If you don’t already know this simple hack then you could be paying more than you need to for your Starbucks visits and get free internet anywhere in the world there are starbucks locations.
It’s a simple fact that all of us have cravings and short comings, but it needn’t put a financial dent in your budgeting. After you begin implementing this simple trick you too could pocket as much as $10,000 over the lifetime of your Starbucks visits.
Just the other day I was waiting in line at my local Starbucks and when I got up to the counter to place my order the gal that normally takes my order asked me what I wanted. I proceeded to tell her the usual, iced coffee, small, black, no sugar or cream.
Then she looks at me and says “do you have he Starbucks app?”
I looked at her confused thinking to myself “why the hell would I want to get spammed?”
That’s when she told me the magic words. “You can get a free refill when you scan the app”
FREE. RE-FILLs? WhaaaaaaaT?
Wait, you’re telling me that just by downloading your silly app I can get free coffee? Just for coming and blowing up your wifi, taking up a seat, and pissing in your bathroom WAY too many times every day?
Holy shit! That’s Freaking awesome!
And for anyone who doesn’t understand the gravity of this situation consider this.
Home internet costs: $46 a month
Co-working space costs: $1000 + a month
Coffee (smallest itty bitty cup): $2.65 a freakin’ cup
So simply buying a cup of coffee 20 x a month (or once a day) it will cost you $53 a month (that’s basically my internet bill – or what it was) and I get a membership anywhere in the world !!! Booyah!!! (Thank you Starbucks 26,000+ locations)
Ok and if you’re still not convinced to give up one of the fake emails you use for access if you simply get 2 cold brew coffees a day per visit, and you go daily to Starbucks, and assuming that you live for at least another 55 years, then you could stand to save $10,840 and I’ll show you how.
$2.65 for the first cup, then every cup after is free.
Refills cost $0.54
If I bought a cup every day for the next 55 years that would be $0.54 x 1 x 365 x 55 = $10,840.50
If my normal internet costs would be $46 a month, I’m basically paying $7 a month for a global internet/coffee pass that I can get anywhere in the world and I can “cancel” at any time.
Pretty freaking sweet huh?
Right now I’m writing this from good Ol’ Kerrville Tex-ass. That’s right folks. Travel anywhere there is civilization and you have a global 1GBps internet pass and coffee for just about $50 bucks a month.
Hope this helps you guys, if you got value from this post please take a moment to share it with your friends and family on social.
I got asked the question the other day on Quora “Should I move out of my parents house? or stay at home and save money?” I answered this on quora but I thought that it deserves a video because this is on the tip of everyone’s mind lately.
Only in “Western” countries do we find living at home after the age of 21 strange. In Asian and Latin countries people live at home up until they get married, and even at that point they may choose to live with their parents or have their parents move back in to be able to better take care of their elderly.
This is a sign of a strong communal focus, something that western countries seem to be lacking more and more these days.
So if you are a millennial living at home with your parents or you are just getting out of college and you have student loan debt, check out what I have to say here because this applies directly to you.
A lot of people ask me how I paid off $33,555 of debt in less than 3 years and what I could make the biggest difference for them in terms of their bottom line. Knowing how to buy a decent used car and save money on what you should be saving money on is one of the fastest ways to put money back in your pocket. If you haven’t already read the post I wrote about how my girlfriend and I sold our over priced cars to get out of debt and get a better ride then check out: How My Girlfriend and I sold Both of Our Cars and Pocketed $13,800 Cash In Under One Hour…
If you value your freedom, and dislike having to make payments on things, then you are going to like what I have to say here. On the otherhand, if you enjoy overpaying for luxuries which depreciate in value over time and cost you a bunch of money, and your dreams, then you should probably stop reading now.
So, when buying a used car, there are a couple of guidelines that I recommend.
1. Firstly, Detach Emotion From the Car Buying Process:
You are buying a tool, and not a toy. If you want a fancy toy go buy a motorcycle, it will cost less to maintain and be more fun to ride. I don’t care how shiny the hammer is all I care about is does it hit nails well?
A car is good for one thing: getting you safely and quickly from point A to point B. All the other fluff that goes into cars is designed to sell you. Yes, driving fast cars is fun, but that is not what a commuter car is designed for. I’m all for driving fast on the track but that’s what a day at COTA is for, and that would probably cost more than my whole car…
2. Know Before You Go: Do Your Research Upfront and Know if a Car Has an Issue with the History
Research your cars before you show up.
Ask for the vin and check it with a service like Carfax or Vincheckpro (less expensive but checks all the major databases just like carfax).
Check the profile: if the car that is being sold is shot with the same angle or with the same background then you are probably being sold to by a “dealer” or even worse… a junk reseller…
Like this one:
Ask the seller if it’s “Original Paint” – last thing you want to do is spend all that time driving out to see this ‘great car’ and come to find that it was totaled or busted up real bad and then replaced with non-original manufactured parts grabbed from a scrap yard, then “affixed” somehow to the frame…
3. Ask Your Mechanic: Do you know a Grease Monkey?
If you don’t have a personal mechanic that you trust, that knows you by your first name and you know at least a little about their personal life, then ask your friends who they use. If they tell you one of the national tire brands then ask the next freind till you find a mom and pop you can trust. Worst case scenario you can just drive it over to one of the big boys and /or meet the seller there to get it looked at. You aren’t going to be paying for repairs but you want to get it looked at by a mechanic that can give it a once over for any major problems like transmission or motor issues.
4. Made in Asia is a good thing:
Not all asian countries are alike. Japan and China are not at all culturally alike, yet they tend to be all roped into the same category. One thing that differentiates them entirely is something called TQM (Toyota Quality Managment). TQM, right after WWII, was implimented in Japan and resulted in the smaller companies like Toyota and Honda eventually being able to compete with the major western manufacturers like Ford Motors, GM and Crystler.
