks to a magnet school in the city of Detroit where I grew up. But left we left that school districts around fifth grade, and the schools only had Spanish available. But because I had been in an immersion environment, picking up Spanish was super easy because my brain was already wired to learn the language like I knew what conjugating the verb meant, I knew that there were different tenses, and that things in a certain order in English would be in a different order in a different language. So I picked up Spanish very easily. And in college and graduate school, I found myself surrounded by Brazilians in some form, or fashion, either through classmates or co workers. And so picked it up. And we actually one of the ways that we make our life work is we host au pairs, because that helps us with our childcare especially because we frequently don’t live where we can have that built in family childcare support system. So we purchased the village, right, you know, every child deserves a village, we just have to purchase ours. And we have for the last three years hosted fantastic young people from Brazil, because I was interested in the children learning that language and that sound having that sound dictionary available to them in their mouths. Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah.

george grombacher 3:17
Super cool. All right. It’s because Spanish and Portuguese are they as close as I as as I perceive them to be? Or they’re pretty different? In

Darla Bishop 3:28
some ways. Yes. And in other ways, no, where if you are reading, you’d say, Okay, I totally understand what this written document is trying to tell me. But the sounds are just different enough that if you try to use the Spanish pronunciation in Portuguese, or vice versa, you might actually say a bad word.

george grombacher 3:47
Okay. There you go. I like it. All right. Very cool. Well, Darla, what is what is top of mind for you right now?

Darla Bishop 3:55
So one of the things that I’ve been talking about the last few weeks is the cost of education. Right? I have, I’m a parent. So very young children. My children are only four and six. And so this is something that we know is far off. But as we are getting older, and we’re finishing up our own student loan debt, payments and or gotten some forgiveness because of my husband’s military service, the rest of his were forgiven, I think last year, and with the changes of the current administration have made for student loans. I’ve been helping several older family members go through the forgiveness process. And I didn’t have a lot of loans. Frankly, I did it. My undergraduate education was covered by a major scholarship through the Bill Gates Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And so I had zero debt, leaving my undergraduate studies had maybe about 10 or 12,000, leaving my master’s degree. And so my student loan burden has been very low. And so I didn’t understand the weight that this has had on people’s lives. until I started interacting with relatives who are like, hey, Darla, can you help me do this paperwork? I’m not sure how to do it. I don’t know if I qualify. And I Oh, yeah, it’s no problem happy to do the paperwork with you and for you, and had a relative who had nearly a million dollars in student loan debt. And just simply because she started going to school 30 years ago, and has continued on and off going to schools collecting degrees, taking classes here and there. And although had gone through to not just one but two bankruptcy proceedings, as life happened, was unable to rid herself of that debt. And so when we did the paperwork, she said, You know, I’ve tried this before, I don’t know if it work, I said, Look, there’s nothing we can do. But try again. And she got the letter back that said, Congratulations, you are very close to me and eligible for relief, you just need to make 14 more payments. And it was going to save her $850,000 Holy cow. Good. But could you imagine the burden of having almost a million dollars in debt that you can’t do anything with? And it was, as I talked with her and thinking about and asking her, Well, how does this affect you? She’s like, Well, my credit isn’t always great, because I even though I filed bankruptcy twice, this is still there, and it keeps growing. I’ve never been able to purchase a home in my own name. She has a longtime partner who has been hesitant to marry her. Even though they are very much in relationship they are they live together, they are committed to one another, the legal marriage has been delayed because of the debt burden. And I had no idea again, because I’ve been super privileged, I had this because of my rough upbringing. And I’ve used that to my advantage when I went to college the first time and was able to get enough scholarships from rich people who wanted to support poor people, that student loan debt is just not something that was heavy for me. And so that’s what’s on my mind.

george grombacher 7:04
Well, that is that is quite a story right there. You’re your friend, have they stopped taking on new student loans?

Darla Bishop 7:10
Yes, yes. And part of the reason was, well, the the part of the reason it came up is because she said, You know, I’m just not sure what to do. You know, the relief that we’ve had for the last few years, I think I might need to go and get a doctorate. Because when you’re in school, you don’t have to make payments, you have a forbearance that’s automatic when you’re a student again. And she said, I just don’t know how I will come out of this debt. And I didn’t do the math. But my back of the envelope estimate is that she only took about 40,000 in loans Overall this time. Right. So how did $40,000 in loans turn into nearly a million dollars?

george grombacher 7:52
Awful magic. Awful

Darla Bishop 7:54
magic. I need that kind of magic in my investment account.

george grombacher 7:59
Oh, my goodness. And so she is going to be relieved of the vast majority of 85% of it.

