Skip to main content
The Essential Podcast

The Essential Podcast

By Barko Financial
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.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Essential Book Review - Effortless
Effortless (by Greg McKeown) is the highly anticipated follow up to one of our most favorite books ever - Essentialism.  How does it compare?  Does it live up to the hype?  Check out this essential review.
October 21, 2021
5 Retirement Mistakes Business Owners Make
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?
July 30, 2021
8 Timeless Insights
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:
May 20, 2021
4 Weeks Without A Smart Phone
After nearly 4 weeks of eliminating the distractions (and convenience) of a Smart Phone, we check in with Matt for an update.
March 16, 2021
Eliminate Distractions And Unplug
Here's a great option to eliminate distractions an unplug, starting with your phone.
February 03, 2021
Our 6 Favorite Episodes
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.
December 08, 2020
Two Books To Consider
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 during this approaching holiday season and get ready for 2021.
November 11, 2020
Election Day Update
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 important to remember what affects markets in the long run.
November 03, 2020
A New (Essential?) Hobby To Try
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.
October 20, 2020
An Essential Fall Travel Destination
You need a vacation!  Here is our recommended destination for Fall 2020.  Hint: The mountains are calling...
October 06, 2020
Finding Focus In A Distracted World
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.
September 23, 2020
Do Presidential Elections Affect The Stock Market?
Even though Presidential Elections happen every four years, they often breed uncertainty or anxiety about the financial markets and other investment matters.  How should investors react to what may be a bitter campaign? Should investors fear either party winning the White House?  Is it best to sit on the sidelines until the dust settles?  On a short-term basis, election headlines have the power to move markets and create stock market volatility.  Here are the facts.
September 08, 2020
4 Essential Recipes
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.
August 25, 2020
Buying A Vacation Home
Here are 4 essential tips to consider before buying your vacation home.
August 11, 2020
Benefits Of Owning Pets
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.
July 28, 2020
Traveling During The Pandemic
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.
July 14, 2020
Happy 4th!
Here's a short message from Tommy as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our great country this weekend!
June 30, 2020
3 Ways To Feel In Control Now
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 a much needed sense of control.  
June 16, 2020
The Great Reset
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.
June 02, 2020
Should You Take A 401k Withdrawal?
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.  What are the details and what should you do?
May 19, 2020
Essential ID Theft Prevention Tips
Risk Management is Essential, and with 1 in 15 consumers falling victim to Identity Theft annually, we should be intentional to minimize our vulnerability.  Here are some helpful steps you can take now.
May 05, 2020
How To Get Things Right
Our brains are great at thinking and problem solving - not remembering.  That's why we find ourselves often feeling forgetful and frustrated, overlooking mundane, essential or even lifesaving details.  Want to know the solution?  We review a book that has the answer.
April 21, 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 Security” (“CARES”) Act.
April 07, 2020
Special Bulletin: Market Update
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.
March 13, 2020
Quotes & Clichés
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.
March 10, 2020
Things You Can't Control
Here are 4 key financial factors you can't control.  Be aware of them, and then let them go.
February 25, 2020
The FIRE Movement
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 this radical idea, also radically unrealistic?  Listen in for our perspective.
February 11, 2020
3 Keys To Make Your Habits Stick
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 8% of New Years Resolutions stick.  Here are 3 keys to help you stay focused or get back on track.
January 29, 2020
4 Essential Retirement Factors You Can Control
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 Factors you CAN control to help you move towards those retirement savings and planning goals.
January 14, 2020
5 Essential Tips To Take Better iPhone Photos
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.
December 18, 2019
6 Essential Tips For The Best Sleep Ever
Sleep.  It's awesome.  We discuss some little known benefits and give 6 tips to help you cultivate this hidden super power.
December 04, 2019
The Intentionally Thankful Thanksgiving
Be Intentionally Thankful this year with our "W5" goal setting process. In addition to enjoying family time, relaxing travel and great food, use this season to reflect and prepare for 2020.
November 19, 2019
Game Night Ideas and The Importance of Play
Recreation is Essential.  Prioritize and cultivate "play" for your family and friends with these suggestions.
November 05, 2019
3 Keys To Unlock Your Purpose
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.
October 22, 2019
Essential Vacationing with Kids or Grandkids
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 for making it a little easier.
October 08, 2019
A Day In The Life Of A Financial Advisor
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 difficult and most rewarding aspects of being an Advisor.
September 24, 2019
How To Add 10 Years To Your Life
The research is in —>  Optimistic people live longer!  Here are 4 tips to cultivate optimism in your life and make it happier and (hopefully) longer.