Because Toyota focused on designing the car Right and not just FAST, it resulted in huge savings of time and money on the back end (in recalls, law suites, and disatisfied customers). What this means, is that you get a better car, which lasts longer and needs less mechanical maintenance = save more money.
5. Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks: Shop like you’re a Grandma
A mid sized sedan, 4 door, 4 cyclinders, and with under 100k miles will have lower insurance and maintenance costs. If you can shop like your 70 year old grandma would then you will live like warrent buffet does some day. Wealthy and never needing to work a day longer in your life but choosing to do so out of pleasure rather than to just pay the bills.
6. Check your car’s Value Using Kelly Blue Book:
Working at a Motorcycle dealership we used a system of checking bikes for resell when we wanted to know how much a customer was losing his or her respective shirt.
nadabikes.com is what we used to estimate the value of a used bike and what we (as a dealer) should pay for it in order to make a decent profit (*cough* gauge them *cough*), but it was basically the KBB of the bike world.
Brian, the guy who I worked with, had been there for about 7 years. He told me about the mileage estimation that KBB uses to base their values on and it’s right around 9,000 – 10,000 miles a year for used cars. So a 10 year old car should have right around 90,000 miles in order to be considered good condition. An 11 year old car, 100,000 miles and so on. (1)
So If you shop for a car that is under 100k and is 10 years old you will see values right around the KBB values on their site. Which means that you can estimate, based on how far you drive daily, how many miles you will put on your car in a give 6 months and estimate the rough resell value should you choose to sell that car and get a new one.
This means that you now know the before and after price estimates based on our criteria.
1 – original paint
2- 10 years or older
3 – under 100k miles
4 – Japanese manufacturer
5 – Less than $4,000
7. Ways to shop: Craigslist / Facebook Market Place / Local Used Dealers / Asking friends
If you are looking to save absolutely as much money as possible, and are in no rush to buy a car, AND you are to put in the work to go hunting for deals then craigslist is a great place to shop for your next used car. Just know that you will want to be extra thruough about checking your cars and bring a friend who works on cars and/or is actually a mechanic. Craigslist is not for the faint of heart…
What you may find may shock you, but avoid calling on folks that don’t have pictures, or that have pictures that look like what you saw in another picture. Dealers sell multiple cars, distressed sellers sell A car. Buy from distressed sellers, not junk dealers.
Facebook Market Place:
A growing place to shop locally, kind of like a step up from craigslist. People can see (for the most part) your network and see if they know someone you know. In a way its better than craigslist because there is some social pressure to not lie or cheat people; however, keep in mind there are hundreds of thousands of fake profiles out there just floating around from spammers and scam bots… so be careful.
If you see a car for sale, click on the sellers face icon in that post and it will show what else they are selling. If you notice that they have more than 2 cars, then they may be a junk dealer and I would advise to just simply avoid them.
Local Dealers: Calling around to get a better deal
I prefer this method because this is the only method where reputation becomes an important factor. Car dealers, though they are known to try and scam you, will not sell a damaged car if they are a respectible name in the market place.
I’m not talking about the folks that buy a house and put a bunch of junk cars in their front yard and sell cars on craigslist. I’m talking about the folks that go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to get commercially zoned as a dealership, are located right next to a Walmart shopping center, and who actually pay for advertising on the radio still. Those jokers.
If you are not in a rush for your next car then you can shop around with the local big fish used car dealers to try and score a deal last minute.
Here’s what you do: run a quick search for local deallerships to see what used inventory they may have available. Cars you find which meet the following criteria:
1 – original paint
2- 10 years or older
3 – under 100k miles
4 – Japanese manufacturer
5 – Less than $4,000
If you find a car that meets this criteria you can go ahead and call the local dealership and ask them what they have available. If they tell you anything but the one you found then hang up.
Dealers are trying to get rid of inventory at the end of the month and cannot make a profit on a car that is sitting there and not selling. Dealers will try and buy undervalued cars that folks don’t want and then resell for a mark only if they think it will sell based on national sales data of similar vehicles in similar conditions (aka KBB).
You have the advantage of not keeping inventory and not needing to buy the car, thus you can walk away if things get too heated or you feel you are under too much pressure from the salesman. Don’t think that you have to take there deal, because you don’t you can walk.
Ask your Friends:
Lastly, and this is a good option for most, ask friends through your network who may be selling their car. Chances are, you know someone that is moving, doesn’t need the car, or just want’s to sell it to get a new car. If this is the case, and it meets the above criteria, and your mechanic checks it out and it looks good then go ahead and buy it. Just make sure that you transfer the title to your name using your local DMV as a resource to make sure you have all the right forms.
Always check the VIN for the history report.
You can use these free online tools to get the gist of the history of the car:
National Insurance Crime Buero – NICB’s VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies.
Vehicle History Report – VehicleHistory.com provides you access to information from public databases on the vehicles history.
Once you’ve checked those resources, if you’re interested in getting more data that helps to ensure you are investing in a reliable used vehicle and not a lemon, check out Autochecker.com or Carfax.com reliable data backed by Experian and other big data.
To Wrap Things Up:
Once you find a keeper it can take only a couple of minutes to get the car transfered to your name (assuming that you have cash and the seller is willing to part that day with their vehicle).
If you are able to find a car right at 100,000 miles or under, between 10 and 12 years, with original paint for under $4,000 then you are right in the money spot.
Chances are, as long as you’ve followed the other steps, you will be able to use this car for a good 20,000 more miles before needing to sell it for a new one and since most Japanese cars retain their value fairly well it’s a pretty good guess that you will either be using this car for “free” or even make a small profit on it.
