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Leaving “Soul Crushing” Corporate to Chase Food Truck Dreams

Leaving “Soul Crushing” Corporate to Chase Food Truck Dreams

46 min read
The BiggerPockets Money Podcast

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What does the average person do in their 20s? For most people, it means going into student debt, getting a car loan, getting a mortgage, and treating yourself. These are the “average financial decisions” that put many Americans into debt and stuck at jobs they only dream of leaving. That’s how Brent aka TheFoodTruckCEO felt when he and his wife realized they had over $100,000 in consumer debt.

Brent and his wife didn’t make any crazy decisions, he merely did what society said is the right thing to do. He and his wife had student loans to cover nursing school, both had car loans, and racked up around $13,000 in credit card debt alone. This doesn’t even include a tractor Brent decided to buy for a future business purpose!

Both Brent and his wife were bringing in solid money every month from their nursing jobs, but as soon as the money came in, it somehow flooded right back out. This annoyed Brent, he felt like he wasn’t in control of his money and his life. He went to work on debt, adding up everything they had spent over the past few months and realized he and his wife were eating out far more than needed, wasting groceries they were paying good money for, and jeopardizing their future with random purchases.

They cut up the credit cards, started snowballing their debt, reduced their eating out, and stopped shopping at the big box stores. They attacked their debt! Within 5 years, they paid off $109,000 in debt, and started to save up for investments every month.

As time went on and Brent got promoted to a more corporate role, he realized that he put himself in a terrific financial position to leave and start his own business. He had accumulated $100,000 in cash, started investing in his business, and now runs a mobile pizza truck, serving delicious woodfired pizza and doing what he loves.

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Read the Transcript Here

Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast show number 173, where we interview Brent from Debt & Cupcakes and get his story of paying off massive debt, leaving a toxic work environment and starting his own company all thanks to his journey to financial security.

Brent:
Sit down and think about how your emotions are actually playing into what you’re doing with your money. Are you buying this because you want it, or are you buying this because you’re trying to mask some level of unhappiness that’s in your life? If you can control your emotional spending, you will be in a far better financial position two weeks a month, six months from now.

Mindy:
Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Mindy Jensen and with me as always is my dynamite co-host, Scott Trench.

Scott:
That’s right.

Mindy:
Scott how are you today?

Scott:
I’m doing great. We have an explosive show. [inaudible 00:00:48] with the dynamite pun there.

Mindy:
Oh my goodness. Scott and I are here to make financial independence less scary, less just for somebody else. To introduce you to every money story, because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you’re starting.

Scott:
That’s right. Whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments in assets like real estate or start your own business, we’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so that you can live life on your terms and pursue your dreams.
Brent from Debt & Cupcakes. Awesome, awesome story. He and his wife were both nurses and their journey out of $109,000 in various debts to the generation of substantial financial runway, leaving his job and pursuing a career of his dreams.

Mindy:
Yeah. I really like his story. He starts off with saying, “We were making poor decisions.” And I don’t think they were really poor decisions, they were normal decisions. His journey is typical. I mean, he and his wife were brand-newly married and they started spending money because that’s what you do as an adult. You go out to dinner and you buy a house and you do all these silly things. And to figure it out is not the norm.
I love his tactics. “Oh, we weren’t paying attention to money.” Well, when you don’t pay attention to money, it creeps up. And it’s not just Brent, it’s everybody. Carl and I ended last year with quite the overspending because we didn’t pay attention. And we’re raving that in again this year. We’ve got this mobile spending tracker that’s just so helpful when you’re just paying attention to it.
So, the quick tip for today’s episode is start tracking your spending. And to track your spending, the WoWs, the Waffles on Wednesday people have created a really great step-by-step guide to how to create a mobile spending tracker. Because when it’s on your phone, as you’re spending the money you’re like, “Oh, I just spent this much money. And here’s what I did. Here’s where I went. Here’s what I spent it on.”
And by the time I get home, I have forgotten the total. I have forgot to… I mean, maybe I’ve gone to several stores. So having it on my phone is huge. So, we will have links to their spending tracker in the show notes or you can just Google Waffles on Wednesday spending tracker. And it’s just a Google form that you put on your phone that’s really great.

Scott:
Love it. And I’ll just add on to that. This is the constant theme we get from all these guests. Brent and his wife, they started their journey out by doing exactly this. And I’ll even add on to what you’re talking about, tracking your spending. Sign up for this. Use this resource from Waffles on Wednesday, or use Mint or use You Need a Budget, or use Personal Capital, or use a spreadsheet. But somehow some way, link up, get the last three months of expenses into some form of spreadsheet or one of these apps and look at where your biggest categories of expenses are and just ask yourself and your partner, “Is that spending reflecting what you value in life and what you want in your journey to financial independence?”
It’s the same tip every single person, not every single person, but the vast majority of our guests seem to have done this exercise in order to jumpstart their path to financial independence.

Mindy:
Yep. I cannot agree more. It’s just such an eye-opening experience to see how much money you’re spending day by day. And you go to the gas station and you throw $30 in your tank you’re like, “Whatever.” And then you go to the grocery store and, “Oh, 50 bucks. Whatever.” And then you get home and you’re like, “How did I spend $175 today?” You see it, or when you see it, it’s just a slap in the face. Like, “Whoa, wake up.” Brent Gargasz from Debt & Cupcakes, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. I’m so excited to talk to you today. How are you?

Brent:
I’m doing wonderful. Thank you so much. I’m equal parts excited and terrified to be doing this today.

Mindy:
Oh, you really hide it well, because we’ve been talking for a few minutes and you don’t sound terrified at all. But don’t worry, Scott doesn’t bite. I don’t bite hard. So, I want to know about your money story because I have been following you on Twitter and it’s very interesting. You paid off a boatload of debt, I believe is the correct phrase for that amount of debt. And then you quit your job, which is the RE part of financial independence. And then you started your own company, which is, there’s all these things you have to do isn’t the right word. Scott, what am I looking for? All these things that people do.

Scott:
Of the options of spend less, earn more, create a business or invest aggressively and intelligently, it seems like you’ve done all of them.

Mindy:
Yeah.

Brent:
I’ve tried. I don’t know if I meant to do all of that, but here we are.

Scott:
Yeah.

Mindy:
Well, okay. So, where does your journey with money begin?

