Cover art for podcast The Essential Podcast

The Essential Podcast

78 EpisodesProduced by Barko FinancialWebsite

Detach from the constant noise of the financial world and focus on what's Essential - family, purpose, and recreation. Tommy discusses financial and life strategies you can use to essentialize your life.

78 Episodes | 2018 - 2022

Essential Travel: National Parks and Exploring Nature

July 14th, 2022


Finding time to experience nature can be one of the greatest pleasures both before and during retirement.  Here is some highlights, tips and inspiration from our time visiting 15 of our great National Parks.

Recession, Correction or Bear Market?

May 23rd, 2022


Recession or Bear Market? 2022 is shaping up to be one of the worst starts ever for the markets.  Here are our thoughts on where we are, what's ahead and 3 really great reasons to Invest anyway.

Essential Book Review - Effortless

October 21st, 2021


Effortless (by Greg McKeown) is the highly anticipated follow up to one of our most favorite books ever - Essentialism.  How does it compare?  Does …

5 Retirement Mistakes Business Owners Make

July 30th, 2021


Small-business owners spend so much time and energy building their company that they often neglect their personal financial future.  Are you making any of these 5 retirement planning mistakes?

8 Timeless Insights

May 20th, 2021


Financial planning doesn't have to be overwhelming.  On this episode we discuss a simplified framework built with 8 Timeless Investing Insights.  Grab the free eBook:

4 Weeks Without A Smart Phone

March 16th, 2021


After nearly 4 weeks of eliminating the distractions (and convenience) of a Smart Phone, we check in with Matt for an update.

Eliminate Distractions And Unplug

February 3rd, 2021


Here's a great option to eliminate distractions an unplug, starting with your phone.

Our 6 Favorite Episodes

December 8th, 2020


The Essential Podcast is 3 years old!  We end the year with a look back at some of our favorite episodes.  Join us for this stroll down memory lane.

Two Books To Consider

November 11th, 2020


It's time for another book review (or two).  On this episode, we discuss two books that deserve a spot on your reading list.  Grab one to enjoy …

Election Day Update

November 3rd, 2020


Who wins?  When will we find out?  And how will the markets react?   While our votes should reflect our personal beliefs and preferences, it's …

A New (Essential?) Hobby To Try

October 20th, 2020


Matt's new hobby is one to consider.  Recreation is Essential and a hobby is a great way to manage stress while having fun.  Here's one anyone can try.

An Essential Fall Travel Destination

October 6th, 2020


You need a vacation!  Here is our recommended destination for Fall 2020.  Hint: The mountains are calling...

Finding Focus In A Distracted World

September 23rd, 2020


The world is noisy, filled with intense distractions and almost endless road blocks to our ability to focus.  With so many things competing for our attention, these 4 tips will help.

Do Presidential Elections Affect The Stock Market?

September 8th, 2020


Even though Presidential Elections happen every four years, they often breed uncertainty or anxiety about the financial markets and other investment …

4 Essential Recipes

August 25th, 2020


Whether spending an evening out by the grill or smoker, or serving a perfect steak cooked indoors, here are 4 essential recipes to finish the Summer strong and kick off your Fall gatherings with delicious ease.

Buying A Vacation Home

August 11th, 2020


Here are 4 essential tips to consider before buying your vacation home.

Benefits Of Owning Pets

July 28th, 2020


What else is new for 2020?  A national pet shortage.  True story!  Here are some things to consider when adding a furry friend to your family.

Traveling During The Pandemic

July 14th, 2020


Tommy talks about traveling during the pandemic and provides tips and insights from a recent road trip that covered 3 states and 5 different hotels.

Happy 4th!

June 30th, 2020


Here's a short message from Tommy as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our great country this weekend!

3 Ways To Feel In Control Now

June 16th, 2020


If you've felt confused or anxious as a result of recent events, here is an action plan you can follow to regain focus, boost confidence and provide …

The Great Reset

June 2nd, 2020


Life as we all knew it came to an abrupt halt.  As things begin to return to "normal", consider the perspective to view this "Great Reset" as an opportunity to live a more intentional and essential life.

Should You Take A 401k Withdrawal?