If you found this interesting or useful in your car search please click the share button and leave a comment below with any questions you have.
If you are still struggling to pay your rent, or to build your savings up to $1000 dollars in your emergency fund, then you know, every little bit helps.
I personally know folks that spend over $500 a week on groceries and more than that on eating out. When you’re making 6 figures a year that’s not a big chunk of your income but it’s still significant…
Either way, wouldn’t you rather eat really well AND save a ton of money on your grocery and food costs each month so that you can invest it or go spend it on your next travel adventure? I mean imagine saving an extra $500, $1000, or $1500 a month (if you were spending $2k before on dining and eating out), that would be $6,000, $12,000 and $18,000 respectively.
So no matter where you are, using these simple tips can help you save more at the grocery store and effectively eat out less.
1. Make a List Before You Leave for the Grocery Store
This alone with save you time and money should you choose to employ it.
What he finds is that they have a series of habits they employe to save time, save money, lower capital risk and to enjoy more life. It’s a strangely interesting read and I highly recommend it, but even if you don’t get the book take this one nuggets of wisdom.
Make a list before you go shopping. Not only will you save yourself years, yes years, shopping but you will also spend less as you will be more conscious of your core needs and begin to recognize your expenses for what they are, needs vs. wants.
IF you were to save an extra half hour each week shopping, and you lived an average lifetime of 80 years, assuming you started this habit when you were 20, you could stand to see an extra 65 days added back to your life just by making a list and shopping from that list. Not to mention the cost savings of not buying things you either already have or actually don’t need…
2. Eat Before you Go To The Store and Go Out:
Early on in my Debt repayment period, I learned that if I ate before going to the grocery store that I would be able to shop for longer, and without getting hungry, thus spending less money.
This isn’t just true for shopping for food, this goes for shopping in general.
If you are hungry, you will buy more, there is even some science that shows this is the case in multiple studies conducted about buying behavior and hunger.
3. If you are Going to Drink Coffee, Brew it at Home
The average cup of coffee runs right about $4 a cup, depending on which city you live in and whether or not you subscribe to snob mentality or bum mentality (high society coffee vs. anything that’s black and taste like coffee will do…).
This being said, if you’re day starts off with a $4 cup of joe then right there you are looking at an expense of right around $120 a month. If you are paying $7 a cup then you are looking at $220 a month and so on.
4. Stop Buying Organic
First of all, organic is a joke.
Secondly, by not buying organic you will not only be saving money, you will also be not supporting an asinign industry where the process is designed to charge you more money for a premium version of an inexpensive product to produce.
Why should we need to pay premium prices for fruits and vegetables? Shouldn’t the healthy stuff be the least expensive since fruits and vegetables have some of the highest yield in agriculture (in terms of calories and nutrition out per resource put in – certainly a lot higher than animal agriculture).
The answer? Corporate greed.
Organic only means that the people selling this product will charge you more for the food than the other stuff.
Also, eating organic food doesn’t guarantee that you will get healthier.
If you can’t go to the farm and find out what pesticides they are using then I wouldn’t expect the organic product to be any safer than the non-organic product next to it.
Here’s a pretty in depth, and well researched, article explaining some of the common misconceptions about organic agriculture and why people perceive it to be safer than non-organic products.
The big take aways are that (1) organic and non-organic crops have similar nutritional values (2) there are synthetic chemicals allowed in organic agriculture (3) People perceive synthetic chemicals as more toxic when in reality naturally occurring compounds can have an even greater toxicity.
So what is the solution? The solution is to just shop in season, shop locally when possible, get to know your neighborhood farms, and start to learn how to grow your own crops like John Kohler from growingyourgreens.com does.
Another reason I don’t shop organic just for the sake of organic, there is a “certification and application process” which can cost as much as $1200…
If there is a $200 non refundable application fee, and the cost to get certified is around $1000 dollars, depending on your state… then you should be able to CHARGE more for your food right? Wrong.
Why would we charge $1200 for farms to produce a “healthier food” when in reality the information is available for free on the internet and the food supply would benefit from becoming this (if it was truly better?).
Oh that’s right, because of mega corporations like Monsanto who want to own the food supply.
Why is this the defacto mentality?
Why don’t we just make a free organic certification course allowing anyone who wants to learn to organic farm? Ah because in a free market competition is key and it helps the consumer get better deals…
Bull. It hurts the farmers, it hurts the consumer, it hurts everyone but the corporations. So why don’t we just buy local and skip the big guys?
5. Meal Prep your food for the week
If you do breakfast at home and lunch and dinner on the go then you are probably looking at another $12-25 a meal for lunch, depending on how fancy you go, and another $20+ for dinner.
One of my friends told me there isn’t a day that goes by he doesn’t spend at least $50… $50 a day of food?
That’s over $1500 a month minimum that you are forking out for stuff that you could make at home for less AND make it healthier.
That’s a whoppin’ $18,000 that could be going into your savings each month if you choose to give up a little bit of the excess.
On average my girlfriend and I spend about $1.25 to make a meal that we do in batches.
Depending on which part of the country you live in you could be looking at more or less, but still your cost will probably be around 15% of the cost of a restaurant meal.
Well you have to look at all the costs involved with that restaurant meal,
Labor – a good 33% of the food cost is the people making it
Materials – 15-20% of the food cost is the raw materials (usually its on the lower end and can be lower depending on the restaurants buying power).
Overhead – Let’s say 20-40% depending on the location (it can be much more or much less depending on if we are talking about food trucks vs. 5 star michelan restaurants, but this number is just an example of what you could possibly be paying).