Brent:
I guess the important parts are when we got married. My wife and I got married back in 2011 and it all started there with, I don’t want to say they were poor financial decisions, they were normal financial decisions. And then that just kept continuing to compound into, like you said, $109,000 in debt that was split up between two vehicles, student loans, credit cards and this silly tractor that my lack of emotional intelligence allowed me to buy.

Mindy:
Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait. You bought a tractor because you’re a farmer?

Brent:
Well, I wasn’t then, but I wanted to be. I would say I am now. But back then we weren’t. We lived on a two acre lot and I wanted to own the property. For some reason I did it backwards. I bought the tractor for the property before the property.

Scott:
Ah.

Mindy:
Oh, okay.

Scott:
Well, let’s start and attack this chronologically here. Maybe going into the marriage, what were the financial positions of you and your wife?

Brent:
So, we were both new nurses, new registered nurses, new-ish. Our household income was probably $83 to $85,000. At that time, new nurses didn’t make a ton of money. I think I was making $19 to $20 an hour and she was making $20 to $21 an hour. So, it was roughly about $85,000 a year.

Scott:
And how many years out of graduation was this?

Brent:
For me, it would have been four years and for my wife it would have been about a year.

Scott:
Got it. Okay. And then did you guys each bring any assets or debt into the marriage?

Brent:
Debt. Yeah, for sure, debt. We each had vehicle payments. The student loan payments were mainly my wife’s. Most of mine I had cleared up already when I was a new grad, because I had relatively low student loan debt.

Scott:
Okay. So, what would you say your combined household net worth ballpark was following the marriage there?

Brent:
Oh, it had to be negative. I mean, I don’t have a number. I wish I would have tracked it back then, but it would have been a negative net worth for sure. We had no money in savings. She didn’t have a 401k yet. She had just started. My 401k was very small because who cares about a 401k when you’re 25 years old? Right? Nobody. So, yeah. Negative net worth, for sure.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. And so, what was your lifestyle like around the time of your marriage there?

Brent:
Oh, we lived like we were making $200,000 a year. We would go out to eat constantly, we took trips, we just spent. I mean, I think once I related it to, our lifestyle was a corvette and our money was the gas. And we were just dumping it in and flooring it down the highway.

Scott:
Love it. Okay. So, in 2011 you have a negative net worth combined with student loan debt, car loans, whatever, no savings, and you’re spending everything that comes in on items there. What was your housing situation like?

Brent:
So we owned a home because we bought a house before we should have. We bought a house actually before we were married. We bought it in September of 2010, and then we were married in June of 2011.

Scott:
Got it. And what was your housing payment? Do you have any idea about what that was at that time?

Brent:
Yeah, it was roughly $1,200 a month.

Scott:
Okay, great. So you’ve got the housing payment, you got the car payments, it sounds like you’re not exactly tracking your expenditures on the day-to-day, like food and all the fun stuff. So, what happens? Does this continue for several years? What’s the next phase you’re out of the marriage. How long does this situation that you just described last?

Mindy:
Well, Scott, you buy a tractor.

Scott:
Yeah, that’s right.

Brent:
Yeah, the tractor payment, I think, was the tipping point for what is going on. And that probably happened in 2013. And that’s when we started to look at our money. Because we were continuing to make more money. We were both hard workers, so we were moving up in the companies that we worked in. We kept bringing in more money, but we kept overdrafting our checking account as if we were not bringing in any more money.
And there was the one day I just remember we overdrafted our account and I was so irritated and upset that how could this happen? So, I stopped and I went back and looked at three months’ worth of our spending from the bank, I exported to an Excel sheet. And I counted up how much money we spent just on going to restaurants. And I’m like, “Whoa, why are we doing this? We’re spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month to go out to eat. And we throw all those groceries way that we go and buy that we spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on.” And that was the tipping point. Like why do we not save any money when we’re making far more money than probably people of a similar age. We’re not saving anything.

Scott:
So, what had happened to your income over those two or three years?

Brent:
It just continued to grow. I worked from an ICU nurse, and I transitioned into my former employer, and I worked up through that company. I was probably promoted two or three times before I was 30, and then a couple more times after that. And the same with my wife. She continued to get promoted within the organization.

Scott:
I want to focus in on this pivot point where you actually undergo this analysis and get a picture of what your situation was like when you did that three months look back and studied your finances. You said you were making around $83 to $85 when you started in 2011?

Brent:
Yeah.

Scott:
Was this around $90 to $100 in this situation or what was-

Brent:
It was probably between $100 and $120, I would say, that general range.

Scott:
To making a household income of $120, what had happened to your net worth as a family in that period of those years? Did you, for example, the tractor, how much did you spend on the tractor there? Did you finance it with cash?

Brent:
I financed it with somebody else’s cash, not mine. That tractor was a little over $22,000.

Scott:
Okay. Got it.

Mindy:
What did you do with the tractor when you didn’t own the property that it was going to plow or whatever you do with the tractor? Clearly that’s hard-

Brent:
Yeah. Talking about this is just even worse than thinking about it on my own. I remember one day we had this little garden and I drove the tractor down. And I currently still have it, a six foot bucket in the front of it. And I threw a handful of jalapenos and a couple of tomatoes and I drove back to the house, and it was just like a joke that that’s what I’m using the tractor for. I had a big yard to mow. I mean, two acres takes time, but that’s again, just rationalizing it. It was much bigger than I needed.

Scott:
Was it an awesome tractor?

Brent:
Yeah. I still have it. Now we have a 52 acre property. Now I need it and it actually comes in really handy.

Scott:
Perfect. I love it.

Mindy:
Is it paid off?

Brent:
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Mindy:
Okay. Okay. Sorry for skipping ahead. I just had to know that.

Scott:
Well, besides the tractor, what else had happened? Had you accumulated a substantial increase in debt or had you invested at all with the 401k or had any changes happened between 2011 and 2013 with your asset allocation?

Brent:
No, I mean, other than the minute, I think we were each investing 6% into our 401k because the company matched that 50%. So, at least we were getting the 3% out of that. So, there’s maybe some silver lining of accidental intelligence that we had there. But yeah, other than that and paying down our mortgage slowly, just the basic monthly payment. But our net worth was stagnant. We weren’t doing anything to aggressively grow it.

Scott:
Okay. And had you accumulated any more, like any credit card debt or anything like that racking up?

Brent:
Yeah. About $13,000 worth of it.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. And it sounds like that credit card debt then and the tractor are really the two incremental, big pieces of debt that you accumulated in that period. Is that right?

Brent:
Yeah. During that period of time, between ’11 and ’13, the tractor and the credit cards. Yeah. The rest of the stuff we had coming into it.

