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Welcome to Navigating Your Money, the one place where you will hear authentic conversations about practical money matters. Our host will bring you factual information from guests on an extensive range of relevant financial topics. You’ll discover an engaging discussion relayed in a compelling and entertaining fashion. Each episode is intended to deepen your understanding of your money. Join us each week, as Navigating Your Money delivers a unique dialogue with informed guests highlighting their area of expertise.

How to Listen
Stream online, via Stitcher Radio mobile app, download the free podcast in iTunes, or if you're on Facebook click our Navigating Your Money Facebook tab.

Your Host

Unitus Community Credit Union - Navigating Your Money Host Mike Tierney

Mike Tierney has worked in the financial services industry for over 14 years in both the banking and credit union sectors. He grew up in suburban New York City and has continued to make his way west with moves to Chicago, Arizona, and then on to Portland where he has lived since 2005.

Outside of work, Mike can be found hanging out and having fun with his wife and two young children, reading up on history and politics, and playing an error prone brand of tennis. Mike is also an avid sports fan (he is especially tethered to his beloved New York Yankees and New York Giants).


Episode #23 - Your Financial Habits: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly?
Do you ever buy something because you think it will make you happy only to discover later it hasn’t delivered? Or maybe you’ve acted on a hot stock tip from a friend only to lose that ‘sure bet’ investment? In this episode host Mike Tierney talks with Spencer Sherman, regularly named by Worth magazine as one of the country’s top 100 wealth advisers Spencer is a certified financial planner and author of the bestselling book “The Cure for Money Madness”. Tune in and learn to recognize the impact irrational behavior with money has on your life. 

Episode #22 - Take Control of Your Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt is on the minds of many—both students and parents. The good thing is you got your degree, however the reality of student debt is just now hitting. You may be wondering how you are ever going to pay it all back and manage your other daily living expenses. Join host Mike Tierney as he’s joined by Steve Bucci, advisor, author of “Credit Management Kit for Dummies“ and past president of the Money Management International Financial Education Foundation. Steve will provide the advice you need to get on the right track to paying off your student loan debt.

Episode #21 - Investing For Your Future. It's Never Too Early To Start
Investments may not be top of mind as we struggle to balance work, home, and our social lives, but there is room to improve when it comes to investing for our futures. Maybe you’ve just finished college and you think investing can wait until you are more settled in your career. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about learning more about investing and retirement plans, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Join host Mike Tierney as he sits down with one of the nation's most respected personal finance columnists, Gail MarksJarvis. Her Chicago Tribune columns reach millions of readers throughout the U.S. Follow Gail on Twitter: @gailmarksjarvis or visit her website at

Episode #20 - Put Your Debt Behind You
Are you swimming in bills but thinking it’s just a temporary situation you can recover from on your own? Are you getting angry at creditors for calling on past due payments? Are you thinking you may need help but you’re not sure where to turn? Join us as we speak with Steve Rhode, founder of and blogger for The Huffington Post’s Money section. Not only has Steve experienced a debt problem first hand, but has since dedicated his life’s work to helping others find a way out of it. Be sure to follow Steve on Twitter: @getoutofdebtguy 

Episode #19 - Live Like You Have More, On Less
When it comes to the things you really want in life are your finances keeping you from getting them? Are you finding it hard to live within your means? Join us as Mike Tierney talks with Philip Brewer, senior writer for, a website devoted to living large on a small budget. Brewer will help listeners understand the benefits of frugal living and what financial freedom means and how to achieve it. Previously a software engineer for 25 years, Brewer has turned his passion for writing into a full-time endeavor. His articles on living simply and frugally guide millions of people into living like you have more, on less. Learn more about Philip.

Episode #18 - There’s an App for What?  Here are the Must Have Apps for Your Phone or Tablet
Apps. Most of us rely on them daily. The remind us, notify us, get us to work on time, help us connect with family, friends, and co-workers, share photos, make reservations, buy movie tickets, update our online profiles, the list goes on. Today, host Mike Tierney talks with Jill Duffy of on the top ten must have apps.  You might just be surprised which ones make the list. Duffy is an analyst for software, internet and network topics. Her writing has appeared in Popular Science, the BBC’s Olive Magazine, Digital Trends and many others. Tune in and see if one or more of your apps made the list.

