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How Breakfast Food Motivated Financial Freedom

The BiggerPockets Money Podcast
53 min read
How Breakfast Food Motivated Financial Freedom

Mr. and Mrs. Waffles on Wednesday (WoW) were doing everything wrong. They ran up ridiculous tabs at a local restaurant/bar just “hanging out,” while getting abysmal returns from their financial planner—and paying 1% for this terrible advice.

Dissatisfaction with 5% returns while the market saw 25% returns spurred a Google search, which landed them on a website that told them exactly how to invest in the stock market (hint: index funds). This site also introduced them to the concept of early retirement.

Mr. WoW convinced Mrs. WoW to hop on the FI train with the lure of unlimited travel which led to a financial about-face and expense tracking, which led to the realization that they spent far too much money on things that didn’t matter.

Hear how Mrs. WoW’s self employment gave their FI journey a jumpstart through tax hacks like write-offs and business expenses.

This is an awesome episode!

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Scott: Welcome to BiggerPockets Money, Show Number 7.

“I completely agree with you because you can only save down to zero, right? Like in fact, you can only save so much, right? There’s a limit to it whereas on the flipside you can increase it to infinity if you really, really want to. I mean, look around, right? You have all these people around that just make billions and billions of dollars overnight, right?”

It’s time for a new American dream, one that doesn’t involve working in a cubicle for 40 years, barely scraping by. Whether you’re looking to get your financial house in order, invest the money you already have, or discover new paths for wealth’s creation, you’re in the right place. This show is for anyone who has money or wants more, this is the BiggerPockets Money podcast.

Scott: How’s it going, everybody? I’m Scott Trench here with my co-host, Mindy Jensen. How are you doing today, Mindy?

Mindy: I’m doing great, Scott. How are you doing today?

Scott: I am doing fantastic. I’m excited to interview our two guests.

Mindy: I am super excited. I really love this couple. They are a Southern California couple who have no kids currently and they are on the path to financial independence, but what I really like about this couple is they don’t have a hard and fast deadline like most of the other people, the personal finance community will say something like I need $10 million dollars and my goal is to have that done by August 15th of 2020 or whatever. They’re like, you know what? I like my job. Whatever happens happens. I just want to save money so that I can do what I want when I want. I want the freedom to leave if suddenly I don’t like it anymore. But currently I love it and I don’t want to quit.

Scott: Yep, they have over the past couple of years just continually accelerated towards financial freedom not really having a specific destination in mind but more of a, how do I increase my options? How do I increase my nest egg? How do I take advantage of my life and business in such a way that I can get the maximum happiness now and have that freedom later? I think it’s just a fantastic approach to life and finance in general.

Mindy: Yes I do. I really just love their story. So before we just sit here and tell their story for them, let’s bring them in and let them tell their story. Mr. and Mrs. Waffles on Wednesday. Hello Mr. and Mrs. Wow, how are you doing?

Mrs. Wow: We are doing fantastic.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, we’re doing great. We’re doing fantastic this morning. How are you guys?

Scott: We’re doing well.

Mindy: It’s a cold day in Denver today.

Scott: Let’s start with this question that’s been having for a while—why Waffles on Wednesday? Can you tell us and everybody listening why you decided on that name?

Mrs. Wow: Well, it definitely took a little bit of thinking on our part. I guess one day we were just sitting down on Sunday and we typically tend to have a little bit more fancy breakfast on the weekends because that’s what we can do right now. And we were sitting there and like we were having waffles and we were like, this is really nice. But it’ll be great when we actually have the freedom that we can have waffles whenever we want, potentially in the middle of the week. Oh, Wednesday. Waffles on Wednesday.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, we were having breakfast and Mrs. Wow here mentioned that I really enjoy that we get a time to relax and sit down and slow down, have a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast and I kind of looked at her and I was like, well you know, if we continue on this path, we’ll be able to do this whenever we want. And so we kind of were looking around and it kind of became a little mantra for us that maybe we’d slow down and can do whatever we want whenever we want.

Mindy: Nice. I like that story. When you reach FI, you can be WafflesWheneverWeWant.com.

Mrs. Wow: We already have that one to use, don’t worry.

Mindy: Yay.

Scott: I think it’s funny because that ‘why’, it seems so simple but it’s such like a powerful thing. It’s like, hey, I’m going to get to do what I like to do with my leisure time on every day of the week once you reach that FI.

Mr. Wow: It’s part of it, right? Like it was such a simple concept but it had like such a deeper meaning and it’s not necessarily finance necessarily related, it’s more about finding your passion and being able to take it slow and being able to like enjoy what you really enjoy in life and kind of do whenever you want, whatever you want. And so that was kind of the idea. The acronym worked out pretty well, too.

Mindy: Wow! I say you all the time!

Mr. Wow: It’s just a secondary benefit.

Scott: So what was your life like when you came to this revelation? What were you doing for jobs? What was your kind of day-to-day like and how did things change after that?

Mrs. Wow: I’ll start and just say that I’m an occupational therapist and I specialize in pediatrics so my job has been the same and hasn’t really changed throughout this process.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, so I’m a computer guy. I started as a data analyst and now I’m a data engineer and business intelligence engineer. And the way we got into this, I was at a company that actually got acquired and so I got a decent check. It wasn’t life-changing money but it was a sizable amount of money and I ended up giving it to a personal finance advisor that I had been using for years. And this was back in 2011, 2012, somewhere in there. And I looked at the market at the end of the year and the market was up like 25% and my investment returns were like 5, I think. And on top of it, I was paying him 1%, right?

And so I was like, wait a minute. This doesn’t make any sense. I can do better than this. And so that’s when I started looking around online and I actually came across the Jim Collins blog. And then the more and more I read, the more and more I was like, first of all, I can do this myself and do it better. And second of all, I think we can actually make this happen. And so, I kept forwarding her blogs and then she kind of came around eventually after about six months to a year of me forwarding her stuff. But yeah, so our life was very similar in a way. We were living in a more expensive area. We were definitely going out a lot more.

Mrs. Wow: Spending a lot more.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, we had a real eye-opening experience that Mrs. Wow likes to talk about the first time we really sat down and looked at our expenses at the bar we used to go to.

Mrs. Wow: Oh yeah, we had a favorite neighborhood bar that we loved to go to all the time, go watch football games, go have dinner, whatever. And we realized at the end of one year that we basically had covered one of the bartender’s salaries by the amount that we had gone there and we had spent there. And you know, we really liked that place and it has a special place in our heart, but we also realized that we could do a whole lot more of that money that we had spent.

Mindy: You can have your own salary.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, we could pay ourselves instead of somebody else’s salary. It was kind of eye-opening in that regard and then so that kind of pushed us down in the path. So you know, our life has changed in some regard in the fact that we don’t pay bartenders’ salaries anymore, but it’s not changed a lot. Now, Mrs. Wow took the opportunity to change her life, in her professional life, quite drastically over the last couple of years.

Mrs. Wow: Yeah, and I guess we decided to start my own company and it really kind of was happening as all the other changes were going on as well. And it’s really been something that I feel like has given us a lot of different opportunities and flexibility and some different kind of tax hacks and all of that as we kind of go down this financial independence path. Having our own business also plays a huge role in the opportunities that we get from having that as well.