Scott:
Okay. Great. All right. So you had this revelation in 2013, you realize you’re spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on food and groceries and all that good stuff. What happens next?

Brent:
So, my wife and I just sat down and we went through all the debt we had. I remember having to look up the debt and I had just read a book that helped guide me through this. And I added up all of our debt, all of our monthly payments. And I remember sitting down and just looking at this number we were putting out per month like, what could our lives be if this money was going towards something positive?
And we had that conversation. And then we decided, okay. And we didn’t know how much the other one had on their credit card at the time, because we didn’t talk about it. That was a huge failure, a breakdown in communication. If you don’t talk about money, the money just goes wherever it wants.
So, we decided, “This is what’s on my credit card.” She showed me what was on hers. And we’re like, “We’re not doing this anymore.” We cut the credit cards up that day and we just attacked that credit card debt and made this decision that we have to talk about money. You have to talk about what you want, because if you just go buy it and hide it on a credit card, you’re not doing a service to the relationship or the marriage.

Mindy:
Wow. Yeah. That’s so true. I read a book once where it starts off and she’s like, “Yeah, I never told my husband about the debt and I would hide the purchases and wait until he was in the house or away so I could bring the things into the house and cut off the tags right away so he didn’t know it was new,” and yada, yada.
And I just thought, that breaks my heart for their relationship because financial infidelity is a real thing. And you need to be honest with your partner. You’re on the same team. You’re not on warring teams and you need to be in the same place in order to get ahead. So, what was the first thing you guys did when you decided we’re not going to do this anymore?

Brent:
Started budgeting. And that’s really hard at first because you don’t know how much you need to spend because you’re so used to just spending. We had to start somewhere, figure out our budget. How much should we be spending on this? How much should we be trying to put into our savings account or going toward debt? So, we sat down and wrote up a really, really rough budget and started working off of that.

Scott:
Sometimes when you start using the budget word and you go from this pattern of spending, we’ve learned that it can be a difficult thing to bring up with your significant other. How did you approach the subject with your wife?

Brent:
It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t just my fault. We mutually had failed when it came to making positive changes in our financial life. And you can’t go into it placing blame or anything like that. So, it was just, “I don’t want you to feel like you don’t have what you need to have, but what do you think you need to have?” This is what I think that I need to have. How do you feel?” And just having those really basic conversations.

Mindy:
Something that we hear a lot on this show is when people are telling their story, they go from flying high and spending every dime they have to cutting out absolutely everything and eating beans and rice and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And then to like, “Oh, I don’t like that either.” Did you guys go too far and pull back? Are there some things that you decided, “I need this in my life?” Besides the tractor.

Brent:
I shouldn’t have brought up the tractor. Probably the one thing we like to have is we still like to go out to eat every once in a while. It’s just enjoyable. So, we didn’t want to cut that out. And we both knew that, just like you said, a life of deprivation, that’s not a long-term plan for success. It’s just like dieting. You can’t just stop eating everything you like to eat forever. And you’re just going to go on about that.
So, we tried to find that happy medium. And we did continue to go out to eat. We’d either go out to eat once every other week or however it was working for us, but we tried to not pull back so hard that we knew we’d fail.

Mindy:
How long did it take you to pay off this debt?

Brent:
About five years.

Mindy:
Okay. And what was the thing that was the biggest catalyst towards paying off this debt? It sounds like you stopped going out to eat so much. Did you do anything else?

Brent:
You mean to help us financially to get to that position to pay the debt off?

Mindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brent:
It was a cumulation of things. One of it is controlling your spending, the other is trying to earn more money. You can cut your monthly expenses like we did. The amount of money it costs us to live anymore is pretty low, but at the same time, we were pretty aggressively trying to grow within our organization to try to make as much as we could so that we could allocate that money towards the debt and get out of, underneath this financial rock we are under.

Scott:
Okay. So in 2013, you have $109,000 in debt in total. Is that right?

Brent:
Yeah.

Scott:
What was your monthly payment on the principal and interest for this debt?

Brent:
And that’s another thing I wish I had documented a little bit better. We probably had over $2,000 or more going out per month toward just the debt itself.

Scott:
Wow. Okay. So, you have $2,000 going towards this debt, when you start budgeting, it sounds like you’ve pretty much break even paycheck to paycheck-ish, no savings when you start. How does that process go for you? Are you immediately able to begin accumulating a lot of capital or do you start gradually improving your rate of accumulation that you’re putting towards the debt?

Brent:
We were actually able to make some pretty positive changes fast. Because again, we were making good money. A $1,200 mortgage is not a huge mortgage payment. It’s really not. So, once we stopped shopping at the really big box stores, even just for groceries, and stopped going out to eat so much, that actually opened up hundreds of dollars a month.
So we started attacking just the smaller debt payments that we could and then we continued to build that up. So yeah, we made some pretty positive changes that first year, which I think emotionally helped us get through it.

Scott:
Love it. So you go from zero to hundreds of dollars a month pretty much immediately. And then do you start paying down this debt with the smallest balance first kind of like the debt snowball approach, or do you tackle the highest interest rate, or is there a strategy that you use to pay down that debt?

Brent:
So, we started with the smallest balance first. We did the snowball method. And I think that worked really well for us. I know it’s not necessarily the best financial mathematical decision to make when you look at interest rates. I know that now. But at the time, I’m a big believer in how your emotions dictate your spending, and being able to pay things off and get that little positive reinforcement from it helped us continue to get excited about what you’re doing.
It’s really hard to get excited about paying debt off, but if you can make those, we made those little goals and we just kept achieving a little goal, a little goal, a little goal, and then that just builds into eventually we were done. And we had all of this money per month that we were just dumping toward debt.

Scott:
Awesome. What were some of those little wins that you remember in the early months?

Brent:
Just the first thousand. That was a goal. Let’s get the first thousand paid off. Okay. We have this one little credit card. There’s $1,800 on it. Let’s get that paid off. And you get it paid off and there’s this sense of achievement in that.