Margin or Profit – Usually no more than <15% for restaurants. Yes, you are paying for someone to profit, the owner of the business is going to get paid for the service because they provided the capital to start the business, they train the employees, they negotiate the food deals, and they do all of the setup work to make this possible to eat at this location. If you want food to eat but you didn’t pack your lunch or you want to entertain clients then you are going to get to use this persons establishment to gain food in exchange for money that they earned. If you don’t think it’s fair, then buy your own meals and pack your lunch.
If you make your meals 6 days a week and then go out to eat on that 7th day that is fine! You will still be saving roughly 75% of your former food costs… And if you couple this with meal prep and productive shopping you could be adding a whole lot to your bottom line savings and debt repayment plan.
6. Have a Cooking Party at Your Place to Boost Your Savings
What about entertaining friends Kristian?!
Guess what, rich people have dinner parties too… You can invite friends over for Dinner and cook some of the new awesome meals you’ve learned how to make from pinterest…just kidding.
But this does two things,
(1) it lets you learn to cook, men, this is attractive to women. Seriously though there are a million ideas on food prep on pinterest and my girlfriend gets all her ideas from that site.
And (2) it saves you money but still gives you the social aspect that you are craving.
You want to spend time with friends and enjoy time together, then cook a simple meal and invite your friends over for a potluck once a week, every 2 weeks or even just once a month.
I see people of the Hispanic community here in Texas do it all the time, why? Because it’s part of their culture to spend time with friends and family, but it’s only part of American culture to spend excessively…
They are able to have the same amount of fun only without having to pay the 85% more for food and labor costs of going out.
So am I saying that you can’t go out to eat ever? No I’m not saying that, but what I am saying is that if you are struggling to get out of debt it doesn’t make much sense to go out and spend 70-85% more on food than you need to…
So save your money, learn to cook, learn to meal prep, shop when full, brew your coffee at home, buy local but don’t stress about organic, and enjoy life a little. It’s not a race to a Million dollars like some folks want you to think it is, it’s about enjoying life and spending it with the people that you enjoy being around the most.
If you have to grind your life away to make a million bucks only to be left wondering where your health went, did you really “win”? I don’t think so.
What do you think? Is money the most important thing? Do you employ any of these tactics to save money? Have you used these to help get out of debt?
Let me know what you think in the comments below and be sure to share this with your friends and family and stay tuned for next week.
Money can’t buy you Happiness, but it can buy you time.
Money won’t buy you friends, but it will buy you a home.
Money won’t fight your battles but it will lessen the blow.
Money isn’t what’s important in life, it’s what you do with the money that counts.
What can Money Buy You?
If you’ve ever heard the old addage “money won’t buy you happiness” you were probably talking to someone broke living off a credit card, who paid their last vacation with their amex…
The truth is, it does buy you happiness, even if it is fleeting happiness.
It also buys you stability and growth
It is usually coordinated with clout and connections
And in order to earn that denero (assuming that is how you got it, through earning it), you first had to have provided value in excess of what you asked for.
More importantly you have to provide a lot of value to even more people if you wish to have a rich life.
“Find a way to serve the many, because service to many leads to greatness”
– Zig Ziglar –
Couple keep points:
People who take more than they give ultimately don’t make it.
People who only take, don’t do well at all.
You have to be willing to give something of value to others before you can ever ask for something of value in return.
But the cool thing is, often times, what other people value isn’t what you value. So in a sense, when you figure this out, you can serve other people without having to give up anything you value, except maybe some time.
But invest the time now to learn skills and build connections of value and you will soon see yourself with more moola ($$$), mucho time, and more value to give and grow.
The Problem with a Scarcity Mindset (hint: wanting more money is a scarcity mindset)…it limits your thinking.
Most people value money over time.
Most people value money over relationships.
Most people value money above all else.
But there’s one main problem…
It isn’t real.
Money is made up.
In fact, it’s not even worth the paper that it is written on.
If you removed the ink it wouldn’t exist, it would just be 75% cotton 25% linen… in fact, it’s not even paper!
Hope you are doing well and enjoying Memorial Day weekend (for all my US readers), if not, I hope you are enjoying your weekend regardless.
I’m laying here in bed with my girlfriend, about to watch Pacific Rim Uprising, and I wanted to write it before I forgot.
I will be releasing a new book on Amazon in the next couple of weeks and I’m looking for early reviewers for the book (no not early amazon reviews, and you don’t have to buy it). I’m looking for people who are interested in reading an early copy of It and providing feedback on it to make it better.
If you would like to be on the insider list for early copy of the book please direct message me through the contact form on the site.
Outside of big purchases I no longer use my credit cards for day to day spending.
I still do use cards with 24 month grace periods because it free’s up my capital for investing activities, allows me to keep a sizable emergency fund, and allows me to breath easier knowing that I could get equipment I need for my business without worrying about not being able to pay my rent because I spent all my liquid assets.
With your own business you will be able to take the expenses you incur purchasing capital goods, like machinery, computers, or other assets, but be careful not to spend all the money your business is making otherwise you could put yourself between a rock and a hard place should your lenders ask for the funds promptly.
With that being said, here are my rules for having and using a credit card:
Never carry a balance unless it is on a card with no interest for a deferred period of time, AND you have a repayment plan in place for it (ex. 15 months 0% with $X paid each month to fund the cost of _____ )
Expenses are for capital purchases or business related expenses.
Coffee and dinner dates, unless they are seriously with clients should be avoided.
Have the funds saved in your business checking or savings account, or have the cashflow already flowing into your business, to cover your expenses.
Someone just getting started in business though need not spend money they don’t have on credit cards in “hopes” of a return. If you can’t start incredibly small and roll the profit into greater returns rethink your business model and/or business plan.
If you need money now, get a job and save at least 6 months in emergency funds before you try to start your own business.