Mindy: So you mentioned tax hacks. My husband, he was working for this company as a contractor and they said hey, we’ll pay you more if you pay all your own taxes yourself. And you know, have your own company and be self-employed. So one of the tax hacks that we get a huge benefit from is the self-directed solo 401K. I work for BiggerPockets, obviously real estate is my thing, and that is a way to invest in real estate with my retirement accounts. What sort of tax hacks have you discovered having your own company?

Mr. Wow: So, a big part of it is when she started out as a contractor, similar to the way I think your husband started out as, like a 1099 self-proprietor and then it was like, wait a minute, they’re taking a lot of money off the top. I can do this myself. And so she ended up getting incorporated and when we did that, I made a point of setting up a solo 401K. Now, we didn’t do a self-directed one. We just did an off-the-shelf through Fidelity but I am an employee of her company. She is an employee of her company. The company actually matches 25% of our salaries and that’s not matching. That’s just non-elective contributions of 25% of whatever we get paid, and so I happen to get paid $18,500 every year, so I end up putting in $23,000.

Mindy: Wow. Is there a significance to that number?

Mr. Wow: It’s a magic number. In fact, in 2018, it’s $18,500. But before that, it was $18,000 flat.

Mindy: 18 flat.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, so I’d end up getting $22,500, I guess, if I do the math correctly. Yeah. Into this 401K every year and then with Mrs. Wow here, she was doing the same thing but between that and the fact that we can now do after-tax contributions, I think she pretty much maxed out the limit of her 401K this year. And I don’t remember the exact specification of how it all broke down but obviously 18 is one portion of it and the 25% match was another substantial portion of it.

And so we did that and then on top of that, she’s gotten into a lot of international volunteer work. And so, all of the travel that we do is corporate expense and so that really helps. And the room we’re sitting in is our office so a third of our rent is gone, right? So that goes against it. Her car because she drives everywhere for work because she drives in between clients and stuff and does at home trade, so we actually write off, I think the federal right now is 53.5 cents a mile and she drives almost 2000 miles a month. And so—

Mindy: Wow.

Mrs. Wow: In L.A. traffic.

Mindy: Okay, I take back my wow.

Mr. Wow: 3000 miles a month. So that goes against it, right? Like our phone bills obviously go against it, our internet bill goes against it. So all those expenses go against our company because we need it to operate our company. So yeah, that all gets deducted.

Mindy: And then you just happen to have internet at your house on weekends. You don’t just turn that off. Yeah, we’ve got the same similar hack. I do want to point out that the $18,000 salary that you’re taking, I’m assuming, is because that’s the max that you can personally contribute to your 401K. And that comes in pre-tax so you get paid $18,000 and shucks, you’re not paying any taxes on that because you’re putting that 100% of your salary into your 401K.

Mr. Wow: Precisely.

Mindy: Which is a great legal tax—I don’t want to say tax dodge, but that’s like a tax dodge. You’re legally putting all of that money into your 401K.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, you still pay payroll tax on it, right? So you do pay a little bit of tax on it but it’s negligible compared to the income tax rate. And then the other thing is the more expenses that we can put against the company, and again, legally—this is all above board. We’ve run it by an accountant. Like, this stuff. We’re not laundering money or anything like that, right?

Mindy: I’m not trying to say you’re shady.

Scott: And I also assume, Mr. Wow, that you do contribute to the business—

Mr. Wow: I wrote her an entire workflow software package. And so I get compensated for my software and I actually do all of this 401K administration, all of the accounting, all of that stuff runs through me. I’m not just—

Mrs. Wow: The website design.

Mr. Wow: Yes. So all of those things. So I do get compensated for that so that’s what I’m getting compensated. So once you pay the payroll tax and everything else, and then on the corporate match, you do pay no tax until you withdraw it. So that has no payroll tax on it. Nor income tax. And it’s also counted against expenses against the company so the company has minimal income as well because that gets passed through to your personal income tax. So if the company actually operates at a loss, that actually reduces my W-2 income.

Mindy: Oh, that’s interesting.

Scott: Going back a step real quick, so you started off in a position where you’re both earning moderate salaries at kind of normal jobs, basically. And then over the course of six months to a twelve-month period, you discovered various blogs articles and the concept of financial independence got really engrained into Mr. Wow. Mrs. Wow, you kind of came around into the first couple of months, into this as well. Is that an accurate kind of summary there?

Mrs. Wow: Yeah. I feel like maybe a little bit longer than a couple of months. It probably took me six months to a year before I actually really jumped on the FI train, as like to call it. But the big thing for me and Mr. Wow kind of touched on this is that I love to travel. So what hooked me was one day, Mr. Wow was like, hey, you really like to travel, right? And I was like, yeah. Where are we going with this?

And he’s like, if we can become financially independent, we can travel whenever we want and wherever we want. And I was like, done. Sign me up. Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it right now. So it definitely took me a little bit longer to get there but ever since I think I realized that it could work, I’ve been not holding back. I’m signed up the whole way.

Scott: Awesome. So you have a number of steps here, among two of the biggest ones, it sounds like where one is just kind of basically understanding your expenses and cutting out some places where it was clear waste. And the other was starting this business, right? Not clear which but you know—

Mindy: Scott the judgmental.

Mr. Wow: We had beers and then going out on Saturday and Friday and Wednesday and Monday nights.

Mindy: Well, if you’re only going out then.

Scott: Paying other people’s salaries in bar tabs. But the biggest step of that seems like obviously was this business. So beyond all these tax breaks and advantages that you’re getting from this shifting expenses to before tax versus paying them after tax, what the rest of regular employees do, when you actually made that step to begin owning your own business—how did you do it? How did you get the first couple of clients and all that kind of stuff? How did you get the courage to take that leap and make that transition?

Mrs. Wow: Well, the first thing that I’d like to say is that the biggest thing is that I realized I was in a good spot. It wasn’t great. Traditional employee or contractor and anything like that and life was good. But I was really ready for kind of that next step and to make life great. But I always knew that I could go back to exactly where I was at that moment and I’d be okay. So that kind of gave me that confidence of like, let’s go and try to find a sale. I’ll come back and do exactly what I’m doing right now and life will continue to be good.

But honestly, starting the business has been the best decision for both of us and especially as we kind of go down this path that we could have made. And again, it’s really opened up a lot of opportunities. It’s been a whole lot more work than I think I maybe would have thought in the beginning. You know, I’m now working on the weekends and working late at night, early mornings. All that kind of stuff. But it’s for my company and it’s something that we enjoy working together. So it’s a passion project but it’s more than that.

Scott: So how did you get your clients at the beginning?

Mrs. Wow: Right. The biggest thing has really been word of mouth. Just getting in with a couple of clients and they really liked what I did and then they go talk to somebody else and then they go and talk to somebody else. And that honestly has been the biggest kind of influencer in terms of how I’ve moved forward with my company. I really haven’t had to do too much external marketing or anything like that. It’s really just been good quality work. People appreciate it and then they refer me out.

Scott: So you work hard, you treat your customers as well as you can, and they go out and come back to you and refer other business to you. That’s shocking, isn’t it?

Mindy: Groundbreaking information here.