Mindy:
Yeah. There’s some controversy on the debt snowball versus the debt avalanche, which is the opposite. Debt snowball, you line up your debts smallest to largest and pay the smallest off first. The debt avalanche is you line them up per interest rates and the highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate. And I think a hybrid could work too, where you line them up smallest to largest and biggest interest rate to smallest interest rate.
And then just pick. Like this week, or this month, I’m going to pay off the debt snowball method. And then as soon as that one’s done, I’m going to go tackle the highest interest rate. And then I’m going to go get another easy win by tackling the lowest and back and forth. Personal finance is personal. And I keep saying this, it doesn’t have to work for anybody but you.
And when people, I like the scholars that are like, “Ooh, you’re paying off too much interest.” You’re paying interest anyway, do what makes you feel good and do what makes you stick with it. I mean, paying off this high interest rate over and over and never seeing anything change can be so deflating and will why even bother because I can’t get this done?

Brent:
Yeah, absolutely. And looking at things, whenever we first started this, we weren’t making mathematical decisions about our finances anyway, we were making emotional decisions. They were poor emotional decisions. So, it was an easier transition for us to try to just switch that and get the positive emotion out of money.

Scott:
Awesome. So, you’re starting to tackle your debts. You make immediate progress. What are some of the points along this five-year journey that you recall as helping accelerate paying off the debt here?

Brent:
Probably there was a couple of promotions. I was promoted twice and they were pretty substantial pay increases. I moved from one position and I received like a 27% pay increase to go to the next. And looking back, it was only because I was wildly underpaid in the former position because I started to manage those people to see where my salary was.
But having that additional 27% of income coming in was huge. And then roughly at the same time, my wife took a new position. She also received a pay increase, I believe, 10% to 15% or so at the time. So you’re looking at 37% more income coming in all at once. And that was a huge accelerator.

Scott:
And about what time did that happen in this journey? If we started in 2013, how many years in?

Brent:
About a year, year and a half in that started.

Scott:
Awesome.

Mindy:
Oh, wow.

Scott:
So, your income goes from $120 to $150-ish. Is that right?

Brent:
It was probably closer to $160 at that time. And then two years again after that, I was promoted again and we were probably then pushing $180, $190 at that point with my wife again, being put into another promotion as well.

Scott:
Love it. And you guys are both nurses and managing nurses, I’m gathering, at this point? I’m not sure what the terms are there.

Brent:
Yeah. So, I was managing a very large education department for a very large healthcare organization.

Scott:
Okay.

Brent:
And my wife also worked in a similar education role, but the way the company was split up, we worked for the same organization for a long time. And she was actually managing the same staff I was, but they were different people, if that makes sense, just in different regions is how it was split up.

Scott:
Got it. Okay. So you’d transitioned out of your profession at some point here or into a slightly different field, is that right?

Brent:
So, once I left that position, I took on what’s called a group level or national level management education management position where I was overseeing, I think right before I had left, it was roughly 15 states before they started to make some changes to my position. And then I had moved out, left the organization entirely after that.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. So, besides these promotions, were there anything else that was going on in helping you pay down the debt? Were you getting better and better at budgeting, or were you keeping your expenses flat?

Brent:
I think we got a lot better at budgeting. I remember, I do all my budgeting on this Excel sheet that I made, and I forgot that, instead of deleting the tabs, because I would do it every two weeks, I would just hide the tabs. I was sending my budget tool to somebody last week and I right clicked and I saw unhide, and I hit unhide and it took me back to like 2016. And even then, the budgets were so, they were pretty bad. It was just, this is how much we need to pay and then you just leave this amount of money in there. So we continued to get a little better with that.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. And then, okay. So, between the income and the budgeting, was there anything else you did with your investing? Did you continue contributing to your 401k, for example, or begin to invest otherwise? Or did you just attack the debt until it got to zero?

Brent:
We left our 401ks at 6%. I never wanted to stop that. I know that was some of the guidance that I was reading and hearing is, well, you should stop that and send that money towards your debt. But I felt like I was leaving money on the table at that point. It may only be 3%, but I was still leaving 3% of free money on the table. So, we continued to invest in our 401ks, but we did not have any post-tax brokerage investing, or we weren’t growing our savings account. It was just a complete focus on the debt.

Mindy:
You were leaving 100% of the free money on the table if you didn’t invest in your 401k?

Brent:
Yes.

Mindy:
It was a 3% contribution, but you were leaving 100%. I just want to clarify. Yeah, no, I am a huge proponent of contributing to your 401k, Scott, and maxing it out if you can. When you have debt is maxing it out the best choice? Probably not. But if there’s any match, you should absolutely be contributing to get that because that’s a 50% return on your investment, but that’s free money. That is money that your company wants to give you. And you’re saying, “No, thanks. I don’t need that extra money,” when you don’t contribute to your 401k when there’s a company match.

Scott:
I know this is Brent’s story, but I want to chime in here about the 401k match because I am a huge fan of taking the match. And I would certainly take the match. The one time in my life where I didn’t take the match was when I was 22 years old and I was saving up every penny I could in order to fund my first house hack, which is my first financial goal.
And for that year, I did not max out my 401k contribution to take the match because I was saving up for the down payment of a house hack. If I had any longer of a timeline, I would have taken the match because it is free money. Yes.

Mindy:
And I’m sorry, what year was that, Scott?

Scott:
That was 2013 and ’14.

Mindy:
Okay. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the returns in 2013 and ’14 were quite hefty, but you don’t know what you don’t know and you can’t predict the stock market and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And your investments have done very well. I do think that real estate is a great way to invest. But you’re right, it is Brent’s story. So let’s let him get back to it.

Scott:
Sorry, Brent.

Brent:
That’s totally fine.

Scott:
Okay. So, what happens when you begin approaching zero in 2018 with your debt load?

Brent:
Yeah. So, we actually became debt-free, I believe, the 30th of March in 2018. And as we got closer, I remember when we got that balance under $20,000 total, under $15,000, it’s just, you can see that light at the end of the tunnel. And it sounds so cliche to say it, but we paid all of our debt off and we booked our first vacation in five years to Disneyland, and we went to Disneyland.

Scott:
Awesome.

Mindy:
I’m going to Disneyland.

Brent:
Yep. That was it. We went down there.

Scott:
Do you have kids?

Brent:
We do not, no.

Scott:
So, you pay off all your debt, when you say we’re getting to $15, $20,000, how much per month where you paying towards the debt at the very end of the journey here?

Brent:
Probably $6,000.

Scott:
$6,000 a month. Wow. Okay.

Brent:
At that point. Probably $5,000, 6,000, I would say. Yeah.

Scott:
So you jumped from a few hundred a month to $5 or $6,000 a month over the course of these five years in terms of your accumulation. So, you’re sitting there at zero and you have this massive positive cash flow coming in. After your trip to Disneyland, what do you do with your assets?