Credit cards are a terrible thing to use for your luxuries like clothes, jewelry, and anything else that does not produce income.
If the item does not product income for you, I recommend not buying it with credit. Instead buy it with money you saved from your income (preferably passive income).
Debt #2: Student Loan Debt
I am personally a believer that school is really the last resort when it comes to furthering yourself.
I had to pay back over $33,555 in student loan and credit card debt so I know that there are better ways to grow your income than studying for 4 years to get a degree in something you may or may not use.
With that being said, I can think of at least 20+ different ways to finance your own education in life:
Work your way through school by getting a part time job
Work your way through school by starting your own summer business
Get a technical job instead
Work for a small business owner locally
Get Adwords certified
Social media marketing manager
Learn Affiliate marketing
Look on craigslist a need and fulfill it
Start a lawn care business
Start a dent removal business
Start a window washing business
Start a dog walking business
Become a Nanny
Look at becoming an Au Pair
Go teach English abroad
Teach English as a second language locally
become a sign language interpreter
write a blog
learn email marketing
the list just goes on an on…
And of course if you are still interested in going to college you can look at grants, scholarships (both domestic and abroad) and consider community college or online degrees instead of attending full time university.
If you are one of the fortunate ones who has parents paying their way then take advantage of every opportunity you get in college to further your social network, your education, and your relevant professional experience.
There is no reason you should be coming out of college with any more than $10,000 in debt with all the possibilities out there.
If a white kid like me can go to school, come out with only $27,000 in student loans after attending a school with tuition costs of $176,000 for 4 years, with financial support from his parents, and work his way out of debt in only 3 years, then you can find a way to get funding to cover your full cost of education.
Individuals located outside of the united states have even more options for education with a lower cost of tuition.
Should you find yourself choosing to attend university, consider studying abroad in countries like Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, or Singapore where the tuition is as little as 10% that of a school in the United States.
Debt #3: Mortgage Debt
This debt is one in which folks typically incur in order to purchase the “home of their dreams”, which can later become a nightmare…
Firstly, with an asset that will more than likely depreciate if you are buying anything other than in a neighborhood with millionaires in it, this is probably one of the least valuable assets you can invest in.
In addition to the likely depreciation that you will pay for a new home, you have variety of interest rates to play with, 15 year, 30 year, fixed mortgage, variable interest rate mortgages. There is also the question “how much should we put down as a down payment?” The answer? As much as you can afford.
Really REITS are the way to go if you are looking to invest. If you are looking to simply live in a place then consider renting.
I always aim for living in a place that is close to 10% or under my take home pay.
When I was earning $25,000 a year, I had to live at home to afford to pay my loans back and to be able to eat, pay rent and live. I contributed around $300 a month for food and living arrangements, and by my dad’s good graces was able to afford living.
Once I got a better job and earned more income I increased my rent contribution and eventually moved out to live with a room mate in a small 2 bedroom 1 bath apartment.
Then I got yet another job paying more and was able to move with my girlfriend to an apartment across from work. Still, keeping my housing costs as low as possible, ideally around 10% of my before tax income.
If you are looking to own a home now a days, money experts the likes of Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, and Grant Cardone suggest investing in REIT’s and Saving for your first investment property.
Check out this Article on CNBC Money: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/25/heres-how-much-money-the-average-first-time-home-buyer-makes.html
Don’t look to own a home.
But if you are still interested in owning a home, increase your income first to where your payment will be around, or under, 10% of your take home pay.
Want a $300,000 home with a 30 year mortgage and $1,000+ mortgage payment? Earn 10x that before you look at buying.
Being evicted from an apartment is a much smaller blow than losing your house and all the money you sunk into financing it.
Avoid mortgage debt at all costs until you can afford to buy your home or you at least earn 10x your mortgage payment.
Debt #4: Small Business Loan Debt
If you have a valuable good or service, that has been thoroughly researched and has been validated in the marketplace through small batch testing, then do you really need a loan?
I’m thinking not.
If you have a product or service which is consistently selling out and you need more capital to purchase more inventory that could make sense to invest.
One of my favorite ways to Microfinance a business, in order to minimize the risk but maximize the upside, is to get a 0% credit card like the chase freedom card, and to spend at most 10% of the credit maximum on business essentials. That means finding a good or service that is needed in the market place and to invest up to 10% of your card limit before calling it quits.
If you’ve followed the 6 Steps I’ve outlined in “6 Steps to Financial Freedom” and you’ve paid off all your personal debts, consumer debts, and student loan debts, you are now ready to begin building a business.
If you are approved for say $6,500 credit limit with a 0% APR for the first 15 months and you spend at most 10% of the card limit to begin your business you can, at any given point, afford to pay off the full balance. Carrying this $650 startup cost for up to 14 months before needing to pay it back is an option, but should you actually find a product or service with a need in the market place and be able to sell it for at least a 50% profit you will be able to reinvest the profit to not only pay off the full balance, but be able to then take the $650 that you have in profit and use that moving forward.
The important thing is that you take the profits each month and pay off the FULL balance of the card before you pay anything else. You do not want to carry a balance.
I REPEAT. YOU DO NOT WANT TO CARRY A BALANCE.
All the fund that your business spends you can funnel through the credit card each month, but you will keep a separate business checking account and not spend a penny of that money on your own personal expenses.
This money, just like a tree, needs to grow and not be “picked” like the fruit on an apple or pear tree. If you pick fruit before it’s ready you can kill the tree and it will taste like shitty fruit.
With that being said. Following that process you can quickly scale up and know that you have a value-able service or good without sinking your life savings into it.