Mrs. Wow: Yes.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, if you do good work and you treat people right, they tend to like you. It’s weird. I never would have thought.

Mindy: This is funny that you say this. We just had—the original BiggerPockets podcast interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk today. This show will air a couple of days after Gary’s airs. So I’m not really saying any secrets. But that came up the same way. He’s like, you’ve got to work hard. You’ve got to put in the long hours. And you know, build your business and that’s how you become successful. I’m like, wow, that’s groundbreaking. But you know, so many people want thee shortcut. There’s no shortcut.

Scott: Yeah, it’s amazing. The reason I think this is such an important topic is because you have to change something if you want to accelerate towards financial freedom. It has to be either you’ve got to spend less, you’ve got to earn more, or you’ve got to create or invest in assets that produce income, right? And you chose the entrepreneurial path and that is one of the most effective ways.

Is it something that everybody at some point will have to consider as they move along the journey to financial freedom because it’s so undeniably the most effective way of doing this if you can do it right and build your own business in that way. We just talked about the tax advantage but even bigger than that is the unlimited potential of this business.

Mr. Wow: That is actually something. So we got a little sidetracked on the tax stuff and I completely agree with you because you can only save down to zero, right? In fact, you can only save so much, right? There’s a limit to it whereas on the flipside, you can increase it to infinity if you really, really want to. I mean, look around, right? You have all these people around that just makes billions and billions of dollars overnight, right? So the thing that was really interesting and why we decided to go with it and she touched on it was pretty low risk, right?

Like I’m still employed. I have a fairly—I’m a software guy so I make a fairly good income and she was taking on clients and doing you know, kind of all of this independently. And it was like, well, what do I do because at the very worst that happens is I go back and get a job and we really had no risk. And so what ended up happening is as she built out client base, her income started substantially growing because now that she filled out her schedule—she took a big cut at the beginning but as her income started growing, at this point I think it’s surpassed mine and so—

Mindy: Go Mrs. Wow.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. And so she could still do it. I mean, we just hired our first employee and now it’s continuing to grow. And so that was really interesting because the potential was there and we knew it was there and we knew the risk was like minimal. Because the worst that happens, like she said earlier, she goes back to her day job. Which our life was pretty good. And that’s the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen? All right. I’ll take it.

Mindy: It goes back to pretty good. Yeah. So it sounds like this wasn’t this giant leap of faith. You’re not changing careers. You’re not moving across the country to start your own business. You’re literally where you used to be around, doing the same thing you were doing. You’re just now doing it for yourself.

Mrs. Wow: Exactly.

Mindy: Good for you.

Scott: I read your blog a little bit and I have two articles that stood out that I’d love to ask you about.

Mr. Wow: Sure.

Scott: Actually, neither of them are quite as related to this topic but let’s shift gears a little bit with that incredible segue. One of the things you mentiond was, you had an article about how you created a spending tracker. That’s one thing that a lot of people have control over today. They can go and make that change right now. So can you talk a little bit about how you created that and how it maybe helped you with your personal lives and business?

Mr. Wow: Sure. When we started this thing, we needed a way to separate out corporate and personal expenses so that we could track them for tax purposes. I didn’t want to pay for QuickBook or anything because we didn’t need it at the time and we weren’t going to set up because we tend to credit card hack, we weren’t going to set up separate corporate bank accounts. I wanted to be able to use the same credit cards for all of our expenses and just blend them all together so that I could hit minimum spends and all of this stuff but I needed a way to segment it off.

And so what we started doing is we started like anybody else is just putting receipts in an envelope. And then at the end of the month, we’d have to write them all down and figure out pay $300 on this credit card because that was corporate and then pay $400 on this credit card because that was company because all those expenses need to be separate and then go back and put it in. And what would end up happening is it’d take us, I don’t know, a day every month to go back and do it.

So we were already using Google Drive stuff for some of her corporate documentation and things of that nature that had dealing with clients and some other stuff. So I was looking at it and I was like, well, we can just do this and I can put it on your phone so we don’t have to do this every month. We could all just do it and both of us could input expenses when they would happen.

So I fussed with it a little bit and got it to work and what ended up working out really well is we could categorize them and the auxiliary benefit of that is when we went up to our accountant at the end of the year to do all of this because now we have really complicated taxes owning our own business. But I actually could just take that spreadsheet that had everything sectioned off as a Schedule C and I didn’t walk in with a shoebox of receipts like most people do. I just kind of like scanned it in this nice formatted spreadsheet that they could actually go through.

And it actually saved a lot of money in accounting fees because they weren’t—the most expensive part is his time to sort through and figure everything out. And so that actually worked out really well and we used it for two years-ish. And it worked phenomenally well. And the nice part about it was every time she came and I was like, hey, I need a new way to segment this off. I need to track this for a different company.

Originally, her company had clients and then she was also contracting with other companies and things like that. She had to submit expense report. So I just built in a new little custom dropdown that allowed her to select which one it went to and then it all just dropped into the spreadsheet. And so we just had everything we wanted and it was super duper easy to use because Google makes good software.

So, I’ve since learned more software development but I wasn’t at the time—I just basically made it out of Google Forms and it worked shockingly well. And it was free which was great. We didn’t want to pay for it.

Scott: And just to put out, one of the things that you were doing which made this complicated was the travel hacking, right? Or the credit card hacking where you sign up for a credit card and you spend $4,000-$5,000 in the first two to three months or something like that, you get a certain amount of bonus points. And you’re saying that most people would need to have different cards for each business.

Mr. Wow: So yeah, there’s two sides to this. One, if you have one credit card and you’re running all your expenses through it, only some portion of it comes from the business checking account. So you need to understand what that difference is especially if you’re blending them all together. On the flipside, what we were doing is we were opening corporate credit cards and I would run everything through that and personal expenses and everything else, but again, we still had to know what was what because it needed to come out of the corporate checking account.

So not only were we opening personal credit cards and running business expenses against the personal cards, we were also opening business cards and running personal expenses against the business card. So I needed a way to segment that off because we’d pay them all at once. So I could go and open and get the 80,000 Chase points or whatever for that new corporate card but then we could go out to dinner on it and all this other stuff but we needed a way to simply track that so I wasn’t mingling business and personal expenses.

And so that’s where this thing kind of came from was it allowed me to go back into the credit card bill and only pay half of it out of the corporate account and half of it out of the personal account and move all that together. And it just made it a lot easier instead of going through the credit card. And she lived the nightmare of trying to put it in. And so you can talk about how much easier—

Scott: I love it because I think it’s just another great example of how owning a business of some type, having some sort of side hustle even allows you to put some of that expense through there and if you can creatively do that like Mr. and Mrs. Wow here, you can really collect a lot of rewards very quickly and kind of double that advantage. Even if you’re willing to put in the extra effort to make it through that complexity. I think it’s great.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. And it also kind of lets you skirt what they affectionately call the Chase Gauntlet, the 524, because if I remember correctly, we have a stack of credit cards. I’m pretty sure. But the corporate ones don’t count against that 524.

Scott: Oh, wow.