May 19th, 2020


The CAREs Act has provided some options to access 401k and other retirement accounts in the face of historic unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic.  …

Essential ID Theft Prevention Tips

May 5th, 2020


Risk Management is Essential, and with 1 in 15 consumers falling victim to Identity Theft annually, we should be intentional to minimize our …

How To Get Things Right

April 21st, 2020


Our brains are great at thinking and problem solving - not remembering.  That's why we find ourselves often feeling forgetful and frustrated, …


April 7th, 2020


Here is what you need to know about the COVID-19 stimulus bill.  We discuss key provisions of the $2 trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic …

Special Bulletin: Market Update

March 13th, 2020


On this special edition of The Essential Podcast, we cover what you need to know about the stock market moves and the recent panic.  Listen in for our perspective.

Quotes & Clichés

March 10th, 2020


We take a time out to share and discuss some of our favorite quotes and clichés.  Have a listen and if you have a favorite, we'd love to hear it.

Things You Can't Control

February 25th, 2020


Here are 4 key financial factors you can't control.  Be aware of them, and then let them go.

The FIRE Movement

February 11th, 2020


Retire (well) before 50 and live your best life!

This is the message of the FIRE Movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early), which is drawing interest worldwide.  Is it really possible to retire so young?  Or is …

3 Keys To Make Your Habits Stick

January 29th, 2020


The New Year can be a great time to reset, establish new goals and create good habits. Are you still on track?  Recent research indicates that only …

4 Essential Retirement Factors You Can Control

January 14th, 2020


Everyone needs clear retirement goals, but it’s just as important to focus on the actions that will get you to those goals.  Here are 4 Essential …

5 Essential Tips To Take Better iPhone Photos

December 18th, 2019


Here are 5 easy pro tips to take better photos with your phone from a very special guest, who happens to be a Professional Photographer.

6 Essential Tips For The Best Sleep Ever

December 4th, 2019


Sleep.  It's awesome.  We discuss some little known benefits and give 6 tips to help you cultivate this hidden super power.

The Intentionally Thankful Thanksgiving

November 19th, 2019


Be Intentionally Thankful this year with our "W5" goal setting process. In addition to enjoying family time, relaxing travel and great food, use this …

Game Night Ideas and The Importance of Play

November 5th, 2019


Recreation is Essential.  Prioritize and cultivate "play" for your family and friends with these suggestions.

3 Keys To Unlock Your Purpose

October 22nd, 2019


No matter your current season of life, we should all be striving to clarify our purpose.  Here are 3 keys to help unlock and identify yours.

Essential Vacationing with Kids or Grandkids

October 8th, 2019


Kids vacationing with grandparents can be a win-win.  The benefits are far reaching for everyone involved, and on this episode, we discuss some tips …

A Day In The Life Of A Financial Advisor

September 24th, 2019


Ever wonder what we do all day?  Hint: It's not like the movies.

We reveal a little of the day to day at Barko Financial and discuss the most …

How To Add 10 Years To Your Life

September 10th, 2019


The research is in —>  Optimistic people live longer!  Here are 4 tips to cultivate optimism in your life and make it happier and (hopefully) …

3 Essential Productivity Tips

August 27th, 2019


Use these 3 Productivity Tips to remain focused and boost productivity in either your Personal or Professional Life.

7 Essential Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

August 13th, 2019


It’s important to ask the right questions before partnering with an advisor.  On this episode, we answer all 7 of the "Interview Questions" …

Dangers of Emotional Investing

July 30th, 2019


The Dow recently set (another) record, closing at 27,359.16.  Curious what should you do?  With the market's near all-time highs, it's crucial to …

Essential Financial Planning Tools

July 17th, 2019


There are some basic aspects of financial life that everyone should have a good handle on.  We've made some of our powerful financial tools available …

Happy Independence Day!

July 3rd, 2019


Wishing you a fun and safe 4th of July!  Here are a few fun facts about the holiday just in time for conversations at the family BBQ.

Travel, Without the Baggage.

June 18th, 2019


Traveling this summer?  Here are 5 tips to help you get by with just a carry-on.  

Air travel is stressful.  While some stress may be unavoidable, …

Obsolete by 2025?

June 4th, 2019


Technology is moving fast and likely won't slow down.  We consider a few everyday things that could be on the way to obsolescence.  Join in for this …

Essential Reading - 3 Books in 3 Weeks

May 21st, 2019


Tommy read 3 really good (dare we say essential) books in 3 weeks and discusses the highlights and how they were indirectly connected.  Tune in for our first Essential Reading book review!  Authors: James Clear, Cal …

What About Dave Ramsey??