Brent:
So, between March and when we went to Disney, we built up our emergency fund. We went for six months initially. So we put six months of cash in our savings account. Once that was in our savings account, we opened up just a pretty basic Vanguard post-tax brokerage account and then just started taking every dime that was going toward debt and dumping it into investments at that point. We increased our 401k matches so that last year we would max out our 401ks and then dumping all the extra cash, anything we had went right toward the post-tax brokerage account.

Scott:
Was the concept of early retirement in your minds at this point or was this just what you thought of as a natural extension of paying off the debt?

Brent:
Our minds were racing at this point because we never imagined being in this position that we had this inflow of money that wasn’t just going toward paying off a car or something like that. So, we had all sorts of ideas. What should we do? Early retirement was definitely something we thought about.
Neither one of us wanted to really stop working, but the feeling of becoming financially independent or at least financially secure was our main priority. Because around 2018, there started to become a lot of a lack of stability in both of our positions. So, we constantly felt like this hammer was going to come down and we both were going to lose our jobs. Because at that time we both had the same job just covering different markets and we had to eliminate 25% of our staff. It came down, we had to do that.
And it was this eye-opening experience of that’s going to happen to us. It’s just a matter of when the company decides that they don’t need this small position anymore in the organization. So the, I’ll use the word obsessed, the obsession of becoming debt-free became the obsession of collecting enough money that when that happened, we would be fine at least for a while, while we looked for something better.

Mindy:
Wow. So, you had to get rid of 25% of your staff, but you both had the same job at the same company. Where does the story go from here? Because that seems like, like I remember the people from Enron when that collapsed, and there were couples that worked there together their whole lives and all their retirement was in the Enron stock. And when the company collapsed, they had nothing.
And if you’re both working at the same company, I mean, if you don’t need one position, you don’t need two people in the same position. I mean, that seems like a very real possibility. How much money did you accumulate? And did you immediately start looking for a new job? Did she start looking for a new job?

Brent:
We were always open to a new position. It was what we want to do. We both were becoming a little unhappy in our position, I would say. And so, the first thing we thought is we have to diversify how our money comes in. We both can’t have the same position anymore. So, I began to look for a new position within the organization and I was promoted in January of 2019. I did get a new position. So that made me feel a little better.
I took that job assuming I was going to be eliminated in a year, just because of the history of the similar positions. So, I took that job, and we had already started talking about the food truck at that time too. So, this was starting to transition to maybe this is how we get out of this. And if I take this job and they eliminate me in a year, I’ll take severance and go work on the food truck. That’s maybe not such a bad thing. And during that period of time, we accumulated right around a hundred thousand dollars.

Scott:
Awesome.

Mindy:
Oh, nice.

Scott:
So, this is January, 2019, you’ve accumulated a hundred grand?

Brent:
Yeah.

Scott:
Okay. So you’re saving $6,000 a month and this accumulation of a hundred grand is outside of your retirement accounts more or less, is that right?

Brent:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, we didn’t have that in January of 2019. We had that a hundred right around September of 2019.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. So your plan going into this is, “Hey, we don’t have diversified income streams. We’re now debt-free and we’ve got an emergency fund, which is great, and good goals, but now we’ve got to take the next step here and move our position to the next level.” And that’s where you start focusing on accumulating a hundred thousand dollars in liquidity, right?

Brent:
Yeah. That was our goal. And I don’t know why that’s the number, but I felt like that was a number that was well over two years’ worth of expenses. So, if we both would lose our jobs, we can live for, and that’s not even dialing back our lifestyle, we live a frugal lifestyle. But that’s not changing that to a period of deprivation or anything like that. So, accumulating the income and both of us looking for different positions became the priority for us.

Scott:
Love it. I call that hundred grand, that two years of lifestyle expenses, financial runway. That’s the amount of time that you can survive without dependence on your wage income. And having two years of runway is enormously freeing from a mental standpoint, especially in relation to the rest of your story. The goal of this whole journey of financial independence is to perpetually extend that runway and give yourself more and more freedom and options in life. So, I love the way you approached that.

Brent:
Yeah. I mean, if it wasn’t for that, and I like that, the financial runway. I’ve heard you say that before. I’ve listened to your podcast before. And that actually allowed us to make the decisions that we’ve made in the past six months. And I think that’s where my former organization, I don’t believe big companies expect their employees to be able to do that. I feel that there’s a certain, be happy you have a job. And when the person comes back and says, “No, thank you.” That catches them off-guard, I believe.

Scott:
It’s a totally inappropriate balance of power between the employer and the employee in most cases, because the employee has no power. They live paycheck to paycheck. They’re screwed or on emergency mode if they lose their job unexpectedly. And it’s just, I think, a complete, huge problem in this society of ours.
And this is one of the reasons why this show exists is to give that power back into the hands of the ordinary person. So, I love it. Love the way you’re thinking about that. All right. So, you have a hundred thousand dollars in runway in September, 2019, which is just a few months ago. How do you use that to better your life?

Brent:
So that’s when, in about June, I don’t know if it was June, May or June-ish of last year is when we decided, “Okay, we’re going to do the food truck. It’s going to happen.” So, we had to start making the investments into that. And that was actually really mentally hard for me because we had this scarcity mindset for so long and this fear of, if we lose our jobs, we need this money. And this money is like this giant parachute that you don’t want to ever have to deploy, but you want to always have it on your back. And now I had to open it up a little bit.
And so, the first step was making the investment in the actual food truck itself. I had to have it built, and they’re not cheap. I mean, I didn’t spend a ton on it. The actual food truck itself costs about $25,000 to have a brand new trailer built for what I wanted to do and have it shipped to me from Texas. It ran a little over 25,000.

Scott:
Okay. Got it. And going into this, you’ve mentioned the food check a few times. It sounds like this was a goal for a long period of time. For a year or more, you had the idea of running this business, is that right?

Brent:
Yeah. It probably started just in casual conversation and later in 2018. We knew we wanted to do it. It was just figuring out how to do it. And it’s a very confusing thing to start. I don’t have experience in the food industry. I’m a nurse, my wife is a nurse. And there’s a lot you need to learn.

Scott:
Why did you want to do a food truck, and what type of food specifically?

Brent:
So, I do all mobile wood fire pizza. I have a 48 inch wood fire oven on this 15 foot long trailer. And why I want to do it? Who doesn’t love pizza? Everybody loves pizza. And who doesn’t want to be able to make some phenomenal pizza? And over a period of about a year and a half of learning how to make good pizza or make good dough, it just became something that I’m like, “Wow, I’m actually pretty good at this.” And I had that sense of, “I can make money doing this and I love doing it at the same time?” Was a really strange concept and it just drew me in.