Mr. Wow: So you can open the corporate ones. Now, I don’t know—I haven’t looked into it but maybe you have a 524 against your EIN, which is in essence a company social security number. So maybe they do it that way. But yeah, as far as I understand, the corporate ones don’t count against that. So you can open all sorts of fun stuff.

Scott: I assume you have to have some revenue in order to do that, right?

Mr. Wow: Well, they do give you a call at the beginning and ask you a bunch of, how are you going to generate revenue, what kind—so you have like this I guess an interview about your business at the beginning and they talk to you. And so we did that and once we did that, we opened a bunch of the corporate ones, too. So we opened three corporate ones over the course of last year and we opened I think like four or five personal ones. We have a stack of—you can look on our blog again. There’s a picture of all the credit cards we acquired over the last year or two. Because we’re almost at a million Chase rewards points from doing this.

Mindy: Oh, my goodness.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. Because we don’t use them—all the travel stuff we do is tax deductible because we run it against the company. So we’re saving up for when we actually go on personal vacations and stuff.

Mindy: Oh, my goodness. Okay. So I want to talk about the business travel because Mr. Wow, you said that Mr. Wow is in international donations? I don’t remember the words you used.

Mrs. Wow: I would say more like international volunteer work, medical missions, voluntourism, there’s a lot of different names that they like to call it. But basically I’m volunteering my time abroad in a medical setting.

Mindy: So you pay the expense. You pay the flight to get there and then you deduct that flight cost from your taxes. And then you still get to go there. And how long are you volunteering?

Mrs. Wow: It just depends on what organization and where I’m going. The longest one I’ve been on so far is two weeks. I’ve been on one that’s about a week. We’re actually headed to Cambodia in two weeks now and we’re going to be gone for two and a half weeks or something like that. So it just depends on the organization, where we’re going, how much time he could take off of work.

Mindy: Yeah I was going to say, it must be tough to get time off of work. Oh wait, you don’t have to ask a boss.

Mr. Wow: Well, for her, it’s not an issue. I actually, part of the requirements for the new job that I’ve got is I actually have unlimited vacation now through my company.

Mindy: I want to work for you. Scott?

Mr. Wow: How we’re going to end up putting it to the test in the coming year—but we’ll see how well it goes.

Mindy: Now, can you work remotely or is your work not that kind of work?

Mr. Wow: For me?

Mindy: Yeah, for you. Mr. Wow.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, I’m a tech guy, right? So I’m on a computer. As long as I have an internet connection that’s reasonable, I can pretty much do what I need to do so when we were away this summer, I did some work. And when we were away in the fall, I did some work. I can get online. I try not to because we’re there doing other things, but yeah, if something comes up, I definitely can get access to it. I can work remotely. It’s the beautiful part about technology.

Mindy: Yeah, amen.

Mr. Wow: What’s your goal going forward here? What are you looking to do next now that you’ve got—it sounds like the business is growing. Things are pretty good. You’re travelling. You’re racking up points. Life is good. What’s next?

Mrs. Wow: That’s a big question and I definitely have been putting a lot of thought into it. I don’t know if we have a concrete plan. I think there’s always going to be the opportunity for something else to change and kind of pivot and go down the path but the big thing that I would really like to do is be able to do more volunteer work and I think 2018 is definitely going to be a bigger year than I’ve had in the past. We already have at least two set up and the potential of a couple more that I’ll tack on at the end of the year.

I’d also really like to start taking more interns with me and occupational therapy students and exposing them to working abroad and volunteering abroad and kind of trying to integrate that into my business as well. The big thing that I’ve really been focused on is my work at home, I really have to kind of be here in order to do it.

So setting up some sort of way we can grow my business where I can be doing more abroad stuff and not having to be in Los Angeles and everything like that. Just kind of setting up some new fund growth opportunities for the business and whatever will happen.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, so I think part of our future, and obviously, her business is a big portion of it and she’s one of these lucky people that actually is super passionate about what she does and thoroughly enjoys it and what’s interesting about her is even when say we’re fully financially independent, she’s going to do it anyway. She’s just going to be doing it for free somewhere else. So that’s going to continue.

Part of a lot of the fun that we never really understood when we started the company was actually a lot of fun to try to do, and since it’s been fairly successful, it’s engaging and so one of the things she’s looking at is how can we grow it. And so she mentioned taking students internationally so that’s potentially a revenue opportunity of taking students to mentor them and have them kind of pay a stipend to go on this trip and have her mentor them while they’re there and things of that nature. So that’s something we’re exploring and a couple of other things to see if we can grow it.

And if that works, I’ll do the same transition that she did which is we have pretty minimal risk if everything goes kapoot, I’ll just go back and get a day job and we’ll just keep going that way. So at the time being, we don’t have that luxury or there’s no reason to do that quite yet. But if we get a couple more employees and they need management and things of that nature, then yeah. It’ll become a part of us and quite frankly, it’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to put it together and it gives us something to work on and stuff like that.

Mindy: Yeah, now that you’re spending so much time at that bar.

Mr. Wow: No kidding. Although we still enjoy good beeer.

Mindy: I enjoy good beer, too. So we all went to a conference recently. It’s alleed FinCon. You’ve probably heard—well, I guess this is only the 7th show, so maybe FinCon hasn’t come up yet in these past episodes. But FinCon is a Financial Media Conference and we all went this year. Scott and I represented BiggerPockets and Mr. and Mrs. Wow represented Waffles on Wednesday and we had this beer meetup where we all brought local craft beer from home and that was a good time. But that was definitely—

Mr. Wow: A late night was what it was.

Mindy: A really late night.

Mr. Wow: Or early morning depending on how you define it.

Mrs. Wow: There was a lot of really good beer though.

Mindy: There really was. If you are a craft beer person, you really wish you would have been there. Okay, let’s get back to this actual show. I want to know, not like super nitty gritty into your finances but like ballpark it. What percentage of your income are you currently saving?

Mr. Wow: Just looked at this the other day and we’re kind of a weird personal finance blog in the fact that we don’t have a specific number that we need to hit at a certain date. And like we don’t necessarily budget because we kind of trimmed everything down. It’s become habit, right? So like once it becomes habit, we just don’t buy expensive stuff anymore. Everything’s just become habit. We don’t really track everything as far as our spending goes. But what we did end up doing, we obviously have our personal capital account and I went in and I just looked at the cash flow and divided that by our income and it came out at 65% for 2017.

Mindy: Wow, nice.

Scott: That’s great.

Mr. Wow: That’s a rough guess and there’s some other funkiness in there because of paying her payroll taxes and all of this other stuff. But yeah. It actually should be higher because that’s a consider of some of our expenses.

Scott: I think that’s an interesting point because that high savings rate allows you, I assume, to accumulate a lot of—you obviously maxed out your retirement accounts but I assume a lot of other investable liquidity after doing that. And does that enable you to kind of have this comfort in making these decisions to travel and to do more volunteering. Does that high savings rate in that accumulation play into that?

Mr. Wow: It definitely does. For me, to give you a little example, over the last year—at the beginning of 2017, I was in a job that I wasn’t super happy about. And it was actually making me miserable and she was by default getting more miserable because I was awful and all of this other stuff. And so yeah, what ended up happening was I ended up quitting straight up and took a job with an old coworker that was starting a super early stage high risk company. And I took a fairly substantial paycut on the order of 35% or something like that.