What are Some “Better Types” of Debt
Type A: No Interest Personal Loan to Pay Off High Interest Debt
A personal loan from a friend or family member that know’s and trusts you, doesn’t need the money immediately, and can afford to live with out. Using this money for anything other than to pay down high interest credit card debt or student loan debt is a TERRIBLE choice and WILL result in you failing and getting into more debt.
Do NOT buy a car with this. Do NOT spend it on clothes. Do NOT frivolously blow it on the weekend. This is a personal loan that will help you to save thousands on interest by paying your high interest debt back early.
Type B: Personal Loan From Yourself to Yourself
If you have a decent savings account and you are trying to pay off a high interest debt that you occurred due to a bad business decision, or to start up your business venture, then consider taking out a personal loan for yourself. Key here is to set an expected payback date that you will 100% meet.
There is no point in loaning yourself money that you do not intend to pay back. You might as well just not do the loan and instead figure out some other way of funding the payoff of your 19% debt to the bank or your 6-9% interest on your student loans.
Type C: Private Loan to Aquire Cash Producing Assets
As Robert Kiosake writes about in his Rich Dad Poor Dad books, taking out a small loan from a friend or a family member, with the expectation to pay it back with around 10% interest, could be a valid option for acquiring real estate assets in the short term.
The tricky part here is that you have to know what you are doing to minimize your risk and to maximize upside for you and your investor.
This strategy is in the event that you have no liquid assets to use to invest in your first short term flip. But for those individuals who are interested in this avenue, securing financing from a friend or family member in a small investment around $2,000 (depending on your market), could be a good seed money to begin buying and selling real estate.
This method can be a bit risky though and is probably a better option for those a bit more risk tolerant.
For individuals who are less risk tolerant you would be better off growing the investment through a diversified asset like an REIT (real estate investment trust) and then reinvesting the money in a property once it’s reached a $5,000 mark.
With that property though, understand that there is quite a bit of work involved to find the tenants, maintain the property, collect the rent, and possibly even evict the tenants should they fail to pay.
Once you reach the $5,000 mark you can elect to simply keep your funds in the REIT and allow them to continue to grow at the market rate so as to not have to worry about the difficulties that come with managing properties.
How to fund your lifestyle without debt
Option 1: Start a blog
Option 2: Develop a unique skill and market and sell it
Option 3: Find a unique problem in the market place and sell and market that
Option 4: Begin investing your spare income (this isn’t really an option this should be viewed more of as a must in my humble opinion)
Option 5: Get a membership to Audible for $16 bucks a month and listen to a new book on business each month.
Option 6: Subscribe to free podcast on any subject you are interested in.
Option 7: Attend university level courses on your iPhone or iPad through iTunes U.
Option 8: Become a computer programmer on the weekends using W3 schools.
Option 9: quit life and live as a hermit in the woods eating squirrels and berries for survival
Ok the last option is more of a joke but you get the point. There are many ways of funding your ideal lifestyle but they all pretty much involve learning new skills and ways of managing your time and money moving into the future.
“If you want to live, and give, like no one else, then you have to be willing to live like no one else”-Dave Ramsey –
You really don’t need to go into debt to begin building wealth, you can start doing that working at a subway shop or a pizza shop. What you need moving into the future is new skills and knowledge, all of which you can gain through this magic called the internet and through networking with other entrepreneurial thinkers.
You don’t need to go to school to make a life of your dreams.
If you do, avoid getting into debt, there are numerous ways to fund education.
Avoid getting into debt with credit cards and carrying a balance.
Avoid buying a home without substantial assets, and research the area you are buying in to look for market upswing.
Don’t take out a small business loan, start small instead and reinvest the profit.
Acceptable forms of debt include debt which has a lower interest rate (or preferably no interest rate) to pay off higher interest rate debt (5%+)
Personal loans from friends or family are a good way to begin investing, start small and turn a profit, pay them back, and reinvest the profits.
The possibilities are endless and you don’t need to subscribe to any one persons “plan for life” in order to live a life of your dreams.
If you liked this post be sure to share and comment down below.
If you are struggling to make progress on your debt, are living month to month, or are tired of working for someone else, then you absolutely need this…
What is an Emergency Fund?
An emergency fund is a savings allotment that you set aside to cover costs in the instance of an emergency. An emergency can include a tornado hitting your house and you have to pay for unforeseen medical expenses (usually your deductible if you have insurance), your car needing a new transmission, needing to take unpaid medical leave for a few months due to surgery or unforeseen health issues. Any of these things warrants using your emergency fund.
Your emergency fund can be as small as $500 in a savings account, I know mine was only $1000, and that was fine for the last 3 years. If you have to, sell some stuff that you have lying around the house. Books, televisions, used furniture, stuff that is lying around in the garage, heck you can even sell your car if you live close to work like I do. But the point is that you need to put together at least $1000 in cash savings that you don’t spend so that you have a cushion between you and an emergency.
Car broke down, you can afford to fix it. Broke your arm, pay the bill cash. Fired from your job? Two weeks severance pay right there. You’ve got what you need to survive and not yet thrive, but we will get there soon enough.
Over time you will be able to build up more in savings and you will be able to go many more months without needing to touch this emergency fund, but it’s a good idea to have as much as 6 months of living expenses saved (this means rent, food, electricity, and insurance money, not a lambo or a fancy house payment, just the living expenses).
What to do if you are struggling?
If you are struggling to find ways to save towards this fund, consider getting a second job, skipping eating out, cooking all your meals at home, and giving up a few luxuries so that you can save for your emergency fund. Remember, it is only temporary and you will not need to live like this forever, but make the sacrifice now so that you and your family can live a life of security and comfort moving forward.
