Be smart. Don’t go further into debt for a wedding.


I made a post online one day that sums up what this post is about: “plan your marriage, f*ck the wedding.”

Harsh? Perhaps.

But after you’ve spent a fortune paying for a wedding, reality sets in and the food is no longer catered, your best man and maid of honor are nowhere to be found during intense arguments and you could find yourself deep in debt after wining and dining 250 of your “closest” family and friends.

Remember, the average cost U.S. couples spend on a wedding today is $26,444. This doesn’t even take into consideration the engagement ring, prenuptial agreement or honeymoon costs. (In many locations like Los Angeles, the average for a wedding can be as high as $40k.) Continue reading “Be smart. Don’t go further into debt for a wedding.”

What do you have time for?

Your Car

Between allll of the things I’m doing right now, time is extremely limited.

Yet everywhere I go in my electric vehicle people ask me why I don’t drive the typical L.A. car with the type of money and assets I have obtained over the last 6 years.

My answer yet again: I do not have the time.

But not in the “I do not have enough time to go to a dealership to pick one out” type of “I don’t have time”. The truth is I run a business that provides multiple services – one of which is to help buy clients cars and make sure they don’t get financially raped in doing so. So I’m constantly in and out all types of dealerships – from Ford to European luxury car dealerships fighting with horribly slimy sales people and the people that manage them.

And in doing so, even though I could easily afford to do the same financially for myself, here’s a few things I’ve realized I am not able to allocate my precious time for in regard to expensive cars:

#1. Making sure large amounts of money are in my checking account – instead of my investment account- at specific times during the month so I can make sure ridiculous all-interest car notes and leases are properly paid to banks when they want them – like the bottom hoe I would become.

#2. Taking my european luxury car to full service car washes every 5 days, spending the time waiting, being expected to tip like an NBA player and then doing the same when I have to get it detailed every 30 days as well.

#3. Driving around retail store parking lots trying to find a specific spot for my 13 coat, $3k pearl white paint job. Trying to find parking spots near cars who’s doors aren’t long enough or close enough to mine as to ding my car when they are opened.

#4. Having to put hands on and end up in jail over the person that chipped my 13 coat, couple thousand dollar paint job on my luxury whip.

#5. Worrying about where I park late night or over night near a residence and if that $55k car will still be there in the morning.

#6. Taking my horribly inefficient luxury car to the gas station every few days. More money spent at high fee convenience stores connected to these gas stations and increased risk for card fraud as well.

#7. Constantly going to the ATM every few days to pull out and keep on me -in a money clip- hundreds of dollars for gas stations so I DON’T have to use my debit card and hopefully decrease my chance of fraud activity at a gas station.

#8. Taking in my luxury car for random maintenance after random maintenance after random maintenance – and then expensive scheduled maintenance not even covered by my lease or purchase.

#9. Paying inflated luxury car insurance costs.

#10. Paying inflated luxury car registration fees (luxury car tax) in the state of California ever year.

#11. Worrying about police targeting me everywhere I go because it financially appears I can single handedly fund their weekly traffic ticket quota.

#12. Worrying about where to purchase concealed weapon on the underground market to combat #5

#13. Taking the long way around certain neighborhoods because I along with my new luxury whip can’t get caught slippin at certain stop lights in your neighborhood.

#14. Purchasing bullets for #5, #12 & #13

#15. Bail

Just for shits and giggles though, here’s just a few of other things I DO have time for:

NOT being car poor in this short life on earth.

Remember, part of wealth is the ability to control your time while you’re here. When I say I do not have time to do these things, I’m saying I don’t have time ALLOCATED out of the limited amount I have to service something that does not add any value to my life.

Many times -the things we “own” end up owning us.
Reason #2: Your Car is Ruining Your Life

Learn more on how to defeat the 12 most dangerous areas in your financial budget by reading my new book:


7 Stages to Financial Wealth

**7 Stages to Financial Wealth** (applicable to even the most stubborn of our recruits)


Stage -1– Can’t nobody tell you NOTHIN. You’re deep in denial and ignorant to the truth about the damage your current mentality has done to your finances. You’re completely trapped in the credit/debt slave matrix and have no idea that you are truly broke underneath all of your monthly financial facade frontin. You react violently

Stage 2– Exploration and Acknowledgement of the truth.

Someone or something has come along and figured out how to give you an extremely rude awakening.

You’ve begun to reluctantly question a lot of things. You know somethings wrong with how you’ve been handling things, something wrong with your immediate surroundings and the way the world works but you just dont know exactly what it is or how to fix it. In this stage you begin to fish around for proper education on personal finance, self esteem and even improving your health if necessary for the upcoming fight.

Whatever that fight may turn out to be.

Stage 3– Absolute anger. At this point you’re gaining momentum in your pursuit of knowledge. Yet the more you learn, the more you feel the walls have closed in due to all of the stupid sht you’ve done financially. The more you’re able to accurately calculate the totality of your financial f*ckery, the harder it seems it will be for you to climb out of it.