But we were no worse for the wear. I was happier. She was happier. So it gave us a lot of flexibility and then that ended up kind of failing. Well, it didn’t kind of fail. It did fail. They wound it down. And then I was unemployed for two months and of course, all of our friends are going, oh my God. What are you going to do? How are you handling this? I’m like, well, I’m brewing beer and making pizza—what do you mean what am I going to do?

And then I found this current job and it allowed me, because of how we live our life, and we live on less than one income, it allowed me a lot more leverage in the salary negotiation. So that was a really interesting experience. I think it was more so for the hiring manager than it was for me. But yeah, it gave us a lot of flexibility in that regard to be able to say those types of things. To put ourselves in that situation.

So not only has it allowed her to go and do this whole business thing and start that, but it’s allowed me the flexibility that if I’m at a place that I’m really uncomfortable or don’t like or whatever, we’re completely find just pulling the plug and going about our day and finding something else or continuing on with the way we’re going.

Scott: Now, this seems like a good time to ask my question about the other blog post that I was very interested in because I believe this was a contributing factor to your very high savings rate. I believe you bike most of the time over a very long distance. Can you tell us about your daily commute and how many days out of the year you do that? How you manage it?

Mindy: Well first of all, he doesn’t live in Colorado where it’s 30 below zero or whatever ridiculous temperature it is today.

Mr. Wow: True. On the flipside, you guys are in real estate and you don’t want to talk real estate with us because it’s a disgusting mess where we live.

Mindy: It’s a disgusting mess where we live, too. Not at the same level. I admit. Southern California is more expensive than Colorado but Colorado is doing its darndest to catch up.

Mr. Wow: Oh, I’m sure. We do save some money there because I can bike. This was actually long before I came across financial independence and face-punching from Pete and all of that other stuff. So we lived down by the beach in a town south of us, and there was a bike path that ran on the beach almost directly to my office.

Mindy: Wow, what a hard life.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, it was pretty rough.

Mrs. Wow: It’s still 17 miles one way, but—

Mr. Wow: I was going to get to that. You ruined the punchline. But yeah, it was 17 miles—

Mindy: On the beach.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, along the beach. It ended up taking me I think like five minutes longer riding my bicycle than I did driving.

Scott: Sheesh.

Mr. Wow: And so I was lucky enough working in tech and all that other stuff. So we had a shower in our office and all this stuff. Because they did yoga in our office and things of that nature.

Mindy: Oh.

Mr. Wow: So I would ride my bike in and then I would shower in my office and then I would get on my bike and ride home. And it’d take me about an hour-ish to ride 17 miles. There was no stop light and no anything and I was riding along the beach. It was actually super relaxing and so I did that for jeez, four years? Five years? 17 miles each way and I was doing it probably at least four times a week. There were very rare times that I would drive to work. And then once I ended up leaving that company, I got a job at this new company that I left last year and that commute was about three miles and that wasn’t on the bike path though which turned into another disaster. But then I ended up at this new company and this company is about 12 miles away and I ride that almost every day as well. But again, that’s on a bike path. And so, over the course of 12 miles, I see three stop lights, which is really fantastic.

Scott: You keep saying, it happens to be on a bike path. It happens to be on a bike path. I have found that over the years I have a choice about where I live such that I could locate my home next to a bike path or several of them that feed into different areas in the city such that I can bike to the office when I want to. Have you found that to be the case as well or is that just a miracle?

Mr. Wow: It’s interesting because Los Angeles has a bike path that runs the full length of the beach along the entire beach. And so if you live on the Westside you’re within a mile of any bike path at any given time which is interesting considering the stereotype of Los Angeles. But so, we choose to live on the Westside just because it’s a nicer area of town and it’s not dangerous. We like to live by the beach and we like that kind of social aspect and things of that nature.

But I will say this new job, one of the things that I actually asked them in the interview is like do you have a shower here because I know a bike path runs right here and I can ride my bike here. And they were like, from where you live? That’s a long bike ride. And I was like, so? You know, you have a shower here? So yeah, that’s actually pretty funny because I’ve tried to recruit people in the office that live like three or four miles away and they just aren’t interested. But yeah, there were two things that helped me pick this job. One of which was unlimited vacation and the other was the proximity to the bike path.

Mindy: Yeah, baby wipes work in a pinch. I worked in a place that didn’t have a shower and you could just you know, wipe yourself off. I just didn’t ride really hard.

Mrs. Wow: Yeah, I don’t know if that would work for Mr. Wow. I mean I don’t work in his office so it’d be fine on my end but I don’t know about the other people there. After a while, mm yeah, shower is a good thing.

Mindy: You stink.

Mr. Wow: 12 miles—I do work up a pretty good lather, right? Because again, I don’t have an stop lights so I don’t have any rests. I’m pumping it the whole way through 12 miles and I can make it 40-45 minutes across 12 miles. I can leave my house and be at my desk in an hour. Shower and makeup and everything.

Scott: A couple of questions here. So when you’re biking that many miles—I bike about five miles and I’m not as good as four days a week. I’m trying to get back there but it’s cold right now.

Mindy: It’s really cold. I’m going to stick up for Scott here. It’s like 30 below outside.

Mr. Wow: I fully believe it. It’s chilly here, too. But it’s in the 50s.

Mindy: Chilly.

Scott: At one point though I was biking the long way. I was biking eight miles each day which is not quite the 12 or 17 that you’ve been doing. But I ran into some problems. My rear began to hurt a little bit. I didn’t have some of the correct equipment, I think. Someone who is considering biking and maybe has to do a distance of more than five miles each way, what are some ways that someone should prepare?

Mr. Wow: For distance riding, when I was doing 17 each way, I did it the first time on a beach cruiser which was a single gear foot brake beach cruiser just to test it out because I didn’t want to go and buy anything and I did that once and I was never going to do it again.

So I ended up buying a road bike, like the ones you see in the Tour de France and stuff. Not that expensive. And those are actually surprisingly comfortable for distance if you have them fitted properly. You have to have the seat at the right height and if you have the frame that’s too small, then you’re scrunched up. And if the frame is too long then you’re stretched out and it’s uncomfortable. I do wear the fancy bike shorts and this one here loves every minute of it.

Mrs. Wow: Yeah, I question every morning.

Mindy: You do need those bike shorts.

Mr. Wow: I will say the padding is actually nice. What’s interesting is as you get further down the rabbit hole of biking which I’ve become interested in, you actually aren’t really sitting on the seat, you’re almost standing on the pedals the whole time. So you’re not like you’re resting on the seat. So you don’t have that like weird wedgie thing going on. I always dressed for coming home. So this is probably especially important for you guys. When you leave, you need to bring your coat with you because it might be warm when you leave but when you come home in the dark, it’s definitely not going to be warm. So I always dress for the ride home.

Scott: So I have the opposite issue here in Denver. It’s very, very cold. Like 20 degrees in the mornings. And then when I go home, it’s about 45 or 50 degrees even in the dark. It’s just kind of weird how that happens here in Denver but yes, that’s exactly right. You’ve got to prepare for whichever leg of the journey is going to be harsher condition.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, and I will say as far as safety goes, I have like one of those roadworker’s reflective vests that I wrap around my backpack so that at least gives some visibility. And then helmet, make sure everybody wears a helmet. Please, please wear a helmet. I got hit by a car last year and I wouldn’t be here right now if I didn’t have a helmet on. So please, please, please, please, please wear a helmet.