Darla Bishop 8:07
Yes. And a huge relief.

george grombacher 8:11
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know what I would do. Can’t discharge it through bankruptcy. Obviously, she attempted that or had to go through that twice. And so if you change your name and learn Portuguese and move to Brazil, maybe,

Darla Bishop 8:24
maybe, I don’t know, they’ll probably stay with, right, maybe they’ll

george grombacher 8:30
probably track you down anyway. Alright, so it’s a function of she comes to you and says, You know what, I’ve tried lots of things. And I don’t know how it works. It’s just that little bit of complexity that stood in her way. And you’re able to give her the nudge or to help her with literacy. And that made all the difference. It

Darla Bishop 8:51
did. And the structure is also changed, right? Because the rules are in place thinks some rules were taken away, that also made the path smoother. And so when you’re thinking about money, and how you manage the financial aspects of your life, it is important to pay attention to what’s happening in the political environment, in the economic environment. Because tax rules change all the time, sometimes in really great ways that help you and sometimes in ways that you have to make an adjustment for so having some literacy and awareness of what’s happening in the bigger economy can really save you lots of money, make you lots of money, or on the other side cost you lots of money.

george grombacher 9:41
How cumbersome was this paperwork? What are we talking about? It wasn’t

Darla Bishop 9:44
the Yeah, it was thankfully it was just two pages. It was basic information. And we were able to do most of this online. So name, address, social security number which they all had anyway, so just confirming that everything was at Reading up to date. And then any employers that might help to make her eligible for public service loan forgiveness, which is pretty much any city, state or federal government work, military service, certain types of teachers and educators, certain types of health professionals, and they kind of give you a questionnaire, a short questionnaire to see which employers might be the best. And then you find an old w two or TXT document, because it is helpful to have the EIN number of the employer that you want to list there, which is usually on your tax forms. And then you send it in, and you find one person who works at that place, who can sign off to say, Yes, this person worked here for these dates, you know, and if you have more questions, you can contact this website or this phone number. And then you wait for a response. And so luckily, it was quite simple.

george grombacher 10:59
Well, that’s obviously a good thing to hear. Do you think that that’s simple for you? It’s strikes me, just for the short amount of time that we’ve interacted, that you are a person who is able to look at a problem, and then figure it out from spending eight years at one of the most prestigious universities and coming out without student debt to this paperwork, to figuring out how to bring people from Brazil to create your village. These are all things that I think would be impossible for a lot of people and appear to be relatively straightforward to you.

Darla Bishop 11:36
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And I definitely approach life with this attitude that everything is figured out double. But one of my favorite things to say, yeah, and in some ways, I think that actually helps people get past that first step. Because the most important step that you have to take when you’re solving any problem is that first one, and it’s also the hardest. And so if you can approach problems with I don’t know, I’m not sure. I don’t know how I’m gonna get there. But everything is figured out double. You might be able to ask the right question, even if it’s to the wrong person, and just get a little further, a little bit closer to what you’re trying to accomplish.

george grombacher 12:20
Is it a function of that if I’ve not been doing that, if my figure out double muscle is I’ve never used it, I’ve never trained it that when I do hit that first roadblock or two that I just give up?

Darla Bishop 12:33
It depends on the person. But it’s usually they go into complain mode. So it’s not that they give up immediately. It’s like, well, I’ve been trying this, and I did this and I did this and none of it worked. And so if they can get those complaints to the right ear, someone like me, who says, Hmm, okay, so you’ve tried five things. That’s great. So that means you’re willing to try things. All right? Would you be willing to try five more, or you only got three more than you are you only got one more than you. So let’s figure out what the right one, three or five things are so that you can get closer to what you’re trying to accomplish. So you can be less frustrated, because what the testimony is, in you saying, Well, I’ve tried all these things in the in the work is that you tried them and you didn’t give up after the first one. So this is good, you have the muscle, you just have been labeling as failure versus labeling as the keep trying muscle.

george grombacher 13:28
And that’s where having that other person to give you that nudge or the kick and the kick in the butt or whatever it might be is is helpful.

Darla Bishop 13:37
And sometimes a hug, because what I realized and part of the reason why I wrote how to afford everything in the way that I wrote it is as I was working to figure out money, because again, I believe that everything is figured out a book, there’s a book, there’s now there’s a YouTube channel, there’s a person, as I was reading books, and listening and watching people, these figures, these, these folks who talk about money, one of the things that was hard for me is very few gave me credit for the things I did, right. Because yeah, I did a lot of things wrong. But if you actually looked at the menu of options I had available to me growing up of the three super crappy options, I somehow picked the one that was slightly better, and made it work. And no one gave me credit for that. And I was like, damn it. Like Could someone give me a hug? Can someone congratulate me for getting out of some really crappy circumstances? And making it to this point, even though this isn’t where I want to be? And they don’t think it’s where I shouldn’t be. But could I get some credit for how far I’ve come

george grombacher 14:44
as somebody giving you credit for it yet. I have Well, I would love to be the person to say great job. You did it. Thank you. Let’s just keep going though Darla. I’m kidding, but I’m not. It’s interesting, right? Celebrating wins. How much time? Should we spend doing that just a little bit, we just want a little bit of verification that, hey, somebody’s noticing what I’m doing, which has been very, very difficult that been able to pull it off.