Mindy:
I have had jobs where I dread going to work, and I have this job now where I’m excited to go to work. I am excited to get up in the morning. And the difference between the two is astonishing. And there’s that old adage, oh, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And that’s not really true because it’s still work. I mean, I’m not out sipping margaritas on the beach every day, I’m actually working. But it’s not a tough job, it’s not a soul-crushing job.
And having this space to go to, I mean, how different is it to get up in the morning knowing that you don’t have to go to soul-sucking nursing job because you get to go to pizza job? And I mean, I make pizzas and we have Friday night pizza night, and it’s a lot of fun and I don’t even have a super awesome wood-fired oven that I pull around on a trailer. What’s your day like now?

Brent:
I’m actually far busier now. I was living the corporate lifestyle. And I know I keep saying I’m a nurse and I think I want to make sure people understand the difference between being a nurse and taking care of people, and being a nurse in the corporate world. They are drastically different. I was no longer doing direct patient care. That was a very fulfilling side of nursing, when I worked in the ICU. Very fulfilling.
Working in corporate was soul-crushing is what it was. Now, I don’t know how to describe it. I mean, I spend more time out and about. I’m constantly doing something for the business, whether it’s just working in Photoshop to make ads, talking to brewery owners, talking to people who want to book us for private events, making dough, balling dough, deciding on different recipes for whatever the monthly special is going to be this month. It’s you find yourself almost working all the time, but it doesn’t feel like work.

Mindy:
You’re making pizza.

Brent:
Who doesn’t love pizza, right?

Scott:
Well, let’s say this, when did this transition occur and what were the circumstances around the specifics of the transition to doing this?

Brent:
So, it occurred probably Q3 of 2019. There was a decision made with my former employer to eliminate my peer. And they eliminated my peer and decided that I was now going to do all of their work. All of their projects, cover their area. I was going to manage all of their employees. And this was just decided and said, “Here you go.”

Scott:
Oh, good. And this was for twice the pay, right?

Brent:
And this is where they get you. This is for the exact same pay.

Mindy:
Wait, double the work for the same pay? That sounds great.

Brent:
Yeah. Who doesn’t want that? That’s where the power of imbalance comes into play there. Initially you’re caught off guard when something like this happens. You’re like, “How am I going to do this, first of all?” And I very much care about my staff. That’s what kept me in the position so long. I had a great group of employees that worked under me.
They worked very hard. They were very good. And then I received a whole nother group of employees that are coming to work for me who were equally wonderful people. But now I’m starting to see that the people who were technically two rows below me on the hierarchy are being paid more than me.
Well, that’s a little unnerving as I’m covering pretty much the whole country at this point. And so I asked politely, had a conversation with my manager. Just laid out, “This is what I’m doing. This is what I have done. This is what I bring to the organization. This is where my salary is at. And I would really like to have a salary adjustment given pretty much the new job that I’ve been given.” And I was told, “Now’s not the time to ask.”

Mindy:
Well, then now’s not the time to be asking me to double up my workload. When you said your peer was eliminated, was that your wife?

Brent:
No, it was not. So, at this point, I had been promoted, again, to now I was in a different department. So, we had diversified ourselves enough that if one of us got eliminated, the other one would still have a job. So, the peer was just a coworker of mine. They eliminated her. They never said why, but she’d lived in an incredibly high cost of living market. And she’d been with the organization for like 38 years, so she was probably making way more than I was making. So they cleared the high salary off the book and just said, “Good luck, Brent. Here.”
That was a rough few weeks. And my wife and I then had to have the conversation about what do we do now? Because I was willing to stick it out because she was still looking for a new job. She wasn’t happy doing what she was doing. So I’m going to ride this out until she finds something she wants to do. And she was approached about taking a position with our direct competitor and it was something that was perfect for her. And that just, it all started to work out together without even trying to make it work out. She was approached about this position, was hired into this position, got a nice pay raise. And at this point I was starting to just look for the right opportunity to tell my former employer that I was going to be leaving.

Mindy:
So, did she quit first?

Brent:
She did.

Mindy:
She moved to the… Okay. And then you, I followed along, so I’m trying not to be too leading. I follow it along on Twitter. So, you decided to give your notice?

Brent:
Yes. So I was, again, it was kind of funny. Twitter is such a weird place because I never intended for it to be what it is, but I love interacting with people on there. I think the sense of I’m anonymous on there, that that gives me the ability to maybe be a little more open about the little things that I’m doing. And so, I chronologicaled my departure from my former employer.
So, at this point I was being a little spiteful and maybe that’s not a character trait I should be proud of, but I was looking for the right opportunity to leave when I knew they were going to be like, “Ugh, you’ve smacked me around a few times over the past 10 years, here’s my only chance to do it back.” It’s pretty much what I did.

Scott:
So, when did you give your resignation?

Brent:
It was shortly after Thanksgiving. I gave him about five weeks notice. And it was, in my head I’m thinking, “Okay, let’s see how serious they are about not paying me.” Because they had no plan whatsoever to cover for me. There was nothing. So, I’m like, “Well, maybe they’ll come back and offer me more money. And if it’s enough, I can stick it out for another year if I had to.”
There was people that were very upset that I was leaving within the organization. And so, you get put on this island once I put my notice in. It was the greatest five weeks of employment I had in 10 years. Nobody talked to me. We still worked together with my employees, but I came up with a transition plan for them, at least. And then I just worked my way out of the company. So, it was a very weird time.

Mindy:
Were you running the pizza truck while you were also doing the corporate job or did you stop one and then start the next one?

Brent:
I was building up to launch at the same time. So, you could say, yes, I was running it. We just weren’t doing the events yet. So, we had to do everything as far as getting it built. I had to then, once I had it built, begin to use it and learn how to use it. Because cooking in that type of oven is drastically different than what we were cooking in before. So, working with the health departments and then reaching out like we were talking a little bit before we started recording, whenever we went on that brewery tour, I had the sense of alcohol courage to start handing my card out to all the brewery owners before we were ready. And then I started getting calls. I’m like, “Oh, no. What have I done?”

Scott:
Nice. That’s a business expense. Right? [crosstalk 00:44:32].

Brent:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Scott:
I love it.

Mindy:
So when was your last day at corporate and when was your first event at Pizzas RS?