And what else? Gloves. I wear gloves. A word to the wise—this might be helpful for you, too—is wear the latex surgical gloves underneath your gloves because they’re waterproof, they’re warm, they’re thin, they’re cheap. They’re really good and you can go pick them up at the 99 cent store. So yeah, you just put them underneath.

Mindy: That’s a really great tip.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, I learned that playing lacrosse on the East Coast in March in the snow. So, that’s a quick one. Because your hands get really cold really quickly and those gloves will keep your hands pretty warm.

Scott: I used to play lacrosse on the East Coast in March. I didn’t ever have this tip. Shoot.

Mr. Wow: If someone throws a nice check and catches your thumb in March, you’d know it.

Mindy: Stinks.

Scott: That would have been such a good idea.

Mindy: Where were you 20 years go when Scott was playing lacrosse on the East Coast?

Mr. Wow: We were doing the same thing.

Mindy: Okay, I want to talk about cars really quick before we move on. You mentioned that Mrs. Wow drives everywhere and writes off her mileage. Do you have a car? How many cars do you have? Mrs. Wow has a car. How many cars do you have as a couple and like what kind are they? What year? How old are they?

Mrs. Wow: Between the two of us, we have three vehicles. So I have my work and my personal vehicle. Mr. Wow still has a car that I have been trying to convince him to get rid of for the past couple of years. And then we also have—or I should say he has a motorcycle. So even though he bikes to work all the time, he actually has two vehicles that I can’t use because a) I can’t drive a motorcycle and I can’t drive a stick.

So these two don’t really make all that much sense and I’m really trying to work on that. But he mentioned when he got hit by a car on his bicycle, that was the day we actually put his car up on Craigslist and he had lost all of his memory after the accident and was appalled when I told him that we were going to try to sell his car.

And he could not understand why we were doing that and basically, I took kind of a lashing from that because he was like, what are you talking about? I’m not getting rid of my car. And I still have not yet been able to convince him that he doesn’t need it. Because it just sits and there’s cobwebs that connect the car to the ground. He doesn’t need it.

Mr. Wow: I probably don’t. It’s got a special place in my heart. It’s the only car that I’ve ever bought. And to answer your question, it’s got 180,000 miles on it and it’s a 2002.

Mindy: Is it paid for? Do you have a loan on it?

Mr. Wow: It’s been paid for, for years. So the insurance on it is like $100 a month or a year or something like that. So I have a rough time because if I ever do need a car again, I’m going to end up spending a lot more than that.

Scott: Does it start?

Mr. Wow: Oh, it doesn’t. It has some issues. But the thing about it is, it’s like living the way we live, if we do need to get anywhere, I can just take the motorcycle. Now, I can’t carry much on it.

Mandy: It doesn’t have a flat like it did last week.

Mr. Wow: That’s what I get for never driving it. And the battery dies and all of these other things. So that’s part of the fun of riding a bicycle all the time. It’s because my vehicles go into disrepair. So I have that and we also—hell, we have Lyft and Uber and everything else that I could get around if I needed to.

Mrs. Wow: With a little bit of planning, we can also make it work where the car that I use, he can use. It really wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. We have those cars. And I don’t know. That’s it. Like, her car is relatively new. We bought it last October. She had an old Jetta?

Mrs. Wow: 2007.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. She needed a new car because she was toting around interns all the time and her job, she has to take toys with her and all of this stuff. So we wanted to get a small SUV for her and we ended up getting a killer deal on a loan and it was like 1.5% for a used car. So I was like sure, we’ll take that. And we ended buying it through BP, going back to the credit card hacking thing.

They let us put on however much you want on credit cards and so we hit both of our minimum spends for our Chase Sapphire Reserves as a down payment for our car. So we hit 5,000 for both of our Sapphire Reserves on the down payment for a car through BP. Which I think BP has now gone defunct which is probably a reason why. But yeah, so we did that and then I just put the rest of it on a loan at 1.5% so yeah. There’s no reason to pay it off at 1.5%.

Mindy: No, there is not. Moving on. We’re still working out these segues here.

Mr. Wow: Okay. That’s all right.

Mindy: You have said that you don’t have hard and fast dollar amount that you need to get to before you can retire. Do you have an estimated retirement date or financial independence date?

Mrs. Wow: No.

Mindy: Or do you just really like your job? So my husband is, we are financially independent. I shouldn’t say what he is, it’s mine. But he has reached his goal. He is no longer working. I got this job about the same time that he was leaving his job and I love my job. I don’t want to leave. Don’t tell my boss, but I would almost do this for free. So I don’t have any plans to retire. Like you should take so much time off, it really doesn’t matter. Mr. Unlimited.

Mr. Wow: Well, we’ll see how that works when we push that limited, right? Like let’s see what happened when I get scolded and slap on the hands for taking off 12 weeks out of the year or something like that. But we have an arbitrary kind of number that I want to hit before I take off from a W-2 and just work for her the whole time. Is it a hardfast no, especially since her work, she will always do it and she loves it. So if her company continues to grow, I can take off a little bit of the workload from her and we’ll be just fine. And so it’s kind of this weird thing and that’s why I don’t know if we have a specific number in mind. Because we enjoy doing it, right? Similar to what you just mentioned is that she’ll be doing this forever regardless so it doesn’t matter. She’ll be volunteering or she’ll be doing it locally, or if we move somewhere else, she’ll be doing it there because she loves it. She’s passionate about it and is fully engaged with it.

Mrs. Wow: And being that it’s our company, whatever we decide that we want to do, we have that freedom to go and do it. If I want to go pursue something else, just kind of bake it right into what’s already working. So if I start to get bored with what I’m currently doing and want to do something else, I have that freedom to go do it which is great and hopefully he’ll be able to actually come on board even more. He’s been doing so much but you know, be able to help out even more and really start to build it together.

Mr. Wow: So as far as a date, I don’t know that we have a concrete one. I would like to say in the next year or two that we could make that happen and make that transition happen.

Mindy: Oh wow.

Mr. Wow: The other thing that we don’t necessarily—we’ve talked about but if little waffles happen to come around then maybe we’ll see what—so I mean that could obviously throw a wrench into the whole thing, too. So I don’t know how that would play in or things like that and that’s kind of why we don’t have a number because we don’t really forecast and have that specific hard deadline because she’s super passionate about it. It’s doing really well.

And at the current moment, I’m fine. And when it does become unwieldy or her company becomes much too big and I’ll shift and help her out and we’ll continue going about our business. So that’s kind of the way we’re looking at it and that’s kind of why we don’t have a specific number or date or anything like that.

Mindy: Okay, that’s fair.

Scott: Well, I love it. You guys, you work hard. You’re smart with your money. You started a business. You’re just increasing the amount of options that are available in your lives continuously and reaping the rewards and I think it’s a fantastic way to go through with this stuff. I love it. I’m jealous.

Mr. Wow: Well, you’re well on your way, too, right? And you’re a lot younger than we are.