And just remember, never jump without a parachute. Your emergency fund is your parachute…
Are you tired of student loan debt? Learn how I crushed over $33,555 in less than 3 years on just above minimum wage…
I have some big news, 3 years to the date I am able to say that I am 100% student debt free. I have finally scheduled my last student loan debt payment and can say that I have paid off over $33,555 in student loan and credit card debt and now i’m student loan and credit card debt free! Whew, it feels good to finally say that.
Trust me when I say that it wasn’t easy, but now that I’m completely free of that dead weight I can save as much as $1000 a month just from my linear income, not to mention any other income from passive assets like stocks and bonds, real estate, or income received from partnerships or affiliate relationships.
I will say that along the way I have made a lot of mistakes and I could have gotten there a lot faster if I had followed the framework that so many others outlined.
I didn’t adhere 100% to the Financial Peace University program, and I ended up incurring an additional -$12,000 in my business, which slowed me down, but I was still able to do it and get it done. Now, the efforts and energy will be focused on doubling the income and working half the time I was at my corporate gig.
A couple weeks ago my girlfriend and I both sold our cars, and got cash, in under an hour.
How did we manage to get the drivers at the same location, the test drive done, the paperwork signed, and $13,800 cash in hand within 30 minutes of one another?
I’m going to share with you exactly how we did it, but first let me tell you a why we did it in the first place…
If you’re reading this and you live in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, then you’re probably wondering, what are you going to do for transportation?! Simple, buy another used car of course, but this time, using the same list of criteria that I outlined in 7 things to know before you buy your next used car.
OK. So why did we choose to sell our cars at the same time and the same place?
To be honest, we didn’t.
As funny as it sounds we didn’t plan to be car-less at the same time, and the same place, let alone the same hour. But the stars aligned and we got the right buyers in front of our cars at the right time so it ended up working out.
So what are we going to do?
Well, my girlfriend and I had been working on planning our sale for about 3 months now, and we’ve been talking about selling the cars, downsizing to something reliable, with 4 wheels, an airbag, air conditioning (an absolute must if you live in texas) and can get her from point A to point B.
For me, a car was an expense that wasn’t worth the convenience of paying for.
Plus, I live across the street from work and I have a bicycle I ride to the coffee shop and grocery store. On longer trips there’s always ride shares like uber and lyft.
Also, I don’t take my car with me when I leave the state or country on flights, so it just made more sense to sell it.
My girlfriend had a $14,000 utility vehicle that she was driving because it was cute. It was depreciating and costing her $2,000 a year in maintenance fees, let alone gas and car insurance payments, so we decided that downsizing to a midsized sedan would be the best option for her.
With all that being said, here are some key points we kept in mind which made the process smooth for both of us.
#1: Don’t be in a rush to sell, if you are you could leave money on the table
If you are in a rush to sell your car and you need cash tomorrow to pay your rent, medical bills, or a bad debt, then just close this website and take your car to the nearest car max. They won’t jerk you around and they will offer you the fair value on your car for trade.
If you are not in a rush to sell, and are looking to try and max out your value of your car, then you can follow the process outlined below.
#2: Know what your car is worth before you start listing it
Once you’ve decided if you’re in a rush or not, you can start to strategize your game plan for selling your car.
Here is our process we used to sell both of our cars, and it was pretty simple:
Clean the cars > Photo them > Craft a compelling story > Post them to various market places > Wait.
At first, my girlfriend wanted to sell her car for more than the car was worth on Kelly Blue Book, and when she got bogus responses from people I mentioned to her that maybe she should try selling it a little less.
It didn’t help that she copied another ad for a like vehicle on ebay and failed to match up her model specs with the vehicle instead of using the wrong specs.
Her car was selling, for the condition it was in, at around $11,500 on the high end (perfect condition) and $9,500 on the lower end. $8,500 for dealer trade in value.
So I recommended to start listing it for around $10,500 and see how many offers she would get when listing it.
It all starts with your message. If you have a quality used vehicle that you no longer need and are looking to get rid of, you’ve researched it’s value using a tool like Kelly blue book, then now you are ready to craft a message that resonates with your buyer.
You want to try and answer your buyers questions in your message before they have the need to ask it. Some common questions when buying a car are: Has it been in any wrecks, does it have original paint, what’s the gas mileage, how many people can it seat, what is the price, does it have room for my activities, does it have any mechanical issues, how many owners, how many miles, how old is the car, is there anything wrong with it that I should know about?
Here’s how you can answer 99% of those questions in their mind in your ad:
> Mention the number of owners of the vehicle and include the vehicle history report. Use car fax or Vincheck Pro (a less expensive alternative which gives you 6 reports from the same national databases for the same price as one carfax report) to get the report and then save a pdf of it, or screen shot it.
> Don’t try to hide your VIN, it’s not secret like a social (SSN), it’s public knowledge and no once can steal your car with it. It’s also visible in many spots on your vehicle.
> Was the vehicle in an accident, if so mention that upfront ( and keep in mind that may lower the value a bit but it’s better than losing the sale)
> Does the vehicle have original paint (mention this in your ad)
> Provide the vehicle specs you get off KBB or the Vincheck Pro form.
> Take 4-5 quality pictures from front, back, sides and the interior shots of the carpets and the trunk space.
> And finally, tell your story why you are selling it.
Tell the potential buyer why you’re willing to part with this good used vehicle, you are moving, you are down sizing, you don’t like the color any more (stupid reason but it’s a reason none the less) tell them a reason why you are deciding to sell so that their rational brain has been fed and their “feeling” brain can decide if they want it or not.
Once you’ve touched upon these points, write it up in a word document so that you can easily post to multiple market places.
A serious buyer will contact you via the method you choose, a google voice number, social account messenger, or via email.