Brent:
Pizzas RS. So, my first event was January 4th and my last day was the beginning of the year.

Mindy:
January 1st this year the last day?

Brent:
Yeah. So that worked itself out that we finished one and then we started our first event right on the 4th.

Mindy:
That’s awesome.

Scott:
And what was your financial position at the time of this transition? You had a hundred grand saved up by September, you put $25 into this pizza truck, what was your position at the moment of your departure?

Brent:
So, the total startup cost was definitely greater than $25,000. We probably spent, so I know exactly how much we spent, we spent a little over $40,000 to get started because you have to have the truck and then you have all the licenses and all the other equipment that goes into it. I mean, there’s a lot of little things that begin to add up, which is probably why it’s really hard for people to start a business if they’re not financially ready for it. Because you don’t realize how much those things add up. And whenever I left the organization, we had, in liquid cash, about 75,000 at that point still.

Scott:
Love it. So, you’re in great position to begin this. And I know that we’re recording this early in the year, so you only have a little bit of time to figure out your numbers here, but what are you projecting for income from this business over the course of a year?

Brent:
So, I have a goal for gross income. By the end of the year, I want to gross $80,000 in the first year with the pizza truck. I don’t know if that’s a hefty goal. I mean, you run the numbers of, the pizzas aren’t super expensive. You’re looking anywhere at $10 to $13 for a pizza. So, you have to sell a lot of pizzas to gross $80,000, but I’m going to work the full calendar year. I’m not going to do what most mobile trucks around here do is they only work a season. So, nobody else is really doing this right now. And my wife and I are out doing this right now.

Scott:
Okay, awesome. And how does that compare to your income at the job previously?

Brent:
I mean, it’s less than what I was making in my previous job. My income when I left my former employer was right around a $100,000, and I was eligible for a $15,000 bonus that year as well. We typically didn’t get the full bonus. The percentage over the past five years kept coming down, down, down, down, down. So you could say $115, I was eligible for.

Mindy:
Well, but what are you going to do? Quit if you don’t get your whole bonus?

Brent:
Right. Exactly. No, you just keep going on.

Mindy:
Yeah. And what are you going to do, quit? We’re not going to give you a raise. You’re just going to have to do double the money or double the job for the same money. And that’s why you have financial security. I like that phrase that you used, financial security, so that can say, “You know what? You don’t value me. I’m going to go find somebody who does,” or, “You don’t value me, I’m going to go start my own pizza truck.” I called you Pizza RS, what is your real pizza name?

Brent:
Farm Fired Pizzas.

Scott:
Awesome.

Mindy:
Oh. Oh, now the tractor’s an expense too.

Brent:
You see. I can just leave everything in we buy for our residents and our farm. It’s just tie it all together.

Mindy:
Even if you’re living in an apartment, you should go out and buy a tractor right now because someday you’ll be in a farm and you can have Farm Fired Pizzas. Okay. So, you said $80,000 is your gross. What is the net from an $80,000 pizza? That’s like 7 or 8,000 pizzas.

Brent:
Right. So, the margin we’re seeing right now is about 60% to 70%. So, if I didn’t have to repay, because in my mind, I’m not making a profit until I pay everything back that we took out of our savings to fund this endeavor.

Mindy:
I would agree with that.

Brent:
So, I don’t expect to, it’ll be tight to turn an actual profit by the end of the first year, but I think we’ll be very close, which is, I believe good for a new small business to be able to be close to neutral after the first year.

Mindy:
90% of all small businesses fail within the first year, and 95% of the ones that make it the first year fail in the second year. So, to break even in the first year is enormous. Plus your wife has a job, so should something happen, you still have a safety net. But it sounds like 7 or 8,000 pizzas over the course of how many days a week do you work?

Brent:
It varies. In the winter it’s only, we picked up Thursdays and Saturdays. So, we’re doing through the winter. And then through this busy season, the spring, summer, early fall, I want to be out there four or five days a week. There’s a few market days I want to get involved in. There’s multiple breweries. There’s private events. And adding that altogether is probably four to five days a week is my goal.

Mindy:
Okay. So, that’s less than what you were working before.

Brent:
Yeah.

Mindy:
And more enjoyable.

Brent:
Yes.

Mindy:
Okay. So, if somebody is listening right now and they’re like, “I hate my job. It sucks. I want to open a pizza truck too.” What advice do you have for them?

Brent:
You have to look at where you are and develop a plan and actually stick to your plan. Don’t stop if it gets uncomfortable or stop when it gets difficult, you have to keep that goal in mind. And what means more to you? The comfort from your uncomfortable job or getting out there and doing your own thing and providing your own income to your home?

Scott:
And the financial runway aspect, right? As part of that plan. And developing that safety net where you can feel comfortable making this transition. Because I guarantee you, if you have debt or you don’t have a six month emergency fund, you’re looking at this decision very differently this year.

Brent:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s one of those things where people will say it’s easy for you to say. Yeah, now it is because it’s taken us five years to get to the point where I can’t say it’s easy for us to say it right now, but if you’re in debt and you want to get out of your job and you want to start your own business, the first thing you need to do is stop the bleeding. Stop accumulating debt. It’s the first thing. If you don’t do that, what are you trying to really do?

Scott:
Absolutely.

Mindy:
Okay. So, I have to correct my statement just a few minutes ago. I said 90% of all small businesses fail. It’s actually way less. I looked it up because Scott’s like, “I don’t think that’s true.”

Scott:
Well I heard a different story. That’s all.

Mindy:
Yeah. So, well, I’ve been quoting the wrong thing for a very long time. It’s 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, but that moves up to 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10, which is not nearly so daunting a statistic as the 90% in the first year. I’m not saying that like, “Oh, you’re going to fail.” I’m totally excited for you. I have had Wood Fired Pizza. I mean, bad pizza is still really good pizza.

Scott:
Let me ask you this, Brent, did you finance any of your business with debt?

Brent:
No, we did it all in cash.

Scott:
So, how can your business fail unless you decide to shut it down and decided it’s no longer worth it, right? Because you’re completely in the driver’s seat in getting your business off the ground.

Brent:
Exactly. And that’s a conversation I just had with a close friend this weekend. I went and visited a friend and his wife this weekend and we were talking about it. And I just said, “If this fails, it’s my fault.” It’s not an extenuating circumstance, I mean, outlying getting ill or something like that. It’s my fault if it fails because we have no debt for the business. And if I don’t put the work in, yeah, it will fail, but that’s on me. And that’s a lot easier to manage than some extenuating circumstance that maybe you feel you don’t have control over.

