From Broke Phi Broke to Financially Woke- Millionaire Mob
Today, I am excited to share with you the latest interview in the From Broke to Financially Woke series! The purpose of this series it to give hope to those struggling to escape from the not so secret group Broke Phi Broke. A group whose chant is, “We ain’t got it. Broke, Broke, Phi Broke! We ain’t got it. Broke, Broke, Phi Broke!”
To help me accomplish this goal, I have invited the best and brightest of the financial independence community here to share their stories. As you read their interviews, pay close attention to the mistakes they made. Take mental note of the success principles they used to turn things around.
When trying to apply these principles to your own life, realize that success in life is rarely linear. You will encounter some struggles. But stay persistent. Keep moving forward.
Our special guest today is Kyle from Millionaire Mob. His broke to financially woke story is incredible – in less than five years, he went from having a net worth of $-60,000 to a net worth over $500,000.
How in the world did he do it? I’ll let him fill you in on the details!
Introduce yourself. Where do you blog? What are some of your interests outside of financial independence?
My name is Kyle and I blog for a site called Millionaire Mob. Millionaire Mob is an early retirement blog where people come together to find the best travel deals and financial advice. We specialize in dividend growth investing, passive income and travel hacking.
My blog embeds my interests, particularly travel. I love traveling and am an exploring junkie. I love seeing new places, so naturally I had to have a blogging component for it to my site.
Also, I’m interested in entrepreneurship and sports. You can check me on Sunday’s cheering on my favorite NFL team… the Vikings.
Tell us about a time where you were a member of Broke Phi Broke. How did living paycheck to paycheck make you feel as a person? At your lowest point, how much debt did you have?
This was right during my senior year of college. I was broke and in debt. Surprise right! Yes, a lot of college students are broke. I worked my way through college. After working through it, I still had nothing to show for it.
In fact, I was in even more debt than when I came in. I questioned what college was really about, mainly because I didn’t have a job lined up after graduation. At my lowest I had about $60,000 in student loans and $1,500 in credit card debt. I was buried with no job. I knew I had to find a way out of it. I needed money immediately. I was able to network and land a job of my dreams.
What are some of your biggest financial mistakes?
Looking back on it, I probably didn’t need to go to an expensive, out of state college. I racked up significant student loans because of it. Also, I worked all through high school AND college. I should have been better with the money that I was earning and continued to stash it away through retirement accounts and investing. I basically spent every dollar that I earned.
Describe your upbringing. Where did you grow up? What did your parents or teachers teach you about money?
I grew up in a typical middle class family. Both of my parent’s were entrepreneurs and made their own way. I was always the kid that wanted to buy things at the grocery store or gas station. They always told me no and I didn’t need it. This instilled a very frugal component into my life. I’m glad they said no because I definitely didn’t need it.
How important is becoming financially woke to you? What steps have you taken to increase your financial knowledge?
Becoming financially woke to me is to stay active and involved in a community of like-minded people. You should learn a certain mentality that fits both your risk tolerance and life goals. Stick to it and interact the people that know it best.
What are some of the key principles you have used to improve your financial life?
Here are some things that are core to my site and philosophy:
- I don’t like debt… but I don’t hate it.
- Any money that I save or invest is solely focused on making the best return possible.
- Work hard, but enjoy the present.
- I love numbers and analysis to determine optimal outcomes.
- Increasing your income can be very powerful if you are young.
How often do you consume personal finance information? Name 3-5 of your favorites sources (books, podcasts, blogs, etc.).
I love reading blogs and books. I also think some of the best personal finance information is found by stepping away from the computers, tablets, iPhones, streaming services, etc. This give you a moment to find what makes you truly happy. I love books about passive income.
Here are some books that I love:
- Four Hour Work Week
- Millionaire Next Door
- The $100 Startup
Where are you on the path to financial freedom now?
I’ve officially repaid all of my student loans… in less than 5 years after college. I went from basically -$60,000 to $500,000 of net worth. It’s a great feeling not having student loans. It’s funny. When you don’t have student loans anymore, it’s a feeling that keeps on giving. There are small things that remind me of the fact that I don’t have any payments to make and it’s so satisfying.
I’m onto my second house now (sold my first). I wrestle with the thought of paying off my mortgage early everyday. I still love the upside of investing.
I’m looking at purchasing an income property. It’s taken a decent amount of time because I can’t find the perfect one yet. The inventory has been pretty low in my area. Through blogging, I’m thinking about ways to invest faster and continually build my net worth.
If you are debt-free, I believe it’s easier to cut your expenses than it is to increase your income. Thus, I’m taking an income oriented approach to shelter myself with as many income sources as possible.
Is there any advice/encouraging words you can give those who are struggling to escape Broke Phi Broke?
Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. If you can earn $100 per day of additional income from side hustles, that’s $36,500 per year that can either be used to pay down debt or invest. The internet has enabled anyone and everyone to be able to start earning money right away. There are no limits for you to achieve success.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but with persistence and determination you will do great.
How can the readers contact you?
Read more interviews in the From Broke to Financially Woke Series.
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Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
If you are having trouble saving, he recommends that you join the SaverLife Savings program where you can get a $60 reward after six months (no income requirement). All you have to do is put a minimum of $20 a month into a savings account. Easy, right?
For a fun read, check out his article 10 Signs You’re a Personal Finance Addict to see if you are a personal finance nerd.
Before you go, check out the new From Broke to Financially Woke Interview Series.
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