Darla Bishop 15:28
You know, it depends, again on the person. So much of this is what drives you internally, right? Like, what I realized through a lot of self study, is the one of the things that drives me the most, or the strongest is actually the avoidance of regret, and need to talk about that a little bit more. So I’m an over thinker, my brain is always going, always thinking of something coming up with something, solving some problem taking something apart, thinking about that conversation I had with the one person when I was 13. That was just so awkward. And like still thinking about it now that I’m almost 40. Like, man, if I see that person that day, I hope they don’t remember that. Of course, they won’t remember that. Why would they be thinking about something that happened 30 years ago, you’re the only person on earth who does that? Well, maybe not the only person. And so what I realized is that regret is very hard for me, because as overthinker, it just keeps cycling, and it takes so much mental energy. So the way that I can get myself to do something, as I say, you might regret it, if you don’t take action. I say, oh, okay, then I got to take action. And so if people know their selves, and what helps keep them going, when it’s tough when it’s hard, then they can use that in their own self talk. And they can tell the people around them, hey, I have this goal, or I’m trying to work on this. If you see me doing this, could you say this? Or asked me this? Because that’ll turn it back on for me. So, George, for you, what helps keep you going when something that’s tough?

george grombacher 17:06
Yeah, I appreciate that question. I appreciate I appreciate the recognition in yourself that that it’s the motivated by wanting to avoid regret. I have I have taken to thinking about it as as deficit leadership. And that’s how I lead myself is, is that there’s a deficit. For example, my brother died a couple of years ago. And I view that I owe people that came before me, him, but lots of other people that have afforded me the opportunity to have the life that I have today. And that there’s plenty of people that do not have the the abilities, the skills, the God given things that I have that I owe as well. So that’s what drives me more than being a servant leader. I’ve taken thinking about it. And this is sort of, I’m still sort of spitballing and whiteboarding it. But it’s that is that I Oh,

Darla Bishop 18:13
yeah. And hey, as you grow and evolve, and hopefully you’re here with us on this side of the flowers even longer, it will shift and change and evolve as it should.

george grombacher 18:26
Yeah, I think it’s a really interesting thing. And something I spend a lot of time thinking about, say, Okay, how do I, what is it about me? And what is it about you that motivates you to get up and do difficult things and to carry on or Soldier On, in spite of circumstances in spite of you being tired or not feeling like it, that you still do it? And how do you impart that to other people?

Darla Bishop 18:51
Yeah, I, you have to have helped them get a little experience with it, too. Because part of it is if you feel like you’ve never won, if you’ve never achieved if you’ve never accomplished, it feels so far away. And so when I’m working with someone on their debt, for example, so maybe more consumer debt and student loan, because that’s a completely different situation, I 100% of the time, have them do Snowball Method 100% of the time. And part of that is because if you have been feeling badly, if you’ve been feeling like a loser, or if you’ve been feeling like you can’t get it right, we got to help you get something right, as fast as possible. So that you see the hope so that you see that little circle at the end of the tunnel that has the light. So it goes from this to this to this slowly, but you have to see and you have to feel it to build your confidence to build your momentum. And so that’s why when we’re working on debt, we do Snowball 100% of the time because within a couple of months, we can usually get rid of at least one of the debts with it Three months, you’ve gotta win. We got one thing off the board. Look at what you did. What got you here? Are you feeling good? Do you want to go faster? What can you do to be more efficient? What can you do to make sure that you’re not adding different debt? Right because they got that win. And that first win is so delicious, especially if you haven’t had one in a while.

george grombacher 20:23
So well said I love the visual about the tunnel and tiny speck and then it gets a little bigger, a little bit bigger a little bit bigger. Competence and momentum are real things. Darla. They are. Well, I really appreciate you coming on. We’re ready for that difference making tip. What do you have for us?

Darla Bishop 20:47
If you’re not sure where to go? Say to yourself out loud so that your ears hear it from the outside? Everything is figure out double because you might start to believe it.

george grombacher 21:04
I think that that is great stuff that definitely gets Come on. Everything is figure audible, and you need to tell it to yourself as many times as takes tell you actually believe it. Love it. Well the other where can people learn more about you? How can they connect? Where can they get their copy of How to Afford everything. The

Darla Bishop 21:23
best way to find me is at Darla bishop.com. All of my contact information is splattered all over the homepage. You can order the book on Amazon or wherever you’d like to purchase your books.

george grombacher 21:34
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did show value appreciation share today’s show the friend who also appreciate good ideas for people who are currently putting in place or exercising the superpower of figuring things out or for people who need a little bit of a nudge or a hug and can strengthen their figure out a bowl muscle. You understand what I’m trying to say? Go to Darla bishop.com checkout all things are the bishop and get your copy of How to Afford everything. Thanks, Candela.

Darla Bishop 22:07
Thanks for having me. Finally, friendly

george grombacher 22:08
reminder, never gonna be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So act accordingly.

 

 

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