Read Jill's weekly Get Organized column, providing tips on managing your digital life or get the latest updates by following her on Twitter: @jilleduffy

Episode #17 - Impulse Buying: We've Got Your Cure!
Have you ever gone shopping for one item only to come home with much more? Or has the occasional splurge become a more frequent and regular habit? If this sounds like you, or maybe your spouse, join us as host Mike Tierney sits down with award winning and nationally syndicated personal finance columnist Liz Weston as she provides some insight on how to put impulse buying on hold. Weston provides sound personal advice to millions each week through her columns in MSN Money, numerous television appearances from the Today Show to CNBC’s ‘Power Lunch’, and in her ongoing series of books including her latest, “There Are No Dumb Questions About Money.”

Discover more about Liz by visiting her website

Episode #16 - Preparing for the Financial Realities of a New or Growing Family
Many young families are struggling to make ends meets while trying to secure their financial future. There may be a new baby on the way and you might be asking yourself how you’ll possibly pay the expenses that come with raising a child. Tune in as we talk with Erica Sandberg, author of "Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families". A new or growing family presents unique financial challenges, so warm that baby bottle, sit back and let’s dive in and get some professional insight. Sandberg is producer and host of the personal finance program Adventures in Money; Editor at Large and lead columnist for’s money and credit management website, Credit Card Guide and is a frequent guest on such national shows as PBS Nightly Business Report, ABC News GoodMoney, CBS MoneyWatch, and Fox Business Network.

Learn more about Erica at

Episode #15 - Financial Planning: Getting Them While They're Young
When is the right time to seek out a financial planner?
Like many of us, you may think that you need to have a lot of money or a large investment portfolio to even consider meeting with a financial planner. This can be discouraging to younger people who are just getting around to establishing and setting their financial goals. As it turns out, that’s not the case and in this episode we’ll explain why. Join host Mike Tierney as he speaks with Dow Jones financial reporter, Veronica Dagher about the Gen X and Gen Y generations, and their approach to money and how financial planning can help them achieve their life goals. Dagher is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal; she has received the National Press Foundation Retirement Issues Fellowship and served as a moderator for the New York Press Club’s 2011 Conference. Additionally, she appears on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and nationally syndicated radio.

Episode #14 - Financial Fraud: How Do We Protect Ourselves Online?
The reality of online fraud may be closer than you think.
When you log into your accounts online, do you ever wonder if someone else is helping themselves to your information? If you’re not protecting your online presence such as passwords, financial data, and sensitive personal information; you're opening the door for potential online fraud. Join us as Mike Tierney talks with Adam Sale, a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service who investigates crimes including bank fraud, identity theft, access device fraud, and counterfeiting. Adam will share the realities of financial crime, explain how criminals are actively pursuing new ways to access your personal information, and tell us how we can protect ourselves.

Episode #13 - When is Bankruptcy the Best Option?
No matter how you look at it, bankruptcy is a tough topic
Are you panicked because you’re finding yourself deeper and deeper in debt without the ability to pay it off? Or consistently choosing which bills to pay and which creditors to ignore? Are you thinking bankruptcy may be an alternative but you’re afraid of the consequences? Host Mike Tierney is joined by James P. Caher, a nationally recognized expert on personal bankruptcy, practicing attorney for more than 30 years, published author, and co-author of "Personal Bankruptcy for Dummies". Together they’ll take a subjective look at this topic, including ways to rebuild your credit, what bankruptcy does and doesn’t do for you, and more—all in an effort to allow you to make the best decision on your financial situation.

Episode #12 - Opening a Restaurant – Is it in You?
The restaurant business is tough, but not impossible. 
Have you ever been to a restaurant and said, “I love this place, I want to own a place like this.” The typical answer you get from people is that 90% of new restaurants fail within the first few years. That can be a little intimidating however, if you are serious about getting into the business or know someone who is, you’ll be happy to know that this commonly repeated statistic isn’t quite accurate. Tune in as our host Mike Tierney is joined in studio by John Durning, Managing Director at Wintrust Commercial Realty Advisors where he provides commercial real estate banking & advisory services. John is experienced in restaurant management and is a former owner and operator of multiple restaurants early on in his career. John explains that with adequate funding, sound management, and a little exercise, you too can get into the restaurant business and be successful.

Episode #11 - Help Your Child Become an Entrepreneur
Many successful entrepreneurs had early childhood businesses like Lemonade stands. 
As a parent, you may have thought it would be a great experience for your child, but you’re not sure how to get them started. Today, we’ll give you the perfect solution as Mike Tierney speaks with Rudy DeFelice, founder of, on how his site is helping kids and teens start and run a business easily and safely. So get comfy and listen up as Rudy shows us how you can help your child take their enthusiasm and budding entrepreneurial spirit and create their very own start-up. 