September 10, 2019
3 Essential Productivity Tips
Use these 3 Productivity Tips to remain focused and boost productivity in either your Personal or Professional Life.
August 27, 2019
7 Essential Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor
It’s important to ask the right questions before partnering with an advisor.  On this episode, we answer all 7 of the "Interview Questions" recommended by Dave Ramsey: What do you love about your job? What services do you provide clients? What is your investment philosophy? How will we communicate about my investments? How do you get paid? How will you measure and evaluate my investment performance? Can you tell me why the last two clients you lost stopped working with you?
August 13, 2019
Dangers of Emotional Investing
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 keep emotions in check and remain focused on your objectives.  Here is some timely perspective to help identify the essentials.
July 30, 2019
Essential Financial Planning Tools
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 for free because we believe everyone deserves access to them.  On this episode, we discuss three key features and explain how anyone can take control and start using them now.
July 17, 2019
Happy Independence Day!
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.
July 03, 2019
Travel, Without the Baggage.
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, like the long lines at security, other sources of stress, like dealing with luggage check-in and baggage claim, can be reduced.  If you think checking in luggage for your two-week vacation is inescapable, think again.  We discuss some ideas to help you get by with just a carry-on and by-pass the hassles (and fees) of checking in luggage.
June 18, 2019
Obsolete by 2025?
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 episode and consider the possibilities with us.
June 04, 2019
Essential Reading - 3 Books in 3 Weeks
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 Newport, and Laura Vanderkam.
May 21, 2019
What About Dave Ramsey??
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?  Have a listen.
May 06, 2019
Essential Travel Destinations 2.0
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 List."
April 23, 2019
Slavery Still Exists Today - EyeHeartWorld
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 to join the movement.  Eye Heart World is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and has roots and resources right here on the Gulf Coast. 
April 10, 2019
4 Steps To Build Your Personal Legacy
Use this four-step framework to build your personal legacy.
March 26, 2019
When Is The Next Recession?
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 questions and more: What is a Recession? What are the 5 key Recession indicators to watch? How close is the next Recession? When will it occur?
March 13, 2019
Is Recreation Essential?
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.
February 27, 2019
Living Work-Optional
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.
February 12, 2019
4 Tips For Family Time
Make time for those that matter with these four tips on essentializing family time.
January 30, 2019
Season 2 Kick Off!
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.
January 16, 2019
Jumpstart Your Goals in 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 goals this year, and finally make those New Year's Resolutions a reality.
January 02, 2019
Merry Christmas!
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!
December 19, 2018
An Essential Christmas
Merry Christmas! On this episode we discuss how to tune out the noise and have an Essential Christmas. 'Tis the season!
December 05, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving!
Wishing all of our Podcast friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for you!
November 21, 2018
Gratitude and Goals
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 are and what we have accomplished.
November 06, 2018
Two Essential Travel Destinations
Here are two places in the U.S. you should add to your bucket list!
October 23, 2018
Essential Phone Apps
On this episode we discuss 5 of our favorite phone apps.
October 09, 2018
Essential Health Tips
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!
September 26, 2018
Emotional Investing
We discuss the perils of investing with your emotions.
September 12, 2018
Essential Travel Tips
We discuss the Essential items that we always take with us when we travel.
August 28, 2018
Why Process Matters
We unpack the importance of having a process to accomplish your Essential goals around Family, Occupation, and Recreation.
August 14, 2018
The Essential Planning Approach
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.
July 31, 2018
Essentialism 2.0
We revisit and further unpack Essentialism. This time we discuss how it can improve your personal life.
July 17, 2018
Happy Fourth of July!
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
July 03, 2018
Four Hidden Budget Items
Don't forget about these items in your budget!
June 19, 2018
Critical Financial Events
We unpack what Critical Financial Events are and how they can impact your financial future.
June 06, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
We answer those questions we regularly receive from our clients. Ask your questions at
May 23, 2018
Bank Card Fraud
Have you ever found fraudulent charges on your bank card? We did, $508 actually, this episodes outlines a process to dispute them and essential habits to monitoring your accounts.
May 06, 2018
Mother's Day Gift Ideas
Tommy and Matt discuss gift ideas for the special ladies in your life!
April 23, 2018
Spring Cleaning
Six must-do spring cleaning items!
April 08, 2018
Tommy and Matt discuss what Essentialism is and how it can impact your life.
April 08, 2018
Who We Are
An introduction to Barko Financial.
April 08, 2018