You’re feel both completely against the wall and at the same time completely ready to break the cycle…yet you now acknowledge that your previous ignorance was definitely bliss.

Stage 4- Your anger has propelled you into an all out war against debt and financial struggle each month. You’re cutting expenses, selling things on Craigslist, budgeting, setting money aside as a starter emergency fund & aggressively fighting to pay down your credit cards, car loans and medical bills. You see progress, yet due to your intense battle with debt, you have no leftover funds to begin to aggressively save and invest for you and your kids future. However, you have woken up to the fact that by eliminating such harmful liabilities, you are putting yourself into the perfect position to more than catch up on those luxuries in 24 months.

Stage 5- Initial victory! You’ve paid your consumer debts and have a medium sized chunk of change saved up to weather a storm. You do however, still have student loans and maybe even a mortgage left. You start investing lightly and begin to contribute up to the match in your 401k while focusing most of your resources to knocking out your two remaining  debt monsters. (mortgages and student loans)

Stage 6- **Debt Freedom**. It has been a long time coming. You have never seen such a powerful cash flow each month and because you have no interest payments you need to send to ANYONE ever again, you’ve never seen so much money pile up in your bank and investment accounts so quickly. You rejoice.

You spend some of that cash-flow on yourself this month to celebrate your hard work. You make a pact to yourself to never allow you to get in that position again. You also promise that you will go full fledge into wealth generation mode through investing, getting your kids college straightened out and possibly even starting your own business/ income rental property portfolio.

Stage 7- You have been enjoying your financial freedom and new self esteem for sometime while investing properly, buying rental units properly and in general doing whatever the hell you want with your money. But you realize there is still one piece to the wealth puzzle left.

You realize the only way for you to be truly financially wealthy is by uplifting the next person in your family or community. So you seek out someone as unfortunate to be stuck in stage 1, send them a cold glass of water to the face and you completely change their outlook on life and the building of their family tree. A new cycle of wealth begins to combat the previous cycle of poverty.

Welcome to The Winner’s Circle.

Benefits of Buying a Car in Cash

Car Cash 2

What buying a car in cash does over someone who enslaves themselves to a care note:

1. Affordability: It forces you to ONLY buy what you can afford. Remember, the term “I can afford it” does not mean you can afford the car payment that month. It means that you have the cash in the bank to make the purchase without owing anyone. Otherwise you can’t afford s#%$. You’re just gambling with how long you can make it without a major emergency happening.

2. Discounts: It puts you in place to be highly likely to receive a sizable discount on the overall price of the car. Lenders want to move VOLUME. Making $3k on 5 cars beats $5k on 2 in most businesses across the globe. Your greedy local car dealership is no different. Whipping out cash and buying a car at the end of a sales month will 9 times out of 10 allow you to get the dealer to cover your tax, title and registration.

3. Car insurance: It allows you the CHOICE to pay less in insurance! (Banks and car lease finance companies dictate your insurance coverage)

4. Late fees: The goal for wealthy people is not to be able to make payments on their bills on time. The goal is to have as few as possible in the first place. By reducing the number of payments that go out each month (from canceling cable bills to combining monthly cel phone plans to eliminating credit card payments regardless if you pay in full) you are substantially reducing your potential to pay late fees.

5. No more car than you really want or need: It forces you to think smarter about your purchase! Numerous published studies show that when you spend your own hard earned money you choose better, more reliable, longer lasting products (read: honda, toyota, nissan). When you give a 25 year old a $25k loan they come home with a Giraffe with a motor in its butt.

6. Cha ching! It puts you on path for wealth! If you were to simply reduce your auto expenses by $400 per month and instead you invested that amount over the typical timeframe someone pays a mortgage (30 years), you are $818,435.52 wealthier than the person who doesn’t.

Shout out to driving cars in hopes of impressing people who you’ll be asking to borrow money from in a few years.

Very impressive your plan is my friend.

Continue reading “Benefits of Buying a Car in Cash”

Financial Literacy for your Child Starts at Home

child and money

We have all heard children need to be taught how to be smart with their money at an early age. But how exactly do we do so?

Children, for the most part, do well when designated teachers explain things to them because in their eyes, teachers are the experts. But as anyone with children knows, with our ever-changing role as parents, the unique type of authority we command can provide complications in certain educational areas. As children reach the various ages of “I know everything” or if they are simply too young to be fully interested in “boring” things, parents have to walk fine lines in hopes of influencing the learning andretaining of information on how money works. Once this knowledge is retained, children also need to have the ability to utilize that knowledge when needed without the constant assistance of the teacher.