Episode #10 - Quit Your Job and Make the Jump
Have you ever thought about leaving your job and starting your own business? 
Starting a business is easy. Just establish a name, address, maybe some business cards and you’re there—well actually it’s not a business until you sell something and that’s the part that can be difficult. Small business success comes with a solid business plan, careful planning, sufficient cash flow, and the drive to learn from your mistakes and build upon your successes. Today Mike Tierney sits down with local business owner/serial entrepreneur Erik Whitcher who over the past 23 years has started three businesses. His current company 3 Point Brand Management specializes in promotional items and brand apparel.

Episode #9 - They Know Your Credit Score, Do You?
Credit tips you need to know. 
Your credit score represents how well you have managed your credit accounts. Lenders typically use credit scores, along with your credit history, to determine whether or not they will grant you a loan and to also help calculate how much you will pay in the form of interest. Even though your FICO score is critical to know, most of us don’t know what it is, why it’s important and how to improve it. That all ends today as Mike Tierney talks with nationally recognized credit expert, John Ulzheimer. As President of Consumer Education for and author of, “You’re Nothing But a Number – Why Achieving Great Credit Scores Should Be On your List of Wealth Building Strategies”, John brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion. 

Episode #8 - Are Your Credit Cards Managing You?
Get ready to learn how to manage your credit effectively.
Mike Tierney sits down with Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of and author of "The Credit Card Guidebook" to talk about how his website provides consumers with comparative data on over 1,000 credit cards. Hardekopf discusses the challenge that many consumers face when it comes to finding the right credit card, as credit cards these days offer much more than just rewards and cash back. Additionally, the conversation dives deep into the topic of learning how to build one's credit and manage it effectively.

Episode #7 - Residential Investment Properties
Are They Right for You?
Bryan Chavis, property management expert and author of "Buy It, Rent It, Profit: Make Money as a Landlord in ANY Real Estate Market" talks to Mike about the financial side of owning and renting investment properties. As founder and teacher of The Landlord Academy, Chavis discusses how to build wealth through real estate investments, understanding the DNA of a property, the importance of understanding your credit, and much more.

Episode #6 - Buying a Home in Today's Economy
Insider tips and advice to help you get the right home at the right price!
Mike Tierney sits down with Ilona Bray, Author and Legal Editor at Nolo to discuss how you can find the right home at the right price in this sluggish real estate market. As co-author of Nolo's "Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home", Bray provides insightful and interesting facts about everything you'll need to select the right house, mortgage, agent, inspections and more.

Episode #5 - What is the True Cost of a College Education?
Find real answers on how best to prepare through smarter planning.
Melissa Hunt, VP of Client Relations and Education for Student Choice joins Mike to talk about the one BIG question that is on all parents minds: How much is college really going to cost? With more than 19 years of experience in the credit union industry, Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge to the subject. Her past experience has helped credit unions develop meaningful relationships with universities and families in their local communities. With the cost of college tuition rising 8% just this past year, Melissa offers options and tips on how to start saving for your child’s higher education and much more.  

Episode #4 - Teaching Your Kids About Money
Find out who's working to empower young people to thrive in a global marketplace. 
John Hancock, President of Junior Achievement (JA) for Oregon and SW Washington joins Mike to discuss how JA helps prepare young people for success in the global economy through entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Connected with over 176,000 classrooms JA has helped young people recognize how their talent and abilities can create better lives for themselves and those around them. Additionally, have you ever heard of JA BizTown? If you haven’t, you’ll want to listen. 

Episode #3 - Why Credit Unions are the Best Option for Small Business and Entrepreneurs.
How can we make the path easier for small business owners?
Rohit Arora, CEO and co-founder of and one of the country’s leading experts in small business finance joins Mike Tierney to talk about why small businesses are key to turning the economy around, how small business owners and potential entrepreneurs can get the financing ball rolling, and details on the current credit union legislation aiming to raise the business lending cap.

Episode #2 - Finding Time to Manage Your Finances.
Can you do it in a 30 minute lunch break?
Andrew Cecka and Tony Thiessen, Business Development Officers for Unitus Community Credit Union join Mike Tierney to talk about how to get started with managing your finances. Are you taking time out of your busy schedule to assess what’s going out and coming in from a budget standpoint? Find out how to get started, how to stay on top of it and what kind of tools are out there, plus much more.

Episode #1 - What is a Credit Union?
Find out why so many people are moving their money to Credit Unions.
Lynn Heider, Vice President, Public Relations and Communications for the Northwest Credit Union Association joins Mike Tierney to talk about not only what a Credit Union is, but also how credit unions differ from banks. Are you tired of paying fees to use an ATM? Find out exactly how large the Credit Union's CO-OP ATM network actually is. Plus much more.

Up Next!

Stay Tuned! 

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