Mindy: Scott’s like 9. Are you comfortable sharing your age ranges?

Mr. Wow: Yeah.

Mrs. Wow: Yeah.

Mindy: How old are you?

Mrs. Wow: I am 33.

Mr. Wow: And I just turned 38.

Mindy: Okay.

Mr. Wow: We should have started a little bit earlier but you know, we’re still relatively young, I guess. It’s all a frame of mind.

Mindy: I guess. I guess. I’m 33 and 38, too.

Scott: All right. Well let’s move into our Famous Four and wrap up here.

Mindy: Okay.

Mr. Wow: Here we go.

Scott: All right. The first of these—what is your favorite finance book?

Mrs. Wow: Well, I’m going to have to say The Simple Path to Wealth. I ended up—

Mindy: Oh, by Jim Collins?

Mrs. Wow: Yes. The better part of the story is I actually won it off a blog that I follow. And I was really excited. I wanted to read it. And Mr. Wow had a copy and then lost it so I had to wait for months.

Mr. Wow: I didn’t lose it. I gave it to somebody else to read and never got it back.

Scott: Oh, I’m the worst at that. People give me books and I just never return them. Josh has given me books and I’ve just lost them whenever I read them and then they just disappear.

Mrs. Wow: Well, this is one I really wanted to read and I’m like, you need to find it. And he’s like, I don’t know where it is. And so fortunately I was able to win it and I read it and loved it. I couldn’t put it down and I now recommend it to everybody.

Mr. Wow: And it’s funny, she actually has copies of it that she hands out to her interns at the end of every intern session. So that’s part of their gift at the end of their internship is a copy of The Simple Path to Wealth. And I unfortunately to be completely unoriginal—I’ll have to second that. My new job, they actually have a library of everybody’s favorite books and so when I went in I actually said, get The Simple Path to Wealth and put it in there. It’s funny, there’s all these like Dr. Seuss books and all these other books and then here’s Jim Collins’ book right next to it. It’s pretty funny.

Scott: That’s awesome.

Mindy: That’s a great book. It’s very well named. The Simple Path to Wealth. You don’t have to do all these complicated things to grow wealthy. Here’s how you do it. And Jim Collins is an amazing person. I know him personally.

Mr. Wow: Oh, he’s fantastic. Yeah.

Mindy: Plus his voice. We’re going to have him on the show. I just have to ask him.

Mr. Wow: I hope so. He’s fantastic. We ended up meeting him in Ecuador at La Taqua in October and he is such a fantastic guy. He’s so awesome.

Mrs. Wow: Yeah, anytime that I could go sit next to him and just listen to him talk about anything, I did. Like I would sit next to him on the bus and you know, sitting around the fire. I was like, Jim, just talk to me.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, he’s like the financial James Earl Jones.

Scott: Simba! That’s my favorite James Earl Jones.

Mindy: Okay. What was your biggest money mistake?

Mrs. Wow: We kind of touched on one at the beginning, the bar that we used to spend a lot of money on. But I guess for me, the big thing that I started to realize once we kind of started on this path was I was the queen of monthly subscriptions. You name it, I did it. I did yoga clothes. I did regular clothing. I did massages. I spent a lot of money on a gym membership. Just lots of different things that I was doing.

And finally one day, I kind of sat down and you know, maybe it’s $50 bucks a month, $20 bucks a month, but over 12 months, over two years, five years, ten years, I did the math and I realized how much I was spending or potentially could be spending if I kept down that path. And realized that it wasn’t worth that time, that money, and everything that I was putting into it.

So yeah, I want to say I was probably doing that for—well, the gym was six, seven, eight years. Some of the other subscriptions was about maybe three or four years. And I spent way more money than I ever needed to on that.

Mr. Wow: I don’t know why you need new yoga clothes every month. That’s kind of an interesting thing. For me, that car that we talked about a little earlier. I bought it new. I probably shouldn’t have. But I’ve had it for 15 years now. And probably like a lot of people in this community, I wish I would have started maxing things out earlier.

I was always contributing but I never really had the mindset of oh, I can make this feasible or actually happen. So once we really started paying attention to it. So that’s the only thing I could say it would be a mistake. Because I wish I would have been your age, Scott, and started this as opposed to several years later.

Scott: One thing I’ve noticed with the subscriptions is the travel hacking, the credit card hacking actually helps with that because every couple of months, you shut down a card and then you have a new card that you can put all your expenses in and you’re like, wow, I’m really not using Spotify anymore. Do I really need Spotify.

Mr. Wow: Luckily, we went up to and killed all those before we got into the travel hacking stuff. So we didn’t have that issue but that’s a very good point actually. You’re killing credit cards once every three months then you could figure out, because they’ll whine and cry about not getting their money.

Mrs. Wow: And a lot of them are really hard to shut down and you have to make phone call after phone call and it took a while. So a lot of people are just they’re like, whatever. The $25, I’ll just do it. I don’t want to deal with it even to like shut it down. So yeah, I can definitely see if you just take that credit card away. Then it’s like, oh sorry.

Mindy: That’s a really great point. You know, sometimes it really is difficult. They make it difficult on purpose to close it so you don’t just like, whatever, I’ll keep it. It’s only $20 bucks. And you know, one only $20 bucks is no big deal but two, five, twelve, and all of a sudden all of your paycheck is going to this thing you don’t use. Totally get it. That’s a great piece of advice. Close off all your credit cards.

Mrs. Wow: Open new ones.

Mr. Wow: Shut it down and open new ones. There you go. Perfect sense.

Scott: Excluding that piece of advice, what is your best piece of advice for people just starting out?

Mrs. Wow: I think for me, and this kind of segue is nice with that last question is, embrace your mistakes because that’s what lead you to get to where you are now. And a lot of times, if you didn’t have a big mistake or kind of hit that bottom or that aha moment of like, oh crap, I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, you might not have actually reached the point of where you are today.

And so I think that’s a big one. So many people are like, oh I wish I would have started sooner. I wish I would have started when I was 29 or 19 o 9 or whatever. But just embrace that and start today and just move forward and try to make progress in that aspect.

Mr. Wow: I have two that I really kind of live with. Part of it is what she was just talking about—the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is today. And I’m sure a lot of people have heard that but it goes back to kind of the financial mistake that I was talking about. I can’t beat myself up over that because I was a different person at that time. So I’ve just got to start today and move forward because that’s what I have control over.

And the second one is when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Right? So if you find yourself and you’re going down the wrong path, stop and look around and see what’s going on and kind of take note of what’s around you and see if there’s a better way to go or something like that. And those are two things that I’ve really tried to incorporate into our life and my life. Those two pieces of advice.

Mrs. Wow: And I think that being said, too, also just kind of make your journey your own. There is a vast abundance of information out there of how to do this and how to do that and how to save money and how to invest here, and do real estate or do that. And really like pick something that works for you and do it. You don’t have to do what everybody else is telling you what to do. Utilize the resources but then make your journey around.

Mindy: Excellent advice. Excellent advice.

Scott: What is your favorite joke to tell at parties?

Mr. Wow: Oh, God. Oh, man.

Mindy: This is a PG show.

