Episode 30 – Frustrated and Broke to a Million in Net Worth

It’s not every day you get to talk to one of the few people that supports so many of the great personal finance podcasts that we all gain insight from each week.  Steve Stewart is a podcast editor, hater of debt, believer and a family man! His story spans from being burdened by debt, to massively growing his net worth to more than a million dollars, with over $500,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off home. Today he shares his story with our House of FI family, and we couldn’t be happier.


Money Story

Steve doesn’t recall any significant family lessons surrounding money when he was child.  However, he does remember always being relatively good with money. By the time he married his now wife at 33 years old, they were what he calls “average Americans”. They made money, they spent money and they paid on debt as they drifted along.

Marriage and Finances

The dreaded long commute gets such a bad wrap, but for many of us, it was the long commute that introduced us to either Dave Ramsey and/or the world of podcasting.  In Steve’s case, traveling around for his day job led him to Dave – and things were not “love at first sight”.

While he disagreed with Ramsey at first, Steve soon started to realize that he and is wife weren’t actually doing as well as he thought they were.  With a young daughter and wife he began making financial changes, but still didn’t have a light bulb moment until much later.

One example of sub par financial decision making was in 2006 when Steve and his wife, though he listened to Dave Ramsey preach about the negatives of debt, financed a new car.

Steve felt an immediate, dreadful sense of buyer’s remorse as soon as he drove out of the dealership lot.  It was that light bulb moment that he decided to get serious about managing his money. To right this wrong, and break the financial cycle, Steve and his wife proceeded to pay off the car in full by the end of 2007.  

Finding a Calling

Much like many of us in the personal finance space, the power and freedom you feel once you gain control of your money led Steve to want to help and teach others.  Long before he became a podcast editor, Steve started his own podcast. Money Plan SOS was a side project that grew out of Steve’s Financial Coaching side business.  

At first, he freely helped others.  But it was his always helpful approach and a stroke of luck that led to the formation of his podcast editing business. During his attendance of FinCon in 2015, Steve overheard Paula Pant – now owner of the Afford Anything Podcast –  saying that she wanted to try her voice (hand) at podcasting. Steve offered to help. It was that podcast that opened the door to a never ending source of referral traffic for Steve.

Today he is the podcast editor for ChooseFI, Afford Anything and many others.  In fact, within 6 months of launching that first edited podcast, Steve was so busy that he had to retire everything else!  

Preparing the Next Generation

As a family man and a knowledgeable personal finance expert, I was interested in knowing how Steve decided to pass his financial knowledge and his entrepreneurial spirit to his now 18 year old daughter.  

While she has not started a podcast, nor learned to edit podcasts like her dad, Steve’s daughter does have a cool YouTube channel!  There she showcases her talent for drawing in a cool program called Paint Tool SAI. She even crossed the 1 million views mark for one of her drawings! Check out her video here:

Steve On The Final Questions:

Money Lesson:

Listening to Dave Ramsey – “you make too much money to be this broke” – hit him to his core.

Life Hack:

Put everything in google calendar, tasks, podcasts, dates, birthdays anniversary, travel plan, painting the basement. Having it all in one place and all in digital form is so helpful.

Favorite or Current Read:

On Writing by Stephen King

Dr. Thomas Stanley the Millionaire next door  – reads ever year.

You can find Steve primarily on twitter or on his website, Steve Stewart, or his twitter handle by the same name.

Want more House Of FI? Listen to last week’s episode with Tess Wicks of Wander Wealthy!

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