May 6th, 2019


We get a lot of financial questions.  A lot.  One of the most frequent questions is something like "what do we think about Dave Ramsey" and "do you agree with his financial philosophies?"  Want to know where we stand? …

Essential Travel Destinations 2.0

April 23rd, 2019


Summer is almost here and for many folks, that means V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.  Here are two destinations to consider now and to definitely put on your "Life …

Slavery Still Exists Today - EyeHeartWorld

April 10th, 2019


Slavery still exists today.  In this episode, our chat with Brian Russo, the founder and Executive Director of EHW, is both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Listen to learn the vision of EHW and then visit

4 Steps To Build Your Personal Legacy

March 26th, 2019


Use this four-step framework to build your personal legacy.

When Is The Next Recession?

March 13th, 2019


A common question in the current economic environment, and for good reason.  The causes of Recessions are often complicated, and they can be misunderstood and sometimes downright scary.

In this episode we answer these …

Is Recreation Essential?

February 27th, 2019


What is recreation?  Is it really essential?  We answer these questions and provide some tips on how to create a "life list" and protect our ability to play.

Living Work-Optional

February 12th, 2019


A Work-Optional Lifestyle is more than a mindset.  We explain what it is and how you can identify and achieve (or maintain) the Work-Optional Lifestyle you aspire to.

4 Tips For Family Time

January 30th, 2019


Make time for those that matter with these four tips on essentializing family time.

Season 2 Kick Off!

January 16th, 2019


Season 2 is here!  We're pumped for what's in store for 2019 and this season of the show.  Preview what to expect as you edit your life, filter out the noise and focus on the Essentials - Family, Purpose, and Recreation.

Jumpstart Your Goals in 2019

January 2nd, 2019


Happy New Year!  The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.  Use our Essential Planning Approach to help you identify and achieve your …

Merry Christmas!

December 19th, 2018


Merry Christmas from all of us at Barko Financial! Wishing you and your family all the joy of the season as we celebrate the greatest gift of all - Jesus!

An Essential Christmas

December 5th, 2018


Merry Christmas! On this episode we discuss how to tune out the noise and have an Essential Christmas. 'Tis the season!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21st, 2018


Wishing all of our Podcast friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for you!

Gratitude and Goals

November 6th, 2018


Do you have gratitude for today, ambition for tomorrow? Our "W5" goal setting process can help, and it all begins with being grateful for where we …

Two Essential Travel Destinations

October 23rd, 2018


Here are two places in the U.S. you should add to your bucket list!

Essential Phone Apps

October 9th, 2018


On this episode we discuss 5 of our favorite phone apps.

Essential Health Tips

September 26th, 2018


Do you ever find yourself in the middle of the year wondering how you missed your health goals? If so, this episode is for you! We discuss tactics to reach a healthier lifestyle which is an Essential activity!

Emotional Investing

September 12th, 2018


We discuss the perils of investing with your emotions.

Essential Travel Tips

August 28th, 2018


We discuss the Essential items that we always take with us when we travel.

Why Process Matters

August 14th, 2018


We unpack the importance of having a process to accomplish your Essential goals around Family, Occupation, and Recreation.

The Essential Planning Approach

July 31st, 2018


We spend more time planning for our vacations than we do our future. Our latest podcast episode discusses a quick fix to uncovering your future career, financial and family life goals.

Essentialism 2.0

July 17th, 2018


We revisit and further unpack Essentialism. This time we discuss how it can improve your personal life.

Happy Fourth of July!

July 3rd, 2018


Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Four Hidden Budget Items

June 19th, 2018


Don't forget about these items in your budget!

Critical Financial Events

June 6th, 2018


We unpack what Critical Financial Events are and how they can impact your financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions

May 23rd, 2018


We answer those questions we regularly receive from our clients. Ask your questions at

Bank Card Fraud

May 6th, 2018


Have you ever found fraudulent charges on your bank card? We did, $508 actually, this episodes outlines a process to dispute them and essential …

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

April 23rd, 2018


Tommy and Matt discuss gift ideas for the special ladies in your life!

Spring Cleaning

April 8th, 2018


Six must-do spring cleaning items!


April 8th, 2018


Tommy and Matt discuss what Essentialism is and how it can impact your life.

Who We Are

April 8th, 2018


An introduction to Barko Financial.

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