#4: Posting Your Ad to Market Places
Once you’ve crafted a message following that format you will be ready to post your ad in a variety of market places including social marketplace like Facebook, local classified ads like Craigslist or your countries classifieds, on ebay as an auto auction with a buy it now of your price and a best offer option, or on ebay classifieds.
You won’t need a lot of views but a few hundred targeted buyers will mean that if you even have 1-2 serious buyers then you will have a good chance of getting your offer price.
My car sold from a simple facebook ad that I posted and because of the social proof I had fromthe buyer knowing a mutual friend of mine on facebook. I also hit all the points mentioned above.
My girlfriend ended up selling her car to a buyer from Craigslist who messaged her about coming to see the car. We had about 3 other buyers from ebay messaging her about her vehicle but many of them were out of state and we’d have to charge 10% more because of the ebay fees.
The advantage to using ebay is that you have a bigger pool of prospects; however, you do have to pay shipping, either you or the buyer, to sell the car. Otherwise they will have to drive it.
#5 Transparency and Honesty Are Key, Don’t Try and Hide Anything From your Buyer
Firstly, please don’t try and run a used car business from your Facebook… Like I outlined in, 7 Things To Know Before You Buy Your Next Used Car, people have the power of the interenet now adays and can research you simply by looking at your profile. When 6 other cars come up in your profile that you are selling then it kind of sends off some read flags, and can deter some would be good buyers from buying from you.
If you are going to sell on facebook, linkedin, or instagram please be as honest and upfront as you can be able any issues with the car, the VIN, and offer a free vehicle history report (like the one you can get with VinChecker Pro for just $15 bucks.
This will allow you to empower the customer and help them find the best solution for their needs, which ends up getting you a better reputation in the long run.
Secondly, don’t lie. Online or in person. No one benefits and you only hurt your chances.
Folks can get a pretty good idea of if you are trust worthy or not, if you are not then there is no amount of cajoling that you will be able to do in order to convince them otherwise.
Eye contact, a hand shake, and smiling are all things that convey trust to a potential buyer.
If you are constantly breaking eye contact when you speak or you are not going to shake their hand, unwilling to talk a little bit about your personal life, then you will have difficulty building trust with others.
#6: Lining Up the Motivated Buyer
If you are selling a car worth buying, the right buyer will come along. If you are price gouging on your car or trying to sell junk, then you are wasting your time and theirs. You can’t polish a turd.
One of the key concepts in selling the car is motivation. Whether you are looking for a car to buy or you are looking to get rid of a car, the question either party needs to ask is “What motivates them to sell/buy?”
If you are selling a car, telling your potential buyers your reason why you are selling it is so important. You may fear that they will try and abuse your trust and low ball you but guess what? If you have other offers, one low ball ain’t gonna hurt, you can just say “thank you but no”.
We got many low ball offers on my girlfriends car, and some people who tried to play “secret spy”, and get information from me using sales “techniques” to control the conversation.
Let me just say this is only a ‘Tactic’ and is not a strategy for success.
Your strategy is your long term game plan, a tactic is an ‘in the moment’ action you take to produce a result.
All too often in the car sales game sales people are focused on tactics and not strategy.
Our criteria for a motivated buyer was someone looking to get a car in the next week or so, is seeking to gain this as their primary vehicle for transport, has the cash to pay for it at our asking price, and is willing to come and test drive the car. If the person didn’t meet that criteria then we simply thank them for their time and move on to the next contact.
If you are in a rush to sell then you don’t have the luxury of waiting for the right buyer. If you priced your car wrong you will get too few inquiries to be able to find a motivated buyer. If you don’t set a minimum allowed price in your mind then when a motivated buyer comes along and makes you an offer you could be too ridgid and lose the sale.
Which leads me to my next point.
#7: Flexibility is Key
Being Flexible with you buyer, when you have someone that came all the way to look at your car, and they have the money withdrawn from the bank and all the necessary forms to sign the title to their name, they have “mentally” bought the car. They are ready to do the deal and only need to make sure to CTA “cover their ass”.
What you need to do now is allow them to test drive your car. If meeting with a friend and one of their friends have your friend go with them while you stay with their friend or vise versa. What you are tyring to show is that you trust them and they can trust you.
You are not going to leave your friend and they are not going to leave theirs behind by trying to steal the car. If you’ve decided on a public place in a good neighborhood then you shouldn’t have any trouble and by bringing a friend or family member along you have backup just in case something happened.
If you’ve followed the previous steps you shouldn’t have anything to worry about but it never hurts to be on the safe side.
#8: Most deals are done in a day…
know what you need to close the sale and to get the title fully transfered out of your name
If you are in the us, which is where we are at the time of this writing, then you only need a few simple things to transfer the title of the car out of your name and into their name:
Your state transfer form – https://www.dmv.org/title-transfers.php
The Mileage of your vehicle
Call your insurance and notify
Online form submit to DMV
Once you get all the above read to go you can then legally sell the car. You will want to keep the license plates, you are not obligated to give them to the seller, and they will be find to drive to the dmv to request new plates.
Again, this is only for the us, you will want to check with your countries driving authority if you live elsewhere.
My girlfriends buyers were ready with all the forms they needed. My buyer didn’t have everything printed already, so I just printed the forms, signed them, and then took off the plates so they could drive off into the sunset.
Wrapping it all up
These results are not typical but I’m confident that if you are not in a rush, do a little bit of research like you’re doing now, and present your car in an effective manner, that you will be able to sell your car and go live the travel lifestyle of your dream.
If you are interested in learning how my girlfriend turned her $9,300 cash sale into a solid 4 door sedan which cost her less than $4,000 and which she will probably sell for more than that, then check out 7 Things to Know Before You Buy Your Next Used Car.
I will update you guys when we sell it if we end up getting as much or more than what we paid for this quality used vehicle.