The most powerful way to influence financial literacy children will learn, retain and utilize and is by implementing the following four tools:

  • Education
  • Examples
  • Environment
  • Experience

Education:  The typical definition of education we have been conditioned on is not what is being referred to here. The education I am referring to is simply the practice of teaching.  Synonyms for this would be upbringing and instruction.

How are you, the parent, educating/giving instruction and guiding in the daily upbringing of a financially literate child?  Are you utilizing teachable moments that are age appropriate? When your child receives money for his/her birthday, are you reminding them of the Nintendo DS they asked for while at the store a little while back and then helping them plan/save for it? Or is the money simply theirs to do what they want with, because after all, “Christmas is around the corner” and you tell yourself you’ll just buy what they want at that time?

There will be many opportunities for teachable moments in a child’s life:  when their toys break and need to be replaced, when they receive birthday/Christmas money, when they want to join various sports organizations that cost money, when it’s time to talk about their first car, saving for prom & saving for college. The two smartest ways to give fuel to these teachable moments is to provide both the education in a non-overbearing manner and provide a “duties based monthly allowance” system that compensates them monetarily for housework, errands and grades etc.

Again, sit down and talk with them at pivotal financial points in their lives without having things like “daily money classes” because this will turn them off to these messages. As well, it goes a tremendously long way to not only teach your children about money but to also teach them the value of hard work and appropriate compensation for it.

Examples:  A lot of parents believe that after utilizing the appropriate financial education (in the first section above) that their kids now have a positive relationship with money. You’ve given them allowance for doing chores. You’ve given them a piggy bank to save portions of that allowance. And if they’re old enough, you’ve even taken them to the bank to open a minor savings account or checking account.

But is their mom/dad using credit cards? Are they paying on and stressing out over a car note that’s due each month? Are they borrowing from friends and family members and having heated financial arguments? Are they getting hounded constantly by their landlord for overdue rent?

If so, the answer is this: your kids have a terrible relationship with money! Never for a second believe kids learn more from being told rather than shown, as we were all kids ourselves and can relate.

Focus less on the instructions and ramp up your examples in your own lives. Your kids will always learn more from mom and dad doing vs. mom and dad speaking.

Children are watching you, they are listening to you and one day, they will emulate what you have done in their presence.  Knowing that, it’s imperative you live the financially literate lifestyle you want them to duplicate.  This means allowing your children to see how their parents save, showing them the difference between being frugal vs. cheap not just in theory but in practice, and showing them what the family has been able to obtain through delayed gratification.

The truth is, as of right now, until you utilize positive examples in your own life, your kids are on track to be financially just like you.

Environment:  The overall environment a child grows up in, not just what their parents directly teach them, will shape their thought process of the world.  When children are young, their point of reference is where they live.  Their home life is what they consider “normal” and until they are older, they naturally assume people live in a similar way.

Knowing this, what messages are you giving in their (home) environment?  Does every room have a T.V., each bigger than the other?  Is your closet filled with clothes that have tags, or so many shoes you are not even able to wear them all? What is the level of materialism in the music they hear with on the way to school? Does your child have their own room and all the newest gaming systems?

This is an environment filled with excess and materialism.

As well, we must stop using the term “I just want my children to have more than what I had”. What’s the purpose of that phrase? And more importantly, what are we teaching our children?  That they deserve more crap just because?  As parents, it is our job to give them what they need, not only what they want, and to teach them the difference between the two categories.

Before you get defensive, it’s not a question as to whether or not you can afford it (or really the monthly payments on “it”), it’s about whether or not it’s needed and will progress your child’s financial value system and their overall relationship with money.

Experience:  This is the final tool in your toolshed for a reason. The hope here is that true financial learning has taken place throughout the years as we (the parents) provide our children with proper & unobtrusive Education at pivotal points in their lives, have lived our own lives with positive financialExamples, and provided an Environment that has allowed your children to foster the value system you’re hoping for.

The final level, Experience is what happens once the education they’ve received meets life and they attempt to handle financial situations that may have not gone their way.  When they get out and make a financial mistakes (and we know they will), hopefully it’s not a failure that causes permanent financial harm and they are able to look back at a lifetime of ExamplesExperiences and a positive Environment.  These things will come together for them as they remember how you, their parent, their role model, their first and most powerful example, handled those tough financial situations in a similar fashion.

This is how TRUE learning and retention takes place.

We all make mistakes, mistakes are how we learn.  If we learn from those mistakes, we put ourselves in a position to move forward with those same life experiences and examples to teach and show others.  It’s our mistakes and subsequent victories that will help the next generation.

It’s never too late or too early to implement the Four “E’s” of children’s financial literacy.  You may not even have your own children yet; you may be the Aunt, the Uncle, the Grandmother or the neighbor.  Regardless of your title, your influence to a young child is powerful.  How will you utilize this power and influence?

(Re-blogged from Brass Knuckle Finance team lead Krischa Esquivel at the M.I.O. blog)

Continue reading “Financial Literacy for your Child Starts at Home”