Six Questions About Money: An Interview With Professor Jim Munchbach

Jim MunchbachWelcome to Six Questions! In this feature we ask different people from various walks of life the same six questions. I expect that each person will bring something unique to a standard set of questions. Today’s guest is Jim Munchbach. I’ll let Jim introduce himself momentarily.

As you read through this Six Questions interview and all the previous interviews, I hope your thinking is sparked. That as you hear  new and different perspectives you will be prodded to think about your own relationship to money.  The views of our guest do not  necessarily  reflect the views of Pocket Your or its staff, but are a springboard for thought and respectful discussion.

If you’d like to be featured in a Six Questions column, email me to express interest.

Now to Jim…

Introduce yourself in 75 words or less

I live in Friendswood, Texas – between Houston and Galveston. I love my wife and tolerate our dog, Hershey. I’ve been a State Farm agent in Houston for 15 years. I was the first and only agent in Houston to become a Certified Financial Planner.
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I teach personal finance at the University of Houston and I love to help people manage the risk of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their life purpose.

What money issue are you dealing with in your life right now

I’m trying to get a divorce from my love of money. I’m afraid I’m overly attached. (PocketYourDollars here: I appreciate this kind of transparency)  

One thing you learned about money while growing up that has stuck with you into adulthood

Money – making money – is easy. All it takes is a lot of hard work and commitment. Do what you say you’ll do. Become good at doing stuff that people pay money for.

It’s just as much trouble to get good at a low paying job as it is to get good at a higher paying career. Either way, you gotta show up ready to work.
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If you’re smart enough to work for people who can afford to pay you to help them make more money (or save more money) for their business – you’ll get paid. The more value you add, the more you get paid.

It’s that simple. Dad made me learn that by age 9.

One thing you didn’t learn at home about money, but wish you had

When you fall in love with money there is always hell to pay. No matter how much you have – once you start to love it – you’ll never have enough. (Carrie: this reminds me of the first attitude change my husband and I had when we were getting out of debt. We quit saying “If only I had more money”.


Name your favorite money tool, resource or book?

I’d say the Bible. New Testament. The teachings of Jesus Christ. Or, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. But, in saying that I’m always afraid people will think I’m a Christian.
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Then, I feel like I have a lot to lose when my bad habits show up. So, instead I always tell my students The Millionaire Next Door.  The Millionaire Next Door helped me fall in love with the idea of being one. (PocketYourDollars here: I also named Millionaire Next Door as my favorite money book.)

What’s one piece of money advice you wish every American would follow?

The First Law of Personal Finance: Spend less than you earn and save more for what matters most.

If you’d like to hear more from Jim you can listen to his iMakeYourMoneyCount podcasts  or watch his videos on Vimeo.  Find him on Twitter at  @JimMunchmach  or tag him there with #MunchMac or he’s on LinkedIn.


It’s PocketYourDollars again wondering how you can relate to these six answers to our six questions.