Scott:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mindy:
I’m super excited for your food truck. I’m going to come out to Ohio and visit you at a brewery. Because yeah, I follow you on Twitter and he’s got all these pictures. “Oh, look at this crust.” And, “I’ve been playing around with doughs,” and, “Look at this…” He does, I hope you’re not offended when I say he does Photoshop that is obviously photo-shopped, but it’s really… The pizza part isn’t Photoshopped. “Look at this picture of the pizza that I did.” And like, “That looks so good. I really want that pizza.”

Brent:
It’s a lot of fun and it’s very much like, it’s a science. And I think maybe that’s why the brewery owners have taken to us because making a pizza and brewing beer really aren’t that different. So you’re just talking about yeast and water and I add in the flour. It’s very much a science down to the small gram of yeast that you may put in. It’s a lot of fun.

Mindy:
There is a place near me that does, they take the spent grains from the brewery and put it into their pizza crust. You could have a collaboration with the brewery. It’s a special whatever breweries spent grades. It goes really great with this beer because they’re made with the same grains. Sorry, we’re going off on a tangent there.

Brent:
No, that’s quite all right.

Mindy:
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before we move on to the famous four?

Brent:
No, I don’t think so. I think we covered it on a pretty high level here. So, no, thank you very much.

Mindy:
Yeah. No, this was really fun to hear. I’m very glad you were able to come on the show today. It’s now time for the famous four. These are the same four questions we ask of all of our guests. Brent, are you ready?

Brent:
I’m ready.

Mindy:
What is your favorite finance book?

Brent:
So, it’s the book that helped us. And I don’t know if I’ll catch flack for this or not, but The Total Money Makeover is where we started. I don’t necessarily follow all the preachings anymore, but it was a catalyst to get us out of debt.

Mindy:
Dave Ramsey is awesome. If you have a negative net worth and you want to get to zero, his ideas will get you there. I mean, you’re not going to catch flack for it from me. Scott, are you going to give him flack?

Scott:
No, I think that’s the perfect book for the situation you started in.

Mindy:
I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, you don’t know how to fix your finances and you read a book that says, this is how you fix your finances. Oh, I can go look at that. I can read that. I can figure out my finances. He lays it out so easily. Get a $1,000 emergency fund, pay off all your debt, save six months expenses. Those are amazing. I don’t agree with the whole pay off your mortgage thing, but that’s me. I have a very low rate.

Scott:
All right. What was your biggest money mistake?

Brent:
Probably just not talking about money with my wife. The fact that it was just this taboo topic that we each felt like we had to keep on our own separate closets led to a lot of spending that we could have prevented.

Scott:
That’s a great way to phrase that biggest money mistake. I don’t think we’ve heard that one yet. And I think that that’s probably one that a lot of folks are struggling with is that’s the root problem here.

Brent:
Yeah. There’s a sense of embarrassment or something like, oh, I want to go by this but I don’t want to talk about buying it, so I’ll just put it on my own credit card and I’ll deal with it later. At the end of the day, your spouse probably doesn’t care that you want to buy that thing. Just save up and buy it with cash.

Mindy:
So, do you and your wife have separate bank accounts?

Brent:
No. No. We used to have separate credit card accounts. Now we just have our regular checking, our savings, our business checking and we have a business credit card.

Mindy:
Okay.

Brent:
Good.

Mindy:
What is your best piece of advice for people who are just starting out?

Brent:
Probably to sit down and think about how your emotions are actually playing into what you’re doing with your money. Are you buying this because you want it or are you buying this because you’re trying to mask some level of unhappiness that’s in your life. If you can control your emotional spending, you will be in a far better financial position, two weeks, a month, six months from now.

Scott:
Great advice.

Brent:
Awesome.

Scott:
All right. Most difficult question of the famous four. What is your favorite joke to tell at parties or breweries?

Brent:
Oh, man. So, this one has a curse word in it. Can I have a curse word? It’s a very low key curse word.

Scott:
Sure.

Brent:
Okay. It’s a nursing joke. So, a nurse walks into a bank completely exhausted after working an 18 hour shift and she goes and grabs a deposit slip, pulls out a rectal thermometer from her purse and tries to write with that thermometer. Realizes what she did and looks at the teller who’s totally flabbergasted. Without missing a beat, the nurse just says, “Well, that’s just great. Some asshole’s got my pen.”

Scott:
Love it. That is phenomenal.

Mindy:
Oh my goodness.

Scott:
We’ll give a quick disclaimer in the intro that we have a joke with that word in it, but I don’t think that’s a problem.

Mindy:
I don’t think it’s a problem either, because you said in advance. So, if anybody’s listening with their children, they can just turn it down. Okay. Brent, where can people find out more about you?

Brent:
So, I spend most of my time probably on Twitter, Debt & Cupcakes on Twitter. You can email me at [email protected]&cupcakes.com and I’ll throw a shameless plug in here, farmfiredpizzas.com, if you want to see anything about the business. I do share business-related items on my Debt & Cupcakes page though. Maybe much to the dismay of those that follow me, but you’re going to see some pizza if you follow me.

Scott:
Awesome.

Mindy:
And it’s good looking pizza too. I got to get your secret for the dough because my dough is okay, it’s not great.

Brent:
I can send you something.

Scott:
Why can’t they make good pizza in Denver? Why is it so difficult?

Mindy:
Don’t even say the altitude. It’s not difficult. I’ve found no difference baking with an altitude than I did at sea level. Yeah, there’s no good pizza in Denver. So, if you make a good pizza in Denver, let us know.

Brent:
Making good dough, it just takes time. If you can decide you’re going to eat pizza three days from now and you can give 72 hours to your dough, I can teach you how to make a good dough.

Mindy:
Oh. Well, I can make plans like that. I got to eat in three days anyway.

Brent:
There you go. I’ll send you something and check it out.

Mindy:
Oh, that’ll be awesome. Yeah. If you make good pizza in Colorado, call up or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Scott:
Brent, this is great. Thank you for coming on the show today.

 

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In This Episode We Cover

  • Why “average financial decisions” can often trap young people in debt
  • Going over finances with your partner before (and after) getting married
  • How to expense track to see exactly where your money is going
  • Using the “debt snowball” method to get out of debt quickly
  • Creating the “financial runway” you need to invest in your business and future
  • How to have a job exit plan so you can leave on your terms
  • And So Much More!

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Book Mentioned in the Show

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