Mrs. Wow: I rarely joke people. I’ll say I’m not really a joke person but something that I’ve actually started doing is rather than when you meet somebody and you’re near at it’s like what do you do? You know, tell me about your job. I’ve actually started this new thing of just saying ‘What are you passionate about’? And people are like, oh, okay hold on. I’m passionate about this. I’m passionate about that. And I’ve done it a couple of times now where they’re like, I really like that.

And then all of a sudden, somebody else comes over and you’re introducing and you’re like, hey, this is so and so. They’re really passionate about gardening or they’re passionate about running. And it’s really kind of opened up this whole new realm so I know that it’s totally not a joke. But it’s something I do.

Mindy: Well, you know what, I think that answer is pertinent to this. It’s what is your favorite joke to tell at parties? You tell a joke to break the ice. I don’t know jokes but I know people so I’m going to ask them to talk about themselves. Great piece of advice.

Mr. Wow: I’ll go with this one and it’s probably one that most people have heard. And I think it’s funny and it’s awful. You ready?

Mindy: Yes.

Mr. Wow: So a mushroom walks into a bar and the bartender says, hey, we don’t serve your kind here. And he said, why not? I’m a fungi.

Scott: Perfect.

Mindy: Well, Scott likes that.

Mr. Wow: There you go. That’s awful.

Scott: I thought it was great. That’s exactly why we asked this question because we’re expecting jokes like that.

Mindy: I work with Scott all day every day and that’s him. All day every day are those stupid jokes. I mean, those delightful, entertaining comments.

Scott: It’s more puns. Telling a joke on the spot is very difficult but coming up with a pun for some reason—

Mr. Wow: Go for it. Your turn. We’ll flip the tables.

Scott: Let’s see.

Mr. Wow: Yeah, it’s not easy.

Scott: All right, a pirate walks into a bar and he’s got a roll of paper towels instead and he says to the bartender, Yargh! I’ve got a bounty on my head.

Mr. Wow: All right. Touché.

Mindy: Okay, moving right along. Where can people find out more about you?

Mrs. Wow: All right, you can find us at WafflesonWednesday.com.

Mr. Wow: We’re also on Twitter @WafflesonWed and that’s pretty much it. We don’t really do Facebook. We don’t do Pinterest or the rest of it. Just the website and Twitter.

Mindy: Great. Waffles on Wednesday. Every time I type in your thing, I’m like, WED-NES-DAY.

Mr. Wow: It’s a really long URL. I know you tried to call it to Wow and Wow.com. Although that is probably taken. So we didn’t really want to look into that.

Mindy: Waffles on Wednesday! People will remember it. Once you type it in a few times, it pops up when you type in ‘W’.

Mr. Wow: We get involved with all the Sunday church groups and stuff like that do fundraisers for serving Waffles on Wednesday. So those kind of Google searches, it’s pretty funny.

Mrs. Wow: People who are looking for a really good Waffle recipe.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. Though we did post one on there.

Mindy: Yeah, you should post a good waffle recipe. I’m going to go and get your waffle recipe. I make terrible waffles.

Mr. Wow: It’s on there for National Waffle Day. We did a post for National Waffle Day.

Mindy: You have your very own day.

Mr. Wow: Yeah. August 24th. Don’t forget it. Put it on your calendar there.

Mindy: Every time August 24th pops up on a Wednesday, that is your national holiday.

Mr. Wow: So somebody commented, I think the next one is like 2024. Something like that. Somebody commented on that post about I think the next time that happens on a Wednesday is like August 2024 or something. It turns out that that is the day that the guy patented the waffle iron.

Mindy: Oh. Okay.

Mr. Wow: We have a bunch of stats on there, too. You can go back and read them. They’ll tell you weird things. Apparently waffles have a whole history. Thomas Jefferson had a waffle frolic and all sorts of weird—yeah, I don’t know if that’s good or bad but yeah.

Mindy: Thomas Jefferson, the swinger.

Mr. Wow: Hey, you never know.

Mindy: Well, I want to say thank you, Mrs. Wow, for taking time out of your day to share your story with us. And you, too, Mr. Wow.

Scott: Yeah, thank you guys so much.

All right, that was Mr. and Mrs. Wow. Thanks so much for having them on the show. What’d you think, Mindy?

Mindy: Oh, my goodness. I could talk to them for another five hours. That was a really, really fun show. It ran a little bit long and I’m okay with that because it was just filled with information and it was just a lot of fun to record with them.

Scott: And that might be the first couple that we’ve done that is anonymous, I believe. Right?

Mindy: That is the first couple that we have interviewed that is anonymous. And you know what? That’s okay. As a former anonymous blogger, I was outed and if you really care, you can go and dig into the world and try to find me. I was outed and it turned out to be not even close to a big deal. Like, literally nobody cares. The people in my life that didn’t know about the blog now also don’t care because they don’t want to learn about personal finance.

And that’s okay. That’s their journey and that’s their business. And then there are some people that I thought wouldn’t care who come to me now and ask more questions. It makes me very, very happen that they feel comfortable enough to talk to me about money. Because money’s so difficult to talk about.

Scott: Yeah, and I think there’s some really good reasons to keep yourself anonymous when you’re talking about blogging for financial independence or just talking publicly about how much money you make, how much money you have, or what your finance goals are in general. That can be a personal subject and so it’s just great that we have the internet and these mediums to express ourselves through that aren’t anonymous. I’m not anonymous. So I do not share my income and net worth with folks. But some people are anonymous and do share that. And that’s great information date to get a picture of.

Mindy: Right. I think having the information, seeing what other people make, their spending levels, their savings levels. Mr. and Mrs. Wow saves 65% of their salary. That’s amazing. And when somebody just says that out of the blue, you’re like whatever, you’re full of garbage. But then they also share their income and their expenses. That’s really helpful and you don’t everybody to know your business maybe. So blogging anonymously is great. I’m glad they do it because I think they’ve got some great stories to share.

Scott: Well, should we wrap up here and get home? That was a pretty long episode.

Mindy: That was a pretty long episode. Thanks for sticking around with us.

Scott: Before we go, if you like what you hear, please go on iTunes and leave us a review or a rating. We are a brand new show still and episode here is Episode 7. And we love seeing those reviews and getting them to in to help spread the word and share the show with more people who might benefit.

Mindy: Yes, that would be very, very helpful for us to spread this story around. So yeah, it’s really easy. It takes what? 30 seconds,, 45 seconds to go to iTunes or leave a review for the BiggerPockets Money podcast. Thank you very much. Okay Scott, I’m going to get out of here. I will talk to you later. For Episode 7 of the BiggerPockets Money Share. This is Mindy Jensen, over and out.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • The reason behind Waffles on Wednesday
  • What was there life like before and how it changed
  • Tax hacks they discovered
  • Their giant leap of faith
  • How starting a business has become their greatest decision
  • Tips for creating your own spending tracker
  • Their financial independence path
  • The percentage of their income they are saving
  • How Mr. Waffles bikes to the office
  • Tips for long-distance biking
  • Their thoughts about cars
  • Their goals and how they plan to achieve them
  • Handling credit cards
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “You can only save so much. There’s a limit to it.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Embrace your mistakes because that leads you to get what you are now.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Waffles on Wednesday

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.